Friday, October 6, 2017

Yet Mo' Kitbash!

Last week my Kitbash of Sabre & World and Volant started over Discord, but stopped after an hour, as one of the played got sick. Thursday, we finally got to play a full session, and it went very well! The PCs were flying from LA to the Alaska Panhandle for a vacation in a private amphibian plane. They went into a cloud, and when they came out, a huge chunk of land the size of Connecticut was tearing out of the earth and floating into the sky right in front of/underneath them.

They avoided the crash, saw a woman's body fall out of the sky, got no signal on GPS or radio, and watched as smaller chunks broke off and fell or floated away from the main floating island. They landed on a lake on one of these smaller fragments, about 14 X 9 miles at the widest.

They taxied to shore and out on a beach. Two women riding a giant raven landed after asking permission. The PCs has come into the middle of a three sided war over the main floating island, Three separate sky nations had claimed it, and they were now fighting amongst themselves. They were not speaking English. The PCs stated they were claiming this land. The women accepted it, and they killed a feral cow and brought out the beer keg to celebrate.

A very interesting start. They didn't search for the best fragment, but took the first one they landed on. I didn't expect that. It is the lowest, therefore the hottest, of the major fragments that split off from the main island. I have no idea where this is going. :D

Frank's sketch map of the fragment:

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Son of Kitbashing

In my Kitbash of *StarCluster 4 - Sabre and World* and *Volant*, the player characters have been transported into the world of Volant's flying hips and giant bird riders. Here are some of the bird riding warriors they ate going to meet! BTW, almost all bird riders are women for reasons of mass. Duhali culturally dresses skimpier than the other two, men and women. Chasseurs are scouts and scavengers, Hussars are single rider warriors, while Dragoons ride in twos on the biggest birds.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Mo' Kitbashing!

Will start up this game on Thursday Night over Discord! I'm getting excited!

The plane will be a Gweduck 6 place amphibian. The characters are travelling from California to the Alaskan Panhandle - Tongass State Forest - to camp for a week. There is an aeronautical engineer, a pilot, a veterinarian, and a safari guide. They all went to UCLA together as undergrads.

They will have the following stuff in the cargo compartment of the plane:

Common Equipment

One large tent, waterptoof ripstop nylon with aluminum frame and separate waterproof ripstop nylon fly with integrated bungee cords; includes two entrances, one with a canopy, and four zippered windows
2 smaller dome tents for non-food dry storage
One folding open canopy 10X10 feet with adjustable height
One folding table
Six folding camp chairs
Five large (20X20 foot) tarpaulins with associated bungee cords and nylon line.
Eight winter-quality sleeping bags, four primary, and four backup
Two five gallon plastic water cubes with integrated spigot.
Two solar water stills - not solar electric, clear plastic cover uses sun's rays to heat water and collect vapor
Five porous ceramic cooler double pots (zeer) use evaporating water to cool inner pots
Three insulated plastic coolers
Propane camp stove with six small propane tanks
Frying pan, two kettles, teapot, coffee pot, utensils
Service of six plates with associated utensils in wicker basket
Five heavy blankets
One portable shower
Five ripstop nylon equipment bags
Four milk crate boxes
Six camp cots
Four fishing rods
Two nylon fishing nets
Four creels
Four hunting rifles with a box of 100 rounds
Ten flares
Two bear-safe food lockers
Six towels
Twelve cakes Ivory soap
Non-powered woodworking toolchest

Food and drink

Two cases beer in bottles OR 1 keg (15.5 gallon) beer
One liter bottle gin
Two one liter bottles vodka
One 1.75 liter bottle whisky
Three one liter bottles scotch
One dozen one liter bottles of soda
Assorted food for one week plus a couple of days

Friday, September 15, 2017

Kitbashing

In setting up my latest game - a kitbash of StarCluster 4 - Sabre & World (chargen & mechanics) and Volant (Setting) I hit an interesting point. S&W is slanted towards the John Carter type - ex-military, physically fit, survival oriented - and the chargen reflects that. It is very definitely optimized for your typical Sword and Planet heroes/heroines. Volant is a post-magical-apocalypse setting, with civilization rebuilding itself in a new way with new ground rules. It is not a safe, urbanizad setting. The first session of the game will start with the following setup, known to the players:

The PCs are ex-UCLA buddies who have kept their relationship tight. They are now in their mid-late twenties, settling into careers. They are all enthusiastic flyers, and one is an aerospace engineer, who has built up an amphibian kit plane - a Gweduck actually - and are flying up to the Alaskan Panhandle for a camping vacation together in the wilds. They will fly into a cloud and when they come out they will be in the Volant setting. They know this - it's no bait and switch.

They have two characters finished. One is the engineer - who has a lot of science background; physics, chemistry, etc. - and the other is a veterinarian. She is very good with animals, communicating and controlling as well as treating.

Neither one has a high weapon skill. This is perfectly understandable given their backgrounds, and will be fascinating to play, but they will have to deal with monsters and men unskilled, or use some non-violent means. Both are happy with their characters. I'm not even sure how they could generate these characters from the templates in S&W, but they did! This will be very interesting.

One thing that seems to have helped is the Hobbies option from SC4 Toolbox 5, where you can swap out skills from your hobbies for skills from your job. I know the Engineer used this with a Science hobby to change his skills to a more science focus, and the third character's player has also mentioned that this was helpful, though I have not seen that character yet. One could also use this to gain more outdoorsy skills with a camping hobby, for example.

Anyway, I am interested ti see how this will all work out.

Monday, September 4, 2017

Testing a Separate RPG Setup Game

Klax, El and I played a rousing playtest game of setup for the StarCluster 4 - In The Beginning RPG. Or any solar system only rpg, actually! :D It worked out quite well, with some very minor modifications needed. The game worked perfectly as a setup for the RPG! By 2120, the Great Powers were USA, UK, Malaysia, S. Korea, and the Philippines, and the Lesser Powers were The EU, Iran, Ethiopia, New Zealand, and Chile. There was an independent colony on moon in the Mare Nubium. There were self-sufficient colonies on Mercury Orbital 1 (NZ), Mars Orbital 1 (SK), and Ceres (Malaysia). There were mostly stable colonies on Earth Orbital 1 (Philippines), Earth Orbital 2 (Malaysia), Vastitis Borealis on Mars (USA), Ganymede (NZ), Io, (Iran), Oberon (UK), and Venus (SK). Mostly Unstable colonies were on North Pole Mars (Philippines), and Titan (Chile). There were new Unstable colonies on Neptune Orbital 1 (NZ), and Eris (Ethiopia). Quite an interesting layout! I'd be happy to play in that setup! :D As a board game, it is currently lacking competitive rewards, which we are instituting with open goals and competitive secret goals. Hopefully that will play well! The game took 2 and a half hours to go 100 years into the future, and that included copious note-taking for details that a board game would not need.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

New Campaign Starting

It's Normandy, France, August 1940. The French army has been overrun, and most of France is occupied. Chantal De Marais, a 19 year old girl, has had her mother taken by the SS, leaving her living alone in their cottage. Chantal and her mother are both witches.

