Showing posts with label 13p. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 13p. Show all posts

Monday, May 20, 2024

Monstrous Mondays: Aliens, Monsters, and the Unknown in Thirteen Parsecs

Alien girl by Hernán Toro
Alien girl by Hernán Toro

It's a sci-fi Monstrous Monday and I wanted to talk a little about monsters and aliens in Thirteen Parsecs.

Like our other RPG NIGHT SHIFT, Thirteen Parsecs is a "tool kit" game. That is, we will give all sorts of rules, some sample settings ("Solar Frontiers"), and let you build your own.

Some of our settings will have aliens. Jason has a few he has been working on for his Solar Frontiers. Derek has some others. 

For my Solar Frontiers, aliens are treated very differently.

In "Space Truckers," aliens only add flavor to the game. The eponymous Dixie of Dixie's Truck Stop is described as an "attractive alien girl with blue skin and bug-like antennae."  But otherwise, she is pretty much a human. There are Ursians, bear-like aliens who make up the police force of the "Colony Hyperspace Patrol" or CHyPs. There are Porcines who control most of the Badlands where Space Truckers have their shipping lanes. And finally, there are Lot Lizards, who are lizard people. I have a chimpanzee-like species that are the best engineers on the Frontier and more. But again, these are just for dressing. They still all more or less act human. Maybe exaggerated traits, but human enough to relate to. This is part of the fun of this particular setting. It is meant to feel like a 1970s Trucker movie in space.

"Darker Stars" is very different. 

In this Solar Frontier, humankind has moved out into space and found monsters waiting for them. 

While we will have some monsters in the core rules, my goals here was to re-purpose monsters from both NIGHT SHIFT and Wasted Lands. Indeed this is the source of those monsters. Darker Stars is my "horror in space" setting.

Let's take an example of a typical Darker Stars sort of adventure.

The crew of your starship encounters a derelict spacecraft. You send a landing party to investigate only to be attacked by the crew. The long-dead crew.

Our dead crew, and they could be human or aliens, will use the Zombie stats from NIGHT SHIFT. If you think about it, what are the Borg or even Cybermen but fancy zombies? The commanding officer? A mummy or a lich.

Does this mean there is magic here? Well...I take Arthur C. Clark's view here with his Third Law: "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." The captain of this ship, knowing his crew was in danger makes a radical adjustment to ship's life support and keeps everyone from not dying. "Not Dying" isn't the same as "Alive" though.

But don't worry. There will be aliens, both as playable races and as creatures to encounter.  

It will be up to you whether your encounter with them is more like Ripley's or Kirk's.

Tuesday, May 7, 2024

Sci-Fi Month: Thirteen Parsecs is LIVE!

Thirteen Parsecs

Thirteen Parsecs

http://tinyurl.com/13psignuptim

We want this game to be your sci-fi RPG of choice, so help us make that happen.

This uses the same O.G.R.E.S. as NIGHT SHIFT and Wasted Lands. 

Much like NIGHT SHIFT, there are core rules for playing in all sorts of Sci-Fi genres; Space Opera, Action, Comedy, Horror (of course!), and more.

There will be "Solar Frontiers," mini-settings you can use to start your game (much like the Night Worlds for NIGHT SHIFT). My Solar Frontiers will be "Space Truckers" and the currently titled "Dark Stars," my "aliens and horror in space" setting.

Jason will provide the bulk of the core rules and his two Solar Frontiers, and our long-time collaborator (and demo game GM extraordinaire) Derek Stoelting will also add his Solar Frontiers. We are all working on adding rules and expanding what worked best in NIGHT SHIFT and Wasted Lands. We have over 75 years of game design experience for a couple dozen different companies/publishers.

Speaking of our other games, Thirteen Parsecs is 100% compatible with NIGHT SHIFT and Wasted Lands.  Do you want to play deeper, dark sci-fi horror? NIGHT SHIFT + 13P has you covered. Want to pilot your Time Ship back to after the KT extinction and find a world populated by the proto-human experiments of the Great Old Ones? Wasted Lands + 13P! Or combine all three.

