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  1. Welcome to part 4 of this look through Frostbyte Books' M-Space. Today, it's all about the transport. Specifically, starships. Transport The default mode of transport in M-Space is by ship. Nothing is stopping you from creating a setting which has your guys traipsing between star systems or even universes via a network of portals a la Stargate or the Glen Larson TV series Buck Rogers - or indeed like the original Trippy Stargate sequence from Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey. You could even borrow the whole Spice deal from Dune and have a Guild of Navigators ferry ships from world to world, "travelling without moving" and similar druggy, trippy stuff: or Spacejaunting from Bester's The Stars, My Destination. But that's something for another blog post. I might call that one M-Space: Speculations and hold that after my review of the core rulebook. Back to the ships. M-Space Ships versus Traveller Ships Go and look up Starships on DriveThruRPG, and you will come back with a bewildering choice of sublight boats and ships. Scouts, Traders, Freighters, Liners, troop transports, Corvettes, Frigates, Escorts, Cruisers, Dreadnoughts and some seriously ugly "planet cracker" ships, including the Traveller answer to the Death Star, the Tigress-class Christmas Tree Decoration:- Honestly, I can't imagine an uglier ship. Oh, wait ... Seriously, Traveller starships leave so much to be desired, aesthetically speaking. So, then, straight over to M-Space, which presents Starship design rules. These are so different. First of all, everything is about how many Modules your ship has, not its displacement tonnage. Your ship can be some tiny scout singleship or some vast cityship - the rules cover the construction of ships of any size, based on Modules, not tonnage. The items which consume Modules are very simple. Crew space, Bridge / cockpit, engines, maneuvering, hyperspace, galley, sickbay, weapons, lab. Stuff like that. There is a list of components and their Module costs. Not everything requires a Module cost. The following things are always included in a starship: Hull, power plant, airlock (not for small ships), vacuum suits for complete crew, computer, life support system, communications system, sensors, repair kit and a gravity generator. There is no need to buy specific Modules for these functions. Okay ... so add hyperdrive, fuel storage, and manoeuvre drive to that, and your Starship design can become so incredibly simple. Just pluck numbers for your ship's performance out of a hat. Throw away your copy of High Guard. This is not Traveller. You don't have to follow the Traveller rules to calculate your Starship's performance. High Guard has a bunch of high tech alternatives to Jump. The Hop Drive. The Skip Drive. The Spacefolding Drive. Hyperdrive. Exotic particle collectors like the Traveller Double Adventure Annic Nova. Okay, bring back your copy of High Guard and borrow those technologies if you like - just include them in the list of things which do not require a Module calculation. How do your M-Space Starships travel from star to star? M-Space has one or two mentions of your ship needing refuelling after every jump, but honestly these rules are optional. All of them. There's a section which allows you to compare the SIZ of the ship (based on the number of Modules) and the TR of the drives - you can just pick the TR, it won't hurt to pluck a suitable number out of a hat if you like, or use the Modules times a multiplier like 1.2 (cutting edge) or 0.8 (cheap commercial) and so on. Costs, likewise, can be glossed over if you like: you do not have to scrabble for every single Credit to pay for your ship's mortgage plus interest for forty stinking years. Once again, M-Space is not Traveller. You can design your ships to look like some freaky designs with M-Space. Examples from Space: 1999:- Or The Infernal Machine ... And you could be inspired by from Star Trek, and come up with a ship like this ... It's up to you. Move over, Annic Nova. I mean, seriously, you don't have to do Traveller with M-Space ships. Do you want your characters to face off against a vampire ship like the one from Lifeforce above, with its near-immortal occupants? Go for it. Nothing says your vampire ship has to use refined hydrogen guel costing Cr 500 per ton, and have to work out how many tons of fuel it's supposed to store and how much it consumes per jump. Why not have this ship become a real menace because (a) it's sentient, (b) it's fuelled by living souls, (c) its primary weapon can suck the life force out of every living being on a small planetoid to fuel its jump, (d) whoops, I've given away one of the terrifying enemy ships of my M-Space book Terra Quadrant, still a WIP? Have I whetted your appetites enough yet? Okay, next