Get Ready for Lokdown With Norcal Mythos

In NorCal Mythos’ most recent Kickstarter (which was scheduled to arrive 11/2021, but didn’t actually arrive until 9/2022 due to various personal and world circumstances) we went to Lokdown. In this case, I had initially planned on doing the color versions of the books, but I couldn’t justify the $75 price point at the time due to personal circumstances, so I took one for the team and got the black and white. This will look at both the Lockdown Survival Guide (PDF $10.99 [$24.99], color hardbound $29.99 [$59.99], and combo $29.99 [$89.98]) and the Lokdown GM Codex (PDF $12.49 [$24.99], color hardbound $32.49 [$64.99], and combo $32.49 [$84.98]). All prices are as of 12/22/2022.

Lokdown Survival Guide
This was designed to be the General Knowledge Guide (my phrase) to Lokdown, or in other words, the Players’ Handbook. Like the last book, page one of the first chapter brings up to speed on the world before going into the basics of gameplay. One of NorCal Mythos’ hallmarks has been to drop information in multiple locations to help reinforce its retention. They even include some character creation examples this time around.
Next, we get into the peoples of Lokdown. Each entry has a general knowledge section, a brief history of the people outside of the general knowledge section, any subgroups, forms and ki attacks, and others.
Some included people are: Xenotons (cyborgs); Bloodbourne (daemonesque beings); the Konalo’a (from Carbyne Jungle, the cephalopods); and others.
There are several different societies and domains. These include: the Shastra Pyramids, the Godai Domes, the Bloodbourne Airships, and others. These are all unique to Lokdown, though you could use them in Carbyne Jungle and vice versa.
The archetypes work in the same way. As the game is based on anime themes, these include: Budo Warriors, Samurai, Shinobi, and others. The artwork, as always, is amazing, even in black and white.
Chapter 6 gives the basics on the different regions and organizations of the planet Lokdown. Again, this is designed to be general knowledge for the PC’s as they would have been born and raised here. The Codex will expand on this and obviously include information not necessarily as well known as what is in the Survival Guide. This book even includes some genre subset rules.

Lokdown GM Codex
Chapter One expands a bit more on what was introduced in the Survival Guide and even introduces some historical figures of the planet.
It then goes into how to run the game and follows that with rules on genre subsets. Like Carbyne Jungle, the Codex includes a target list, meaning a bunch of baddies to throw at the PC’s.
The coolest part of the Codes for me is the included campaign setting titled Haunted Nights (more on that shortly). Many (potentially could be all) of the the characters introduced in Chapter 6, the Rogues Gallery, will appear in the campaign. The lower tier characters introduced can even be played as PC’s. There is definitely a wide variety of personalities to include in any campaign.

Haunted Nights - A Campaign in 5 Acts
The short version of the campaign is anime inspired sci-fi dungeon crawl. The breakdown is so much more.
Act 1
We begin in a Godai Dome and need to go to a Cenotaph, which essentially propel the group through the rest of the campaign. It’s assumed all players will start with 3 achievement points (the game’s version of XP, abbreviated AP), and over the 5 Acts they should achieve 35 - 40 AP, taking the PC’s from Alpha Tier to Delta Tier (basically from low level to solid mid-level), although it’s stated there could be a variance on either side of the range.
Each act gives a brief rundown, how many AP to dish out across the act, names and places of interest, and recent events. As the act progresses any side quests are highlighted and can earn bonus AP. Each side quest has a provided map, as do the main quest events, and a room by room description.
After leaving the Godai Dome, they head to Cetaph 67 and our first dungeon crawl. Each room description includes a general description of what’s in the room, any conflicts, as well as any creature stats and goodies for the PC’s. The NPC that hired them, and is with them at this point, retrieved an orb thought to be of importance. First crawl had 19 rooms, and gave up items that could be sold and weapons they can use or sell. On the way back to the Dome, there is an optional marauder conflict. Back at the Dome, they have a chance to sell their goods and get some downtime before the Murkswarm. If they help during and after the disaster, there can be positive consequences, and negative for not, in the future. Act 1 ends with the PC’s contact figuring out what they need to do and offers to keep the PC’s on retainer.
Act 2
This act starts with the contact booking passage with a caravan to get to the next spot they need to search. Upon reaching the Skeinland, there are several random events before the next crawl, which has 16 rooms and plenty of loot opportunities. Depending on how certain events in the crawl happen will determine how they get to the next location. Either it goes relatively easy, or they need to do the ascent scenario which gives more goodies, as does the descent afterwards. The highlight of the act is the temple. It is a very well written and well thought out scene. Back at the Caravan there’s an ambush. After helping deal with it they are given a ride to the local train to get them back to the Dome.
Act 3
This is the shortest act of the campaign, and was my favorite during my read-through. It’s back to the Cenotaph with the main item found in act 2. This is also where helping in Act 1 can have its benefits. The crawl is even more epic than the first time, and starts getting things more towards right.
Act 4
This act includes train rides, marauders, mechas in a canyon, and an airship. The PC’s catch a train after meeting with a contact and the marauders are back. Once they get to the canyon, there are only a couple encounters getting to the destination and the meeting with The Man. From there is a short trip to an airship and a voyage on it. There are several locations to visit on the airship and even an explosion (Marauders. Again. Only this time they just want to talk). The act ends upon arrival at the intended Pyramid.
Final Act
This is where everything hits the fan and the PC’s either succeed on their own (not likely), or listen to their GM’s hints and have something pretty epic happen.
The main event is a 3 level crawl leading to the super baddie. Once everything is accomplished and everything settles down, the players have the option to retire their PC’s and be legends of Lokdown, or they can keep the PC’s and continue adventurizing.
After the campaign chapters, there is a chapter of extra missions, some of which appear in the campaign, but an be used anywhere.