Planet Zod. A New Savage Worlds Scenario

The idea for this home-brewed “Planet Zod” RPG scenario is inspired by the Superman comics/movie/mythos/etc and DC comics more generally, but could work with only slight adaptation for a more generic Savage Worlds Superhero campaign… well, except that there aren’t any superheroes in it. Let me explain.

Welcome to Planet Zod

Everything changed six months ago. That’s when “General Zod” showed up out of nowhere, introduced himself to a television news crew and hurled a giant shipping freighter into the Empire State Building in Manhattan — just to show us a small demonstration of his power. Luckily, only about 800 or so people died in that incident.

Just as nations around the world began coordinating a response (and as the Internet buzzed with rumors of conspiracy and hoaxes), Zod found another news crew, this time in Moscow. The reporters couldn’t fail to notice that he was carrying a stolen 14-meter tall nuclear missile, which he proceeded to detonate as they filmed. The crew was killed, along with most of the population of Russia’s capital city.

Zod emerged from the firestorm without a scratch — apparently, just to prove that he was immune to the most devastating weapons humanity could devise.

When he arrived back in New York City at the United Nations building to demand that world leaders “kneel before Zod”, some still hadn’t quite got the message. A Swedish diplomat tried to assassinate Zod at point-blank range. That diplomat is no longer with us — nor is Stockholm, which is now buried under 600 tons of rock which formerly capped a mountain top.

Not soon after, the people of Earth capitulated. Zod set up shop in the Capitol in Washington, D.C., giving the most technologically advanced nation on Earth the “honor” of facilitating his rule over the rest of the “apes” (as he often calls Earthlings).

“God exists. Unfortunately, he’s a complete bastard.”

It quickly became apparent that General Zod wasn’t actually interested in administering a global empire. A bipolar psychopath, he doesn’t so much “rule the world” as putz around his capital for months at a time pondering who-knows-what, before eventually becoming bored and wreaking havoc somewhere around the world.

Sometimes he does his dirty work personally, as when he burned Disneyland to the ground with heat vision, or when he smashed the Egyptian pyramids to dust.

Most of the time, he seems to enjoy getting humans to prey on each other in ways that are likely to lead to further hatred and destruction: as when he told the residents of Atlanta one afternoon that if any white people were left in the city by midnight, he would drop every child in the city into the Grand Canyon (needless to say, Atlanta’s demographics are now substantially changed); or when he presided over the simultaneous demolition of the Louvre and the Eiffel Tower by a group of Middle Eastern and African asylum seekers staying in Paris. His latest kick seems to be leading one-day ethnic cleansings in third world countries.

Life goes on for Planet Zod

A widely-predicted total breakdown in civilization following Zod’s arrival never happened.

Many people have essentially gotten used to the situation, rationalizing Zod’s catastrophic tantrums as being not much worse than the natural disasters and ordinary political screwups that have always plagued humanity. Indeed, a majority of the world’s population seem to have adopted this view and have not changed their habits much, or at all. They still go to work, buy lottery tickets, have babies, play D&D, etc… and cross their fingers hoping that General Zod doesn’t drop a mountain-top on their house.

There is no resistance… not since the Stockholm incident, which made clear that any act of defiance would result in horrors visited upon untold innocents. (No resistance, even though some observers have noted that Zod’s atrocities are getting more frequent and even more destructive — and some fear this madman may one day destroy the entire planet out of sheer spite).

On the contrary, a Church of Zod, mainly led by former skinheads, fascists, and other malcontents who worship power, is winning new converts every day. General Zod has begun to acknowledge their existence, occasionally letting his thugs carry out his latest scheme.

That said, most of humanity is united in hatred against their new overlord. They just can’t do anything about it. So they try to live their lives. Try to pretend that it can go on like normal…

Introducing our heroes (Not superheroes. I told you).

The world still needs law and order — now, more than ever. Our Wild Cards are homicide cops in Metropolis trying to keep the murder rate from spiraling out of control. Crime rates are through the roof and getting worse. The world may have gone insane, but they’re going to try to keep their little patch of turf as safe as they can make it — if only to give their own lives some illusion of purpose.

There’s been a break-in and a body reported over at S.T.A.R. Lab downtown. The investigation team answers the call. They’ve got a job to do.

A bigger job than they ever expected, as it turns out.


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