In her barn are three young men - Lillac Emmerich, 18 year old Romany; Julius Kanal, a 21 year old ex-Lithuanian soldier; and Francis Chetko, the eldest at 22, a Slovak from Prague.

Lillac escaped Germany with his family to France, but after the fall of France, his siblings were taken by the SS, his mother and the rest of his family killed in their caravan. Lillac is the son of a djinn and a human, and the SS were looking for him.

Julius was in his last year at military college in Kaunas, but when the Soviets invaded, he fled through Germany and into France. Julius and his twin took after their remote ancestor, a full blooded angel.

Francis was also a cadet, but when Czechoslovakia was invaded by Germany, he fought against the invaders and was blinded. The Germans let him go after they captured him, and he too wandered west into France. Francis was a powerful Hunter, raised by a priest to fight the most horrid creatures of the night.

The Villagers know of the three young men in Chantal's barn, and think she is a slut like her mother, who never married. they all know that Chantal is a witch, but they tolerate her because she doesn't curse them or their livestock, and makes charms for them. They also despise the Bosche, and tell them nothing.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

A space ship - for no particular reason

Hey! Why not! It's something to post! :D

Obviously it's a StarCluster 3 ship with tiny fuel tanks for Matter and Antimatter!

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

StarCluster 4 Magazine 3 Released

So, tonight I release to an apathetic, yawning, scratching public yet another in my StarCluster 4 Magazine series. Yes, you may very well blink your eyes at me! I hear your "Whatever, man!"s of delight! This one is Magazine 3: Time And Money. Hahahaha! You are so amusing with your fake snores! The new magazine can be found at:

Precis Intermedia Games in PDF

RPGNow/DTRPG in PDF

Lulu in Print

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

A Portrait of Aredhel

My players found an android on a tiny little moon with all her power run down to nothing. A space station orbiting said moon had crashed around her, but she was still intact. They brought her power up with an induction charger, and after 100 thousand years of being without power on that little moon, she remembers nothing. Not why she was there, not why the elves made her, not what she did, not even her name. Flit named her Aredhel, after the White Lady of the Noldor, from scripture.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Review of StarCluster 4 - Sabre & World

Pundit reviews my latest game, Sabre & World. Probably the only review you will ever see of it! :D

Review of StarCluster 4 - Sabre & World

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Bitter Decision Looms

Wow! It's been a long time! I haven't posted much because I haven't been working on anything. Everything I think of seems stupid, fruitless, pointless. The small press RPG world is neatly divided between OSR and story games, with the area between taken up by non-small press. I have no interest in designing for either camp, and no one else has any interest in what interests me, so why do I bother? I may finish up All Out Of Time, the game I was working on, and not bother releasing it. I'm not sure what I can do about anything except just continue doing this all for just myself, my own game groups. There doesn't seem to be any sense in releasing anything any more.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

StarCluster 4 Magazine 3

I have been quiet lately - not having a game in the works, I am not popping design things up here! But I am working on a third StarCluster 4 Magazine. These magazines are made up of essays based on things that come up in settings, where we can examine the subject in detail.

The subject of this magazine is Time and Money, so the essays and stories all deal with wither time, money, or both. So far we have essays on:

*Time Reckoning in the Cluster* - (ESSAY) How do you keep time on worlds with different rotations, different year lengths, tidally locked, and how did it get that way?

*Starship Economics* - (ESSAY) How do you make money in space? What is worth shipping between solar systems? What does handmade lace cost on different worlds? How do messages get transported? Simple, easy to understand, basic rules!

*StarCluster - The Voyage Out* - (ESSAY) What happened on the voyage here during the hundreds of years it took to get to the cluster?.What was it like before FTL was available and humanity was scattered and alone? How did humanity and cultures change?

*Time Away* (STORY) A couple decide to take a tour of their solar system in Jeshen Space, going to each of the inhabited worlds in turn. How do they get from world to world? Why do liners run run between some worlds and not others? And what about Naomi?

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Recent Gaming

Had a wonderful time running my Sabre & World games Saturday! The PCs were total badasses and - with preparation and luck - took a flying ship away from some 30 bandits. They prepared a trap, and kicked major ass.

My Sunday game had the Science council that runs the exploration mission in full spate! Four habitable moons had been discovered around a close-in gas giant. All supported life already, but none were ideal. The other moons were also interesting for other reasons. The expedition had not expected there to be more than one, maybe two habitable worlds, and only carried 21 ground-landing probes and 3 water-landing probes. All the PCs present were on the council, and one was its new president. Wonderful academic political wrangling went on throughout the whole session! What a joy! Who got what probes, and where did we send them? Did we allow shuttles to land because of the shortage of probes? Who would be landing? It was one none stop argument!

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Boost Packs

In StarCluster 4 - All Out Of Time, you don't go to school. When you hit puberty, you get Boosted! In lieu of education, tweens choose a Boost Pack to push them in the direction they want to go. Want to be noticed? Choose the Cosmetic Pack, which gives you the skills Persuade, Politics, and Grace, you get a Charisma stat boost, and you get a Social Edge, which means you always have a benifit in social situations. Rather be out in the wild? Get the Vision Pack! The skills Discern and Hunt, Keener vision all around, A Charisma attribute bonus, and an Edge with Distance Vision. Want a job in IT? Get the Interface Pack! You get the skills Machines, Study, and Communication, An Intelligence bonus, and and Edge with Computers. Hey! Want to be an athlete? Get the Athletic Pack with skills of Athletics, Dash, and Grace, a plus to your Agility, and an edge in Jumping! the youth of the Wavefront Empire have no excuses!

Saturday, May 27, 2017

StarCluster 4 Variations

*Classic Setting (StarCluster 2)* - This freely downloadable setting is made to work with the Free System. It is a huge setting, where some 500 worlds are given names, political relationships, and some stats. It gives species sheets for the humanoid species of the SC2 setting: Human, Sastra, SaHu, Vantor, VaHu, Tagris, and HuTa. It also gives the worlds of the Aztec System in detail, to show how you can build up detail from a few stats. It's pretty old-fashioned, as it is an old setting, being first published in 2002 with StarCluster 1E.

There is an Aliens book available for it, which gives all the aliens mentioned in the Classic Setting book Species sheets, making them playable, and going into great detail on the Uramkup, the Guaru, and the Kertu-Drua aliens.

