Monday, May 17, 2010

A Return to the Worlds of the Pancreator

I recently got the chance to run Fading Suns again.

It was nice to revisit the worlds of the Pancreator, to touch the dark between the stars, to inflict the strange mixture of science fiction and mysticism and horror on my players.

Fading Suns is one of my favorite settings for a number of reasons.

First, it manages to draw on a number of primary influences yet put different interpretations and spins on various elements, making it something new. One can certainly see the influence of Dune and the worlds of Dan Simmons's Hyperion Cantos setting as well. I'm tempted to throw in Feersum Endjinn and Against a Dark Background by Iain Banks as well.

Second, because of the way the setting has been constructed, there are many ways to "re-purpose" other gaming content and slot it into the setting. Got a dungeon crawl? You can have your players visit a Lost World to retrieve an artifact from an underground complex (now infested with the local inhabitants and whatever traps were left behind). Magic a problem? Consider them Psychic abilities or Theurgical benefices that are at odds with the understanding of the Known Worlds. Have an espionage scenario? Many high tech and low tech targets abound. Have the odd Cthulhu adventure? Whatever the time setting (1890s, 1920s, 1930s, 1990s) you can find a world and a tech level appropriate to your adventure and easily change the existents to fit with the Fading Suns setting.

Apparently the 3rd Edition is still being worked on by Red Brick! Here's hoping it comes out some time this year or next year.

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