Friday, July 27, 2012

Forehead Friday...rolled 05

And this was supposed to be Captain Reed's vacation.

Reed was trying to enjoy the beaches of Scarra, a "Pleasure Planet" designated safe by the Galactic Confederation, and a popular shore leave spot for Space Fleet vessels. He was sipping a fermented drink made from a local alien fruit, and enjoying the company of a beautiful purple-skinned companion when the mood changed dramatically. A dark figure appeared, holding a beam pistol.

"Reed. Don't try anything. I'm not alone." The human nodded over his shoulder, and Reed sat up from his reclining position to see several other similarly clad figures. Brown and black leather outfits, with the red insignia of the Vega Pirates. They were a motley crew of misfits from various planets, but highly organized and dangerous.

"What do you want from me?" Reed asked, perplexed and annoyed at the intrusion.

"You'll come with us." his grin became a snarl. "You'll make a good hostage. Space Fleet is holding three of my men and I'm betting a ship's Captain will be a fair trade."

But a beam of red energy smashed into the pirate, knocking him backward into a smoking heap. Reed looked over to his almost forgotten companion, his face changing from surprise to amusement as he realized she had been concealing a beam weapon. He didn't have time to ask where she could have hidden it while wearing the Scarra version of a bikini. Reed grabbed her hand and breathed, "I think we better run!"

Reed and the purple skinned woman ran down the beach, the remaining pirates in pursuit. The woman led the Captain into the jungle foliage above the beach, saying, "Captain, I've been assigned to look out for you on your shore leave."

"You're a Space Fleet plant? My babysitter?" Reed said with an accusatory tone.

"You're a man in need of watching, Reed. You have a reputation for getting into trouble. Enough talk, there are caves nearby."

"You're full of surprises." Reed stated with resignation, following her into a cave set in a hill.

The cave was pitch black, and they could hear pursuers searching nearby. Reed was led deeper into the cave.

"I hope you don't think less of me Captain," his companion said huskily, "but I have one more surprise for you."

"Are you sure this is the right time..." Reed's voice trailed off as a bright glow appeared in the dark of the cave. He could make out a thin crack of light appear, illuminating the alien woman's forehead. It expanded, opening up to reveal a brightly glowing third eye on her forehead. It illuminated the entire width of the cave.

As explanation she whispered, "My people come from a low-light planet. It's one of our evolutionary secrets, Captain. Come, we can retreat deeper into the cave."

"Like I said, you're full of surprises." Reed whispered. It only occurred to him later that she had said "one" of her evolutionary secrets. He wondered just how much more interesting this adventure might become.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Forehead Friday...rolled 62

Commander Silek would have been excited, if he were human. As it was, he was merely intrigued as his logical Tauran mental machinery processed the data before him.

"The aliens have little to no body language, Captain." Silek reported as he entered Captain Reed's personal quarters.

The planet-side team had returned from Tripton II with one casualty, an Ensign Rickles who collapsed apparently due to poisoning. The entire mission was briefly in jeopardy, since the Drake needed vital radioactive components from the planet's surface to repair the ship's engines.

"The universal translator was repeating a garbled language, and when Rickles collapsed we were not sure if it was an act of aggression." Silek continued, "But the Doctor detected highly concentrated pheromones and I logically concluded that we were dealing with an alien race whose language incorporates scent and hormonal communication, in combination with sound."

Reed looked amused at Silek's restrained enthusiasm. Communication with this new race would be complicated, because at least 70% of their language involved scents and pheromones, which were emitted from gaping pores on their foreheads. Adding to the mess was the fact that beings with iron-based metabolisms are deathly allergic to the chemical emissions. A poisonous language was a new one for Reed and the crew of the Drake, but that's what Trekking across the galaxy is all about...

* * *
The indiegogo project for Starships & Spacemen 2e has already reached its goal! As I write this there are two weeks left, so if we reach our first stretch goal of $5,500 all contributors at the Sub-Lieutenant rank or higher will receive a Space Fleet sew-on patch. Thank you for your support!


Forehead Friday...rolled 80

Forehead Friday...rolled 76

Forehead Friday...rolled 03

Forehead Friday...rolled 83

Forehead Friday...rolled 44

Forehead Friday...rolled 21

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Pacesetter Freebie at the Gen Con LLS Meeting

For those of you attending the LLS meet-n-greet at Gen Con here is one of the goodies that will be handed out on a first come, first served basis:

The Pacesetter logo replaces the zero on these d10s.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Hulks & Horrors Sounds Cool!

I just wanted to mention another indiegogo project for an old-school Sci-Fi game called Hulks & Horrors. They're billing it as D&D-like exploration in space, and I have to admit there is something about the logo I find very cool. The system is supposed to be inspired by Moldvay/Cook B/X, so it might be a great game to mine for stuff to include in Starships & Spacemen 2e.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Starships & Spacemen Play-by-Post (public)

There is a publicly visible S&S 2e play-by-post on the Goblinoid Games forums. Feel free to check it out!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Forehead Friday...rolled 80

"Captain's Log 2287.10.21, Captain Jack Reed in command of the SFS Drake. We have arrived at Omecron III after receiving a distress call. A small survey team is here on a mission to assess the planet's suitability for a Confederation colony, but there are no further communications from the planet. I am accompanying the planet-side team along with Medical Officer Lieutenant McNeil and Spacemen Richards and Garrot to investigate the survey team's camp site. Commander Silek is in command of the bridge."

