Showing posts with label White Star. Show all posts
Showing posts with label White Star. Show all posts

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

The USS Protector game stats

USS Protector, NX-3120 
Mystic-class Starship (based on existing Ambassador-class refits)
Explorer/Heavy Cruiser/Experimental Starship

NX - 3120 USS Protector
Construction
Klatu Nebula Yards (USS Mystic and engine prototype)
Neptune Station (USS Protector; warp field configuration)

Ships of the Line
Each ship is listed as experimental due to differing warp field configurations and nacelle placements.  The overall length of ships can vary by as much as 50 meters.
Ships of the line are named after types of magic-users.  All 21 ships were built from refit Ambassador-class spaceframes. 

USS Mystic, NX - 3100
NX-3100 USS Mystic
NX-3101 USS Wizard
NX-3102 USS Sorcerer
NX-3103 USS Thaumaturgist
NX-3104 USS Hierophant 
NX-3105 USS Mage
NX-3106 USS Illusionist
NX-3107 USS Summoner
NX-3108 USS Conjurer
NX-3109 USS Enchanter
NX-3110 USS Abjurer
NX-3111 USS Invoker
NX-3112 USS Diviner
NX-3113 USS Necromancer
NX-3114 USS Witch
NX-3115 USS Shaman
NX-3116 USS Incantatrix
NX-3117 USS Elementalist
NX-3118 USS Arch-Mage
NX-3119 USS Imbolic Mage
NX-3120 USS Protector

Geometry
Length: 700m
Saucer Section width: 324m
Nacelle width: 396m
Height: 102m
Mass: 4,110,000 metric tons

Personel
Number of Decks: 33
Officer crew: 320
Enlisted crew: 900-1,000
Comand Officer: Commander rank

Omega-13 Warp Drive
Cruising Speed: Warp 6 (392 C)
Top speeds:
- Traditional warp: Warp 9 (1516 C) / 9.4* (1753 C)
- Asymmetric warp: Warp 13 (5166 C)

*Asymmetric Warp has no known upper limit so speeds past Warp 9 will use tradition Warp calculations. Current top speed is Warp 13.

Impulse Drive
Full Impulse: .75 C

Armaments 
Dorsal, Ventral and Aft phaser arrays, Type 9.1 (Type X prototypes)
Four forward facing phaser cannons, Prototype
Fore and Aft photon torpedo tubes, Type 6


USS PROTECTOR NX-3120 for Star Trek Adventures

Systems
Comms 09
Computers 09
Engines 09/10 (for experimental Omega 13 Drive)
Sensors 08
Structure 08
Weapons 09

Departments
Command -
Conn -
Security -
Engineering +2
Science +1
Medicine -

Scale: 6
Power: 10 (based on normal crew compliments)
Shields: 13
Resistance: 6

Weaponry:

  • Phaser Arrays
  • Phaser Cannons
  • Photon Torpedoes
  • Tractor Beam (Strength 4)

Talents
Mystic-class starships have the following Talents:

  • Prototype (presently applies to all ships in the line with various modifications)
  • Improved Warp Drive
  • Advanced Sensor Suites


USS PROTECTOR NX-3120 for the White Star RPG

ARMOR CLASS: 7 [12]
HIT POINTS: 150
SHIELD STRENGTH: 20
MOVEMENT: 5
TARGETING: +3
RANGE:
ATTACK: Heavy Laser x5 (6d6) (Phaser Array), Laser Cannon x4 (2d6) (Phaser Cannon), Proton Missile x2 (8d6) (Photon Torpedoes)
MODIFICATIONS Advanced Shielding (3), Automated Weapons (16), Faster-Than-Light Drive (Warp Drive), Proton Missiles, Tractor Beam (2), Shield Capacitor

USS PROTECTOR NX-3120 for Starships & Spacemen

Ship type: Cruiser
Crew complement: 320 officers, 900-1000 enlisted
Command Rank: Commander
Power Pile Base: 200 energy units (two full pods)
Teleporter Capacity: 5 at a time
Beam Banks: 3
Ion Torpedoes: 2
Shuttle Ships: 12
Sick Bay Capacity: 60 (emergency to 200)

USS PROTECTOR NX-3120 for X-plorers

Ship Class: 4
Type: Cruiser
Crew: 320 officers, 900-1000 enlisted
Hull Points: 90
Weapon Damage: 3d6 (phasers), 2d8 (photorps), 4d8 (phase cannons)
AC: 14
NPC Skill: 14/12/10+
XP Value: 5,500
Cost Million Cr: 240



Tuesday, May 16, 2017

On Ramp: Introduction to Space Truckers

There seems to be some interest in this.  I don't have a publication date set yet, but I feel like September oughta be good.

