Tuesday, June 28, 2016

A Volant Podcast Review

Just in time to ride on the wave of stuff +Levi Kornelsen has been putting out for Volant/Keelstone, Joe Wolz does an awesome review of Volant on the 2GMS1MIC podcast! It's amazingly thorough, and I think you all might enjoy it! :D

2gms1mic.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/2GMS1MIC-S0603.mp3

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Update

I've been wicked busy lately. I've been firming StarCluster 4 Zero Stage up both from Beta tester comments and from internal (Klax, Albert, and I) ideas. It is at 116 pages now, and probably won't grow much at all. There's a two page intro, then everything up to page 52 is character stuff. There are two pages of system stuff, and them it's all setting from page 53 on. Almost everything up to page 52 is one page per concept, like an infographic. Most of the setting, too, it one page per world, though more text oriented. Pages 53 to 71 are the only standard text type presentation.

Klax has changed the underlying system for his Look! Up In The Sky! supers game from StarCluster 3 to StarCluster 4, as it really simplifies a lot of things! This necessitated a complete rewrite of the game by Klax, which meant a complete new editing pass for me. I like editing. It's very different from writing, but interesting in it's own way. LUITS! is much larger than StarCluster 4 Zero Stage. It's almost 200 pages. I have run at least a dozen separate campaigns with LUITS! - in fact I'm currently running two weekly - so it's extremely well play tested. Now it needs to get out to Beta testers!

Monday, June 13, 2016

Setting Creation by Microstory

Some setting snippets, to create my super cops in spaaace setting:

The InterGalactic Police - or IGP - are the Hand of the InterGalactic Council, taking care of investigation and arrest of violators of interspecies peace. Everything from con men to mass murderers is handled by the IGP, provided it is between two different species! The Meta-Human Branch takes on the toughest customers, those with talents and powers far beyond the norm, and brings them in for justice. The IGP headquarters is the massive space station in Kura System, in the Core Sector. Police teams are sent out from there to do their work.

For millenia, the Great War between the Yigil and the Houmai has consumed countless lives. Tragedies, massacres, treacheries, assassinations, murder most foul - it has happened again and again, from both sides, to both sides. Unspeakable evils have been perpetrated. Planets have been destroyed. Entire populations have been enslaved. Both sides have deep and everlasting mines of vengeance crying out. Recently, however, the governments of both sides have agreed to patch together a peace, and both sides have agreed to arbitration by the InterGalactic Council. Hatred simmers, and occasionally boils over, in their various worlds though!

The Gamirabi are space wanderers, without a known world to call home, though some say there is a homeworld that is kept very secret. They migrate throughout the galaxy, and wherever they go, tensions rise and things disappear. The Gamirabi claim they are innocent victims of fear and hate. The locals claim the Gamirabi have strange notions of property and propriety.

The Tonchinados are a gang of high stakes thieves and con artists. They are an interspecies criminal group, and whatever they do interests the IGP. They pull off big projects, and disappear, only to change identities and set up a new operation. Recently, they have begun to recruit members who are not just thieves and con artists, but also meta-human, using their powers for illegal personal gain. All gains are shared equally, but reputation depends on what projects you have taken part in, and reputation is everything in the Tonchinados! Rewards are high for these bastards.

The Pandisho are a group of terrorists, who pull high visibility nastiness with very high body count and a specific focus on body horror. They dump random mega-mutagenics in water supplies, spray aerosol in crowded commuter trains, and let it all happen. 99% of those affected die horrible deaths, but a few, a very lucky few, are transformed.

A substantial chunk of the galaxy is occupied by the Fanisher Autocracy. This is a multi-species empire run with an iron hand by Orton Hegris. Hegris does not acknowledge IGP authority in the Autocracy, and forbids any IGP travel through systems he controls. On the whole, though, since Hegris' methods of dealing with criminality involve rather drastic measures, it isn't exactly a criminal haven. Sometimes IGP routes lie through Fanisher Autocracy territory. If so, IGP members are warned to lie low and not attract attention as they pass through.

