THE POST-APOCALYPSE JUST BECAME A LOT SCARIER: NEW VERSION (2.5) OF YELLOW DAWN – THE AGE OF HASTUR IS LAUNCHED
BRISTOL, UK—FEBRUARY, 2012— David J Rodger has released an updated version (2.5) of the role-playing game Yellow Dawn – The Age of Hastur, a post-apocalyptic twist on the near future universe shared by his novels. It’s where the Sci-Fi sub-genre of Cyberpunk meets the cosmic horror and brooding tension of H.P.Lovecraft’s Cthulhu Mythos.
In Yellow Dawn the Earth has been ravaged by viral pathogens, the death of billions observed by the orbital colonies and deep-space habitats that were largely unaffected by the Outbreak. Ten years later a handful of cities have bounced back and survivor settlements sprung up across the New Wilderness. The Infected pose an extreme threat within the thousands of Dead Cities; and rumours of alien monsters and Satanic ceremonies filter out from the deep wilderness on the tongues of those brave enough to travel. Players have the chance to become heroes in the New Wilderness, or become involve in city-based investigations and action-adventure.
2.5 was written to expand on the concept of the Influence of Hastur having taken root in the fabric of Earth’s reality; also, the entire structure of the rulebook was shifted around to place the narrative up front and separating out “crunchy” dice-based mechanics; this was done with the aim of allowing GMs to use the “world of Yellow Dawn” as a setting within their own game system. Many of the existing systems have been streamlined to allow faster in-game flow, further enabling them to be re-purposed within other RPGs.
There are several USPs in Yellow Dawn where the emphasis is placed on character skills beyond combat, and many of these have been further improved in 2.5, including: survival in a harsh new wilderness; repairing and building things from scavenged resources; trading in scavenged goods; options to enhance Anxiety and Cool checks with Morality, Stress and Depression; and key to everything – First Contact, where interpersonal communication and “likeability” allow characters to leverage influence with the NPCs they meet.
The Influence of Hastur is revealed in pockets of Infection, through the terrible once-human victims that have been erroneously dubbed “zombies” alongside the horrific – and sanity crushing – phenomenon that snags the unwary in Dead Cities. The risk from the Infection is evolving: giving GMs the ability to adjust the threat as the game progresses, keeping players on their toes.
Link to Publication: www.lulu.com/content/923035
David J. Rodger is a British science fiction & fantasy author and game designer best known for his novels set in a near future world of corporate and political intrigue. So far he has published five novels. Rodger’s contributions to the Mythos include the creation of a new Great Old One in his novel Edge, and the use of the Outer God Nyarlathotep in the novel God Seed. Rodger has also written Murder at Sharky Point, a murder mystery game. Rodger spent 8 years working for a non-departmental government agency, developing a virtual communications service within the IT Division, before moving into commercial project management for a UK media company. In 2000 Rodger’s presence on the Internet got him a place in the BBC documentary Through The Eyes of the Young, directed by Chris Terrill. Rodger now lives in Bristol, England, with a Braun coffee-maker, writing from a house on a hill with a view of Earth’s curve.
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LULU are currently running two special offers, where you can grab free ground shipping or nearly 1/3rd discount (30%) by using discount codes at their online checkout, including the new version of Yellow Dawn 2.5. These offers end 17th Feb and 19th Feb respectively. For free shipping use code: FLIGHTLESS. For a 30% discount, use code: FEBRUARYCART305GBP
A catalogue of changes
The new 2.5 edition contains over 60 pages of new material, taking the size of the rulebook from 300 pages to over 360. Here’s a few highlights of what’s new:
- The Word of Yellow Dawn – as a setting. All the information you need to run Yellow Dawn as a setting has been brought to the front of the rulebook and expanded; the narrative flavour has been separated, as much as possible, from the “crunchy” dice-based systems, removing the need to disentangle the Yellow Dawn game mechanics should you wish to use the setting with your own or another RPG system.
- Influence of Hastur – expanded and defined with a number of narrative examples demonstrating the way the Influence manifests itself wherever the Infection has taken a hold on Earth.
- Infected – much more detail about these once-human victims of the pathogen that was released during the event known as Yellow Dawn. Some people call them zombies but they’re far, far worse.
- The Changed; also known as Orcs. Human victims of the Yellow Dawn pathogen that survived but were left changed at the molecular level. Expanded notes on their society and background, including examples of abuse at the hands of “pure blood” humans over the past decade since they came into existence.
- Carbons – new rules for “free Carbons” called 88’s. Use of a cybernetic implant called a Cerebral Codex allows characters to digitize their mind-state and be “uploaded” into genetically engineered human clones. Astronomically expensive but an option for GMs to throw into the mix.
- Travel & Encounters. Streamlined system for managing characters who are undertaking long journey’s through the new wilderness; most of the world is now wilderness so unless they have access to aerial transport, they’re going to have to travel at some point. More encounters ideas have been added.
- Dead Cities – streamlined system for travelling through these terrifying locations, either on foot or in vehicles; now easier to manage risk of encounters with the Infected and ideas for when and how to introduce Influence of Hastur.
- Bumps & Scrapes; improved the physics behind the game mechanics, including a new monthly risk of wear & tear and maintenance checks for robots or characters with cybernetic systems exposed to the rough and tumble of daily life.
- Robots, Cyborgs and MBUs; improved rules on control and command of these things and options for characters to transplant their consciousness into machines.
