Actual Play! Precious Dark Playtest – The Crystal Hunt

GM: Stacy Dellorfano

Precious Dark is a game about a dark future that isn’t quite so dark, or perhaps they just like it that way. You play a denizen of the Dark, living in one of the many hamlets that make up the underground cities and towns of your world. Above ground, humanity ravaged the earth many hundreds of years ago, but no one’s really come back to live there except for the corporate-housed people who live in arcologies primarily on the coasts of the world’s great countries.

The Downworlders, as the denizens are known, don’t really like the Upworlders, as the rest of humanity is known. Many hundreds of years ago, when humanity was etching back to life in underground bunkers while the world above was uninhabitable, the Downworlders broke out of the safety of pre-built systems and began exploring the vast cave systems in the earth’s crust. Since then, the world over, there are many towns, cities, and whole thriving nations underground.

The denizens are a strong, hearty people who early on learned how to harness the power of a mysterious and confounding energy source referred to as ‘The Strange’, for, quite simply put, it’s strange. Plants that glow under lights powered by the gaseous substance grow twice as large, or look like raspberries but taste like blueberries, or become something else all together different. Livestock that grazes on Strange-fed grass change and mutate as well (many denizens dine on giant mole rat regularly). Over time, the denizens learned to use The Strange even though they are clearly unable to predict what it will do or control it’s behavior … and I say behavior because many believe The Strange is sentient.

Exposure to the Strange even causes humans to mutate. Right around puberty, all denizens begin to get these mutations. The mutations always seem to correlate to the denizen’s deepest talents, even if the denizen is in denial about what those talents might actually be, and it is never fatal. Mutations span a range of possibilities from animal-like appendages and countenances to altered skin color to a complete altered substance. By and large, denizens look forward to this change as a sort of rite of passage and coming of age moment. By and large.

Denizens are a fun and exploratory lot who accept that there are many risks in the Dark, but still take on adventures throughout the tunnel and cave systems frequently. There’s so much out there to explore and so many amazing things to be found that many denizens strive to live a life full of adventure and often go exploring for any of a variety of reasons.

Precious Dark is meant to be played as a fun and adventurous game, not a dark and gritty one. It should more evoke the feelings of cartoons and Tim Burton films rather than something like Shadowrun. The Strange is almost magical in nature, but not really. Kind of … Doctor Who-ish in that aspect.

Gameplay uses pools of d6s, so have some on hand or a custom roller. We’ll create characters together at the beginning of the game, and I will provide some pre-generated characters as an option as well. You can join our community on Google+ and glance through the rules as they come up for character ideas as well as get the playtest packet as soon as I’m done writing it up. :)

You’ll be playing a group of denizens out in search of a rumored stash of really cool crystals. :)