Showing posts with label BlackStar. Show all posts
Showing posts with label BlackStar. Show all posts

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Campaign Updates:2018

Work has me crazy busy, but this is a good thing.  The downside is I have not had the time to blog as much as I want or even get in the campaign prep in at night.  So I thought I would kill two birds today and see where I am in my games.



Active Games

The Dragon Slayers
A 3.x game that was briefly 5e and now fully converted to 1st Edition AD&D.  The characters were trapped in Baba Yaga's Hut for nearly a year. They freed the Old Crone and her daughter Elena the Fair.  Up next the final battle. I am using the Tom Moldvay adventure Twilight Calling for this.

Next are my three interlinked 5th edition games collectively known as Come Endless Darkness. Tharizdûn is returning to the multiverse and the PCs of the three campaigns need to stop him.

The Order of the Platinum Dragon
The Order has defeated all the giants and are now wandering the Underdark looking for the Drow. The big bads here are Lolth and Graz'zt.  Graz'zt is setting up Lolth much like he is described doing in Expedition to the Demonweb Pits (for 3.5e).  I try to focus on classic monsters in this one.

Second Campaign
The Treasure Hunters of the Second Campaign have just entered the Forbidden City. Here the big bad is Demogorgon.  Here the focus is on other creatures that might not see normal games.

Into the Netir Vale
Known by my kids as the Orcus campaign. This is my revived and converted 4e campaign brought over whole cloth. I might lessed the involvement with the Raven Queen and play up Shar since this is part of the Forgotten Realms in my house.

All three games will meet up at the Temple of Elemental Evil to battle it out with the risen Tharizdûn.  So roughly 18 characters of 18th to 20th level.  It's gonna be wild.

Inactive/On-hold Games
These games are all inactive for a number of reasons.

Star Trek: Voyages of the USS Protector
This game is will be using White Star with my own "Black Star" rules modifications.  I have the first adventures ready to go, "The Stars Are Right" and "These Are the Voyages".  I have two more nearly ready "Ghost Ship" and "Abraxas Down".  I want to do two more.  I have been scribbling notes on rule changes and feel like the rest I can do while the game is moving along. 
What is really slowing me down is the wiring of the LED lights I want to put into my USS Protector Model!

Spirit of '76
On indefinite hold.

Hero's Journey to Middle Earth
This one is requiring some significant reading on my part.  As my first REALY foray into Middle Earth as a game world I want to do it right.

Magic School 
This one is on hold till I am done with Come Endless Darkness. Since this one will use D&D Rules Cyclopedia and I really want it to feel like a separate game.   Plus things that happen in CED will change the world of the Magic School and I don't know what those are yet!

War of the Witch Queens
This is the higher level version of the Magic School kids.  What happens here will also be determined by what the PCs do in CED.  I have all the adventures for this, just not the end game.



The Incredibly Awesome (and Not At All Made-Up) Adventures of Booster Gold and Blue Beetle!
Huh...ok this one was a little bit of a joke, but I keep getting asked about it.  I do have one adventure worked out that introduces the PCs to the world. Called "Damn It Barry Allen!" it sets up Booster and Blue as the true heroes of the DC world, it's just that no one can remember them.

I still have to get my new Blue Rose campaign going.  I ran the first adventure, Kingdom of Rain, and it went great.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Star Trek RPG Operations Manual

I am working on my limited run Trek game to start in October.  I have decided on my base system(s).  I am going with my "Black Star" idea with Starships & Spacemen as my main set of rules and adding in "Basic Era" ideas when and where I can.   Nothing against White Star, and I will use it as well, I just want something closer to Trek than to Star Wars.
I also want to use material from the Basic Psionics book.

Here is what I have so far.


Since I am using this ship I wanted to honor it's genesis. So there is a mix, at least in the first adventure of Trek and Galaxy Quest.  At least for the first act.  THEN it becomes Trek. Or rather Trek if "Where No One Has Gone Before" was replaced by "Event Horizon".
Afterall it is good enough for Jason Issacs.