*Zero Stage* - This game is a new setting entirely, though it CAN connect to a more typical Cluster. It is a ten star system mini-empire called Jeshen Space. It is run by the Jeshen, and Humans came in as refugees. This game has a lot more politics and cultural clashing than most, exacerbated by default PC association being a news organization, and the PCs being news teams. You can play as Jeshen or Human out of the box, which introduces a possible awkward factor, as Jeshen are very humanoid and are all hermaphrodites. I don't know your gaming group, but mine had no problem. There are all kinds of possible trouble the PCVs can get into - possible cabals and conspiracies, an alien threat, the issue of sapient slavery, attempts to drive a wedge between Humans and Jeshen, as well as the old murder and theft.

*Dark Orbital* - This game is set within in the Classic Setting, a single system (Cry In The Dark) is described, but it really concentrates on a single Orbital/Space Station. The eponymous Dark Orbital is a converted STL generation ship from Earth, and is about two thousand years old, and the PCs are the poorest of the poor - the forgotten uplifts and dropouts living without any access to banks or credits, trading ceramic tokens back and forth, and repairing and reusing old technology disposed of by the rich. Everything these people own is either made by them or repurposed by them, yet their culture is rich and interesting, and their ability to cobble something cyberpunkish together out of junk is ingenious. You can play Human or uplifted Hyena, Dog, Cat, Raccoon, or Hare PCs.

*The Necklace* - This game is set in a strange solar system, with a regular sun and a neutron star which has a gigantic torus of air around it. Inside is a billion mile long manufactured river, maintained by alien gravitics, and studded with asteroids and teeming with life. All around it is freefall life - spherical seas and puffball jungles. The setting is wild and strange, and may be intimidating to some. There are several different varieties of humans to play - mostly cultural differences, though Altisherpas have been genetically tailored to live in freefall - amd one alien species, the Pucks. Pucks are winges, and can fly in freefall, and are only sapient when combined with a brain parasite that sits on their head, tunneling through their sculls. The Necklace comes with an Association creation tool, so you can define what your PCs do in the setting. We had a great time playing actor/thieves, journeying around the River on a showboat, putting on plays, romancing fans, and stealing stuff.

*Cold Space* - This game is an old one, system gutted out and replaced by the new one, and is not in the least related to the old StarCluster game. it is set in an alternate universe, starting in the late 1950s, just after WWII. Really old, primitive atomic rockets, but with the Solothurn Drive - a combination contragravity and strange "FTL" drive, which did not actually make ships go faster than light, but compressed space around the ships. The Cold War is played out in space between the late 1940s and the fall of the Soviet Union in 1989. There is a burst of colonization of nearby star systems - the Oikumene, as it's called - and trade begins. The main colonizers are the US, The Soviets, The Commonwealth, and the UN. Aside from the Solothurn drive, everything is real tech, either actually existing or partially developed but abandoned. This may be the easiest setting to grasp. It presents a lot of colony worlds in fair detail, but it does not have an association mechanic, though it does have recommended campaigns and characters.

*FTL Now* - This is a literal sequel to Cold Space, set from immediately after Cold Space ends, 1990, to now. The centerpiece of this game is the slamming of a mars-terraforming comet into New York Harbor on September 11, 2001. Thus the war on terrorism moves out into space,. Earth is hurt horribly, with billions dying. The colonies are left on their own, trying to make do without or by trading with their neighbors. Some colonists, called angels, return to earth to help in the devastated areas. The Oikumene is bigger, the older colonies are best off, and they all do their best while the US Rocket Corps attempts to root out the terrorists. Everything I said for Cold Space applies to this game as well, plus it is set in a time period your players will be very familiar with.

*Sweet Chariot* - This game is set within the Classic setting, with a detailed star system - the Gloria system - but it's really about one odd world. Chariot is a world with a thick argon atmosphere, with just enough oxygen to live. Argon is poisonous at a certain pressure, so the Humans and animals have to live in the mountains. it is also hideously hot, and rich in radioactives, so much so that natural reactors mediated by groundwater occur. Why would anyone live there? Well, hijackers attempted to take over their ship in between Earth and the Cluster, and the landers, a lot of tech, and much of the biological cargo were destroyed. They chose to land on Chariot because they could cobble together awkward simple landers that would have a better chance of landing. The landers got down, but in attempting to bring the generation ship down, it crashed. The landers were scattered over Chariot in various isilated high terrain. They evolved into separated countries with totally different cultures, and they fly between them in steam powered airships. So this is a wierd kind of steampunkish place, in contact with the vastly superior cultures on other planets in the system, but going their own ways. If your players enjoy thak vibe, this game is for them. The different nations are very fully described, so there is a lot of setting info. No association rules - though those are available in the Toolboxes, but this is one of my favorite settings to play in!

*Out Of The Ruins* - This is a very odd setting, but I am having a lot of fun with it! It is two star systems and a newly transluminal empire, with all the species being successor species to the Humans. The Humans are gone, and their successors are searching for them. They have taken the book The Silmarillion by Tolkien as their holy book, and interpret everything in the terms of this book. They speak Elvish to each other as their holy tongue. There are many playable species - New Humans, who live in trees and have prehensile tails, seven kinds of Dogs, Giant ravens called Corvoids, Kangaroos, Neo-dolphins, a cat-centaur thing called a Bintaur, and alien Groar, Alish, and Karkris. There is a war going on between the Neo-Dophin-Alish alliance and the Bintaur-Karkris alliance. The ships work like the ones in Cold Space and FTL Now. The Church are scavenging what ruins can be found on a world once settled by the Eldar (AKA Elves) but now undergoing glaciation - the current culture is built on technology gleaned from these ruins. If your players like the wierd and enjoy Tolkien, this might be dun for them. I recommend getting the Helkaraxe supplement, which details a rogue gas giant and its moons out between the stars.

*Sabre & World* - This game is a straight out Sword and Planet game, like the John Carter Barsoom series by Burroughs. you can play either a single Earth Human transported to this new world with the rest of the PCs being of this world, a group of Earth Humans transported there together, or a group of people from this world. You can play Earth Humans, Humans from this other world, or a Centauroid people. The world is generated, though there is a play area pregenerated for you if you prefer. You can expand it or generate other areas later. The mechanics are very different. Emotional ties to other characters give you big benefits, and weapons do only one point of damage per hit. Damage is assigned directly to your attributes, via status boxes. These changes completely change the feel of combat. The world you go to is a world which used to have high technology, but now very few people undertand it, and the high tech is mostly rare and old. This all embraces the Sword and Planet style tropes, and tends to produce that kind of game. If you like Sword and Planet stories, or are intrigued by the idea, this is what you want.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Rogue Worlds in StarCluster 4 - All Out Of Time

Rogue worlds are the main source of chronotic crystals in AOOT. Chronotic crystals incorporate Dark Matter and Dark Energy into their makeup, but light interferes with this concentration, as shining a light through a crystal is the method of discharging these chronotic energies. Chronotic is a foundational technology for the Wavefront Empire.

