Rewind to Damnation Decade

Warriors, come out to play!

I recently reread Stephen King's novel Salem's Lot. Among the many things it does well is capture 1970s America. It's not too surprising given it was written then, but there are some books, television shows, etc. that really are products of their times.

Born in 1971, I don't have the clearest memories of the 1970s. I bounced around a number of places - New York City, suburbs of Syracuse, New York, some time in New Jersey, and finally winding up in Connecticut. I think it's best to say my memories of the 70s are in flashes. Technology with wood paneling, a cable box with dozens of buttons. TVs that took time to warm up. Watching Godzilla and Planet of the Apes movies on the television. The bicentennial. Graffiti all over the subway trains. Huge cars. Everyone smoking. My brother being born. Lots of corduroy. A boy in my kindergarten with a metal pincher hand.  Disaster movies. Star Trek reruns. Star Wars. The Star Wars Holiday Special. Leonard Nimoy hosting In Search Of.

2006 saw Green Ronin Release Damnation Decade, a campaign setting for d20 Modern and True20 designed to capture the 1970s. It's one of those campaign settings I've never really gotten a chance to play that I got to thinking about while reading some Bronze Age comics.

I'm not really doing a full review of it - I'm pretty sure you could Google it. Rather I'm throwing out just how groovily awesome it was. It takes place in an alternate reality - one slightly different from our own. Americo instead of America.  Stanton Morango Spobeck instead of Richard Milhous Nixon. To be honest, I wasn't a huge fan of the name changes, though I can imagine the reason behind them - for me it allows for a mental disconnect from our world, giving permission to change things. Well beyond the fact it all went to hell in 1974, just as Nixon... Spobeck was about to resign, with California falling into the sea. Canada's equivalent has been flooded by the melted polar ice cap. The state of Alamo has been cordoned off. Killer bees are on the loose. Baseball has been replaced by the far bloodier Omegaball. Scary cults are out there. Androids are replacing people. A Hugh Hefner equivalent is preparing to run against Spobeck in 1976.

It's a setting that oozes style. Something you could run campy or play straight, depending on one's mood. It's also something that can be mined for all sorts of ideas. It's still available on RPGNow and is still worth checking out even if you never use it as intended. And it's one of those settings that kinda sits in my mind, wanting to be tried out.

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