Showing posts with label sci-fi. Show all posts
Showing posts with label sci-fi. Show all posts

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

At the Planets of Madness

Throughout October and November, I have been rereading everything from H.P. Lovecraft and Clark Ashton Smith.  In particular, I have been focusing my attention on their "Cosmotism" and sci-fi stories.  All the while thinking about how I want to approach my own "Star Trek meets Cthulhu horror is Space" game, something I have been working on under the title of "Black Star".

Of course looking at Lovecraft through the lens of Sci-fi rather than horror gives the stories an extra dimension.  Once I got back to the "Dream of the Witch House" and the equations of Walter Gilman I knew there was something there.  I figured what if we took the Gilman equations and used those to power Warp drive?  It seemed like a great fit! Really, really great.  Too great. I had to go back to my shelves and sure enough, the idea is not my original one.

Eldritch Skies was published by Battlefield Press a few years back does exactly this.  I was a consultant on the original Cinematic Unisystem version, but now you can only get the Savage Worlds version.

Still, I am pressing on to use the Gilman drive in my own games.  The Gilman equations are added to normal warp drive to produce the Gilman-Cochrane drives.  I'll adapt Eldritch Skies as needed with plenty of Lovecraftian beasties to fill my CAS-style planets.  Hey, it makes as much sense as the Spore Drive.

Converting the stories to Sci-Fi/Horror adventures is easy.

After the first adventure which is Star Tre + Galaxy Quest + Alien + Lovecraft + Event Horizon I figure I can do these:

At the Planets of Madness.  The PCs find a planet that is older than the known Universe! To make matters worse there is evidence of an ancient civilization.  (At the Mountains of Madness + the Image of Fendahl)

Ghost Ship.  The PCs find a derelict adrift in space and it is full of the ghosts of the dead crew.  Originally this was going to be the Enterprise B when I ran it as a pure Trek game. (The Haunting of Hill House, Dreams of the Witch House, the Flying Dutchman)

The Color out of Hyperspace.  A slow moving wave is "eating" up parts of space and everything in its wake.  (Color out of Space)

Starcrash on Hyperborea.  A shuttlecraft with the PCs crashes on a primitive frozen planet.   (Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea + The Galileo Seven +  All Our Yesterdays)

At least that is what I have so far.  I want to use more of Clark Ashton Smith's planets, in particular, his planets around Polaris.  It is also giving me a chance to adapt some Tékumel material to White Star.  This page on Wikipedia, Stars and planetary systems in fiction,  has been invaluable for finding planets and star systems I can use.

Much like Lovecraft, I started out in life as an astronomer.  Also, like Lovecraft, I discovered I lack the skills in math to ever get very far.  Though in my defense my wall comes up around Calculus 2.  I did go on to get a degree in Statistics and Measurement.   But the idea of using some long unused parts of my brain are appealing to me.

I have posted a lot in the past about various worlds.  All of these can be used too.


Time to boldly go where no one can hear you scream!

This post is part of my contribution to the RPG Blog Carnival for November 2018.
This month's topic is "All these Worlds..."
Looking forward to what my fellow RPG bloggers are doing this month and how many ideas I can use from them!



Wednesday, October 10, 2018

October Horror Movie Challenge: Forbidden World (1982)

Ah...not Forbidden Planet...but well you get the idea.
I was not going to do an 80's themed October Challenge without getting in a Roger Corman film.
Corman is up to his usual tricks here too, cheap sets, recycled footage, and beautiful women in various stages of undress.

The plot is one so old that even in 82 it felt old. Alien monster created by science gets loose in a lab and kills everyone.  But to Corman's credit, he still manages to make this old chestnut entertaining.
Our hero, Mike Colby, is a Federation Marshall sent to deal with the problem.  He manages to have sex with every woman on the base and still finds a way to allow everyone to get killed on the base.
Priorities I guess.

Still, if I ever get my Star Trek/White Star/Black Star game going again there will be a shape-shifting alien in the Jefferies Tubes killing people.

Forbidden World also features a Pre-V June Chadwick as Dr. Barbara Glaser, but she might be remembered best as David St. Hubbins' girlfriend Jeanine in "This is Spın̈al Tap".  Of course given that this a Corman flick the only way the two women on board can figure out how to communicate with the creature is during a scene where they shower together.

This movie has also been known as "Mutant".  The actual creature, as to be expected, looks nothing like the cover art.

Watched: 7
New: 3


Friday, June 1, 2018

Kickstart Your Weekend: No One Warps For Free

Venger is back and this time he has some new for the universe of Alpha Blue.