There have been a few reports of a glossy silver android chasing down and capturing people throughout the galaxy. The large spatial distance between these apparent kidnappings and the fact that there is no apparent connection between the cases other than the android, which has been reported by several witnesses, has delayed connection between the cases. The android may also have been possibly involved in other disappearances where no witnesses have come forward. The Galactic Council has forbidden use of the term "Human" and "Humanity" other than as an umbrella term covering all Homo Sapiens Sapiens-derived species. Terms such as "Old Stock Human" and "Pure Strain Human" are no longer legal terms. The Galactic Academic Standards Board is frantically searching for a proper replacement genetic term.

Researchers fron the Kura Institute have declared that Jobarians, AKA "Space Whales", are sapient, under vigorous protests from the Mornbari Combine, which claims a targeted harrassment of ancient Mornbari culinary customs. The Kura institute has filed an injunction in Galactic Court forbidding hunting of Jobarians for meat. The Mornbari Combine government has responded by issuing Jobarian hunting licenses for research purposes.

The Hastur Megalantic Corporation has patented a Homo Sapiens Sapiens-derived genetic stock which guarantees sub-sapient brain activity. The so-called Downshifts have been approved for servant work and meat supply by the Galactic Licensing Board, as they meet sapience criteria for the defintion of animals, and their meat is both medically harmless and palatable. This has raised a storm of protests in the Courts and the Council, but Licensing Board members have dismissed such protests as "scientific bunkum" and "sentimental drivel".

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Mo' L!UITS!

Last night, the Wednesday Conclave assembled to decide what game we were going to play. A variety of my games were discussed, but as a consensus, the players decided on playing Klaxon's Look! Up In The Sky! supers game as a space game, a la Guardians of the Galaxy/Legion of Super Heroes. This is the first time I've ever had a consensus pick! Usually we actually vote, with a weighted vote so that the winner usually ends up being the least divisive option.

They created their association, the Meta Human Branch of the InterGalactic Police, bought a couple of spaceships, a share of the IGP space station, medical facilities, various information databases, a PR man and a lawyer. They didn't spend their budget, so leaving some for spur of the moment purchases,

Some of you - of the half dozen who are actually going to read this :D - may remember I am also running L!UITS! in my Saturday, face to face game. In that one we are running it with Klax's edits making it compatible with StarCluster 4, where this Wednesday night game over IRC will use the StarCluster 3 compatible version. Why? Because the conversion is in notes written out in longhand, and lines through items on old printed tables, and none of it is integrated. The older version is in a clean and orderly pdf I can send everyone electronically.

Anyway, this should be fun! They want me to use a Manga/Anime playstyle, which I have never used, not being a big fan of the genre, so I asked Klax to help keep me on track, and send me a note if I get too far away from that playstyle. :D

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

StarCluster 4 Zero Stage

The feedback so far from the Beta testers for Zero Stage has been nothing short of sensational! By far the best set of feedback I have ever gotten! I am so happy! I am already making revisions and changing things for the better! :D

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Looking for Feedback - StarCluster 4 Zero Stage

Whelp, it's that time again! I need feedback on my latest creation, *StarCluster 4 Zero Stage*. This is the first iteration of StarCluster 4 to escape the labs, and it's mission is very particular. It is designed to be ready to go, lacking only adventures, which I am terrible at making. Ir is short - currently just over 100 pages. It is a traditional RPG, neither a story game nor OSR. I am not interested in making either, so that is that. Much of the system is presented in self-contained single page info-graphics. This may cause some confusion. I need to iron that out. The vast majority of the game is setting and background.

If you are interested in giving feedback, I will send you the Beta test document when you send me your email. You can send it to me at clashUNDERSCOREbowleyATyahooDOTcom, or PM me.

Here is the wicked cover painting, from Juan Ochoa. Enjoy! :D

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

A plea for help!

So, I am getting real close to finished with the version of StarCluster 4 that is to be locked down - fully described setting, all players to be part of a given organization, small subset of weapons and equipment available, only one resolution system... I have been calling it the Default version, as in "This is the default, no choice version designed not to intimidate people like StarCluster 3 did."

It's going to be 100-150 pages, as opposed to 470 for StarCluster 3 DE. All the choices and generators I stuffed into SC3 will be removed to supplementary materials, along with background and tech stuff.

Here's the thing: I think "Default" is an awful name! But what the hell should I call it? In desperation, I beg you people to please come up with something better!

Thank you in advance!