Appearance

Randomly generating an artifact’s appearance is an entirely optional and useful exercise. Generating an artifact appearance is fun and helpful for the campaign. Unidentified equipment is called artifacts, and giving them a distinct appearance helps keep track of them. If the players know what a device is, its description is purely cosmetic. When the players don’t know what a device is, it’s description offers a fun way to record it on her persona record. For example, a red pistol with glowing tubes is more dramatic and fun than pistol #2f421.

The referee can use appearance to fuel the milieu of her campaign. The appearance generated for artifacts can influence the culture from which they arose. An imperial city may have lazer pistols that sport roman flourishes and dark red alloys. Artifact appearances need not be utterly random, and the referee’s milieu can inform how they appear.

An ideal description is a short sentence that differentiates the artifact from everything else.
Appearance Checklist
  1. Colour

  2. General Shape

  3. Style

  4. Descriptors

    1. Cleanliness

    2. Age

    3. Usage

Colour

Colour has the most impact on the appearance of the artifact. Artifacts can have any colour: a red and blue rifle, a lime green detector, or an orange striped aerosol.

Colour Your Whirled

Add colour. Use 1d12 for snap colours. Roll 1d100 to go zany.

Giant Colour Table
Colour your world.

Simple

Fancy

(1d12)

Colour

(1d100)

Colour

1

Black

01-04

Black

5

Carbon

6

Charcoal

7

Midnight

8

Oil

2

Blue

9-12

Blue

13

Blueberry

14

Cyan

15

Cobalt

16

Denim

17

Navy

18

Robin

19

Sapphire

3

Brown

20-22

Brown

23

Coffee

24

Oak

25

Mocha

26

Taupe

4

Gray

27-29

Gray

30

Fog

6-10

Granite

31

Silver

32

Slate

33

Smokey

5

Green

34-36

Green

37

Apple

38

Avocado

39

Emerald

40

Forest

41

Jungle

42

Lime

43

Olive

44

Sage

45

Seaweed

6

Orange

46-48

Orange

49

Gold

50

Dijon

51

Spice

7

Pink

52-54

Pink

55

Blush

56

Daisy

57

Violet

58

Watermelon

8

Purple

59-61

Purple

62

Eggplant

63

Grape

64

Indigo

65

Magenta

66

Maroon

67

Plum

68

Violet

9

Red

69-72

Red

73

Burgundy

74

Cherry

75

Scarlet

76

Lava

77

Ruby

78

Violet

10

White

79-81

White

82

Milk

83

Shell

84

Vanilla

11

Yellow

85-87

Yellow

88

Corn

89

Goldenrod

90

Macaroni

91

Manilla

92

Mustard

93

Peach

12

Choose

94-00

Ref’s Own Table

(1d12)

Colour

(1d100)

Colour

Simple

Fancy

Colour Affect
Optional roll to change how the colour appears.

Die Roll (1d20)

Affect

1

Bright

2

Clear

3

Dark

4

Dirty

5

Drab

6

Dull

7

Florescent

8

Grizzly

9

Iridescent

10

Light

11

Metallic

12

Muted

13

Normal

14

Punchy

15

Ruddy

16

Shimmering

17

Shiny

18

Sparkly

19

Transparent

20

Choose

Die Roll (1d20)

Affect

Colour Pattern
Roll to see how the two colours interact.

Die Roll (1d20)

Pattern

1

Accents

2

Bolts

3

Cammo

4

Digicam

5

Diamonds

6

Dots

7

Hexagons

8

Ovals

9

Patchy

10

Plaid

11

Polka Dots

12

Poke A Dots

13

Splashes

14

Splotches

15

Spots

16

Squares

17

Squiggles

18

Stripes

19

Tartan

20

Triangles

Die Roll (1d20)

Pattern

General Shape

The general shape depends on the hardware, and it’s tech level. Tech level ten devices tend to appear as familiar TL10 devices. For example, a tech level ten rifle will look like a rifle. The rifle may have unique colours, style or descriptors, but it will still look like a rifle. A tech level twenty rifle may not look like a rifle at all. A tech level two rifle may not look like a rifle either.

So for familiar devices, the shape remains the same. The artifact shape may be entirely random for high or low tech level devices. In these cases where a rifle may not look like a rifle, we call on the Robot Shape Tables.

Basic Shape

The volume of the device will fit into this shape. Feel free to contort the shape.

Robotic Basic Shape

Everything has to looks like something.

Die Roll (1d100)

Basic Shape

01-05

Cone

06-09

Decahedron

10-15

See Random Junque

16-60

Cuboid

61-69

Disc/Saucer

70-77

Octahedron

78-85

Pyramid/Prism

86-92

Sphere

93-00

Ref’s Own Table

Die Roll

Basic Shape

Contortion of Basic Shape

This table manipulates the basic shape to reflect the infinity that is commercial design.