Rogue Worlds are frequently settled by the empire to maximize chronotic crystal production. Norns prefer these lightless places. but they are not the only settlers of rogue worlds.

Rogue worlds are divided into warm and cold worlds. Most Non-Norns prefer warm. Agriculture is possible on warm rogue worlds if settlers have local artificial light or if harvesting aphotic life forms. Artificial light interferes with Dark Matter and Dark Energy collection in chronotic crystals, thus is not allowed where such crystals are grown.

Cold rogue worlds use protected, enclosed areas for food production. Norns prefer aphotic-based diets, as the lack of light does not bother them, and they need to maintain a certain level of warmth anyway for their own bodies. Chemosynthesis-based organics can feed large numbers of dependent biotics, though Norns prefer to harvest primary producers and treat the biomass for various tastes.

Ultimately, natural life on rogue worlds depends on either radiant heat from hot gas giant primaries, or geothermal heat - either residual or tidally-induced. Parahumanity can, of course, create artificially supported life areas based on fusion energy, though fission energy can also be used where practical.

Important Words: Parahuman - of or dealing with all human offshoot species. Combinatory forms - Parahumanity, Parahumanic. Short form - Paran.

Chronotic - of or pertaining to the manipulation of time. Combinatory forms - Chronotics.

Aphotic - of or pertaining to the absence of light. Combinatory forms - Aphotism, Aphotics, Aphotal.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Clubs and Lodges in StarCluster 4 - All Out Of Time

Characters in the AOOT universe are very culturally restrained compared to those from other StarCluster settings. The combination of Clan and Guild define most of an AOOT character's social interactions. Therefore Clubs and Lodges came about to broaden one's horizons, to meet new people and learn new things.

Each character belongs to at least one Club or Lodge. The character learns one of this initial Club/Lodge's two available skills for free. Characters may join other Clubs and Lodges, but joining costs Template points equal to the ordinal of that Club - i.e. one's second Club or Lodge costs 2 points to join, while one's third club costs 3 points to join. In any case, when a character joins a Club or Lodge, the character learns one of that Club/Lodge's two available skills. One can never join a Club or Lodge whose skills include one of the character's Guild skills, Primary. Secondary, or Tertiary.

Clubs are secular social organizations promoting certain hobbies and/or pastimes. One joins gaming clubs, or sports oriented clubs, or or model-building clubs, or crafting clubs. The list of Clubs is not exhaustive, and you may create a club around whatever interest you wish, using those listed as examples.

Lodges are semi-religious social organizations based around certain interpretations of scripture. All members have to subscribe to the core interpretations. Lodges frequently fission into competing Lodges based on slight differences in the interpretations.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Midgard Castle

The PCs in my Sabre & World game rooted a family of nasty beasts out of a ruined castle on an island in a lake, and decided to keep it. They found a never-looted tomb, and looted it, so now they are rebuilding the castle. Here are their plans. I just drew them up! Enjoy :D

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Socioeconomics and StarCluster 4 - All Out Of Time

Last night Klax and I made a breakthrough on the socio-economics behind StarCluster 4 - All Out Of Time. We will have a culture with three pillars.

First is Politics The Wavefront Empire and its opponents, the Rebellions. The Wavefront Empire is so vast that there are several rebellions going on which are not necessarily even aware of each other. Where you fit on that axis is vitally important, because it - to a large extent - determines the focus of your play.

Second is Clan. Clans are allied families, and are created as Associations, with all sorts of assets. Clans can back an individual's play, or they can disavow them, because an individual can drag their Clan into bad situations as well as lead them to greatness. The trick is knowing which is which.

Third is Guild. Your career is within the Guilds, and you must choose on as your Primary. Your income, your status, and your personal possessions all stem from your standing within your Primary Guild. When you create your character, each Guild has its own Template Tree based on its Primary, Secondary, and Tertiary skills.

To create a character, you take the species sheet, which gives you base attributes, base skills, some edges and negative edges. All the species are offshoots of Humanity, Then you modify the species attributes for an individual. Then choose your background - Poor, Middle Class, Wealthy, whatever - which gives you some starting skills, an edge, and an attribute bonus. Then you choose your Adolescent Boost - an implant placed in your brain at puberty, which gives you a final few skills, an edge, and an attribute bonus. Then you choose your Primary Guild and buy templates from the Guild Tree using points depending on the character's age.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

The Tuanpok Species for StarCluster 4 - All Out Of Time

The Tuanpok are forest dwellers, guardians of the trees - their name means "Treelord", which is their common name. They brachiate through the trees, their long, powerful arms flinging them through the branches at amazing speeds. They use their feet for manupulators, being as dexterous as most anyone else's hands. Tuanpok are gifted with biogenetics, cultivating their ecosystems with patience and skill.

Monday, May 1, 2017

The Yunlayi Species for StarCluster 4 - All Out Of Time

(From the Turkish Yunlu ayi, Woolly Bear)

Yunlayi are big and strong. They are terrific swimmers, and preferentially colonize cold, wet places. they are Human descended, like all the species of All Out Of Time, and are covered in thick curly wool coats, with a layer of subcutaneous fat for further insulation. They are smart and agile. They are scavengers, and like hyenas can digest anything. Yunlayi eat their friends and relatives after they die, in elaborate funeral feasts.

Friday, April 28, 2017

The Imperials in StarCluster 4 - All Out Of Time

Now the Imperials, courtesy of Klaxon. These are a descendant species of humanity, though they consider themselves the only true humans. No one else calls them anything but Imperials. They have been running things in the Wavefront Empire for a long time, but that is all starting to shatter. Now they have to go to the peoples they conquered earlier and convince them to help keep the Empire alive.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Drug-like Temporal Effects in StarCluster 4 - All Out Of Time

I had an idea. Drug-like Temporal Effects. These would be short term effects created by 'injecting' tailored time crystals. They work through a replacement for PSI - Temporal Affinity or something. I am thinking Norns, and trained non-Norns, would be able to experiment with this directly by injecting the raw material and using Skill+TA. Untrained people can use the commercial DTEs below at the cost of one point of TA per dose. I say 'injecting' but what you are really doing is shining a bright light through the crystal at yourself. It just looks like an injection.

