Degenesis Rebirth’s core set has two large books: Primal Punk, which deals with the setting details of the game, and Katharsys, which includes the mechanics and GM-specific inforamation.
Today we’re starting off with a look at the first chapters of Primal Punk.
The Jackal’s Prophecy
The book opens up with the in-character ravings of a madman which lay out a strange and somewhat difficult to follow prophecy revolving around specific numbers. Being what it is, it makes for an interesting read, but don’t expect to make much sense of it just yet (or anytime soon.)
Still, it is an intriguing way to kick off the book that helps set the tone of the game (just as it did in the original version of Degenesis.)
What is Degenesis?
Here we see a trend in the game. Each chapter is preceeded by a bit of short fiction. I’m not really the best person to critique short stories but so far what I’ve read have been pretty decent, nothing groan-inducing and this first one in particular is a good look at the kind of body-horror that can be expected when dealing with the freakier side of the game.
What follows is a one-page summary of the game’s setting, and the themes of hope and despair. Given the countless various conflicts of the people in the setting, will Mankind be able to claw its way up from basic survival against a hostile new world, or will it finally descend into barbarism?
I really like the fact that they call out right away tha the PCs need to make a stand. The world isn’t pretty in Degenesis, but that’s what the PCs are for.
Chapter 1: Forward
Rocks Fall, Everyone Dies
This chapter deals with the history of the setting, beginning with the end. Degenesis Rebirth assumes that the world was hammered by a series of asteroids, and mankind was powerless to stop it.
The resulting devastation changed the face of the world, and over the next hundreds of years, earth was plunged into a new ice age caused by the choking dust that covered most of the earth, sparing only the regions closest to the Equator, including Africa.
The climate changed, leaving Africa exposed to weather closer to the Mediterranean climate, allowing plants and vegetation to take root. Meanwhile, Europe froze over, and the water levels receded, changing the face of both continents.
When the ice and bitter cold receded, mankind clawed its way back out of their hiding places and found a world changed. People were forced to start over from scratch, eking out an existence from what they could discover and understand, while picking at the remains of the fallen civilizations, hoping to find anything that could help them.
A Stranger Tomorrow
The Asteroids did more than just rain devastation upon the planet and ruin the climate. They were also bearers of a terrifying substance known as The Primer. This black mist had a means of twisting DNA of living hosts, creating twisted new monstrosities in its wake.
The Primer altered humans, turning them into something more suited to this hostile new world: the Homo Degenesis, bizzare, mutated humans.
As if the Homo Degenesis weren’t bad enough The Primer also took on the form of a massive fungal infection that covered large swaths of land. This infection was known as the Sepsis, and their spores were carried upon the wind and ash, spreading further and further.
These spores were dangerous, but bore further temptations for humanity. Some of these could be harvested and ingested for a hallucinogenic experience, capable of granting resistance to cold or hunger, a balm for the truly desperate (Of which, there are far too many.)
Unborn Children are twisted into terrifying monsters known as the Psychonauts. Known as Soulless Ones and Aberrants, these children develop terrifying psychic powers that science cannot explain. Perhaps even more bizzare is that they come in several variants, each native to a different land: Biokinesis, Pheromancy, Dushan, Pregnocticism and Psychokinesis.
Meanwhile, south of Africa appeared an entirely different threat. Mutated Vegetation that grew at an unprecedented rate, slowly encroaching into the fertile territories once thought safe. These Psychovores bore their own terrors, leaving no place for mankind to turn to.
In our next article we’ll start off by looking at each of the seven new Cultures of the setting, and then the Thirteen Cults that form the societies of Degenesis Rebirth
If you’re looking to get yourself a copy of the game, check them out at http://degenesis.com/