I am planning an epoch-sweeping adventure that takes you from Wasted Lands to NIGHT SHIFT to Thirteen Parsecs, in the vein of one of my favorite books and movies, 2001: A Space Odyssey. It's not exactly the same, of course (I do not liken myself to a Clark or a Kubrick), but it's an echo of a time when I read both 2001 and Lord of the Rings one summer.

Help us make this a reality! We are going strong out of the gate but let's hit those stretch goals.

We are exactly the type of publisher these crowdfunding sites are really for: small professionals with grand ideas and the desire and skills to get it done; we just lack the capital for some art and printing costs upfront.

All of our and Jason's crowdfunding has met our goals, and more importantly, we have delivered on time. We are even offering some nice perks for early backers.

So please check us out!

http://tinyurl.com/13psignuptim

alternate link: https://www.backerkit.com/c/projects/elf-lair-games/thirteen-parsecs-adventures-beyond-the-solar-frontier

 

Friday, May 3, 2024

Kickstart Your Weekend: Sci-fi month is here!

 It's May and that means Science Fiction here at the Other Side. This year I am doing D&D 50th Anniversary, so I want to focus this month on D&D-related Sci-fi.  For today I have a couple of great Kickstarters/Crowdfunded RPGs that are the spiritual heirs to the sci-fi games of the 1980s.

Atomic Age

Atomic Age


This is a new sci-fi post-apocalyptic d20-based game from David Flor and Dark Light Interactive. 

It looks like a lot of fun, and is going for that "Gamma World" vibe.  The core rules look fun, but the bestiary has me all kinds of excited. 

There is a Quick Start preview you can grab for free. 

So definitely check this one out!

And this one will launch next week. We are looking for more people to sign-up for this one.

Thirteen Parsecs

Thirteen Parsecs

http://tinyurl.com/13psignuptim

Thirteen Parsecs is coming! Please sign up to get notified of our launch of the Backer kit.

We want this game to be your sci-fi RPG of choice, so help us make that happen.

This uses the same O.G.R.E.S. as NIGHT SHIFT and Wasted Lands. There will be "Solar Frontiers," which are mini-settings you can use to start your game. My Solar Frontiers will be "Space Truckers" and the currently titled "Dark Star" my "horror in space" setting.

Let's get these both funded!

Friday, April 26, 2024

Kickstart Your Weekend: Horror and Sci-Fi!

 A nice mix today. Let's get to it.

Frightshow Classics

Frightshow Classics

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/frightshowclassics/frightshow-classics?ref=theotherside

Two new classic horror tabletop RPG adventures, "Vengeance of Bathory" and "Pine Barrens Devils," featuring the art of Jim Holloway.

I have two adventures out with Frightshow Classics and they are a ton of fun. This Kickstarter is really in the spirit of what Kickstarter is supposed to be. Not a pre-order system, but a means to get upfront funding for a great project.

This one also features the first Frightshow sequel! Because you just can't keep a good villain down.

These also feature the art of the late Jim Holloway, artist for Dungeons & Dragons and Chill (among many others).

So give these some support.

And this one launch soon! We are looking for more people to sign-up for this one.

Thirteen Parsecs

Thirteen Parsecs

http://tinyurl.com/13psignuptim

Thirteen Parsecs is coming! Please sign up to get notified of our launch of the Backer kit.

We want this game to be your sci-fi RPG of choice, so help us make that happen.


Friday, March 15, 2024

Kickstart Your Weekend: Kickstarter Overload!

 There were so many this week, and so many were good ones. Let's get going.

Tales of Voracious: Ragnarok

Tales of Voracious: Ragnarok

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/bluestocking/tales-of-voracious-ragnarok?ref=theotherside

Kate Bullock is back with a new set of erotic horror monster tales.  This one covers the nine realms fo Norse Myths. If it is anything like her first book in this series then it should be a lot of fun. This one has the added benefit of a connecting theme.  

Kate is a great write and great person to boot, so I'd love to see this one do well.

Fey Earth

Fey Earth

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/brambleheartgames/fey-earth-1?ref=theotherside

I have been following this one for a while now, and their Kickstarter is live. It is set in the 19th Century and has Fey races, magic, and more. That sounds exactly like my cup of tea, to be honest.  Add in some witches and that makes it a must buy! 

