Monday, April 21, 2008

No Future


Imagine, if you will, a world ravaged by it’s own past. A world plunged into a second Dark Age, where Mankind has crawled back through the centuries from the brink of extinction. A world where Mankind is haunted by it’s own history, amidst a backdrop of ruin, destruction and apocalypse.

The mysterious, lost technologies of the ancestors of these surviving men, those very secrets that brought about the cataclysmic events which pitched this world into it’s Doomsday, have left their unmistakable mark upon this world. Now for the most part buried under the rubble of ancient ruined cities, or guarded and secreted away, these lost relics are the very stuff of legend, fear and superstition.

Must be Gamma World, right?

Rather than a nuclear holocaust in the modern age of man, imagine a return of “The Nameless Ones” upon a world of classic fantasy. From the Dread Vault, the Sleeping Gods were roused, devouring mankind and laying waste to civilization. A world shattering event as the curtain of reality was drawn open and the chaos of unreason and of the dark truths flooded across this land, leaving nothing more than a few scattered survivors. Mankind was on the brink of extinction, those that were spared struggled to survive in a world gone mad, tainted by the very essence of unreason.

Mankind now consists of scattered societies, huddled together in large enclaves or nomadic tribes, dotting the landscape like tiny beacons of light upon this world thirsting for heroes, this world of No Future.

Instead of a world of the far future, with mankind fighting mutation and robots, No Future is a world of fantasy, with mankind fighting a mind-shattering past and primordial guardians.

Elves, Dwarves and Hobbits are no more. Man stands alone. The technologies lost are essentially the Riddle of Iron, and the many secrets of Magic, now buried and forgotten. There are no Clerics in this world, for the gods have fled the heavens themselves, abandoning mankind in the process. Magic is present, but raw and unrefined, chaotic in nature and never permanent. The advanced techniques and secrets of this ancestral magic are still to be discovered and understood, or perhaps the very Laws of Magic have changed in No Future, no one is certain.

It’s is a testament to the perseverance of man that they did not also succumb to the near total destruction of life upon this world, instead, dragging themselves out of that near twilight of man, and finally into a somewhat recognizable Bronze Age. It is uncertain if mankind has finally reached it’s pinnacle, amidst this aging world. The threats from within and without seem to grow stronger with each passing Winter.

No Future will be a heavily house ruled version of OD&D, using Chainmail inspired combat and new Bronze Age inspired Classes and items, all set against a backdrop of bloody, gory hack and slash pulp adventure. Alternative Combat might be used in the end, but I’d like to try a dice heavy d6 system.

The setting will probably be renamed at some point, and the entire world will be an ongoing project for me. A small distraction from Solstice when I need a break from mega dungeon design. Just something else I can blog about. As far as Solstice relates to the setting, perhaps No Future is Solstice’s own climactic conclusion, as the remnants of man dwindle into the grim history of this world. Perhaps a new working title could be Solstice: No Future.

No Future is inspired by Howard and Lovecraft, but it will be a game of OD&D in scope and spirit. Rules light, unrefined and open ended.

~Sham, Delinquent DM

3 comments:

Philotomy said...

Sounds cool. Right up my alley.

Sham said...

I might ditch the idea of a Chainmail inspired combat model, and just use the OD&D Alternative Combat system. I'd love to use Chainmail type combat, but I'm having a hard time not ending up with something that is neither Chainmail nor OD&D, and I don't want that to be the result for an OD&D setting.

Philotomy said...

Yeah, I know what you mean. I played a few mass combats with Chainmail, but I've never used it for normal D&D combat, and I'm not sure that I ever will. I like the idea, but I'm very comfortable with the alternative system. My approach with the alternative system is heavily Chainmail-inspired, anyway (Chainmail-derived combat sequence, d6 hit dice and damage dice, multiple attacks in non-fantastic combat, missile ranges, et cetera).