Starting a Slipstream Campaign

Slipstream1-e1334699283606There is a Savage Setting I fell in love with instantly, and yet I’ve never ben able to properly play it.
I’m talking about Slipstream.

Being an old pulp fan it will probably come as no surprise that I like the Flash Gordon/Buck Rogers-style Slipstream quite a lot.

The idea of a pocket universe filled with rocks free-floating in a bubble of atmosphere, a Sargasso-sea of lost spaceships and strange civilizations is simply the sort of setting in which finding an adventure is pretty simple.

So, why I never played it?
Basically for two reasons.

The first is, in the country where I live pulp fiction is not so popular.
Yes, Flash Gordon has its hard-core fans, and a lot of people remember Gil Gerard and Erin Gray in Buck Rogers in the XXVth Century, but apart from that, we get precious little pulp-themed fiction hereabouts.ErinGrey

And so you can imagine what the end result could be of coupling a pulp-obsessed Keeper with a not-so-hot-about-pulp team.

Oh, c’mon, not another tale of derring do and susperscience!

The second problem I face with Slipstream is introducing the team, pulling all the characters together.
You know, the old

you are all in the Old Spaceways tavern when all of a sudden a brawl erupts…

How to do it?

In particular, Slipstream suggests that Earthmen belonging to a more-or-less spacefaring Earth might slip into the Slipstream universe, there meeting the wealth of Lion-men, Robot-men and Valkyries and all the rest…

And certainly this is a good premise, and one in line with the classics of the genre.
But, is there a way to play this with a modicum of class, allowing for each player to choose not only among Earthmen, but also among the many other character races?

In the end, I was toying with the classic Blake’s 7 hook1 – the characters are prisoners on a prison ship, and they stage a coup and take control of the vessel.
Pretty classic.

573435dc67117a3646e91fbd8b5123f6What finally decided me this is the perfect start was the introduction of Interludes in the Savage Worlds rules.
This mechanic, that allows players to expand their character background in game and as part of the roleplaying experience are exactly what I needed.
Now I can start with strangers on a rocketship, and then discover how they got there through flashbacks.
Nice and smooth.
Hassle-free team-building and ample space for growth and development, in one neat package.

“Hey, you, monkeyboy, what’s the name again, of that place you come from?”
“It’s called Earth!”

I can finally start my Slipstream campaign.
Provided I find time and place and opportunity.

And you out there – how did you pull all the characters together in games that allow for such disparate origins?
The comments are, as usual, quite open.

  1. well, it was good enough they lifted it for Farscape, why not do the same for my game? 
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