Against the Storms - The Kerren Setting
For hundreds of years colonist from Earth have lived on Kerren. They came to Karren to live a simplier peaceful life. A pity that dream never materialized.
Kerren is a world in an age of Saurians. Giant megafauna live among huge trees. Smaller saurians and giant insects live in their shadows. The Humans live in Clusters, walled cities usually along cliffs, to protect themselves.
Kerren is a world of little metal. The colonists expected resources to maintain a minimal level of technology. Those resources did not exist or were unobtainable given their tools. They adapted to the materials they had.
In short their life was simplier, but it was not peaceful.
Zhan are extradimensonal blobs that fall from rifts caused by electrical storms. Zhan infect living things, twisting them into rampaging monsters. If Kerren was not dangerous enough, now 'things' roamed the lands.
However, the Colonists found allies on Kerren- The Dragons. Working with this native animal species, The Ryders defend their people. Riding their dragons they destroy Zhan as they fall before they can contaminate the world, remove Zhani monsters in Grey Zones, and wrangle Mega Fauna and Jumpers. Together with their Dragons, Ryders help build and maintain the colony.
Against the Storms is set in Kerren a Swords and Planet world, one where you get elements of low tech and fantasy (Spears, Dragons, etc) and Science Fiction (Colonial StarFlight, Some technology that survives, and science explaining all the 'magikal' elements (warp, Zhan, etc)). The characters in these campaings invest their blood, sweat, and tears into their world.
Kerren is a not a stereotypical 'lost colony', but simply one that did not unfold as planned. The world was not what the Preserver Colonists expected, but they made do. They wanted a life with lower technology and living 'with the environment'. The environment was more challenging than expected, but the colonists felt they were up to the challenge.
The world has conflicts of many levels. The first is against the environment. The colony has established itself in 'harmony' with the giant Saurian Megafauna and smaller creatures. There solutions, so far, have been unique. They do live with somewhat dangerous creatures nearby, much the way that many in African Towns do. The colonists have adapted to the local resources and the lack of things many people would think they need.
The second was the Zhani, monsters created by contact with transdimensional materials. These Zhan slide into Kerren during any electrical storm, contaminating the realm. While they are not 'world threatening' they impact the ecology adversely and can threaten human life.
Ryders and their dragons help protect Colonists against Zhani and Saurians. Flying out of their Warrens, Ryders support the colony in ways beyond simply defending them against giant animals and Zhani. They help build the colony and give it 'hope'.
The third conflict layer is interpersonal conflicts. Against the Storms campaigns are a mix of Pulp genre, Soap Opera Genre, and Romantic Fantasy genre. -'monster hunting and combat' will be intermixed with interpersonal and intergroup conflicts. Given the scope of the monsters, if kicking monster butt is all your characters are doing, it will become boring soon. If the characters were doing their job there will be no monsters). Characters (and groups) will have personal goals to achieve and people to strive against for them. Characters will be to be woven into the world with more thought than 'you are all part of the wing'. They will have history, connections, and apathies in the tight knit community of Kerren.
There is no one type of dramatic conflict in this campaign, but a mix to keep things interesting.
Some well read people will have just said to themselves, 'Hey, this is just like Pern.'
This is just like Pern the same way that everything with a magic sword is just like an Arthurian Tale or everything with Elves and Dwarves is just like Tolkien. In Big Sweeping Generalizations, yes. In reality, no.
Kerren is like Pern, just like every DnD world is like Tolkein. What? You are saying they are not? Well neither is Kerren. It is basically the same components, presented a new way with additional materials. If you are going to have dragons that are not stabled like horses, you are going to have something like Pern. (Flyers roost in higher places for protection and take off, given the size of a dragon... no tree is going to hold them... thus cliffs are the only logical place). Those comparisons are going to be unavoidable in the mind of anyone who has read Pern, but the same could be said about any Western Fantasy World and Tolkein.
Pern is really ungamable. Unless you are in a position of Dramatic Tension, about to rewrite the world, gaming in Pern is pretty ... boring. It makes for intersting stories, but bad gaming.
