Vad handlar Basker Blå om?

A short introduction to a setting book for the Swedish horror RPG Chock.

Basker Blå ställs svenska FN-soldater inför paranormala utmaningar i ett förhärjat fjärran land. Följande premisser gäller:

  1. Skådeplatsen är det fiktiva västafrikanska landet Atlântida, en portugisisk koloni fram till 1975 och därefter en realsocialistisk diktatur med starka band till sovjetblocket. Kampanjen utspelas vid valfri tidpunkt mellan mordet på Olof Palme 28 februari 1986 och Berlinmurens fall 9 november 1989. Under dessa år klingar Kalla kriget tack vare sovjetdiktatorn Michail Gorbatjovs politik.
  2. Atlântida är en makaronesisk ö i Atlanten, stor som Småland + Blekinge och belägen ca 400 km väster om Sierra Leone. Ön var obebodd när den upptäcktes av portugiserna i mitten av 1400-talet. Dess tropiska klimat var gynnsamt för plantagejordbruk så portugiserna koloniserade snabbt ön och förde dit afrikanska slavar som tvingades odla sockerrör, senare även kaffe och kakao.
  3. Några månader före kampanjstart omkommer Atlântidas diktator i en helikopterolycka. Händelsen utlöser så omfattande våldsamheter att statsapparaten bryter samman varpå anarki utbryter – detta kallas Statskollapsen. För att förhindra att läget trappas upp till en internationell konflikt, upprättar FN United Nations Atlantida Force (UNAFOR), en fredsbevarande styrka som ska säkra humanitärt bistånd och upprätthålla ordning medan atlantiderna återuppbygger sitt samhälle.
  4. Samtidigt utnyttjar många väsen Atlântidas kaos för ondskefulla syften. Sällskapet Skidlöparorden*, främst aktivt inom svenska försvarsmakten, har förutsett detta och därför placerat flera dugliga Medvetna, däribland spelarnas äventyrare, i AT01, Sveriges första UNAFOR-kontingent.

*Skildras i boken Beredskapstid.Frågor på detta?

Uppdatering Runequest Sverige

Summary: Some news about the production of the Swedish edition of Runequest.

Jag är inne på upploppet med Chock-boken Basker Blå. Därefter kör vi på Eloso igång skrivarbetet med Runequest Sverige (RQSE). Vi håller redan på att lägga fast ramarna, bestämma hur vi ska skriva (koncist och redigt på klassiskt svenskt maner), plocka in inspiration till Talastar från nordisk och centraleuropeisk bronsålder, och så vidare. Jag har ju jobbat med rollspel med samma tänk tidigare, främst då Viking på 1990-talet, så jag har inga problem med att visualisera “vårt” RQSE.

January 2021 Update

  • Mio, min Mio: In late spring, Eloso will launch a cooperative family boardgame based on Astrid Lindgren’s classic fantasy tale Mio, min Mio (Mio, my Son). I fell in love with that book when I was seven or eight. The game is produced in four Scandinavian languages. However, I am involved merely as an occasional play-tester; my Eloso efforts are dedicated to our role-playing games. 
  • Call of Cthulhu Sweden (CoCS): I have completed Vårvindar friska (Cool Springs Winds), the third episode of my trio of mini-adventures (pamflettäventyr) dedicated to the seasons autumn, winter, and spring. They take place in the Gothenburg area in 1926-27 and relate to Hultsby village where I grew up in the 1960s. 
  • Basker Blå: An African campaign setting for the Swedish horror RPG Chock: Åter från graven. In January, I was busy making background research and setting “the stage”, that is, jotting down notes on what I am going to write about and why. I use a mix of tropes from American horror movies and weird/semi-horror Swedish television series. The player adventurers are supposed to be UN peacekeepers, journalists, relief workers, or scholars that work in the fictitious African country Atlântida in the aftermath of civil strife and economic collapse. My intention is to finish writing this setting during Q1.
  • Runequest Sweden (RQSE*): Jeff at Chaosium and I have agreed that RQSE will be a different product from the English-language game. The region of Talastar is assigned to us and we will create a setting that resonates with Nordic gamers: deep forests with ruins and dangers, chaos monsters from Dorastor, tricky relations between the barbarian Orlanthi and the overbearing Lunar Empire (inspired by the interaction between the Germanic tribes and the Roman empire in the I-III centuries AD). RQSE is a uniquely Swedish adaptation of the game, that is, I will rewrite its rules according to Swedish traditions and compile Talastar-specific material from many sourcebooks while adding new stuff. The setting’s focal point is the town of Oxhuve (Oxhead). My intention is to write RQSE during 2021 and Eloso will do an RQSE Kickstarter in the autumn.   
  • Outreach: On hold because of my many other commitments.
  • The Expert Series – a teaser: Yes, I am doing some preparatory work for another game in my Expert series. I will publish pertinent details later in 2021. Stay tuned.

