Wednesday, April 27, 2011

A-to-Z of Adventure: "U" Is for "Urth"

Barbarians of Urth is one of the many RPG settings that can be found at Obsidian Portal, and, in my opinion, it's one of the most interesting. It's one of those campaigns that make you say, "Damn, I wish I lived in Oklahoma (or Vancouver, or South Carolina) so I could run a character." It's one of those games I love that avoids the "My Elves Are Different" pitfall.

Proprietor "cosimovecchio" describes it thusly:

Urth is our Earth, or perhaps one of it’s colony worlds, some unknown time after a technological singularity. Something happened to the sun, perhaps some failed astro-engineering project, leaving it red and swollen. The moon is green, covered in an endless jungle. The weird wreckage of the singularity litters the landscape, and those left behind carry on. Sentience takes many forms. Some of those left behind are recognizably human, others are uplifted plants, animals, machines, or strange hybrids. The level of available technology varies wildly from place to place. Stone age barbarians live a few days ride from a stone and timber city where laser pistol wielding armigers rule. Sorcery, or at least something that looks like sorcery, works. For most of the people of Urth advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. Religion is as popular as ever, and sometimes the gods, or things claiming to be gods, answer their followers prayers. Imagine a mixture of The Planet of the Apes (Charlton Heston, not Marky-Marky), Jack Vance’s Dying Earth, Logan’s Run, Conan (Robert E. Howard, not Arnold), The Book of the New Sun, Dan Simmon’s Illium and Olympus, H.G. Well’s The Time Machine, Bas-Lag, Ralph Bakshi’s Wizards, Tekumel, HP Lovecraft’s Dreamlands, and Zardoz. This strange mix is some sort of science-fantasy, more sword and saucers than sword and sorcery. To emulate this odd genre I plan to use Barbarians of the Aftermath, a supplement for Barbarians of Lemuria.
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1 comment:

Blair said...

You owe it to yourself to check out Gene Wolfe's post-historical fiction!