deadEarth is a satirical post-apocalyptic role playing game taking swipes at the genre. Written in the same vein as HOL – Human Occupied Landfill which is a game making fun of other games, with it’s style of writing and overall tone of the game. Well, that’s my take on things and I’m good with that. It’s just my overall impression that I got just from the first two pages.
Maybe, I’m kidding myself.
Though, I do have an idea for it and am seriously thinking about running one at Cangames in 2017.
Back in the mid 80’s while I was in high school, I remember someone running a one-shot session (it could of been two or three) of The Valley of the Pharaohs – Role Playing Adventure in Ancient Egypt. It was from Palladium Books and had it’s own system. I had created a common caste whose profession was a thief. I called him Tetu but during the course of the adventure the other players where calling him “Tattoo’.
All I am able to recall of the adventure is that Tetu and another character, Miliki, a noble soldier, where on the back of a giant scorpion as Miliki was holding the stingers as Tetu was plunging a knife into the creatures head before tumbling off a pyramid. Good times, good times.
The reason why I was thinking of this game was due to the fact of playing Nefertiti Overdrive at Cangames. It got me thinking of other games set in Ancient Egypt and a few D&D modules with the Ancient Egypt motif to them as well; Desert of Desolation especially and the fun they had offered. I remember that I had nabbed the The Valley of The Pharaohs rule set from Palladium several years back when they offered it as a free download (along with a Palladium Fantasy module The Arms of Nargash-Tor) and had printed off in he hopes of running an adventure or two with it. I didn’t though I had used the maps for a AD&D adventure).
I had a blast playing Nefertiti Overdrive and had picked up a copy of the book due to just the premise and it got me hungry for adventures in Ancient Egypt. I was thinking of something to run for next years Cangames event with it’s theme “Taking Flight” and had an idea with an Egyptian flare to it. So, I’m working on an idea at the moment for The Valley of the Pharaohs which may or may not make it to the game table.
Each year at Cangames, my crew and I show up for the day where we shop, play games and then buy a thing or two (okay alright three or more). We generally socialize for a bit and catch up in each other news and what not.
I normally run a game at 2pm and then we all try to get into a game and play as a group at 7pm. Well, this is all about the 7pm game: Nefertiti Overdrive. In the morning at the convention we signed in and got the schedule and had a glance to see what game was available to suit 5-6 of us and lo and behold there was still slots available for this one and we decided to give it a go.
With a title like Nefertiti Overdrive visions of Cyberpunk or Shadowrun or some dark future type of fast action game danced in our heads. Little did we know that it was going to be a tale set in ancient Egypt. In a universe where the past scenes in The Mummy movie was sort of the main focus. A game of dice pools, cool movies and scenes scripted by some Hollywood hack mainly what we learn and saw in the movies played with the theme. It was fantasy, mythology and a whole truckload of pop culture as we wandered the streets of Thebes. Battling assassins, assisting refugees and entering in a world where magic is unleashed with your imagination.
The common dice for the pools are d6, d8, d10’s with the occasional d12 and d4’s added for effect. It was a fun session and I enjoyed every minute of it, especially the scenes in which other players where describing what they wanted to do. Some of them cashing in all of their fate chips going “all in” into the effort. I haven’t felt this good about a game in awhile.
An Atomic Highway Try Before You Buy Scenario
Cast of Characters:
Trance, a ‘Steader Road Warrior (female)
Diaz, a Remnant Greaser (male)
Our scenario begins with Trance and Diaz cruising along the Way of the Seven Teen in a cargo van that Trance has named “Road Kill 101”. Since they are about to school those who mess with ’em!
They are heading to Junkville in order to see if they can trade services for some materials they need for the van in order to make it more combat ready since the little community they reside in doesn’t have the parts, material to do so. Along the way they see an old boarded up Quick Stop Station and they decide to see what they can salvage from that.
