Sunday, March 20, 2011

World Building: Janus

(Caveat: Yes, I know; none of this is exactly new. But that's not the point; the point is to create a world in which role playing adventure can occur.)

The planet Janus was named for the Roman god with two heads (or, more importantly, two faces).

This was because the planet also looks both ways, being tidally locked; one side is perpetually bathed in the fire of its parent star, the other looks out eternally on the icy dark of space.

Circling the world between these extremes is a twilight zone, a narrow habitable area no more than five miles wide. It is here that most of our action will take place.

In the world of light, the heat is so intense that the only portable means of combating it is magic -- the local name for a force made possible by absorption of the star's unique pattern of ratiation.

In the darkworld, science is the only force capable of keeping one warm enough to function, since magic doesn't work here.

Magic, of course, is not the fantastical nonsense that defies all reason. It's something to do with the confluence of the solar radiation and the planet itself. It somehow changes people, allows them to utilize a strange force not found elsewhere in the galaxy. This force was dubbed Magic, an acronym for Mutated Ability for Generating Improbable Conditions.

Over the centuries since the world was settled (and particularly since the collapse of the empire-wide spacelanes stopped all interstellar traffic from arriving here), a cold war has developed between the daydwellers and the nightsiders.

And in conflict, one finds adventure...

Rules: The game will use the 1980 edition of Basic Role Playing, amended by elements of Future*World and Magic World from the "Worlds of Wonder" set, as well as modifications of my own.

So, whaddya think? Groovy? Stupid? Beneath contempt? More importantly, especially for the locals, would you play such a game?

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