section, Starship Combat. Starship Combat M-Space treats your characters' Starship as a character. Your enemy ships or boats are likewise treated as characters. Your Sections are like locational Hit Points; your crew's Skills are your ship's Skills; your ship's Armour works like AP on your Hit Locations; and your ship has all the combat attributes you'd expect from Combat, with your ship's Crews adding Action Points, your ships having Initiative, combat differential rolls, Special Effects, the works. If you know how M-Space Extended Conflicts and Combat work on a scale of player characters, you can easily adapt to starship combat. There are two examples of ship combat on pages 110 and 216. You can look them up. The same way that there is a section for simplified combat in M-Space next to the regular Combat chapter, there is a simplified starship combat section on Page 112, for quick and dirty ship combats on the fly. Want more? Page 116 goes into detail on Advanced Starship Combat. Yes, M-Space is a gift that keeps on giving. Here, you will find some advanced options for starship combat, including the effects of exotic weapons, armour, and weapon options. This section gives you as many rules as you wish to engage in starship combat, whether it's an Eagle transporter facing off against fighter craft or two Stargate Atlantis Wraith Hive ships firing broadsides at one another for feeding rights to the planet they are orbiting. That's it for the Starships section of M-Space. We're about halfway through the book. The rest of the book is Alien Creation, World Building, Circles, Psionics, Vehicle Design, Technology, Life Forms and five Appendices. Next week, we're covering Alien Creation and World Building. I'll go through the rules for both, using the rules to generate an alien species I created for Castrobancla, The City of Aliens - the Pelacur. Get ready for First Contact and prepare for landing next week.
  2. Hi Guys, I was reading a review of an older Cthulhu Rising monograph that I bought (I could only source the 62 pg one, rather than the updated one), when I discovered a comment beneath the review linking to what the commentator said was a kind of new incarnation of Cthulhu Rising. I took a look. I very nearly didn’t, then I very nearly didn’t hang around to download as there was a little delay. I’m so glad I did. I would suggest looking at the core product and sourcebook asap, as you’ll find an incredible amount of work solely made for play (not commercial use), which I assume is okay. The core book is over 500 pages and has some wonderful ideas that I haven’t seen before. The sourcebook also has starship rules, though admittedly I’m not entirely sure if one fires all the weapons on the firing phase, or just one, with depleting ammunition. Check it out. Anyways, if you like Cthulhu Rising, M-Space, or any sci-fi setting, you absolutely should check this out. I feel like I’ve hit the motherlode. It’s like Cthulhu Rising on steroids. It’s obviously a compilation of many rules, even demons feature, but it really shows what BRP can do for sci-fi. I love the expertise levels and how they were used to gain further specialisations in some skills. https://gitlab.com/NHcthulhu/NewHorizon Any comments, I’d love to hear them. Note that I’m not in any way associated with this product. I just stumbled upon it by sheer chance. I’m so glad I did.
  3. I'm browsing the starship design section at the moment. There are a few things which really jump out at me (rebuilding & expanding!), and overall I like the approach. It also seems to tie in well with the vehicle rules. One thing I would like to see is a worked ship design example or three, perhaps taken from the sample ships in the book to show how to get to the desired end result.
  4. After going through the rules closely, and with the help of Lawrence and Pete created a simplified version of the combat rules, I have decided to use Mythras Imperative as the core ruleset for BRP Space. Or rather, what used to be BRP Space. The new title is M-SPACE. M as in Mythras, mythic (no, not the solo RPG engine) and modular. See the newish cover below. I think this will be a very good engine for running sci-fi scenarios and campaigns. It's a quick, flexible and creative ruleset, and with the additions brought with the book, I'm very happy with the result. And I am, as always, very grateful for the input I have gotten from all of you here on the forums. Thank you. I've already started adding the Mythras Imperative rules to the book, and I believe it will be a quite smooth process. I don't have an ETA yet though. Changing the core will result in a few rewrites throughout the book, and I'm not certain yet how extensive these will be (not breaking any compatibilties with other BRP engines though). I will keep you updated on my progress!
