The Rekindling: d20 Future setting

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The Rekindling: d20 Future setting

Postby Sock Puppet » Fri Aug 30, 2013 12:06 pm

Base concept: Earth collapses, corporatism takes over, apocalyptic war, idealists develop space travel and ascendant unified Earth government colonises the solar system, Mars, Venus, Moon terraformed, Io, asteroids becomes mining colony, proto-life discovered on Titan (Saturn's moon), recession, recovery, bigger recession, collapse. Interplanetary travel lost. Some colony worlds survive, some collapse as life support systems fail. Present governments a mix of idealistic techno-democracies (Buck Rogers), road warriors, (Mad Max), corporate states, dictatotships, "ancients"-theocracy, etc.

Worth developing?
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Re: The Rekindling: d20 Future setting

Postby shesheyan » Fri Aug 30, 2013 12:09 pm

Sock Puppet wrote:Base concept: Earth collapses, corporatism takes over, apocalyptic war, idealists develop space travel and ascendant unified Earth government colonises the solar system, Mars, Venus, Moon terraformed, Io, asteroids becomes mining colony, proto-life discovered on Titan (Saturn's moon), recession, recovery, bigger recession, collapse. Interplanetary travel lost. Some colony worlds survive, some collapse as life support systems fail. Present governments a mix of idealistic techno-democracies (Buck Rogers), road warriors, (Mad Max), corporate states, dictatotships, "ancients"-theocracy, etc.

Worth developing?


Ambitious. Covers a lot of ground.
For ideas you should read the Eclipse Phase RPG setting.
Also the book «2312» By Kim Stanley Robinson is filled with interesting concepts about colonizing the solar system.
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Re: The Rekindling: d20 Future setting

Postby Angel Tarragon » Fri Aug 30, 2013 12:30 pm

Sounds a lot like Traveller. Perhaps rebuilding Traveller 20 using D20 Modern and reflavoring it would be better than developing something new from scratch.
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Re: The Rekindling: d20 Future setting

Postby Sock Puppet » Fri Aug 30, 2013 12:50 pm

My primary inspirations for this are Transhuman Space and Terradyne from gurps, with a bit of TSR's Buck Rogers. It is specifically intended NOT to be an interstellar setting - no star drives. I'm also not planning on developing rules so much as campaign setting fluff. Eclipse Phase seems to focus heavily on post-humanism, and gurps THS on transhumanism, which are areas I don't want to explore too closely. I'm aiming for a more retro feel to this. The last 1000 years of history in-setting have effectively demonstrated that body-modding causes society to fracture and collapse.

Most of Earth is either horribly polluted or irradiated, or overrun by mutant lifeforms from bio-experiments gone wrong, rendering it various kinds of death world trope, depending on locale. "Modern" (approx 3000 AD) nations bear as much resemblance to the 20th century as the 20th does to the 10th.

The biggest problem with the setting I can see is how to reconcile a shattered planet Earth that has vast wild stretches with a meaningful potential for interplanetary travel.
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Re: The Rekindling: d20 Future setting

Postby shesheyan » Fri Aug 30, 2013 8:39 pm

Sock Puppet wrote:My primary inspirations for this are Transhuman Space and Terradyne from gurps, with a bit of TSR's Buck Rogers. It is specifically intended NOT to be an interstellar setting - no star drives. I'm also not planning on developing rules so much as campaign setting fluff. Eclipse Phase seems to focus heavily on post-humanism, and gurps THS on transhumanism, which are areas I don't want to explore too closely. I'm aiming for a more retro feel to this. The last 1000 years of history in-setting have effectively demonstrated that body-modding causes society to fracture and collapse.

Most of Earth is either horribly polluted or irradiated, or overrun by mutant lifeforms from bio-experiments gone wrong, rendering it various kinds of death world trope, depending on locale. "Modern" (approx 3000 AD) nations bear as much resemblance to the 20th century as the 20th does to the 10th.

The biggest problem with the setting I can see is how to reconcile a shattered planet Earth that has vast wild stretches with a meaningful potential for interplanetary travel.


I see...

Rules : in that case you should look up the d20 Modern Apocalypse and d20 Future books for rules on mutants and bio-engineering.

Setting : Just make Earth completely off limits as in B5's last season. People live there but are on their own. The rest of the humans live off planet in the Solar System. Some adventurers could decide to visit Earth in shuttles to do salvage runs. In short Earth should be low on the radar, while the other planets should be the center of the action.

