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Blue Planet

Entry updated 8 January 2012. Tagged: Game.

Role Playing Game (1997). Biohazard Games. Designed by Jeffrey Barber, Greg Benage, John Snead, Jason Werner.

Life in Blue Planet is hard, fast and amphibious. The game is set in the twenty-second century, on a waterworld named Poseidon, reached through a Wormhole discovered beyond Pluto which permits Faster Than Light travel to only one extrasolar system. Poseidon was colonized by Genetically Engineered humans and Uplifted cetaceans before an ecological collapse on Earth led to the abandonment of the colony. In the period in which the game is set a largely reconstructed Earth, dominated by the United Nations Global Ecology Organization, has recontacted the colony and discovered "xenosilicates" that, by enabling the creation of Nanotechnological devices, allow the extension of human lifespans. As a result, Poseidon has become a wild frontier environment, where the Global Ecology Organization, politically independent Earth corporations, amphibious "natives", new colonists and mysterious Alien "aborigines" struggle for control; many of these factions are preparing for the armed conflict they see as inevitable. While the setting is limited to one planet, the number of contending groups and the detailed nature of their descriptions allows the game to be played in many different ways. The tone of Blue Planet is influenced by Cyberpunk, but attempts to transpose its core themes from an urban environment to a colonial one. In the game's hidden backstory a Forerunner race once travelled through the galaxy, creating wormholes as necessary and seeding planets with life. Poseidon's aborigines are an artificial species, created to guard the planetary Ecology, who use the xenosilicates to produce new members of their race. Stories set on Poseidon often focus on the tension between biology and technology; if there is a message embedded in the milieu, it is that science should be used to create life, not to exploit it.

Related works: Blue Planet (2000 Fantasy Flight Games) is a second edition of the game which uses a different rules system, created by the same designers. GURPS Blue Planet (2002 Steve Jackson Games) designed by William Stoddard, Jon Zeigler is a conversion to the GURPS mechanics. [NT]

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