So yeah, I know next to nothing about the system but the premise sounds good and the art is great. I also want this one to do well.

The tiers are nice and simple. Easy to figure out what I want.

THE EXPANSE Collectible Action Figures

THE EXPANSE Collectible Action Figures

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/thenacellecompany/the-expanse-collectable-action-figures?ref=theotherside

Before it was a TV Series, or a Green Ronin RPG, or a Book Series, the Expanse was a d20 Modern game. I just learned that today.  This Kickstarter is for action figure line. Because really, you need Chrisjen Avasarala and Camina Drummer figures!

As of this writing this has not hit it's goals yet, but I am sure it will get there.

Gary Gygax's World Builders Archive

Gary Gygax's World Builders Archive

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/ckg/gary-gygaxs-gygaxian-fantasy-worlds?ref=theotherside

Troll Lords continues to add weight to their claim that Castles & Crusades IS the spiritual successor to AD&D. This Kickstarter brings new Gygax material to C&C.

There is so much here that I can't get into it. If the name Gygax means anything to you then click on this and see what they have.

BX Advanced Bestiary, Vol. 2

BX Advanced Bestiary, Vol. 2

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/thirdkingdom/bx-advanced-bestiary-vol-2?ref=theotherside

More monsters are always great! The only I like more than making monsters is reading about them so this one is also a must-get for me.

Legend of Seven Golden Demons & Slime Pits of Sewer Witch

Legend of Seven Golden Demons & Slime Pits of Sewer Witch

Legend of Seven Golden Demons & Slime Pits of Sewer Witch

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/marktaormino/legend-of-seven-golden-demons-and-slime-pits-of-sewer-witch?ref=theotherside

Mentioned this one last week, but it is worth repeating!

NOW some upcoming ones.

Djinn Unboxed - NSFW Artbook

Djinn Unboxed - NSFW Artbook

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/djinnintheshade/djinn-unboxed-nsfw-artbook?ref=theotherside

Djinn is a great friend of the Other Side. I feature her art here a lot. She is coming out with her own art book and it should be great.

Not live yet, but please sign up for updates.

Murders at Lorelahc Manor - a mystery campaign for D&D 5e!

Murders at Lorelahc Manor - a mystery campaign for D&D 5e!

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/margomods/murders-at-lorelahc-manor-5e?ref=theotherside

This one is also not out yet. But a murder mystery for D&D? Hell yes!

There is also a pre-launch page for it on Backerkit.

Sign up for more details.

And of course, this one!

Thirteen Parsecs

Thirteen Parsecs

http://tinyurl.com/13psignuptim

Thirteen Parsecs is coming! Please sign up to get notified of our launch of the Backer kit.

We really want this game to be your sci-fi RPG of choice, so help us make that happen.


Monday, February 5, 2024

Monstrous Monday: Greater Astral Spiders

 For the next few weeks, I will be posting monsters for use in the various "Powered by O.G.R.E.S." games I work on and use. These are NIGHT SHIFT, Wasted Lands, and the upcoming Thirteen Parsecs. I would also like to use this space to feature some new artists and their work. 

Up first is a favorite around here. This one is bigger.

Astral Spider by John Kozlowski
Astral Spider by John Kozlowski

Astral Spider, Greater

No. Appearing: 1
AC: 4
Move: 40 ft and Special (Astral)
ViD: 8
Special: Wits and toughness drain. 1 point/day each
XP VALUE: 1,600

Greater Astral Spiders are larger and more terrifying versions of the smaller Astral Spiders. Like their smaller cousins, they are not true spiders but creatures of the deeper dark.  These creatures are about three feet high and six feet long when manifesting in the material world. Since they are not true spiders but creatures of fear from the Deeper Dark, they are not limited to just 8 legs.

As their name suggests, these creatures are native to the astral plane, but they are attracted to people with psychic or empathic abilities.  These creatures drain Wits (wisdom) and Toughness (constitution). Like the smaller varieties, these creatures are invisible. They find targets that have high levels of empathy (psychics, witches, sorcerers) and attach themselves to feed. They do not have a physical attack in terms of Vitality damage.