Eclipse Phase : Yes its about transhumanism but, you can just pick and choose what you need from the setting books that develop the colonization of the Solar system. EP is open-source so you can by the PDF for a good price.

A link to a Solar Sytem map I made a while back : http://eclipsephase.com/solar-system-mapp
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Re: The Rekindling: d20 Future setting

Postby Ashtagon » Sat Aug 31, 2013 10:13 am

I'm now thinking in terms of having either a surviving space elevator tech somewhere, which raises questions of why that nation isn't in total control, or else having some kind of stress-free vertical lift that fails to aid in horizontal travel, which feels a bit too rubber-sciency for me.
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Re: The Rekindling: d20 Future setting

Postby shesheyan » Sat Aug 31, 2013 12:37 pm

Or you could take the Megacorp route :

- There are the few islands of order in a a world in chaos. (5-10 Megacorps)
- Spread around the globe these veritable fortresses are each specialized in one or two sectors of activity.
- The Megacorps are the only ones with travel to space capabilities in order to deliver the goods they produce.
- People sign away there human rights for a chance to live in a «stable» environment. They become enslaved work-drones.
- Work-drones can earn «Colonist Points».
- When they reach 1 million points the contract ends and they can go to the stars if they have enough earnings... (hope is key to productivity :evil: ).
- Violent criminals are simply black listed and banned from the fortresses as punishment. A bounty is issued against them : Shoot to kill should they be seen within 5 Kilometres of ANY fortress.
- After one year and a good record as work-drone its possible to sign-in as «order enforcer» or «military personnel» that defends the fortress against raids and mutant creatures.
- Promoted work-drones are semi-emancipated. They enjoy more freedom then work-drones but not as much as the free elite of the Megacorps.
- Reproduction is forbidden. Should a couple have a child it is taken away by the Megacorp at age 5 in exchange for 50,000 freedom points.
- A couple that has more than two children is sterilized...
- Demotions are of course possible...

The first part of the campaign could take place on Earth. The characters struggle to earn points and leave. I wouldn't start them as work-drones. That would be boring. They could start as promoted work-drones. Either in law enforcement/army, tech or transportation.

Hum... I'm liking this a lot! Copy/Paste to my campaign ideas notebook. :geek:

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Re: The Rekindling: d20 Future setting

Postby Havard » Sat Aug 31, 2013 2:04 pm

One thing that I like about this concept is that you are keeping it within the Solar system. It is big enough for any sci fi story you would ever want to tell. It is unclear to me if u want pulp , hard science or something else? Also what type of campaign do you envision? I recommend promoting one or two campaign models. Ie who are the protagonists?

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Re: The Rekindling: d20 Future setting

Postby Ashtagon » Mon Sep 02, 2013 6:03 am

For this setting, I want to avoid any kind of "punk" concept. In the setting's back-story, yes, corporations messed up the planet. But that was in the past. People are much more sensible now, and the focus of society's leaders is on rebuilding, not economic extraction. The future is shiny.

At this stage, I'm thinking the PCs would be a troubleshooter group working for a utopian version of either Paranoia's "City" or Buck Roger's "New Earth Organisation".
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Re: The Rekindling: d20 Future setting

Postby Havard » Mon Sep 02, 2013 3:09 pm

Ashtagon wrote:For this setting, I want to avoid any kind of "punk" concept. In the setting's back-story, yes, corporations messed up the planet. But that was in the past. People are much more sensible now, and the focus of society's leaders is on rebuilding, not economic extraction. The future is shiny.

At this stage, I'm thinking the PCs would be a troubleshooter group working for a utopian version of either Paranoia's "City" or Buck Roger's "New Earth Organisation".


Optimistic sci fi isn't used nearly enough. Reminds me a bit of Traveller's New Era?

I like the idea of the PCs working for a specific organization. Perhaps someone with access to specific equipment/abilities, iconic armor/jumpsuits etc?

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Re: The Rekindling: d20 Future setting

Postby shesheyan » Mon Sep 02, 2013 3:58 pm

Ashtagon wrote:For this setting, I want to avoid any kind of "punk" concept. In the setting's back-story, yes, corporations messed up the planet. But that was in the past. People are much more sensible now, and the focus of society's leaders is on rebuilding, not economic extraction. The future is shiny.

At this stage, I'm thinking the PCs would be a troubleshooter group working for a utopian version of either Paranoia's "City" or Buck Roger's "New Earth Organisation".


Sockpuppet = Ashtagon ? Fooled me...

