Welcome to the 20th episode of DECK OF FRIDAYS, our weekly feature here at FATE SF! Each week since the release of the print edition of the Deck of Fate*, we have made a draw from the Deck of Fate, RPG Inspiration Cards, or another Aspect-generative randomizer. Then we do something interesting with it, using the Aspect as inspiration for a campaign or scenario seed, a situation, scene, location, NPC, thingie, etc.
This week's draw from the Deck of Fate is a card with the Aspect: Top of the World, a card with a +3 value. This seems appropriate for celebrating our 20th post in the series!
Top of the World makes me think of space elevators which are often colloquially referred to in SF as beanstalks. So today we have a table on Beanstalks that you can use to flesh out one or more details of a setting which includes one.
Roll 4DF and consult the corresponding result below.
- -4: Monsters (Horta, Dholes, deviant Morlocks, rogue 'bots, etc.) are gnawing at the beanstalk's roots
- -3: The beanstalk is ruined and abandoned, and has fallen into a tangle planetside
- -2: A literal Tower of Babel, the beanstalk's populations are culturally and linguistically balkanized and frequently in conflict with each other
- -1: Jim Crow to the stars - the beanstalk's amenities (transport tubes, hotel and dining spaces, etc.) are segregated according to some discriminatory scheme (humans vs. uplifts and robots, for example)
- 0: The beanstalk is ruined and abandoned, but still upright - and ready for exploration and plunder
- +1: A typical beanstalk: a spaceport at the apex, a commercial-industrial city at the base
- +2: The beanstalk is the hub of a thriving interplanetary or interstellar civilization
- +3: The beanstalk has numerous zones/rings of habitation, baroquely stratified with ascending tech levels (low at the base, astonishingly high at the apex)**
- +4: Gods (Vorlonic aliens, transhumans, etc.) live at the apex, and lord over all below
*With some exceptions.
**As in Alastair Reynolds' Terminal City.