The planet-side team materialized on the dusty, windswept planet just as the blue second moon of Omicron III was dipping into the horizon. The sky was awash in the blue light reflecting off the moon, a stark contrast to the yellow sky. Captain Reed barely took notice of the scene as he began to examine the campsite in front of them.

"McNeil, are you reading any life signs?" Reed asked the Doctor.

"I'm getting unclear readings, Captain, but there seems to be something faint 100 yards to the west."

No sooner had the Doctor made this announcement than the better part of a crude spear emerged from the chest of Spaceman Richards. Richards looked down in astonishment, not recognizing this seemingly new limb, before he collapsed in a heap in front of Reed.
A humanoid alien could be seen briefly admiring his work before ducking behind cover on an elevated ridge.

Reed and Garrot immediately grabbed hold of Richards, dragging him behind a large boulder as the Doctor followed.

"Get out of the way damn you!" McNeil grunted, opening his medikit with one hand and checking Richards's vitals with the other.

"This planet..." Reed said, "...was supposed to be uninhabited."

"He's dead, Jack." McNeil breathed, his tone grim as he met Reed's gaze.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Starships & Spacemen 2e Stretch Goal #1

Stretch Goal #1 $5,500

Good morning Space Fleet recruits! As I write this we have a little over three weeks left for the S&S indiegogo campaign. That is practically forever when it comes to trying to predict outcome.

I’m setting our first stretch goal as a modest one, and if we hit it early enough I’ll set a more ambitious goal for the second one.

Stretch Goal #1: $5,500

If we reach our first stretch goal, everyone who contributed at the Sub-Lieutenant level or higher will receive a Galactic Confederation emblem sew-on patch. You can sort of make out what these look like in the S&S cover painting, and I’ve posted it on the indiegogo page (see below). These patches will be about 3″ × 3″ and also have an iron-on backing for your convenience.

Thanks again everyone for your support. I’m confident this will be a successfully funded project and I thank you all for contributing.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Forehead Friday...rolled 76

In case you're just joining us for Forehead Friday, this is a weekly feature that will run through the course of the indiegogo campaign to take preorders and raise funds for the production of Starships & Spacemen 2e. Here are links to previous Forehead Fridays:

Forehead Friday...rolled 03

Forehead Friday...rolled 83

Forehead Friday...rolled 44

Forehead Friday...rolled 21

* * *
The planet-side team materialized on the alien planet. Captain Reed looked up, admiring the swirling yellow-orange sky. The atmosphere was uncomfortably thick, adding to the choking sensation Spaceman Anderson felt as he looked down over the cliff alongside their transport site.

Spaceman Mallon got right to work, analyzing the nearby surroundings. "Captain," he reported, "I'm reading several life signs up ahead. A path trails around the cliff side."

"Very well," Reed said, "Mallon and Anderson, continue ahead and keep a lookout for the alien party. This is our first contact with this species, so keep your movements slow and passive. Electrostun weapons only, but leave them holstered."

Commander Silek continued to scan the vicinity as the Spacemen disappeared along a curve in the path ahead. "Captain," Silek said, his tone the closest a Tauran ever gets to excitement, "I am reading rich fossil deposits in the cliff side. This location is a paleontologist's treasure trove, and would lend great insight into why so many avian species evolved on this planet."

"A project for another time, Commander." Reed said with amusement.

The light mood was pierced by a scream ahead. Reed and Silek exchanged a brief glance before running up the path. As they rounded the mountainside, the scene before them was grim. Spaceman Mallon was looking over the precipice, a large animal at his feet. Its body resembled a predatory cat, with feathers instead of fur, and the head of an eagle. It was twitching, obviously stunned.

"What happened?" Reed asked with concern, approaching the cliff.

"We were attacked, and Anderson fell..."

Mallon's explanation was cut off by a high-pitched voice, "Captain Reed, I presume?"
About a dozen tall, thin humanoids emerged from the path ahead. They had delicate features and feathers instead of hair.

"We witnessed the attack, Captain, and regretfully were unable to react in time. These predators are common in this area." The leader of the aliens explained. "Your man..." the alien's voice trailed off as he looked over the cliff.

Reed joined him, peering over the side. Thousands of feet below, the Captain could make out Anderson's red uniform. "He was one of our more promising enlisted men." Reed reflected as he opened his communicator.

"This is Captain Reed calling the Drake."

"This is the Drake, Captain. Lieutenant Trotter responding, Sir."

"Trotter, there's been an incident. Anderson's..." Reed paused, "...dead. Lock onto his signal and teleport him to the ship immediately. Send him to deep freeze right away. I doubt they can revive him on Starbase IV, but we'll give him every chance."

"Affirmative, Captain. Trotter out."

Reed turned to address the aliens. "What a rocky start to the mission," Reed thought.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Steve Winter talks about Clones and the OSR

In case you haven't seen it yet, Steve Winter has posted about the OSR over at Kobold Quarterly. Also check out his blog with a list of various old-school games. It's a weird feeling looking at this because not long ago I knew about all of the OSR games available, but at this point I've obviously lost track!

Where the first clones (like Labyrinth Lord and OSRIC) were about preservation, the next wave that builds on them are more about building a customized D&D from the base of what we've preserved. I think this shows the success of this movement. For example, as a supporter of open gaming I am glad to see so much text I wrote for Labyrinth Lord being recycled in Adventurer Conqueror King. Much like when variant fantasy games began to take root after D&D was released, we have more and more such games now. Of course, open game content makes it that much easier because you don't have to reinvent the wheel every time. I spent months, basically full time, writing Labyrinth Lord and the Advanced Edition Companion. I'm glad to give that text back to the open gaming community for the future of all game hobbyists.