Friday, April 11, 2014

Commentary On The Free Science Fiction Classic - Attack from Atlantis By Lester Del Rey For Your Old School Science Fiction Campaign

File:Attack from Atlantis 1st Edition Dust Jacket.jpg
Cover art by Kenneth Fagg Find out more about this sci fi artist extraordinaire
Grab It Right Over

Another in The Winston Series of Science Fiction novels. This one concerns the crew of a prototype submarine. Part of the Winston library of science fiction juvenile classics. This science fiction novel could be turned into a kick ass hard core post apocalyptic adventure.
According to Wiki :

The story follows the new U.S.S. Triton submarine on her maiden voyage, but trouble happens when the crew comes face to face with the inhabitants of the underwater city AtlantisAttack from Atlantis is a part of the Winston Science Fiction set, a series of juvenile novels. Triton is a perfect excuse for a DM to link up with the old Gamma World adventure download Rapture From The Deep. Make the Triton's launch facilities part of a colony of PSH humans and the Tritone sub scavenging along the American coast (either one) for supplies. Moving from facility to facility  and you've got an excellent excuse to introduce the 'Mutant Beastie Of The Week.' What makes this a good book for post apocalyptic adventuring is the low crew ratio needed to run the submarine. The adventurers are scouts simply exploring this 'New Earth' and marking out territories for later looting. 
 The Atlantians are a new breed of mutant and you've got the makings for a Rite of Passage style adventure ready for link up with Rapture at a later period. 
There's also a classic Irwin Allen television link up with his unaired television pilot called City Beneath The Sea. Turn the PSH colony into a joint Atlantian/PSH human endeavor and your ready to go. 

Using Attack From Atlantis For Your Old School Space Games 

This juvenile underwater sci fi novel can also make a great bridge gap for your old school space opera. 
Major plot development according to Wiki :
The story is set partly on the atomic powered submarine Triton. In the foreword the author, although not a proper scientist, author del Rey mentions the first real-life atomic sub: "The Nautilus is already being built. And just as this is being written, word has come that the first tests of an atomic power plant for the ship have been successful" (ix). del Rey spends quite some time in his novel trying to explain the difference between the engine on the real nuclear submarine of the Nautilus and that of his own, fictional U.S.S. Triton. 

The U.S.S. Triton is part of an underwater space colony that has been lost for centuries. The PC stumble upon it just as war is about to break out between the two races. Can the PC's navigate the dangerous waters of inter colony foreign policy and diplomacy. It worked quite well for Star Trek The Next Generation and it can work for your old school games. Stars Without Numbers is a perfect excuse for this style of game. 
Then there's the Xplorers angle that can work with a much lower tech level. The PCs find this relic colony in the middle of nowhere about to go to war. There's rich radioactive fuel deposits and the chance for a profit. Do they exploit the situation or help the races to work in harmony? Could this situation become much more deadly with societies on the cusp of nuclear weapons and space expansion in a hundred years not far behind?
 Attack From Atlantis is a perfect excuse to get the kids involved in rpging. The level of violence is way below lots of material out today. There's room for lots of expansion. A DM can exploit the hell out of the novel to really create their own DYI thumbprint on it and it's a free download. All in all this is another Winston science fiction collection winner in my book. 


  1. I read this book when I was in the tenth grade back in the late 90s. I don't remember much of it, other than the Atlantians used crystals to create their force field domes and had a weird credit currency involving sticks.

  2. Yeah that weird technology is one of the reasons why I was looking into using the Atlantians for an old school game. The credit currency was really interesting as well. There are some interesting ideas here to cherry pick for a science fiction or science fantasy game adventure or encounter.
    It's also nice to know Jason that I'm not the only one whose read these growing up. They were great for borrowing ideas from but mostly forgotten in the toy box of science fiction because of the juvenile label I think.


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