An astrally projected or sensitive witch can see these creatures, either on themselves or others. A Dismissal spell can remove the spider, but they can only be attacked in the Astral Plane. A Dimensional Anchor used against it can prevent it from latching back onto a victim.  A Lesser Restoration and one week of bed rest for each day of ability loss will cure the victim. Without magic, the recovery period is one week per point of Wits and Toughness lost each. Thus, a minimum of two weeks.

Use in the Wasted Lands

During the Dreaming Age the Astral Spiders were far more common and could manifest in the Material World more easily. There is conjecture on their relationship to the other denizens of the Deeper Dark, but few are willing to study them up close.  These creatures can sometimes be summoned by dark-aligned Sorcerers, but with no real means of controlling them, they can be the victim just as often.

Use in NIGHT SHIFT

These creatures cause much fear in the communities of psychics and witches. There is a lot of talk on various online groups on how to best deal with them, but there is little to no consensus.

Astral Spiders online

Use in Thirteen Parsecs

As in the Dreaming Age, Astral Spiders are able to manifest in the Material World. What is worse that due to their ability to travel via the Astral, attacking starships on the Solar Frontier is as easy to them as attacking a sleeping person back on Earth.  The closer a planet is to the Solar Frontier, the more likely an attack by an Astral Spider will become. 


Monday, January 29, 2024

Character Creation Challenge: Brigid for Wasted Lands

"A Bhrigid, scar os mo chionn, do bhrat fionn dom anacal."

 Something a little different today, a little bit of Wasted Lands myth-making applied to D&D rather than just using Wasted Lands as a D&D substitute.

One "character" that has been a feature of many of my games (fantasy, horror, sci-fi) is that of Brigid. My version is based on the famous saint, St. Brigid of Kildare AND the goddess Brigid of Celtic myth. I figured with Imbolc (Feb 1) coming up, it is a good time to talk about her.

Brigit (of Kildare / "Cil Dara")

Who Is Brigit?

A simple question with a very complicated answer. In the mytho-historical tales of Ireland there are two Brigits. The Goddess and the Saint. Was the saint named for the goddess? Was the goddess named for the Saint thanks to a 2000+ plus oral tradition that mostly predates writing? In the years I have paid (casual) attention to the academic debates, I have seen them shift back and forth a little (or a lot, depending on the journal).  She is also related to the ancient British Goddess/figure Brigantia, who the Romans saw as aspects of the goddesses Minerva (Athena), Tyche/Fortuna, and Victoria (Nike). She is a complicated Goddess. 

This is fascinating but only tangentially related to my games, save for how my readings add to them. 

She is a Goddess, a Saint, and a figure in Celtic Pagan Witchcraft. So yeah, I am going to find a place for her in my games. Given her influence on me, I don't think it is a surprise that I have so many redheaded witches.

In my games, Brigit is more of a force than a character. I have talked about her in terms of Celtic Myth. The Witch Guardians for D&D 3.x and 4e. As a historical figure in my modern horror games. And as Protectors of Éire for my Ghosts of Albion games.

In my games where I like to play on the themes of the Rise and Fall of Paganism vs. the Coming of the Christian Faith, Brigit is my chance to "cheat a win."  In these games, Brigit is a pagan Goddess. She has a following of women pagan worshipers who are no longer druids but not yet witches. My version of Bodhmal is a great if not prime, example of this.  In these games/set-up Brigit tucks her fire-red hair under a nun's habit and continues on.  Her witches now hiding in plain sight.

I never worked out how that works for her, but with Wasted Lands I can give it a try!  Before there was the St. Brigit of Kildare, or there was Goddess Brigit, there was the woman Brigit. She was many things: warrior, philosopher, healer, and the spirit of her land. Because of her connection to Ireland, she is remembered by many in many different forms.

