|Image by NASA via Wikipedia|
The universe (or should that be Universe) is going to die someday. Well, maybe – I’m no physicist – I don’t even play one on TV. But let’s assume that all the stars in the sky will someday cool or collapse, and leave a universe very short on energy. All the star empires and rogue traders will be left to scavenge what they can from self-sufficient star bases and colonies, plundering once fertile planets that are now cold and almost lifeless, etc.
In other words – Star Apocalypse.
The idea here is to combine the two gaming genres of Traveler-style sci-fi and Gamma World-style post-apocalyptic gaming. The main point would not be the gathering of power, but of just keeping ahead of the cold, entropic embrace of Death. Every alien species and human star empire and god-like superbeing in the universe is dying, and the players are just trying to outlast them.
The best rules for such a campaign would probably sci-fi rules modified to allow for scarcity and the idea that the best and brightest are gone and those who remain maybe do not understand the technology they use quite as well as they should.
Where would the adventures take place? Isolated colonies (under glass domes, of course) and star bases eager for trade, but wary of strangers (think in terms of isolated towns in Westerns), ruins of ancient civilizations, and drifting hulks (as in spaceships) in deep space. The play would often be dungeon-style – exploring a physical space and battling monsters and traps, but the drivers would be the need for supplies – energy, fuel, food and water, replacement parts for the spaceship. Of course, there could also be a meta-driver – the belief that some super-scientist somewhere built a portal that allows one to leave the dying universe for a parallel universe that remains young and vital. This Shangri-la could be the overall focus of the campaign – something akin to Battlestar Galactica‘s plot of a caravan of spaceships seeking Earth.
Just a thought – and probably not an original one at that.