New Worlds: Jump-Starting Avalon4 min read

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Here is a quick campaign description I came up with for a new game which was especially convenient now that the Fate Horror Toolkit just came out last week!

I was thinking of a setting which was medium tech sci-fi (maybe not quite lasers, monofiliament, or combat armor, or just on the cusp of – super expensive) with suspense, sort of like a mix of Star Trek, Star Gate, Lost in Space, or Fire Fly with more suspense or Gothic elements like in Aliens, Pitch Black, or Call of Cthulu, or Event Horizon.


Humanity has spent the last century slowly colonizing a few planets in our solar system and has just, through a miraculous technological breakthrough, discovered how to create jump gates. As that discovery raged through humanity, they began the construction of one near Earth and sent a colony ship to another system to create a second jump gate to test it. With the creation of their primary jump gate near Earth which is named Terra 1 and the only other newly operational extrasolar jump gate named Valinor, humanity has began its first baby steps with interstellar travel. There is one other jump gate that is currently being constructed in another system, the Avalon Jump Gate (and outpost).

The campaign could be primarily humanocentric with just 1 or 2 alien races that Humanity has encountered through them coming to our system or perhaps one from our first extrasolar jump gate (Valinor) and a second race met very recently through the Avalon outpost, so aliens would still be rare everywhere and not completely understood in their physiology, culture, and politics, etc, or in what their plans and goals are – not completely normalized so racism and fear may still be a factor.

I also envision planets which have the ruins of former empires long gone and lost to time as well as lost and advanced histories and technologies yet to be discovered. Humanity does not really have a clue about what is out there or how to deal with it so our ignorance will be mostly deadly  – suffering from deadly technology, defenses, traps, environments, creatures, diseases, stellar phenomenon, alien races, spirits, etc.

The PC’s would start on the new Avalon outpost while its jump gate is being constructed which would make the outpost completely isolated from external resources and assistance until the jump gate was completed, which could be weeks or decades away depending on how you wanted to play it. They could have just come out of hypersleep as a part of the second stage crew or the second wave of colonist to arrive to start the building of the new jump gate or to explore or record the new system. You would also need to decide how would the PC’s would start: as a part of the United Federation of Planets entity thing, working for a corporation like in Aliens or Avatar, or independent like in Firefly or Edge of Empire.

Quick Sample for Campaign Creation for Setting

The following format pulls from my Campaign Creation Primer (CCP) process.

Step 1 : Genre

medium tech sci-fi with suspense/horror elements

Step 2: Campaign Scale Questions

CE:individual humanoid entities (ie human)
IA:new galaxy to explore
SoI:new Avalon outpost

By (working on the jump gate; or adventuring or exploring from the new Avalon outpost) in the (new galaxy to explore) will the (humanoid characters) be able to (save or grow or survive) the (themselves or new Avalon outpost)?

Step 3 Campaign Issues:

Legacy Issues:stopped a brutal and bloody mutiny from agents of (corporation, religious, political, or military etc) organization
Current Issue:severe damage to Avalon’s colony ship while in transit
Pending Issue:rogue asteroid or vengeful mutinous spirits

Step 4: Filling out Your Campaign

Place:Avalon Outpost not yet completed
Place:Avalon Jump Gatejust started construction
Organization:whoever is sponsoring the jump gate
Organization:whoever is sponsoring the PC’s (might be the same) 
Organization:whoever sponsored the mutiny 

This should be enough to get your juices flowing.

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James O'Neill

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