Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Analog Setting

Artist's impression of Kepler-16f
Occasionally I go back through my old blog posts for nostalgia's sake, and in those moments I come across campaign or setting ideas that I've done and forgot about, or done and continuously thought about re-doing or actually figuring out how to write a source book for, but never actually engaging in. Sometimes I even find myself pondering how I'd make a certain world work a bit differently than I originally envisioned, because the basic concept of it had either holes in its logic or lore. The one setting I find myself returning to again and again is one I dubbed The Wrong Side of Everything or, as I pitched to my good friend Susan, Dino Poacher RPG.

There was quite a kitchen sink of material I included in the setting, replete with hovercraft, actual dinosaurs, a world bombarded by solar radiation (and occasionally blacked out by solar flares), a virulent and pervasive disease, and a nebulous authority group I dubbed the 'Nicks, as a sort of allusion to a throwaway line from Pitch Black about a mercenary posing as a lawman with a "nickel-slick badge."

The setting was in a post-apocalyptic Earth, but as I figured out more and more of the world, I started to wonder if good old Terra was the best setting for the kinds of hazards I was throwing out. It had some of the appeal of walking through the ruins of previous civilizations, but the game that I ended up running had very little to do with those abandoned cities, and more to do with the scrap towns that sprang up in places with either abundant natural resources of in locations that made sense aesthetically.

There's also the fact that I am absolutely nuts for sci-fi gaming, and I've also been kicking around the idea of a Lost Planet-style setting where humans dwell underground and survive off geothermal energy, while needing to scavenge the surface for...as of yet undefined reasons.

What I want to absolutely avoid, at least in the beginning, is the ability for players to travel through space. With all this in mind, I'm thinking my next (well, first) actual writing project is going to be called Analog, and the overarching premise will be the launching of one-way colonization ships to planets that have been determined to be Earth-Like (Think Interstellar without Matthew McConaughey's investigative ship, I guess. I still haven't seen Interstellar.)

Hopefully I follow through on this, but really, when have I ever done that?


  1. I really like your idea for Analog. You might want to check out the Stephenson novel, Seveneves. It deals with human colonization in space in an interesting way.


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