* SE is the internationally recognized country code for Sweden (SverigE).

Looking forward to 2021

In early January, we in the Eloso team coordinated with Chaosium and set our 2021 production schedule. I have two major tasks on my hand:

  • In January and February, I’ll write the Basker Blå (Blue Beret) campaign module for our Swedish horror RPG Chock. It’s late 1980s. Swedish and Finnish UN peacekeepers are stationed in the fictitious West African country Atlantida, monitoring the truce between the parties of a recent civil war. In the shadows, cruel creatures are feeding on the misery caused by the fighting. 
  • I’ll spend the rest of 2021 developing Swedish Runequest. We’ll make a unique version, putting our piece of the action in a Gloranthan region eminently suited for Swedish RPG traditions at some distance from Dragon Pass and Prax. Therefore, I’ll select, translate, revise and create backstory, cults, cultures, and new character backgrounds to fit our needs. I’d guess that Swedish RQ will comprise two books, 250-300 pages together, that is, sleeker than the Chaosium edition.
  • Eloso’s revised priorities made me put Outreach in the backburner for Q1 and Q2. But rest assured: we have brainstormed how we will develop that game. 
  • Also, I’m busy preparing a new Swedish title in my Expert RPG series for production in 2022.  

October — Yet Another Busy Month

  • Expert Outreach: I have designed a quartet of xenos (alien species) that the adventurers are likely to encounter on faraway worlds. Lennart Larsson is my indispensable sounding board; a straight-forward and sharp-eyed veteran gamer that spots clichés and weaknesses in my texts.
  • CoCS: I am working on a trio of interconnected short adventures (pamflettäventyr), tentatively called Tre årstider (Three Seasons), that take place in Gothenburg and the rural district south of the city.
    1. In September, I completed the autumn episode Charons lur (Charon’s Bugle) that takes place in October 1926.
    2. In October, I started developing the winter episode En vanartig gosse (A Disobedient Lad).  It’s December 1926 and the police investigators return to an old crime scene to check strange goings-on that might be connected to the events of episode 1.
    3. There will also be a spring episode, tentatively named Vårvindar friska (Chilly Spring Breezes). The story-line skips to March 1927, when the ice breaks along the coastline south of Gothenburg. 
  • Chock: I have outlined Basker Blå (The Blue Beret)*, a setting located in Atlantida, a fictitious West African country, during the second half of the 1980s. The United Nations has dispatched a multinational peace-keeping force, including a Swedish-Finnish infantry battalion, to monitor a shaky armistice in a civil war. The adventurers can be blue berets, journalists or relief workers; regard of which, they will soon get entangled in the malevolent schemes of foul beings from the Beyond.

Kicking off for the Autumn

My career as an RPG writer has taken a wonderful turn. In August, Eloso’s owners held a kick-off weekend during which we made plans for the near future (that is, for 2020/21). We also agreed on how we are to pursue our many projects. 

In short: 

We have currently three major RPG lines to which we all contribute: Chock: Åter från graven; Swedish Call of Cthulhu; and Swedish Runequest. As you can see, Eloso is the Swedish partner of the legendary American RPG company Chaosium. I will be the spider at the center of the  Runequest web — l’araignée universelle — when we re-start translating it in 2021; we had to put the project in the backburner six months ago when covid-19 started wrecking our plans for 2020. 

