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Found 7 results

  1. In the beginning was Traveller. Traveller was not the first science fiction roleplaying game, and it wasn't the last. It's just that Traveller eclipsed practically every other science fiction tabletop roleplaying game on the market; and in terms of its market share, it still does. I mean, Chaosium wanted to give us a d100 science fiction roleplaying game. It started so well. And we got RIngworld, and the mission failed at takeoff. Look at some of those names. Ralph McQuarrie was responsible for the look of Star Wars. Lawrence "Larry" DiTillio worked in the first two seasons of Babylon 5. We're not talking small potatoes here. This game could have taken off, but for the licensing issues at the time. A pity; it was enjoyable, if a little clunky in places. Speed things up. Let's have one of those calendar montages to indicate the passage of time. What we needed was a science fiction roleplaying game which comes without a setting. A game which allows you to pretty much create any science fiction style setting you like. Welcome to Frostbyte Books' M-Space. First of all, look at the cover illustration. A lone figure, on foot, walking along a snowy footpath, beyond which is an iced-over river, a couple of bridges, and some futuristic-looking buildings capped with landing pad shelves like fungus brackets, and smallish vehicles taking off and landing. M-Space is the brainchild of writer Clarence Redd, whose alternate history game Odd Soot will be reviewed in due course. M-Space is a game for those space opera aficionados who like their landscapes Cyclopean and looming, their cyberpunk streets rainy, shady, neon-lit and narrow, and their adventures operatic and thought-provoking. The following quote from the late Ursula K LeGuin more or less captures a feel which runs through M-Space. “I write science fiction, and science fiction isn’t about the future. I don’t know any more about the future than you do, and very likely less.” Ursula K Le Guin This roleplaying setting allows you to explore worlds of science fiction. You can capture the worlds of John Wyndham (The Day of The Triffids), Ursula K LeGuin (The Dispossessed), or modern writers such as Ted Chiang ("Story of Your Life" / Arrival) or N K Jemisin (the Broken Earth trilogy). M-Space allows for deep and soulful stories of alien first contact, exploration, and light-hearted adventure. The Introduction explains the ethos behind M-Space. This book is a modular toolkit for sci-fi. Use whichever parts you need and leave the rest – the game system will not break down because of this. I have also taken great care to write the rules to help you create your own universe; no ready-made setting is holding back your creativity. Just like roleplaying games were meant to be when invented in the 1970s. The stories are all yours here, and you can explore them in any way you want. You can create unique alien species, complex cultures and worlds. Let a planet orbit a binary star and put the star on a map. Chart ancient courses for traders and explorers; find out who’s a friend and who’s an enemy. And you have already started to play. I have not seen a more literally hypnotic intro in a roleplaying game. Core Rulebook The 240-page core rulebook is a square coffee table book. The cover is lavish, but the interior illustrations are both surreal and soulful, evoking lonely cityscapes or interplanetary romance. Images are almost dreamlike, drawing you into one surreal landscape after another. Images of the denizens of these worlds can range from the serene to the nightmarish. I've mentioned how hypnotic the contents of this book are. The whole book, from its magnificent art, which ranges from the near-abstract to the almost-photorealistic, to its plain, minimalist font which is used throughout, mesmerises the reader. An average reader can open a page and just let the illustrations draw you in, and you can experience the adventure yourself as if you're in the story, just from reading the pages and absorbing the words. You really should turn to page 85 and look at the pic, and you notice how you feel as you look at the lone figure in silhouette looking up at the floating behemoth overhead - and you can practically experience that as if you are inside the frame. Overview The book contains the following modular sections: Introduction, Characters, Game System, Extended Conflicts, Combat, Simplified Combat, Spot Rules, Starship Design, Starship Combat, Advanced Starship Combat, Alien Creation, World Building, Circles, Psionics, Vehicle Design, Technology, Life forms, and Appendices A – E. There is a lot to process in this book, and not all of it need be used in your games. After all, Clarence did design this book to reflect a modular approach. Beginning next week, this blog will take in a few of these chapters at a time, starting with Characters and the Game System.
