Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Something I'd Like...

art by Chaz Truog
...Is a game set in a retro-future along the lines of Leigh Brackett’s Eric John Stark stories or C.L. Moore’s tales of Northwest Smith.  A setting with a dessicated and dangerous Mars, a fecund and mist-choked Venus, and a colonial Earth trying to exploit the both of them. A setting where outlaws of the spaceways have to contend with the remnants of prehuman civilizations, outré natives, and of course, the Patrol.  The (relatively) grittier worlds of Brackett and Moore were an interesting corrective to the shiny rocket science fantasies of the likes of Captain Future (by Brackett’s husband-to-be, Edmund Hamilton) and the like.

I’m such a fan of that brand of now-outdated pulp sci-fi, that I did my own version, PLANET X, for Zuda Comics. Zuda’s now gone, a victim of reshuffling at DC and its parent Time-Warner, so I can no longer link to it, but briefly: it was a sci-fi/spy-fi story set in an alternate timeline where a habitable solar system saw the Cold War play out on an interplanetary scale in the swinging sixties. Burroughs meets Bond, more or less.


Anyway, I suppose since it doesn’t look like anyone's going to give me a Brackett/Moore-esque game anytime soon, I may have to do my own at some point.

If I ever make it out of the City...

12 comments:

Risus Monkey said...

I think this a great next project for you. You turned me on to Moore and Brackett and I would leap at the chance to play or run in that kind of setting.

Chris said...

"Space 1889" did the 'dessicated Mars and sweltering Venus, worlds of mystery and adventure' setting trope quite well. Just reskin the extraterrestrial colonies of the various Earth empires as company towns. Job done.

Never heard of "Planet X" before; am entirely sold on your description.

Dariel Quiogue said...

Nice idea! I'm also a great fan of Brackett and Burroughs, and I even liked Lin Carter's Mars stories. Hope you do make that game.

I'm contemplating a similar project, but one inspired more by the Dumarest stories of E.C. Tubb. Dirt-poor adventurers stuck on frontier planets, just trying to survive.

Jay said...

And the sign-up sheet is where exactly?

seaofstarsrpg said...

I do not think you will have any trouble in recruit help if you decide to do this.

And Planet X sounds amazing.

Captain Jack said...

I am totally on board for any Brackett/Moore type RPG project.

But a Dumarest style RPG? Isn't that exactly what Traveller has been for the last 30 years?

Matthew Slepin said...

Whether I'm successful or not, Under the Dying Sun is supposed to evoke Brackett's Mars among other things. But, obviously, not with the colonial earth part.

Trey said...

@Risus - Glad I've made a convert to Moore and Brackett's work. I think each is terribly ignored.

@Chris - True, though Space:1889 is thoroughly Victorian in tech and set-up. It would be just as easy to add make up the solar system in, say, GURPS Space. I can sadly testify that not nearly enough people heard of PLANET X since we lost the month it was in the Zuda contest. :)

@Daniel - Supposedly Tubb was inspired to do his Dumarest stories by Brackett's Stark, so they're not that far off.

@Seaofstarsrpg - If only more people had thought PLANET X sounded amazing. ;)

Matthew - I think your doing a good job with Under the Dying Sun. :)

Aos said...

I've been thinking of something like this for years. My idea is kind of a mix of 50-60's solar system sci fi (like Van Voght's Asylum and Zelazny's Doors of His Face Lamps of His Mouth and about a million million others) mixed with Forbidden Planet (I really love the WWII style "can do" space patrol and flying saucers). I just need to get to it.

Trey said...

That does sound interesting!

Ed said...

You may find a kindred spirit in John Harper's "Danger Patrol," a game John Harper has been working on for nigh on a decade in one form or another. The current "beta" version of rules is pretty cool.

Trey said...

I'll check that out. Thanks.