During the day, you might delude yourself into thinking you’re on Earth. True, the plants are odd – there are no flowers, and most of the “trees” are giant ferns. There are dragonflies the size of your arm, and roaches the size of your head. The animals should have died out tens of millions of years past. But, even so, you can imagine it’s your world. During the day.
At night . . . you look up, and you see stars that are all wrong, and, cutting across the sky, the light reflected from the planet’s rings, forming bands between the stars…
On Earth, known these days as Homeline, things had been falling apart. Nation warred for the dwindling resources of the planet and the major industrial nations creaked under increasing debt and strain to their financial systems desperately trying to maintain order. Then, in 2012 it all changed.
Physicist Paul Van Zandt created a device that could break down the walls between various parallel worlds. After calls for and threats to nationalize this technology, Van Zandt met with a closed session of the United Nations. Nobody knows exactly what was said, but it was the birthplace of Infinity Unlimited, a corporation run under the governance of the United Nations Interworld Council.
Within a decade Homeline was prosperous and peaceful. Homeliners had begun settling depopulated Earths across the Multiverse, polluting industries were moved off world, dead Earths were used for waste dumps, and the future of mankind never looked brighter.
Recently, Homeline discovered this alternate, dubbed ‘The World of Banded Night’, officially Burroughs-6. So far what is know is puzzling to Homeline. The stars match nothing that computer modeling can recreate even accounting for stellar drift so dating the world is impossible. This ‘Earth’ has a nearly identical gravity, though the air pressure is slightly greater, enough to make a new visitor uncomfortable at first, but not incapacitating. There seem to be few high mountain ranges, ocean deeps, or deserts. Most of the single super continent scientists have labeled ‘Dinogea’ appears to lowlands, swampy marshes, and shallow lakes.
Yet the ecology is what is truly puzzling… According to all the scientific data collected so far there are several hominid species. One of which is identical to modern humans, but there appear to be no other mammalian life forms, not even other primates! There are birds, but very primitive, and plant evolution seems to have slowed to a crawl in the Cretaceous. There are several types of giant insects that never existed on Homeline, monstrous ‘fish’ that dominate the oceans, and the lack of a moon mean there are no lunar tides or easy means for time keeping among the primitives!
This is a world that according to everything in Infinity’s knowledge base should not exist, yet it does. Infinity wants to know why and how it can exist, and has begun sponsoring science expeditions to the world. Burroughs-6 is dangerous, filled with dinosaurs, warring early Cro-Magnon tribes, primitive Neanderthals, and one civilization bent on conquest with their new bronze weaponry.
Essentially, this is a ‘Timelost’ game. A group of researchers and technicians, along with a couple of Infinity Security types end up stuck here on the World of Banded Night for a time, fight for survival in a hostile environment, and uncover the mysteries of this strange world.
This is more of a traditional roleplay game (using elements of the GURPS Land Out of Time and Infinite Worlds books), but knowledge of any system is unnecessary. I’ll handle all the conflict resolution in the background, and I’m keeping character skill sets cinematic (for example the scientist seems to know a little about everything hard science, the technician can somehow make a cannon from some tar, a few twigs, and a rubber band ala MacGyver – well not that easily, but you get the idea).
I haven’t given away all the secrets of the world in the intro, there's some surprises in store for the characters. Also the game will be put in the EX category. Though there may be some sexual elements and even scenes, including potential for NC or graphic death (depending on how foolishly characters are played), I do not expect or wish either to be a major element of the game – it’s not a jump into the past and get it on with everything that walks or crawls type of game!
To keep things simple for character creation I’m including Eight basic character concepts below. I’ll keep it simple, first come, first served, no duplicates.
Scientist/Historian – A font of knowledge about the Prehistoric Era, especially its Biology, Geology, and Paleontology.
Anthropologist/Archaeologist/Linguist Eeyore– Excessively knowledgeable about prehistoric cultures, also extremely good with language's suggested skills: revolver, whip, and affinity for hats (kidding on these last three!)
Technician/Engineer – Merdoroli More than competent with high tech gear, including keeping weapons working. A strong knowledge of various engineering concepts as well.
Scientist/Parachronic NPC – Completely out of place on Burroughs-6. You know every detail of Infinity's latest research into Parachronic Travel. You are along to look into some strange sensor anomalies detected by the advance teams. You know your way around a wrench too, but you’re research, not applied science! Also, a pretty mean cook.
Infinity Combat Operative One: Drake Highly skilled in unarmed combat and pistols. Knowledge of rifles, stealth, and melee weapons as well.
Infinity Combat Operative Two: Xillen Gunner type, competent with every projectile weapon available; expert with heavy weapons and explosives (and how to make simple explosives), less of a finesse fighter in close combat and more of a brawler.
Explorer/Hunter: Soturo Stealth, tracking, guns, bows, trapping. Think big game hunter meets interworld ranger scout type.
Doctor: Xantham Skilled in basic medicine, surgery, and even some veterinarian skills as well, you keep everyone alive. You're more comfortable in a high tech setting, but you know how to improvise.