  2. The following are some basic concepts of world building for Runed Worlds A Tale of Four Worlds & Infinite Stars There are four locations where much of the culture and conflict exist that will inspire play in Runed Worlds. Dhalvos Prime - A dead Runed World which once belonged to a race known as the Second Givers. It is barren and almost lifeless, with little atmosphere. However, the ruins of the SG litter the world and many factions have permanent bases on or above Dhalvos Prime. A place where science, exploration, and old mysteries thrive. Lolshelaton - A green and young Runed World where a primitive people, Volmndoi, live in the deep ravines and lower forests. The upper forests and mountains are dominated by the bio-tech corporations who are taking as much from Lolshelaton as possible before someone stops them. Maker - Maker is not a Runed World, but a barren and rocky lightless planetoid. Half the planet is covered in ramshackle cities built up over the centuries. There are few laws on Maker and almost no authority to speak of. Anything goes here and people live on Maker because they want to live there. At least most of them do so. Junction Nine - One of several mysterious stations orbiting barren stars. Junction Nine was apparently built to facilitate travel from one part of the galaxy to the other, though now it functions as a way station for only parts of Liminal Space. But there is a vast galaxy and universe out there. Runed Worlds will not limit play to these four locations, they will be provided as mere examples for game masters to build on, There are thousands of stars within Liminal Space, more than enough to tell your story. Liminal Space A region of space encompassing 1000 LY in every direction (at least) that has a profound physical and psychological effect on sentient races and space itself. Liminal Space and the technology that manipulates it is responsible for (relatively) quick travel through space as well as a number of "experiences" both accidental and purposeful. Of course it has also been turned into a weapon by a number of factions. "Going Liminal" is a phrase used often to describe someone who is acting crazy, spacey, or abnormal in some way. Culture & Species Species and Culture are not entirely synonymous. A character’s species determines their physical and mental capacities. Culture is defined by where the character grew up and under what influences their lives have evolved. From a mechanics point of view, Culture will be a separate choice from species. Each will give the character skill specialties, but Culture will have more influence on development than species will.
  3. One of the great Gloranthan mysteries is what happened to the ducks in RuneQuest 6. They vanished only to return in the newest edition. Theories abound, but I believe they pulled the same stunt as the Amazons in Wonder Woman comics of the 1970s – they left the world and sojourned Out There for a time, literally breaking the glass ceiling to boldly go where no waterfowl had gone before. Anas Gadwell, Captain Quote: “It’s not flying, exactly. It’s falling … with style!” STR 13 CON 15 SIZ 3 INT 13 POW 12 DEX 14 APP 7 Damage Bonus: -1d4 Move: 6 Hit Points: 18 (SIZ+CON) Armor: 6 (Spiffy Uniform) Attacks: Brawl 50%, 1d3+db; Grapple 50%, 1d3+db; Laser Pistol 49%, 1d8 Skills: Command 34%, Drive (Skimmer) 45%, Heavy Machine 30%, Listen 54%, Navigate (Astronavigation) 39%, Persuade 44%, Pilot (Rocketship) 50%, Science (Astronomy) 30%, Spot 50%, Technical Skill (Computer Use) 34%, The Ladies Can’t Resist Me 70% Notes: Pilot profession Vegavis Smew, Engineer and Master Gunner Quote: “Darn it, Captain. I’m a mechanic not an architect!” STR 6 CON 11 SIZ 7 INT 14 POW 7 DEX 15 APP 6 Damage Bonus: -1d4 Move: 6 Hit Points: 18 (SIZ+CON) Armor: 6 (Spiffy Uniform) Attacks: Grapple 57%, 1d3+db; Laser Pistol 52%, 1d8 Skills: Artillery (Ship’s Weapons) 52%, Climb 40%, Craft (Cooking) 37%, Dodge 62%, Heavy Weapons 51%, Martial Arts (Wrestling) 33%, Navigate (Orienteering) 42%, Pilot (Rocketship) 33%, Repair (Mechanical) 47%, Repair (Electrical) 47% Notes: Sailor profession Wyatt Wigeon, Scout Quote: “Oops! Aboriginals. Uh, take me to your leader?” STR 9 CON 14 SIZ 8 INT 12 POW 8 DEX 17 APP 7 Damage Bonus: -1d4 Move: 6 Hit Points: 22 (SIZ+CON) Armor: 6 (Spiffy Uniform) Attacks: Brawl 38%, 1d3+db; Laser Pistol 47%, 1d8 Skills: Climb 40%, Fast Talk 25%, Hide 30%, Language (Duck) 60%, Language (Alien Tongue) 27%, Language (Alien Tongue) 16%, Listen 38%, Persuade 42%, Pilot (Boat) 47%, Research 52%, Science (Antidaeology) 42%, Science (Geology) 36%, Science (Linguistics) 29%, Spot 52%, Stealth 30% Notes: Explorer profession Ensign Whatshisnameagain, Greenshirt Quote: “What was that? Argh!!!” STR 9 CON 9 SIZ 5 INT 10 POW 10 DEX 14 APP 4 Damage Bonus: -1d4 Move: 6 Hit Points: 7 Armor: 3 (Impressive Space Armor) Attacks: Brawl 30%, 1d3+db; Laser Pistol 35%, 1d8 Skills: Listen 30%, Make Officers Look Good 80%, Spot 35%, Track 25%
