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Modiphius > Mutant: Year Zero (Free League Publishing)
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Slogging through sectors

posted Apr 04, 2016 20:13:46 by bsuperfi
My group has played 5 or 6 sessions of MYZ, and I'm wondering if anyone else is experiencing what we are. First, we think the game is great. It's goofy and filled with nastiness at the same time.

Here's what we've been experiencing in the last couple sessions: The story has gotten rolling pretty hard, especially with some crazy unexpected die rolls. The group has established trade with the zone ghouls from a mouthful of water and demolished a large group of helldrivers in their parking garage using the ark combat rules. They have a a couple Eden clues but not much. And they're on their way to the rust castle, having heard of it from some zone ghouls they randomly encountered after making friends with their leader.

But after this many sessions, exploring the zone is starting to feel like a slog. The players want to get to their next destination to progress the story. E.g. the rust castle was maybe 8 sectors away from the ark, and they just blew through it to get to the rust castle (which will be next session). The sectors were also so random they didn't seem to hang together so well. (We're playing in ruined Chicago because we all live in Chicago, and the randomness doesn't make it feel like Chicago.)

My idea was to scrap the zone sector grid map and use an exploration house rule like this: Explore one zone sector to get to a close destination, 2 sectors for a medium destination, and 3 zone sectors for a far destination.

Anyways, I was wondering if anyone else had similar experiences, ideas about how to proceed, etc. Thanks.
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7 replies
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Fenhorn said Apr 05, 2016 00:02:32
In my current campaign I prepared myself a little bit. I predetermined an area around their Ark of about (10 in all directions). I checked with a real map and changed the sectors that didn't match to well. This way, the map is less random and more like the real city, although in ruins. Sure this took a couple of hours but it was worth it. Both because of the sector match with the real city thing but also so I don't have to roll those dice when we play. The only roll I make when the players enters a new sector is the threat roll (I want to do that "live" so I can modify it). Every now and then between sessions I can roll up some more sectors (where needed). I have printed out those zone logs (around 10 so far).

Another thing I do is the special sectors. In other RPG you write adventures. Here you write special sectors, at least you do if you want the players to find sectors and ruins that are bigger, have underground complexes (other command centers perhaps), etc. I have also placed some of the special sectors form the rulebook and the zone compendiums on the map. I have placed out all the Eden clues where I want them. On my next campaign, I will place out whatever events/clues/artefacts/characters I make up for that campaign in a similar way.

The threat cards (I have the cards). They are written as headlines and technically doesn't say much. I usually don't use the examples in the book for them, instead I used them to start an intrigue/event that I have written and that (hopefully) will lead the players to one of the special sectors I have done (either myself or one "official" one). I usually draw a threat card at the end of a game session (if they end the session in the Ark). I read the headline (like a teases). Then I have until the next session to come up with something (or sometimes I have already written something).
War, war never changes
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ThomasWoods said Apr 08, 2016 16:52:50
I've only played one session so far. At first we were going to do the New York city map, but looking at the areas on google earth made me doubt that. I then started looking at Chicago, which had more interesting "junky areas" to the south. But in the end I think all you have to do is decide that the world started to end in the future so several areas could have gone through changes and don't have to look like they are now in 2016. We will use New York as the base, but will drastically change some areas. So one area could be a large park today, but sometime in the future the Doom Sphere was built there.
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ScottDippel said Jun 08, 2016 22:03:58
Also, don't forget that each zone represents 1 square mile. A square mile can contain quite a heap of wasteland wreckage around a location that is still mostly intact.
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Mahatatain said Jun 10, 2016 07:20:06
Fenhorn - I'm still in the planning phase of my campaign (and I'm still reading the rulebook) but my plan was something similar to yours.

My players want to use London so I plan to map out major sectors and the immediate vicinity around the Ark using real London as a guide and then fill in gaps as the players move closer to them.

I think that this approach makes more sense as it makes more of the city - I've got several ideas for locations based on real iconic places in London, e.g. the Tower of London, HMS Belfast, the Shard, etc.

It does require some preparation though.
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Fenhorn said Jun 10, 2016 09:52:39
I an say it is worth it.

The way I see it. Sure it feels nice that I don't have to prepare so much, but since I do prepare all other RPGs I play, so for me it makes no difference. MYZ is still "low maintenance RPG" even if I do prepare the setting a little bit.
War, war never changes
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Kaun said Jun 17, 2016 01:07:19
Yeah, zone exploration has been a struggle for me.

With regards to zone travel these are my groups main concerns in order;

Rot
Supplies
Potential threats.

Generally speaking they favor speed over exploration, often covering half a dozen sectors with out exploring one.

I know this is my fault for not enticing them to explore further but i am also keen to get the zone travel over and done with quickly. Because the game always seems more fun in the Ark. And zone travel seems to be so slow, with a single expedition often spreading into two and even three sessions.

I am generally happy to move quickly through sectors. I often play out the hazards with a single dice roll.

Recovering explored territories is nice as it speeds things up.

I also think i rely to heavy on the random sector tables. I don't know why but it seems to make the zone feel very incohesive
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TomasFriaLigan said Jul 08, 2016 14:38:06
@Kaun: Have you used the Special Zone Sectors at all? If you and your group prefer more cohesive environments, they might be the right tool for you. :)
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