Friday, 16 May 2014

Food in the Veins


Three sources of food exist, above, below and within.

Nutrients can come from the sunlit lands above, washed down in rivers, lost, searching or stolen from the surface. (This includes the party. If they die, they will almost inevitably
be eaten by something eventually. Nothing is lost.)

In the lightless seas, vents gasp out heat and strange chemistry to feed the ecology of those abyssal deeps. From strange planes or portals, sometimes edible things come through.

In between, strange fungi and odd organisms slowly transmute stone, water, heat and air to eatable food.

It is never enough. Everything is hungry, all the time. In the cities the poor are hungry and the rich, insanely wealthy as they are in gold, occultum and silk, are also hungry.

Cities in the veins are made possible by a few factors. The careful tending of every available resource. Relentless recycling, no waste is thrown away. The fact that they
occupy volumes, not flat two dimensional plains. Every area of the veins may be a 20th as productive as a surface desert, but the controlled volume extends 360 degrees around each
city, giving a vastly increased surface area of workable land. The use of generative magic is vital. As is cannibalism. The slave labour force of a city in the Veins can be directly
transformed into agricultural produce, either to feed the free population, or to trade. They can even transport themselves to the point of consumption or sale.

The low caste population can likewise be transformed into a food source for the upper caste and military in a state of emergency. They will not be informed of this ahead of time, or
at all.

Eating.

Rather than obsessively tracking food, adding another element of accountancy to the game, it is assumed that the party is constantly foraging and re-supplying. They are on the border of starvation at almost all times. The counter-
effects of starvation vs drive and determination are considered to even themselves out in most cases.

In the Hungry stage, bonuses are given for finding and eating food.

If the team fails to incur regular bonuses they enter the Starving stage.

In the stage, negative effects are incurred for not eating food when available.

if the team incurs too many negative effects they enter the third stage.

In the third stage, terminal starvation sets in and character performance decays.

An edible opponent is one whose biochemistry matches yours. So, Drow, Toraptoise or Dragon but not Cambriman, Silichominid or Archean.

The food creation abilities of a Cleric or Magic User, or careful explicit food-and-encumbrance keeping can keep a party out of Stage One if they wish it to, so long as a meaning ful amount of food is generated or carried each day.

(A real caver used about 6000 calories each day, though DM's may wish to be more forgiving.)



Stage One; Hungry

Bonuses for Eating

Eating the flesh of an edible opponent.
This gains you XP equal to the HP of the creature consumed.

Eating the flesh of a PC or henchman.
This gains you XP equal to the HP of the colleague consumed.

Stealing food.
The party can re-roll a failed caving or climbing test either once each or once collectively.

Paying for food.
Ten calories cost 1. You must buy at least 2500 calories, spending at least 250. Party gets XP equal to the cash spent, up to 1000.

Provoking a combat encounter simply to get food.
Party adds d4 to intimidation tests over the following 24 hours.

The party must do one of these every three days. If they do not, they move to the second stage.

The party can ignore the effects of a day if they spend the whole 24 hours resting, conserving energy and doing nothing.

So if they have spent 3 days exploring, and gained no bonuses, they can simply sit down to wait. If someone turns up, they can buy food, steal food or just kill and eat them to avoid moving to stage two.


Stage Two; Starving

Negative Effects for Not Eating.

Eating the flesh of an edible opponent.
Doing this puts you back in stage one. Failing to do this if it is possible reduces every roll by 1 for each failed opportunity.

Eating the flesh of a PC or henchman.
Doing this puts you back in Stage One.

Stealing food.
Doing this puts you back in Stage One. Failing to do this if it is possible reduces every roll by 1 for each failed opportunity.

Paying for food.
Ten calories cost 1. You must buy at least 5000 calories, spending at least 500. This puts you back in Stage One.

Provoking a combat encounter simply to get food.
Doing this puts you back in Stage One so long as you get the food.

The party must do one of these every three days. If they do not, they move to the second stage.

The party must act, if they spend the whole 24 hours resting, conserving energy and doing nothing they get another -1 to every roll.

If your starvation minus to rolls hits -5, you enter the third stage.


Stage Three; Dying

You Must Eat Or You Will Die.

The good news is that the madness of hunger now cancels out the -5 you had to your rolls. You are now too crazy with hunger to be slowed down

Every member of the party loses one level, as per the level drain spell, for every 24 hours they spend in this stage.

Consuming an edible opponent entirely.
Doing this puts you back in stage one.

Consuming a PC or henchman entirely.
Doing this puts you back in Stage One.

Stealing food.
Doing this puts you back in Stage Two.

Paying for food.
Ten calories cost 1. You must buy at least 10,000 calories, spending at least 1000. This puts you back in Stage One.


If a party members level hits Zero, They starve to death.

2 comments:

  1. This ties so nicely with Joesky's latest post

    ReplyDelete
  2. "Eating the flesh of an edible opponent" is the best thing I've read all week.

    Overall the rules are pretty ingenious, too.

    ReplyDelete

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