Saturday, March 1, 2014
New skies. New atmospheres. Distant atmospheres.
So, we'll be kicking off the GURPS sci-fi campaign Distant Atmospheres soon. The idea is to try to take everything I like about Traveller, Star Frontiers, 2300AD, Stars Without Number, Mass Effect, Lexx, Ghost In the Shell, and Revelation Space, pop in all into a GURPS blender, and see what happens.
In the Distant Atmospheres universe, humans are three centuries into exploring and colonizing their local neighborhood of space. While they have a high level of technology, going faster than light is beyond their abilities. That's where the Reachers come in.
The Reachers are intelligent creatures that can bend the fabric of space time enough to break off a piece and move it around, simulating faster than light travel without actually moving themselves anywhere. It's clear that the Reachers did not evolve this way, but were manufactured by some species long ago whom they do not remember.
Luckily for humans, the Reachers enjoy interstellar travel, can shift around their internal organs to create livable compartments, and they can grow to huge proportions. They can't actually travel in space in their 'natural' state, but humans have learned to augment the Reachers to survive in a vacuum and exceed the speed of light, and perform various feats of heavy lifting and hauling.
To the Reachers, this is all just good fun. They also create such a powerful magnetic field around their body that any human inside a Reacher ship is subjected to a constant MRI in which the Reacher can read their every single thought. It's really, really hard to bluff a Reacher in a card game. Well, unless you are wearing a tin-foil hat.
Originally I thought that the Reachers might look like space whales or something, but after a few drawing they became more squid like. The savvy player might be reminded of Cthullu, or some other non-euclidean nightmare. And to those accusations, this GM can only shrug and grin.