The Home System is no more….

2311 AD: Earth is a charred husk, rendered lifeless by the Terracide, a relativistic bombardment of unknown origin which sterilized its surface. Elsewhere in the Sol system, every inhabited world, moon, comet, or artificial habitat is shattered in the same attack. Those who try to return and look for survivors are never heard from again.

In the aftermath, panicked survivors from the Core Loop Colonies near Terra flee to the Frontier, causing a refugee crisis across Terran Space. A military junta takes control of the Core, and begins consolidating its rule over all of Terran Space, while a few stubborn hold-outs prepare to fight for their independence. The Colonial Reserve Fleet suffers from mass desertions, as its space crews become mercenaries or resort to outright piracy. And agitators looking for someone to blame for the Terracide threaten to wage wars against various powerful alien species – wars humanity cannot win.

Humanity’s home is now off-limits. Welcome to the rest of the Galaxy. It’s dark out there.

Advertisements

Plot Point Campaigns for Savage Worlds, Terracide style

Last month I concluded play-testing on the first of two plot point campaigns for Terracide. Tomorrow, play-testing begins on the second, provided I can scrounge up enough players. (The gaming scene in this town isn’t what it used to be.)

The post-mortem on Salvaging Hope is pretty good so far; I’ve got some good feedback on what worked, and what didn’t. The first part of the campaign came in at about the right number of sessions. I ran about a dozen games, but I tend to pace things slowly; I’m pretty sure other groups of Savage Worlds players could finish it in ten sessions.

My editor at Pinnacle originally recommended ten sessions as a good target number for a plot point campaign. The interesting thing is, I’ve got enough material for about thirty! So this campaign will be split up into three “acts” and each will have enough material for about ten game sessions each.

Part 1: Omicron Uprising is the players’ introduction to the Terracide setting, and to Omicron Station in particular: the classic “wretched hive of scum and villainy” on the edge of Terran Space. The PCs find out about the Terracide before the general populace, and also about the Solar Express Corporation’s plans which threaten the future of Omicron Station.

From that point forward, it’s one desperate mission after another as the PCs become embroiled in the effort to secure Omicron’s safety, as rival factions seek to secure the station for their own ends, while refugees from the Core arrive in growing numbers every month. And eventually, everyone knows the military junta taking control of the Core Loop colonies will turn its fleets towards Omicron….

“It begins here. Our numbers are few, our way forward unclear, and our assets meager… thus have many great human endeavors begun. We made a leap of faith when we came to Omicron… now fate calls on us to make another, much greater leap into an uncertain future. It is our duty to renew this colony, not for our corporate masters, not for ourselves, but for the people who depend on this place to survive… and for those who will come later, who have no place else to go.
“They will come in greater numbers in the weeks and months ahead, looking for refuge, and it falls upon us to ensure that they find it here. We will be the saviours of this colony as it renews itself, as the children of Terra come back here, looking for a place where they can be safe. And I have returned to tell you, Petrova’s Raiders are with us! They have defended Omicron before, and will return to defend it again, if we ask them to. You have my word that we will not be alone here in our time of need.
“For those who still wish to leave Omicron, you have my blessing, and when the last ship departs, you may have my seat on it as well, for I will not be leaving this place. I swear to everyone here, I shall remain until the end. In time, my children will begin work on a new Omicron Colony, larger and even more beautiful than the last… while their cousins, our brothers and sisters, continue their own great works, on the new worlds of Tierra Nueva, Stella Magna, and the War Garden in TGO space.
“Our great-grandchildren will go to live there someday, when humanity’s new worlds are ready. They will once again live under open skies, they will look toward distant horizons, they will feel gravity and solid ground beneath their feet. And when the time comes, their descendents will undertake the greatest work of all, to reclaim what was lost. They will return to Terra, and take back their true homeworld.
“All of this will come to pass, in time, but it must begin here. I returned to Omicron to tell you all, that this is not the end of humanity, not the death of our species. This is the beginning of our rebirth.
“And this place is where it begins. Right here, right now, with all of us.”
Dr. Leelavathi Rabindra, declaring the independence of Omicron Colony after the Terracide

I’ll have some tidbits about Part 2 of Salvaging Hope, and also about the other plot point campaign, in upcoming entries. As always, if you’re interested in play-testing, and in or near the Evansville, Indiana metro area, contact me on facebook or send e-mail to <gradyelliott@hotmail.com.

Has it been a whole month?

Apparently it has; my last post is dated 5/10/15. So, how did this happen, and what have I been up to? Is the TerracideRPG project still moving forward?

Yes. Yes it is.

