Monday, May 2, 2011

The Future Was Yesterday

Almost by default, post-apocalyptic futures are just that, grim futures after the fall of man. We can all imagine a time in the far future where our once mighty though foolish civilization, at the peek of it's power, is now in ruin.

But what if that future was yesteryear? What if the apocalypse happened in the past?

In films and stories where, at the time, the end of the world was within arms reach. That always sent more of a chill up ones spine. What if that future was not centuries away but maybe decades or just years?

Remember John Carpenter's Escape From New York (1981)? The Future - 1997 where New York was turned into a giant prison didn't seem that far off or that implausible.

The Last Man On Earth (1964) film was based on the book I am Legend and took place between 1966 and 1968.

What if, at the end of Dr. Strangelove (1964) we continued the story? 2011? Almost 50 years after the great war?

What if the post-apocalypse was now? What if the Mutant Future was now? Where was technology in 1964? Sure, we had The Bomb but computers still filled a room with memory on tape. The Beatles just invading the American shores. Fifty or one hundred years in that future sure would be different.

I've been thinking a lot about running a Mutant Future / Gamma World 1st ed. game. I think it actually might take place now, in 2011 with the destruction of the world happening in our recent past, 1964, and using Stanley Kubrik's Dr. Strangelove as the back-story. What is the ratio of males to females? Would a mine-shaft gap come into play? The Purity of Essence cults?

I think that would be very interesting and maybe even a bit more messed up as one may face 1st generation mutations in the very year we live in now.

Much to ponder, much to ponder.....


  1. I ran a fun post apocalypse campaign with a homebrew kitbash of rules that grabbed bits from traveller and boothill called "Apocalypse Yesterday". The campaign took place in a fictional now (well 1990 or so at the time) along the Connecticut river valley following a World War III triggered by the Cuban Missile crisis.

    It was gritty gun fiction adventure over science-fantasy. Most of the player liked it a few didn't like getting shot to death easily. One of the features I had the most fun with was random starting equipment, each player had a limited number of rolls and could roll on tables like "Headgear", "Footwear", "Coat" and get an odd hodge-podge of results that made it clear every PC was a scavenging wanderer.

    I had a few old magazines I used to establish the setting (life, time and national geographic) and an old high school civics/history book.

    Mutants were mostly animals most opponents were other humans.

  2. That's great stuff Jarvis! I would have loved to play in that game! Great ideas with the Magazines.