Some ideas:

Refresh - Accelerates your aging by one day instantly, refreshing you and healing any damage boxes.
Rewind - Allows you to examine your short term memory in great detail.
Stop - 1 day stasis, to help in medical emergencies.
If - Examine probabilities to predict the future. Time covered is directly proportional to uncertainty.
Dredge - Works like Rewind on long term memories, but with the addendum that Long term memories get more mythologized with every passing year.
Slow - Speeds perception to slow the passage of time. Does not speed the body, but does acquire many details. You can hurt yourself trying to react to what you can perceive

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Platas in StarCluster 4 - All Out Of Time

Platas are a squat, powerful species. They are preferential swimmers, but can walk easily. Their hands and feet are half-webbed. They are culturally explorers, thrill seekers. They like to find new and interesting things. They have chromatophores in their skins, allowing them to change colors and patterns, which they can use to communicate silently as well as match their backgrounds - or just because it looks cool.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

The StarCluster 4 - All Out Of Time setting - a Fading Star Empire

Problem - Because of the way "FTL" works, Military ships sent out would arrive at their destination as fragile ancient ships, no longer up up to military needs. Too many faults, too much corrosion, too many weaknesses. Result - lots of small, local star empires.

The First Emperor had the idea to send out ships which were Mobile Robotic Construction Yards (MeRCY). They would construct a flotilla in transit in the last few years before arrival in the new system, giving them essentially new ships on arrival.

The new empire was called the Wavefront Empire, as it expanded in a wave front from the initial source, the capital. The MeRCYs dropped into their new system, the system was conquered, the MeRCY created a copy of itself and a new force was raised and trained in the capital, and everything was sent off to the next system, where the process was repeated.

The trouble came because the people of the capital were a limited commodity. They were thoroughly indoctrinated in the way of the Empire, but there were only so many of them. Eventually, as the empire expanded, important systems nearer the heart began filling military slots with locals, making them more responsive to local needs than Imperial needs. The assault forces began to be raised in long-conquered back areas of the Empire.

The longer a system was in the Wavefront Empire, the more it was trusted, all things being equal. The more it was trusted, the less brutal the occupying force, and thus the more potential for hidden agencies and corruption. Bits of the Empire began breaking away. Situation now - Empire trying to keep central concepts going, while empire continues to decentralize.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Phanes in StarCluster 4 - All Out Of Time

Along with the Norns, the Phanes are a species in StarCluster 4 - All Out Of Time. Phanes are a long limbed human-descended people. They are covered in soft, plush fur, and have translucent membranes stretched between their wrists and ankles. They can glide on these membranes like a flying squirrel.

Because of these membranes, wearing clothing is awkward for Phanes. They are - aside from their membranes - covered in fur, so modesty is not a pressing concern. Humans find them very attractive, and in mixed species planets they tend to be actors, models, politicians, and the like, where they have a long leg up.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Norns in StarCluster 4 - All Out of Time

Here is the Norn Species from StarCLuster 4 - All Out Of Time. Norns are a species descended from humans, but modified to work with time crystals. As time crystals grow very slowly in the dark on rogue planets, far away from any sun, and infused with dark matter, Norns are mostly blind, but have heightened senses of hearing, touch, and smell.

Norns are small and hairless, with large pale eyes. They make things from time crystals they have grown on their dark worlds - temporal shields, "FTL drives", solar sails, and other invaluable mechanisms. They live communally in a swarm, sleeping together in a pile. They have names, and they sometimes live among other people for a while, so they are not helpless without other Norns, but they tend to attach themselves to others, sharing everything with them.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

New Damage Apportioning System for StarCluster - All Out Of Time and Beyond

Some changes in damage apportioning for StarCluster 4 - All Out Of Time. I really liked some aspects of the changes I made specifically for Sabre & Planet, but other aspects of that system would not work as well in other settings, so I combined the standard SC 4 damage-handling system with the one I used in S&W. It has what I think of as the best of both methods, so I will be using it from now on in most new games, and I will be offering it in a Toolbox.

Attached is the upper left corner of the new character sheet. You set it up the same as standard SC4 - take your attribute score (say 11) divide it by two and round up (6) and black out the damage boxes until only that number is open - so for this example of the 8 boxes available, 6 would be left open and two blacked out.

In play, for each point of damage, you check off a damage box until all of the damage boxes for one attribute are checked. Once all the boxes are checked for that attribute, you check the Status box at the end - i.e for STR, the status box is Strained. This means you have stained some muscles, and until you get this fixed, you operate at a Large penalty for any check related to this attribute.

So if you are using the StarPool resolution system, and you have Strained checked, you would lose two dice (the Large penalty for StarPool) for any STR-related skill check.

Damage boxes heal naturally over time, but Status Boxes need medical attention and treatment to heal. You can still use the alternate Attribute Pool or 3 Status box (Hindered/Wounded/Stunned) methods if you prefer them. 

Friday, April 7, 2017

StarCluster 4 - All Out Of Time

I have begun work on a new StarCluster 4 game, as was broadly hinted in my last post. I'm calling it StarCluster 4 - All Out Of Time, because all the major techs depend on time manipulation, like the STL FTL ship in the last post. Combat uses temporal shields, which are 0.1 micron thick, and slow down 3 million times anything that tries to penetrate them. Bullets bounce off them, and so do lasers as the shields are almost perfectly reflective. But sharp things can be pushed through, like a stick through tar. Hte gaulntleds are worn because you can grab the pointy sticks and push them away with your gauntleted hand.

The shields originate from the off-hand gauntlet,and completely protect from the front, half from the sides, and not at all from behind. Since they are almost perfectly reflective, you can't see through them, which means the user must pulse them off and back on in order to see.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

The STL FTL Ship!

Klaxon and Albert have had a wonderful idea for our next StarCluster incarnation! The interstellar ships have no FTL, and travel under STL - low percentage of c, a hundred years in flight - but the ship is also simultaneously going back in time, so it arrives after that hundred years at about the same time it left the other system.

You leave System A and everyone, crew and passengers, goes under into cold sleep. Next thing you know you are waking, shivering and puking, tended by the non-sapient robots who have run the ship the last 155 years, in system B. The ship is old and dishevelled, dirty in the corners. The owners scrimped on the maintenance bots, and parts of the ship don't work right. Before the ship flies again, it will have to be refurbished - or maybe even junked. The rich guy looks suave and sleek! He and his wives and husband brought their own Stasis pods, and it was blink your eyes in System A, and you are in system B! You wish you could afford the mcguffinite needed to run a stasis pod!

THIS MAKES ME EXCITED TO RUN THIS GAME! :D

Monday, April 3, 2017

Sabre & World Hijinks

We are having such a good time with our Sabre & World game! The group is trying their hands at tomb robbing. and are right now befuddled by the Wall of Sand. They don't understand why it is there, and because of this, they can't let it go or get past it. They know the Spinner killed half the last party who tried to rob this tomb, and they know kind of where the Spinner is, but they don't have any idea what it is.

Beau is definitely courting Bahama in his slow, shy way. He gave her flowers and stammered something, and blushed at a kiss on the cheek in thanks. Bahama and Cash cheerfully trade insults, and Brett has been thoughtful and kind. It's a really good group!