  5. Hi all, as some of you know BRP Space (formerly BRP Starships) has been put on hold for a while. To make a long story short, I've been waiting for the new BRP Essentials to be announced. In the meantime I have improved the book as much as possible and my plan was to have an early copy of BRPE for developers by now. I also set this summer as a deadline for the book and for a couple of weeks now I have restarted my attempts to get a license for the core rules. I've been in contact with both Chaosium and The Design Mechanism. The result, as I see it, is two options: 1. Wait for BRP Essentials to be released, without really knowing what it will look like. Release time unknown - perhaps 6 months (my own best guess). 2. Go for Mythras Imperative, available now, making a few changes to adapt BRP Space to that ruleset. I have slowly come to the conclusion that I don't want to wait, and that Mythras Imperative is a very good option. But as many of you here on the forums have been involved in the creation and discussion on the book, I want to extend this question to you. Is Mythras Imperative a good choice for you as the core of the book? Let me know how you feel about all this.
  6. I remember the first time I read the rules for alien creation in Traveller - I had so high expectations and was so disappointed. Warning - Long Post! So, now I have been working on my own system for creating alien life forms, and here is the first draft of it. Or rather, the fourth complete system. It proved to be much more difficult than I expected. First of all I wanted to avoid aliens shaped after earth's animals - quite easy to come up with, but very unlikely. Reading up on what we currently know about the principles of alien life (next to nothing), extremophiles, self-replicating systems and evolutionary concepts opened up way too many possibilities. Returning to some of my favorite sci-fi games, I found inspiration to trim away the surplus complexity. This is the framework that remains. All feedback is very welcome. Rules updated and included in BRP Starships 2.2 (see Download section). Universal life form parameters 1. Strangeness: 1-10, where 1 represents Earth-like, 5 Alien and 10 Really strange. The strangeness parameter adds a good over all picture when interpreting the results in the creation process. 2. Define something about the biosphere, and the universals that apply to all beings on the planet due to their hereditary to each other. Environmental characteristics: Write down 1-3 main parameters in the ecosystem, either from a world already created, or make some up. Biodiversity: Define how rich life on the planet is. Default is 1 sessile (plant) group, 2 motile (animal) groups. High biodiversity: +1 sessile, +1d4 motile. Low : 1 of each. 3. Body plans: Working as a generic blueprints for all beings, with separate body plans for the different motiles and sessiles. Roll these five for each group: - Size: Sub-1, 1-6, 7-15, 16-20, 21-30, 31-50, 51-75, 75-100, 100+ - Frame: Endo Skeleton, Exo-skeleton, No frame - Symmetry: Bilateral, asymmetrical, radial, spherical - Limbs: 0-100+. 0-10 zero 11-30 two 31-50 three 51-80 four 81-90 five to eight 91-00 1d100 - Segmentation: 1-4 segments. In body, limbs and/or organs. Universals (1d3): Roll or pick some traits that are general to all beings in a body plan group. (Use Advantages lower down if more variation is needed). Fur Intelligence Defensive weapons Flight Sense organs (often close to the brain) Stages of life, 1d4+1* Sexes, 1d4+1 Mouth (for intake of energy) Sun light or heat converted into energy *=create one being for each stage (more or less similar to each other). Life forms With universals defined, the actual alien is to be detailed. It is recommended to create a handful of beings, filling different roles in the ecosystem. Decide which body plan group the being belongs to, the primary motile group is probably the one most commonly encountered by characters. Define