Robot Shape Adjustment

Stretch it, bend it, squash it, extend it.

Die Roll (1d100)

Shape Adjustment

01-20

Elongated/Stretched

21-40

Flattened/Squashed

41-49

Inverted

50-97

Normal

98

Involuted

99

Add another basic shape

Die Roll

Shape Adjustment

Strange Adornments

These are fun and aggravating descriptors to distract the players.

Bomb Strange Adornment

The adornment may be relevant to the bomb’s function, but most likely not.

Die Roll (1d100)

Fancy Attachment

01-04

Access Panels

05-08

Antennae, Coiled

09-12

Antennae, Straight

13-16

Antennae, Up and Down

17-20

Hoses, Dangling

21-24

Hoses, Looped

25-28

Indentations, Random

29-32

Indentations, Round

33-36

Indentations, Square

37-40

Indentations, Triangular

41-44

Knobs, Glowing

45-48

Knobs, Inflating deflating

49-52

Monitor, Data Stream

53-56

Monitor, Static

57-60

Protuberances, In and Out

61-64

Protuberances, Pointed

65-68

Protuberances, Springs

69-72

Protuberances, Wobbly

73-76

Protuberances, Gnarled

77-80

Random, Sparks

81-84

Random, Squirts or Drips

85-88

Random, Steam Puffs

89-90

Things that Whiz and Click

91-94

Tubes, Liquid Filled

95-98

Tubes, Pulsing

99

Tubes, Solid

00

Ref’s Own Table

Die Roll

Fancy Attachment

Style

Artifact style calls upon references from mundane terra to help describe a device. Styles are a useful tool because they allow the players to use their imagination and quickly identify an artifact. The Aztec accented blue suitcase offers a description and a distinct identification. The styling does not affect the tech level of the artifact. For example, a TL10 lazer pistol with Ancient Greek design principles is not technology.

Artifact Style
Quick and inaccurate artifact stylings.

Die Roll (1d100)

Style

01-03

Ancient Egyptian Stylings

04-06

Ancient Greek Stylings

07-09

Art Deco

10-12

Art Nouveau

13-15

Aztec Stylings

16-18

Bakelite

19-21

Bauhaus

22-24

Brutalism

25-27

Celtic Stylings

28-30

Chromed Out

31-33

Cyberpunkish

34-36

Dadaist

37-39

Danish Modern

40-42

Deutscher Werkbund

43-45

Dutch Style

46-48

Expressionism

49-51

Functionalism

52-54

Gothic

55-57

Klaus Nomi Angularity

58-60

Militaristic

61-63

Neoclassical

64-66

Neogothic

67-69

Orchard Fruit Reductionist

70-72

Organic

73-75

Ornate Pirate

76-78

Post Modern

79-81

Rationalism

82-84

Romanesque

85-87

Shaker

88-90

Soviet Constructivism

91-93

Sporting Goods Stylings

94

Steampunkish

95

Streamline Moderne

96

Surrealist

97

Swedish Flatbox Utilitarian

98-99

Wet Coast Waterproof

00

Ref’s Own Table

Die Roll

Pattern

Descriptors

Descriptors reflect the cleanliness, age and usage of the device. Descriptors have no impact on device performance or value. For example, a persona could clean yup her dirty radiation detector. A destroyed looking black detector box is perfectly functional.

Cleanliness

Cleanliness is a description and does not reflect the artifact’s performance or value.

Artifact Cleanliness Descriptor
How clean it looks.

Die Roll (1d100)

Cleanliness

01-10

Filthy

11-20

Dirty

21-30

Dishevelled

31-70

Cleanish

71-80

Clean

81-90

Pristine

90-99

Immaculate

00

Ref’s Own Table

Die Roll

Cleanliness

Age

Age is a description and does not reflect the artifact’s performance or value.

Artifact Age Descriptor
How old it looks.

Die Roll (1d100)

Age

01-10

Ancient

11-20

Old

21-30

Just Past Due

31-70

Indeterminate

71-80

Newish

81-90

Brand New

90-99

Brand New + Smell

00

Ref’s Own Table

Die Roll

Age

Usage

Usage is a description and does not reflect the artifact’s performance or value.

Artifact Usage Descriptor
How used it looks.

Die Roll (1d100)

Usage

01-10

Destroyed

11-20

Worn Out

21-30

Heavily Used

31-70

Normal Use

71-80

Light Use

81-90

Minimal Use

90-99

Unused

00

Ref’s Own Table

Die Roll

Pattern