by Eric Funk
This place can be another planet, alternate Earth, or one lost valley or another, as required by the GM. It may be accessible through spells, portals, or interstellar space. Visitors will have to contend with slightly higher gravity, a more distant horizon, and a slightly richer atmosphere (statistics are below, under "Space").
In this setting, dinosaurs are no longer rulers of the earth -- they are slaves! For the most part. They pull trams, power buildings, lift cargo, and haul freight. Although this world lacks metal, it does not lack technology. There are transcontinental railways, telephones, refrigerators, geothermal power plants, and pizza places that deliver!
(All dates are approximate)
Dinosaurs rule! A large comet barely misses the planet. Rare minerals, crystals, and megatons of water rain down on the planet.
First domesticated dinosaurs.
First grand chief unites tribes, declares beginning of calendar
Shallow ocean boats deployed against advice of shamans, yet no related deaths occurred that year. Belief in animism begins to decline.
First military vessels developed to mount direct-fire siege engines to fight sea monsters in coastal waters. Most doubled as fishing vessels.
First deep-sea exploration vessels launched in pairs. Many did not return. Some started accidental colonies on islands.
Contact made between the continents. Communication problems and different beliefs prevent strong alliances.
Balloon flight begins as a scouting tool for both military and hunting teams. Renaissance begins.
First zeppelin used offensively in warfare.
Rail travel becomes popular in plains areas.
Radio links the world. Governments begin to communicate swiftly.
Public radio broadcasts begin.
Cease-fire between major governments established. A cold war begins in research of military and refrigeration technology. (Amateurs study Tactics; professionals study Logistics.)
Moving pictures traded as valuable commodities.
Public television broadcasts begin.
First calculation engines sold; The last large predator is seen near civilized areas due to proactive and "big game" hunting. Rock and roll makes a break into the popular memescape.
First diamonds used in drills and saws; first space launch attempted -- the launcher collapses in a physical failure
"Soft" nanto-tech (sic) publicly marketed (see below)
(future) All levels of government begin preparation for celebration and grand openings for this year. Doomsday cults predict the end of the world.
(future) Pessimists fear that the calculation engines that regulate the cities will be unable to cope with the roll over. They call it the y200k problem.
GMs should feel free to include any wonder of the ancient world in as scenery, especially in a Cliffhangers style campaign. The Sphinx, the Pyramids, the Lighthouse of Alexandria, the Great Library, Nazca Lines and belief in Ley Lines would all be appropriate. For more such ideas, GURPS Places of Mystery and the Nan Madol are excellent references. One example city is elaborated on, below.
On the most advanced landmass (called Ignas by its inhabitants), the first Grand Chief Elect, named Uri Starfall, united a large group of tribes in a time of great famine. Through planning, charisma, and no small amount of luck, a lasting council of elders was formed, uniting the continent to this day. In a vision, the first chief started the calendar to unite timekeepers of the different tribes and start written record; if anyone knows the truth behind why he chose a palindromatic negative number for the starting year, or what (if anything) people are counting down towards, they aren't revealing it. (If this Terra Incognita is not set on an Earth, then perhaps here, set on either "Euramerica" or north "Africa"). Today, a small number of peaceful sects continue teaching the path to enlightenment is to follow the life of Uri.
Over time, scouts were horrified to discover seemingly older tribes across the seas that either refused to join or responded violently to contact! Seeing the strength that comes from unity, most of the other landmasses managed to unite by one strong tribe or another. Today a slow war of ideologies, is taking place across the "airwaves." GMs can decide whether the other societies are socialist, monarchist, democratic, cannibal, or just performing ritual sacrifices. Although the Stonepunk TL0+8 society represents the cutting edge on this world, the other tribes possess technology varying from TL0 to TL0+7. Other than the "title" society, most other territories reserve their most advanced equipment for the governments and military, leaving their citizens lagging one or more tech levels behind. Due to the lack of hard metals, no known tribe has advanced to full GURPS TL1.