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Radioactive Decay and the Paractical Explorer

My Sunday IRC game is really taking on a life of its own. It's a StarCluster 4 - Out of the Ruins game, where the PCs are members of a bootleg scouting expedition, exploring a nearby star system while the Church's official expedition tries to pull itself together. They have already located at least two habitable worlds as moons of a gas giant, though possibly marginal, and have also located traces of the Eldar! A communications satellite and a weapons satellite, in the centers of impact craters on some icy gas giant moons in the outer system. Judging by the ratio of P239 to daughter products, if the weapons load was pure plutonium, the Eldar left something like 175 thousand years ago. This approximately confirms the time the Groar geneticist has estimated judging by genetic drift in the Bintaur, who were made by the Eldar. If the weapon were partially U235, however, that would screw up everything, as U235 is the major daughter product of p239 decay. Yes, my Sunday games frequently turn on just such a thing! Why?

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Lately...

I've been busy running Sabre and Planet for my face to face group, and it has been a blast! Four Louisianan Civil War re-enactors run through the woods near Port Jackson, and suddenly, they aren't in Louisiana any more! Beau, Cash, Brett, and Bahama are suddenly on their own in a new world where nothing they know is valuable outside their skills. They have black powder muskets and revolvers but precious little ammo. Their smart phones are only kept alive because Brett had a solar charger, and there is no way to use them as phones now anyway. Just the apps and stuff actually on their phones can be used.

They have rousted some nasty monsters out of a ruined castle on a lake, and are trying to make friends with the nearby villagers. How can they fix up this mess of a castle with trees growing through it? How can they earn the money to pay for the improvements they need? Will Beau and Bahama hook up? And what about the families they left behind?

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Gravity Train Redux

Remember that "Gravity Train" concept? Good news - it's thoroughly practical. Bad news - NASA already thought of it! Here is a study on using just such a device to induce hypergravity on earth: NASA PAPER

In it is a mention of a study done by NASA in 1975: "In the 1975 NASA study, "Space Settlements: A Design Study,” an orbiting space settlement capable of supporting a population of ten thousand is described in detail. The orbiting space settlement envisioned in this study is shown in Fig. 5. In this design, the 1790m diameter space station wheel rotates at 1 RPM inside a non-rotating ring shield to produce 1g at the wheel rim bottom. The wheel rim modules can be viewed as train cars running on a circular track in which the track is the ring shield."

So that's that. Yes, it is practical, but I was not the first to think of it. I still intend to offer this as an option in my games, but I don't get to name it! :D

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Join the Gravity Train!

So, I had an idea. I am asking my scientific friends have you ever seen anything like this? It's a different approach to the classic rotating habitation ring for starships. Refer to the following utterly unscaled schematic. Comments would really be amazing, people! :D

The Bowley-Bailey Gravity Train

The Track Ring contains three maglev tracks on the inside. It is oriented in a plane perpendicular to the thrust, and connected to the ship by cables fore and aft in a cross-braced pattern like a wire car wheel. The fore maglev track contains a single/two train(s) - single if it goes all the way around, double if not, with the trains 180 degrees apart. the train(s) on this track go either clockwise or counter clockwise at a speed calculated to give sufficient centrifugal gravity for sustained healthy living on the floor of the train at a ring diameter of x. The aft track holds an identical set up, with the cars running in the direction opposite to that on the fore track.

The center track holds a small train, the Sync Car. This car is designed to match speeds with either of the other two trains, and lock in with a side air lock, so that passengers can move between the main train and Sync Car at speed. When the passengers are set, the Sync Car slows down and joins airlocks with a spur - the Fixed Station - coming out from the ship just far enough to reach the top of the Sync Car. The Fixed Station is under micro-G (except under thrust) like the rest of the ship, including the Sync Car when it is stationary. The Sync Car would have a left and right airlock, to join with either of the main trains, but the top airlock would be part of the Fixed Station

Note that the Ring should be of sufficient diameter (x) that the coriolis effect will not be too noticeable, and that the Gravity Train cars can be of whatever width and height gives sufficient internal area and volume for living and working space, and may be of more than one level. The two main trains rotate in different directions to counter torque, with the movements of the small Sync Car compensated for as necessary. It would be possible to run the two trains as different shifts, as required.

I came up with the main features of the design, with my writing partner Albert Bailey suggesting the cable bracing. It LOOKS like it should work! It is more flexible and simpler than a hub-and-spoke rotating section, with the airlocks being the biggest wear points, as there are no bearing surfaces. It runs in a vacuum, so there is no air resistance, and would be cold enough to use superconductors for maximum energy efficiency.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

9 Months, Nine Role-Playing Games!

Since July 2017, nine games in nine months, five new games, four new editions.

Since July 2017, nine support products in nine months.

All SF Games...

I don't think anyone has ever done anything like this before! Not bad for a one man outfit!

Thursday, March 2, 2017

StarCluater 4 - Sabre & World Released

Just released - StarCluster 4 - Sabre & World, a Sword and Planet game using the StarCluster 4 system.

StarCluster 4 - Sabre & World is a role-playing game based on the classic Sword and Planet sub-genre of Science Fiction novels. These started over a hundred years ago with Edgar Rice Burroughs' John Carter of Mars series, which had a recent movie released based on it.

In these books, people from Earth are somehow transported to a different world, where there are other people who look very much like us with minor differences. These books are full of adventure and discovery, and are great fun to read.

Sabre & World helps you create your own Sword and Planet world to adventure in, where you and your gaming group play characters from Earth or natives to this world, human or not so human! Enjoy!

Sabre & World is available in print from Lulu and in pdf from One Bookshelf and Precis Intermedia.

Master Plays - Jedi Dice Tricks

Here's my latest thing for StarCluster 4 - Sabre & World: Master Plays. If your character has a mastery (Rank +5) in any skill specialty, now tou can play Jedi Dice tricks!

Monday, February 27, 2017

Sabre & World Cover

Finished the cover for StarCluster 4 - Sabre & World. Comments?

Friday, February 24, 2017

Sabre & World Maps

I have been working feverishly on StarCluater 4 - Sabre & World lately. Here are some map symbols to use when generating setting - I will have an example setting I am creating for my alpha testers in the final book, but the tools to generate your own are there:

Here is the map to the StarCluster 4 - Sabre and World example setting I created. Generating maps this way takes no cartographic talent! It's not super pretty, but it is super effective. This was generated spatially by rolling how far from center the location/symbol was on percentile dice. My players specified they wanted a world where the default was Forest/Wilderness.

Alternatively, you can generate the locations/components that the symbols represent, and place them where appropriate on a satelite photo or topological map from someplace on earth. Whatever is fast and easy!