The newest and now full color Alpha Blue supplement, Alpha Ass, Hydrogen Gas, or Cosmic Grass... No One Warps For Free!  Is being kickstarted today.

I will freely admit.  I love Alpha Blue.  70s Sci-Fi sleaze is almost as much fun as 70s horror sleaze and I love them both.  Alpha Blue is one of my favorite all time RPG books.  Not books Venger has done, but all RPG books.  Why? Because it is so over the top and really in an infinite universe a space station like Alpha Blue would exist.  


Venger always delivers on his kickstarters so this one should be no different.  He is promising a minimum of 30 pages and all full color. 

New classes include Bard, Primitive Screwheads and Space sorcerers.  Hell, it sounds like so much fun I might need to come up with a sect of my own Sisters of the Aquarian Order to play with this.    Oh know!  Before they take their final oaths all prospective Sisters are given 24 hours where they are free to do whatever they want.  Well, a group of near-graduating space witches have chosen to party on Alpha Blue.  

So check this out.  Alpha Blue is Venger's best selling line for a reason.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Mail Call: Star Frontiers

I have always been a fan of Star Frontiers. Despite not having much success with Sci-Fi games, my brother and I picked up a copy as soon as it came out.  We had a fun time with it for a while, but often our games became more "D&D in Space".  While I would go on to other games, Star Frontiers always held a place in my heart.

I was quite pleased to see official copies come out on DriveThruRPG and RPGNow a bit back.  I was also pleased to see the new Print on Demand versions out too.  I wondered how they would simulate the boxed sets.  Well, now I know!

I picked up PoD copies of Star Frontiers: Alpha Dawn and Star Frontiers: Knight Hawks.






The color covers are quite bright and there are some color pages inside as well.  But the vast majority of the interior is still black and white.



Can't punch these out though. They do give them to you as a PDF to print and cut out.




I am quite pleased with these.  I'd love to get a game going of this, even if if it is just for a single session.  Now I need some percentile dice!  Maybe blue and red to match the dice that came in my boxed set.

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



Friday, October 13, 2017

October Horror Movie Challenge: The Osiris Child (2016)

The Osiris Child is listed as Sci-Fi, but to me, it is more horror.  There are none of the hallmarks of sci-fi outside of the futuristic time, some spaceships and terraforming. It actually has more in common with horror movies.

There is tension, there is the omnipresent threat of death, there are monsters (both human and otherwise) and there is a last girl.  There are also some scary moments.

While the original title was billed as the very ambitious "Science Fiction Vol 1." I am not sure we will see a Vol. 2.

Don't get me wrong, it was enjoyable and the acting was good, I don't believe it is sequel-worthy.

Note: I am back dating to this to the time I watched it.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

October Horror Movie Challenge: Alien Covenant (2017)

Another new one.  Plus I am running out of tape material.

Note: Spoilers ahead.

Alien Covenant attempts correct some of the mistakes from Prometheus.  Not sure how well it succeeds. For starters, this is a proper Alien movie, with xenomorphs, spaceships, a crazy android. Everything that made the first one a sci-fi and horror classic.

This one doesn't quite work as well.

It's a good sci-fi flick and has some good moments, but otherwise, it is only ok.

I am not exactly sure why that is.

I talked to my wife and son about this.  They pointed out that the alien was not really the enemy. They were only a tool. The real bad guy was the android, David.

Well, I had hoped for more.




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.

Monday, January 2, 2017

2017 A Look Ahead

I like to be optimistic. I like to look forward to things.  So here is my look forward to 2017 and what it might hold for me and the Other Side.

First things first I know my posting frequency is going to take a hit.  I have a lot of projects I need to wrap-up and the only time to do that is blogging time.

Strange Brew is hitting the shelves, both virtual and physical. There is a Pathfinder version, a Castles & Crusades version (that I am really pleased with) and there is talk of a D&D 5 version.  So expect to see more of that here.

Additionally, I am working on the Swords & Wizardry Witch.  There is already a "Lite" version now, I will release "White Box" and "Complete" versions too.  One thing I have not decided on yet is whether or not to include monsters.

Gaming I see Sci-fi games being big in the Brannan House.  We played some Star Trek over New Year's eve and that was a blast.   I got a bunch (all but the 11th Doctor) of the Doctor Who "Doctor" supplements for Christmas, so doing something with that would be great.


Starfinder in on the way and that looks like a lot of fun.  Depending on how it is I *might* update the Sisters of the Aquarian Order for it.  But that is not till later in the year.

I have my fingers in a couple of other projects that are not mine specifically, but I am helping out on.