Right now I have no art for this.  So that is going to be my biggest issue.

Here is the Introduction and a bit from Exit (Chapter) 01

Space Truckers

On Ramp - Introduction

“What a Long, Strange Trip it’s Been…”

The late 1970s was a very odd time.  In 1979 we were of the first families I knew of to get access to a new concept, a cable movie channel.  With my new obsession, Dungeons & Dragons, in mind I sought out to watch ANYTHING to do with sword and sorcery or fantasy.  I didn’t get that.  Instead I got a strange mix of movies from 1977 on.  Horror yes, but I also watched an odd mix of SciFi in the wake of Star Wars and Close Encounters and trucker movies.  The trucker/CB craze was huge in Middle America in the years 1977-79.  I saw movies like Smokey and the Bandit, Convoy and White Line. A lot. Maybe too much.

It makes for a strange alchemy to be sure.

I have spent a lot of time in cars driving from one place or another.  I have eaten at a few truck stops, downed coffee at a few more.  I did think they would be better if they had more aliens.  In others though I have thought I would not have even noticed.

Space Truckers is the offspring of two very popular trends of the late 1970s, Science Fiction, notably space battles, and a fascination with truckers and CB slang.

Exit 01 - Outbound and Down

“Hey hey Good Buddies! Whats’ yer Space-20? Come back!”

In the future humankind has gone out to the stars.  Hyperspace travel has made the planets closer. Humanity and the alien life forms they encounter are constantly looking for new planets to colonize.  Those planets need materials, food, and personnel. It is up to the brave men and women of the Space Shipping Lines to get the colonies what they need. It is a time of the SPACE TRUCKERS!

Far off colonies are serviced by long range starships and freighters.  Short range shipping needs are dealt with by local interplanetary shipping.  The needs of colonies, especially newer colonies inaccessible by larger freighters, are completely dependent on the service of the Space Trucking lines.
Space Truckers uses a mini-campaign concept that can be added to any White Star game; a sector of space with an expanse, The Hazard Lands, frequented by space truckers and pirates as well as patrolled by Colonial Hyperspace Police (CHP).

So far the classes I have are:
Space Truckers
Hyper Space Patrol (CHiPs)
Pirates
Grease Monkey (hyper intelligent chimps that are great mechanics)
And the Ursine and Porcine race options (or "Bears" and "Pigs" in trucker slang).

New Ships will include
Long Haul Trucks
Short Haul Trucks
CHiP interceptor crafts

Plus rules for “Hyper jamming” (getting more speed out of truck) and convoys

I am going to include the Hazzard lands, Dixie's Truck Stop ("the best Diablo Sandwich in the Tri-Sector area!"),  Lot Lizards and Snarks, Pirates.

Meet NPCS like Dixie, owner of Dixies. Her kid sister Jamie, along with cook Mel and waitresses Alice and FL0.  Get your truck serviced by Reginald Farnsworth Symthe IV aka “Reggie” and his robot assistant Gears.  Share a doughnut and coffee with CHP Officer Bob Friendly, just make sure you are not hauling any contraband.  Avoid the areas controlled by the corrupt Governor Boss of the Hazard Colonies and his equally corrupt Sheriff  Roscoe J. "Stonewall" Jackson.


It should be fun.  Silly, but fun.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Sick Days, New Year's Resolutions and Upcoming Books

Not feeling so hot today.  Some viral thing has been running through my home and at work, so I guess it was only a matter of time before it got me too.

This got me thinking about my New Year's Resolution.

Each year I try to resolve to do something new, or better, in the upcoming year.  I am happy to say I am usually pretty successful at keeping these.  This year was no different.

For 2017 I resolved to clear out a lot of the half-finished "Works in Progress" I have on my list.  Having five half-finished documents are not as good as having one finished one.  So you can see the fruits of my efforts this year with a new witch book out every six weeks so far. I also finished up a project for the DMsGuild and the Classic Modules Today group.


Now I don't want to burn out my audience so I am debating on whether or not my Summer Solstice book should be a "witch" book.  Oh if you think I don't have another witch book up my sleeves you haven't been paying attention here for long. ;)

Which gets me to today.
Since I am feeling kind of crappy I was digging around in my projects drive and found some docs I had written about the Healer Class. Actually, I have two; a Clerical healer and a Psychic healer.

The other projects I have are:

The Faerie Witch / Green Witch.  This is planned for the Summer Solstice.  It covers the Faerie Witch traditions as well as the Fey Pact Warlock.  I also will talk about "Grand Covens" and have more faerie creatures.  For Swords & Wizardry complete with conversion notes for Basic Era.