Utopia : You should really read «2312» by Kim Stanley Robinson. Its a bit too literary for its own good at times but its also great utopian vision of human colonizing the solar system. Its also a «who dunnit» mystery which make it palatable. No «punk, post-apoc» elements. KSM does a lot of scientific research before writing. So anything in his books is plausible with current scientific knowledge. Afterwards, if you have the stomach for it, you can read the Mars trilogy (Red, Green, Blue) that predate 2312.

Space Elevator : No single organisation or nation could build a project like that by themselve. Building the current space station tooks years and the help of numerous countries. Just make it the first planetary project after the fall. The global project that herald's in the «Bold New Future» humanity is moving towards. The unifying project that transcends political and cultural boundaries. PCs could work for a secret organization with the mandate to thwart any plot to derail, destroy the elevator project. Cover operations, espionage, license to kill terrorists, etc...
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Re: The Rekindling: d20 Future setting

Postby ripvanwormer » Tue Sep 03, 2013 12:46 pm

Charles Stross's novel Saturn's Children might be inspirational. That setting features humanoid AI colonizing the solar system after the extinction of humanity, but you could ignore humanity's extinction and concentrate on the colonies.

Ray Bradbury's Martian Chronicles. Kim Stanley Robinson's Red Mars. That Isaac Asimov story where the inhabitants of a deep space colony revere the culinary arts above all else but consider nonsynthesized vegetables grown in soil to be revolting and blasphemous. Heinlein's lunar revolts. There's a vast amount of classic science fiction that examines human colonization within the solar system, of course.

I like the idea of colonies that have gone feral and forgotten their origins before advancing again, becoming exotic and alien. As well all the ruins left behind by the failed posthuman cultures.

This would be a pretty good premise for a Numenera campaign.
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Re: The Rekindling: d20 Future setting

Postby Big Mac » Sun May 01, 2016 7:12 pm

Sock Puppet wrote:My primary inspirations for this are Transhuman Space and Terradyne from gurps, with a bit of TSR's Buck Rogers. It is specifically intended NOT to be an interstellar setting - no star drives. I'm also not planning on developing rules so much as campaign setting fluff. Eclipse Phase seems to focus heavily on post-humanism, and gurps THS on transhumanism, which are areas I don't want to explore too closely. I'm aiming for a more retro feel to this. The last 1000 years of history in-setting have effectively demonstrated that body-modding causes society to fracture and collapse.

Most of Earth is either horribly polluted or irradiated, or overrun by mutant lifeforms from bio-experiments gone wrong, rendering it various kinds of death world trope, depending on locale. "Modern" (approx 3000 AD) nations bear as much resemblance to the 20th century as the 20th does to the 10th.

The biggest problem with the setting I can see is how to reconcile a shattered planet Earth that has vast wild stretches with a meaningful potential for interplanetary travel.


Have you considered having off-world humans evolve (or adapt medically) to lower gravity?

That could give you smart-but-weak spacefarers and an Apartheid-like attitude towards the Earth-based "chumps" who almost destroyed themselves.

The spacefarers could have trade embargos to prevent advanced weapon technology from getting back to Earth. (Space corporations could use that as an excuse to deny Earth-people access to non-weapon tech, including medical technology and the lifespan of spacefarers could be increased over time to 120-150 years, while the lifespan of Earthers falls well below 70 years.)
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Re: The Rekindling: d20 Future setting

Postby Ashtagon » Mon May 02, 2016 8:26 am

I'd almost forgotten I'd drafted this one! Sadly, I've had no time to work on it, what with real life intervening. Maybe I can get back to it once more.
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Re: The Rekindling: d20 Future setting

Postby Angel Tarragon » Tue May 03, 2016 1:16 am

There is an rpg called Corporation. It takes place in 2500 AD, so no it's not that advanced. But there are several off-world places such as Vaastag, the mining colonies owned by the Ai-Jinn on Mars, and there might be something new being set up on Venus.

I am sure you could advance the timeline further and/or modify elements to better suit the flavor you are aiming for. Here's a freebie on drivthru that will prime you for the setting to see if it will stoke your interest.
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Re: The Rekindling: d20 Future setting

Postby Angel Tarragon » Tue May 03, 2016 1:22 am

Also, conceptually this sounds very similar to Alternitys' Star*Drive.
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Re: The Rekindling: d20 Future setting

Postby Ashtagon » Tue May 03, 2016 7:12 am

I'm absolutely not interested in merely rehashing a pre-existing setting. I want this to be my own thing. So unless its something ridiculously well-known that has entered pop culture (such as Buck Rogers or Mad max), it's not really something I want to check out, in order to avoid plagiarism accusations.

