Storm Knights

There’s a huge backlog of Storm Knights material I want to post. Before I do so, a fundamental question needs be answered: What is it?

Storm Knights is my revision of Torg. My revision of Torg‘s cosms, my revision of Torg‘s mechanics, my revision of Torg‘s metaphysics. Like the J.J. Abrams Star Trek, like the Ronald D. Moore Battlestar Galactica, like the Marvel Cinematic Universe: it uses familiar elements in different ways to create something like the original, but new.

So, what is Storm Knights?

Storm Knights is Torg, remastered.

Points of Divergence

I’m writing Altered States as an alternate history, which hews fairly close to real world institutions and people (as it is a technothriller setting, and verisimilitude is critical). Alternate histories ask the question “Given event Y, what might happen?” (The unstated parenthetical being “…that makes a good story.”) For example, “What if John F. Kennedy was never assassinated?” The critical event is called the point of divergence.

In the case of Altered States, there are two: VITAS and the Awakening of Magic. The campaign background is built around deciding how the real world might react to those two events. (The unstated parenthetical being “…in such a way that it creates an interesting campaign setting.”)

The first point of divergence occurs in July 2010, when VITAS begins spreading. Up until that event, the campaign world and the real world are nearly identical.

(I say “nearly” because I use fictional characters and organizations in building the background. Other than those, the background material uses real world elements and facts as much as possible.)

The second point of divergence is the Awakening of Magic, which begins in 2011 and culminates in the events of Dec. 24, 2011 (the first public appearance of dragons, and the escape of Howling Coyote from Leavenworth). The Awakening underlies much of the drastic changes in the world, including the NAN rebellion and the emergence of Feral Europe.

Taken together, these two points of divergence underlie the world of 2032. How each of them affects the world is the subject of most of the campaign documents of Altered States.

An Alt-History Technothriller Shadowrun

My current “live” project is Altered States, an Alt-History Technothriller Shadowrun. Let’s break that down.

Alt-History: This doesn’t occur in the canon Shadowrun timeline. Altered States has its own timeline, with many events that are similar to the canon (such as a VITAS plague) and many others that are wholly new. There are several differences, among them being:

The US still exists (but is almost balkanized). The NAN has collapsed (plus it had different boundaries in America, and never existed in Canada). There was no Resource Rush and no Seretech and Shiawase decisions, so no corporate extraterritoriality. Mexico, India, and Coastal China (the Republic of China) are the top three nations. UGE and Goblinization occurred at the same time in 2012 (an event called the Emergence). No Immortal Elves or “4th World” Great Dragons. No Toxic Shamans. And so forth.

Technothriller: Altered States is a technothriller campaign, best described as “Shadowrun, as written by Tom Clancy”. Technothrillers are military- and spy-oriented. They focus on national clashes, espionage, special forces units, and bleeding edge developments. James Bond, Jason Bourne, and Evelyn Salt (from Salt) are all inspirations (as well as Clancy’s novels, obviously).

Player characters are specially trained agents of the government, instead of criminals. Other than that, it’s pure Shadowrun.

Play involves stealing data, blackmail, wetworks, destroying facilities, infiltrating installations, extracting people, and all the other Shadowrun goodness players have come to know and love, just in a different context: instead of breaking into a Renraku gene lab, you’re breaking into an Aztlan air force base.

Many of the changes in the history of the campaign are to support the themes of the campaign (countries instead of corporations) and to develop some aspects of the setting more than in the official material (such as the alt-VITAS post, forthcoming).

Shadowrun: This is a cyberfantasy setting, just like Shadowrun’s. It has hermetic mages and shamans, paranatural creatures, and Orks, Trolls, Dwarves, and Elves. It has hacking, rigging, and cyberware. It is still Man meets Magic and Machine.

It isn’t a -punk setting, and draws inspiration from other sources. But it is definitely Shadowrun.

The Beginning

There’s a few inter-related topics this blog will cover:

  • My Storm Knights campaign setting (based on the Torg RPG).
  • Infinity, (more properly the Infinity Gaming System), my own little action-movie RPG, the game engine for Storm Knights.
  • Dead Man’s Land, a nanotech zombie apocalypse campaign, also built for Infinity (but adaptable for nearly any system one chooses).
  • Altered States, my Alt-History Technothriller Shadowrun campaign, also being written for Infinity.

One game system and three campaigns being written for it (so far), that’s the subject of this blog. The “Categories” and “Tags” sections contain links to all the posts in each project, so people will find it easier to begin at the beginning.

Right now, we’re brand spanking new, so everything currently posted is the most basic of basics, intended to introduce people to the above four topics. As such, it’s a little sparse.

As the blog slowly grows (that is, as I post new material), each of these topics will be fleshed out. Those interested can subscribe via RSS, to keep abreast of new posts.

So subscribe, read, and enjoy. Comment, if you’ve the desire. And welcome to Jasyn’s House of Gaming.

Hello World!

So, what is this brand-spanking new blog?

For about 11 years now, I’ve been working on a redesigned Torg campaign, called Storm Knights. Much material has been posted by me, most notably on the Storm Knights site itself. Other material has been posted to the (now relocated) Torg Mailing List. Since the List’s migration to Yahoo, that material has become largely unavailable.

No more. This blog is intended to repost/archive that material, and as a first post for any new material in that vein.

This blog is also intended as a repost/first post of Infinity material. The Infinity Gaming System is my own little action-movie RPG, born as a house-ruled rewrite of the Torg system but since then having grown into its own beast. It’s best described as a bastard hybrid of FATE, Torg, Savage Worlds, and my own idiosyncratic rules.

Last, this blog is for other eclectic RPG material connected to Storm Knights or Infinity. For example Dead Man’s Land, a nanotech zombie apocalypse campaign, where PC’s are carriers slowly succumbing to the zombie infection. Also my Alt-History Technothriller Shadowrun, a campaign also being built on the Infinity chassis.

In other words, this is an eclectic collection of RPG material, posted at random intervals. Everything here is new, unfinished, and a Work In ProgressTM.

So Welcome! to anyone daft enough to wander in and crazy enough to stick around. Read, comment, enjoy.

(Just don’t expect a set schedule or a continuity of subject, one day to the next. You’ll be happier that way.)