The Klatuu Nebula Shipyards is not only a nod to Galaxy Quest, is also a nod to "When the Earth Stood Still" and even a side nod to "Army of Darkness".  Commander Taggart is now Commodore Taggart.  Since I need a high-level Starfleet officer to get things moving.

The "pilot" episode deals with Taggert and his band of Thermian engineers having been given 22 derelict Ambassador class ships to retro-fit with the new Triberyllium Warp-13 drive.  Many of the ships have failed and one has gone missing with all hands (trying not to be too Babylon 5 here) so now this ship, The Protector, is ready to go and Taggart has taken over command.  There is one other ship that is functional, The Mystic (another nod to it's genesis).

Here are the books (so far).


The Core Rules.


The Lovecraftian Terror.


Mostly for the Mutants.


And Apes...in SPAAACE!  Because why not.

While I have most of these in POD and Dead Tree retail versions, I wanted to print them out so I can scribble in my notes and make the changes I want.   Make them all more "Trek".

For starters, I am converting everything to Metric.  Starships are not measured in feet! They are measured in meters!  I am going with the rough 5 feet = 1.5 meters.  So I have to fix all of those first.

Plus I really like the idea of using the the Basic-era system for this.  Star Trek, the shows not so much the RPGs, are usually fast and loose with skills.  Data can do X, Y, and Z well because he is Data.  The characters will be the same way.  So simple ability checks are fine here.

Also, I need to add some Trek RPG material from various editions.  Not sure what yet, but certainly some material from my FASA Trek books.  I'll have to run them off on the copier for this.

I am setting it well past the TNG/DS9/VOY time.  Though I would still like to use these uniforms somehow.   Maybe I could do it 20 years before TNG.  I am not really planning on using many races from TNG.  I'll see what my players want.

The adventures will not really be Trek adventures per se, but more Call of Cthulhu ones.


Right now I am thinking a short run. Maybe five adventures.  A mini-series really.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Star Trek: Horror and the Old Ones

Somewhere in the Galaxy, the stars are right!

I got the new Modiphius Star Trek game the other day. I am not ready for a review, yet, but there is a lot of great stuff in the game.

It got me thinking about my terrible, horrible idea to mix Trek with the Lovecraftian Mythos and do a horror based Star Trek game.  I talked about this last year with my ship idea, the USS Protector, NCC-3120 and my idea for a Black Star game.



One of my favorite episodes of the TOS was "Catspaw" which naturally had some serious horror themes to it.  It is also notable for two other reasons.  First, it was written by Robert Bloch. Bloch not only wrote "Psycho" he wrote one of my other favorite TOS episodes "Wolf in the Fold".  He was associated with the Mythos circle through writers like  August Derleth and Clark Ashton Smith.  Lovecraft's own character of "Robert Blake" was dedicated to Robert Bloch.  So his connection is as solid as they get.

Catspaw is interesting for another reason.  The main antagonists, Korob and Sylvia, are referred to as "Servants of the Old Ones".  There is no reason to doubt that these Old Ones are not the same as Lovecraft's. The idea of having the Mythos in Star Trek has appeal.  It also is not entirely foreign to Star Trek cannon.

Trek has dipped into horror many times over the last 50 years.  Here are some of the episodes I am using for inspiration.

"Wolf in the Fold" also has strong horror elements and postulates that Jack the Ripper was actually "possessed" by a malign alien intelligence known as "Redjac".  While Jack the Ripper is not Mythos, an alien intelligence is.  It is also one of my favorites too.



"Conspiracy" was one of the few stand-out episodes of the first season of TNG.  It dealt with an alien brain parasite invading the Federation.  It is too bad they never followed up on it more.  Given the time frame I am wanting to play in it is likely I won't be either, but still a great resource.

"The Man Trap" (TOS) scared the crap out of me when I first saw it. Ok, I was 6 or 7, but still.  I love the idea of an enemy that looks like everyone else.

"Schisms". This sixth season TNG episode put the alien abduction scenario to the test with aliens from a "tertiary subspace manifold" or for all intents and purposes, another dimension or universe.

