1248: the campaign concept takes shape

“Soft, pulpy sci-fi adventure with touches of the fantastic” is how I’d describe what I’m going for with the (hopefully) upcoming 1248 game.  I’ve decided to set it in the Solomani successor states and the rimward Wildspace frontier, beginning on the planet Adler in the Aldebaran subsector. The frontier world of Adler is the rimward-most system of the Terran Commonwealth and the region closest to the expanding Solomani Imperium.  The Imperium is stretching spinward into the subsector with eyes on retaking Home and, eventually, turning their attention and armada towards Terra.  The Solomani encroachment into Aldebaran is troubling for the Terrans, who find themselves drawn into a race to bolster their holdings in the subsector.

I’m looking forward to getting the most out of the conflict between the Commonweath and Imperium; the Sol Imp seems to be the perfect bad guy, especially its KGB- or Gestapo-esque Security Service.  (I’m a sucker for WWII/Cold War action stuff so this matchup is even more perfect!)  Characters will be members of the Strategic Operations Directorate (SOD), an elite unit within the Commonwealth Defense Forces’ Intelligence Corps (the military-scout counterpart to the Exploration Bureau.)  The SOD (inspired by the Office of Strategic Services, the WWII-era precursor to the CIA) draws its operatives from many different backgrounds and provides them with training and equipment to carry out a variety of missions, such as:

  • Disrupting Sol Sec operations in contested regions of Wildspace through recruitment/direction/training of partisans, guerrilla warfare, sabotage and demolitions, and counterintelligence operations
  • Locating lost sites of scientific or military importance and recovering tech – keep it out of Imperial hands
  • Reestablishing contact with lost worlds in the Wilds, organize to bolster defense against the Imperium
  • Assisting system and planetary agencies to neutralize pirates and other criminal elements operating on the Frontier that represent a threat to the Commonwealth

As I considered my inspirations for this potential mini-campaign over the weekend — Alistair MacLean (Where Eagles Dare, The Guns of Navarone, etc.), historical accounts of the OSS/SOE missions, pulpy techno-action-thrillers of the James Rollins/Matthew Reilly variety, Kristine Kathryn Rusch’s Diving the Wreck and City of Ruins, Anderson’s Flandry stories, etc. — I wondered if the Dogs of W*A*R chargen system of backgrounds and specialties would be more appropriate for creating SOD agents than the more general BoL/BotA careers.  After a little tinkering with the backgrounds/specialties to fit the setting, I think it will work nicely.  More on that soon.


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