Welcome to Gamma Terra
The year is now 2162 (or 151, or 32,173, or Six Monkey Slap-Slap, depending on your point of view). It’s been a hundred and fifty years since the Big Mistake, and the Earth is a very different place. The ruins of the Ancients litter a landscape of radioactive deserts, mutated jungles, and vast, unexplored wildernesses. Strange new creatures, such as beetles the size of cars and super-evolved badgers with Napoleonic complexes, roam the world. The survivors of humanity gather in primitive tribes or huddle in trade towns that rarely rise above the technology of the Dark Ages. Even the nature of humanity is now different, because generations of exposure to radiation, mutagens, and the debris of other realities have transformed humans into a race of mutants who have major physical alterations and potent mental abilities. Fluctuating time lines, lingering radiation and toxins, and strange creatures and technology transposed from alternate dimensions have combined to create a unique setting that any of the Ancients would think the height of unrealistic fantasy.
No matter how bizarre the world, however, it still rests on a few principles.
“Human” is a broad term. Most inhabitants of Gamma Terra are human, with minor mutations. Most mutations are cosmetic, such as purple skin or distinctive head-wrinkles; a few are helpful, such as sensitive ears or cat eyes.
So is “mutant.” People who have major mutations (those that qualify as powers) are considered mutants—especially the players’ characters. Most player charac ters are mutants (or at least look like mutants). Attitudes toward mutants vary widely: Some people think they’re cool, others revile them, and most don’t care.
The world is lethal. In a post-apocalyptic world, civilization exists in small pockets separated by dead wastes, monster-haunted ruinscapes, and tracts of land given over to alien growth from alternate worlds. Traders follow well-established routes, and only devil-may-care adventurers, members of cryptic alliances, and tribal raiders move far beyond their own encampments or settlements.
Wonders beckon. For all that the world is dangerous, it’s also wondrous. Even seen through the lens of a shattered reality, the marvels of a thousand thousand worldlines lie beyond the door, just waiting to discovered!
Alpha flux happens. A small subset of the population that has just the right genetic or algorithmic predisposition can spontaneously manifest entirely new mutant abilities by drawing on alternate worldlines.
Omega Tech is everywhere. Gamma Terra is littered with artifacts of advanced technology. People attribute all Omega Tech to the Ancients, but much of it actually originates in the numerous alternate worldlines. The most prominent forms of Omega Tech are the nanotech-based Xi items, photonic gear from the Empire of Ishtar, and offshoot technologies derived from Area 52.
You never know what you’ll find. The world offers more than Omega Tech items to bold explorers. Ancient ruins are littered with all manner of interesting bric-a-brac just waiting to be found. This stuff, lovingly referred to as Ancient junk, is everywhere.