Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Fading Suns Premise: Explorers of the Lost Realms

Earthdawn may seem like Yet Another Fantasy RPG (YAFRPG), but it has many similarities to Fading Suns that make it a delight to draw upon for a campaign premise and other possible elements.

First and foremost, it's a post-apocalyptic fantasy setting -- the cycles of cosmology shifted, making it possible for a period of time to other-dimensional horrors inspired by Cthulhoid and Weird Fantasy menageries to exist, plunging civilization into underground safezones called Cairns. With the cosmology shifting again, only the lesser Horrors (still quite formidable) seem to have remained, allowing the fragments of civilization to attempt to rebuild once more.

It seems that the default campaign premise involves characters from a given Cairn venturing forth to explore the much-changed landscape, surviving the dangers of this brave new world, and seeking out (hopefully) friendly Cairns to trade and ally with or fallen Cairns with wonders from the glory days of the past Empires.

This echoes the fall of the Second Republic in Fading Suns, and can even be analogous to the desire of various factions to rediscover lost technologies and lost worlds from the much larger Jumpweb of old. PCs can discover dead worlds with ancient horrors lurking in the ruins, fantastic technology that would alter the delicate balance of power, or even ancient secrets that would shatter the understanding of what truly happened during the Fall.

Likewise, there are also other remnants of civilizations past that have weathered the intervening time and are also seeking to rebuild and expand -- sometimes with agendas quite at odd with the homelands of the PCs.

If you're looking for other civilizations and alien races for the Known Worlders to encounter beyond the default Fading Suns cultures and races, Earthdawn is a treasure trove of inspiration.

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That's my side of things. Let me know what you think, my friend.