I’ve ranted about this before and I’ll do it again. I’ve really had the urge for a gonzo space opera game. Hopefully, I might do it between the current Dungeon Crawl Classics Game and getting my hands on Mutant Crawl Classics. But I’m still in the same place as before and with the way my schedule has been, I need start planning now. What freaking system to use? I’ve gotten pretty much narrowed down three.
White Star/Machinations of the Space Princess/X-Plorers Hack: The part is the basic rules are familiar to the players. There’s a plethora resources out there. And it’s really easy to gonzo up. The bad part I feel like I need to hack/create a fun ship-to-ship combat system.
Savage Worlds: This is a favorite of mine from way back. I really like a lot of things about the system and it’s pretty easy on the GM to run. I probably wouldn’t bother with the new SciFi Companion but instead reach back in time and use SlipStream and Daring Tale of the Space Lanes. It pretty much hits all the sweet spots. Except that big bads have problems. They either get one shotted or totally own the party. The players would have to learn a new system and some new rules.
D6/Mini-Six/Original Star Wars Hack: I’m one of those grognards that thinks the best Star Wars RPG was the first one. But still it has some hiccups with characters getting into either impossible to hit or hurt level. Sure I want things cinematic and crazy but just a little more danger.
So it’s time for this little grognard to put on his thinking cap.
Yes, I’m late to rant about this one. But hell’s yeah. I really loved the first movie. I liked it better than Force Awakens. And like a few others(like here, here and here) thought it was best the damned Farscape movie ever. Which again isn’t a bad thing. Because I love Farscape.
With all that bouncing around inside my head, the old hankering to run a Space Opera game is in the back of my mind. I know that Dungeon Crawl Classics is up next and that is going to be a blast. But heck I’m the sort of person that always has too many irons in the fire. To honest, I still don’t know what freaking system to use. The top contenders are of course: White Star (kit bashed with a few other OSR SF games). Savage Worlds, and the good old d6 system. Who knows may get a really wild hair and try to create some sort DCC space opera thing if the up coming campaign world really well. Time will tell. Now back to prepping for DCC.
Oh yeah and if you haven’t seen the trailer. Here you go!
It’s been a long weekend but I haven’t been idle. Work continues on Stark Space. This week I want to talk about skills. A lot of folks don’t use a skill system with their OSR games. That’s cool. But for Stark Space I felt it needed one. Yes, it’s gritty and all but I also felt that characters should have a very broad range of abilities. While the classes are focused in particular area, I wanted it set up so a character could be a killing machine and still have an aptitude for talking their way out of fight. Like the classes, I wanted the skills to be very broad and flexible categories. So there’s only 12 and should cover most situations. And this system should be easily transferred to any other old school game or genre.
Here’s the very basics of it. Each skill is derived from adding together two ability scores then dividing by 3 and always rounding down. Roll 2d6 if it’s less than or equal to the character’s skill rating then success. Here’s the skills, their related abilities, and a brief description:
Athletics (Str+Dex): Jumping, climbing, acrobatics, and all that.
Detective (Wis+Cha): Avoiding surprise, noticing details, investigation, and detecting lies.
Education (Int+Wis): General education and knowledge.
Fast Talk (Int+Cha): Haggling, bluffing, and diplomacy.
Hacking (Dex+Int): Hacking, forgery, disabling security systems, and locks.
Medicine (Int+Wis): First aid, diagnosis, and surgery.
Pilot (Dex+Wis): Navigation, piloting 9duh), and driving.
Tech (Dex+Int): Repair and modify equipment including star ships.
Sex Appeal (Con+Cha): Seduction and making good on that innuendo.
Stealth (Dex+Cha): Sneaking, sleight of hand, and covert surveillance.
Survival (Con+Wis): Tracking and living off the land.
Zero-G (Dex+Con): Working safely in 0-G without loosing your lunch.
Muscles and Brains characters get a bonus on a skill that is their specialty. As far as improving goes, when a character gains a level they get a +1 to one skill rating. That’s it.
That’s the basic of skills. Stay tuned for more previews on Stark Space plus the other projects I’m working. Also, there may the occasional rant. It’s a New Year and things are going to fun around here.