Without metal to reinforce concrete, architecture is notably blocky, and structures are limited in height to about four or five stories due to the amount of support required for load-bearing walls. It is thus a mark of wealth to have a tall office headquarters, a few of which tower up to 20 stories in height! Some are large pyramid-like structures, while others use experimental fiberglass, carbon reinforcements, or dinosaur bones! It is only very recently that chemical treatments have been available to protect wooden structures from jungle insects, humidity, frequent hailstorms, and medium-sized animals. Without the added expense of this treatment, the expected lifespan of a freestanding wooden structure is measured in weeks.
Environmental Control: Fire is a controlled science. Cooling technology is still expensive, and while it is not available to cool homes, it is available in the form of appliances: freezers and refrigerators. Petroleum is found in lamps and hand-held lighters.
Major Industries: Rock quarries, lumber, and agriculture
Economics: Valuables are considered to be gold, silver, jewels, and pearls. Money is expressed in many ways, including cash, banks, credit cards, mortgages, loan sharks, and pawnshops. Some regions away from bodies of water use marked clamshells as "hard" currency.
Agriculture: Large tamed beasts serve to pull large, heavy harvesting equipment. This machinery serves to process and refine the crops. The commercial loom is available, so cloth and silk are middle and upper class alternatives to skins/furs (respectively). The forestry industry has, for the most part, embraced the long-term plan of planted forests. This results in safer working conditions and straighter wood. The companies that don't follow this practice have made many enemies, ranging from clever wild creatures to avid preservationists.
Short bows exist, but are restricted to military (and paramilitary) agencies. Slings, slingshots, and hand catapults (see below) are common and don't require a license in most areas. Civilian melee weapons are mainly clubs, while exotics such as obsidian/shark tooth swords (see mecauitl, pp. LT25, AE99) are only for the military. Spears, bone saws, and axes are socially considered tools. Fire siphons are used against swarms and fire lances are well documented. Explosives are limited to black powder, and are restricted (but see "Things to Invent," below). Leather armor, boiled leather and hides exist, but are socially limited to the military, riot squads, hunters and sports teams. Anyone walking down the street wearing obvious armor will get curious looks and questions from police.
SteamTech inventions that could be in character:
- p. 17 Grenades
- p. 20 Light Rifle (see also Cliffhangers pp.91-92)
- pp. 29-30 Mechanical Devices
- p. 33 Camera Obscura
- pp. 105-116 Drugs and Chemicals
Things to Invent
- Batteries: While lacking copper, nickel, cadmium and lithium, the planet can produce masses of lead-acid batteries.
- Compressed Air: A working breathing apparatus has not yet been developed. All current efficient designs leak chemicals into the contained air.
- Electricity: Using silver wire, gold coils, lead-acid batteries and mechanical power, large-scale AC power can be produced.
- Nitroglycerine: (see p. HT28)
- Nuclear Bombs: (see p. HT29)
- Nuclear Power Plants: Simple radiothermal generators and shielding are well within their capacity.
- Medicine: Glass blowing, distilling, hot running water, rubber, alcohol, germ theory, antivenins, casts, x-rays, and microscopes are all available. Vegetable-based plastics are expensive, but research continues.
Cutting edge computing is at TL0+5, and should be treated as TL 4+1 clockwork engines.
Wrist sundial-compasses are commonplace, while more delicate, spring-wound (or cutting edge self-winding) watches are beginning to gain popularity. TL0+4 clocks are common in homes, and many large businesses have full TL0+5 calculation engines. All mechanisms are classically made of wood, but cutting-edge devices are built with fiberglass and plastic components. If Gadgeteering is available for NPCs, then a few mad scientists and possibly the military may have access to engines and accessories equivalent in power to TL5+1 (see pp. STE61-70).
The best tools are trained animals, but basic photo and video cameras are available. "Antique" systems function somewhat like the Camera Obscura (see p. STE33), with the flash bulb simply acting to stun subjects to give the operator a chance to draw them using the "Artist" skill. "Modern" cameras can actually catch birds in flight, and video cameras for the home are beginning their appearance while television has been present in the home for decades.
