Woooo! Looks like I am starting up a sci-Fi campaign with my local group. The system we are using for this campaign is Space Ryft by the clever and innovative Wizardawn. Its a fairly "rules light" system with just enough crunch for some min-maxing (which is near and dear to all true table-top RPG aficionados). It reminds me somewhat of the old Buck Rogers XXVC Role-Playing Game, as skills are very important, and the deadliness of the weapons.
The basic setting of Space Ryft is in the 45th century. Earth has been devastated by an unspecified tragedy resulting in the Post-Apocalyptic Broken Urth RPG. Venus has been terraformed into a New Earth, and Mankind has discovered Ryfts in spacetime that allow vessels to traverse interstellar distances very quickly. This has opened up vast reaches of the universe to exploration, colonization and trade with a number of alien species.
Because Wizardawn has left the setting at that, for Gamemasters and Players to make their own settings, I feel the need to create my/our own setting. Fleshing it out to have the pulpy feel that I so often crave in science fiction. And so I present the Atomic Age Campaign Setting:
The setting is in the year 4444 AD, and mankind has recently emerged from a long and bloody war with an alien race known as the Voltamen (which are basically Space Nazis). This race had conquered Earth in the 33rd century, but was eventually repelled and eventually driven back. This war was costly, and a number of alien races were mankind's allies during this conflict. Now a Galactic Cold War is on with the Voltamen, with the United Planets enjoying a booming economy, and energized with a can-do attitude much like the idealized world view of 1950's America. Exploration and colonization are crucial to the United Planets efforts, and so there is a great need for brave adventurers.
The look of The Atomic Age setting incorporates real-world science and Retro Futurism. Space Age Googie architecture with upswept roofs, curvaceous, geometric shapes, and bold use of glass, steel and neon. Small and energy efficient are not the way of the Atomic Age, as people want BIG, BOLD and imposing. Pretty much everything uses atomic power (using xormite/phlebotinum as the key fissionable element).
Along with the look of the setting, there will also be a fair amount of Cold War propaganda and paranoia. The Voltamen are still out there, and the presence of spies is confirmed. So space-going G-Men, fear of Doomsday Weapons, and Propaganda are all part of the backdrop. Culture has a "golly-gee" feel to it in many ways. Kids are fairly innocent, and most people are optimistic and small-town/neighborhood ethics are widespread, particularly on space stations, colonies and deep space ships.
So stay tuned! More to come.