Sunday, January 15, 2017

Gaming in Helkaraxe

A great game today for Out of the Ruins! The group reached Helkaraxe from Valinor in order to refuel for their attempt at jumping to Numenor, a never before explored star system. Helkaraxe is a rogue gas giant about 4 LY from Valinor with eight icy moons and four stations.

There is no sun for Helkaraxe and the planet and moons are visible only as black silhouettes against the dusting of stars, like the illo below. After being warned that gazing into the dark has bad effect - leading in some cases to catatonia, four PCs tried it, and two got caught.

The balance was spent trying to get then to WANT to come out of it! They were shot full of adrenaline and packed in ice, coddled and strapped down. Some really terrific roleplaying from my Sunday gang! Thank you all guys!

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Aerodromes/Aeries and Swamps for Sabre and World

Finished my last setting creation table for StarCluster 4 - Sabre and World, and it may be the best yet! :D

"Yes, yes ... soon my minions shall launch their Thorium Fliers from the Temple of Flight and crush those swamp dwelling Crustacean Men of the Floating City forever!!" - Brian Isikoff

"An ancient ruin clings to a crumbling mountainside shelf where gaping worm tunnels burrow deep into the stone. Below stretches a floodplain inhabited by devolved ancients squirming in quicksand pools rife with near sentient molds dreaming of potentialities unclean." - Alan Kellogg

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Factions for StarCluster 4 - Sabre & World

Factions - generally speaking i hate factions in an RPG. They always seem arbitrary and pointless, and usually are cartoonish. But I do like the idea of there being factions in the world, because that's politics, and that's real. Here is my implementation of them in Sabre & World...

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Helkaraxe Released!

Just released! A supplement for StarCluster 4 - Out of the Ruins


Helkaraxe, a bridge of ice from Manwe to Valinor and back, for those who do not have the ships to make it

Helkaraxe, A place of utter dark, black on black, shades on shades, where the only light is from stars and stations

Helkaraxe, the ultimate freedom and the ultimate opportunity, the ultimate frivolity and the ultimate prison

Helkaraxe, where Morgoth Bauglir whispers into your soul

In Print from Lulu:

As PDF From OBS:

As PDF From Precis International:

Monday, December 26, 2016

Helkaraxe: for StarCluster 4 - Out of the Ruins

I am working on a support thing for StarCluster 4 - Out of the Ruins. I had a problem with Ruins - basically, because of the lack of an outer gas giant in either of the two systems, it is impossible to fly directly between the two with the typical short range space ship, which typically needs to use outer system gas giants for slingshotting to speed up or slow down into or out of systems, so travel between systems was only by long range ships.

So last night, I dreamed about Helcaraxe.

Helcaraxe is from Tolkien's Silmarillion, which is the holy book of the Ruins setting. It means the Grinding Ice, and it was the means for those Noldor who couldn't leave Valinor to return to Middle Earth.

In my dream, Helcaraxe was a rogue gas giant - that is without a sun. It was hot, but that was not enough to heat its moons which were all covered in ice. It had eight moons, and four of them had space stations orbiting them. the stations were mining ice and breaking it into hydrogen and oxygen, and mining minerals for their stations.

And that was the solution to my problem. Going into and out of Helcaraxe would be easy - no big ass solar gravity well to fight! - and with the stations to refuel them, they could, by stopping at Helkaraxe, reach the other system with enough reaction mass to brake in.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

StarCluster 4 - Sabre & World

I asked on Google Plus what the next StarCluster 4 game should be, and only one person answered - and there you see the immense amount of fascination my games engender - so Brian Isikoff, you are getting a game designed just for you! Announcing *StarCluster 4 - Sabre & World*, a Sword and Planet game for StarCluster 4. Here is the character sheet - I almost always start with a character sheet - in which you can see what I aim to do with this game: 1. The typical damage boxes are gone, and the State boxes are greatly increased. Each state is tied to an attribute or a resource. States tied to boxes when checked indicate the attribute is at -2 from normal, so if your AGY were 10 and you were Hobbled, your AGY would be down to 8. States tied to resources - i.e. PSI or LUCK - when checked indicate the resource is unusable.

2. There is no weapon damage, just range. All fighting results in a hit or a miss. If you take a hit, you must check a State box. So, if you take three hits, you will have three State boxes checked - for example you are now Shaken, Exhausted, and Confused.

3. There is now a big section on Relationships. There are three white background relationships - Love of Life, Trusted Confidant, and Boon Companion. You write in the names of one person in each of them, if that relationship exists. You can only ever have one of each - you can have a million friends, but only one Love of Life. If the person named is in danger, you can, once a session, check that box and uncheck two State boxes.

There are two relationships on gray backgrounds - Respected Elder and Protected One. The names of these change from session to session - these are roles of responsibility. If the person named is in danger, you can, once a session, check that box and uncheck one State box.

There is one relationship on a black background - Hated Enemy. There is only at most one Hated Enemy at a time, and once that relation is named, then only the death of the Hated Enemy can change it, and even then only in the next session at the soonest. If the person named is facing you, physically present, you can, once a session, check that box and roll two extra dice.

Not also that "Company" is changed to "Politics" in the upper right background stuff. This is an indication that politics and factions will be very important in this game. The game world will be city-states, the rulers of which can be - but are not necessarily linked to one of eight factions, which each represent a philosophy, like a combination league and political party. Each character will possibly also eventually choose a faction they favor. If so, this is where you put it.

And here is the character sheet. :D

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Fragments of Air and Stone

Something that has been available for a while in pdf, but I have just released it in print - Fragments of Air and Stone, the supplement for Volant that shows you how your Association can build up and improve a fragment - those smaller chunks of floatstone that break off a skyland.