07 July 2009

Rethinking Shadow Gates

Back to a gaming subject, a break from dreary politics and policy.

1) The name. I'm not satisfied with Shadow Gates as a title for the project. It doesn't have enough menace. I'm thinking Nemesis Gates not only rolls of the tongue better but is at the same time more ominous. Also it brings in connotations of destruction via the Nemesis Hypothesis and the Harbinger of the Old Ones; Ghroth. Much better suited for a post apocalyptic project.

2) Historical Inspiration. I already knew that I wanted the campaign to take place in the ruins of a once great Human Empire. This has naturally lead to seeking inspiration in similar historical periods like, for example, the Dark Ages. The Confederation (my setting's nod to everyone's favorite Coalition Sates) was originally going to be largely based on the Holy Roman Empire.

Now I see I haven't gone back far enough. Instead I will be using the Frankish Empire of the Merovingian kings and Carolingian Emperors as my main inspiration. Instead of Franks crossing the Rhine into the Roman Empire we will have Yanks, ugly American exiles who left the great sprawling cities of Columbia and San Angeles to live in Coventry, basically a great reservation in flyover country. Now they are picking up the pieces after the Joachite Wreckers have leveled the cities of the ancien regime. Of course the Joachites also (knowingly?) completed a ritual to summon forth powers vastly older than Man and opened the Gates.

While the Cheyenne Commanderie will be modeled after the Exarchate of Ravenna, a last military outpostof the Eastern Empire of Terra Nova. Also there will be winks and nods to the Enclave of Fallout fame.

The Xothians of Mu, Kali, Atlantis, and Lemuria will stand in nicely for the ominously rising Moors. Their hordes of Barracuda fish-men and Gargoyle star-spawn chanting 'there are no Gods but the Old Ones and Lord Cthulhu is the prophet of their return.'

And from the frozen farthest north sweep baying packs of Gnophkeh warriors thirsty for blood and hungry for warm flesh. From the fury of the Northmen, oh Lord, preserve us.

I must stop myself from going on and on, there are so many possibilities; Pendragon of Mars, Serpent Men of the southron jungles, the Risen Empire of the vile Nephren Ka, the fungus from Yuggoth, Dinosaur Swamps...

3) Anyway play will initially focus on adventurous Yankish warriors questing forth into the ruins of ancient cities looking for lost technology or striking deep into the quisling Sorcerous Federation to destroy some nascent threat to the free peoples of Earth.