Playing a Strontium Dog
The characters in Strontium Dog are the mutant bounty hunters of the 22nd Century; humans mutated in grotesque ways, shunned by society and forced into a life of killing for profit.
The game is a high-concept mixture of spaghetti western, science fantasy, time travel, dimension hopping and, occasionally, magic and sorcery. Hard scientific principles are sacrificed in favour of the fast moving and the bizarre. Strontium Dog is storydriven adventure that relies on black humour and deliberately ignores the issues and paradoxical concepts that time and dimensional travel inevitably produce. The emphasis is on fast-moving, violent stories that are laced with strange resolutions to perilous situations, focused on mutants blessed or cursed with the most strange and perilous mutations thinkable. Hard, realistic science is out and far-fetched, science-fantasy is in.
If you have never read the Strontium Dog comics, you are strongly urged to do so; these are great adventure stories, quickly told in a popular style. However, they do contain a moral edge, questioning the way society treats its disadvantaged and challenging the notions of retributive justice and the role of the hero. Here are a few pointers to set the tone:
• Virtually all Norms hate Muties and vice versa.
• No mutation is too extraordinary or farfetched. Want a rabbit-headed human? You got it.
• Conventional science is out of the window. In the world of Strontium Dog, the more far fetched the better.
• Humour is anarchic and pitch-black.
• There are no real heroes; anti-heroes abound. Everyone has an agenda.
• No one does anything for nothing. Everyone expects a payback or a payoff.
• Officials, bureaucrats, local law enforcement, rulers, nobles and politicians are invariably corrupt.
• The only truly honest men are dead men.
• Alien races abound; most of them are just as bad as humans.
• Nothing is too grotesque or bizarre.
• Trust no one. Especially other Strontium Dogs.
• Patience is not always a virtue.
• Violence is always an option.
• If in doubt, shoot first and ask questions later. That’s what a Time Drogue’s for…