I’m eventually going to need a kickstarter campaign, but Terracide is going to be an all-digital product, with a print-on-demand option. I made this decision after examining a lot of failed kickstarters, and finding that two of the most common failure points were printing and fulfillment (shipping) problems. Since this is my first kickstarter, I’d like to stay away from both of those issues altogether. I’m publishing a Terracide pdf which won’t require shipping. And there won’t be a print run as such, but a print-on-demand version will be available, and shipping will be included in the POD price. What that means for the kickstarter is that any additional rewards or stretch goals will have to meet the same criteria as the Terracide RPG: digital or POD products only. And I’ve been working on that for the last few weeks.

One of the ideas I came up with was to assemble a few short fiction pieces based in the Terracide universe into an anthology, and offer it as a kickstarter reward. I’m not a big fan of long-winded fiction pieces in the middle of RPG rule/setting books. When I’m trying to suss out rules for character creation, combat, running a game, or whatever, I do NOT want to wade through someone’s in-universe fanfic for half an hour to get what I came for, thank you very much! So I had these stories, and I knew they didn’t belong in the setting book, but they were pretty good.

Putting together an anthology for the kickstarter seemed like a good use for the stories, but I’d need a little bit more material, and I’d definitely need an editor. Not to mention a “reality check” on the whole idea. A friend of mine had written an excellent short story for Terracide, and I had a couple more. He also worked as an editor, so I asked him to look over the stuff I’d written. Were they good enough to offer up for sale? Yes they were, he said, with a little editing. (Actually, his reaction was considerably more positive. Awesome, he said.)

So this is what I’ve been doing for the last month or so: Editing short fiction based in the Terracide RPG setting. And I started a new part time night job last week, which will bring in money for the project and still leave lots of time for writing. So that’s keeping me busy as well.

I’ve also been doing some work on both of the Plot Point Campaigns I’m planning to publish. If you’re in the Evansville, Indiana area and interested in play-testing on Sunday afternoons, contact me via e-mail.

Of course, this post wouldn’t be complete without an excerpt from one of the stories I’ve been working on. Be warned, this has not been to layout yet. The words are all there, but it still looks rough. When Layout Girl gets done making this look beautiful, I’ll post an updated version. Meanwhile, enjoy.

Snake Eyes Excerpt

Status update: Custom character sheets for Terracide

I had a brief chat yesterday with the Mad Irishman regarding a high quality custom character sheet for the Savage Worlds edition of Terracide. He’s been rather busy for last few years so it’s been a while since he’s done any new character sheets. Obviously, I’m very excited to have him considering joining this little project.

If all goes well, we’ll have a fillable PDF character sheet specifically for the Terracide setting by one of the best designers in the business.

Bookmark this site for new updates about who’s working on Terracide, and what to expect in the future.

Terracide: New Space Opera for Savage Worlds

It’s about humanity’s future survival…

Artificial space colonies orbit distant stars while terraformers labor to create new worlds for humanity. Bizarre aliens come to trade exotic goods unknown to Terran technology. And the lifeless, charred husk of mankind’s homeworld slowly cools in the dark, silent void of a dead star system. Welcome to the rest of the Galaxy. It’s dark out there.

It’s about heroes on the edge…

Terracide is a science fiction setting based on the new space opera subgenre. Terracide features the grand adventure, larger-than-life characters, and exotic outer space settings common to traditional space operas, but its outlook is more serious, its morality not so black-and-white, its characters more complex, and its science considerably “harder.”

This darker, edgier space opera is sometimes referred to as space opera noir. The characters tend to be gritty, hard-boiled types, their struggles aren’t glamorous, and they’ll sacrifice everything for a pyrrhic victory, but nobody said being a hero is easy. When it’s too late to save the world, it’s time to decide: what remains to fight for, and how much is it worth?

Terracide is about the heroes who survived total loss of humanity’s Home System, the decisions they made afterwards to save mankind’s future, and the price they paid to see it through.

It’s about rising above our darkest instincts…

Many players ask, “Will humanity get revenge for the Terracide?” They also wonder, “Why does this setting focus on the wars, terrorism and disasters that follow the Terracide?” In short, this setting is not about getting revenge – it is about the desire for revenge, and how humanity twists that desire to its own ends in the aftermath of disaster.

In an ideal universe, great tragedies would bring people together, uniting them in response to their losses. And that often does happen… for a brief time. Then everyone begins using the tragedy to advance their own agenda. This cycle of tragedy, brief mourning, and opportunism has repeated itself countless times in human history.

This setting is about what happens after the Terracide – it’s about saving humanity in the aftermath of a crisis. Sometimes it’s not pretty, but in such times, the galaxy needs heroes to make it a better place. This is a Savage Worlds setting, so get out there and have some Fast, Furious and Fun.