Brigit (of Kildare / "Cil Dara")
Brigit (of Kildare / "Cil Dara")

Class: Warrior / Theosophist / Spirit Rider
Level: 15 (5/5/5)
Species: Human
Alignment: Light Good
Background: Animistic

Abilities
Strength: 15 (+1) A
Agility: 12 (+1) 
Toughness: 17 (+2) 
Intelligence: 11 (+1) 
Wits: 16 (+2) N
Persona: 17 (+2) N

Fate Points: 1d12
Defense Value: 5
Vitality: 114
Degeneracy: 0
Corruption: 0

Check Bonus (A/N/D): +7/+4/+3
Melee Bonus: +5 (base) +1 (str) +2 (touchstones)
Ranged Bonus: +5 (base) +1 (touchstone)
Magical Attack: +2
Saves: +2 to all saves (warrior), +2 to Persona saves, but -2 on Magic away from Ireland (Animistic).

Animistic Powers
Mystical senses, Speak with Plants and Animals,  Animal Summoning 1 (spell)

Warrior Abilities
Combat Expertise, Improved Defence, Melee Combat, Master of Battle, Supernatural Attacks (melee and ranged), Spell Resistance, Tracking, Masters of Weapons, Extra Attacks (x2), Extra Damage

Theosophist Abilities
See Dead People, Turn Undead, Summon the Dead, Channel the Dead, Protection from Undead (2/day), Command, Death Knell (Banshee Wail), Suggestion (1/day)

Spirit Rider Abilities
Innate Magic (5), Arcane Power (2), Commune with Spirit, Limited Power (outside of Ireland), Magcial Battery, Add Wits bonus to Supernatural attacks

Arcane Powers
Empathy, Precognition

Spells
First level: Gout of Flame, Restore Vitality
Second level: Eternal Flame, Lesser Renewal
Third level: Concusive Blast (Fire)

Heroic/Divine Touchstones 
1st Level: First Level Spell: Black Flame
2nd Level: +1 to melee combat
3rd Level: Charm Power
4th Level: Favored Enemy: Undead
5th Level: +1 to all checks, attacks, and saves
6th Level: Immunity to Undead Attacks
7th Level: Character ceases to age

Heroic (Divine) Archetype: Craft, Fire, Warrior

Gear
Sword, Leather Armor

Brigit in the Wasted Lands

For these stats, I played up the aspects of her character that will become important in my games: her connection to fire and her hatred of the undead. This is the warrior aspect of her personality.  Her Animitic background (from Wasted Lands) and her levels in Spirit Rider (NIGHT SHIFT) play very well with each other. As long as she is in Ireland (however I choose to define that) she is powerful and can avoid corruption, outside she is less protected.

Brigit in NIGHT SHIFT

From NIGHT SHIFT I get her Theosophist class (Core Rules) and her Spirit Rider class (Night Companion). This works well for me since it also gives me more mechanics to represent her aspects.  Brigit is still active in the world of NIGHT SHIFT since she is the head of the Daughters of the Flame coven. A world-wide organization of witches dedicated to Brigit. 

Brigit in Thirteen Parsecs

Ah...now this one is fun. How does a Celtic Goddess find her way out into the Solar Frontier? I guess this is my answer to the infamous question, "Why does God need a Starship?"  In my Black Star games (soon to be converted wholesale over to Thirteen Parsecs), there is a ship in the Mystic line, the Imbolc Mage NX-3119. This ship is the sister to the Protector NX-3120. I have not talked much about that ship because I have been using it as an NPC ship. I have also been using it as my test-run ship for ship-to-ship combat rules. Brigit herself is not on this ship, but she has a vested interest in it. 

You can get the Wasted Lands RPG and the NIGHT SHIFT RPG at Elf Lair Games. Thirteen Parsecs is coming soon.

Character Creation Challenge

Sunday, December 31, 2023

TARDIS Captain's 31 Day Character Creation Challenge 2024

 Tomorrow is New Year's Day and the start of 2024!

I am also participating in TARDIS Captain's 31 Day Character Creation Challenge. This is always a lot of fun.

Character Creation Challenge

This year, my theme is "Wasted Lands as my Dungeons & Dragons Replacement."

