Saturday, May 14, 2016

Wizards and Wastelands: Overview

I have recently returned to an old idea I use to kick around. One that let me don my conspiracy nutter hat. And what is a more awesome conspiracy topic than Nazis? So here is where far too many questionable Google searches led:

Hitler's suicide was a sacrifice used to fuel a spell aimed at the Allies. Unfortunately, the casting didn't work as panned, and delayed the effect by a century. Those Nazis who escaped criminal prosecution and execution at the Hague eventually discovered what went wrong and began constructing bunkers - vaults of information and supplies they could use to ride out the impending culling. Their plan was to emerge into the clean world and bring about the Fourth Reich. Of course, the Allies got wind of this, too, and made their own attempts to stop the Nazis throughout history. The OSS' and later the CIA's Department of Antiquities Verification, Investigation and Defense was one clandestine organization founded to root out the Nazi vaults, stop any further mystical acquisitions, and generally defend against future Nazi occult attacks. The KGB set up a similar organization, although theirs was a bit more bent on using what they found to tip the balance of the Cold War.

In the end, however, no one could avert the apocalypse, which came in the form of a meteorite that broke apart on reentry and vaporized London, Moscow, and Washington DC and blanketed the sky in dust. Several generations later, the dust has settled, nature has reclaimed the world, the Nazis have crawled out of their bunkers armed with technical expertise generally lost to Humanity. Nazi City-states have sprung up behind thick concrete walls and the wilds beyond are considered tainted and uncivilized. Within those walls, fascist regimes maintain a stranglehold on civilization.

I'll take off that tin foil hat now and discuss initial design goals. This is probably a bit gonzo, but hey, it's based on a Nazi conspiracy theory. It won't work if it's not as over the top as the premise, right? So I began by just listing things I thought would be interesting and fitting:

  • Mutants!
  • Occult Magic!
  • Nazi UFOs!
  • Weird Science!
  • Wastelands!
  • Crumbling Cities!
  • Emergent City-States!
  • Emergent Evil (Nazi) Empire!
  • Biological Experimentation!

Looking at this list, it feels like a mix of After the End and Monster Hunters might make a fairly good fit. Mashing them together will take some work, and hopefully, I can stick with this long enough to see it through. If not, I will probably come back to it at a later date anyway. This is one of my three settings that gets periodic love (the other two being Starfall and Dark Horizons).

I plan on attacking this in the following way:

  • Establish a Timeline to support future worldbuilding and guide rules development.
  • Write up a brief description of The End as described in GURPS After the End - The New World. This will be crucial for developing appropriate templates later on.
  • Develop a set of templates, most likely heavily based on those in After the End.
  • Address what technology is readily available, what is rare, and just what the Nazis have.
  • Sort out how magic and any powers work. This will likely be where I delve into Monster Hunters for inspiration.
  • Make some sample PCs, run them through a couple of playtests, and see what works and what breaks.

So next installment will be comprised of a working timeline of events leading up to and through the start of the game.

No comments :

Post a Comment