- Computers & Immortality Options: ideas for Recorded Independent Mind States and rules for GMs creating and running true AI in their game, as opposed to clever software that merely emulates AI. See “Borgendrill Enigma” below.
- COOL and Anxiety; updated with optional systems where the GM can check a character for Morality, Stress and Depression, plus a host of related side-effects, symptoms and sometimes violent consequences of these maladies.
- Occult & Mythos. Some new Occult operations; a streamlined system for the major Mythos operations such as Render & Dismiss. I’ve removed the section that details classic Mythos Monster and the range of new non-human species, Outer Gods and Great Old Ones I wrote into the Cthulhu Mythos genre; instead, I’m going to make this available as a free-to-download PDF allowing it to grow organically outside of the constraints of a printed rulebook.
Yellow Dawn is more than a role-playing game. It is a diverse world to occupy and explore, either as an RPG or through the raft of novels and short stories being written within it. Yellow Dawn delivers acute fear and genuine horror, but also great hope. The world of Yellow Dawn can be used as a setting for your own role-playing game; or used as a stand-alone system to run your favourite scenarios – from other RPGs – within.
The setting of this role-playing game is based on the world shared by my sci-fi & dark fantasy novels: God Seed; Dante’s Fool; Iron Man Project, Edge and Dog Eat Dog. A world that is then battered, infected and twisted by a cataclysmic event called Yellow Dawn. The story starts ten years after this event.
I wrote and launched the first edition of Yellow Dawn in 2006; this was more a proof-of-concept and the very enthusiastic response led me to spend most of 2007 developing the second edition launched in early 2008. In January 2009 I released version 2.1 which contained bug-fixes and minor tweaks to systems. This version, 2.5, represents an overhaul of the structure and formatting of the rulebook with very little change to the actual systems themselves.
In an interview I did with Examiner.com, Michael Tresca stated that Yellow Dawn – The Age of Hastur was the first game to combine Cthulhu Mythos with a post-apocalyptic setting. I’m not sure if that’s true – but if it is I’m very happy.
Yellow Dawn contains genuine horror through its alignment with H.P.Lovecraft’s body of work known as the “Cthulhu Mythos”. This book contains new Outer Gods, Great Old Ones and Non-Human Species to encounter – or ignore – at your peril. There are also malevolent spirits and demonic entities to contend with.
Yellow Dawn can deliver great hope through defeating the challenges of surviving in such a dangerous environment. Set within a global tragedy with unprecedented suffering, it is a platform for the enduring quality of the human mind: hope and positive action. Everyone has a chance to build a new world.
Finally, whether you enjoy the horror and investigation of Call of Cthulhu; the fantasy adventure of Dungeons & Dragons; the gritty action and plots of Cyberpunk, Shadowrun and Delta-Green; the post-apocalyptic taste of Gamma World; or want to extrapolate scenes from the realms of Mad Max, any American “Spaghetti” Western, Gladiator, Bladerunner, Cloverfield, The Road, The Book of Eli, 28 Days Later, Ladyhawk, Cypher, Intacto, or Hellraiser and In The Mouth of Madness, you’ll find Yellow Dawn offers scope for any or all of these discourses in one genre-busting game system.
Before it actually happened, most people assumed that true Artificial Intelligence would be the product of Humanity tinkering with computers. The reality was an event known as the Borgendrill Enigma.
What caused the Singularity is still not clear. Before B.E. every form of Artificial Intelligence put on the market by manufacturers was nothing more than clever computing, stuff that now is known as AI Emulation software. After B.E. the Borgendrill computer network became self-aware.
Rumours began to filter through the scream-feeds and conspiracy blogs that Borgendrill had lost control of its network of autonomous machines and yet, all that happened was that the PR department stonewalled and the mining contracts were fulfilled without a blip.
Some time later, a raft of very impressive technological advancements came out of the Borgendrill Astro-Tech division; specifically in the fields of orbital-flight; constant-acceleration propulsion; and most significantly, SwiftlYte: which was faster-than-light communication. This launched Borgendrill stock into the stratosphere and enabled Humanity to hurl itself ever deeper, and quicker, into Outer Space. The vast city of New Tokyo, sprawling across Florida’s landmass, went into expansion over-drive.
Further rumours percolated, about the supposed deaths of the three original founders of Borgendrill years before all this happened: Elrik Johansen; Rolf Prommel, Sandip Jalzahar. Especially when the body of Elrik Johansen, the father of the Borgendrill computer system, was found by Turkish authorities on a small island in the Sea of Marmara – five years after he had supposedly drowned in a yachting accident; he had been shot to death. Nothing ever came to light about this, other than the fact the island was owned by Borgendrill, contained a lab complex, that Elrik Johansen had been living there during his absence, and that after the discovery of his death, the Borgendrill AI revealed itself openly to the world for the very first time.
This was true Artificial Intelligence. A ‘mind’, with an independent and wilful nature, with a personality (of sorts).
When the Borgendrill AI eventually revealed itself, and the fact that it had seemingly bred a raft of child-AIs, there was a lot of controversy and speculation, but ultimately, the AIs became a part of life.
You can get further flavour about Borgendrill in the epic cyberpunk crime novel, Dante’s Fool.
YOU MAY ALSO ENJOY THESE
- Dog Eat Dog – a novel set in the world of Yellow Dawn, written by David J Rodger
- Shadows of the Quantinex – a major world-spanning campaign for Yellow Dawn and reveals what caused the catastrophe to happen