Letters and small parcels are delivered to and between distribution centers by homing bird. Carrier pigeons can travel up to 50 miles per day (see pp. CV38, HT56, or VE47). The military and many large businesses have their own networks, ciphering their messages when convenient to the plot. Broadcast television, radio, and "shell" phones use what are called "ether waves" to transmit data. Their antennas are made of wood and the dial tone and static are the sound of the ocean (waves and roar respectively), but somehow it works! Paper, ink, and the printing press are not new inventions to the city, but until recently paper had a lifespan in weeks, making it ineffective for long-term storage; thus old records and any documents in rural areas will be engraved in stone. There is a concerted effort to locate and update all written records to punch-tape for use with calculation engines.
Power is almost invariably provided by muscle, be it domesticated animal or human. With a "racial" ST13 (see below), most "man-powered" devices are designed for ST15 or ST16 to take advantage of individuals with above-average Strength as well as allow Extra Effort without straining the apparatus (see Muscle Power Plant p. VE82). For solar heating, see the solar-powered steam engines (see p. STM70), perhaps at double mass and cost until the year -199,995. Water wheels and windmills turn grindstones, saws, push-pumps, and winches only in military and large-scale industrial applications.
The heavy "workhorse" of industry, however, is the Brontosaurus (a.k.a. Apatosaurus), (Move 5, ST 300+, see pp. BE47, D32). It can lift 4.5 tons (see p. B145), and drag up to 180 tons (see p. B89). Multiply these numbers by 30 if the beast can be coaxed into using Extra Effort, which it can sustain for up to five minutes or more (see p. CI 12)! On a treadmill, it can provide a continuous 6kW, and only lose 1FT each hour (see pp. VE82, VE158). These represent the reliable power source used to move elevators and bellows, and to turn spinning wheels, calculation engines, and to pull heavy haul trains and long riverboat chains. The Triceratops is one of the fastest large herbivores (Move 10, ST 200+, see pp. BE55, STE122, or D51), twice as fast as the Brontosaurus. These are the most common commercial engines, pulling trucks, busses, and express barges. They can easily pull 4 tons (8 tons on "Average" roads, see below) at full their full movement rate of 10 (20mph). On Average-quality main roads, towed cargo has half the effective encumbrance (see p. B188). Most other city roads and inter-city highways are "Poor" at best.
Most residents own a personal cart of some sort. Limousines, public transport and hauling "vehicles" usually consist of a trailer pulled by a dinosaur (land or air). Short-range hauling is sometimes done with just a saddle. (Design as harness, but adjust from base ST of 10.) The top prehistoric candidate for mounts is the Diatryma (Move 14, see p. BE49, similar to the Enhanced Chicken of p. STE120 and the Deathbeak of p. RS112), which may remind some players of "chocobos." (For more suggestions of prehistoric mounts, see "Off to the Races!", below.)
TL8 Man-powered Car
Crew: 1 total. 1 crew station covering vehicle control (ground).
Subassemblies: Vehicle +2, Body +2, Wheels +1.
P&P: four 0.3kW muscle engines (1-man, avg. ST: 15, short term access), 1.2-kW wheeled drivetrain (short term access).
Occ: normal crew station (exposed), three normal passenger seats (exposed)
Cargo: 10-cf open cargo hold w/cargo density 20-lbs/cf
Armor: All 3/5
Size: 13.7'×3.42'×1.71' Payload: 800 lbs. Lwt.: 1,097 lbs.
Volume: 79.7 cf Maint.: 228 hours (0.421 mh/day) Price: $1,926
HT: 11 HP: 37 [Body], 6 each [4×Wheels].
Ground Performance: Motive Power 1.2-kW, Top Speed 25 mph, gAcc 1 mph/s, gDec 10 mph/s, gMR 0.75, gSR 4, Ground Pressure 1,075 lbs./sf, Off Road Speed 10 mph.
TL8 extra light frame expensive materials [Vehicle]. TL8 DR 5 open frame skirt expensive wood [Vehicle]. Vehicle Features: primitive controls, no streamlining, cheaply made. Wheels: quantity 4, off-road. Volume: 66.4 cf [Body], 13.3 cf [Wheels]. Area: 98.4 sf [Body], 33.7 sf [Wheels]. Book Options: Vehicles Lite ground speed.