Here is an example of a pre-existing topo map (Mount Marcy Area of New York) with StarCluster 4 - Sabre & World symbols placed logically, rather than randomly placing the symbols and creating a map from the result. People might prefer either way, so have at it! The map source is given - US Geologic Survey.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Putting Sabre & World Together

This is the hard part. I'm trying to pull Sabre & World together, and I need all new Skill Trees. There is very little in common between Sabre & World and anything else I have written for StarCluster 4, so the skill trees are all new. I'm in the middle of creating them now. If I ever do another setting like this, though, I can reuse a bunch! well, hopefully! :D

Friday, February 10, 2017

Ram Jet

This is an old song, from 1977. This song has no redeeming social value... :D

Ram Jet

Copyright 2017 by clash bowley

 

Screech round the bend, darlin', hang on the curves

We're gonna ride out this feelin' for all it deserves

Roll to the left Darlin', lean to the right

We're gonna ram like a jet through the star spangled night

 

(Chorus)

Ram Jet - lke some kinda rocket machine

Power like you only had in your dreams

Shoot like a star through the indigo blue

Me on the inside and outside of you

 

Climb on the back darlin', hold on my hand

We're gonna dive through that hole in the rainbow white band

Take it in deep, darlin', take it on long

A dip in the waters of darkness will make you so strong

 

(Chorus)

 

Take it on right babe! Take it on high

Know that the juices of lovin' will never run dry

Take in on right, darlin', take it on home

Know that the force of my lovin' is yours all alone

 

(Chorus)

Ram Jet - lke some kinda rocket machine

Power like you only had in your dreams

Shoot like a star through the indigo blue

Me on the inside and outside of you

 

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B0MttZrl0EeeN0x0bzZmSXVzSlU

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Planetfall

Here's my newest song - written this October. It's a song from the viewpoint of Drop Troopers - elite spec ops who drop from orbit onto a planet wearing grav-chutes to capture special objectives. In In Harm's Way: StarCluster, all spec ops start as Drop Troopers.

Planetfall

copyright 2016 by clash bowley  

Bam, bam, bam! Feel those retro-rockets slam!

Bam, bam, bam! Feel those retro-rockets slam!

Hot damn, all right! And it's planetfall tonight!

Hot damn, all right! It's a planetfall tonight!

 

My baby she drives in the Space Patrol

She'd rather drive than to save her soul

 

Zing, zing, zing! Hear that atmosphere just sing!

Zing, zing, zing! Hear that atmosphere just sing!

Screech and howl, we're goin' on a prowl!

Screech and howl, we're goin' on a prowl!

 

Ooooh yeah! Get a little juice down.

Burn burn burn burn burn! Til we're headed into town.

Ooooh yeah! 'Til we get a lock down.

And we're headed back up and around and around and around.

 

My baby she drives in the Space Patrol

She'd rather drive than to save her soul

 

Boom, boom, boom! We're riding to our doom!

Boom, boom, boom! We're riding to our doom!

Well now that's alright! We're at home in the night!

Well now that's alright! We're at home in the night!

 

My baby she drives in the Space Patrol

She'd rather drive than to save her soul

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B0MttZrl0EeeUXJCMnlWSHBSRWM

Sunday, February 5, 2017

In the Garden

This song was actually written in-character by an NPC in our High Strung game. It is sung from the viewpoint of Eve. It's a love song and a religious song at the same time.

In the Garden

copyright 2016 by clash bowley

 

In the garden of pure delight

We were walking through a waterfall of light

There was springtime all around

Birds were waking, a kaleidoscope of sound

 

Baby I hear you call and walk before I crawl

Baby won't you follow through the garden with me?

Baby can't you see? I'm on my bended knee

Baby won't you dance on through the garden with me

C'mon let's dance

 

In the garden of love and joy

We were talking, just a girl and just a boy

There was magic in the air

There was heaven in the scent caught in your hair

(Chorus)

 

In the garden of secret fire

We were trembling on the edge of our desire

We were caught up In the glow

And we made love in the petals of the roses

(Chorus)

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B0MttZrl0EeeWmdfX2l3MWlPVW8

White Lines and the Will

Here's a new song. It dates from August of last year. It's called White Lines and the Will, and it would make a fine C&W song. :D https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B0MttZrl0EeeZDlGNk54QjhtbUk

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Space Love

I wrote some of the lyrics of this for my Cold Space game, but the music is all new, the first I had written on my new guitar. It switches between my normal register and my lower register in the mid-8. When I record this for real, the low part will continue throughout the mid-8, with the higher voice over it.

Space Love

Big Space Liner, Asteroid Miner. Guess which one's goin' to lose?

Cosmic diciples, Laser-gun rifles, all come to spread the news

Off on a comet, Want to get on it? Wish you would come aboard

See you on the Trivox, meet you on the slidewalks, keep you from bein' so bored!

Split the Skies with your ion jets

Do you love me? I'll lay my bets

When you come kiss me, it's just like in a movie, you're my leading lady love

When we hold each other, never want another, we fit like hand into glove

I'm a lonely star pilot, come to cause a riot, look for my lovely girl

Then when I find you, I'm gonna space and time you, gonna set us both in a whirl

Split the Skies with your ion jets

Do you love me? I'll lay my bets

Big orbit baby, free-fallin' lady, do you want your rocket man?

I love you only, you bought and sold me, kiss you whenever I can

I'm a lonely star pilot, come to cause a riot, look for my lovely girl

Then when I find you, I'm gonna space and time you, gonna set us both in a whirl

Split the Skies with your ion jets

Do you love me? I'll lay my bets

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B0MttZrl0EeecnU4VWRSM0RCMlE

No Green, No Envy

This song was a collaboration between myself and my old drummer, Angelo Aversa, back in 1975 or so. The words are Angelo's and the music is mine.

No Green, No Envy

Copyright 2017 by clash bowley and Angelo Aversa

No green, no envy - Ahh! That ain't what she said

She said "Won't you come up into my apartment? I'm going to bed"

"You can walk if you want but take on my advice, won't you... tantalize your mind with me?"

Baby. Maybe. Yeah. Hey hey hey hey!

I said "Baby, maybe... yeah!"

No blue, no heaven - Ahh! That ain't what she meant

She said "You're welcome any time of the day or night! Just pitch a tent"

"You can walk if you want but take on my advice, won't you... tantalize your mind with me?"

Baby. Maybe. Yeah. Hey hey hey hey!

I said "Baby, maybe... yeah!"

No red, no rainbow - Ahh! That ain't what she done

She said "I'm ready to pick a partner, honey, but you're not the one"

"You can walk if you want but take on my advice, won't you... tantalize your mind with me?"

Baby. Maybe. Yeah. Hey hey hey hey!

I said "Baby, maybe... yeah!"

