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Space Gods Adventures

Writing: Jasyn Jones

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On its face, the "Space Gods" reality can be a bit silly (starting with just the name). The genre is murky and ill-defined, the World Laws are munchkin in the extreme, and many gamemasters feel a distinct lack of inspiration when contemplating "Space Gods" modules. Nevertheless, it is possible to stage exciting adventures in this reality, if the proper aspects are highlighted.

The alien races of the Star Sphere are a great source of potential conflict and local color. Alien races are common, and not just the usual Larendi, Draygaak, and so forth. Anywhere the players go, a new and bizarre-looking extraterrestrial ought to be hanging about, even if just in the background.

Psychological differences between humans and aliens are the only thing that keeps the aliens from being "men in rubber suits". Develop and highlight these differences. These aliens are second-class citizens, so focus on this aspect. Rifts between the client races and the Akashans are good plot fodder, as is a villainous Coar who is trying to "civilize" a client race with methods we would consider brutal (brain modification and suchlike).

The Akashans should always be polite, but subtly arrogant. They think they know the truth. They should also be detached from any problems but their own. When the players approach the Akashans for help, the Akites will only give them the barest minimum (if that) and will demand some outrageous repayment in return. Likewise, in the rare instance where the Akashans approach the players to complete some mission, they will offer little or no reward.

Biotech is a big aspect- feel free to invent new biotech devices or even whole new species. Place your players in situations where they are required to deal with biotech, especially the unnerving kind. Make them swallow "translator" worms or have them discover a computer made of living flesh, including cloned brains. Biotech experiments, including new species, can escape, creating the perfect opportunity for a bughunt. There’s nothing quite like stalking a 700 pound eight-foot-tall armor-plated alien killing machine with more teeth than the entire Osmond family through dank, dark tunnels.1

The realm of the Akashans includes their bases from thousands of years ago. Said bases can contain nearly anything, from Tech 27 relics (weapons or other tools), to "golden spikes" which store vast amounts of information, to pods of fanatical Coar. Investigating such lost bases is the equivalent of a high-tech dungeon crawl. Because the Tech level is (or can be) much lower than normal for Akashans, these bases will feel less "alien", especially because bio-tech is missing. Players can glean from them tools, knowledge, and weapons the Akashans would never voluntarily part with. Even one golden spike can be ransomed for a great deal, if the players know how to leverage it.

The Comaghaz is another obvious theme. The insidious first and second stages encourage paranoia, while the third stage "zombies" foster outright fear. Watch a few zombie movies. "Resident Evil," "28 Days Later," and the remake of "Dawn of the Dead" should all provide inspiration. Modules using the Comaghaz can center around a possible infection, if one of your players is bit or hit. It can center around the players need to escape from quarantine. The town the players are in could be overrun by third stagers, or the players could be the "Seven Samurai" holding off the attack.

Biotech offers some unique opportunities here as well. A misguided attempt to cure the plague could create a newer, faster acting, more virulent strain, one that your players must race to stop before it begins to spread, supplanting the normal version. Scientific research into the Comaghaz and its victims can cross over into technohorror, including a Mengele-style black laboratory, filled with gory medical experiments.

Of course, all of the above can be accentuated by cross-cosm adventuring. The Akashans left caches of equipment, stone tablets, and golden spikes nearly everywhere, so Akashan agents can be encountered nearly anywhere. Players could run into them in the Nile, Cyberpapacy, Core Earth and so forth. If one of the Akashan agents is infected with the Comaghaz, then there could be an outbreak, threatening London, Philadelphia, Tokyo, or other cities. Storm Knights, diligently searching for eternity shards, could come across hidden caches as well.

All realities have agents in the "Space Gods" realm. They could be attempting to smuggle weaponry, trying to foment rebellion among the client races, or just gathering information. One of Sterrets’ Dukes could be experimenting on the Comaghaz, looking to make demons immune or developing it as a weapon against the Race. The Cyberpapacy is probably interested in Tech 27 gear, especially advanced cyberware prototypes. Orrorshan horrors find that Akashans scare just as easily as anyone else.

There are many unique opportunities for aventures in this reality, it’s just a matter of focusing on those aspects the players and gamemaster find interesting, and avoiding those that seem silly or tedious. If done right, the Space Gods can be just as rich a venue for adventure as the rest of Torg.

1 An allusion, not plagiarism.

Updated: May 17, 2006
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