Erik Schmidt
Erik Schmidt

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It's not always cold in Balkhan, but when it's cold, it's really cold.

This is the seventh and final post in a series designed to provide ideas – bare-bones outlines – for Degenesis campaigns. They’re meant to serve as inspiration so you can use one of them as-is, grab bits from each and add them to your own ideas, or riff off them and come up with something completely new.

Before we get started, don’t forget that Chapter 11 in Katharsys is filled with useful campaign-planning info. Also, Group Alignments are found in Artifacts, and I’ve settled on a group size of four mostly because for me as a GM the sweet spot is three to four players.

Let’s do this.

Pollen

Extractors

It’s been generations since Scourgers and Surge Tanks have been seen in these parts. The Neolybians did the math and decided making inroads in Balkhan wasn’t worth the cost in blood and coin.

But to a few in Africa, there is still unfinished business in Balkhan. For years Scourgers have been complaining that the bodies of their fallen predecessors were left in Balkhan, buried in shallow graves by uncaring savages. Their remains belong back in Africa, where proper rites can be administered and these fallen heroes can be given proper respect for their sacrifices.

Finally someone listens. The Magnate Nazim knows how most Scourgers feel about Neolybians. He also knows that if he can give them this one thing they have long desired, he will have leverage with them. So he has spent considerable time and energy putting together a plan to do just that.

Your team is being paid through a chain of middlemen to go to several long-forgotten battlegrounds, obtain information from locals, survey the sites, and dig up the bones of long-dead Scourgers. The remains are then to be boxed and transported to Purgare, for shipment back to Africa where the validity of the remains will be tested. Apparently the Anubians have kind of magic that allows them to read the bones and know about the person they once were.

What Nazim doesn’t know is that the contact of a contact of a contact who is making this all happen has assembled his team through blackmail.

These four have been brought together by the Alignment of Chance. They didn’t even know each other until the Raven Lom forced them to do her bidding.

  • Apocalyptic – At least Lom didn’t have you killed. As the leader of the Black Kites she could have done so. This insane mission is your one chance to get back in her good graces.
  • Paler – Other Grounders could not find your observation post and access tunnel. Lom knows if anyone uses the tunnel to get to the bunker you will be blamed. She is a worthy leader.
  • Clanner – Devoted husband and father. Mayor-in-waiting. You also owe the Black Kites over a grand in gambling and whoring debts. Now your comeuppance has arrived. Serves you right, you fool!
  • Scrapper – When Lom gave you that compressor two years ago, she said she might call in a favor later. Well, best to get on with it. Maybe there are other goodies to be found at these old battlegrounds.

Merchants of Death

Alliances change. Friends become enemies. One never knows when a reliable weapon will be necessary. Thankfully there are helpful people who, in these challenging times, are willing and able to provide such weapons.

Your little crew specializes in obtaining guns and ammunition through clever trading, meticulous examination of old dig sites, and occasional theft. Renovated and/or disguised weapons are then sold at appropriately marked-up prices to those who are willing to pay for quality.

The Alignment of Ambition unites this strange entrepreneurial band, who have found a way to capitalize on their homeland’s incessant warring.

  • Apocalyptic – You’re obviously the brains of the operation. Who else could – with the help of easily-manipulated accomplices – take a single rusted Kalashnikov and three rounds and turn it into a rapidly-expanding trade empire?
  • Paler – There is no better way to understand life in the Above than observing the flow of weapons and ammunition, aided by easily-influenced Grounders. And knowing the Above is the key to becoming a Halo and fulfilling your sacred mission.
  • Clanner – Your Clan isn’t known for its fighting prowess. But it could become known as the source of the best weapons. Who would mess with a Clan so situated? Your vision for the future is clear, and you’re willing to do anything to make it into reality.
  • Scrapper – Everyone knows this little plan is going nowhere without you. Who else knows how to fix anything, much less refurbish ancient weapons? But you’ve got to admit, having a crew means having people who will watch your back.

Tunnel Rats

They’re bizarre giant albino rats, creeping up out of their Bygone tunnels at night and stealing from good, honest, hardworking families. They know nothing of toil, honest labor, and self-sacrifice. They take because it’s all they know how to do.

Palers have been increasingly active in the region lately. They have stolen from larders, absconded with sheep, and siphoned water from wells. They must be stopped! Finally an entrance to their underground network has been found. You have been chosen to enter and take the fight to the rat men!

Barbarism must be met with force. Civilization must be defended. This group is bound by the Alignment of Dogma.

  • Hellvetic – You grew up on tales of the mysterious Palers, and now you get to fight them. This is a dream come true. With your training and skills, what could possibly go wrong?
  • Scrapper – The Palers don’t deserve the technology of the Bygones. They are degenerates. Pale apes with the power of the gods at their fingertips. That technology should be in civilized hands. Your hands.
  • Clanner – Even with the contant squabbling and backstabbing, the Clans represent the promise of civilization. For every step back, eventually two steps are taken forward. And swatting down these pale earthworms will be a historic victory!
  • Jehammedan – Nothing unites disparate peoples like a common foe. Your wise father told you this, and you have never forgotten. Making common cause with Clanners is the first step in their inevitable conversion.

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