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Modiphius > Mutant: Year Zero (Free League Publishing)

Ark Life in the first session

posted Feb 12, 2015 17:59:49 by LeeSwift
Hey everyone. I'm looking forward to running my first game of MY0 shortly, and I understand the concept of what the game says about just letting things develop naturally, but....

I want to give a sense of realism and continuity to the game from the first session by sort of explaining how the Ark society works. The rulebook explains about the Dawn Vault and the Elder, and the bosses, but it doesn't say much about how things are governed. How are decision currently made? Also, the background flavour explains that the Ark has been isolated for decades, but if there's stalkers, why are the sectors all unexplored?

At the end of the day, I can just lightly skim over the details and let the Players just accept that they are where they are, but it would feel a lot better if I could kind of rationalise how the society is structured before any assembly takes place. Has anyone else tried this?
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4 replies
roastinjones said Feb 18, 2015 10:53:55
Hi Lee,
the way I'm running things is that up until the point the game begins, the Ark has been running in isolation under the watchful eye of the Elder. There has been enough food and water for everyone, therefore there has been no need to venture out into the dangers of the Zone - an edict that the Elder has enforced thus far. There is an existing Stalker in my campaign - but he's pretty well burnt out from the things he's seen out there, he wandered about getting attacked for very little reward and as there was no dire need he stopped going out. There are no laws laid down as the Elder made any calls necessary, which were few and far between as life has been pretty simple.
But at the beginning of the campaign, all this has changed. The foods running out, the water almost gone. The Elder is old, dying even. Shortages will breed strife, bosses are starting to emerge and are circling - when the Elder dies it could turn into a free-for-all.
This is where the players come in - I want them to establish the laws, impose some order before chaos destroys the Ark. Events between the various bosses will unfold before them - will they drive events or get swept up in them.
I think the most important thing to do is work out your major NPCs, i've assigned my emergent bosses zones of influence within the Ark - each will attempt to solidify their influence and then expand - the PCs will have to try and navigate the politics of the Ark.
If it helps, take a look at the NPCs I've listed in my thread below "Birmingham Urban Renewal" - my ramblings above might read better with a little context :)

John Dodd said Feb 18, 2015 20:58:37
I think it's for each person to decide for themselves, I find there's a lot of mileage in building things in as they go along so that you can tweak the campaign to the needs of those who are playing, rather than having absolutes in place that everyone has to work around. The flexibility is something I like most about this.
In the end, it's not about whether you won or lost, but how you played the game...

Tell that to Magic Players...
TomasFriaLigan said Feb 24, 2015 08:59:44
@LeeSwift: Hi! Roastinjones sums up very well the general idea. Until recently, the Ark has simply been run by edicts from the Elder. Remember, the People were until recently all children/teenagers. Regarding the Stalkers - yes, they have ventured out into the Zone, but the Stalkers are few and they have not wandered that far. We actually did have an early rules concept that a few sectors (a D6 or so in number) around the Ark would be "pre-explored" before the game starts, but in the end we decided it just made things more complicated. But something like that could be done, if you feel it would help the suspension of disbelief.
LeeSwift said Feb 25, 2015 09:20:23
I agree Doddherderofcats, but as I stated, we need a starting point to build from. I think Tomas and Roastinjones have answered my questions, and I will no doubt use those suggestions moving forward. Cheers everyone!
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