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Realms: Cosmic Guardians
 

A Modest Proposal...

All righty, folks, here's the breakdown:

1. What game system are we using?

The system in question is probably one you have not heard of, since it is not a commercial game. It is called Cosmic Synchronicity™, and was created by Joseph Teller and Kiralee McCauley, two outstanding people with whom I have gamed for about 8 months now, and who readily gave me permission to make Cosmic Guardians possible.

The game is for 4 to 6 people.

2. Uhm, if this isn't a commercial game, then how will I get a copy of the rules?

*grin* Actually, it's quite easy. Provided you have a PDF reader, you can download the whole set of rules right from the web site that Joe runs: fantasylibrary.com. The links are here.

You can also download a free version of Adobe Acrobat Reader by pressing the button below:

Get Acrobat Reader

While I will be providing a condensed version of the character generation and combat rules, my recommendation is this: download the whole volume. The manual is large but immensely readable, and you will better be able to create a worthy character if you know what's available to you.

3. So, what's this GAAAAAAAAMMMME™ all about?

First of all, we will be playing using a specific world-book Joe created called Earth Unmasked!™ It takes place in the year 2025 in a world that is, for all intents, the Earth we currently live in -- but with improvements! Much of the sociological, historical, and technological differences were posited by mapping current trends, and theorizing what would be the likely result in 24 years... except, of course, for some obvious differences which I will detail below.

For me to explain what genre Earth Unmasked! is would take far too long. Short form: it's urban fantasy / sci-fi / conspiracy. But it would be best to detail what exactly this includes.

We've got Aliens! Yes indeed, folks. The aliens (called the Falcar) made contact with Earth in 2014, ironically lured to this poor misbegotten planet after mistaking TV transmissions as 'historical documentaries.' After the Falcar laughed themselves silly, they made some trade agreements with the UN. They gave Earth a few samples of their technology, such as battery schematics that made electric cars and power generators that near brought an end to the use of fossil fuels, and they got in return the rights to old TV programs and movies, along with a lucrative tourism deal. The bulk of their technology is under lock and key, however, despite the attempts of both legal and illegal sources to obtain it...

We've got Atlantis! No, not the fabled Atlantis of mythological lore, but in fact a man-made island floating in the Bermuda triangle and a sovereign nation in its own right. Created in 2010, home to 1 million, it remains a thorn in the side of Unistat (formerly known as the United States of America) as its constitution makes legal most victimless crimes (drugs, prostitution, gambling) that are still considered illegal in Unistat.

We've got Ghosts! Ghosts, ghouls, zombies, vampires, and other things that go Bump!™ in the night are very much alive in Earth Unmasked! -- so to speak. There are even creatures that exist from dimensions beyond ours; terrors that are only hinted at in religion and fiction. It is possible to play one of these mythological monsters in Cosmic Guardians, if you so desire... but beware the consequences of choosing to be Unhuman.

We've got... furries? Yes, furries do exist in Earth Unmasked! However, they are not actually anthropomorphic animals, but rather the products of genetic manipulation and the splicing-in of animal DNA to make specific animal abilities and immunities available to humans. In successful operations, there is no physical difference. There has been more than one instance, however, of the experiment failing, where the afflicted gradually mutate over time into something that looks more animal than human. All around the world there are thousands of genetic manipulated 'furries' living openly, but also suffering the stigma of their Otherness...

We've got Magic! Even though it is not a public thing, there are still many religions and philosophies that have magical traditions and teachings. Even the organized religions such as Christianity and Judaism have some few spell-casters at their disposal, although they believe their power comes from their deity, rather than themselves. However, it's not those who work in the open that we should worry about... but rather those who work in shadow. Which brings us to...

We've got Conspiracies! There's a secret war going on out there. Every organization that you might ever have heard whispers about -- Majestic 12, Echelon, the Illuminati, Rosicrucians, the Gnomes of Zurich -- they all have a hold in the modern world. And you think you know about all the existing US government agencies? Trust me, you don't. They work in secret, using the Powerless citizenry for their own ends and waging battles born of hatred and lust for power, against each other. Pray you're not caught in the crossfire...

And this is only the tip of the iceberg. Go here, if you're not afraid of what you might find...

4. Okay... so... what part do we play in all of this?

The PCs will actually be a part of the biggest conspiracy at all: The Unnatural Alliance.