The White Witch. This is a simple book for playing good-aligned witches in Swords & Wizardry Whitebox.  Due out in August.

The Complete Necromancer. This is a much larger project. In addition to the Mara Tradition Witches and Death Pact Warlocks, I am going to comb through many OGC sources to provide a "complete" Necromancer class, an Undead Slayer class and a Death Priest. Some of the material in this book goes back to the beginning of my witch class.  This book will feature hundreds of spells and dozens, if not scores, of undead monsters.  It is a huge book.  I want to get it out for Halloween (natch) but not sure if I will get it all done.  Swords & Wizardry Complete / Basic Era.

The Healer.  Again this is a class that shares a genesis with the witch and necromancer. The Clerical Healer will have plenty of new spells and things to do. Plus rules on how to play a passivist character in a world of murder-hobos. The Psychic Healer will be similar but rely on psionic powers and manipulating chakras. Basic Era, no set date yet.

Space Truckers.  Ah. This one has been running around in my mind for years.  No witches. No magic. Think back to 1977, this is "Star Wars" meets "Smokey and the Bandit" meets "CHiPs".
An Ode to roadtrips and the strange alchemy that was the late 70s.  New classes, new races, new rules for short and long haul spacetrucks. For White Star.  No date yet, but this year is the 40th Anniversary of both "Star Wars" and "Smokey and the Bandit", so I should do it this year.

Below is a quick poll.  I am interested in hearing your thoughts.






Let me know what you think. I am on a ton of allergy drugs right now; who knows what you can convince me to do!

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.

Friday, May 20, 2016

White Star Traveller

Free Trader Beowulf, this is "The Lady Lilith". We acknowledge your Mayday and have you on long range scan. Our ETA is 2 mins, 37 seconds.  Hold tight Beowulf, help is on the way.

I love White Star.  It's not groundbreaking, or 100% original (Star Wars + D&D), but it is a great representation and it is a ton of fun. +James Spahn did a kick ass job and managed to get me back into Sci-Fi RPGs.

But back in the day our Sci-Fi games were not this:



But this:



There are some things in Traveller that I think of as a "must have" in a sci-fi game. Things like skills, some more psionics, and dying in character creation...wait, maybe not that.

White Star's class system covers broad skills well, but I have not tried to do very granular or specific skills yet.

Plus there are just a lot things in Traveller I just liked that I would love to see added to the White Star.  Maybe this is something I can do for my Black Star game.

There are also some things in Star Frontiers I like too, but that is something more for blog posting I think.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Review: Scum and Villainy

"Scum and Villainy" is likely to be the most aptly named supplement for the White Star game I have picked up in a long time.  After all, if White Star is the godchild of Star Wars and 70s D&D then Scum and Villainy had to come up sooner or later.

S&V is a 17-page book (cover, credits page, table of contents, 1.5 pages of OGL bring us to 12.5 pages of content) for playing the low-life of the galaxy.  Written by +Omer G. Joel it also features some really nice art from +Luigi Castellani.   It is very evocative. I see that and I think "Traveller" and that is not a bad thing.  Nor is it an accident.
I am in love with that cover.

There are two new classes, the Assassin and the Rogue who do pretty much what you think they do, but there are some nice features to make them fit the WS universe a bit better.

The gems of this though are the expanded rules. How to go unnoticed in space. How to sell stolen goods.  Really the stuff that you expect to see in a book like this, but never really do.

There is a section on ship mods, new equipment and new weapons.

There was a lot of good things here, but I was hoping for more.  Maybe a bit on a notorious crime synidicate or something along those lines.

With 17 pages at $3.99 I was expecting more.  Compare this to the B/X Rogue which is 24 pages at $1.50 and covers similar ground.   Combining the two would give you some really potent rogues!

Thursday, February 18, 2016

The Sisterhood of the Aquarian Order

The Sisterhood of the Aquarian Order



“Our only limits are imagination.”

    - From the Records of the Sisterhood of the Aquarian Order

A new class for the White Star RPG.

The Sisterhood of the Aquarian Order is a class human mystics that have guided humanity towards the stars for centuries untold.

In ancient times when mankind was still battling over feudal lands, the Order was plotting the motions of the planets. When humanity was first using solid fuel rockets the Order was projecting their consciousness beyond our solar system into the stars.  When humans first set foot on alien words, the Order already knew the songs of these Aliens. Now that humans have taken their rightful place among the stars the Order does what it can to keep humanity moving forward.  To what future, only they know.  They believe that humanity is on the cusp of a new consciousness and a new age.