"Night Terrors" from TNG's fourth season shows us what will happen if the crew can't dream.  Personally I wanted to Crusher to be a little more immune to this situation. I am sure she once had to do a 48 hour shift at Starfleet Medical back when she was an intern!

"The Magicks of Megas-tu" from the Animated Series deals with magic and witches. While not the horror implied by the Mythos, there is something to this that helps bring magic and science together.

And really, couldn't the monster from "The Thing" been a wounded Founder?

Dark Elf or Romulan cultist?
Over the years I have developed a few Trek adventures for different versions of the game. But mostly for the FASA version.

"Ghost Ship" was my pastiche of the Flying Dutchman featuring the Enterprise-B (long before I knew it was going to be an Excelsior class ship).
"Citadel of Never" was a similar adventure to a dead ship in a dead star system.
After "Event Horizon" came out I wanted to run a Trek adventure just like it, only replacing the ship with a Romulan one.

I love the idea of a fresh group of new Federation explorers running head first into the horrors of the Mythos.  Maybe they find Azatoth in the center of the galaxy or get a distress call from a planet near Yamil Zacara.

Sounds like a fun Halloween themed session.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

More Trek

Working on some more ideas for my Trek game.   I spent some time last night talking to my Trek-loving son and came up with some ideas.

I want to put this between the TOS and TNG shows.  Sometime around 2344 or later, maybe the 2350s. There is nothing that I know of going on then.
The timeline in my games might be altered, maybe not to the extent of the "Kelvin" Universe of the new movies, but some other things.
For starters I want to use these uniform variants.


Though I might swap the colors for the TNG assignments. We know the red uniforms from WoK were still being used in 2250 though with TNG style com badges.

Still planning on using an "experimental" ship.  I am going to severely limit how the transporters are used I know that much.

Now MY big plot point that has nothing to do with the play test.

My son says you judge how good the playtest is by the number of coffee stains!
I know I should be ashamed (or shamed) for doing this, but I REALLY want to do "Trek + Cthulhu".

For my first adventure "Where No One Has Gone Before..."  (might change that) the new ship is taking it's first run using the new engines.  They are pushed to Warp 13 (I know...stay with me) and they end up in orbit over a dead planet orbiting the star Thuban, Alpha Draconis, 303 light years away.  Here they encounter Mythos-creatures, ones that now know of their existence.
I get the crew back to the Alpha Quadrant (I am not redoing Voyager) but now this new threat is on them.

I want to have an Admiral or Commodore on my ship for the first adventure. He is the one that betrays the Federation to the Old Ones.  I want to keep him alive, but deeply insane, they will need him later.

Not sure what will happen to be honest.
As my wont I REALLY want to give this a 70s feel.  Why?  Well TOS was an artifact of the late 60s and TNG was very much part of the late 80s, so it seems natural to me to make this feel like something from the late 70s.  While it is still Trek, I am going to liberally steal ideas from the old Buck Rodgers series that was on NBC (I know, it was the early 80s) and the original Battlestar Galactica.  Plus I can use some trippy ass occult stuff from the 70s. The so called "left over hippy shit".  Crystals, psychic powers, all of that.   I have plenty of ideas; things I have been playing around with for White Star.

Right now I have more ideas than structure.  So I am going to keep at it for a bit.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

These are the Voyages...

I got my Trek play test materials from +Modiphius Entertainment for the new RPG coming out.
Was going to spend some time with them yesterday but other things like the day job came up.  Though I have managed to print out the rules and will be going over them soon.

Over the summer I mentioned a desire to play some Trek using what ever rules seemed right. Likely White Star, but now I might try a simple training mission using these rules in addition to the official playtest.

Of course I want to use the USS Mystic, NX 3000 that I found here:
http://www.mcfergeson.com/hobbycorner/2015/04/23/the-uss-mystic-a-kitbashed-starship-from-star-trek/



Of course I'd make mine the NCC-3120 USS Protector; an homage to all the ships that inspired it.
I love the idea of those experimental nacelles.