Air balloons pulled by trained birds may fit better in a "realistic" campaign than mere "saddle" aircraft made of wood. In either case, balloons, dirigibles, and zeppelins are a well-tried tradition, but the lack of steam or combustion engines creates different problems, such as perches for flying mounts or extra space for tired power animals. The theory behind "gyrocopters" has been known for quite a while, but has not been feasible due to power requirements. Radio controlled units with TL0+8 Flywheel "power cells" (see p. VE88), using the "advanced" rules for Flywheel capacity (multiply by 10) (see pp. STM69, CF120) are growing popular in amateur and military purposes.
Ocean Transport is rare as the public still distrusts the unknowns in the deep water. This has greatly limited the development of medium and large travel, exploration and pleasure craft. Sea trade is generally limited by line of sight to the coast, the most common design using large concrete hulls. Fresh water transport, on the other hand, has been a growing industry, with small and medium-sized craft built from wood leading in popularity. For small craft, inflatable rubber hulls are an increasingly popular option, with cutting edge fiberglass rapidly dropping in price. Windmills are a popular renewable resource for long-haul and exploratory craft (see Vane Clippers, p. CF126).
Exploration: Research into breathable compressed air has barely begun, and thus experiments in deep diving and high altitude have been curtailed. Flight has been available for many years, and all the land a few hours' flight from civilization has been mapped. Shore-hugging ocean vessels have mapped the contour of the continent and island chains linking to new landmasses, but to the average citizen, a "map of the world" is a flat map of their continent.
Exotic: "Nanto" technology (TL0+9 to TL0+10)
This is the emerging science of training small insects to perform a single task when a certain stimulus is applied. There are known species that can chew almost any wood product to tiny pieces and scatter them, and other groups are trained to emit a paste and assemble objects the same raw material. Industrial applications include the assembly of small sensors and tools. Residential applications include trimming lawn, hair, cleaning floors, dishes and appliances. There are several ways to protect oneself from a nanto-assault. The first is to have counter-nanto of your own. The second is to have a trained anteater or toad standing by to devour them. The properties of a nanto-swarm can be identified with a magnifying glass and a successful roll against Electronics Operation (Nanto) with modifiers for Acute Vision and/or Alertness. Destructive tests include analysis by another swarm, or by a diagnostic anteater/frog. It is currently illegal for civilians to own carnivorous swarms. Licensed exterminators may rent swarms from the military, but without exception, must return them before nightfall. Swarms cost $3,000 to $20,000 and 2 lbs per hex (see pp. B143, BE42). Consumes 2 lbs of wood or 1 lb of food per hour of operation.
Currently, a great amount of research is being done on "hard" nantotech that can manipulate stone.
Given names can be from any "modern" culture, but family names typically involve some sort of terrain feature or type of rock (consider the Discworld trolls).
Local Racial Template  "Punk Rocker" (Calculate weight and height without the +3 from this template)
Advantages: ST+3 , HT+2 , Damage Resistance +2 , Literacy , Temperature Tolerance , Very Fit .
Disdvantages: Chummy [-5], Pacifism (Pick one of: Cannot Harm Innocents, Cannot Kill, or Self-Defense Only) [-15], Phobia (Necrophobia) [-20], Phobia (Thassophobia) [-10] (p. B36), Reduced Hit Points (2 levels) [-10], Xenophilia (Strong) [-15].
Racial Skill Bonuses: Judo +2 
Native Racial Template [7 points]
Advantages: Remove Literacy
Disadvantages: Phobias gain frequencies of 6 and 12 respectively, Reduced Hit Points 2 becomes [-4].
Racial Skill Bonuses: Judo (DX/H) +2 
Common Advantages: Animal Empathy  or Beastkin , Fur (light) , High Pain Threshold , Increased DR [3/level], Increased Strength [varies].
Common Disadvantages: Hunchback [-10], Increase Pacifism to (Total) [extra -15], Reduce Very Fit to Fit [-10], Semi-Literate [-5], Semi-Upright [-5].
