I’m a sucker for inspirational artwork, so much so I did an entire series of posts showcasing images that had jumped out at me and provided immediate ideas for characters or campaigns. Throughout my life science fiction has always been the one genre that has consistently drawn me in so this article on The Verge instantly caught my attention. It highlights the artwork of Maciej Rebisz from Poland, a concept artist with a particular focus on space and the exploration of the solar system. It’s a stunning alternative history in images, building on the visual concepts of the Apollo program and using them as a base to say “what if we had pushed that little bit further…”
You can find more of his art at: http://spacethatneverwas.tumblr.com/ and https://www.artstation.com/mac
All artwork is copyright Maciej Rebisz, I’ve posted it just to showcase it and will happily take it down if requested.
Stylised posters always seem to get my GM imagination going, when they’re well done they serve the same function as a good book cover – to set a scene that you want to know more about. Some of the best, in my opinion, are those that recreate early sci-fi books focused on exploration and the colonisation of the solar system. They provide not only a sense of hope for the future but also one of exploration, perfect for any light hearted sci-fi games. The ‘Visions of the Future‘ set from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory provide a perfect example of this and after only a few minutes I already have a half dozen ideas bouncing around my head for the next time I run a game.
When I first saw this image it was titled ‘Battlemage in space’ and my mind immediately jumped to Shadowrun which has successfully blended magic with cyberpunk technology in a way that actually makes sense (too many setting merely add in magic without thinking about the consequences and impact it would actually have upon society). Space travel and off world colonies, however, isn’t a major part of Shadowrun which is something I’d want to address with the campaign described below.
Source: Alex Pascenko & Algenpfleger
Genre: Cyberpunk / Scifi
Themes: Shadowrun, hiding from the law, mercenaries
Campaign elevator pitch: The Sixth World wasn’t enough for the MegaCorps, not content with merely owning the Earth they have spread through the solar system, establishing corporate colonies where ever they please. With them went the shadowrunners, developing new techniques to infiltrate corporate assets from the dark vacuum of space.
The players would be: Shadowrunners bouncing between corporate colonies and freeports in search of the next pay chit.
The campaign would build towards: Stealing the first interstellar drive, and the decision of whether to make it freely available or to sell out to the highest bidder. Of course that is if they can survive long enough to do so.
Game system: Shadowrun, tweaked to work in space