The Warren: Playset

The Abandoned Golf Course

I ride past this abandoned golf course on one of my favorite road bike rides here in Phoenix. Yesterday I was inspired to do something with it! So here’s a Warren World I doodled up.

Now…I have yet to actually play The Warren, but looking through the rules again and the existing Worlds has given me a good idea of how it looks in play. So, anyway, enjoy. Maybe I’ve made a grave error! LMK if you have recommendations (Marshall Miller, Jason Morningstar, fans, whatever!) and I’ll update.

World of The Abandoned Golf Course
The abandoned golf course is a desolate wasteland. There are impassible walls on three sides, the sounds of humans beyond often drifting over the wasteland at night. On the fourth side is a road. The cars that appear on it are sudden, unannounced, and implacable. It isn’t known if anyone has ever made it across, nor what lies beyond. The waste is wandered on occasion by coyotes, neighborhood dogs and feral cats on the ground, and hawks and owls in the sky. Young, unpredictable humans also stumble across it from time to time.

The whole area was once lush and green, with trees for shade and a small pond for fresh water. That time passed years ago. Now all that remains are the ghosts and memories of this lost paradise. Some nights, when the ghosts seem to outnumber the survivors, curious kits or brave (stupid) adults too far from home go missing. Some say the missing join the ghosts’ ranks and appear among them.

Meanwhile, the elders say the recent appearance of slow humans – older, thoughtful, constantly measuring and staking and walking — means the warren’s days are numbered.

Questions: The Warren
* Is the Warren heavily populated, down to its last few holdouts, or something in between?

* Under what circumstances do the ghosts come out? And what do they want?

* Who is responsible for patrolling the wall? What information have they brought back?

* Why doesn’t anyone go near the last living palm tree?

* What stories do you tell of what happened to your lost green paradise?

* What happens when someone burrows under the walls?

* Is the warren leadership more concerned with the ghosts, the humans, or the predators?

* What do others say lies across the road?

Questions: Relationships
* Who most recently lost a loved one to the ghosts? Who did they lose?

* Who do you rely on to watch your back when you go out into the wastes?

* Who believes they can speak to the ghosts?

* Who is advocating the warren make its exodus early (now!), before it’s too late?

Question: Situation
* Was Sage taken by ghosts or a more terrestrial threat? Who misses Sage the most?

* What does your warren need to retrieve or learn from the abandoned (haunted?) warren across the waste?

* What’s the plan to drive away the curious adult humans?

Question: Stakes
* What do the ghosts need to be released from this place?

* Where will the warren go when the humans bring their apocalyptic machines?

* How will the rabbits handle disagreements about where to go next?

Rabbits: Juniper, Thorn, Mesquite, Dust, Jefe, Maria, Amarillo, Buck, Caliente
Birds: Hawk, cactus wren, owl, mockingbird, finch
Other creatures: teenagers, surveyors, escaped house dogs, feral cats, bats, scorpions, snakes, coyotes, ghost rabbits

Lanky, the only living rabbit who remembers when this place was green
Trait: Tired
Tell meandering stories that never seem to end
Wander out of the warren, thinking everything is the way it was
Recall every detail of every inch of the waste, for a bit of food

Casper, a poofy white housecat who fancies himself a hardened killer
Trait: Proud
Strike a pose and demand you recognize his badassedness
Start shit when he’s clearly outmatched
Try to be stealthy (while white and poofy)

Cactus Wren, one of flocks of them that come and go
Trait: Chatty
Drop an interesting hint about what they’ve seen beyond the waste related to a future threat
Swarm unguarded bird-friendly food (seeds, crumbs, etc.) en masse
Zip out of sight

Victor and Maribel, coyote couple
Trait: Cunning
Voices: hipsters entirely consumed by their own cleverness
Spring elaborate traps
Get distracted by easier prey
Get wound up in their own schemes

Vieja, murderous ghost rabbit
Trait: Lonely
Voice: Whispered lullabies
Gather or summon additional ghosts
Lure or drag victims back to the haunted warren
Rage when she’s ignored

Aiden, Aiden, Aiden and Caiden, suburban teenagers
Trait: Energetic and unpredictable
Voices: tough-guy voices cracking with adolescence
Follow rabbits everywhere
Try to trap a rabbit
Randomly destroy entrances and whatever else they lay their hands on

The Ghosts
Intent: To draw the last survivors into the haunted warren across the waste

* Sage’s body is found in the wastes, completely untouched but dead nonetheless. Her expression is frozen in terror.

