Black Dog Dérive

Each day the denizens of the Zone awake to a world more confused and disordered than the one they left the night before.

Rubbish piles up against the abandoned homes and factories of Old Toulouse; soot covers the broken walls of its industrial quarter. Pollutants ooze from the River Garonne. Strange particulates fill the air: eyes burn, skin discolours, lungs collapse. The Institute pulls back, unwilling to commit more resources to continually worsening circumstances.

Changed roam the Zone’s Eastern Ruins – creatures said to be as contagious as they are mutated. Gangs patrol the borderlands. Where once there were roughly a hundred active stalkers in the French Zone, barely a dozen remain. Even Komsomol, the most famous of the stalker teams, is said to have dispersed, its leader Czar joining the marronage into the Andorran mountains.

Now someone claims to have an explanation. No-one believes him. Professor (Stalker rulebook, p83) is a former scientist forced by circumstance to become a stalker. His research has been disproved by his former colleagues at the Institute, the results of his experiments unrepeatable. He says this is because it is necessary to conduct the research in the Zone.

Professor claims his research heralds the approach of a new world view – one bound to different laws of entropy and energy exchange.

Someone at Elf Occitan is interested. But Professor is stuck in the Zone. He’s got word out via a Changed stalker called Little Awful Annie. She has a ‘Door’ in and out of the Zone; he needs help getting his kit out.

No-one in their right minds would take this job. Professor is discredited, despised both by his former colleagues at the Institute and by what remains of the stalker community in Zone France. Rumours are that Czar wants to kill him. Something terrible happened during Komsomol’s last, ill-fated expedition into the Zone’s interior and Czar holds Professor responsible.

No-one in their right minds would take this job… but who’s still in their right mind? The Zones have obscured the earth to reveal the universe and nothing makes sense anymore. Tourists still come to the Zone, both attracted and repelled by its mysteries – throwing parties, having sex, rubbing up against the unknowability of everything. You’re not a tourist, you’re a traveller. This is the only journey worth taking. Will you join the Black Dog Dérive?

The Mission

A team of two stalkers, two scientists and two corporate fixers are tasked with entering Zone France and bringing back Professor and the results of his research. The mission has three parts:-

  1. Enter the Zone via the Door provided by Little Awful Annie and locate Professor.
  2. Verify the results of Professor’s experiments.
  3. Return Professor and the results of his experiments to Elf Occitan without being observed by the Institute.

Two major NPCs are in the hands of the GM – Little Awful Annie and Professor. Six pre-generated characters form the Black Dog Dérive.

Stalker is a game designed by Ville Vuorela and published by Burger Games. It’s kind of wonderful.

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