The year 2246 AD. Earth is a tomb. The corpses of Old Humanity lie buried beneath the desolate, death-haunted wastes of a world that ended in fire. In their wake—new, transhuman races—stronger, stranger, forged in the crucible of war and bloodshed on a scale never known before. For the first time since Neanderthal man shared the planet with early Homo sapiens, more than one species of humans walk the Earth. Advances in technology and changes in culture have led the sons of man down three separate evolutionary paths. Each has their own culture, their own way of life, their own technologies and their own Gods. They have become fundamentally incompatible, and they are engaged in a bitter war for survival.
In the skies above the Pacific Ocean, a vast continent hovers, composed of thousands of individual man-made floating islands. This is Celestia. Great Heavens. Out from it come pouring the warhosts of the Revs. The golden armor of their Chaos Paladins glistens in the sun, the psionic power of their Teleks warps reality itself with its fury. What was once Europe is now a vast tangle of cold metal towers reaching from the very bowels of the earth to nearly the heights of space and sprawling across most the entire continent, and all of it crawling with machines the size of atoms - Geneva. Within this colossal, cyclopean arcology the mortal servants of ancient evil plot and scheme; their new "legitimate" government, the GSA, claims dominion of all the world, but while the nanoborg armies of these Socs clash with their Revish foes, the church of their terrible goddess scours the earth and beyond for lost secrets to unleash dread forces.
Asia, North America - these are vast cosmic battlefields, moonscapes that look more like the surface of an asteroid than anything we would recognize them as. They are ever-burning now with the acrid stink of brimstone and molten earth, ozone, and the constant faint tingle of electromagnetic radiation as Socs and Revs constantly clash across them in titanic battles the least of which is more destructive than a thousand hydrogen bombs. Amongst these and other places across the wasteland Earth, small pockets of people called Garns - those who side with neither good nor evil - eke out a meager survival. They are hardy survivors with a bit of nano in their blood, a few genetic enhancements or mutations, a lot of luck on their side, and a scrappy scavenger ethic. Mostly they just want to avoid The War, or profit from its spoils. Sometimes, they fight back.
There is more to this War than meets the eye, however. The mortal armies, however godlike they may appear compared to us, are pieces on a chess board. Ancient and utterly alien, unknowable, eldritch things which have dueled across creations unimagined and incomprehensible since ages beyond reckoning or thought puppeteer the human forces. Primordial gods of good and evil, beyond anything the mind of any type of human could hope to comprehend without succumbing to complete madness, have fought, creating and destroying realities we could not begin to fit into sets of dimensions that our limited senses can perceive, since long, long before Man or his tiny blue-green planet were even a twinkle in Destiny's eye. Our world is but the latest theater in their Long War. It was not the first, it will not be the last.
Slumbering gods have awakened and turned their dreadful eyes towards the Earth. And within hides a cancer, eating away at the very heart of what survives of mankind. This is The Age of War. This is the time of Chaos. Master the limitless psionic might of a Telek, unleash energies that can move the very stars, and bend reality itself to your will. Bond with a five-hundred-foot tall Warsynth and rain down hell on the implacable Soc hordes, or go toe-to-toe with one of the Socs' own behemoth mecha, the humongous MWDPs. Fight tooth and nail on the front lines against the horriﬁc machines of the Pinnuver Hive. Seek out the malefic corruption of the insidious "Infinite Church of the One True God". Explore the dark world of the malignant Global Societalist Assembly and their unseen monstrous agents. Sift through secrets long thought lost in the hopes of finding an advantage for your God over His diabolical enemies. Swear an oath of eternal loyalty and dedication to your Cause and undergo the sacred techno-rites that will reshape you with the powers of the Chaotic Light, forever transforming you into a Paladin - divine bringer of wrath. Nowhere else will you ﬁnd a setting like this.This is a setting about Eldritch Nazi Robots vs. Transhuman Shapeshifting Chaos-Worshipping Psychic Warrior-Fanatic Space Faeries. And that's just the introduction. The Chronicles Of Fate has recently undergone a name change to, simply, CHAOS. Throughout the rest of this wiki, it's still going to be referred to as The Chronicles Of Fate, mostly because I just can't be bothered to go through and change all the names, but