  4. Hi all, I just oust ordered a well used copy of Worlds Beyond. Took months for a copy to become available. Has anyone here played it? Ronnie
  5. Lately I've been fascinated with space arks -- big ships intended to take colonists to another world. Preliminary research indicates you'd need 10,000 to 40,000 people to establish your new home. The numbers avoid genetic drift and provide a cushion against deaths caused by disease, accident, or violence. All these hardy pioneers need not travel on a single giant vessel; the mission might be safer if you have five ships each carrying 2,000 people than one carrying all 10,000. There are two basic approaches to slower-than-light transport. Sleeper ships (the "Ark in Space" from Doctor Who, the Botany Bay from Star Trek) carry colonists in some sort of suspended animation -- drug-induced hibernation, freezing, etc. The ship's computer awakes part of the crew periodically to check and maintain the vessel and to enable passengers in heal cellular damage accrued during hibernation (otherwise they have a limited shelf life and arrive sick and crippled). The second approach is a generation ship (the Warden from Metamorphosis Alpha, Earthship Ark from The Starlost) in which passengers are expected to reproduce and pass on their knowledge and the mission guidelines to each succeeding generation of inhabitants. Genetic diversity could be boosted by carrying a supply of frozen human eggs and sperm, enabling medics to periodically artificially inseminate colonists to add variety to the population. Oddly, my research indicates that a society advanced enough to build a successful generation ship would also have the technology to construct one with faster-than-light drives. A sleeper ship avoids all the societal problems of staying on mission with a generation ship. However, the technical challenges of both types of transport are great. Even if you get up to speed then coast your way to your distant destination, you'd still need an outrageous amount of fuel to maintain even the minimal amount of life support required by a sleeper ship over thousands of years. And no matter how advanced your engineering and well-crafted your construction, stuff is eventually going to wear out over that long a period. So, have any of you included space arks in your campaigns? If so, how did you handle these questions? Or did you just ignore the complications (as most movies and TV shows do) for the sake of having your stalwart adventurers encounter a weird situation?
  6. Ben Monroe's job description at Chaosium includes the subtitle "Earth Ro-Man." I knew that mighty Voltron fought Ro-Beasts, but "Ro-Man" didn't sound like something from Alephtar Games. I had to find out what it was. Some things man was not meant to know ... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mI60-9DWuIQ And yes, I am working on a write-up!
  7. http://darkerprojects.com/star-trek-lost-frontier/ http://star-trek-lost-frontier.blogspot.com/ I know we've got posters here who love post-apocalyptic drama and others who love space opera. Here's a 19-episode radio drama, Star Trek: The Lost Frontier. Think MegaTraveller's broken Third Imperium applied to the Star Trek universe. Set after Next Generation, Deep Space Nine and Voyager, galactic civilization has been wrecked by a devastating plague that swept all races, even the Borg. A certain Captain Trask is recruited by what remains of the Federation to oversee a mission aboard the Enterprise F to reunite former members and contact former alien allies and enemies. Trask's job is complicated by a resentful second officer, a sneaky Ferengi quartermaster, a Starfleet attache with an agenda of his own, scheming spies from a rival xenophobic Federation, intergalactic assassins and gangsters. It is hard to determine friend from foe. The current Enterprise is the height of Federation technology, but it is only one ship against the galaxy.
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