Thanks for coming back dear reader. Here is part 6 of the continuing series where I share can’t the background and rules for my upcoming Savage Worlds sci-fi campaign. This one is a long post, the house rules for the campaign. I use many sources, mainly the Savage Worlds Deluxe Edition, the new Science Fiction Compendium, some ideas from Daring Tales of the Space Lanes and from Agents of Oblivion. Also I have to give credit to the wonderful supplement Savage Space, created by the wonderful Chaotic GM. There is a LOT in here taken directly from his work. He’s given me permission to reproduce it here. Thank you for your kindness.
Welcome back to another instalment of my current post series Sci-Fi Fridays. For the uninitiated, I’m presenting the background materials for my upcoming Savage Worlds campaign which I’ll be running for my gaming group in the near future. If you want to read the previous post, check out Part I, Part II and Part III. On this post we leave the Outlands and expand into the greater galaxy to learn more about the Union, and one of the stellar nations that form it.
I hope you are finding these posts useful, that you find some inspiration, or even use them to show people how you can overdo campaign background! I look forward to your comments and critique. Now let’s venture forth into the Union…
IV. The Greater Galaxy
The Outlands are the fringes of the Union; however even in the Outlands the greater galaxy influences the lives of those seeking to escape it. The Union is a relatively new political entity, a beast born out of the Great Galactic War. In theory it is an extra-governmental body appointed with keeping the peace, maintaining security and creating a common economy, a level playing field, that benefits every world in the Union. The Union has existed for merely 13 years, three years before the end of the Great Galactic War, and it depends on the three majority members to survive, the Rukta Workers Consortium, the EIN Triumvirate and the Freeholds of Alpha Centauri.
I blame two men for my recent obsession with RIFTS and neither of them is Kevin Siembieda. The fault is squarely on Christopher Helton and Luis Miranda. Let’s start with the most recent influence. Chris, of Dorkland! fame, and whom I was lucky enough to meet some years ago at Gen Con and have dinner with (something that needs to be repeated!) has been posting about his upcoming game of RIFTS in Google+ as well as discussing it in the Geeky Voices Carry podcast.
I have not played RIFTS in a LONG time. The last book I purchased for the line was The Coalition War Campaign, and that came out in 1996. (1996, really? It was World Book 11 and they seem to be up to 31!) However RIFTS in never far from my mind. It was my go to game for a long time; I played it all through high school and into college. However back in 96 I really could not deal with the system anymore, despite endless house rules and tinkering with it for years, I gave up.
That doesn’t mean I don’t think about RIFTS, in fact I’ve considered which system to adapt it for years. First I considered d20 Modern with the Urban Arcana, d20 Apocalypse and d20 Future books. I even wrote a little introductory short story to a campaign and came up with an idea on how to introduce the game to reluctant players. I never went through with it. I’ve tinkered with other systems, most recently Savage Worlds with the Sci-Fi Toolkit, the Fantasy Companion, Horror Companion and Supers Companion. I’m currently thinking FATE Core may be the best option.
Regardless, Chris’ posts have made me think about the system and the fact that broken as it seems, the power gaming and power creep I came to loathe in RIFTS exists in other games. True that while some games strive for the perhaps unattainable game balance, cause let’s be honest a creative power gamer can break almost ANY system, RIFTS just throws caution to the wind and embraces the gonzo crazy world where a scholar and a hatchling dragon could be in the same party!
This brings me to the second person, Luis Miranda. Dear friend since elementary school, we played RPGs together for years and actually got the RIFTS books at the same time. Back them I read and reread the books and got most of the sourcebooks as they came out. We played in each other’s campaign, and even when my interest in RIFTS weaned, Luis’ continued. He still is a fan, and my most memorable recollections of the game come from the adventures I played with him.