Kerren has things for 'adventurous souls' of players things to occupy themselves with. Here there is no dragon time travel to make things easy. Here, nature is something you have to think about. Here the monsters from the sky are a real threat. Limits to Dragon warping and a connection to their colonial pasts help make the world more balanced and playable.
So open your mind. You may of hated the books, but you will like the setting.
Against the Storm Major Sections
These are soon to be filled. The Preliminary work is in the
Setting Forge for Kerren or the FreeText of Kerren .
Against the Storms - The Kerren Campaign (Scroll/ codex)
This is the Anchor Submission for the setting.
Sagas of Kerren A scroll that will include the Encyclopedia Kerrenica and the background history for the colony. It will also include a few of the possible plotlines.
Personas Against the Storm covers character social Archetypes, campaign character seeds, and example Kerren groups.
Planets and Places of Kerren is a scroll and codex that will include information about the Planet, the places, and the Clusters/ Warrens/ and Villages of Kerren.
Ecology of Kerren is a scroll and codex covering all the living things of Kerren: Saurians, Draconians (Dragons and the seven other Draconian forms), Fish, Insects, Mammals, and Zhani.
Things of Kerren (Scroll... each section being a header)
*Equipment List from Heck
Against the Storm Campaigning shows elements you will want to use in making a Kerren Campaign
Campaign FAQ and bullet points
The Humans are from Earth a few centuries in our future. They know they are from another world and were sent here as colonists. They know the world they came from was very different and has many wonders. They even know where the Landing Site was. It is just north of the First Warren, the site of the High Warden council.
The world was not what it was originally supposed to be, being strong metal poor. While the Large Saurians on the planet were in the report, there were more and larger than originally reported. The Draconian Line was originally lumped in with the Saurians. The survey missed the Draconian seasonal migration by warp.
Within the first generation of colonization; they discovered the Draconians can warp (because of the strange emmissions of the star), they discovered Zhan and Zhan monsters, and created the first Warrens - place where dragon ryders and their mounts live. Early on, Dragons flew with the Hoppers (air craft) to defend against giant animals. To compensate for the lack of Strong Metals, they began to treat certain thick Saurian Leathers with laquers and such to make it nearly as hard as Iron.
Zhan are green globby animated things that drop out of warp in storms (electrical discharge creates the warp effect). They drop and slither arround. They infect living things with part of themselves, mutating the animal or plant or human or dragon, into dangerous killing machine.
What do Ryders Do
The Dragons and Ryders patrol each Ward (geographic region) from their Warren, flaming Zhan as they fall, killing Zhan monsters that occur despite their best efforts, and occasionally acting as police for the people who live in Cluster. The Warden, the leader of the Ward, rules the ward and usually the related Cluster.
Ryders also compete in Tournaments for personal and Warren glory and honors.
Ryders also deliver goods between Clusters, pass messages, do building (Dragons like to dig and can act as cranes).
Non Warren folk normally live in Clusters, or walled towns, many of which are up against cliffs. The general design is pueblo like. A small amount of people are living in villages in the outlands (areas not near a Cluster). These Villages are behind tall wooden walls. These folks supply services to support the Warren, that in turn protects them. You do need protection here. Have you seen Jurasic Park Series? That is just the regular forrest on Kerren here. Even the Kerrnese do not venture into the dangerous sections.
To be delivered.
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? Responses (6)
Updated: updating links
I find the amount of work and breadth of this world truely impressive. Now, I am not going to run a Kerren campaign any time soon, but it is very good source of inspiration.
Strangely, I've never read any of the Pern series. Perhaps it's time to take a look at them.
Despite the stated differences, Kerren and Pern are too similar for my tastes. The link in the first scroll is also dead, they moved the article.
And so it starts to grow. It will be great to see when it is whole.
Well, this is a bit more interesting than the other sub, and easier to read. Good work!
(not letting me vote)
A nice variation on the "Pern" theme, and with more adaptability and variety, making it much more exciting to use as a campaign setting over the long term.
I do hope to see this updated and expanded upon someday, despite the many years long pause hiatus it's endured.