Just posted this in another forum and thought I’d share:

Just posted this in another forum and thought I’d share:

Just posted this in another forum and thought I’d share:


[When running the Planarch Codex], I replicate something like Fronts by using the jobs + “what happens when you don’t take a job” move. To start, I roll up several possible jobs while the players are finishing up their characters (like buying gear or whatnot), have them pick the job they just finished (rolling to see how it went, as in the “love letter”), and then pick the job they’ve just decided to take on. Then we play that out as a single session. Next session, right before play begins (perhaps while they’re spending their loot from last session), I roll to find out what’s up with the job they didn’t take, which increments the background fiction and makes the world around them have a life of it’s own. Then I roll up a couple new jobs and add them to the board. Eventually, you’ll then end up with multiple jobs out there that the players are not actively engaging with, which grow and develop or get replaced by other jobs. This becomes the “metaplot” of Dis, humming and churning along, but there for the players to actively engage with whenever they want, just by them taking up one of the available jobs.


This method could totally work in a non-Planarch setting too. Like, if your crew is a bunch of mercenaries in a fantasy world, or anything else that has a more Shadowrun-like structure of patrons and missions (or, say, quests). It’s a bit like how things work in modern computer RPGs (like Skyrim), except the missions don’t wait there doing nothing until you decide to take them on, rather, they’re moving targets: if you don’t do them, maybe someone else will, or they may not be the same when you get around to them.

10 thoughts on “Just posted this in another forum and thought I’d share:”

  1. I really like this. The jobs then build up an emergent buzz, with potential that can be as demanding or un- as seems wise for the moment. Good fodder for thinking about what would be a comparable effect in other sorts of campaigns.

  2. Bruce Baugh Yeah, the idea is also that the jobs eventually cross-pollinate: if you take the delivery job rather than the job about the plague of zombies rampaging through the city, you have to deliver your charge safely through the middle of a horde of zombies.

  3. Or, that some of the active jobs may suggest patrons, targets, or other matter for the new jobs you roll up. Once the Corpse Merchants are in play, when you roll “merchants” again, you may already have something to hook into.

  4. No, I mean “assimilate” in terms of “me keeping it all in my mind somewhere I can draw on it for use whenever it’d be fun to throw in”.

  5. I’m wondering how I could use this continuity in a sci-if setting where the PC’s might leave in their starship after a job and never come back to the system where the unused jobs were generated. I’d like the front “fingers” to keep reaching out in some way.

  6. Easy enough to keep a job list for each “region” of play (cities, islands, continents, planes, star systems, sectors, depending on the scope of your campaign), and then have threats or patrons/targets overflow or expand into neighboring regions as the fiction demands. Or you could just use the faction rules from Stars Without Number.

  7. Chris Bennett P.S. So far, my players have only looked for work in Dis. If they went to another plane and started looking for work, I might roll up a new set of 3 jobs for them to pick from and then go from there.

  8. I loaned my Planarch Codex to a friend, and sure enough when he ran his DW/Ebberon game, we got a choice of jobs.  I smiled as everyone else agreed to hit up the big paying job and wondered what kind of hell that little scouting job we passed up was going to dump in our laps.

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