Master Mines

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Decommissioned: Setting Thoughts

In Decommissioned, the PCs start at The Compound, a place they’ve existed since their manufacture date.  The game begins as the PCs decide that a certain expiration is preferable to continued functioning as a corporate drone.  I’ve been pondering how to convey the default setting for the game.

No “Outside World”

I recently considered giving all setting details about existence within The Compound only and leaving the “outside world” completely open.  I know this could present some challenges, but if I gave a toolbox to the play group on what to use to create the “outside world”, this leaves games free to interpretation and makes each play group’s setting quite different.  Another benefit is that the “outside world” could be molded to the goal(s) of the player(s).

This approach to me is like describing a gun in excruciating detail, from how it is manufactured to how the bullet travels down the barrel and exactly what this gun is used to do, what it does to things and living beings.  Then, whatever someone does with the gun is really up to them.

32 Flavors and Then Some

Another way I could go is to come up with a selection of very different settings that could be used exclusively or used to describe different sectors of the universe.  For example, in Sector Alpha, the PC’s missions are broadcast on all the popular media channels and they spend their time in “sleep mode” talking smack to each other.  But in Sector Beta, missions are extremely covert shadow ops and the PCs are hidden from sight of the public, doing the dirty deeds the corporation doesn’t want to see the light of day.  Then, over in Sector Gamma, the PCs are just another machine in a populace inundated with mechanized conveniences in worlds with dingy grey skies and awash with slothful humanity.

* Do either of these setting descriptions sound like a good idea? 

* If I were to create a toolbox, do you think it could work as a series of Don’t Rest You Head-type questions?



April 22, 2008 - Posted by | D-Com


  1. Rich,

    Do you see D-Com taking place in one world? I have no idea why, but I always assumed that this game had a galactic scope. So perhaps the compound ALWAYS looks the same, but the outside world is different.

    I think you could go with certain sectors have certain feels to them (The Outer Rim Territories, the Core, the Trade Union district to steal a few popular ones…) I think giving the GM enough guidance to create a world that can be the foil to the players is kind of cool.

    If you plan to keep it one planet, I think you could do the same. Draw a map with the big terrain highlighted and give a few lines of description. That way, if the players want to play in the mountains, they know that the Perrin Mountains run through the middle of the Big Continent but you can leave out all the nitty gritty details like how many villages there, etc.

    For urban missions (your examples all seem urban) just name the major cities and again give a quick overview.

    In general, I like defining the edges of the sandbox. That gives the players more room to move in I think.

    Comment by commondialog | April 23, 2008 | Reply

  2. I’m vastly in favor of a setting-creation toolbox. I just think those kinds of things are better, create more interesting and more varied settings, and get player buy-in.

    Comment by robertbohl | April 23, 2008 | Reply

  3. I do see D-Com as being a galactic scope and hope players have scenes in different worlds during a game.

    I can dig with The Compound always looking the same, but I want the players to create their parent corporation. I want the play group to make something they are happy to hate, and that varies by person.

    I can see how the examples seem ubran, but in my head, a corporation owns entire worlds, so jumping ship involves interstellar travel usually.

    Comment by orklord | April 23, 2008 | Reply

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