This book includes:
  • The Sisters of the Aquarian Order Class for White Star
  • Psychic Powers and Rituals of the Order
  • New Equipment and space ships
  • Advice for using the Sisters in your games
Details on the Capricorn Heresies and the future of the Order.

Now available in both PDF and Print!

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Sisters of the Aquarian Order: The Geminian Prophecy

The Sisters of the Aquarian Order believe in reincarnation.  They have seen the same souls over and over again throughout their long history.  While the memories of former Sisters live on in the Gestalt, the "souls" are reborn again and again.

Such is the case with Kimbra III and Kelleigh III.  Not only reborn, but reborn as twins again.
Unlike most Sisters, Kimbra III and Kelleigh III were left for the Order after showing signs of power at a very early age.  They already had advanced telepathy between themselves, they are Anamchara, showed knowledge of the Order that many Intiates did not even have.



Tragedy struck the young twins when they were seperated in a conflict between the Star Knights and the Void Knights.  Kelleigh III was believed to have been killed, though her sister knew better.

Kimbra III now serves as a "cultural liason" to the Star Knights.  Here she provides them details she has learned about the Void Knights in her studies.

Kelleigh III is still alive, but now a member of the Capricorn Sisterhood. Here she also works as a cultural liason to the Void Knights.   Only Kimbra knows her sister is alive via their Anamchara link.  The Aquarian Order suspects she might be alive and is watching Kimbra closely for any signs of heresy.

In truth both sister work toward the same goal, the discovery of return of the Old Ones.

Kimbra III
5th level Aquarian Sister

Strength: 11
Dexterity: 12
Constitution: 16
Intelligence: 15
Wisdom: 12
Charisma: 16

Hit Points:  16
AC: 7
Base to hit: +2
Saving throw: 11

Powers
Empathy, Telepathy (Anamchara: Kelleigh III)

Rituals 
First: (2) Far Sight, Read Languages
Second: (2) Agony, Hold Person

Eqipment
robes, baton


Kelleigh III
5th level Capricorn Sister
(Note: to Aquarian Sisters she is an Omega Level Heretic)

Strength: 11
Dexterity: 12
Constitution: 16
Intelligence: 15
Wisdom: 12
Charisma: 16

Hit Points:  17
AC: 7
Base to hit: +2
Saving throw: 11

Powers
Empathy, Telepathy (Anamchara: Kimbra III)

Rituals
First: (2) Cause Fear, Drowsy
Second: (2) Detect Thoughts, Phantasmal Force

Eqipment
robes, baton

The Geminian Prophecy
The Geminian Prophecy is so old that most Sisters don't even know about it. It is not in any database, but only recorded in ancient preserved scrolls.  So old in fact that there are no Heresies surrounding it.  The prophecy states that twins will be born into their powers early in life.  They will represent two sides of the same duality and they will either unite it or destroy it.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Planetary Profile: Gaia

>Galatic Data Network...Accessing.
>Begin Database transmission.
>Planetary database connection enabled.
>
>Ready...
>$ Information request: Gaia
>Accessing...
>
Planetary Data File: Gaia
Name: Gaia  (Ouranos 2)
Class: M. Rocky with nickel-iron core
Satellite: Phoebe (natural)
Semi-major axis: 85,114,187 mi
Orbital Period: 258 planetary days (300 galactic standard days)
Rotational Period: 20.95 hours (20 galactic standard hours)
Mean radius: 3,645 mi
Gravity: 1.176 g
Geography: 75% land, 24% water, 1% polar ice
Mean Surface Temperature: 65 degrees F
Atmosphere: 75% nitrogen (N2), 23% oxygen (O2), 0.9% argon, 0.5% helium, (He), 0.04% carbon dioxide (CO2), 0.02% water vapor (H20) 1.3% other gases.
Government: Planetary Hierarchal Theocracy
Leader: “Her Gracious and Wise Eternal Mother, Cassiopeia CXIV, the 1,153rd Mother Eternal”


The Sisterhood of the Aquarian Order make their home on the small, but lush green planet of Gaia.  No one but members of the Sisterhood are allowed on the planet surface.  This is one of their most inviolate laws.  Scattered across the surface of the Planet are their 40,000 temples, also known as a Priory. Each is controlled by an Prioress, an 8th level or higher Sister.  Forty temples  are controlled by an Abbess. Ten Abbesses report one of 100 High Priestesses who in turn report to four Hierophants and finally to the Mother Eternal.  The current Mother Eternal is Cassiopeia CXIV, the 1,153rd Mother Eternal.

Each temple can house up to 25 individuals of various degrees.   All are connected by the Gestalt.
Nothing happens on the surface of Gaia that all the Order does not know about.

There are a few “lay-members” on the planet, the so called “little Sisters” that did not pass the trials of the Order.  They provide a number of the support services to the temples.