just be aware that's not the name anymore. Anyway, with that info out of the way... Chaos (formerly The Chronicles Of Fate) is a Tabletop Game Campaign Setting currently in production by Unknown 20 Troper. In theory, it has a publisher lined up ready and willing to publish it as soon as it's done. A successful RPG publisher who's successfully published several RPG books in the past. In practice, that contract was signed a long time ago, has probably lapsed, and it remains to be seen whether the project will ever be finished anyway. So Chaos is currently Vaporware— hopefully it won't advance completely to Orphaned Series or Stillborn Serial status. If Real Life didn't keep getting in the author's way, it would stand a much better chance of getting finished someday. The premise of Chaos could best be described in the X Meets Y style as Rifts meets Mutant Chronicles meets Eclipse Phase meets Exalted meets Dragon Ball Z meets Gamma World meets Cthulhu Tech meets Warhammer 40,000. Yeah. Serial Escalation is definitely in play here. The idea is that it's supposed to be published to be compatible with Mutants & Masterminds under their M&M Superlink License; not so much because it's exactly a Super Hero world, although it sort of is that as well, but more because it's instead some crazy Schizo Tech Anachronism Stew Ultimate Showdown of Ultimate Destiny Fantasy Kitchen Sink Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot Serial Escalation Troperiffic Fueled-Solely-By-The-Rule of Cool world of insanity populated chiefly by beings so powerful that their interactions can only be handled by rules designed for super heroes. And even then, only barely. The idea is also that it's supposed to be not just the one campaign Sourcebook, which itself will hopefully ever be finished, but once it is, beyond that, an entire Expanded Universe which will be developed to be set in the same universe— Novels, Computer and maybe Console Games, maybe even Graphic Novels or Manga, an Animation or Anime, a Collectible Card Game or even maybe a Movie. The hope is that some day people he's never heard of will be writing bad Fan Fic set in his world. Something like the Whateley Universe, the world of Fate/stay night, or even Warhammer 40,000 itself. A troper can dream, can't he? It goes a little something like this: It's After the End. Well, technically, it's more like During the War. World War III has broken out, leading to The End of the World as We Know It. What's left is a wasteland, an endless battlefield of burning destruction where survival or annihilation are the only prizes. For those few Garns who aren't tied up with one side or the other, it's a Scavenger World, living like frightened mice, few survived the Nine Days Of Fire unless protected behind layers of what is now Lost Technology, which is primarily the two main factions left fighting it out over what's left of the Earth. The Player Characters would typically take the roles of members of one or the other of those factions, either the rebellious Revs, who've got kind of a Family-Unfriendly Aesop going on; that "society is bad" and they're fighting for freedom by overthrowing it; in this world they somehow manage to be the good guys— more established than your typical La Résistance, they've actually got their very own extremely... zealous Church Militant to back them up complete with it's own Meaningfully Named Emperor Scientist Crystal Dragon Jesus Messiah called Josh (who by the way is actually an ancient Outer God reborn in human form after an epic cosmic defeat) — or the evil Socs. What's left of the One World Order, Cybernetics Eat Your Soul is kind of these guys' story. Not that the other guys don't sort of have Cybernetics too...and crazy telekinetic powers, but somehow it doesn't eat their souls. Well, it's complicated.
This RPG provides examples of:
- A God Am I (Josh definitely is, of the accurate assessment sort. Somewhere between Physical God and Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence. So is his wife, Jen, essentially Mother Nature. Their enemy, the evil Marcy, secret lord of the Socs, fits this trope too, she's more in the God in Human Form category. All were once Powers That Be/Anthropomorphic Personifications/Eldritch Abominations (and they sort of still are. Like I keep saying, it's very complicated), with Josh having used to have been essentially that God. You know the one. And Marcy being basically the equivalent of the person that that person fights. They got Nerfed. Later, in the future of the timeline, they all regain their former power. To make things more complicated, most regular Player Characters can become so powerful over time with whatever their particular powersets happen to be (telekinetic, nanotechnological, etc), that they can eventually come up for some version of this upgrade themselves. Has an example up and down pretty much every level of the Our Gods Are Different scale.)
