WiP: Yellow Dawn 3rd Edition taking shape

First glimpse of core Call of Cthulhu formatting and terminology used in new version of Yellow Dawn

The more I get my head into the 7th Edition of Call of Cthulhu the more I am loving it. I am now ploughing through the re-write of Yellow Dawn – The Age of Hastur, the RPG I first published in 2008 (2nd Edition) and based on the world used by my fiction novels.  Yesterday saw me finish re-writing Chapter 2 of Yellow Dawn, which covers the Infected, using Call of Cthulhu terminology and introducing elements such as SIZ, Build and the Fighting Skill and Fighting Manoeuvre into my own copy.  Nice feeling. 

Also talking to artists on Deviant Art as I start to commission artwork for the 3rd Edition.

If you’re familiar with Yellow Dawn systems then here’s some notes on changes as they currently stand:

  • Most skills will be replaced by existing CoC skills.
  • Basic Tech is replaced by Mechanical Repair.
  • Construction & Rubble Monkey will be new skills for CoC
  • New rules for amputation {combat}

The prime focus is to ensure an existing CoC player / GM can drop their game seamlessly into the Yellow Dawn setting.  And for Yellow Dawn players to be able to pick up and run with any existing / subsequent CoC scenario and campaign.

Yellow Dawn has some USPs which are going to give it a strong position in the post-apocalyptic RPG market place, as already mentioned by Bobby Derie in his review for The Unspeakable Oath, and others.

Yellow Dawn - The Age of Hastur 3rd Edition converting to Call of Cthulhu 7th Edition - Infected

First glimpse of YD 3e being aligned with CoC 7e

New Short Story: Hybo

I had this idea whilst walking the harbour on Wednesday. Has become a bit of fun when I step away from the intensity of Yellow Dawn 3.  Here’s a dump of progress so far, typos and all.

 

HYBO

There is a very good reason why humans have been unable to find evidence of sentient life existing on any of the 2,000 habitable planets that have encountered through deep space probes or, more importantly, through the spread of machine and human colonists via the Arterial Wormhole network. There are remnants, suggestive of former civilisations with highly advanced technologies, such as the Arterial Wormhole network itself – discovered by Borgendrill Corporation and now an established, and expensive, mode of colonisation via the first node out beyond Saturn. Others exist, to be sure; catalogued, studied, sold for private collection or jealously guarded by the Hybo SYN.  But they’re all fragments. Halfway to becoming dust. Nothing living. Nothing tangible and real.
Then there’s what Daniel Buzzo found on Mars. They called it the Artifact.
Mátyás Kováts had spent his entire life as a child and a teenager wanting to be involved in the Space Mission. As he grew up, New Tokyo had exploded across the eastern coast of Florida like an art bomb of permacrete, fu-glass, carboplastic and good old-fashioned steel.  The former state of Florida sold like a land auction to UTOC.  A frenzy of construction and technological development built upon the bedrock of what Hybo SYN started to send back to Earth in those early freight shipments. Meanwhile the majority of Earth’s population were poor, starving and thirsty, either living in slums or as nomads fleeing the rising tides.
Kováts would have spent his adult years working on his father’s gelweed farm outside Budapest, if it hadn’t been for the explosion.  The Boris MvP-iV Breeder Fusion Reactor was a portable energy plant designed for out-of-the-way places that were unable to connect to the power grid.  A known issue had been withheld by Boris whilst a fix was being developed. Too late for the farm and Kováts’ family when the issue led to a 1/2 megaton explosion. Boris paid out in return for Kováts’ silence. It was that or wait a few decades to grab a share of a mass tort.  Kováts was young and grabbed the money. The money was freedom. The money was a means to realise a dream.
It was the same year that Hybo SYN had started to advertise for Seekers.
Kováts was in New Tokyo when Boris lawyers concluded the cash settlement: a slice of fu-glass laser etched with the serial code of an orbital bank account.  The Hybo SYN adverts were everywhere, scrolling down the side of skyscrapers and hanging in the air from the holo-rigs mounted on blimps drifting between the lofty spires of the mega rich.
Kováts took a transport module downtown, a cable-car ride that slung him across 30 miles of urban sprawl until he stepped out into the clean sunlit parks of the city’s o-zone. The Space Mission had become more than a noble reach for the stars.  Space culture was big fashion, especially for those people destined to pad the Earth until they died. Kováts presented his cash card to the immaculately groomed Hybo SYN agent; weird to see somebody looking so perfect they could have walked right out of a high spec sim-stim. Equally weird to find the agent wasn’t bored or desperately happy to see him.  Business wasn’t exactly booming. Not many people could afford the price tag that starting out as a Seeker carried with it.  A ticket to Mars and two weeks training.
Kováts studied the sterile walls of the agent’s office as the financials were confirmed and he realised, without panic, that this was possibly one of his last moments on Earth.
He had about 250,000 credits left on his cash card when he walked back out into New Tokyo sunshine and sat down on a park bench, supping a hydrogel cup of freshly squeeze orange juice.  Nothing had ever tasted so good.
Nine months later he was gazing through a viewing blister as the ship entered orbit above Mars, the grin on his face dented by pain and nausea of recently coming out of cryosleep.
* * *

Hybo SYN owned, patrolled and controlled the volume of martian space around the Artifact. The object that Daniel Buzzo had found so many years earlier.  Considering the money Kováts had just spent getting there, the meet and greet by Hybo SYN was more like an introduction to a Nazi internment camp rather than the glossy welcome for a new hero joining the Seeker fraternity.  Kováts quickly learned that Hybo SYN was all about profit, margins, ROI and maximising potential of the Artifact.
When humans starting landing on Mars, our machines had already traversed large swaths of the dead planet. Nobody and no machine had found any sign of life other than a particularly tenacious bacterial mould that the boffins were still trying to make sense of. Daniel Buzzo was a celebrated cultural artist who embraced technology like a virus might invade the mechanics of a cell.  Many considered him a renegade, a Cyberpunk who had a certain seditious attitude towards organised systems, be they political, economic, technological or sociological. Buzzo broke down boundaries and built new ideas like refugee camps in the mind.
Somehow, one of his projects enabled him to have telemetry control of a Fujiborg Bullhound from a suite in England, a scientific rover developed around range and rugged durability.  Buzzo’s plan was to steer the Bullhound on an epic journey, mapping Earth territories onto the Martian surface via a proprietary tagging system that was purely digital and only existed, per se, in a virtual overlay of the planet.
The artifact registered this and woke up out of a half-billion year hibernation.

[…]

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