Desolation and Desperados
One Shot: Respawn.
For our first time out with the system, we’ll play in a world in which death is irrelevant. Go ahead and jump off the cliff, shooting as you fall. Go ahead and charge that pillbox. Jump on that grenade. Go ahead! What’s gonna happen? A lot of splatter, that’s what! And while your friends are cleaning the brains off their faces, you’ll be relaxing: just 3 rounds on the bench, and you’ve got a new body, ready to rock and roll again.
For this game, all players are nanite swarms, AIs with the ability to build neural connections with any lifeform with a nervous system based on the Animal kingdom. These AIs are free-floating, self-replicating, and nearly indestructible clouds that cannot fly, but can move like a swarm of roaches. Once an AI finds a host mutant, it parasitically “possesses” the creature, and can act in the world through it.
Players begin with 36 points to distribute to INT, CHA and WIS; these stay constant throughout the game, as does your . I’m generating identities that players are free to either take on as a random assignment—“yay, I’m Jane Fonda!”—or choose themselves: “yay, I’m Chuck Norris!” Players are also welcome
This end of Gamma Terra is littered with Spawning Pits: pools of unimaginably toxic goo from which mutants emerge endlessly, if not entirely regularly. These Pits are toxic to the mutants they spawn, so their warped children wander away from them immediately. These mutants are generally close to animal levels of consciousness. The PCs will begin in a setting rife with Pits.
Don’t Fear the Reaper
Given this basis, players do not need to fear character death. Should a PC die, his nanite swarm can simply possess another. In game terms, this means that after a PC dies, the player would simply roll up another character, mutations and all, and proceed with play—3 rounds later.
However: possessed mutant bodies cannot survive for more than their CON x10 rounds without ingesting a unit of Serum, a material that the AI’s nanite swarm can fabricate, given the right conditions and ingredients. The ingredients, and the portable lab facilities to combine them, are available in the immediate area, but are immobile. How, therefore, will the PCs travel outside of the zone they spawn into? Do they want to?
You may be an invulnerable AI nanite swarm, but you don’t know much more than that. You have amnesia. Something big and brawny happened, and you don’t know what. Why are all these guns all over the place? Why is the world such a big sack of crap? I mean, it smells bad, and these mutants are idiots. Who are these other AIs?
Are the other players your friends? Allies? Enemies? Will you band together to see why the heck you have amnesia, or… I don’t know. Kill each other endlessly, for kicks?