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Fedifensor

Starfall - A Gamma HERO campaign

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Re: Starfall - A Gamma HERO campaign

 

I found your campaign on Hero Central and was wondering if you would be willing to accept any new characters. My character idea if a mutant human with the abilities of a grizzly bear. Increased strength, constitution, and body. He would also be an outstanding fighter. Also increased sense of smell and hearing and tough skin/hide and some resistance to radiation.

 

I have been gaming for over 20 years and looking for a good game to get into. Please let me know.

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Re: Starfall - A Gamma HERO campaign

 

Well, we had a good run, but due to various RL reasons Zac and I have decided to pull the plug on Starfall. Since I don't plan to revisit the campaign on Hero Central at a future date, we will post a wrap-up to this thread sometime next week...which will also include some material of use to anyone who wants to take the base concept and run it as a tabletop game.

 

Thanks for the interest, sls1969. I'm sorry we weren't able to get you into the game, but there are a lot of other interesting games on Hero Central. I suspect Browncoats (using the Firefly universe) will have an opening now...

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Re: Starfall - A Gamma HERO campaign

 

Revelations Part 1: Inspiration

 

Now that the Starfall campaign has ended, I'm going to finish things out with a few posts about the inspiration for Starfall, the original plotline ideas, and what changed over the course of the game.

 

It is no secret that Starfall was inspired by Gamma World. However, Gamma World has been published many times over the years, getting progressively more offbeat and wacky, all the way to the current WotC version. I wanted something more serious, with a bit more grounding in reality. Talking with Zac, the two of us came up with an apocalypse occurring roughly a century in our future, with several decades afterwards to give civilization time to completely collapse, and for the people to forget about what existed beforehand.

 

Though it was never written out in detail, the Pures were (for the most part) the children of the wealthy - those who had self-replicating nanobots or similar tech implanted to grant them resistance to the dangers of the Wasteland. That is why Pures had Regeneration and Power Defense. It is also why they had Tech Access - the wealthy were more likely to have items that would survive the decades since the Great War. The tech was new at the time, and children adapted to it much better then adults. It bonded with their DNA, and was passed down from parent to child - though the tech was slowly degrading through the generations.

 

Muts didn't have the advantages of Pures, but they were lucky in their own way. The Great War was fought with many tools, including deadly transform viruses combated by counter viruses designed to preserve the populace. In many cases, the attack was more potent than the defense, and billions died. However, when people were saved from the worst effects of radiation and transform viruses by the counter viruses, they became Muts...and some even gained beneficial mutations in the process.

 

While the transform viruses were designed to be used against humans, many animals were affected as well. Since the counter viruses were designed to bring people back to the human norm, several animals developed near-human intelligence, becoming Beasts.

 

Weeds were a very unusual case...particularly Venus. I'll discuss her when we get to what changed between the planning stages and after the game started.

 

Tech level was deliberately lower than Gamma World. While there was a lot of advanced stuff in the game, things like the Black Ray pistol or Bubble Cars were very, very rare. Design philosophy was one of two things - cheap and disposable (which failed quickly) or expensive and durable (and thus capable of remaining functional decades later).

 

Next: The Plot - including the Star of Heaven!

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Re: Starfall - A Gamma HERO campaign

 

Revelations Part 2 - The Plotline

 

I'm having trouble finding the original back and forth email chain Zac and I used to form the basic structure of Starfall. However, part stemmed from going to the Book of Revelations, and imagining the wording changed over the years by people trying to apply the words to what happened in this post-apocalyptic world. The result is in the beginning post of this thread.

 

The game was set in Colorado. We didn't try too hard to keep that hidden, although we tried to be creative with the names:

* Fedrex - A Fed-Ex cargo plane that crashed in the Rocky Mountains.

* Cassrock (or Casrock) - Castle Rock

* The Great Var - Denver

* Lo - Pueblo

* Unirad - The UNIversity of ColoRADo

* Seven Wells - Manitou Springs

* Burning Lands - The area between the Air Force Academy, Fort Carson, and Cheyenne Mountain (prime target for nukes).

* Storm Peak - Pike's Peak

 

What follows is the unedited email about how the players were going to get from the starting location (Fedrex) to the Star of Heaven...

 

--------------------

 

So, we have to get from here:

"The group searches for Cargo to secure citizenship with the village."

 

...to here:

"The group stops the Star of Heaven from destroying all who attempt to rebuild the ancient tech."

 

Here are the essential adventures, as I see them:

 

Search for Cargo

Introduction of the group to the outside world and its hazards. Show what happened to Cassrock. Success gives the party a base of operations in Fedrex, and incentive to go out again to further their status. First tidbits about the Star of Heaven are learned.

 

Interstate Love Affair

The Gang of 70 threatens Fedrex. As the hardiest of the town, the group is asked to find a way to drive the Gang of 70 off or negotiate a settlement with them. Success may give the group access to vehicles they will need later in the campaign. Last major medieval-level threat, as the party tech level begins to rise after this adventure.

