Under a Serpent Sun?

Where, what, who, how, why?

Is there any place that I could find setting rules and such for this?
Its point?

So many questions, so basically any information about it would be gratefully accepted.

If you can find a copy, knock yourself out.

It’s a modern post-apocalyptic setting for BW. The world ended, terrible beings from another plane invaded and slaughtered, and a few people were granted magical powers. The settings for LPs are the Meek, who live in fake versions of normal society called the Illusion run secretly by the Holocaust Seed, the Survival of the Fittest setting, who are the people who escaped the Illusion and wander the wastelands, and the Holocaust Seed, who are the aforementioned magically empowered and run on the desperation and deaths of the Meek.

The point? I think that was the problem. It’s unremittingly bleak, everything is terrible, and there’s just not much more to it than that. You can struggle against the Holocaust Seed, but you’ll lose. You can struggle against the Swarm, but you’ll lose unless you’re the Holocaust Seed, and even then you’ll probably lose. If you’re playing as Holocaust Seed, the status quo is on your side, a dangerous proposition for any BW game. That, along with the fact that the LPs don’t drive the kind of interesting characters you get from, say, Blossoms, got it disowned by BWHQ.

It’s kind of interesting as an artifact, but I wouldn’t try to play it.

Sounds like my kind of game.

But then it wuz disowneeddddd…

The story of my life.

No one disowned anything. The problem with UaSS wasn’t its bleakness. It was that the BW/MG rules turn it into an adventure game and that’s all wrong for it.

We we played a 10 or so session campaign a few years back. It was fun, but we decided the only way to get it to play as we envision it is to write a whole new rule set around it. Never say never, but I don’t see it happening anytime soon.

Also, weren’t the firearms rules completely broken or somesuch?

We couldn’t get them to feel as terrifying and violent as we wanted them to be. All part of the adventure game thing.

I’m obviously mis-remembering the problems.

It honestly feels like a game meant to be played as Dread, not as Burning Wheel. Complete with knocking over the tower leading to quiet suicide or, in the case of the Cult of the .45, death in an explosion of violence.

Or maybe as an (extreme) variant of Polaris.

So the basis is everyone is screwed, have fun with your last years of… oh yeah, life sucks anyway.


Were the rules available at some point? And/or could someone tell me how to find them? or are they gone completely until further notice?

Or do I have to learn the setting and use improvised hack rules that probobly pale in comparison to the real ones?

Hack rules apparently.


Also, how about this: Guns always kill on a mark. Dones. And cause steel tests.

I could’ve sworn the rules were on the wiki somewhere? Did they get taken down?

There was once a PDF on the wiki, but I think it’s been gone for years.

They aren’t there. Some other threads had links, but they didn’t work. It took me to a “page/file not found” site.

They’re terrible. You’re missing nothing.

:I Well then.

But they did SOUND at least DECENT.

It sounds badass, which is why every few months I end up spending a few days thinking about how to make UaSS work. The problem, like Thor said, is that while it sounds badass and is super bleak, the underlying Burning Wheel engine highly encourages you to play the game like The Road Warrior. And, annoyingly, it’s things that are integral to what make Burning Wheel good: beliefs and artha. If playing Road Warrior sounds like your jam, you can do it with Burning Sands already, and (last I checked) that is still available in PDF format. Plus, yeah, guns aren’t terrifying and making them insta-kill on a certain result doesn’t fix it, or at least doesn’t fix it in a satisfying way.

Really the problems can be summed up as follows: UaSS, as intended, is a game about your character losing the will to live; UaSS, as it plays, is a hardcore take on Cyberpunk (not the chrome, but the “everything is shit / going to die, best to die my own way / burn it down” ethos). Again, not a problem per-se, but definitely antithetical to the stated goals.

The actual rules aren’t fantastically detailed. The lifepaths are few and honestly pretty sparse. The Question mechanics are an interesting model for magic, but they’re very simple: each spell is a separate, open-ended skill. The emotional attributes, Need and Despair, are there but I don’t love them. There are a bunch of rules for the Swarm that amount to “these are seriously bad dudes, stay away” and it’s nothing you couldn’t burn up yourself. And that’s about it.

Well, could I have them anyway?

BWHQers, are you opposed to distribution of UaSS, or do you just want to make it very clear that you don’t officially support it?

Seems to me its basically been put on the WAAAAAY back burner and will probobly never be worked on. That and the fact that it isn’t what they wanted in its current state are probobly why it isn’t in distribution.

I have a copy from when it was available. I’m asking if BWHQ would like to exercise their right to prevent distribution or if it’s okay for me to pass along the PDF.