the role it plays in the ecosystem: Classification and habitat (forest trapper for example) Producer (plant), Herbivore (Grazer, Filter feeder) Omnivore (Gatherer, Scrounger), Carnivore (Ambusher, Chaser, Pouncer, Raider, Stalker, Trapper) Habitat (roll multiple times for interesting combinations): Water/Pool/Lake/Sea Stream/River Shore/Reeds Plain/Meadow/Open Tundra Semi-open Bushes Forest/Tree Underground/Cave Desert/Dunes/Arid Wetland Ice/Snow/Glacier Mountain Rocky Size modifier: +/-1d2. Here on earth, elephants and mice belong to the same body plan group, with size being perhaps the most striking difference. Advantages (1d3): These are the specifics that have kept the being alive through the ages. Perception: Choose 1d3 senses that are heightened. Fast: High DEX and/or Movement Flight: Gas bag, wings, glide Camouflage/Hide/Stealth: Appearance or Skill Climb: Natural ability (like sticky feet) or Skill Second habitat Second atmosphere Tool user Fine Manipulation: Fingers, toes, lips, ears, tails, tentacles Sharp: Thorns, teeth, claws, beak, horns. Armor Poison Builder Communication: Simple, Complex (ape, whale, dolphin, bee), Language Psionics/Psionic Immunity Extra Sense: 1d3 extra. Heat, bacteria, movement, electricity, magnetism (compass), specific chemicals High Intelligence Art (the drive to tell others about their experiences in various forms) Disadvantages (1d3): Some of the problems the being are struggling with, or that makes it more vulnerable. Immobile Fragile Slow Rare/Vulnerable habitat Hunted Disease-ridden Affected by pollution Eggs/Cubs Internal Conflicts Hierarchy/Obedient Missing one of the senses Hibernation Behaviour: In Harmony, Curious, Patient, Watchful, Suspicious, Hiding, Afraid, Easily Angered, Aggressive, Detached. Social: Single, Pair, Small Group, Herd (small to swarm), Special (Parasite, Symbiotic). K-strategists or R-strategists (producing only a few off-spring and caring for them, or producing many and not caring for them). Forms of communication: Sound, scent, sight (light, color, signs), tactile, psi, chemical. Natural weapons (default damage): Bite (1d6+/-db) Claw (1d6+/-db) Punch/kick (1d3+/-db) Grapple (1d3+/-db) Crush (1d3+/-db) Throw (1d3+/-db) Horn (1d3+/-db) Sting (1d3+/-db) Electricity (from Surprised to 3d6) Poison (from rash to 4d6) Base chance: Primary weapon: Easy 20%+DEX, Medium 40%+DEX, Hard 60%+DEX. Carnivores +10%. Secondary/Third weapons at 20-40%. Calculating characteristics: STR: Roughly equivalent to SIZ. If fragile, half of SIZ. CON: Two thirds of SIZ. If fragile, one third of SIZ. SIZ: see above INT: Animal 3-7, High 16+, Mindless feeder/producer 0-2 POW: Animal 10, Psionic 16+, Mindless feeder/producer 0 DEX: Slow 1-5, Immobile 0, Fast 20+ APP: >3d6 striking, awe-inspiring, beautiful. <3d6 ugly. APP is always at -10 at first contact. EDU: Animal/Plant 0, Intelligent primitives 5+, Organized society 10+. Movement: Normal 8-12, Slow <5, Fast 18+. Two values if the being can move in two different atmospheres (air and water for example) Appearence (Optional): Hopefully the above process has given enough insights to make it possible to conjure an image of the alien being. If further input is needed, roll or pick on the tables below. Start with descriptive terms for the whole being, and if needed, continue with specific body parts or even sense organs. Go through Posture and Surface in the same way. Keep the overall picture of the being (from the results above) in mind all the time, to find interesting combinations. Descriptive: Massive Slender Pear-shaped Long Flat Bent Split Bulbous Hammer-shaped Boxy Ridged Crystalline Slithering Fat Wedge-shaped Spindle Retractable Hollow Bony/Angular Posture: Upright Horizontal Diagonal Bent Crooked Surface: Fur (short, long) Skin (smooth, coarse AC 1-2) Scales (AC 1-5) Chitinous (AC 1-3) Transparent/semi-transparent Patched Feathers Ornamented
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