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Fatemaster Friday - And ever again, in the wink of an eye, painted stations whistle by...


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Fantastic Friday Breachers!

Last week our Grand Malifaux Tour took us into the Quarantine Zone. I asked to see what your folk appreciate about the Quarantine Zone, and here’s what @WyrdGM had to say about our favorite “no man’s land” within Malifaux City:


For me, it is the exploration beyond the normal order.
Visiting a hundred little kingdoms in the bones of buildings left long ago. You walk through streets that are haunted by tragedy or wonder. It is danger a stone's throw, or bullet shot, away from a perceived safety.

See the rest of their comment, and others', here! 

This week I’m wrapping up the tour’s exploration of Malifaux City with a look at the New Construction Zones and the Slums! Let’s start with the New Construction Zones! The (NCZ) are areas to the north and south of Downtown and The Industrial Zone where industrious settlers have rebuilt areas that were in ruins or to create entirely new areas. Both of these areas are visually unlike the rest of the buildings in Malifaux City, and are extremely busy in their own ways. 

The Northern NCZ is technically part of the city, but exists on the outside of the northern wall. It is rarely paid attention to by Guild patrols, instead relying upon a local militia and mercenary groups for protection. The Northern NCZ gives the atmosphere of a Frontier Town in close proximity to the organization of Malifaux’s Downtown and Industrial Zone. The Southern NCZ, also called Dockside by locals, stretches from just south of the Industrial Zone, out onto docks upon the Fortune River. While Northern NCZ is more like Tombstone than San Francisco, Dockside is a patchwork district of multiple businesses crammed as close together as possible.I’ve always imagined the atmosphere of Dockside as busy, smelling of fish, with dock workers yelling to each other as boats dock from the river to offload their cargo. 

The Slums, much like the Quarantine Zone, are collectively made up of the Easterly Slums, Central Slums, the Little Kingdom, Riverfront Slums, Howling Slums, The Burns, Southern Slums, and Southgate Slums. These districts are home to most of Malifaux’s citizens, and are relatively safe. Sure, some of them are a little rougher than others- The Southern Slums are very isolated from the Guild’s control, and the Riverfront Slums is home to the infamous “Redchapel Killer,” Seamus. Other districts of The Slums are largely self-governing, such as The Burns and especially the Little Kingdom. Largely populated by transplants from the Three Kingdoms, the Little Kingdom is the seat of power for the Ten Thunders’ numerous operations.  

Now that we’ve completed the city portion of the Malifaux Grand Tour, the Tour is pausing for a couple of weeks before we head into the rest of Malifaux. So, stretch your legs within Southgate for a bit while we take a look at a few other topics.  For mail call this week, describe how you plan to make Malifaux City a living, breathing character within your campaign! 

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There's things I like to do with any city to show off both the heights and depths of it. Give the players a sense of what the wealthy and powerful do and show them the lower end. 

In Malifaux I give out theater tickets or a night at a supper club. Then the other way around I'll send them to a gambling den or some other element. I also like to remind them how dangerous and dark the city can be with the passing a random murder investigation. Just a murder scene with the police having cordoned off the area. However, I always note that there's no crowd of onlookers because random death is so prevalent in Malifaux that it no longer draws rubberneckers.

One other thing I love about Malifaux is letting the major players have a moment in the game. I like having them interact with the big characters of the world but because they're having a conversation with them the players can forget how powerful some of them are. It's times like this I love to have them come across the aftermath of one or more of the big names. Personal favorites are: finding a brothel in flames with all of the women standing outside in shock and all of the men eviscerated inside after Molly and Kiari have gone through. A Resurrectionists lair that's been wiped out by Lady Justice and her lot. A Guild library with a wall blown out because Lazarus needed a particular book. 

I love tehse moments because it reminds the players that there are tons of amazing stories going on in Malifaux and they're just one of them. It's one of the reasons I'd love to do a West Marches style of game in Malifaux. 

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Rumors, gossip and more rumors. Nothing makes a city feel more alive than the people within it simply talking. These don't even have to be plot hooks or side missions, could just be a customer in a shop talking to his friend:

"Heard Thompson bought a new house after his big win, never thought he had any luck with the dice but now, it's got me thinking I might have a chance over at Honeypot to do the same"

"Jeb was saying he saw an undead 40meters out from the cordon, where was the guard!?"

"Rent at my place has gone down halfa-scrip. I'm happy 'bout it sure; but ever since I'm being pressured to join the Union, coincidence?"

"Was minding my own at the Cow and Crow and saw this mountain of a lady, 7ft tall and half as wide stroll in wearing a 'little' black dress, she orders a pitcher, sits down and starts looking at the time, every few minutes watching the clock. 2 hours pass and she leaves. All I'm saying is, keep an eye on the papers 'cz whoever stood that lady up is showing up in the obituaries."

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I like to describe the mundane, especially when added to the fantastic. Heck, to make Malifaux breathe, sometimes making the fantastic mundane gives it life.
An example might be describing a cafe built into the ruins of an old building with unusual stained glass. When the wind blows through the walls, it seems to make a soft music. Describe people having tea there, and perhaps cookies or biscuits. The cafe is known for the second best tea in town.


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