Wednesday, 1 July 2020

History and Psychos

I'm going to make a thin excuse to co-opt this week's article but I think I am going to get away with it. These are poignant times in the real world with both high temperatures politically and high stakes constitutionally with the foundations of the free world on the roulette wheel of revolution. However, whether you bet on black or red is not my question but why we didn't see it coming? To be fair our plight has already been shared and is often fated to the casual contemplation of historians or the adjustment of economic theories; civilisations rise and fall after all and whilst Rome wasn't built in a day neither did it fall over a weekend. Revolution or evolution aside the burning question on the square one on which we always seem to find ourselves - are we blind to our future or is there another way ?

From a roleplayers perspective we have perhaps improved tools since the reading of entrails or divining of runes. For our part we play unreserved in our fantastical simulations and experience the cause and effects of our actions on the communities, cities and empires in which we roam. There may well be a light in the future darkness with scale-able simulations but can we imagine a better way? Well, amazingly in recent articles, I have touched upon my nostalgia for the Golden Age of Sci fi and as an Asimov fan I have followed the Foundation epic based on the unlikely wheelchair bound mathematical hero Hari Seldon and the predictive power of his Psycohistory models. Spanning thousands of years his models were not used for avoiding the inevitable fall of the shining Galactic Empire but rather to shorten the darkness for the generations left starving and crawling in its wake.

For such a passionate and nostalgic fan of Asimov imagine my heart missing a beat when I  just discovered the commissioning of a new series based on his Foundation novels. Whilst sci-fi fans will love this, the Asimov fans can savour the detailing of Chris Foss's artwork in the trailer with the thick bands of contrasting colours on the ship decals. here you can compare the 70s book covers with a clip from the trailer.

As excited as I am to visualise what I could only imagine as a teenager reading these novels born thirty years before me, I am going to literally explode if a role playing system comes out of this and I think it will.


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