Developing a 'Logan's Run' Sourcebook

Michael O. Varhola

In the fall of 1977, I was 11 years old and Logan's Run was unequivocally my favorite television show. It followed on and to some extent remade the film of the same name, which I had seen in the theater the year before, and I was disappointed enough that when it was canceled after one season I wrote the network to ask that it be renewed (predating hordes of Firefly, Battlestar Galactica, and other fans in the decades to come). This series is now available on DVD or to stream through and so I decided to start rewatching the 14 available episodes. Suffice it to say that the show does have its limitations, is somewhat dated, and had some fairly staid, hackish scriptwriters. As a post-apocalyptic science fiction television show, however, it is a predecessor of contemporary offerings like Revolution, The 100, and Defiance and bears looking at by fans of the genre. It also did some interesting things in its limited run and has a lot of potential for development as a campaign setting, quite possibly for use with an appropriate rules set like Mutant Future. With that in mind, this section will be devoted to material that can be plugged into an existing game and used to simulate the world portrayed in the cinematic and television versions of Logan's Run. My sense is that the ideal timeframe for a campaign in this setting would be during a non-existent "Season 2," in the year after Logan and Jessica left the City of Domes. Comments are welcome! 

Core to the setting is the City of Domes, where upon turning 30 people are incinerated in the ritual of Carousel in the false belief that they will be reborn. Residents of the city believe that the outside is an irradiated and toxic wasteland but, as anyone who dares to venture outside discovers, the world appears to have completely recovered from what they refer to as the "holocaust" and is dominated by rocky deserts, arid grasslands, and forests (e.g., uncannily like much of Southern California and the filming backlots around Los Angeles). Such wilderness areas are punctuated by features like ruins, fallout shelters that have been unmolested since the holocaust or subsequently occupied, primitive villages, homes of individuals or small groups of people, and what are commonly referred to as "cities" but are in actuality more like well-defended citadels that are home to as many as a few hundred people. 

While the handguns used by Sandmen enforcers come of as pretty cheesy in the original film, with their muzzle flares they are actually the coolest firearms in the television series! Other weapons range from axes, daggers and spears used by primitives; 20th century firearms and heavy weapons left over from before the holocaust; to energy weapons that have two main effects, lethal damage or stunning. 
Sandman pistol: According to Logan himself, this large-frame but lightweight handgun fires "a beam of amplified light" and "it has a three-way adjustment, to stun, blast, and kill." This seems to be contrary to the apparent effect of the weapon, however, which manifests itself as a flash of fire from the barrel and is belied by the numerous sorts of weapons with visible beams that appear in the show, so we may want to assume that Logan is either unsure of the principal behind his weapon or is being disingenuous with someone he does not trust. It would appear, in fact, to be a form of "blaster" that fires a bolt of energized particles. Ammunition never seems to be an issue for Logan or other Sandmen so from that we might postulate that such weapons use some sort of powerful, long-lasting power cells. In "Episode 3: The Innocent" we get a glimpse of a large, tripod-mounted weapon similar in appearance and presumably function to its smaller counterparts, but it is destroyed before we get to see it in action. 
Numerous forms of high technology appear in the television series, albeit sometimes only briefly, and some of these things might be encountered or used by people in the post-holocaust world. They include force fields, time machines, and computers. 
In addition to humans, there are no fewer than five alien races present in the world! Only one is developed to any extent but we get glimpses of the others and know that, at the end of "Episode 2: The Collectors" all inhabit a stranded spaceship. All look very much like what one would expect to meet at any given bar on Tattooine in the Star Wars universe. They include an aggressive, expansionist but somewhat overly caution race of reptilian beings that have some capability to appear exactly like humans (and, presumably, any humanoid race). 

Numerous peoples and subcultures have emerged in the two centuries since the holocaust. They include everyone from the inhabitants of fallout shelters, to those of primitive villages, to those who have established entirely new communities and societies.  
The numbers of creatures other than humans that have survived is limited and somewhat uneven. Horses are among the main domesticates that appear and are used as mounts by many peoples. Birds of various sorts, including exotics like parrots, are sometimes encountered. Most wild animals, however, along with companion species like dogs and cats, are rare or no longer exist. 

In the years leading up to the holocaust, government experimented with developing and enhancing psychic powers and people with such abilities can now periodically be found in the world. 
In the City of Domes, people generally have a number associated with their names, in part to emphasize the idea of rebirth (e.g., Logan 5, Jessica 4). Among many of the peoples outside of the city, however, alpha-numeric naming conventions are also used and there are references to people having moved toward this to a large extent even before the holocaust.