I have only one complaint about the game SABLE. It’s too short. Let me rephrase that– SABLE is such a good game that I wish I could erase its existence from my brain so I could enjoy it anew with fresh eyes as many times as I wish.

If I had my way, or if I had any skill at programming, I would mod the game so that it could be an open world, procedurally-generated exploration experience (like No Man’s Sky) that would never end. I would install dozens of modular, repeating quests into it (like those in Starfield) so that there would be something to do, and then I’d spend hours upon hours exploring. 

I suppose the next best thing is to scratch that itch in a way that I actually can by utilizing my existing skillset, namely writing. But how best to go about it?

Well, why not just plug it in as a “mod” overtop Luka Rejec’s Ultraviolet Grasslands? Nothing (yet) procedurally generates worlds quite as interesting as the human mind can, after all. Porting elements of SABLE over to the world of UVG has the potential to create a new way of interacting with the world of UVG while also creating more SABLE-flavored content in the process.


Consider this an alternate start for a UVG campaign. The players are young folk of the Ibexi tribe hailing from a small subset of the world of the Ultraviolet Grasslands called The Sansee. The Sansee is an arid wasteland of dunes spotted by the ruins and wreckage of long forgotten ages that is small enough it really could go anywhere in the world of the UVG that you (the referee) might wish to put it. If you want to be really authentic to the source (SABLE,) you could call this area “The Midden” and work in all the areas of the SABLE map (including The Sansee, The Ewer, etc.) but if you want to keep it simple, The Sansee by itself is a great place to start, I think. Whatever your choice, this is only the starting area. Travel in the world of UVG is measured in weeks, and one can certainly travel from one end of Midden to another on a hoverbike in about a day and a half (or two days if you stop to enjoy the scenery) so the whole game world of Sable really could be wedged in just about anywhere. It’s what happens outside The Sansee (or The Midden) that really matters here.


The people of The Sansee have some strange traditions. They are typically nomadic and they are always masked. The masks they wear typically have a filtration and water conservation function, but they also have a social function. When an individual chooses their adult mask (after their coming of age rite, called The Gliding) their final mask conveys both their chosen trade and their social status. People from the tribes of The Sansee never show their faces in public, but the mask they wear says everything a person needs to know about them on a first meeting.

Gliders are young folk who have not settled on a final mask. They will typically have a simple children’s mask that they will wear as they travel all over the world seeking masks as part of their coming of age (The Gliding). Upon becoming a Glider, young folk of The Sansee are given a Gliding Stone, which allows them to essentially feather-fall (surrounded by a red, flickering, spherical energy field that resists the pull of gravity) at will. This act takes all of their concentration, and while they can will subtle course corrections into their slow falling, they cannot take any other actions or hold any objects in their hands while they “glide” with the stone.

They are also given a hoverbike, but it’s a beat-up, slow and janky hand-me-down that they must find parts for during their journey out into the world. Gliders take great pride in their hoverbikes (even the janky ones) and the process of upgrading and customizing these bikes to match the personality and needs of each Glider is an important part of this coming-of-age journey.

Above all else though, Gliders seek masks. An important part of the journey for a Glider is the building of an impressive collection of masks in the search for the mask that will become their final one. The world is full of masks, but not just any masks will do. The masks in the collections built by Gliders are all masks that the Glider has earned. Every mask has a story, a lesson, and represents a skill the Glider has picked up in their journey. For the referee, this could mean rewarding the Glider with a mask at the conclusion of a significant point in the Glider’s journey as a treasure, a memento or an enchanted object that gives a slight bonus when worn. In SABLE, for example, most masks are only obtained after a Glider has earned three "badges," each of which comes as a reward for proving themself with feats of skill related to the profession of the associated mask. Scrapper badges, associated with the scrapper mask and scrapper profession, are earned by collecting and offloading valuable technological salvage that can be put to use by scrappers. This is just one way that a referee can space out the earning of masks. Of course, some masks are just found in the wild, and some (like the Chum Mask) are earned only after a long, arduous journey of collecting specific items. This is merely a device (more than a MacGuffin, I hope) to help drive the Glider's excitement for the journey.

Customizing one’s hoverbike isn't just about making it faster or steadier or more nimble. It's about creating something that reflects the glider's journey through the world. Gliders seek exotic dyes with which they can paint their hoverbikes, making each machine a colorful pastiche of hues from all of the distant places a glider has visited during their journey. Gliders form a bond with their hoverbikes over the course of The Gliding, naming them and festooning them with treasures and meaningful objects until they become almost a shamanic mount and a true reflection of the spirit of the Glider riding it.

Additionally, Gliders have a preternatural ability to find Chum Eggs in the various ruins and subterranean places throughout the UVG. In fact, it seems almost as if Gliders are drawn to them while others not of The Sansee may simply pass them by and never notice them. These eggs can be returned to The Sansee (Specifically to the Queen Chum, a massive, psychic, eel-like creature residing in a fallen temple deep in The Sansee) for a 300xp boost for each one. This can create an incentive for Gliders to return home, or for outsiders to visit the Sansee and learn its customs.

The point of undertaking The Gliding is for a young person to see the world and find their place within it. Seeing the Ultraviolet Grasslands through such eyes can create a much more playful, exploration-oriented campaign for player characters to engage with. The world created by Luka Rejec is full of wonders, fresh and unlike anything I’ve seen anywhere else before. Touring such a world in search of masks and hoverbike parts, traveling by the sci-fi equivalent of motorcycles, without a set destination in mind, really appeals to me. The journey becomes everything, and UVG, at its core, has always been about the journey.


The purpose of this "mod" is not to perfectly emulate SABLE (the game does that well enough itself and does not need an echo.) Likewise, the goal here is not to create a SABLE TTRPG (whether powered by SEACAT or crafted out of whole cloth– it's been done anyway, see here.) 

The goal is to lend a bit of SABLE's flavor to a UVG campaign and, in the process, provide an alternate start (as well as alternate goals) for a journey through the Ultraviolet Grasslands.

Just as a final note, I think it goes without saying that I do not own Shedworks's SABLE or Luka Rejec's UVG. Instead, I am incredibly grateful (and very much inspired by) the experiences I have had while enjoying both of these games. If you haven't heard of either one, I recommend you check them out through the links in this paragraph.

As a true final, final note, all art in this post is AI generated, but with a twist. I have a process where I generate dozens of images with Bing (DALL-E 3) until I get one that has the elements I need. Then, I run that best image through an SDXL LoRA I trained on my own hand-drawn art several times until the resultant image makes me smile. There is a little bit of me in every image here, but they are little more than pretty pictures. This post earns nothing and cost nothing but my time. Please support artists (like those behind UVG and SABLE) who actually draw things with their own two hands.


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