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Thursday, October 21, 2010

Endless Wars: A Retrofuture RPG Setting for X-Plorers

Ok kids, here is the deal.  I have been desperately searching for some sort of game to run.  Many people on  the IRC channel I frequent ( #tinypewtermen on irc.synirc.net ) have lamented not being able to get into some sort of game.

Well I figured why think about it and just DO IT?  I made an offer to run a game, and gave a basic idea of a campaign using a freely available rules light ruleset.  As my reviews have mentioned I quite like X-Plorers, which is basically Swords and Wizardry meets Tunnels & Trolls in a Sci Fi setting.

And this lead to my ideas of a campaign using one of the settings in my head getting suggested.  Almost everyone liked the idea of it, and lots of really good questions were asked, filling in some holes this setting never had filled.

So this blogpost will be an evolving setting background document since it does take place on an alternate history Earth where World War 2 ran for almost another 30 years.

Yes I could postcount ++ this with ever new posts, but it will be much easier if I use one singular posting for the general world setting and background.  Other posts may cover house rules and the required background rules for the specific adventure I have in mind.

If there are historical inaccuracies feel free to tell me so I can fix it, or just apologize for the error.

An Age of Endless War

It was World War 2.  One of the bloodiest conflicts known to man.  Plans were afoot to bring an end to what was approaching a decade of war for some nations.

These plans were stopped.  In Europe the German army took far longer to be pushed out of Russia, Stalingrad becoming a nearly yearlong fight.  D-Day wasn't half as successful as planned, with Rommel himself being in active and direct command.  The Allies gained a beachead but it was a bloody and horrific one, almost not worth the cost.

On the Pacific front, Japan's miniature submarines launched sneak attacks on the west coast, even inflicting bioweapons on major cities.  These attacks were merely cover for deep insertion teams to disable US nuclear research.  The Atom bomb was prevented from being birthed, but the teams never made it out alive.

It wouldn't be until 1947 that Germany would fall, as a Zhukov lead coalition in the USSR finally tired of Stalin's madness against even his own people and soldiers, putting him to hang for his crimes, and a more idealistic form of Communism taking its place.  The now renewed in spirit Russian armies pushed hard in the east, and this gave the western Allies the break they needed to finally break out of France and fight their way to end the Third Reich.

Yet the victory only lead to Germany becoming a wasteland.  The western and eastern allies could not agree on what to do there, and by Spring 1948 the newly formed Collectivist Bloc declared official war against the western allies yet still fought against Japan in the east, sometimes leading to battles where the United States, the Collectivist Bloc, and the Imperial Japanese were all fighting for the same land, a whirlwind of madness in the name of "liberating" nations.

To hold shattered nations together against the Bloc, the western European nations combined into one singular country, the previous counties becoming member states to fight as one united force.

Over the nearly 3 decades the nearly endless war exhausted both economies and the people, with most teenagers forgoing a high school education for a military one, the average age of most combatants being 18 by the mid 1960s.

Anyone attempting to pursue nuclear technology found their efforts stymied by both enemy nations, and another mysterious group.

This group, the "Children of the New Age" would be formed from the disgust with endless war and suffering.  While many nations and their war weary citizens wanted the war to end, bitter hatreds and never healed wounds for entire generations  just wouldn't let anyone make the first gestures, even if each new battle slowly strangled each country to death.

These Children were founded by a secretive wealthy foundation made up of the best scientific and philosophical minds the world had to offer, not caring about what nationality they came from.  Enlisting idealistic soldiers from many countries, this group engaged in both combat and other means to finally bring the war to an end.

In 1975, World War 2 officially came to the end, with the 4 major political warring powers (The North American Alliance, the Western European Republic, the Collectivist Bloc, and the Imperial Asian Prosperity Sphere) signing peace treaties.

But 3 generations fighting war just don't end things overnight.  Politicians still have power to gain from old hates.  Entire generations even though they were socially still decades behind where they might have been otherwise had memories that couldn't just be erased.  Scientists still continue to develop weapons of war, and research the constantly derailed nuclear option.

It is 1982.  The world economy is slowly coming back on track, civilian technologies are coming into play.  But the world is on a razor's edge, easily capable of sliding back into war.

(Coming soon: The nations of the world)

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