View Full Version : Future Campaign Hatchery: The Triplet

10-10-2006, 12:41 AM
Yes, my cruel design is revealed: to start a Campaign Hatchery for every genre except Superheroes (which I don't like much) and Generic (which is just silly).

A "frame campaign" idea I've been toying with is the common motif of colonists fleeing a dying Solar System in sub-light ships, trying to discover or create a new Earth. I call this the "Diaspora", and here's one concrete implementation of the idea that straddles science fiction and fantasy:

Raphael scanned the horizon. If its optical sensors could shed tears, they would have.

Uriel stripped discarded coldsleep chambers for what usable electronics and power cells it could find. Raphael and other androids tended to the humans who had emerged alive, while Gabriel dug graves for those who had not.

Apart from as many coldsleep containers as could fit into shuttles, the android crew had carried very little else: a small fak that might construct a few blades before it ran out of power, miscellaneous unpowered tools, a few data disks and a single reader. Enough, perhaps, to build shelters, and learn how to survive as the first men once had.

Irresistably, Raphael's ocular sensors turned to the glow on the horizon, where the mothership had crashed. For a thousand years they had orbited this planet, converting a barren rock into a habitable biosphere, with grasslands and small oceans, and even forests. When the planet was made ready, the mothership would descend gently in partially nullified gravity, reawaken its sleeping passengers, and found a new city of Man.

But now the ship had crashed, and only a tenth had survived: a tenth of the passengers, a tenth of those Raphael had expected to spend millenia with. Most devastatingly, the survivors did not include the AI who had steered their colony ship to this place and guided them for centuries. She gave her android crew the names of angels, and had jokingly referred to herself as Goddess. And now Goddess was dead ...

"HEY!" A corpulent man, not quite recovered from reanimation, staggered toward Raphael in a rage. "What did you bastards do to us, huh? We were supposed to wake up in Paradise, not in some damn park!"

Other voices piped up. "Yeah, where's the city?" "We're gonna die out here!" "Why did you even wake us up?" "It's hot out here; call Weather Control." "This has gotta be a bad dream."

The corpulent man lunged at Raphael, one huge hand around Raphael's throat, the other bunched in a fist pummelling his face. "Why did you do this to us! What the hell are you trying to pull!"

The other androids, under Asimov conditioning, ignored the scene, or stood indecisively. Raphael had neither circulation nor respiration, and his blue duraplast skin could withstand far greater abuse ... but the repeated blows made it hard to answer the man, and the man's fist was already raw and in need of medical attention. Yet he kept snarling, and crying, and beating: "Why did you do this to us, huh? Why?!"

So I see this playing out with multiple factions of survivors: the corpulent man and his kind blame the androids for their current Stone Age state, others cling to the androids as the last bastion of sanity, still others decide to strike out on their own.

Generations later ... one religion believes that the androids are devils, another believes they're angels (or gods, or wise men), and yet other tribes believe in self-reliance and think both religions are stupid. Perhaps the remains of technology become "magic items" even after they've actually stopped working. Perhaps open warfare prevails, and the androids, bound to protect human life, become the first casualties. Or perhaps the androids, realizing their presence is more harmful than helpful, fade away, either helping from the shadows or simply shutting down.

10-10-2006, 01:36 PM
For some context on "Campaign Hatchery", see http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/showpost.php?p=797&postcount=4

11-08-2006, 11:16 PM
Another wacky concept that occurred to me ... maybe not enough for a whole campaign, but a one-shot or minicampaign:

Through some means, one or more of the characters have a complete "back-up" of their brains: thoughts, memories, personality. Perhaps it's an experimental "brain-taping" technique; perhaps they're all AIs, or recently used a dissasemble-and-reassemble teleportation device and their patterns are still in the "buffer". In any case, it's possible to completely reconstruct the whole person from just that backup.

Seventy-two hours after the last backup, the ones with backups died violently, or disappeared. The reconstructed versions have to find out what happened ... they have to retrace their own steps, talk to the people who saw them last -- and perhaps know they're supposed to be dead.

Some variations:

Some of the PCs may be recent acquaintances or assistants who don't have backups. How would the PCs with backups react to threats against them, knowing once they die, they're gone forever.

The PCs may find out that they're not the first backups to try retracing their steps.

Of course, there's always the fun of "why don't you know where you went?" or even "my god, I thought you were dead!". And will life insurance pay out or not?

If the previous versions disappeared, maybe they have a "hot backup" implant that would tell everything up to a few minutes before death ... if only they can find their own bodies. And how would you react to seeing your own body, anyway.

And what if the originals aren't dead? Perhaps by law, only one copy can exist at any given moment ...

08-10-2007, 02:45 PM
These sound like some good ideas.

I'll have to see if I can come up with something good to add.

04-12-2008, 11:36 PM
I'm planning a pre-warp future campaign that mixes in a bit of arcana with the dealings of spacecraft within our solar system.

I'm basing it on the concept of the 18th and 19th century naval battles, think Master and Commander (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0311113/) here. Mix that in with a few super-tech gadgets and some weird "alien" magic and vioala. It should be alot of fun, I'm using the Alternity system to run it, so there is complete open end to what I might be able to pull off.

I was thinking of starting off with a light Das Boot (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0082096/) style of battleship crew play. Kinda working from the roleplay aspect of ship system combat and whatnot. Stations would be like islands to the navies and contact would be extremely slow, limited by messages travelling from ship to ship. There would be caravans from one station to another, but then always the intrepid blockade runner, or cutter out to make a quick buck. Pirates would be an obvious necessity, they could target engines until ships were dead in the void and then board them with launches made specifically to breach a ship's hull without loosing the atmosphere.

The alien magic would come in when a group of settlers thought lost to the depths of space around Jupiter return with stunningly "advanced" ships. In actuallity they are a totaly different variety of technology...

Hope that isn't too much, I think it could be pretty fun.

Thanks for starting this one, might be cool to keep up with