Your Morning Head: My homebrew SciFi setting debut

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Sheriff Jinks

I’ve been designing  my homebrew SciFi setting for awhile now.  I’ve worked on it solo and opened it up to sandbox sessions with my players.  It’s turning into quite a robust universe.

The Empire is a big play ground complete with nobility and political intrigue, interstellar warships waging galactic scale battles, and merchants just trying to score a deal.  The story I’m telling is a unit of Rangers out on the far frontier sorting out problems, enforcing the law, making a civilization where the wild things are.

Last month, I ran a prologue to the main campaign.  I’m still learning Savage Worlds, a game I’ve played several times but have not ever game mastered.  So, I thought a game absent a bunch of setting and campaign threads might be helpful to both me and the players.

Our final frontier rangers are a motley bunch comprised of a Duarn engineer, a Human mystic, an Empusan pilot, a robot called Willco, and an Ikati warrior.

The Prologue: While on their way to planet Genug (where the campaign really starts), the Rangers divert from their course to investigate a merchant ship failing to respond to hails.  It turned out to be infested with giant spider aliens.  It provided for lots of bug-hunting fun and an opportunity to familiarize ourselves with Savage Worlds combat rules in addition to allowing me to use some Traveller deck plans.

Love the deck plans.

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I smoke cigars so I can have plenty of boxes to hold dice and roll dice into.

The Prologue (or zero issue) session was successful, I think.  I learned a bit more about how combat works and we all had fun.

Rodger (aka The Empusan called Forben)

On Saturday night, we kicked off the campaign.

The Rangers arrived at Genug a largely desolate desert world with the exception of the narrow valley where the terraforming has really stuck.  Rumor had it that outlaw Waylon Hamer and his gang were using the planet as base of operations.  The Rangers orders were to sniff out if the rumors were true and establish positive relations with the locals.  Through their investigations they met  local law officer Sheriff Jinks, uncovered the hermit Major’s secret (a battlemech in the barn), and thwarted the RoboPocalypse.

Yeah, about that…

He knee-capped a god. A 200-foot-tall god. Just sayin'.

The Rangers discovered three robot pilgrims – or robo-theists – who were behaving in a suspicious manner.  Turned out that they were working to resurrect the long buried Sentinel of Infinity, Great Godkaiger, the harbinger of the end times. Inadvertently, the Rangers activated Great Godkaiger.  Rising from the desert dunes, he towered some two hundred feet over the player characters.

I am amazed that two characters in particular were not killed in all the shenanigans.

Before it was all said and done, the Rangers had put down the robo-theists and Great Godkaiger.  End times?  Averted.

I made some mistakes in the game, not the least of which was breaking my primary rule of gaming: start the game in media res.  I have a lot of success when I start things in the middle of the action.  I didn’t do that this time.  As a result, the first half of the game lagged hard which I found more than a little embarassing.  But that wasn’t the most embarassing thing that I did.  Oh no.

james and josh
James (Lt Kilraven) and Josh, whose character killed Great Godkaiger

I created character names for the robo-theists  that I could not pronounce.


My players laughed as I struggled with names like Impregnable Raigrenrarth and Inviolable Daigobot.

I’m not satisfied with my command of the system.  That’s coming, but I need to run some practice combats between now and the next game.  Players Josh and James – Savage Worlds veterans – very graciously offered clarification.  Still, I’d like to have a greater mastery of the rules.

I’ve got more work ahead of me to better learn the system and to prep the most awesome game I can.

More to come.

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I consider it a success that Gary never fell asleep this game (stock photo).

6 comments on “Your Morning Head: My homebrew SciFi setting debutAdd yours →

  1. C’mon, John. What is it and eight, ten hour drive? You leave Missouri by nine a.m., you can be at my place by seven that night for gaming. No worries!

  2. The action may have started off slow, but I accepted it as part of getting to know the new world. No reason to be embarrassed–I don’t expect that most sessions will require so much exposition.

    And I liked the names of the robotheists. They were fun, and gave the gaming group–whom, it should be noted, will mock just about anything the GM says, given the slightest of openings–a way to focus those joking tendencies. Call it a lightning rod for silliness, placed to prevent the silliness from affecting the central action of the game.

    I think I was given plenty of opportunities to explore my character, which I really enjoyed. And honestly, in any epic battle it’s rare that the engineer has the opportunity to save the day. Woot!

  3. The game (and my character) are already going in unexpected ways and I love it. One of my favorite things about RPG’s is that a campaign ends up being what everyone at the table, not just the GM, comes up with.
    You’ve given us a great sandbox to play in and the freedom to play and I can’t wait to keep building our castles.

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