The one thing the lay-members are not expected to do is physical labor.  Gaia is a fully technologically advanced planet, but their use of much of the technology is limited.  The food is grown on the planet by the members of the Order themselves.  They are a fully self-sustaining agrarian society.  Space ports and meeting areas for off world visitors are all dealt with in their state of the art space station on their moon, Phoebe.  Here Sisters may meet with other species who wish to visit their planet.  Transport to and from the planet is done by space ferry and transmat beams.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Blog Roundup: Gods, Vampires and Blinky Thieves

I have some edits that I need to make to Sisters of the Aquarian Order today, so I won't be getting that out to every just yet.

I have some posts I need to wrap-up, but I am headed to an early morning meeting today so some links will have to do.

+Ray Chapel over at Quasar Knight's Fantasy Blog has put together something I have been meaning to do for a while.  A comprehensive list of all the White Star products on OneBookshelf.
http://quasarknight.blogspot.com/2016/02/a-comprehensive-list-of-white-star.html
It is an impressive list to be honest.

+Sean McG over at The Power Score has done another of his fantastically detailed analysis of a D&D monster. This time it is for the Vampire. A long time favorite of mine.
http://thecampaign20xx.blogspot.com/2016/02/dungeons-dragons-guide-to-vampires.html


+Chris Kutalik and +trey causey have both given us some detail on the so called "Erol Otus Pantheon" on their respective blogs.
http://hillcantons.blogspot.com/2016/02/the-erol-otus-ddg-pantheon.html
http://sorcerersskull.blogspot.com/2016/02/the-otus-pantheon.html


It is a nice little trip back to the 80s.

+Mark Craddock has been steadily releasing D&D5 material over at the DM's Guild for a bit now.
His biggest project is Deities and Domains: Specialty Priests of the Forgotten Realms (39 Feats for 5E).  At 25 pages  and 39 dieties this is one of the larger products.  While overtly for the Forgotten Realms, there is so much here that any D&D 5 palyer should grab it and just swap out the names for their own gods.  Plus it comes with a printer-friendly version.  I am already using the cleric of Mystra, only in my game it is a cleric of Wee Jas.

His newest is Psionics Unearthed: Tesseract.   I just got it and love it.  The best way to describe it is "blinky thieves" but it would work for any martial class too.  It might actually be a little underpowered compared to say the Arcane Trickster, but the fact that a Tesseract can use their powers multiple times between long rests makes up for it.  My kids will fight over who gets to use this one!

My favorite though has to be Character Crucible: Dhampirs.
Not very large, but it does exactly what it needs to do.  The Dhampir is a great race to play in any version of D&D, but Mark capitalizes on the strengths of D&D5 to make a fun race.  I would have an easier time working these Dhampirs into my games than the Dragonborn and Tieflings my kids want to play all the time.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Expanding the White Star Universe

It is no secret that I am very fond of +James Spahn's White Star RPG.  So with my proof copies in I just had to take a "family" picture.


Of course I am also a fan of +Matthew Skail's Between Star and Void.



I love how these copies turned out and I'll be making it live soon.



I love all the great DIY products coming out for this.
I don't know or have them all, but there is the White Star Catalog that has most of them released as of November.

I have not tried to be 100% compatible with anything other than White Star, but I have also kept it open enough that you can drop the Aquarian Sisters into most games.  The galaxy should be big, and weird.
For example I have no idea if my Aquarian Sisters work well with the Star Sailors of Star Sailors: The Magical Girl Supplement for White Star RPG.

On that note though, Sisters of the Aquarian Order is 100% Open OGC.  So if you want to use the Aquarian or Capricorn Sisters in your product? By all means go right ahead. You don't even need to ask me.  But if you do let me know! I'd like to see what they do in the hands of other gamers.

So what are your favorite White Star products? Sell me on your favorite!

Sunday, January 24, 2016

7 Myths About the Aquarian Order

“The Star Knights are valuable allies. When they are not thinking with their swords...”
-  Abbess Wednesday CLX of the Kelron Priory 

“We have a saying, ‘Never trust a Witch.’  It’s been good advice.”
-  Master Mic-ahn Amej of the Star Knights

The Aquarian Order are a mysterious group. They do rarely reveal their goals and motivations and never come out and say what their plans are.  They also actively spread disinformation about the nature of the order.   With a large galaxy of trillions of inhabitants, rumors and stories spread.

Myth 1, The Sisterhood are not Human:  The most common belief is that the Sisterhood isn’t, or is no longer, human.  This is also the furthest from the truth.  The Sisters are very much human, and any human in the galaxy can be born and become a Sister. Providing that they are female of course.