 

Purification

Introduction of the Order of the Pure. Show the players that while the Purists are trying to subjugate or wipe out Muts and Beasts, they do have a goal of returning the ancient tech to the world. Introduction of gunpowder and pneumatic weapons (salvaged from fallen foes).

 

Rise of the Bold

Show Boulder and/or Undertown as an area of developing (non-ancient) tech in the wasteland. Area of commerce (increase of available tech for party, place to barter for gunpowder), introduction of the bullet train from Boulder to Pueblo (Lo). First opportunity for party to change their base of operations.

 

Gazing Upon Heaven

Introduction of the Oracle. Party's first close-up look at the Star of Heaven.

 

The Gathering Storm

Party travels to Storm Point (Pike's Peak) and meets the resistance, a group of Pures, Muts, and Beasts who have the goal of destroying the Star of Heaven. First open access to ancient tech.

 

Ancient Wonders of the World

Party learns about the Civilization Capsules, and the danger in activating one before the Star of Heaven is destroyed.

 

Storming the Gates of Heaven

Finding a way onto the Star of Heaven and shutting it down. Possible alliance with former enemies (the Order of the Pure). Final campaign adventure.

 

Ending - Or A New Beginning

The remaining civilization capsules are activated. The campaign either ends, or transitions into a new phase at this point (Post-Apocalyptic HERO --> Star HERO). The Order of the Pure may still need to be dealt with, if their Civilization Capsule wasn't destroyed.

 

In between these adventures, we can insert other adventures as needed, and interweave the elements of the main plot into adventures otherwise unrelated to the main quest.

 

Here's some of the groups essential to the overall plot:

 

Gang of 70

A gang of wastelanders (mostly muts) that roam the highway formerly known as I-70. They have traveled a large portion of the highway, scavenging hundreds of signs that have been turned into weapons or body armor. They limit themselves to 70 full members at a time - only a full member can wear weapons or armor with the writing that denotes their status. However, they also have recruits that sometimes travel with full members, hoping to prove their worthiness to fill an empty spot in the gang. The ancient symbol of the gang is the reason for their limited size, for it clearly states "1 to 70" (I-70). If a gang member is killed while acting independently, the Gang of 70 does not hold a grudge. However, if one of the ancient symbols of the gang is stolen, they will pursue the thief to the ends of the earth. This is a known fact, and keeps many from taking such items after defeating a member of the gang.

 

 

Order of the Pure (Purists)

The Purists are a collection of Pures that seek to restore civilization to its former heights of glory. They look upon muts and beasts as genetic abnormalities created by the weapons of the Final War. While they see Beasts as irredeemable, some Muts have been accepted into the lowest levels of the Order with the hope of having their mutations purged by ancient tech. Purists use gunpowder and pneumatic weaponry, and higher-ranking Purists have access to a few items of ancient tech. However, they try to keep their outposts from having too many items of ancient tech, for fear of attracting the Star of Heaven.

 

 

The Oracle

To Be Written.

 

 

Storm Peak

A group of electricity-generating muts and/or beasts have made their home at the top of Pike's Peak. The electromagnetic interference and high iron content make it impossible for the Star of Heaven to spy on their residents. This is one of the centers of the resistance, and where a cache of ancient tech can be found.

 

 

Civilization Capsules

The possibility of the Final War was foreseen by a secret branch of the American government. Unknown even to the military, five secret caches were created that contained the knowledge and core materials necessary to rebuild civilization. These include immense databases containing all the knowledge deemed essential to humanity, fully-automated CAD devices, building components, and androids with ancient knowledge. The capsules are in a dormant state, and can only be activated by a set of three handprint pads that must be used simultaneously by people with an untainted genetic code (Pures).

 

Each cache is buried underground in a separate part of the United States. Three of these caches have been discovered and activated, only to be destroyed by the Star of Heaven. One cache is guarded by the Purists in Pennsylvania and left inactive while they quest to discover a way to neutralize the satellite overhead. The fifth cache remains hidden somewhere in Colorado. The Star of Heaven has learned about the existence of the caches, but does not know where the remaining two are located.

 

 

The Star of Heaven

The Star of Heaven is a military satellite in a non-geosynchronous orbit. The orbital path allows the satellite to observe the entire globe over the course of a few days time. While most of the systems are automated, there are a few Pures (with enhanced lifespans) on the satellite who review the data and make decisions on what is and isn't a threat. Stopping the Star of Heaven is the final goal of the

campaign.

 

--------------------

 

As you can see, we had way too much planned for a HERO Central game. Going through everything listed above would have taken us months (or even years) in a face to face game. For an online game, it was overkill.

 

That's the basics of the game. More later...

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Re: Starfall - A Gamma HERO campaign

 

Fed, what you and Zac tried to do was awesome and I would have loved seeing this unfold though it take ten years. I hope you do not mind but I am going to try and take this and run with it with my own group. So if you have anything else to add, that may help I would greatly appreciate it and will work to keep your story alive. I will send you a PM with my email address. I have wanted to run a PA game for some time now (which is how I originally found Starfall, looking up here for ideas). I had a wonderful time and wish things had worked out. Thanks for the work and fun.

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