* Someone sees Sage and she seems perfectly healthy.

* Facing despair at the dwindling resources, several rabbits wander out into the night when the ghosts arrive.

* The ghosts come into the warren itself, luring the remaining rabbits from their burrows out into the moonlight and toward the haunted warren.

Intent: To settle whether the abandoned golf course can be put to better use

* The older humans wander across the wastes, hammering flagged stakes everywhere.

* Trucks arrive and pull up trees, stumps, and bushes, denuding the wastes in a single day.

* Construction vehicles arrive.

* The warren is destroyed by machinery.

Dwindling Resources
Intent: To starve the rabbits

* Stores run empty sooner than anyone expected.

* Hoarders are discovered.

* A final desperate scavenging mission is proposed.

* The rabbits cannot find anything else to eat here.

Custom Moves

Speak to Ghosts
When you try to speak to a ghost, increase Panic by +1 and roll +Shrewd. On a hit, they understand you. On a 10+, they will talk back. On a miss, choose one: you’re so terrified you can’t move until the ghosts leave, you fall into a trance and the GM tells you where you wake up, you cannot resist panic until you return to your burrow.

Scavenge for Food
Each day, every rabbit must scavenge for food. When you have time and safety to look for edibles, roll +Strong. On a hit, you’ve found enough for yourself to eat. On a 10+, it’s something dropped by the humans (adults or kids), dense and delicious and more than enough to share. On a miss, take -1 ongoing this session.

Additional stuff about the actual location:

0 thoughts on “The Warren: Playset”

  1. Way cool – I love it!

    My first thoughts:
    A driving range would be hell on earth for a rabbit, you would be everyone’s moving target. I bet that’s where the abandoned warren is located!

    Also, the terror of running and trying to duck down a hole only to find out that it was meant for a golf ball and you are cornered.

    What happens when you run through a sand trap?

    What happens when they hold a golf tournament? The crowd’s polite golf clap must be terrifying!

    If there were another population of animals, I bet the’d all be named after golf jargon.

    A map of the course might be broken up into different golf holes. Is there a significance to the numbered flags, who can decipher their hidden meaning?

    Are there aspects of golf that you can parallel in the themes of the setting? For example, classism, tradition, Scottish origins, etc. – What Is a Rabbit in Golf?

  2. Oh jeez, yeah, a working and functional golf course would be a whole other level of active threat. This one, irl, has been abandoned for years! No irrigation, no maintenance, just the faint remains of features like ponds and and traps. So I was thinking more old west ghost town, also given where we are.

    I suppose I could have gone full Eastwood and had a gang of something else squatting the ruins, High Plains Drifter style. Ghost story seemed to fit better with everyone playing prey, though.

  3. You could shoot for a two- or three-era sort of setting, with pre-renovation, construction, and post-renovation eras.

    Is there a property manager or security guard? Do police do a regular evening drive-by?

    Does anyone squat on the land?

    Is there a drainage problem?

    What significance do the many abandoned golf balls hold?

  4. I like this a lot. There are a lot of questions about ghosts! I’m assuming that’s what this world is all about. The ghost storylines may crowd out others, turning it into a mystery. Not saying that’s bad, but that seems to be where you’re pointing.

    I also love the idea of this being the second act of a multi-generational campaign.

    Maybe when “time passes” a few times, switch to a different world? Same location, of course. Might be worth stealing some mechanics from Undying.

  5. Jesse Coombs​ yeah, I think I’d need to fiddle a bit with the balance of questions. A day out from writing it I can see that.

    Mostly I think I’d just add more about the other stuff. More about the surveying crews, more about the other animals.

    There are a couple logical problems with the opening questions too.

    Oh god it’s horrible. Nobody play this. Jason’s qualified praise burns like the sun now noooo.

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