Brave New World After All

I got an e-mail last week that asked if I could start writing a bit about Brave New World (the roleplaying game I designed back in 1999) instead of making people wait indefinitely for the long-promised PDF that would reveal all of the setting’s secrets. It was a great idea, and I’m only sad I didn’t think of it first.

The problem with working on a BNW PDF is that my schedule is packed. The chances of me getting to work on a free product of any length in the near future rapidly approach nil. I have set aside some time for these weekly updates, though, time I can tilt in that direction. And so I will.

I can’t promise I won’t get distracted by other shiny things along the way, but I’m going to make a start at this and keep chipping away at it until it’s done. The brilliant part of doing this here on the website is that I can get direct feedback, including questions, to help me correct mistakes and direct my ramblings. This way, if I ever do manage to collect all this stuff into a PDF, it should be rock solid, tested by all of you as you read along.

So, without further ado, let’s get to it.

It’s best to start in the beginning. In the ancient times of Brave New World, gods ruled the earth—literally. All the Greek, Roman, Norse, Japanese, African, etc., deities of myth and legend were real. The gods walked the earth and were just the kind of petty creatures most of the stories show them to be.

The gods mingled with humanity. They mated with each other, and the genes of the gods spread rapidly throughout the human gene pool. The children of the gods had some of their parents’ power, but this power faded throughout the generations until it was impossible to tell if some traces of the blood of the gods ran through your veins or not.

The alphas and deltas of Brave New World are the descendants of the gods. When one of these individuals is under mortal stress, the power that lays dormant in their veins bursts forth, transforming him into something more than human, a delta. A second such situation can turn a delta into an alpha.

It turns out that most people have the genetic potential to become an alpha or a delta. However, the circumstances that can force such a transformation are often fatal. Few people manage to survive long enough for their powers to kick in.

Of course, it’s not that simple. The gods weren’t actually deities of any kind. Instead, they were members of the most advanced race of creatures in all existence, hailing from another dimension. Their powers make them even more powerful than the alphas. Think of them as omegas, if you will, the last letter in personal power.

What that all means and how it comes to bear on the development of deltas throughout the 20th century I’ll have to get to next week.

[Posted with ecto]