I'm not sure that it is all that similar to Star Drive, as a) it doesn't involve interstellar travel at all in the backstory (and even interplanetary travel is essentially lost technology), and b) there are no aliens (although there are "post-humans").
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Re: The Rekindling: d20 Future setting

Postby Havard » Tue May 03, 2016 1:22 pm

Most sci fi settings will have some overlapping elements. I think it would be easier to identify what makes a setting special from its focus.

From what I have so far, I am getting the impression that this setting will focus on the following:

  • Post apocalyptic, but optimistic. Focus on rebuilding rather than what is lost. (Reconstruction)
  • No space travel. Focus on a single planet or even a city
  • Humans and Post-Humans/Mutants

Perhaps you could concentrate on a single loctation? Are you most interested in Earth, or one of the colonies? Perhaps narrow it down further to a single city? (Possibly with the surrounding wilderness)?

What type of campaign do you see this setting ideal for?
  • Military/Mercenary?
  • Smugglers/Traders
  • Scavengers/Explorers/Scientists
  • Diplomats/Politics

I think the Reconstruction Theme could be very interesting to explore further. Perhaps the PCs are likely to be a group of specialists sent to rebuild a specific community? Are they working for some idealist organization or some kind of government, or are they individual idealists?

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Re: The Rekindling: d20 Future setting

Postby Big Mac » Wed May 11, 2016 12:56 am

Ashtagon wrote:I'm absolutely not interested in merely rehashing a pre-existing setting. I want this to be my own thing. So unless its something ridiculously well-known that has entered pop culture (such as Buck Rogers or Mad max), it's not really something I want to check out, in order to avoid plagiarism accusations.


So the tagline of the forum for The Rekindling (if/when we get enough topics for one) is not going to be "It's like Mad Max...on acid!" then? :P

Ashtagon wrote:I'm not sure that it is all that similar to Star Drive, as a) it doesn't involve interstellar travel at all in the backstory (and even interplanetary travel is essentially lost technology), and b) there are no aliens (although there are "post-humans").


I didn't really get that interplanetary travel was lost technology from your OP and the follow up posts.

Does that mean that the people who left Earth have effectively died out (or are marooned) and that the people of Earth will have to rediscover the various space bases that are out there?
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Re: The Rekindling: d20 Future setting

Postby Ashtagon » Wed May 11, 2016 6:44 am

Big Mac wrote:I didn't really get that interplanetary travel was lost technology from your OP and the follow up posts.

Does that mean that the people who left Earth have effectively died out (or are marooned) and that the people of Earth will have to rediscover the various space bases that are out there?


More or less exactly that. Think of space travel for this setting in the same way that D&D treats adventures in the elemental and outer planes --- it is something reserved for the late/high levels of campaigning, once the characters have done a lot of the relatively "mundane" stuff and built up a reputation.
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Re: The Rekindling: d20 Future setting

Postby Big Mac » Tue May 17, 2016 12:11 pm

Ashtagon wrote:
Big Mac wrote:I didn't really get that interplanetary travel was lost technology from your OP and the follow up posts.

Does that mean that the people who left Earth have effectively died out (or are marooned) and that the people of Earth will have to rediscover the various space bases that are out there?


More or less exactly that. Think of space travel for this setting in the same way that D&D treats adventures in the elemental and outer planes --- it is something reserved for the late/high levels of campaigning, once the characters have done a lot of the relatively "mundane" stuff and built up a reputation.


Would you see the space stuff, as something that the PCs "unlock" so that follow up PCs have "easier access to it" and it becomes more common?

Is that what "The Rekindling" is? Do the PCs "reboot" the world and make it more futuristic?
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Re: The Rekindling: d20 Future setting

Postby Havard » Tue May 17, 2016 6:52 pm

Ashtagon wrote:
Big Mac wrote:I didn't really get that interplanetary travel was lost technology from your OP and the follow up posts.

Does that mean that the people who left Earth have effectively died out (or are marooned) and that the people of Earth will have to rediscover the various space bases that are out there?


More or less exactly that. Think of space travel for this setting in the same way that D&D treats adventures in the elemental and outer planes --- it is something reserved for the late/high levels of campaigning, once the characters have done a lot of the relatively "mundane" stuff and built up a reputation.


I'm glad you clarified this bit. In the original description it wasnt quite clear to me why you even mentioned those things since it seemed (to me) that they would have so little relevance to any campaign. But it makes much more sense now. :)

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