“The Calling” is a temporary name to a home brew idea for Savage Worlds. It’s sort of a culmination of different ideas I’ve had finally being put to paper with a goal and purpose in mind.
It’s a personal spin of the modern horror and occult hunting genre I love so much. I’ve taken inspirations from games like Hunter: The Reckoning, Demon: The Fallen, and Call of Cthulhu. Television shows like Fringe, Torchwood, Supernatural, and the mini-series The Lost Room have also played a heavy part in these ideas. You guys have seen some of the concepts and themes kicked around on this blog, but I’ve decided instead of fantasy to take it into a modern setting with a faster rules set.
I really wish I could share the entire back story of the cosmology I’ve written; but I’ve decided this would be one of those settings that would do better with the GM knowing the secrets of the universe and the players remaining in the dark.
But what I can share is this: I want it to start off like a mundane, modern horror campaign that evolves into a low to mid powered supers game. I say “supers” because I really like the power system presented in the Supers Companion and Necessary Evil, but there won’t be any caped crusaders or anything. I’m thinking more the first season of Heroes (which is all I watched, to be honest. I know, for shame.)
From the player perspective: Events start happening in the world that, as every day as they seem feel very out of place and wrong. Earthquakes, hostile weather patterns…stuff that can be easily written off with common sense and coincidence but everyone gets a feeling there’s something else at work. And then, reports of paranormal activities start rising. Just quiet, strange things….displaced time, ghost sitings, the occasional bleeding statue. And then the really strange crap starts to happen….widespread reports of “alien” abductions, civilians attacked by unknown creatures, even people claiming to run into their doppelgangers.
The Player Characters start to become caught up in these events, and what they soon learn is that reality is tearing apart, albeit slowly, at the seams. To add to this, they discover the existence of other Parallel Worlds, probably by accidentally crossing over where the membranes between the two places are weakened. To their horror, though, they’ll find these parallel worlds have all suffered some greater catastrophe…nightmarish beings have inhabited these realms, and as those realities completely crumble they prepare to invade ours.
This is where the PC’s acquire “The Calling”, a subconscious phenomenon that has begun to happen around parts of the world where reality is slowly starting to dissolve. Some have it in the forms of visions, others experience it simply as a gut feeling. Either way, they are the few who have a vague understanding of the events to come, and they refuse to stand idle.
So why a supers game, again?
As I said, low to mid ranged supers at best. I did enjoy some of the cool powers in Hunter: The Reckoning, and the fact they weren’t terribly over the top.
But honestly, while it sounds like a typical modern horror, angst-ridden morality game like many accuse White Wolf games of being…this isn’t. There is no hiding these events…they start off with the public and the nations in denial, but after a while the shit does hit the fan. This is a setting written on a time line, albeit a slow and stretched out one. One thing I should probably mention is the powers the heroes can inherit are not driven from “The Calling” and aren’t fueled by any divine spark or blessing….but are instead the abilities they discover on their own when dealing with the outworldly invaders. Thanks to the “trappings” mechanic of Savage Worlds, these can take many forms….from “spells” written on forbidden texts, powers that a hero channels as reality corrodes, strange mutations from visiting parallel worlds or even devices of fringe science.
It seems like a setting that has a lot of fun opportunities to piece together and write for, but also a setting (for me at least) that should be fun to run. As I develop more ideas and concepts into written form, I’ll be sharing them here.