- Abnormal Ammo (Revs have guns that fire lightning, that fire air, that fire fire and even water, that shake the earth and that project packets of actual energy, the real kind, as in, "the ability to do work", (not just fancy yellow light) through the air, which turns into heat and force upon impact with an object, blowing it the hell up. They have guns that fire tiny showers of metal shards that can rip anything to pieces, expanding spheres of solid plasma, organic weapons that fire deadly living projectiles, and plasma-crackling Force Arrows that can blow apart a fortified bunker. The Socs have kinetic rounds that go faster and do more damage the further they travel through the air, EM-dampening rounds that can punch through Rev electromagnetic armor, nano-filled rounds that start pulling a target apart atom-by-atom as soon as they hit it...the list goes on and on and on.)
- Abusive Precursors (Marcy, the ancient god of Sin, the six other evil lieutenant gods she created in days of old, (Anthropomorphic Personifications of Death, Decay, Deception, Rage, Malice, and Cruelty, each respectively), not to mention the entire race of Demons she spawned that destroyed the rest of The Multiverse besides Earth's universe, Prime, and then scoured this universe of all life before Earth or humanity were ever even born, collectively known as The Darkness or the forces of Evil/Order in the Chaos Verse, should certainly qualify.)
- The Aesthetics of Technology (Both averted and played straight, by both sides. As technology has advanced in the future, it's turned out different than what people from our time expected it would. In certain respects, it's come back nearly full circle to be similar again to what it was in the past. So there are Revs with sleek, organic, crystalline-appearing technology and ones in their Church Militant, The Divine Chaos, with gothic and baroque, medieval-looking armor and weapons. Everything in the Socs' world is metallic, sterile, mechanical, and orderly. It's pretty much all made of Nanomachines and most of it flows just as smoothly and fluidly as you would expect something from the future to...but then the other half of it is actually pretty damn boxy. Half of this is done by the leadership of the respective sides for psychological reasons— all these technologies work with deadly efficacy, some just look more deadly than others.)
- After the End (It is. A big ole' war has broken out. With all sorts of decidedly nasty bombs and weapons. Nuclear bombs, and nano-bombs that disassemble landscapes on the atomic scale, and Negadyne Bombs that unzip matter like the back of a lady of the evening's shirt. What's left, except for Rev and Soc bases which were in the sky and protected by Barrier Shields, respectively, is mostly a big grey wasteland of scorched, glassy lava rock desert and not much else.)
- A.I. is a Crapshoot (Oddly, averted. AIs exist...the only problem is that almost everyone is actually part machine and part biological, Revs and Socs alike (although they each have very different kinds of "machine" components), so no one would even know which side of a Robot War to be on. Both Socs and Revs are basically voluntary shapeshifting nanomorphs, their bodies a mix of Nanomachines and living cells. For Revs, those Nanomachines are bio-like nanites, for Socs, they're purely mechanical atomic machines. It gets more complicated when you add in the fact that there are some people who are all AI and are born with no physical body at all— they're called Presences, but their minds are exactly the same as the people who do have permanent bodies, and of course a regular person could always become a Presence and vice versa. Not that that stops the Socs from treating their Presences, who they just call AIs, like slaves; that is to say, even worse than they treat most of their people, which tends to push many of them into trying to escape and convert to Revdom if they can.)
- Air Jousting (90% or more of the combat in this series is this. Teleks use their telekinetic powers to fly around, obviously, Soc nanotechnicians are propelled through the air aloft on propulsive nanoclouds. When they get to the actual battlefield where their primarily flying armies clash, humongous, incredibly long and brutal sequences of Awesome, but Impractical Air Jousting commence, complete with lots of
KiTelekinetic and Nanotech Kamehame Hadoken Beam Spam, matter being transformed into other elements for the purposes of destroying the enemy, created and destroyed to try to damage eachother, and characters constantly healing, soaking up and inflicting more horrendous damage, not to mention massive damage to the environment until enough warriors are finally completelly melted down to the subatomic scale.)
- Alien Geometries (Many of the things that are directly tied to the Eldritch Abominations who are running things behind the scenes in this setting. Sure, the mundane churches of Marcy just seem evil, and the common Wordtemples of Josh just seem goldeny Chaotic Good, but, if you get to the actual cores of where these entities are interacting with our world, they are....well, still not the actual Eldritch Abomination Gods that they really are, but merely the tips of those icebergs, very powerful physical manifestations in our little world of beings that are just too big to even fit one-tenth of their dimensions in our universe. Nontheless, there are some artifacts, places, things, and ancient books related to their true forms, yes, if one knows where to look, all will destroy your sanity to try to look at or percieve. So be grateful for the Masquerades.)