Not to steal too much from Voyager or even Event Horizon, but my basic outline would be that while testing their new Warp-13 capable engines (shout out to the Omega-13 from Galaxy Quest) the USS Protector is transported ...somewhere... and in this section of space the stars are right and there are horrors.

The game would have other technobable details like the curvature of the warp nacelles and how this ship uses triberyllium instead of trilithium in it's warp core.  Maybe it is a design upgrade the Federation got from the Thermians (all from Galaxy Quest). This produces an "asymmetric warp field".  So start off as a regular Trek-like game, and then BAM hit them with the horrors.   Hey, maybe the Theramins are evil. Who knows really.

Since it is based on the Ambassador Class space frame I could put it in the Enterprise C era.
Though if it is an experiment and the prototype in NX 3000 how do I explain the jump to NCC 3120?

No idea.  Maybe the old classic it was a clerical error in the system registry databases.



I have a small Ambassador class Enterprise C at home and I think it is a great looking ship. I just want to do something with it.

In any case I am going to enjoy this. I am ready with the beats and the shouting.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Star Trek RPGs

Every so often I get the desire to run a short Star Trek-like game.  Assemble a new crew on a new ship and have some adventures.  This goes all the way back to days of playing Star Frontiers.

I might do a couple of one-offs this summer. Not sure yet really. A natural choice, of course, would be Starships & Spacemen but I am still partial to White Star.  I also like the idea of maybe doing my Black Star game.  Maybe mixing in some Realms of Crawling Chaos and Mutant Future for that Cthulhu in Space feel.

But what has really gotten me in the mood is Pintrest.
Weird I know, but I am totally addicted to "pinning" pictures of Starships.

This one grabbed my attention so much that I just HAVE to use it somehow.






It is a "kit-bash" of the Ambassador-class Enterprise C and NSEA Protector.



I rather like it.
Credit to the ship goes here, http://www.mcfergeson.com/hobbycorner/2015/04/23/the-uss-mystic-a-kitbashed-starship-from-star-trek/

Since his ship is the NX-3000 Mystic, I could make mine the NCC-3120 USS Protector.

Hell. I even considered picking up the models on eBay to make my own, but my painting skills are terrible. I could never do it the justice it deserves.

Not to steal too much from Voyager or even Event Horizon, but my basic outline would be that while testing their new Warp-13 capable engines (shout out to the Omega-13 from Galaxy Quest) the USS Protector is transported ...somewhere... and in this section of space the stars are right and there are horrors.

I would add other technobable details like the curvature of the warp nacelles and how this ship uses triberyllium instead of trilithium in it's warp core.  Maybe it is a design upgrade the Federation got from the Thermians.  (All from Galaxy Quest).  So start off as a regular Trek-like game, and then BAM hit them with the horrors.   Hey, maybe the Theramins are evil. Who knows really.

Lots of ideas here.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

BLACK Star

I love White Star. It's been a ton of fun so far and I really, really enjoy it.
But I also love Basic D&D more than I do White Box S&W. What's a guy to do?

Simple. Make a new mashup of everything I enjoy!

Basic? Yup! Horror? Sure why not!  Lovecraftian beasties?  Of course!

In the little campaign I am working on for my Sci-Fi game it is a giant big Galaxy that has been mostly explored.  So it is less Star Trek and more Star Wars, but certainly there are Trek enfluences.

However there is trouble on the horizon, and that trouble is in the form of the Old Ones.
The stars are finally right.

This is not really an original idea.  But It does include a lot of things I have laying around.

White Star
Starships & Spacemen 2e (for ideas on using Basic)
B/X Basic and Expert (for the rules)
Labyrinth Lord (for rules up to 20th level)
ACKS (for more rules)

So Basic, Labyrinth Lord, ACKS, and Starships & Spacemen...

Welcome to BLACK STAR! ;)

For some background I want to use Eldritch Skies.
I would then mix in Psionics and Lovecraftian Beasties.
A place to adventure and place to play.


The obvious tribute to David Bowie also makes this appealing to me.
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