Myth 2, The Order is the Female Version of the Knights: Also common and also very far from the truth.  The average galactic citizen is likely to have heard of the knights, and even a few may have seen one.  When they learn about the Sisterhood they naturally assume that they are part of their Order.  Many female Knights find this a little insulting.  Both are esoteric orders with their roots in ancient times and both wield strange powers.  Knights and Sisters are concerned with the safety and well-being of humanity, but their methods are often very different.

Myth 3, The Sisters like/hate the Knights:  Those that do know the difference assume there is some sort of accord or rivalry between the two groups.  The truth, like most things, is much more complicated.  The Knights and the Sisters can share goals on one mission and be at odds on others.

Myth 4, The Sisters practice Magic:  Another common myth is that the mystical power of the Sisters are magic. Again the truth is more complicated.  The powers the Sisters have are fantastic but they come from training their minds and their connection to the Gestalt.

Myth 5, Failed Candidates are Lobotomized: One of the more distrusting rumors spread about the Order is that those that take the Test but fail are somehow lobotomized. Either via the process or by the Sisters themselves.  This is also not true but based in the reality that the vast majority of the galaxy does not know about the Tests and what happens after the test.  In reality failed candidates go back to their lives, but are sworn never to talk about it.

Myth 6, The Order takes Girls from their Families:  This one is partially true. The Order searches the galaxy for potentials. Girls that show psychic potential are taken back to the Order’s homeworld of Gaia.  Here the girls are trained, but they are not completely cut off from their former lives.  Once they become full Sisters many are too busy with their own duties.  There is also reality that these girls spend their formative years among the Sisterhood and they do view them as their new family.

Myth 7, There is more than one Sisterhood:  This one is also true, but not in the way most people think.  The vast majority of people in the galaxy do not realize that all the Orders of the Sisterhood are part of the same Order.  The truth, only known to very, very few is there a splinter group known as the Capricorn Order that Sisterhood does not want anyone to know about.


More answers when Sisters of the Aquarian Order is released.

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.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Class Struggles & PWWO: The Intergalactic Rogue

The Scoundrel. The Rogue. The Thief.  If you are going to have a galaxy full of Knights, law-enforcement or otherwise protectors of the public trust and law and order then it behoves someone to give all those people work to do.

This is where the rogue comes in.

It doesn't matter how advanced we get as a society there will always be the fringe element that does not want to play by the rules, either as a lovable, if "scruffy" scoundrel or the actually evil thief.

By chance I picked up a number of print copies of some OSR books. I grabbed hardcovers of White Star from +James Spahn, Between Star & Void by +Matthew Skail and a softcover of the B/X Rogue from +Gavin Norman.

One of the first things I noticed was how well the Star Knights might work as a Green Lantern like police force.  And that the galaxy needed more rogues.

Thankfully Gavin Norman's B/X Rogue is so flexible that we can swap out the bits that make it B/X (sorry) and add in the same bits from Swords & Wizardry.  In truth it is not even that complicated.
In the B/X Rogue all the "Thief Abilities" have been replaced by "Rogue Talents".  You start with 4 and  work up to more.   Talents have a high margin of success, only failing under rare circumstances.  So that makes the Rogue into something more versatile.

Magic Talents are an issue and should be taken out.  But I mentioned before that +Richard LeBlanc's Basic Psionics Handbook can be used to add some of wild talents for rogue talents to create a rogue with some power.  Maybe they are a failed mystic, Knight or Sister but still have some powers.

I would also assume that anything like pick locks would extend to their futuristic White Star analogues.   Same with pick pockets.  Instead of actually taking money out of their pocket the rogue has a device that captures transaction codes and allows them to steal credits.

While our model of a classic rogue is often The Grey Mouser, Shadowspawn and even Bilbo our White Star rogue is Han Solo (to a degree), Neo (at the start of the Matrix), mostly James "Slippery Jim" Bolivar DiGriz from "The Stainless Steel Rat" series, Peter "Starlord" Quill (movie version at least), and 90% of the patrons of the Mos Eisley Cantina...I assume.

Now we have a Scoundrel class already which fits some of this thanks to Tenkar.  But the rogue is something a little different.  This now practically begs someone to build a Bounty Hunter class ala "Cowboy Bebop".

Plays Well With Others
A total cheat on my part here.  Both White Star and the B/X Rogue are so flexible that feats of Game Master legerdemain  are not needed here.
There are some features of the B/X Rogue though that make it more suited for White Star than saw the thief from S&W.  This allows for differences in Starlord and the Stainless Steel Rat.