In addition, I will produce indie-style games under the Eloso by Blixt moniker, some in Swedish, some in English, some in both. I handle most of their production by myself, while Eloso takes care of printing and distribution. The Expert series, powered by the Expert Nova rules, belong here. Currently, I am writing Expert Outreach, a post-apocalyptic space opera game (in English only) and I strive for a 2021 release, though reliable forecasts are currently impossible. There are more titles in the pipeline, but it’s too early to divulge any details about them.

Writing Despite Covid-19

The covid-19 pandemic is currently setting the rules for everyone. I am a reserve officer of the civil defense service, and some weeks ago, I was called to duty as an information analyst at the Civil Contingencies Agency here in Stockholm. It is a regular  office job: I relieve my career colleagues of routine matters, such as summarizing committee protocols and producing daily updates on activities in other national and regional public agencies. Coordination is the keyword.
Therefore, I had little time for RPG writing in March, but I made the following creative moves:
  • I published Expert Nova, Swedish Edition as a PDF (price: 88 kr, appr. €8) at DriveThruRPG — link >>>
  • I wrote an article for the Fenix RPG magazine about a creepy science fiction creature for Expert Nova.
  • I joined the Eloso team to develop new products the Swedish Chock horror RPG after my “demobilization” from my civil defense duties (hopefully in late May). I cannot go into details at this stage, but I will write on a subject that has been close to my heart for many years.

Creativity Meets Corona

In January I published Expert Nova, English Edition, an English version of my RPG for contemporary adventurous campaigns. It is a straight translation with an additional  chapter on campaign design the Swedish way, with They Came From the Sea!, a “1950s monster movie” setting in a cinematic Australia, as a hands-on instruction.  The game is illustrated by my adult daughter Elin, who is an art & design student. You can buy the game at as a softcover book (64 pages) at Lulu (link>>>) and as a PDF at DriveThruRPG (link >>>). Expert Nova, English Edition got top marks in a review at the Swedish RPG forum WRNU (link >>>); the text is in Swedish, but if you copy-paste it into Google Translate, you’ll get a readable translation.

That being done, January and February proved extremely busy for me. I joined the Eloso team for the final production stages of the Keeper’s and Investigator’s  Books of the Swedish edition of Call of Cthulhu. Their launch is scheduled for Gothcon (Sweden’s premier game con) at Easter. So I spent my days writing, tweaking, editing, and translating. We have written several new chapters dealing with Sweden in the 1920s: society, customs, careers, creepy events, and so on. (For example, why did a Swedish mining company abandon the Pyramiden settlement in Spitzbergen?)

I write regularly for the Swedish gaming magazine Fenix. In February, I put together an article for issue #2/2020: a creepy SF monster for Expert Nova, useful for many contemporary Earth-based campaigns.

I have also outlined several projects for Expert Nova and the Swedish horror RPG Chock.

However, the corona pandemic is a spanner in the works. No, I’m not ill, but last year I signed on as a civilian reserve officer in the Civil Defence Service. Last week, I was called into service at the Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency. It’s an office assignment, nothing out of the ordinary, but I feel proud that I can put my wits and skills to work for the sake of life and health of others. I will be very busy for most of March, therefore having little time to write games.  But I’ll have a small private notebook at hand all the time and every once in a while I’ll jot down new ideas. There will be game stuff later this year, rest assured of that.

Chock tillbaka på banan

Summary in English: Eloso’s reboot of the Swedish horror RPG Chock is currently being launched in gamestores and bookshops. I have written a full-length adventure for it.

Nisse Gullikssons omslag till mitt Chock-äventyr

Sisådär, nu Elosos nya skräckrollspel Chock: Åter från graven på väg ut till butikerna. Här är mitt bidrag till nystarten, äventyret Märk hur vår skugga som utspelar sig i Stockholms yuppiekretsar under sent 1980-tal: “Greed is good!”, Café Opera, snabba börsklipp, droger och bredaxlade kostymer.

Illustratör är min gamle kollega Nils Gulliksson. Titeln Märk hur vår skugga är från en av Fredmans epistlar av CM Bellman.