The people are not unusually gullible or generally superstitious. Early aptitude tests in school help find those with fewer mental disadvantages, and nudge them toard the appropriate military or security forces. The Pacifism disadvantage is not crippling, as the kinds of pacifism are somewhat evenly distributed between Cannot Harm Innocents, Cannot Kill, and Self-Defense Only. All this stems from an ancestral fear of the spirits of defeated foes coming back to curse them. Most rural and urban core citizens will have basic Judo training in school, allowing them to make use of their racial Bonus.
A local "Saturday night special" handheld rock thrower
TL0+8 built, TL0+7 Cheap-quality Torsion-power ST 16 Mechanical Pistol-grip Stone Thrower
Dmg: 2d+2 (cr) Acc: 0 Malf: 16 RoF: 1/20 1/2D: 160 Max: 200 SS: 15 Ewt: 6.4 lbs $80.
Ammunition: 1.6 lb rocks, $0.8 each.
Variant: Paramilitary (LC 2) Bolt thrower: As above, but Dmg: 2d+1 (imp) Acc: 1 Malf: Crit SS: 10, Double ranges and cost, halve mass.
Ammunition: 1.6 lb darts, $3.2 each.
Options: Silencers, Laser sights, and scopes (see pp. VE127, HT102-103)
Example City: Boulderville, Trade Center and Regional Capitol
Population: 140,000 to 1.4 million
Situated at the mouth of a three-river delta, it is a natural trade nexus. Raw stone from the mountains in the North meets the wood from the forest in the South. The established coastal shipbuilding industry tries to meet the growing needs of fledgling deep ocean trade and exploration.
Sandy Apfelstein, Reporter: A rising star for Channel 5 News, she has a knack for finding trouble, and for getting herself and her camera out intact. She is attractive, persuasive, and will stubbornly pursue stories of public interest. The only way one can divert her is to provide a humanitarian reason, or a more interesting story . . .
Milo Blastrock, Prospector: Wandering the countryside, looking for the Mother Lode, he survives on a trickle of royalties from small successes. An honest sort, he will give up to half his claim to any party that risks its life to help him return to file it.
Mica Gladstone, Mayor: Recently elected to office by a marginal victory, the mayor is progressive, and will begin to encourage trade and exploration of the lush jungle territory to the south of the city.
Ulysses Granite, Nanto-Tech Abuse Officer: He is a young man with remarkable eyesight and no fear of water -- his childhood dream was to be an explorer. Fate, however, had other plans. His technical abilities made him the best man to investigate any possible abuse of the new nanto-techology. Although still new at his position, he has witnessed some of the awesome abilities of this new tool. He has seen swarms destroy bridges, erect megalomaniac statues, convert a car into a clockwork battlesuit, and write slogans as they selectively defoliated government parks. His broad powers cause friction between himself and the Chief of Police, as well as his natural adversary, Dr. Gyrock.
Doctor Maximillian Gyrock, Mad Scientist: Once a respected scientist, he disappeared in a mysterious explosion. He is rumored to be alive and providing clockwork devices to the criminal underworld. It believed by some that he is behind a ring of daring museum robberies. Witnesses reported seeing a (primitive) submarine, as well as a sealed clockwork battlesuit (see p. STM76).
Peter "Hawkeye" Hankstone, Freelance Hunter: The head of a freelance hunter's association, a small support group that, for a nominal fee acts as a discount job board, bed-and-breakfast, and weapons supply, he is protective of the reputation of the group, and will certainly hire/send someone (such as the PCs) to investigate any unusual occurrences or disappearances.
Winston Shield, Chief of Police: He is a hard-nosed officer who has worked himself up from a beat officer. He dislikes strangers, and will always ask them extra questions, having them trailed or deeply investigated if they seem unusual.
Rumors of a newly discovered tribe living in a volcanic area possessing dark, razor-sharp tools have reached the scientific community. The description to the players should be that it sounds like "metal" (dense, sharp, very hard). Many expeditions are being mounted to be the first to get there. Is it really metal (such as bronze or iron), or just obsidian (+1 damage, see p. LT106). The latter would still be a good find, and trade could make one wealthy!