Having fun with Star Trek.
I also have three books I'd love to get out this year for White Star.  One has been on my "to do" list for 7 years (many different systems).

I am also really looking forward to the new Blue Rose.

So far 2017 is shaping up to be BUSY.

What are YOU most looking forward too?

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.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

October Horror Movie Challenge: Splice (2009)

Splice is a movie I have wanted to see for a few years.  It is a basic mad-scientist makes a monster movie with some twists.

There are some interesting twists in this modern Frankenstein tale. Instead of body parts it's DNA. Instead of a horrible, disfigured monster we get Dren which could be considered cute at first.  Also the issue of burgeoning sexuality.  Side note: Why is it that female sexual awareness scares so many people? It is something so deeply ingrained that we are still seeing horror movies about it today.  Hell, that sounds more like a dissertation than a blog post. Maybe I should do that for my next October Challenge; see where this takes me.

Anyway there is/was room for a sequel ala the new Fly movie, but no idea if it ever happened.

The actors in this were quite good.  That sets this a notch above most horror flicks.




2016 Movie tally
Watched: 33
New: 26



Friday, October 28, 2016

October Horror Movie Challenge: Killer Klowns from Outer Space (1988)

Oh, what to say about this movie. I figured it was timely with all the clown "attacks" being reported.
Of course, I saw this when it came out, but wanted to watch it again with Connor.  He honestly didn't know what to think. But we were both laughing a lot.

Things I noticed/remembered.

Royal Dano as the farmer.  That was either inspired casting or lazy casting.
Suzanne Snyder as Debbie. She also played a "Debbie" in "Weird Science" and was from nearby Park Ridge Illinois.
Christopher Titus is in this movie too.  Wearing glasses I didn't even recognize them.

Though I swear there was a scene where the Dickies were playing in a concert.

A lot of the lines are really on the nose, no pun intended. It's not a great script. The movie is still a silly one.  The Klowns are scary though, but all clowns are scary.



2016 Movie tally
Watched: 28
New: 22


Sunday, October 16, 2016

October Horror Movie Challenge: Under the Skin (2013)

Under the Skin is a 2013 art film with sci-fi and horror overtones.  The film is notable for starring Scarlett Johansson. She spends the first few scenes completely nude and most of the movie with little to no lines.

The movie deals with an alien (ScarJo) who seduces men and lures them to her home in Scotland. Here she strips while walking, having them do same where they slowing disappear into the floor.  Later we see what happens to them.  Their organs are sucked out of their skin leaving only their still living skin.

As the movie (slowly) progresses ScarJo (none of the characters have names) begins to act more and more human.

The movie is very arty and there are some very obvious nods to 2001: A Space Oddeysey.  Of course, there is another movie people have been comparing it too; Lifeforce.  Like Lifeforce this movie features an alien woman walking around, mostly nude, and killing men.  Though the aliens of Lifeforce are mostly vampires (based on Colin Wilson's "The Space Vampires") this alien, as far as I can tell is something different.

There are some genuinely scary moments but not as many as I thought there should be.  


2016 Movie tally
Watched: 17
New: 12


Friday, October 14, 2016

October Horror Movie Challenge: The Black Hole (1979)

The Black Hole is a movie that scared the crap out of me when I first saw it.  Granted I was 10 and it was at a drive-in theater.

I saw it again on VHS about 20 years ago and then again this past weekend with my wife and son.

Connor: "This is boring and not scary at all. I knew the 'robots' were people from the start. He didn't have an materials to make robots."

I have to concur. There are some frightening elements and the story really is a mad scientist in an old, maybe haunted castle.  Even the images of hell make this more horror in space than sci-fi.

The version I watched looked fantastic, but that doesn't make up for some glaring errors in this movie.  I remember back when I was 9 thinking the robots should not have psychic powers and I still think that.


2016 Movie tally
Watched: 15
New: 10


Monday, October 10, 2016

October Horror Movie Challenge: Honeymoon (2014)

I will admit it, I am huge fan of Rose Leslie.  Honeymoon is a creepy little flick about what happens if something replaces someone you know.  It starts out and builds tension with each moment.

Rose is great as Bea, the new bride that may or may not be what she says she is.

The movie supremely creepy and the ending, while not a surprise, was still satisfying in a horror way.

The only thing that would have made this scarier is if it had been a couple celebrating their 10 year wedding anniversary.  Made the "otherness" of one of them seem even more out of whack.

There are moments in the film where Rose's Scottish accent comes out a bit.  But you could almost excuse it since she is supposed to be Canadian (I think) in this.