And to put my money where my mouth is, I am going to make Wasted Lands versions of 31 of my past D&D characters from the last 45 years. Now I understand that most people will have no interest at all in *my* characters. So this will be less about how to convert that character on a one-to-one basis and more about how to get the proper feel for the character, and the particular version of Dungeons & Dragons being used.

I am also going to bring in bits from NIGHT SHIFT to show how flexible O.G.R.E.S. is and talk about Thirteen Parsecs a bit too.

But the real goal here is to show how you can have fun with a great fantasy RPG and support the small publishers out there at the same time. 

Yes, yes. D&D is a fine game. We would not be here 50 years later if it wasn't. But there are also other great, games that offer the D&D "experience" and none of the D&D overhead.

Join me all month long!

Buy Wasted Lands & NIGHT SHIFT

Don't forget, Thirteen Parsecs is coming soon!

Friday, December 29, 2023

Friday Night Videos: Songs of Thirteen Parsecs

Nothing puts me in the mood for working on a campaign or writing new material quite like a good playlist.

So while we are working on Thirteen Parsecs, Jason has put together a new sci-fi themed playlist for your enjoyment.

Don't forget to sign up to learn more about this project.

https://tinyurl.com/13psignup

Enjoy!

Kickstart your Future! Thirteen Parsecs

It's the end of the week, the end of the month and the end of the year. So lets look to the future!

Thirteen Parsecs

13 Parsecs

https://tinyurl.com/13psignup

Thirteen Parsecs: Adventures Beyond the Solar Frontier is the latest tabletop role-playing game project from Elf Lair Games, producers of Night Shift: Veterans of the Supernatural Wars and Wasted Lands: The Dreaming Age. It forms the third of our trilogy of core games - we've given you modern and fantasy, and now we bring sci-fi to the forefront with the same rules, completely customizable and ready for you to build exactly the type of science fiction gaming you want. As always, it's your game your way when it's Powered by O.G.R.E.S.!


I am so excited for this.  I have been dying to work on a solid sci-fi game since forever.

What is Thirteen Parsecs?

Like our other games, NIGHT SHIFT and Wasted Lands, Thirteen Parsecs is an O.G.R.E.S.-powered game. So if you have played a classic RPG then you know how to play this one already.

Also like NIGHT SHIFT, Thirteen Parsecs will be a "toolbox game."  We are going to give you the basic rules and structure for all sorts of Science Fiction style role-playing. So whether you want to play heroic characters in an epic space opera, explore strange new world with a group of explorers, battle alien threats, deal with a post-apocalyptic hellscape, or tackle humankind's first leap to the stars, then this game is for you.

BUT that is not all. Like NIGHT SHIFT we will encourage you to make your own worlds and setting to make it the sci-fi game YOU want. 

I have been talking for years, decades even, on how there has not been a sci-fi game that connects with me. Thirteen Parsecs will change that for me. Here are the worlds I am planning to bring you as my contribution in one form or another.

Space Truckers

This one began as a bit of joke and I have tried in different systems. It is "Smokey and the Bandit" meets "Blake's 7" with a dash of "Red Dwarf" and "Quark."  It is supposed to be silly fun about the lives of long-haul "truckers" on the edge of the Solar Frontier. The Colonies need their light beer too. I am planning on designing this to work with any of the other settings we have.

Dark Star (formerly BlackStar)

I have talked about this one a lot, my "Star Trek meets Cthulhu." The deal here is that Jason also has one he wants to do and so does our other member Derek. So it is very likely they will all get combined somehow into something new and better.  The basic idea here is "In Space, the stars are always right."

Völlig Losgelöst

My love letter to 80s sci-fi horror. This one might appear later due to space (heh) issues. If you enjoyed movies like "Lifeforce," "Galaxy of Terror," and "Xtro" then you will find a lot to love here. This one is explicitly a NIGHT SHIFT/Thirteen Parsecs crossover game, so I might wait until after the core rules are published. Essentially I want to create the future as we saw it from the mid-1980s. 

I have more ideas and these are only mine. Jason and Derek have a ton as well. 

So please sign up and watch for more details!

https://tinyurl.com/13psignup

Want to know more? Just ask!