Saturday, November 19, 2011

The "Wilderness" Adventure Factor In The Herculoids

Space Opera adventures have more in common with Saturday morning kid's cartoons from the '60s then anything remotely to do with real life in space Here
When I'm thinking wilderness adventures I drift back to Saturday mornings & the adventures of the Herculoids
 Quasar always seemed a fringe planet whose time in the galactic spotlight has long passed. The planet Quasar was a semi tropical hell with lots of things that would try to eat you. I realize the body chemistry facts about this but LALALA I can't hear you. 
Some Quasarian Lamentations
  1. Quasar is a predator top heavy eco system -There always seemed to be yet another species to encounter & defeat 
  2. There are a wide variety of native non human tribes that don't get along & embroiled the family within tribal politics. 
  3. Lots of ruins from Quasar's past & galactic period. Which also meant lots of hidden & ancient toxic waste dumps & chemical pits.  This meant lots energy beasts & nasty mutants
  4. Quasar is well known but off of the intergalactic main routes. The wide range of pirates, renegades, & adventurers who use the planet means that while still on galactic charts, the planet isn't visited too often.Yet every invader seems to want to use the place for a base. This leads me to believe that while resource poor the planet has strategic importance in  galactic affairs.
  5. The Herculoids themselves seemed centered around Zandor. The father always seemed to me some type of ranger. I would suspect he was a native son who made it off planet. He ventured off planet joined the interstellar military & returned to his tribe. Then began his training as a ranger. 
  6. I would suspect that given the nature of Quasar that its live in harmony with the planet's nature or die 
  7. The tribe I mentioned before may mean lots of other warriors, wisemen,witch doctors, etc. We may never see them because it may involve journeying to parts of the planet never seen in the cartoon.Given the amount of predators this doesn't surprise me a bit 
  8. The entire family fits the noble savage template found in many Saturday morning kids shows with dinosaurs  of the time. So we could assume given this that other npc tribes & races of  Quasar might also but then they might not. Throw a really alien species to throw off your players 

There are three things I've got from watching hundreds of hours of these cartoons across my child hood & adult hood. The ecology of Quasar its very exciting, very Gygaxian, & its seldom boring.
Each of the Herculoid's cartoons squeezes problem, antagonist, & Herculoid butt kicking into seven minutes. There is a bit of intergalactic butt kicking violence & the problem goes away. Its pretty much the perfect table top evening.
Monsters & animals on Quasar had a very eat or be eaten attitude. They seemed more then happy to munch down on the family or each other. There was always something bigger trying to eat them as well. As I said very Gygaxian in retrospect. 
There was always bit of politics going on in the background. but it never affected the family, or Quasar. This is one of my reasons for a tribal explanation. The planet is a galactic preserve or was as well as being resource poor.Its strategic importance in galactic affairs is its primary asset.
 I suspect that both Nu Ophiuchi d (a.k.a. Sinistra d) & Quasar have a similar origin. From wiki - The world of Tékumel, Nu Ophiuchi d (a.k.a. Sinistra d), was first settled by humans exploring the galaxy about 60,000 years in the future, along with several other alien species. Their extensive terraforming of the inhospitable environment, including changing the planet's orbit and rotation rate to create a 365.25-day year, disrupted local ecologies and banished most of the local flora and fauna (including some intelligent species) to small reservations in the corners of their own world, resulting in a golden age of technology and prosperity for humankind and its allies. Tékumel became a resort world, where the wealthy from a thousand other stars could while away their time next to its warm seas.
Given its animals, climate, etc. the chances are that while 
 Nu Ophiuchi d passed into the pocket dimension. Quasar at its height continued to develop off of the galactic map found only in the star charts of rouges & pirates! 

That pretty much covers my Saturday love affair with the Herculoids & Quasar itself for today.  All the best stats on the Herculoids can be found Here


  1. As a HUUUUGE Herculoids fan, this post was a delight. I'd gladly play in your game, which you obviously need to run...!

  2. Excellent post! Would love to play in one of your games.

  3. Apparently I really need to run this! Give me a couple of days to come up with an adventure & brush up on my Google + fu fellas! There's more Quasarian goodness tomorrow! Wow thanks for the enthusiastic responses!

  4. Yeah Quasar's fauna has an the marks of a "stocked" world rather than a natural one.

  5. Yeah that's what got me thinking of the similarities of Empire Of The Petal Throne Trey. Thanks for the comment! There's more to come!


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