Alternate Earths

The World Dream Bank is a great resource for people wanting develop alien worlds or alternate Earths. It provides several well-reasoned planets with maps and texts, including terraformed Mars and Venus. Link — >>>

The example below is a future Earth where the polar icecaps have melted with an accompanying rise of the oceans — useful for postapocalyptic campaigns. Click on the map for a larger version.

Post-human Earth

When man vanishes, what will Earth look like? I worked with two post-apocalyptic role-playing games in the 1980s and 1990s: Mutant and Wastelands. They each introduce settings in which the current civilization has been destroyed, resulting in two dissimilar game worlds, the grim and serious Wastelands Europe and the less serious Pyri Scandinavia.

However, after watching this video, I realize that my background research was insufficient, particularly in the Wastelands setting. For instance, there would have been extensive problems with the plentiful hydroelectric power stations in northern Sweden: cracked dams, flooded river valleys, and swamped riverside towns.

The Liberators as the New Oppressors

A successful and dramatic rebellion leads to the establishment of a free nation, well, that is the way fiction tends to portray revolutions. The reality is bleaker: when the smoke clears and the old tyrants dangle in the gallows, the new rulers too easily adopt the bad old ways to maintain their grip on power.

Professor Henning Melber, currently working at the University of Pretoria, once struggled actively against the against the South African apartheid regime; as a former insider he now explains how and why domestic politics did not turn for the better after the end of the racist governments in the five major countries of southern Africa — link >>>

Similar, and perhaps even more frightful, developments took place in south-east Asia after the violent eviction of the French and Dutch colonialists in the 1940s and 1950s. This is something that one should keep in mind when designing “realistic” rebel-themed campaigns and stories.

Desert Battle Buggy

A battle car at a ruined petrol station in Apocalyptistan (by Ignacio Bazán Lazcano {Neisbeis} at Deviantart; click on picture for a larger version). This vehicles fits well in the Rimlands diesel-fantasy novella I am currently working on, and also in Swedish role-playing games such the post-apocalyptic Wastelands by Lancelot Games or Sci-Fi! (space opera, soon to be published) by Saga Games.