- Aliens and Monsters (The Socs. Their sinister masters, the Demons. Their sinister masters, the Evil Demon Gods Of The Darkness — Marcy, her husband Chet, and their children Katey, the goddess of decay and plague, Dee, goddess of lies and deception, Timmy, god of rage and hatred, Zack, god of Malice, and Leonard, god of Cruelty. In the setting's past, there were lots of Starfish Aliens running around, but they were pretty much all good guys, so they're not this trope. In the setting's future, the Socs become The Viral Confederation, and the Garns become an alliance of unpleasant Space Pirates called The Duster Kingdoms. And don't even ask about The Doomshadows.)
- The Alliance (This setting has an alliance of sorts, but it's an evil one. Well, not strictly evil per se, leave that actual alignment to the Viral Confederation to whom it rightly belongs in the future time period, but it is unpleasant and generally bad. The Dusters, as they call themselves, are a roughly affiliated alliance of Barbarian Tribes, Space Pirates, Criminal Syndicates, Nobles and Royalty Of Questionable Morality, and other various medievalish type people IN SPACE!!! They inhabit a vast yet relatively sparsely-populated region called The Dustlands, an area filled with galaxies (Allands, in-setting) that are filled with planets (Lands) and Suns that are surrounded, indeed, swarmed with far more meteors, asteroids, and cosmic dust floating around everywhere than ordinary regions. The story goes that their ancestors, the Garns of Terra, actually towed all that debris out there to make it easier for them to hide amongst it - The Dustlands is a colossal hollow sphere of space which surrounds the vast and expanding Union (which is what the Revs have become and you may notice is somewhat similar to a certain Imperium of Man) and is itself surrounded by The Viral Confederation and finds itself wedged between two colossal, warring cosmic powers who they both want to stay independent of and steal from/try to sell their services to - think big, multi-layered egg. Or onion. Septillions upon septillions of light-years across.)
- All There in the Manual (The hope is that if the core book ever actually does get finished, published, and takes off, there will be a lot of other world expansions, characters, rules updates, supplemental sourcebooks, novels, maybe even a monthly magazine, spinoffs, comics, manga, fiction, and who knows what else, all of which will expand upon and continue the story of the Chaos universe beyond just what is contained in the core book and all of which you will have to read to completely get the full story of the Chaos Verse!)
- Alternate Character Interpretation (So many different ones are possible. The Revs: Are they the Big Damn Heroes? Guardians of all that is good and bright and true in the world, keepers of the flame, paragons of freedom and liberty, La Résistance who are going to beat the bad guys, save the day, rescue the universe from certain annihilation, and lead humanity into a shiny new golden age? Or really just a bunch of psychotic mass-murdering terrorists on a scale the Nazis could never dream of, chaos-worshipping psychopaths led by a mad god to drag the world down the path of destruction? The Socs: Utterly, irredeemably evil Empire of soulless machines, military cogs, unthinking drones, bleak, omnicidal, demon-worshipping fundamentalist collectivists with no place for individuality, who in fact are either knowingly (for the higher-ups) serving a force that is using them as soldiers to bring about The Apocalypse, or are slaves to said force, knowing or not? Or legitimate authority who has only been forced to turn into such a tyrannical state as a result of their enemies' actions, thus opening themselves up for Marcy to take control of them. And while we're at it, Marcy's worshippers: evil mad cultists who willingly worship an Eldritch Abomination knowing it will bring their own destruction and that of all existence, or Buddhist-like peacefuls who are trying to free themselves and the world from the endless cycle of suffering by finally bringing about a peaceful state of oblivion? Synths: mindless bioroid slaves, or willingly loyal pets to Revkind who, like dogs, might turn vicious if they don't like how they're treated. The list goes on and on.)
- Always Chaotic Evil (The Socs, The Demons, The Evil Demon Gods Of The Darkness, The Viral Confederation, and The Doomshadows all fit the spirit of this trope, despite actually being Always Lawful Evil.)