Why play on the Blasted Earth?
When I wrote the first science fiction role-playing game in Metamorphosis Alpha in the early ‘70s and the first apocalypse role-playing game in Gamma World later in the ‘70s the art of role-playing design was in its infancy at that time. In this day and age experienced consumers expect a great deal more in their games and I believe the Blasted Earth of the Lost 77 Worlds fits that desire handily.
The detailed environment of the Blasted Earth provides unique challenges for the gamer. 315 years ago the Earth was laid waste by alien armadas. The backstory hints at many interesting things to explore on that Blasted Earth. Now there are three basic environments: deserts, ancient forests, and volcanic lands. These lands have a whole new ecology of creatures and dangers to deal with and survive. Everywhere in those lands is the lost technology of mankind under collapsed walls and in hidden labs.
The backstory also supports lots of interesting quests for the player. Questions that the players need to answer include: What is left of man’s technology on the Blasted Earth? What is the condition of the rest of the solar systems? Is there anything left on the 76 other worlds man settled hundreds of years ago? Are those aliens going to return and finish the job? There are lots of planned products for the Blasted Earth. In the 2017 twelve-month program of adventures, the Earth is searched for ancient technology that allows the characters to reach the stars again.
There is also the novelty of a completely new role-playing game system to use. The Blasted Earth doesn’t use dice in its gaming system. Instead, each player gets their own deck of playing cards. In this system, red cards are beneficial to the player. Black cards provide difficult challenges depending on the value of the card. A Two of spades or clubs is not much of a problem for the player. However, Aces of spades and clubs present calamities that must be worked around. It’s all part of a fun new gaming system that adapts to the powers and abilities of the characters as they grow in the game. Robots mix with mutants and androids as characters survive the many dangers of the Blasted Earth.
Then there is the exploration of the world. The planet teemed with cities that were blasted long ago. What can be found in those ruins? Robot groups are growing and thriving in the forests and deserts of the world; what is their agenda? Android creations are making themselves known and they are looking for something of importance to them. The 77 Worlds basic boxed set allows for visits from the Lunar Resort where humans are looking for rare earth metals to take back to the resort for some strange reason. Many ruined alien spaceship can be found all over the Earth and need to be explored for their secrets. Mutant enclaves can be found in every environment and they have their own agendas and are impacting the Blasted Earth.
This apocalyptic game provides new challenges and great rewards for the role-player and it all works with the turn of a card.
- James M. Ward