The Scars section of Artifacts (p.24-41) provides tools for building cohesive player character groups. It also describes how player characters of the same Cult can come together as a group. Taking Scars as a start point, this and other Cult Campaign Seeds posts explore ideas for campaigns built around a single Cult.
The aim is to provide gamemasters with ideas that can be expanded, grafted into other campaign seeds, or otherwise altered as needed. With that in mind, here are some ideas for Scrapper groups.
From Out of Nowhere
Your mentor was an asshole, no doubt about it. Salty was generally unkind and usually in a bad mood. He threw things at you when he got angry, and he smelled like rancid eggs. But Salty also saw something in you. “Look, most Scrappers are losers. We dig in the ground because it’s the only thing we know how to do. But you’ve got talent, kid. And you’re hungry for a big score. You’re a hard worker. Get a crew who are just as ambitious as you, and you’ll go far.”
Salty never amounted to much, but he was right about that one thing. You and your mates make a good team. You want to make a name for yourselves, so you work every angle, try every trick, and never rest. Whenever you go, you keep your ears and eyes open.
The sick and injured have nothing to do but sit around and share rumors. That’s why Vivaco is such a great place to sniff for leads. All the obvious dig sites in Northern Purgare have been explored many times over. But every once in a while, you can get a whiff of information that leads to a less obvious opportunity.
Turns out some old-timer saw a band of Romanos two days ago. They were headed west, and supposedly they were carrying digging gear in their carts. Based on the snippets he heard from their conversations, he figured they were headed to the mountains that ring Lucatore. Long odds that any of this is true, or that even if it is, the Romanos are headed toward a promising dig site. But hey, there’s only one way to find out.
Characters with the Concepts of Creator, Conqueror, Visionary, and Ruler have Affinity with this group, while Aversion greets those with Defiler and Traditionalist Concepts.
We’re Not Gonna Take It
The map was a hand-drawn copy of a hand-drawn copy of a printed map from the Bygone days. In other words, it was about as useful as arms on a fish. But Jerzhy insisted that the weird little oblong symbol in the center of the map was significant. So you spent weeks roaming this endless forest, hoping you’d find something before the rains turned to snow.
As usual, it was Tasha who found it. She was scraping the mud in this open area, muttering about how flat and devoid of trees it was, a crazed look in her eyes. You figured she had finally lost it. Too many weeks in a row searching for something you think might not even be there can drive anyone a bit crazy.
But she wasn’t crazy. You all heard the metallic thunk as her long spade hit something under the mud. You rushed over and got out your spades and shovels. After just two hours of hard digging, you uncovered a wide, long metal container with locked swinging doors on the back end. You were about to start cutting through the lock with Jerzhy’s blowtorch when a pair of Spitalian Famulancers showed up. They were on horseback, scrubbed and haughty, looking down at you as you squatted in the mud.
Then more of them showed up. A full squad of ten bald little maggots, led by a long-shanked Preservist named Trauber. He rattled off some crap about how this territory was part of a Spitalian defensive encampment they’d established because there were Biokinetics in the area, and therefore anything found here was theirs by right. Fucking bullshit.
You seethed, but what could you do? Trauber made you cut the door lock, then sent one of his Famulancers to open it. When he came out, his expression said it all. Trauber himself clambered down the side of the dig and went into the container. Coming out, he couldn’t hide his glee.
“Fine work, Scrappers! Fine work!” He said it as if you were hanging on his every word, eager for his approval. Then, to smear manure in the wound, he tossed you each a small cloth pouch of Dinars. “This should be enough compensation for your efforts, friends. There’s a town not three days from here. I’ve been to their alehouse, and I can attest to the quality of their distillate.”
You took the coin of course, and slunk off like beaten dogs. But you weren’t a kilometer from the dig when Tasha cleared her throat and stopped walking. “This is bullshit. There’s always someone fucking with us. If it’s not the Judges telling us we’ve broken their laws, it’s the ’Pacos sucking our blood like leeches wherever we go. And now the Eggheads just stole the biggest haul we’ll ever find. They just took it from us!” She was trembling, eyes tearing up, fists clenched.
“No, no. Not this time, sister. Not this time,” said Jerzhy. “It’s time for us to stand up and fight back. We’re gonna find every Scrapper who’s been fucked over, every Scrapper who is tired of being stepped on, and we’re going to come back and take that dig back from Trauber. Whatever’s in there, he’s not getting it.”
Characters with the Concepts of Traditionalist, Zealot, Righteous, and Protector have Affinity with this group, while Aversion greets those with Heretic and Visionary Concepts.
A Fine Day to Die
“Right there, right there!” Nemu pointed through the thick mist but kept his head low. “See him?” You peered up over the lip of the flatboat. Sure as crab stew on Friday, a figure was carefully picking through ankle-deep slime, advancing toward your camouflaged position. By the broad build and bizarre assortment of makeshift body armor, it was obviously an Iron Brother.
He wasn’t the only one. They were packed in close. Pickles in a jar. So foolish and so predictable. The trap was working perfectly.
Then they reached the line where you’d carefully planted a string of tripwire-activated Claymore mines. One of the Iron Brothers tripped the wire, then recovered his footing. There were no explosions. Not a single one. The Iron Brothers all took a knee and they all looked ahead, slowly scanning. Then one drew a rifle and aimed it in your direction. You were discovered!
Behind you, Obi quavered, “The blasting caps must have all been duds.” Next to him, Armoud grunted, “Well, Let’s hope our bullets aren’t duds, too.”
You were directed here by Orma’s lieutenant, the Scavenger Taye. He had called the swamp dig “a once in a lifetime find,” and patted you each on the shoulder. “You’re part of a historic moment,” he’d said. “Do your jobs well and you’ll be part of something bigger than yourselves. You’ll be agents of destiny.”
The excavation site is a half a kilometer to the north, and yours is just one of many small teams put in place to intercept any Iron Brother attempt at interference. Now all you need to do is hold out long enough for the nearest team to come to your aid.
Characters with the Concepts of Seeker, Chosen, Zealot, and Martyr have Affinity with this group, while Aversion greets those with Heretic and Visionary Concepts.