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
It was a busy weekend but here you go.
Over twenty monsters for your old school space opera campaigns. From the bizarre Pulsarites to the deadly Warp Beasts. Brave an encounter with the reality altering Quantum Ooze! Escape the clutches of the Radioactive Lust Vampires! And just because you’re inside a space ship, it doesn’t mean you’re safe from the Cosmic Behemoth or the Star Kraken.
Plus a random Bug-Eyed Monster generator and three new starships.
Compatible with White Star: White Box Science Fiction Rolelpaying by Barrel Rider Games.
Available at RPGNOW
And here’s the second product to for White Star. Space Amazons! That’s right old fashioned space opera stuff that’s just a little gonzo.
Grab it up on Drivethrurpg
Yes, White Star is awesome and it just came it out. But there’s already some pretty hand stuff that came out before White Star that you can use with it. Now this is based on my own tastes and I may not mention something. Also, this is stuff I already have so your mileage may vary.
For adventures there’s Dungeon from a Distant Star, and for X-Plorers Cleopatra Station. Speaking of X-Plorers grab it up and you could easily get some mileage out of the Alien and Robot Design.
There’s some handy class stuff in Strange Magic. Most are for fantasy campaigns but the Reverend Sisterhood is take on the Bene Gesserit from Dune.
For just charts, miscellaneous inspiration, and what not:
Bandits & Battle Cruisers has a ton of charts and monsters that’d be easy to convert/tweak.
Starship from Hell: A system agnostic book for generating ships, their crews, and plot hooks.
Frontier Explorer and Star Fronitersman while these are both for Star Frontiers there’s plenty of adventure seeds you can grab to get you going.
Galileo Games has some freebie adventures for Bulldogs! (FATE). An easy bit to convert and more adventure ideas.
Machinations of the Space Princess has some more handy charts and some inspiration. There’s a starship critical hit chart that would work well with White Star and some easy planet charts. There’s a few of bits you can mine for inspiration or house rules.
Vornheim Yes, I know it’s designed for fantasy games but there’s just so much inspiration and useful tools in this little book it’s not even funny. Just a adjustment on tone and there you go. Or you can just over to Mike Evan’s blog and grab up his Firefly/Vornheim hack.
And finally and by no means the least. For inspiration for a setting or more alien races. Get Strange Stars. I mean grab it now right now. Chances are you’ve heard good things about this. Well, they’re true. So if you haven’t gotten it already then grab it up.