Jorune: Year One
150 years from now
Humans impose their will and technology upon a distant world.
3500 years from now
Man’s rule is ancient history, Earth only a shadowy myth. Humans and other intelligent races survive using technologies and tools of other times and other cultures. Their own inspiring past eagerly awaits discovery beneath millennia of war and regrowth.
3500 years from now is your time on Jorune.
That’s what it says on the back of Skyrealms of Jorune (both the 2e box from Skyrealms Publishing and the 3e book from Chessex).
But it doesn’t have to be that way.
A friend of mine has run games set on Jorune in the colonial era, using Basic Roleplaying. For beginning players and Sholaris, a colony-era campaign is an appealing prospect because it simplifies everything:
- No furr— er, I mean no “Iscin races” (blount, crugar, woffen, bronth, tologra).
- No mutants either (boccord, muadra, acubon, salu, trarch), so you’ve already halved the number of sapient species on the planet.
- No muadra = no caji. Only shanthas and other Jorune-native fauna can use dyshas, meaning you don’t need a complete isho system for the players. This is a boon if you’re using a game system other than Skyrealms of Jorune itself, since isho is a bastard to convert.
- Humans haven’t been on the planet long enough to know everything about it. The characters’ ignorance of the setting mirrors that of the players, thus avoiding lengthy upfront info dump and leading naturally to exploratory adventures. It’s something like the default “barbarians just off the boat” scenario for introducing Empire of the Petal Throne PCs, except the boat is one of eighty huge spacecraft and the barbarians are colonists from Earth.
Here’s a campaign I’d like to run, if time were unlimited and I didn’t already have too many irons in the fire:
Jorune: Year One
The Earth colony sites have been destroyed by massive blasts of mysterious energy controlled by the shanthas. There were 20,000 colonists; only a fraction – no one knows how many – survived the assault, and they are scattered across Jorune with most of their precious technology ruined. In retaliation, the human scientist Bomoveris released an airborne virus that killed 99% of the shanthas on the planet. For both species, these are desperate days of confusion and fear.
Yes, it’s post-apocalypse Jorune. And, as we all know, the first and best post-apocalypse RPG is Dungeons & Dragons. I’d be tempted to run this thing using a science fiction D&D variant like Stars Without Number or, perhaps even better, X-Plorers.
Postscript: I wrote the above post last week. Last night I ran an introductory game of “Jorune: Year One” wherein the characters, survivors of the short but devastating war, explored a seemingly abandoned structure in the forest and learned something of the ways of the shanthas. The players told me they enjoyed it, so there might be more to follow.