Wednesday, November 6, 2013

From The Zones - A Community Project!



FATE SF invites you to participate in a cross-blog community project about the Zones, starting now! 

Let's start with a little background.  

The Visit ended almost as soon as it began. Aliens landed in several places. They departed without any communication or cultural exchange with us.  They left behind a ruined landscape. One littered with wrecked buildings, alien waste byproducts, inexplicable technologies, lesser extraterrestrial life forms, and various otherworldly traps, dangers, and strange phenomena.

The military moved into the Zones quickly, trying to conquer and dominate them. This was folly. Most of the soldiers never returned. Plagues broke out in the towns near the Zone. Many residents cleared out. Of course, many also stayed behind.

The paramilitaries and police erected cordon sanitaires around the Zones. The Institute was established to study what remained after the Visit. They hired some of the locals who stayed behind as Stalkers, holy fools who risked death to help scientists enter the Zones and recover artifacts left behind by the Visit. A black market for recovered artifacts began to grow in the towns outside the Zones. Various governments, corporations, and wealthy individuals put together their own covert shopping lists. 

Some Stalkers began moonlighting, offering their services to the highest bidder, and leading freelance missions into the Zones in search of artifacts. The job is dangerous; most Stalkers live short lives.  

***
For more than a decade, Andrei Tarkovsky's SF film Stalker has been a major influence on RPG campaigns I have played-in and run. In October, I had the chance to see Stalker on the big screen for the first time. This led me to read the fresh, uncensored translation of Arkady and Boris Strugatsky's novel Roadside Picnic, about the aftermath of an inexplicable encounter with aliens. It was the book which inspired the movie. About the same time I was getting ready to publish my first post on Stalker, Porky was getting ready to publish a review of the film. We saw this as a sign that the time might be right for a community fan project about Stalker and Roadside Picnic.

***

FROM THE ZONES is a cross-blog project about the Zones. Here are the details:
  1. Write something about the Zones for the system of your choice. Describe a specific Zone, or an artifact, or a location within the Zone, a strange threat or phenomenon found in the Zone, a Zone scenario, a table of encounters, a Stalker character class, or something else.
  2. This project is cross-system. Write for a system you love. I'll be writing for Fate Core/FAE, but you may want to write for a different system, such as Labyrinth Lord/Mutant Future, X-plorers, Diaspora, Stars Without Numbers, WaRP, Open D6, or something else. System-neutral is also fine!
  3. Post your content to your own blog. You own whatever you write and post to your own blog.
  4. If you don't have a blog you can write a document in Google docs (aka Google Drive) OR publish your content as a public G+ post.
  5. Download one of the From the Zones or Zones logos from Hereticwerks right hereuse it in your blog post or Google doc! The art is courtesy of Hereticwerks and you may use it on your blog for non-commercial purposes related to this project. Please credit Hereticwerks and provide a link back to the site. You can use the credit example at the end of this post as a guide.
  6. Leave a comment in the comments section of this post (see below) with a link to your blog post, Google doc, or public G+ post
  7. We will create a table with all the links and a brief/title description of each item here at FATE SF.
  8. STILL NOT SURE WHAT A ZONE IS? Check out this link
The table itself is now live at FATE SF! This will be an ongoing project, so share a link to your blog post or Google doc whenever it is ready.

This is a non-commercial fan project inspired by the book Roadside Picnic by Arkady and Boris Strugatsky and by the movie Stalker by Andrei Tarkovsky.



"From the Zones" and "Zones" images are courtesy of Hereticwerks.

16 comments:

  1. This really is a good idea. Here's my first, a set of rumours for some early inspiration:

    http://theporkster.blogspot.com/2013/11/zone-age-rumours-1d30.html

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  2. I haven't written anything yet, but I will and the project comes at just the right time for me, since I'm preparing to run the Stalker RPG sometime next year.

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  3. Here's my first piece. I'll build out some stuff from it later.

    http://joyfulsitting.blogspot.com/2013/11/from-zones-jack-moulsen-stalker.html

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  4. Fair warning -- I haven't actually read the source material but I have read everyone elses work so far. This is, if not on target, certainly gameable!

    https://plus.google.com/106477525564841896867/posts/bmGAaDXCm5U

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    1. I think you did a great job with this, Brad! This is exactly what I was hoping would happen - not just posts by a small crowd who're steeped in the source material, but new content in the spirit of the book and movie, even riffing off other contributors' work when possible! Thanks for being part of it!

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  5. http://crossplanes.blogspot.com/2013/11/in-zone-carcassmen-for-13th-age.html

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  6. A no-mechanics entry from me, with dangerous books.

    https://plus.google.com/107122403431806926287/posts/575XwPS6up7

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  7. A no-mechanics entry from me, with dangerous books.

    https://plus.google.com/107122403431806926287/posts/575XwPS6up7

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  8. Another no-rules entry, from the perspective of folks trapped inside a Second Visitation Zone:

    https://plus.google.com/u/0/101268673612634664638/posts/UjVXwESm7Ya

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  9. Are you aware there actually exists Stalker RPG, in finnish and english? Published bu permission of Boris Strugatski.

    http://www.burgergames.com/stalker/EN_web/

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    1. Thanks for stopping by, Jonas! A couple of the contributors, specifically the authors of entries 9-11, are people who play the tabletop RPG. Love to have more contributions for the game. This project is inspired by the book "Roadside Picnic" and the movie "Stalker" but is open to contributions for any system or no system!

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  10. http://armchairgamer.blogspot.com/2013/12/fading-zones-nightroadside-picnic.html

    My first attempt at this -- a bit late in the game.

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  11. My next piece: http://armchairgamer.blogspot.com/2013/12/fading-zones-husks.html

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    1. Very nice! I'll do a G+ post on it in the AM!

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