Blue Planet has always been an intriguing game with a unique setting that has yet been emulated in any other print rpg product to my knowledge. Taking place in a time when mankind has well and truly screwed up Earth, humanity finds a wormhole that leads them to the distant planet of Poseidon. Capable of sustaining human life, a rush of colonists and corporations migrate to the new planet in hopes of taking advantage of the new world and staking a claim on it’s rich natural resources. As the book itself says:
Blue Planet is a compelling journey into humanity’s dark future on a distant planet where life is hard and dying is easy. A world where GEO Marshals enforce the peace and wired mercs patrol deep waters in deadly fighter subs. A place where corporate greed and human desperation ravage an alien ecology, threatening to plunge humanity into a war of survival with an ancient legacy.
The game has also been described as a game of Waterpunk, and I can’t really argue against that. The science revolves around cybernetics and genetic modifications to help people live in a planet that is composed of mostly water, and corporations have all manner of subs and weapons to fight for and defend their own claims.
However another way to look at it is that it’s a Water-Space-Western. I know that sounds awkward, but that single concept suddenly breathes new life to this game. Much like the Frontier, the colonists are carving out their lives in a planet where there is no completely centralized law just yet. There are threats from both within and without.
They say that Posiedon is the planet of second chances. People who decided to take that one big risk to scrap whatever it is they had and knew on Earth, and start over. Whether its from bad debts, bad memories or a chance to make it big, all of you signed up to make the jump knowing it was a gamble.
But second chances aren’t always free.
In your case, you people are an investment. MY investment. I picked each and every one of you for your talents. I didn’t ship all of you past the wormhole to this planet just out of the goodness of my own heart. But don’t worry, I’ve got it all planned out.
Poseidon’s a planet ripe for the picking. With only the Incorporate Private Security in our way, this is our chance to take back everything we’ve lost and still have some left over to spend like kings. Technology, resources, Long John… it’s all there, and with my connections, every job will be a winner.
So get up, get dressed, and go outside and smell the magic. It’s time to make some money.
Themes: Everyone’s got an angle, Second chances, Freedom from authority
Character Concepts: Ex-Convict, Bounty Hunter, Hacker, Researcher, Scientist, Journalist, Cop, Grifter, Bureaucrat.
Of course the pitch isn’t the end-all-and-be-all of the game. Taking on jobs for your employer is the start, but the game eventually breaks down to various character arcs that deal with whatever issues the characters had when they left Earth and took the devil’s bargain.
This campaign starts off with the Waterpunk Wild West Heist angle but can adapt to a more freeform situation, especially if the characters pay off their debts, and decide to cash in an stake their claims out in Poseidon by themselves.
Add rival mercenary companies, security teams, ecoterrorists, and other malcontents of the planet to keep things snappy and fast paced.
Again, old trick, different setting. However, I have to ask myself if I’m not just tricking myself by applying modern / pulp genres with a coat of chrome and calling it sci-fi. Would you guys play in this campaign?