Actually this gives me an interesting idea, but that is for another post.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Dawning of the Age of Aquarius

By some calculations today, January 19th is the day that the Sun enters the constellation of Aquarius.  So it seems like an astronomically good time to make this announcement.

I am proud to announce my next book.  I give to you, The Sisters of the Aquarian Order for the White Star RPG.

(maybe not the final cover, but close)

Coming in February 2016.

This book will detail the Sisterhood of the Aquarian Order from their early, pre-historical roots to the present day and their uncertain future.  It will cover their roles in the White Star game, their goals and motivations, The Capricorn Heresies, and of course, their near-mystical Rituals and the mystery of the Gestalt.  

I hope you all enjoy this as much as I have had working on it.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Mail Call!

Look what came in the mail yesterday!


Hardcovers of White Star from +James Spahn, Between Star & Void by +Matthew Skail and a softcover of the B/X Rogue from +Gavin Norman.

They all look great and since they came in at the same time I am thinking a Plays Well With Others is in order.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Satisfied with Alpha Blue

Alpha Blue is the latest release from Kort'thalis Publishing and +Venger Satanis.

Alpha Blue is a Space Station where the party never ends.  The book is 111 pages (114 if you count covers and extra page). The art is what you would expect from Venger; good and on the creepy side.  Some I *think* I have seen before, but I can't be sure really.  But all of it really comes with a nice vibe of late 70s/early 80s sci-fi cheese.  Basically if you grew up in the 70s and 80s watching any sci-fi you will recognize something here. If you are like me then something you will like.  They layout is clean and easy to read. I also appreciate the color and b/w versions of the character sheet.

The book has a basic system attached to it, mostly, as the author describes to set the tone for a game.  The character generation system actually would well as an additional bit of character information for your standard OSR game.  There is some good material here that can be used for something like White Star or Starships & Spacemen.  Print out your game's regular sheet and an Alpha Blue sheet back to back.

The rest of the book is the reall meat of the book and might not really be most people's cup of tea.  Alpha Blue is a Space Brothel.  The obvious nod here is to the old adult movie The Satisfiers of Alpha Blue.  I will happily admit I have seen and enjoyed the movie.  Actually the movie is an interesting social commentary that all the best sci-fi movies have. But that is for another discussion.

Alpha Blue, the book, is thankfully devoid of social commentary.  I am not trying to say the book is nothing but sleazy encounters, but there is a lot here that can be great setting material...and some sleaze.

I think that Venger missed a good opportunity here to call the game master a "Blue Dungeon Space Master" or a BDSM.  A little awkward? Yeah.  No worse than Dungeon Master I guess.

I mentioned in the past that this premise reminds me of the +Shon Richards' story Pleasure Station Sigma.   The comparison still holds, but there is more to Alpha Blue than just that.

Honestly there are so many hidden gems and easter eggs here that I am still finding them weeks in to reading this game.  Which brings up a point.
The one thing this book lacks, and really could use, is it's own "Appendix N". A collection of late 70s early 80s B and C grade Sci-Fi movies and TV shows.  Off the top of my head I saw influences of Logan's Run, Barbarella (ok 60s), Battlestar Galactica, Star Trek (TOS), Star Wars (the first trilogy only), Doctor Who (explictly mentioned), Galaxina, Cherry 2000, Westworld, Heavy Metal, Weird Science, the Buck Rodgers RV series, the Flash Gordon movie and of course, Satisfyers of Alpha Blue.


There are a lot of random tables in this book too.  Personally I am not a fan of a bunch of random tables, but here it works.  After all this is a space station with a lot going on. Plus it fits not only the Gonzo-Sci-Fi style VS has going here, but also the Gonzo-OSR style all his books have.

Alpha Blue is not for the easily offended.  It is also not really for anyone that did not grow up in the 70s or 80s; too much of the content will be lost on anyone that hears "Starbuck" and thinks coffee or Katee Sackhoff.   There is the right group out there for this book, and for that group it will be a lot of fun.  Some reviews have called this an "adult" title.  Maybe.  Personally I would say it is R-rated at the worst.  Though now I do know how much damage a jelly-double headed dildo will do if used in combat.

ETA: Just learned of the death of David Bowie.  I think some stats for Ziggy Stardust, Aladdin Sane or The Thin White Duke are in order.




The stars look very different today.


Thursday, January 7, 2016

Game of the Year 2015: White Star

For me it really is no contest what last year's biggest and best game was.

It was +James Spahn's White Star.


Not that it is faux-Star Wars in a year of Star Wars (but that helps).
Not that it is a Swords & Wizardry reskinned (but that also helps).

No, it is because it is just so damn fun.  You can tell that James must have been having a great time writing this. It shows in his work.  Plus it is such a good seller on RPGNow and DriveThruRPG others must find it fun as well.

