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Old October 10th, 2018, 12:14 PM
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Default Setting: Retropolis

I've been geeking out with the Pulp-O-Mizer (, and I've decided that this guy needs a Traveller-powered RPG setting for his Retropolis vision.

Anyone agree?

Summary: a retro-future setting with 1930s industrial design.

Present: clean energy, death rays, space pirates, dirigibles, mad science/scientists, dangerous giant robots, monster lizards, disembodied brains, robots with brains, ziggurats and pyramids, galactic puzzles, slaves, monoliths, priestesses and prophets, and mines.

Absent: computers.


* It's neither dystopian nor utopian.
* It is 1930s industrial design.
* It is pulp science fiction (think Buck Rogers).
* It's not Steampunk, so it's not Space:1889 for example.

Here's the story of his inspiration in his own words:

Originally Posted by The Guy (Bradley Schenck)
There was a time when we excelled at dreaming about the future. It was a time when I think we simply needed the future very badly. But there's more to it than that, of course...

[...] what always enchants me about the futurism of those days is its quality of universality. It was seldom about 'what would be better for me'. It was more likely to be about 'what would lead us to a better world'.

Being human, we seldom agreed about what that 'what' was, of course.

[...]a futuristic vision that was propelled by need, and heightened by style. It had such a distinct character that it's instantly recognizable, even now - and it was accelerated by a feedback loop in which industrial design, the arts, and the sciences all led us to the image of one amazing World of Tomorrow that seemed so real that it just had to be inevitable.

[...] If I have an agenda, it's this: I hope that by remembering and enjoying these vintage visions of the Future we'll consider the possibility that our own future might also be full of hope.

Why not? It's up to us. It always is.

the ingredients for my Retropolis go something like this:

The futurism of the 1920s and 1930s
Industrial design from those same decades
Buck Rogers comic strips, and pulp science fiction magazines, from the period

[...] So Retropolis, as I write this, is still a vision of that retro future in which our lives would be better and richer. But it's more interesting, now, because it's also a world in which mad scientists have nieces who worry about them; in which Giant Robots may, from time to time, stomp on the buidings in the Experimental Research District; in which Space Pirates are a thorn in the side of the Space Patrol, and it's possible that the Space Patrol deserves that, just a little bit.
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Last edited by robject; October 10th, 2018 at 06:01 PM..
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