Don't You Forget About Me
A rich entrepreneur is commissioning a group to make sure their deeds are remembered. For this, the group is commissioned to start surveys of the most geologically stable and dry areas of the known world. Problems can arise with locals, wildlife, or governments. While construction of a repository is going on, they must find (or better yet, bring) translators for all the languages in the world with written variants and secure professional translations.
Do You Dig It?
The amount of luxury and high-tech industrial wealth (large diamonds, precious metals) makes this planet prime for exploitation by indigenous corporations (not to mention external ones). The complete spectrum of adventure opportunities surrounds this situation. Exploration, discovery (and getting back), claiming the land, holding (or destroying) it, extracting goods, delivering, selling them, and spending the wealth. The PCs may be in for the whole tour, or just called in for one leg. Depending on the adventuring party, there could also be involvement with enemy agents, ghost stories, or monsters.
A growing fear among scientists is that the "cold house gasses" emitted from refrigeration units are lowering global temperatures, ushering in a new ice age. Scientist characters can be sent out to odd places to collect samples. Fun places may include "the wild," on territory held by "primitive" farmers, packs of velociraptors, "enemy" territory, on glaciers, in the core of icebergs, or in the deep ocean. Most other character types could fit support positions, with specialties such as Survival, First-Aid, Veterinary, Gunner, Guns, Fast-talk, or Diplomacy.
The group could alternately be sent to covertly plant false data for the "real" research team.
Off to the Races!
Cart Wars (see pp. DWA 90-100) would certainly be exciting with small, agile dinosaurs pulling the carts instead of mammals. After the Diatryma (above), runner-ups include the Carnivorous Kangaroo (a.k.a. Propleopus) (Move 15, see p. BE52), the Velociraptor (Move 15, see p. BE56), and -- for the evil mastermind or Dark Lord -- the Tyrannosaurus (Move 17, see p. BE56). "Operation: Rabbit Chaos" would be a compatible example mission. Vehicles build with the Propleopus in mind would certainly benefit from the "Improved Suspension" option in Vehicles (see pp. VE 20, VEL 33).
Round World Society
Currently there is no great clash between the flat and round planet philosophers, as most people don't care. This could soon change as an expedition is about to be launched in a dirigible to try and circumnavigate the world, or find the edge! With all the publicity, as well as millions of dollars in the movie and map-making industries at stake, the PCs are hired to head, protect or hinder the mission. To make it more interesting, it may be attempted simultaneously by two teams heading in opposite directions. What if, at the half way mark, the heroes come across the remains of the other team's craft? Are some survivors saboteurs? Is their craft next?
One of the tribes that do not fear the dead is intent on raiding your village! The average citizen will try to flee or hide. What will the adventurers do? Will they fight, or move to defend people in need?
Adding shamanistic or ritual magic would not overly change the society (such as from Castle Falkenstein, Spirits, Voodoo, Ice Age, or Old West). As written, spells from GURPS Magic will change the setting into a magic-heavy Technomancer setting. Another alternative is detailed in "Tools Are Just A Fad."
Citizens from far and wide will come to help/stop/watch attempts to build a catapult comparable to the Verne Cannon (see pp. CF16, 120, 127), or the Passenger Artillery. Races of all different sorts are popular and televised! Some popular (and less survivable) sports may include carnivore wrestling, aerial dogfights, "cockfights" with large carnivores and cross-country races to distant places across hostile jungle. Spelunking into ancient ruins looking for Ancient artifacts is a growing hobby for the idle rich. Many shun large corporations, and the PCs are hired as guards or specialists. Perhaps they are hired by a parent, and are supposed to plant relics for the noble to find.
Meeting Other Societies
Encountering other high-tech societies will allow inventors and Gadgeteers to research devices with the same purpose as the alternate device (p. STM13). For example, a Gadgeteer recovers a TL8 sonic stunner and designs a hand-held amplifier that focuses a bird's call. The limit is the bird gets tired quickly (1d shots per minute) . . .
To external agencies, this planet will hold a good source of labor and/or front line troops against an inhuman foe. Those with "Self-Defense Only" Pacifism would make good support troops, those with "Cannot Harm Innocents" make ethical forces, and those with "Cannot Kill" could still wipe out non-sophont threats.