Work continues on Stark Space. That’s my own little gritty dystopian supplement for White Star which is an awesome game in its own right. Stark Space takes it the gritty rough and tumble reaches of Blade Runner, Aliens, and Outland.
I wanted to make some core classes to better reflect the Stark Space universe. In general, these are meant to replace the existing classes but this the OSR GM’s should do what they want to make their games awesome. As I mentioned in my previous post, there three classes.
The Muscle: This one should be pretty obvious. This is the fighter, mercenary, soldier, thug, martial artist, and hot shot pilot. One thing I wanted to do is make them shine a little more in combat so they’ve got three class abilities. Combat Expert is a bonus applied to combat with a certain type of weapon like small arms, space weapons, melee weapons, or unarmed combat. Combat Sense provides the character with a bonus to Armor Class. And then there’s Combat Style. While Combat Expert reflects the character’s training. Combat Style reflects the character’s approach to combat by being a Brute(Damage bonus), precise (bonus To-hit), or mobile (bonus to AC).
The Brains: These are your tech’s, engineers, medics, hackers, and walking encyclopedias. They can jury rig equipment. Get a bonus to whatever skill they specialize in. Re-roll failed class skill rolls. That’s pretty much the standard stuff. Brains are also the planners. So I threw in couple more things. They gain a bonus to initiative and they can provide bonuses in combat to other characters by relaying crucial tactical information.
The Face: We got the Muscle and the Brains, now somebody needs to do the talking. Brains are con artists, detectives, and other social types. Like Brains, they gain a bonus to their specialized skill. They know where to find the right people and how to act around people. They can distract and demoralize opponents. They have a little bit of luck to help with those Saving Throws.
Now on to Races. Once again, I’ll refer back to my original post. I’m not using race in the real world sense but in the game mechanics sense. Since Stark Space is that Gritty dytopian future, I opted for no aliens as player characters. But once again, this is something that GM’s can change if they wish. There’s four options for “race”.
Human: That one is pretty obvious. I wanted to add a little punch for humans. So bonus to skills and saves. They’re humans so I don’t need to explain that much about them.
Max-Gene: Take a normal human and do some genetic manipulation and attempt to turn them into a super soldier or hard labor drone. These characters have good physical stats but terrible mental stats. They prone to all sorts of add psychological behaviors. The basic mechanic around them is reduce mental ability scores and improve physical scores at character generation.
Simulants: You’ve seen Blade Runner, right? There you go. As they level, there’s a chance that they’ll start to degrade and lose points from their ability scores. It can be repaired but that’s very expensive and illegal.
Psi: There had to some sort of mental abilities. The powers of these characters have much less effect than the Gifts or Meditations from the core White Star rules. While these powers could be considered minor, they’re the only type of power in the implied setting. It works off the skill system but more on that later.
There you go some more rants on the classes and races. I’ll have more rants in the future about skills and inspiration. So stay tuned.
Die drop charts are cool and easy to use. Heck, it even adds a little bit of extra tension when rolling. So here’s a quick little idea that popped int my head.
A die drop for space ship hit locations with a few little complications thrown in. Since White Star has become my OSR space opera game of choice, this works pretty well. Just drop the d6’s like you’re rolling normally and see where the dice land.
Here’s the PDF version
And another title goes up on RPGNow. Have Death Ray, Will Travel is a retro-future setting inspired by old pulpy serials, Sword & Planet adventures, the Wild West, and film noir. Want exploration? Want political intrigue? Like the Wild West with ray guns? Want a little gritty film noir? Bounty hunters? Space pirates? Gangsters? Alien emperors out to conquer the universe? It’s all there. And yes. It’s for White Star.
With luck I should have some more White Star news this week. Plus there’s more good things I’m working on. They’re just not White Star. So stay tuned for those announcements.
Well, I got another alien race for White Star up on RPGNow, The Norni and there’s more to come.
I’m working on what I hope to be some fun stuff for White Star. A couple adventures are bouncing around inside my head as well as a mini campaign setting. First, there’s going to be my own little optional rules supplement. So stay tuned for that.
And there’s plenty of other RPG stuff in the old brain pan. I don’t want to say too much yet because every time that I do that something crazy happens. So I’m going to play it close the chest until the drafts are almost done. But in the mean time, you can still following and maybe you might see a hint now and then about those upcoming mysteries.