The Zone

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The Zone
« on: January 26, 2018, 08:28:45 PM »
The Psychic Maestrom is always there, pressing on your brain, trying to find a way into you with whispers, claws, and distant screaming.

But what about when you go into it?

I watched a bunch of Adam Kobel's fantastic Apocalypse World (1st ed) game on youtube (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I7GSTudpZx8).  One thing they did that I like a lot are Zones, based on Arkady and Boris Strugatsky's "Roadside Picnic" (which I haven't read yet) and Andrei Tarkovsky's "Stalker". (Stalker is *amazing*. You have to see it. Bring your longest attention span.)

The Zone in "Stalker" is the site of some unspecified ontological disaster, rife with subtle threats and strangely psychic phenomena. It is quarantined by the military, but the curious or desperate hire experienced guides, "stalkers", to sneak them in and help them navigate the Zone's invisible hazards.

In Adam's game, these Zones seem to act as physical places where the Maelstrom is manifest.  Instead of a character opening her brain and having a experience in isolation from others, the characters can enter the Maelstrom as a party and have Weird adventures together there.

I like this a lot and I am completely stealing it and warping it to fit my and my players' aesthetic (as it emerges).

Has anyone else played with similar Zones?

What was awesome? What fell flat?

Do you have any good / bad /weird ideas to share?