Saturday, September 15, 2012

A New Idea for the Alternity RPG?

I've been a fan of the Alternity science fiction roleplaying game since it was first released. The mechanics set it apart from D&D, but it was still familiar enough that I didn't need to wrack my brain in order to learn the system. Also, I quickly became a fan of the Star*Drive campaign setting, especially Bluefall. (So much so that I added the Aegis system to my Arcanum of the Stars campaign concept for Dragonstar.)

Plus, Alternity introduced me to Gamma World*, and while I didn't get into Dark▪Matter until later, I've come to appreciate it for its roots in the Alternity RPG.

Yet, I'm a homebrewer. I prefer to make my own settings. My first attempt was something I called the Twilight Galaxy. It was an attempt to recreate from memory a series of scifi star systems, called Star Quest, that I drew in pencil and crayon when I was a teenager. I remembered very little, and Twilight Galaxy eventually became something very different. It changed significantly after I discovered Skyrealms of Jorune and a supplement from 2300AD — Ships of the French Arm. (I wish I had kept it.)

Twilight Galaxy left its legacy on Arcanum of the Stars as well. For when Dragonstar came out, I quickly combined my favorite parts of Jorune with Star*Dive and Twilight Galaxy; I then jammed it all into the Dragonstar universe. And there it will all stay.

And yet, that wasn't the only setting that I created for Alternity. Back in the day, there was this fan e-zine called Action Check that you might or might not have heard of. I wrote a basic outline for a campaign concept I called First Defense. The article appears in Action Check #4. I never really developed it in its original form. First Defense eventually became a 'part' of something that I call the Guardian Chronicles.

What the setting became didn't really feel appropriate for the Alternity RPG, and it first moved to d20 Modern (that didn't last long) and then to Mutants & Masterminds, 2nd Edition. There it has remained, although I'm not sure if it will stay attached to that roleplaying game system. Could it go back to Alternity? It might be possible, but I'd need to reacquire several of the sourcebooks before making that change.

So, where does that leave me with the Alternity RPG? I'm not really sure. What I do know is that I want to come up with something that isn't like what I've created before. I doubt it will be 100% unique, but I don't want it to be Twilight Galaxy 2.

Instead, I have this vision of a more down-to-earth science fiction setting. A campaign set primarily on Earth, but it is not an isolated Earth. There are outposts throughout the solar system — the moon, Mars, and the various moons of Jupiter being the primary locations. Humanity won't be alone in the system, but the alien influence will be minimal. Mutation will be a more likely divider amongst the outposts' inhabitants.

Hmm, Gamma World in space combined with a bit of Dark▪Matter. What would that be like?

It's something to think about, at least.

* I was aware of the setting before Alternity came out, but I'd seen and known very little about the setting.

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