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B0MttZrl0EeeSVItdEVfTDBRREE

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Summer Never Comes

Here's a new song. I wrote it in 2006 as part of the FTL Now roleplaying game. The lyrics are there in the game, which was a device I also used in the Cold Space game which preceded FTL Now, and is set in the same universe. It's set on earth after the comet hit New York harbor and caused a nuclear winter where it didn't completely destroy everything.

Summer Never Comes copyright 2016 clash bowley

Everyone's walkin' in white, y'see that

Everything's all covered in snow

Everybody's trading in hate, y'know that

They're all gettin' ready to go

All the snow

Fallin' down

On the dead

In this town

I'm gettin' too ragged to roll

Summer never comes

.

Shot another man in the back one mornin'

Ate him for twenty-one days

Carried his meat in a sack forever

Carry him now in my brain

It's so cold

On this road

And this horror

Is my load

I'm gettin' too ragged to roll

Summer never comes

.

I've eaten everything that moves, and then some

Eaten anything not nailed down

Rather eat a rat than get laid, I tell you

Did that in some Michigan town

It's so cold

I'm not proud

Teeth just chatter

Right out loud

I'm gettin' too ragged to roll

Summer never comes

.

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B0MttZrl0EeeZTY2WVpZY2VyTGc

Thursday, January 26, 2017

The Martian Rock

This song is a Bo Diddly beat, which is always fun! It was written for my Cold Space RPG, but I've changed the lyrics since.

The Martian Rock Copyright 2017 clash bowley

Whenever I see that Martian Sun I wanna take out my laser gun Poppin’ off Greenies one by one! Shootin’ Greenies is so much fun!

(Chorus) Do the Rock, Do the Rock, Do the Martian Rock Do the Rock, Do the Rock, Do the Martian Rock

Whenever I see that Martian sand I feel my laser in my hand Greenies crawlin’ after me! Shoot ‘em down, one-two-three!

(Chorus) Do the Rock, Do the Rock, Do the Martian Rock Do the Rock, Do the Rock, Do the Martian Rock

Whenever I wear my wartime boots I see them Greenies and start to shoot A night on the town and we're feelin' fine Boy we had ourselves a time

(Chorus) Do the Rock, Do the Rock, Do the Martian Rock Do the Rock, Do the Rock, Do the Martian Rock

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B0MttZrl0EeeMjhsWTFXdUtUaVE

Swim Sheba

This song uses my lower register. I never used to sing in this range. It's a fast 6/8 with lyrics from a post apocalyptic future, specifically my game FTL Now.

Swim Sheba Copyright 2017 clash bowley

Salt Liquor! It tastes of the best and it makes you so wild Oooh, Sheba! Nothin', never never nothin's gonna get you so high Cry Tiger! Take a little sip and, take a little sip and Poor baby! Lost off the bridge let the wind take your cry And she sings!

Cool Lucy! She got in her hand a smooth nylon rope Cha cha Charlie! Sheba's long gone and you ain't got no hope Swim Sheba! Gotta make it fast now, gotta make it fast now Poor baby! Wolves on the street and they come at a lope And they sing!

Cool Lucy! Ooh ohh little darlin', it's the best of your life Swim Sheba! Swallow the sewers, you swallow your pride Go Sheba! Gotta get ahold now, gotta get ahold now Poor baby! Sharks in the water they come at a glide And they sing!

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B0MttZrl0EeeM2pIb3lsRnd5LUE

The Last Romantic

I just recorded a crap straight version of one of my songs, The Last Romantic - just one track, amp down to like 1.5 to avoid clipping, no enhancements whatever. Enjoy!

The Last Romantic Copyright 2016 clash bowley

Hang on down the Moebius Strip ah Joe hands me a beer an' I take a sip Wishin' and a-hopin' of just bein' with you Thinkin' 'bout the things that we'd say an' do (Chorus)

Now I see you step into your Z-16 An' the man that's with you babe does he look mean Well he don't scare me with that evil glance 'Cause I'd kick his head in if I got the chance (Chorus)

(Mid 8)

Now I see you step into your Z-16 An' the man that's with you babe does he look mean Well he don't scare me with that evil glance 'Cause I'd kick his head in if I got the chance (Chorus)

Well Joe he said you know an' I said I knew That I'd have to be be a billionare babe to buy a night with you He got his rockets babe but I got my dreams An' things ain't always y'know what they seem

Chorus: 'Cuz I'd walk all the wway to Singapore T' be with you babe right at your door Oooh I'm sufferin' babe whay can't you see? Oh sweet lord I'm in Misery Misery I'm in mis-mis-mis-mis-mis-mis-misery

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B0MttZrl0EeeNURPZHNMV1NtMGs/view

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Twice the Helkaraxe!

Currently, both my Saturday face-to-face group and my Sunday IRC groups are in Helkaraxe! The Sunday group was not unexpected, as it was this group, with their exploration-on-a-shoestring concept that made me realize i needed something like Helkaraxe in the first place! Their ship - a big old former military ship - couldn't generate enough Thrust Units to exit either solar system and enter the other. They had to either get a newer, more powerful ship, or I had to create Helkaraxe. Helkaraxe is a rogue gas giant with eight moons - some of them planet sized, and all ice-covered - outside either system, and the negligible cost to enter and exit makes it a natural place for a gas station or four. By refueling at Helkaraxe, they would have enough Thrust Units to brake into the new, unexplored Numenor system. They chose to keep their big old ship - because potential problems! - and go through Helkaraxe! Yay!

Above is a schematic of their ship, an ancient Bintaur Pregnant Pause vessel. The two arms at the front each carry an arc-segment shaped living quarters, rotating to give spin gravity. The rest of the ship is under microgravity except when under thrust.

Now the Saturday group was a different story! They are not explorers, but technology hunters, and were focusing on the former Eldar world of Varda in the Manwe system. the Eldar left Varda long ago, and in the meantime, it cooled and in undergoing glaciation. The tech hunters - operating under Church licenses - look for Eldar Tech left behind, in pockets of unglaciated land or sea. They had just completed a very profitable job on a pocket kept warm geothermally in the northern areas normally fully glaciated, and were looking for a new place without so much competition. One of them thought if Helkaraxe was known to the Eldar, maybe they built there, and looking through the legendaria decided they very well may have. Unlike Varda, without a sun, the ice on Helkaraxe's moons is stable, at liquid helium temperatures, and does not move, unlike the glaciers of Varda. If they built on the ice, it should still be there!

With that, they formed a new company - or rather, since they are an autonomous branch of Wayland-Yutani, they created a shell business unit, ostensibly a mining and prospecting organization, and purchased the new supplies - equipment to survive in the utter cold and complete dark of Helkaraxe - through it. This was to deceive any other tech hunters who might be watching them after their big success. There is plenty of mining being done in Helkaraxe, wo they would not raise any alarms there. Then they renamed their ship and transferred ownership to the shell company. Next week they will be in Helkaraxe!

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

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

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