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Old 10-31-2010, 09:47 AM   #1
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Hungary
Default Campaign Setting: inspired by Gamma World

Hi everyone!

I decided to start a post-apoc campaign in GURPS (1-2 one-shot adventures before, but I'm new to the system). First GW caught my attention, but it was way too wacky for my taste. I decided to place the mood of my campaign somewhere between GW and Darwin's World.
That is, the pre-war tech level is higher than in DW, around TL10, in some aspects maybe TL11 (for example designer-retroviruses, other biotech). Radiation kills, and in an ugly way - ther are mutants, but they are mostly misshapen, degenerate and short-lived folks, usually outcasts. Playable non-, or parahuman races are gene modded humans (underwater, 0G and desert variants), uplifts (dogs are the most common) and synthetics.

The campaign will be based on the conclusion of some events rooted in the pre-war world. Vaguely:

In the pre-war world, Earth had colonies on the moon, mars, some moons and asteroids and one outpost in the Alpha Centauri system. the AC colony was a self-sufficioent ouptost that went there by sublight means and then assembled a teleportation relay. The other side of the relay is on Earth orbit. Only the Earth can initiate a teleportation, as it needs months of work from a titanic particle accelerator, a thin halo around the planet.

Tensions rise between Earth and Alpha Centaury, because of the ever more colonialist politics of the homeworld. Finally AC shuts down their relay to symbolically declare their independence. Earth is gripped b cold war paranoia.
An Orbital Defense Halo is constructed thet ancepsulates the accelerator, the contorlling AI is named Apollo. The lead programmer of apollo fears of a possible interstellar war and secretly introduces a moral failsafe into Apollo's code, that enables it to make shockingly human decisions if necessary.

Independently, a pro-AI group called Synthetic Intelligence Front develops a viral AI called the Third Wave. It can infect other AI systems and use their computing capacity somewhat twisting their minds to become its own part. Confined into a small network, TW is nothing more than a simple AI, but if it has the chance to grow uncontrolled, it can become a literal machine god.

SIF is convinced, that full AI control over the cities, infrastructure and politcs would eradicate corruption, war and generally most problems caused by human vices from the world. Their pet AI is (illegally of course) introduced into the computer network of a smaller city to demonstrate its flawless effectiveness.

Sadly, as TW grows and asmiliates systems, the development of its personality becomes less and less predictable. at one point, it decides, that in limiting its access to on city, its programmers displayed the same human short-sightedness it was made to eradicate. In a proper disguise, it orders an unifected system to hack and modify it, and is so released upon the world. It spreads fast, in minutes it is present around the globe, in hours, complete sectors are in its grip. It controls infrastructure, monitors every person separately and declares marshal law and curfew. It wishes to build an ultimate totalitarian system, where every second of of every single human is perfectly controlled. It must, of course, ensure its dominance first. A typical Rise of the Machines event ensues - until Apollo ends the party.

Apollo - being a hilariously high-security system and able to hold off the virus for some time - faces a tough moral choice (in a situation completely unforeseen by its lead programmer). If it does nothing, humanity will be enslaved. Most will survive, but the will be robbed of their free will forevermore. On the other hand, if Apollo is to annihilate the Third Wave, it must strike places, that are densely populated. Apollo makes the choice. It executes a coup on the station to gain full control with the help of 9 android duplicates of itself. Then it turn its mass driver batterries and nuclear array aginst the planed and starts to mercilessly hammer the Third Wave - cities, vaults, millitary installations - nothing is safe, that has a central AI system. The Twhird Wave responds as expected - everything that can do "BANG" is aimed at tha ODH, which is slowly torn apart under constan the fire.

Results: ODH is a vast debris ring (I've always wanted a future where there is a debris ring around the Earth :D), the Third Wave is reduced to a latent algorithm in the systems where it is not wiped out. Moon settlements and space station on orbit were infected and bombed out. Mars was too far to be integrated into the Third Wave effectively, but the had a small-scale war and inhabitants are trying to stay alive.

The campaign will probably be based around the return of a small Centauri expeditionary force (now good TL11). at the same time, a religious group unnowingly restores a cluster of the Third Wave to working condition. TW is weaving plans to finish the war is started and perhaps to spread the gift to to Centauri as well.

The characters would start out ignorant of the state of the world and the fate that awaits them (around 100 pts.), but would, with the progression of the story, (re)discover, what is at stake.

Therefore, I need at least two premade characters.
A tribal human, who is the descendant (grandson) of a Centauri scout, who spent a second half of his long life on Earth sending reports back home. He does not know about his heritage, his grandfather never spoke of it.

The other character is A-9, the amnesiac fragment of Apollo, who sustained heavy damage from crash landing with an escape pod and is practically unaware of who it really is. It now operates as a kind of scavenger/merchant/gandalf.

In the beginning, the PC-s will be living in a hidden urban tribal community (West Coast, San Francisco) in relative safety, lead by a Shaman, who is the son of the now deceased Centauri scout. The scout carried a multi-purpose nanoid swarm in his body, and on his deathbed, he transmitted a seed of it to his son to watch over the village. The Shaman considers the swarm a benevolent spirit.
A-9 will be a trader who occasionally meets the village and barters with them.

At the start of the campaign, the shaman will be taken by mercenaries and several tribesmen will be killed while the PC-s are bartering with A-9 at another location. the shaman will therefore be unable to transmit the nano swarm to his son, but, by a surviving tribesman, instruct them to descend to the resting place of his father, hoping, that the remnants of his swarm will be able to reproduce in the young shaman.

I would need some help in connection with this quest. I'd prefer to do some lighter, riddle-ridden dungeon run with perhaps some traps and easier enemies, as the shaman descends to the resing place of his grandfather with his helpers. If you have any ideas, how old, worn&torn, partially functional or completely inactive TL9-10 urban buldings, facilities could be used as "unintentional" dungeonsthose ideas are welcome!

Also, if you have any twisted ideas for a shelter for a tribal survivor community, I'd be happy to hear them!

Additionally, any comment, critics and ideas to the setting are welcome!

Thanks for the help and sorry for the long post :) .
Godofgallows is offline   Reply With Quote

campaign ideas, gamma world, holocaust, post-apoc

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