Humidity and metal-hungry bacteria will quickly degrade any unsealed gear. For those who fail to continually maintain their equipment, GMs should enforce the equipment failure rules from pp. CII6, CL17. The local plants are extremely vicious towards other plants and grow voraciously, attacking unsealed structures.
The non-metallic technology, robust troops, and amazing wealth combined with the possibility that the locals could possibly construct their own projector combine to form a tempting target for Centrum and other less scrupulous organizations. There are a great many uninhabited areas, and a number that could easily become that way without anyone noticing . . .
Black Ops/Special Ops/Martial Arts
This genre calls for highly trained operatives equipped with state of the art weapons fighting in places they'd rather not be fighting in. Most of the classical "ninja" equipment (see pp. J55-58, MA119-123) can be kept as is without any metal, and the grunts might be equipped with powerful bows or multi-barrel bolt throwers with detachable barrels.
Cryogenics/Out of Time/"This is my Boomstick!"
Ignoring the technology required to unthaw a glacier-frozen individual, it is a common plot device that someone (or something) is unfrozen, and experiences culture shock (see pp. FW139, AH94). The opposite can also be true, when a one-shot time-travel device accidentally sends someone back to "the stone ages". Can the newcomer adapt before the xenophobic troops destroy the intruder?
High society is in full swing, and it is up to the PCs to uncover what secrets each noble and politician hold. Alternately, they may be set to infiltrate, research, and/or subtly influence the enemy masses.
What if, in addition to water, the comet also seeded Things That Dwell In The Deep. Now, after 700,000 years of evolution, preparation, and research, they emerge confident and entrenched, ready to move . . .
Diameter: 15,000 miles
Gravity: 1.18 G
Surface Water: 80%
Axial tilt: 9 degrees
Government: Representative Democracy (most advanced, others vary)
Control Rating: 3 (4 in cities, 6 on ocean vessels)
Tech Level: Cutting edge 0+8 (no orbital)
Seasonal Variation: Mild, but due to continental configurations, the change of seasons are violent with wild storms and high winds.
Mineral Resources: Gems/Crystals, Rare Minerals: Plentiful; Organics and Heavy Metals: Ext. Plentiful; Radioactives: Ample; Light and Industrial Metals: Absent
Space, Part 1
Located deep in neutral territory, this world boasts strong, resilient citizens with a natural aptitude for Judo, making them ideal security forces. Boasting immense wealth, natural troops, and workers, every faction in the area will be vying for it. Less scrupulous factions will try conquest or trickery, while more honest alliances will have an enjoyable time trying to organize and get an truthful vote from a "world council." How will they be represented? Will it be by population, military, area, or one vote per country? Several of the groups will only respect power, others spirituality, and others promises of technology.
Right of Procedure: What if the fish people alluded to in the Atomic/Horror section above can prove can prove prior settlement and claim exclusive sovereign rights?
Space, Part 2: Strange Encounters
If the civilization is left alone, soon they will be able to develop prototype TL0+9 FTL engines and full life support modules. Simply the sight of a TL0+9 craft will be enough to cause a spit-take from most serious officers.
Certainly in the media, Supers of this "era" have less competition from Gadgeteers, but more from nature. For an example, see "The Flint Age."
- "I was a Teenage Dinosaur" by James L. Cambias
- The Last Stone Age Adventure: The Hidden Valley of the Kulku" by David Morgan-Mar
- "Low Tech Designer's Notes" by William H. Stoddard
- "The Mapinguari" by Jason Morningstar
- "Masters of Wind and Time" by James L. Cambias
- "Parallel Progressions" by Phil Masters
- "Time of the Tyrants" by Stephen Dedman
- "Use Archaeology to Uncover Hidden Adventure Ideas" by Kenneth Hite
- "Waging The Battle Royal: Roleplaying Low-Tech Battles" by Volker Bach
- "The World in a Bottle" by David Morgan-Mar
- Land of the Lost
- Tales of the Xenozoic Era/Cadillacs and Dinosaurs
Article publication date: December 24, 2004
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