There are a few rusted out and stripped auto relics scattered about the area and they decide to see if there is anything left… and thus the scenario begins. Pulling up behind a wrecked vehicle our heroes disembark and see if they can take some metal and material from the vehicle only to spring a trap in action. A trio of dirt bikers lie in wait behind the pit stop and spring into action; on the hopes of catching everyone off guard. But, the party is alert and had suspected a trap in the first place since all the vehicles were left out in the open.
And so begins our little battle!
Like I said in the tagline above; a try before you buy scenario to see if the player would want a full fledged campaign for Atomic Highway or just another fly by night one-shot adventure. This was only a sample scenario so that that the player could get a feel and flow of the game mechanics in action.
The V6 Engine System is simple a pool of six sided dice that is designed to be quick and easy and give it a more cinematic feel of playing. Attributes are numbered 1 to 5 with 2 being the average stat for a human. This represents the number of 6 sided dice your roll when attempting an action or trying to figure something out.You roll the number of dice associated with the attribute in order to achieve a six on die. A six is a success.
You character’s skill level in the number of points with which you can bump up the results of one or more dice to achieve the desired result of 6. It’s that simple!
Atomic Highway is on the menu. Though, right at the moment it’s character creation and a little sample combat and some road warring scenarios to get the feel and flow of the game. After, all this chatter about Mad Max (especially Fury Road) it’s time to get into high gear and explorer the atomic wasteland in style.
Well, one style at the moment is in a armoured cargo van, where a Road Warrior ‘Steader and a Remnant Greaser team up to do some “deliveries”. Along the Way of the Seven Teens! First stop is JUNKville to see what they can get to equip the van with.
I’ve been re-watching the Mad Max series of movies, instead in chronological order. I’ve started with Fury Road, then Beyond Thunderdome, followed by The Road Warrior and finally with Mad Max. Don’t ask me why, I just thought it would be a cool thing to do. Then I decided following those up with The Book of Eli, The Road, and capping it off with Waterworld.
Basically, what I’m trying to do is come up with a good hook for an Atomic Highway campaign setting. AH is an excellent little game inspired by Mad Max movies and a lays out the foundation of the game with the mechanics and an introductory to the world of it; and it’s up to the Game Master to mold the foundation in the image that they want it to be. Do I want the AH world to be a sandy, gritty, world of deserts and sandstorms or a green lush world consumed by mother nature and overrun by vegetation? Or maybe a little from column A and a little from column B?
For the past two years now I have a player that’s been trying to get me to run it for them, instead of him running it for me. Since he had all these plans and idea floating around in his head and finally he just doesn’t know how to pull it off. I told him just to do so with a wing and a prayer like I always do. So, once the current Conspiracy X campaign reaches it’s inevitable climax. I decided to run Atomic Highway for a one-shot or two to give it the ol’ college try.
Maybe, just maybe I should do a snow covered world with ski-doos! SnowWorld… or something like that?
Each year at Cangames pick a game on my shelf that hasn’t been played for a bit and then create a scenario for it to run at Cangames. This year I had decided to go with an old classic “Cyborg Commando”. It’s an alien invasion role playing game, where players are cyborgs battling huge insectoid creatures who have invade Earth.
Long before “Edge of Tomorrow” “Skyline” “Battleship” and “Battle: Los Angeles” and around the time of “Terminator” there was a game that was put out by Gary Gygax, Frank Mentzer and Kim Mohan for New Infinities Productions, Inc.
Set 1: The Battle for Earth was the first box set out of the Cyborg Commando series, though it’s the only box set that ever came out with three adventure supplements for it before it disappeared. I really liked the concept behind this game and dwelved deeper into the world of it by creating adventures that mainly focused in the Great White North; Canada. Basically, scribbling down a Canadian Content for the game and some adventure seeds, some settlements and an adventure I called “Cold Snap”
Cold Snap takes place in North Bay, Ontario. It was the city that I had went to college and was familiar with the area and so based a wintry scenario for Cyborg Commando here. It was a few pages jotted down in chicken scratch writing and a few rough maps of a couple of buildings: a mall, a superstore and the downtown area where the bulk of the action was to take place.
So, after dusting the game off the shelf I figured I’d give Cold Snap a run at Cangames 2016.