Monday, August 15, 2011

An Alternate Spelljammer Setting


In 1898, the people of Earth discovered they weren’t alone when a brutal invasion was launched from Mars. Luckily, the mauve, squid-headed Invaders were unprepared for the perils of Earth’s biosphere.  No one believed the human race would be so luck should they try again. Scientist went to work studying the Martian technology left behind. Their conclusions were that some sort of psychic power was needed to operate many of the devices. Men from the Society for Psychical Research were co-opted by the British government and were put to the task. Soon, seeking to broaden their knowledge base, they would actively recruit members of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, as well.

The conclusion the research group had come to was that Martian technology had at its base a science previously known to humanity as magic. Soon, the researchers were beginning their first cautious experimentation with operating the devices themselves.

As a new century dawned, the discoveries of Carter from Egypt suggested this science wasn't new, but had only been lost. The occult secrets supposedly uncovered by Blavatsky and others were looked at in a different light. By the second decade of the twentieth century, a space age was underway, brought into being by alien technology and the wisdom of the ancients.

Soon humankind discovered there were other species in the solar system besides the beings they thought of as Martians--a race they realized was actually from a trans-Neptunian world. Nearly every world in the solar system held intelligent life of some sort, a disparate group of species with varying degrees of mastery of the psychic sciences. What’s more, most worlds contained ruins of an even more advanced ancient race. The ruins often contained material riches as well as ancient knowledge.

The nations of earth now had a solar system to fight over. World Wars would become Multi-World Wars with powerful new sciences changing the way they would be fought.

23 comments:

The Angry Lurker said...

I'm signing up right away.

Harald said...

Back in the day I dabbled with a Masque of the Red Death/Spelljammer-crossover. It was actually freakishly similar to this. It never got off ground though.

At some point, I will need to revisit the Spheres.

Canageek said...

I hope noone minds if I forward this to the SJ mailing list....

Trey said...

@Angry Lurker - Careful, as Dr. McCoy would tell you, space travel's a dangerous business.

@Harald - Great minds think alike.:) I'd be interested in seeing some of that stuff.

@Canageek - Sure. I may post somewhere on this as the fancy strikes me and I get Weird Adventures wrapped up.

Needles said...

I've put up a thread for this alternative sphere with a back link here. Enjoy.. http://www.thepiazza.org.uk/bb/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=6858

Trey said...

Thanks, Needles.

Patrick Tingler said...

Sounds cool.

Fenryx said...

Very interesting, although I'm torn with what system to use: D20 Modern or Savage Worlds.

Canageek said...

Whenever you think about using d20 Modern just go get GURPS instead.

Trey said...

Thanks guys!

@Fenryx and @Canageek - I think any of those systems would work, though GURPS is probably the one of the 3 suggested I've got the most experience with.

Risus Monkey said...

Danger! Danger! Help me Will Robinson! This setting resonates completely with my sensibilities.

Captcha: Pnondome (seems vaguely appropriate)

Trey said...

@Risus - It is sorta right in your wheelhouse. :)

Pnondome does have the right ring to it...

dicecipher said...

I like your program and would like to subscribe.

Trey said...

Glad you liked it. :)

Chris said...

Your latest brainwave sounds like the sort of thing Terminal Space was made for!

This has a real 'weird Space:1889-meets-Northwest of Earth' vibe, and is greatly pleasing to my simple pulp-addled mind. :)

Trey said...

@Chris - You're right about Terminal Space--and a very apt description, as Space: 1889 (projected forward a bit and tarted up weird) and the Northwest Smith stories(most specifically the introductory lines to Shambleau about man's prehistory in space) were sort of the touchstones.

Gregg said...

I'd buy this. When's the kickstarter project? :D

Trey said...

One project at a time, my friend. :)

richard said...

How did I miss this? Excellent, sign me up.

Paul Schaefer said...

Of course you know I must swipe this to expand upon my own campaign.

Trey said...

Of course. :)

richard said...

I'm... kinda running this campaign but in post-Soviet Kazakhstan, not Edwardian London....

richard said...

I'm... kinda running this campaign but in post-Soviet Kazakhstan, not Edwardian London....