So last Tuesday was my every other week D&D game night, which I’ve already posted about earlier. During the session I got the table to agree to give Gamma World a try for my next campaign. Generally we just play in the traditional D&D High Fantasy setting, but Gamma World is a complete change, it’s a Science Fiction/Fantasy type world set after a massive global apocalypse has struck the Earth. Now the world is known as Gamma Terra.
So I’ve decided to set my campaign in the blasted and flooded remains of San Francisco, since I’ve lived there and we’re close enough that my players will all have a good idea of the surrounding area as a baseline. Thanks to the apocalypse that has torn apart the world, I’ll get to play with it in all sorts of interesting ways. For starters, I’m going to play with global sea levels, which might actually turn San Francisco in an island. This Map is a lot of fun to play with to get an idea of what raising sea levels could do to the immediate area.
Now I want to do lots of other things. Like the Giant’s baseball stadium might become a bloody gladiatorial arena. Market Street might become the new harbor/docks area. I’ll get to people the city with all sorts of interesting and twisted mutated lifeforms. Massive living plant creatures in Golden Gate Park that hate Meat Bags? I’m picturing a somewhat benevolent dictator that rules the city either from a palace inside the city (maybe convert Civic Center and City Hall?) or from Alcatraz (which might be under water ruling it out) or from Yerba Buena Island, I’m not sure about the details on him yet, but I think his wife might be a giant arachnoid creature a consummate schemer and plotter. I’m thinking I might make Angel Island either the home to some crazy mad scientist, or a penal colony, or both. The Golden Gate Bridge will likely become just two tall towers in the opening of the bay. Maybe inhabited by a tribe of gargoyle like creatures? I think the Muni and BART tunnels will have to possess some sort of dangerous threat in their depths, and maybe from the collision of the worlds, and construction since the Big Mistake, there have been more tunnels dug. Maybe some sort of Frog/Mole hybrid creatures in the depths of the city? Maybe they would be some sort of slave underclass. There could be an Over Town and an Under Town that way. There’ll be some sort of city guard, or enforcers for the ruler of the city, but I’m not sure how I want to twist them, some sort of Zombies or other undead? Also I think the city and area will be somewhat feudal in nature, there will be the ruler (essentially a king) and then an aristocracy of some kind with Lords and Counts and Dukes, Knights, and whatnot, and then a merchant class and peasant class and likely some sort of servant/slave class too, but I haven’t picked a system I want to bastardize or mimic. It’ll kind of be up to the players how much they want to embrace or this system. The nobility will likely have small holdings outside the city core in the surrounding area, a Count of Oakland (gotta give it a Gamma name though) and the Duke of Marrrin and the Duchess of Sand Bruknow. I think you get the idea…. Or maybe you don’t…I’m not sure I do yet.
The potential is really limitless with this setting.
I’m picturing the starting point of my campaign, and I keeping coming back to the first scene being in a bar. That’s a tried and true classic starting point for many RPG Campaigns. But I’ll give it the Gamma World twist. I’ve already pictured much of it, it’s called the Loose Screw, and it’s a brothel/strip club owned and staffed by robots, androids, cyborgs, and other artificial intelligent lifeforms, but open to all. And it’s possible that the campaign won’t start here, but I think it will have to be a location that comes up at the very least in the campaign. I like the idea of starting here though, it keeps popping up in my head.
I need to sit down with a map of San Francisco, probably in Photoshop and really define the boundaries of the remaining city, and what is just dilapidated ruins and wild zone. I’m picturing a massive wall around the main city core built of rubble and debris from the rest of the city. I think there’ll be a fairly high level of Omega Tech (futuristic gadgets) within the city itself.
Anyways, I just wanted to put all these ideas down somewhere for once. Maybe putting them out there will let new ones generate. Also, I’d love to hear suggestions on other tweaks and twists that can be made to the iconic city. Especially from anyone that has maybe already made their own conversion of San Francisco into a Gamma World setting.