I also give it this nod for all the great supplements that have been coming out for it. You can find some of them in this nifty little guide, The White Star Catalog.

White Star isn't just a cool set of rules, it is also a nice sandbox with some minor assumptions on a game universe.   The best elements are left open for others to play with and develop further.

Between Star & Void is a great example.
This book covers the Star Knights and their enemies, the Void Knights, in greater detail.  +Matthew Skail has done a great job of showing us what both groups of Knights can do.  I came away not so much wanting to run "Jedi" or "Sith" but something more akin to the Green Lantern Corps.  At 109 pages it is a pretty full (101 pages of content) of material for Star Knights and Void Knights.  This book also includes Mystics, Star Pilot, Way Adapt and Alien Star Knight, and of course, Void Knights and an extra special group, the Eclipse Knights.
There are plenty of new Meditations for the Knights and Mystics and new Empowerments for Void Knights.  The Void Knights really kind of steal the show here a bit.  I think everyone loves a  good bad guy.  Though the Star Pilot will get a lot of love in some game groups I am sure.
We also have a chapter on Star Knight Martial Styles and a chapter on Star Sword construction.  They really put the "Tao" in "Way" here.  I have to admit reading this feels just like playing games in the late 70s early 80s when sci-fi was king and everywhere. I had toys from various franchises and freely mixed them all together is a crazy, and mostly incoherent, whole.  But I didn't care, it was fun.
This book is like that.  Not crazy and incoherent, but certainly a lot of fun.
There are some great Appendices here too. There is an alternate Meditation system in Appendix A.
Appendix B includes some "Fantasy Conversions" for Swords & Wizardry, Labyrinth Lord, Adventurer Conqueror King, or higher level White Star games.  This includes higher level Meditations

The art is a mixed lot, but I love the cover.
There are some obvious typos and the text needs some cleaning up here and there, but nothing that impacts readability or use.  There is a lot of fun in this book and I can't wait to try it out.

Even given my long complicated relationship with Sci-Fi RPGs, I think I may have found my game.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Star Wars

I feel the need to make an obligatory Star Wars post today.
But yet I am not quite feeling the excitement.

Don't get me wrong. I love the Star Wars movies and had a blast with all of them.  I loved everything Star Wars growing up too.    I still have a couple of Boba Fetts (one I had to save proof of purchases for, one I bought) sitting on my desk.  I went from being a hard-core fan to a more relaxed one.  I did like the newer movies despite HUGE plot holes (the first movie was about a trade agreement?? really??) and my kids love them.  My adult tastes went more for Star Trek.

I really enjoyed the d20 Star Wars game.  I know "heresy"! How dare I say anything was better than the d6 West End Games version.  I have (or rather my son has) the Revised d20 version.  It is a bit like D&D 3 and so we have been adding it off and on to our regular D&D game.

To me, d20 and Star Wars seemed a perfect match.  I think back to the late 70's and early 80's and what my obsessions were; Star Wars and D&D.  Having played the game a bit I can see why some people don't like it and why some still prefer the WEG d6 version (I don't), but to me it just works. Stars Wars and D&D share history, they share a common place in the Gen X collective sub-conscious right there next to video games.  To me, D&D/d20 and Star Wars just belong together.

Not only was it out at the same time (more or less) I discovered D&D. It became so much a part of my experiences as a kid that is hard to tease out where one influence begins and the other ends.

This movie has: A boy who would be the hero, a swashbuckling rogue, a princess to rescue, a wise old man/wizard/jedi, an evil warrior, an impenetrable fortress, magic, fights, side-kicks, monsters, sword fights and epic battle.  Everything here IS D&D.  They even meet the rogue in a bar!

Yes this another retelling of the monomyth or The Hero with a 1,000 Faces.  That's why it works so well.

Also, I have a long history of dissatisfaction with Sci-Fi games.  It's odd really.  I love Sci-Fi, but the RPGs I have tried (Traveler, Star Frontiers, Alternity) have left me feeling flat.  Star Frontiers was my favorite.   So I guess to me then, the perfect Sci-Fi game would have elements of Star Wars, Star Frontiers and Alternity all powered by the d20 system.  That is also easy to do.  I am a touch surprised I have not tried that yet.

I was talking about this with my wife last night in fact. We are not going to see Star Wars right away, but we are much more excited for the new Star Trek movie to be honest.   She also suggested I pick up the hardcover of White Star and play with that for a while, or even stick with Starships & Spacemen.  Though it is more "Trek" to White Star's "Wars".

Maybe what I need is a solid hook first for some good Sci/Star Wars/Star Trek gaming.

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