Help me with a one-sheet: Mad Max style post-apoc

Started by lachek, July 13, 2009, 07:55:45 PM

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I'm finally gearing up for a first-time game and need to develop a few one-sheets to pitch.

One potential player suggested a post-apocalyptic Mad Max style situation and I think that'd be fantastic. Here's what I have so far.

Humanity is: Respect for human life
Sorcery is: Knowledge of ways to improve own's quality of life at the expense of others'
World is: A blasted, radioactive, barren landscape with isolated pockets of savage civilization. Food and fuel are scarce. Mutants and raiders roam the non-civilized stretches of land, preying on any who would dare cross it.

Given this, what are demons? By inference, they'd be volitive forces which can improve the sorcerer's position, but always at the expense of others'. One example might be vehicles which run on blood, a la the Arks on Marr'd, but I'd like to avoid overtly supernatural elements as much as possible in keeping with the Mad Max theme.

Any suggestions or insights?


One obvious idea is that Lore is the knowledge of ancient technology better left alone.

Gadgets, vehicles, weapons
Robots, mutants
Cyborg parts
Nanite colonies
Fixed resources (the oil pump in the desert)

- Alan

A Writer's Blog:


Lore = Knowledge of technology had struck me as an option, but the "better left alone" bit escaped me, likely due to my pro-tech bias. That should definitely work. Thanks for the examples in each demon category, too!

I'll go off and work on this now, but if anyone has any additional or alternate suggestions, please post!


To me, demons would be any form of Pre-Cataclysm tech which has very negative externalities or which strongly encourages the sorcerer to dabble in "in-group/out-group" type tribalism or isolation.

* guns
* ponzi schemes
* high carbon footprint tech (i.e., fossil fuels)
* heavily polluting factory stuff
* war propaganda

Basically, find something to fill in the blank: "____________ is destroying our planet / poisoning our social relationships" and run with it.



Thanks James - that added another piece to the puzzle.

What I have so far is:

Demons are: dehumanizing technology

  • Artificial Intelligence and advanced robotics
  • Bioengineering - cloning, gene therapy, etc
  • Cybernetic implants and nano-tech "boosters", particularly those with capacity for autonomous automatic action
  • Ranged weapons; firearms.

Players can add to this list as they see fit by adding records, Dictionary of Mu style. In this way we're also building towards explaining the apocalyptic event, which is undefined at the start of the game.

My notion is to set a common denominator for all this tech to be semi-sentient - those "demons" which do not have methods of direct ambulation and communication (like AI-equipped androids) will "communicate" in the same way horrific everyday household appliances, cars, etc communicate in a Stephen King novel; they'll be just ambulatory enough to allow you to disbelieve. A gun might fire on its own, but it must've been because you dropped it... but the safety was on? Well, I guess you left it off... and so on. There is a value judgement inherent in this choice - all tech specified as "demons" are without-a-doubt Against Humanity and must be avoided, lest history is recreated and the world ends again.

You'll note that firearms are demons, but other weapons - knives, bludgeons, etc - are not. This is on purpose - firearms separates you from your kill and allows you to avoid internalizing it as your own action. Perfect for the demonic agenda.

Not all users of firearms are sorcerers, but non-sorcerer gunmen are actually wielded by their weapon/demon, presumably without their knowledge. This goes for any other type of demon-tech as well - a guy with a robotic arm is actually a demonic robotic arm with a guy attached to it.

Does this sound interesting? Would you play it? Any concerns about the definitions above being playable?

Ron Edwards

Man, this stuff is right at the sweet spot: let's play now. You shouldn't be asking us for advice; we should be taking yours. Play it and tell how it went!

Best, Ron

Eero Tuovinen

I have to say that getting to have a ponzi scheme as my demon would sell me on this campaign pretty much instantly.
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