Formed at the turn of the millennium, the mission of the UA is quite simply to protect the Powerless from the Powerful. This includes actions against religions, governments, organized crime, secret societies, and individuals that threaten the stability of society and the safety of the common man or woman. The Alliance follows a cell format and there are currently nine cells -- called Coincidences -- the ninth one having been formed in January of 2025.

You will be members of Coincidence #8: two months after the ninth cell was formed, a terrible incident resulted in the deaths of all but one member of the eighth cell. After investigation, and clearing the survivor of all guilt for the deaths, the remaining cell member was going to be removed from active duty, when a recent theft was brought to the attention of one of the Alliance Founders. Coincidence #9 was currently embroiled in its own crisis in Massachusetts, and all of the other active cells were either ill equipped or similarly tied up and unable to respond. Therefore, at the remaining agent's request, a new team was put together from members not currently attached to existing cells to respond to this most urgent occasion.

More on the Unnatural Alliance.

5. Whoa. Heavy. Okay, so what are my options for characters?

The possibilities are quite literally endless. There are, however, a few stipulations and recommendations:

For all intents and purposes, there are no Psionic Powers. There are some Positive Character Traits that mimic psionic powers, such as Prophetic Visions and Dreams, but they are all under the control of the GM. If you want to do the unexplainable, go with magic.

No more than two magic-wielding characters at start-of-game. Magic requires a great deal of skill to use correctly, meaning that most Tradition-following characters will be weak in non-magic based skills. One can be only a minor magician, but be warned that it's not an easy road to take...

This is a DAS (Develop At Start) game system. What does this mean? In layman's terms it means that your characters are not starting at 'first level.' You are all very good, if not exceptional, at what you do. Quite frankly, if you were not you would not be in a cell. Therefore, during character generation, keep in mind that you should focus your points on those skills essential to your character's theme/purpose, and only branch out once those are firmly established. There will be the chance for some advancement as well as the learning of new skills, but learning will, as in all things, take time.

Certain Positive and Negative Skill Traits will not be available to more than two characters at start-of-game. Trust me. This is a team effort, and the UA would not assign five people to one team that all had photographic memory, even if they could find them. And several characters having the same negative trait gets old quickly, as well.

No Alien Characters. No Falcar are aware of the existence of the UA. This does not mean this might not change during the course of the game, but no starting characters may be Falcar -- or any other as-yet-unknown alien race.

Here is a list of (highly) recommended themes, some of which can be combined, if done properly:

  • Hacker/Computer Engineer
  • Combat Specialist (weapons or unarmed)
  • Occult Expert
  • Conspiracy Theorist (could be a member of an organization besides the UA)
  • Magician
  • Unhuman (includes ghosts, doppelgangers, furries, ghouls, vampires, and others)
  • Expert in Sciences/Humanities

And some recommended Positive Character Traits:

  • Police Powers and Duties(not necessary, but can be both helpful and awkward)
  • Access to Prototype Technology
  • Network of Contacts

It is further recommended, though not essential, that all characters be combat capable. At least 75 percent of the group must be trained (not necessarily well trained) in self-defense of some form.

These are how the recommendations stand at this time. If you have a character concept you want but are not sure if it would fit in, ask me -- I'm Greg on RealityFault. Depending on how many people choose to join, the remaining member of Coincidence #8 may be a PC or an NPC. If one of you is interested in this awesome responsibility, let me know; else I will pick after evaluating skill sets. If you have any questions that I have not answered, pmail or talk to me online, or email me at chaos@channel1.com

If you want to go right into character generation details, go here!

As the official character generation pages will show, I am only providing the basics. I will want to meet with each player for a character generation session after they have already reviewed the Earth Unmasked! Manual, which includes all the possible skills and traits. Furthermore, as GM, I will have to ratify all characters before start, even if you decide to work through this on your own. However, I encourage all players to "color outside the lines," and to do so, we will have to meet so we can establish any new traits/skills you want your character to have.

The EEEEEEvil Legal Stuff:

Cosmic Synchronicity Version 3 is Copyright © 1999, 2001 Joseph Teller and Kiralee McCauley. Earth Unmasked! is Copyright © 1999 Joseph Teller. Cosmic Guardians and all products thereof are covered under the RealityFault shared copyright.

Or, to paraphrase some nameless soul that did a voice for Warcraft 2: hands off, grubber!

 




Last modified: 2002-Mar-17 18:01:42

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