The idea for “World Without Syn” came out of nowhere one sunny Saturday morning as I sat at breakfast with some friends from my play group. We started talking about the sci-fi franchises we loved — some Firefly, a bit of Star Wars, even a dash of Futurama — when the idea came to me of a universe remniscent of Firefly’s ‘Verse, but with a quasi-medieval paradigm instead of a Western one. Add in some goold old-fashioned religious fanaticism, a touch of transhumanism, and you’ve got yourself a game world.
The group liked the idea, and we began trading quips about space inquisitors (a la Dark Heresy) and mobile oppression palaces and so forth. Remembering a race of artificial beings I’d dreamed up long ago for another project — the syngenetics — I remarked off-handedly, “we can call it World Without Syn.”
Ironically, I thought it was kind of a terrible name — I’m painfully aware of the contempt for the “substitute Y for I to make something sound cool” school of thought when it comes to sci-fi (reviled almost as much as the dreaded Apos’trophe), and my remark was made mostly in jest.
The joke was on me, however, as the group loved it. One ran off to tell a friend about it, who immediately came up with a character concept. Before I’d even known what was happening, I’d been recruited into running this game, whether I wanted to or not.
But, of course, I did want to. WWS was originally intended to run on GURPS, but as much as I like GURPS, it didn’t quite fit the heroic, pulp mode that I wanted for the game. I considered Savage Worlds, but find Savage Worlds more suited to one-shots or very short campaigns — plus, there’s just a wee bit too much emphasis on straight combat. I wanted something more. So, when Starblazer adventures arrived on the market, I knew I’d found the right vehicle for the campaign.
Note: Though the game is still running, I let the worldwithoutsyn.com domain expire in May of 2012, and have ceased updating the project. I am working on restoring the original content to this WordPress blog, and hopefully will have it back soon.
Cheers, and thanks for reading.
A blog devoted to the Starblazer Adventures RPG by Cubicle 7, highlighting the use of collaborative campaign creation. Also, the requisite musings on the role-playing hobby and whether or not Fudge dice are the devil.
Setting details and original artwork distributed under the Creative Commons Share-Alike license.
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