2016 Movie tally
Watched: 10
New: 9



Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Reviews: Back into the Blue

Today I want to look at two products for the Alpha Blue line by Kort'thalis Publishing and +Venger Satanis; Girls Gone Rogue and Universal Exploits.

Full Disclosure: I received both of these PDFs in trade for a fair review.
Fuller Disclosure: I had already bought Girls Gone Rogue and had it in my review queue anyway.

Full Frontal Disclaimer: These products sit behind an Adult verification wall on OneBookShelf. By clicking, you are giving tacit, if not implicit, consent to see such things.  Don't whine if you see something you don't like.  These are not for the easily offended. 

Ok. So Alpha Blue is Venger's infamous "brothel in Space" source book that also includes a brief system for play.  I reviewed Alpha Blue a while back and I really enjoyed it.  I opted at the time to use this book along with some other Old-School inspired Sci-Fi books including White Star. Keep in mind that Alpha Blue nor these books are overtly compatible with any of those other games, but Venger's system is simple enough and these books are written in such a way that they are easily adapted for use.

Girls Gone Rogue 
Girls Gone Rogue (GGR hereafter) is an 80-page supplement for Alpha Blue.  The book expands on the options and tables found in Alpha Blue. There are additional character options and lots of tables but really sets this book apart, and makes it a must have for AB fans, are the adventures.
If you are a fan of Venger's style of mixing and matching various pop cultural references then these adventures are a real treat. In particular, the mixing of Galaxina and Ilsa She Devil of the S.S. is quite fun really.  Venger obviously grew up on a steady late night Cinemax. Actually, that explains a lot of GGR to be honest.
This one is a bit harder to judge in terms of a game book.  I will say that if you enjoy Alpha Blue, then this is a good buy and will be very useful.  If you don't like Alpha Blue then GGR will be more of the same really.  Though there are a some that would enjoy the adventure seeds for use with other games.

Universal Exploits
Universal Exploits is a 110 page book for Alpha Blue. UE tackles the universe beyond the space station Alpha Blue.  Like Girls Gone Rogue it is an expansion, but it also setting material.  The universe is a big and dangerous place.  Well, dangerous in the same universe that has a space brothel/space station orgy happening.  Or maybe that is just a result of some the horrors going on around them.  There are also some short adventures/scenarios you can use. Again, these are presented system-neutral/system-lite so they can be used for just about anything.
In truth this reads a bit like a collection of Traveller articles, that is if Traveller went really gonzo.  Or, chances are, like many used to run Traveller anyway.
The real treat comes in the form of the special Alpha Blue Character sheets.  Honestly every game should have great looking Character sheets and these are among my favorites.

So. Who should buy these books?
Well it's pretty simple. If you have Alpha Blue or like playing it then these are "must buys".
If you play some other Sci-Fi game and want to add a little "Sleaze" to your "Scum and Villainy" then these are must buys only behind Alpha Blue itself.
If you like lots of pop-culture references, especially ones that are more R or even NC rated, then this is also for you.  But if that is the case you already know this.

Who should avoid this?
Well normally when reviewing a product I stay away from these sorts of discussions.  But in this case, I will say those who are easily offended should not bother.
More to the point with me though is don't go into these books expecting to find a lot of material you can use for other, non-sci-fi, games.  Can I use it with say a Modern game? Sure, but there are a lot of conversions I'd have to do.  Not game mechanics, but style.

Both books are a lot of fun and I am certain I can still find a lot to use here even in my PG and PG-13 rated games.

I do want to mention the cover art.  Both are fantastic and really, really shows what you can do when you put your heart and soul into your games.



Now. If you are like me reading through all of this and referencing back to Alpha Blue and some of Venger's other products you might be wondering "when is Venger going to focus his eldritch eye on 'Heavy Metal'?".

Well while reviewing this Venger sent me a link to his newest Kickstarter.

Trinity of Awesome!


https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1575519826/trinity-of-awesome

Looks like a lot of fun.  If it goes the way that Universal Exploits did it will grow into 5-6 adventures.

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.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Starfinder

Paizo has announced "Starfinder", a new Sci-Fi game that is compatible with their Pathfinder game.



http://paizo.com/paizo/blog/v5748dyo5litw?Announcing-the-Starfinder-Roleplaying-Game

http://paizo.com/starfinder/

I am cautiously optimistic.  This could be a lot of fun and I have a ton of d20 compatible Sci-Fi games to play with.  But of course, I have to ask what will this give me that White Star doesn't already do?

Well it looks like I'll have to wait till 2017 to find out.



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