(This is a companion to my earlier Hyperborean City Geomorphs post.)
Lesserton & Mor (hereafter L&M) is itself inspired by the earlier Pavis & Big Rubble. Grognardia wrote about Big Rubble back in the day, and Hill Cantons wrote a series of posts about running ruined cities (see the preamble, part one, part two, and revisited.)
I’ve been using the random hex generation tables from L&M, with a few tweaks. For example, I’ve replaced the “vegetation” results for random terrain with “glaciated”, and “Orkin” become “Vhuurmis“.
One aspect of L&M that I really like is the “weirdness” tables. You might discover an archaeological find, encounter a dead NPC party, or a hazard such as a pitfall. However, it wasn’t quite weird enough for the Black City, so I’m also using the “Anomalies” table from the Stalker RPG. (I wrote about Stalker on one of my other gameblogs; it’s based on Roadside Picnic – the Soviet sci-fi tale by authours Arkady and Boris Strugatsky.)
In our “Arrival” session, the PCs encountered an obelisk that (when touched) revealed a vision of a thriving Hyperborean metropolis filled with inhabitants, instead of the ruins of the Black City. There are many more strange anomalies lurking in the ruins…
Despite these excellent tools (and the city geomorphs I’m using), I’m still having a hard time getting into the whole “urban ruincrawl” thing. Chris Kutalik had a similar experience, and landed on using a pointcrawl approach instead of a strict hex approach.
I’ll probably move towards a pointcrawl, with some sample hexes pre-generated to drop in during play when the PCs are traveling from one area to another…