Tag Archives: sci-fi

Podcast Episode 47 – Midderlands, 5E, Sci-fi and other projects

In this podcast episode I talk about some of the projects that I’ve been working on and some stuff I’m about to start work on:


Title Music

Shinigami by XTaKeRuX:
http://freemusicarchive.org/music/XTaKeRuX/Empty_Grave/Shinigami

Used under creative commons licence:
https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

Odd Alien Encounters

It was pointed out by my lovely wife yesterday that–although I’d done a lot of fantasy themed Random Things articles I’d not really done (m)any science-fiction ones. Looking back I found that she was right, I think his is partly because I tend to create random tables inspired by games I’m running and–for right or wrong–most of those are fantasy or horror-fantasy based.

To try and re-dress this please find below a table of random aliens that could be encountered in a typical sci-fi game.

Please note: Each of these would benefit from a bit of elaboration by the GM, nor do they apply specific game mechanics.

No.Description
1A race of sentient, floating crystals who communicate through subtle harmonies and manipulate their environment telephathically. They find normal forms of biological life barbaric, viewing them as little better than viruses.
2These aliens are descended from reptiles, their young are born from eggs and they are cold-blooded. The internal temperature of their ships is far hotter than comfortable for humans and they are viewed as merciless by other species.
3The individuals of this race are actually remote-holograms produced by a huge alien computer that is capable of transmitting/sharing information over vast distances with little to no delay. The computer has observed that other races feel more comfortable communicating with someone like themselves as so created the holograms to add it's studies.
4A race of insects who come together as colonies when and if the need arises, an individual insect is no more intelligent than an average earth-ant but the colony minds are often have mighty intellects, although they are very colony minded.
5These aliens are descended from amphibious/aquatic life, although they are now evolved to survive on land as well as in the water, they still have numerous adaptions such as gills, fins, etc to help them survive in an aquatic environment. Their uncanny grasp of 3-dimensional movement makes them excellent space pilots, although on their own ships they prefer to fill the compartments with oxygenated water.
6Whilst appearing as metallic humanoids, the members of this race are actually robot suits 'piloted' by swarms of sentient nano-bots who are on a mission of exploration seeking out new life and more advanced technologies. When they discover new tech they dissemble and examine it, using their upgraded knowledge to enhance their vessel and create the next improved generation of nano-bots.

Initial thoughts for Star Hex

We’re coming up to the finalé of our Dungeon World campaign this week, my plan afterwards is to have a couple of weeks off and then make a start on the next campaign. I’ve been very much enamoured of all things OSR (except THAC0) recently and used some elements of the good, old-fashioned hex crawl in my Dungeon World campaign, so it seemed only natural that I should continue down this path with my next campaign. I don’t want to jump straight into running another fantasy game so close on the heels of Dungeon World so I decided to turn to science-fiction (or science-fantasy depending on your definition), influenced by the fact I’m reading a lot of White Star at the moment.

Continue reading Initial thoughts for Star Hex

Star Hex

Star Hex

 

Given my recent love affair with James M Spahn’s White Star–you can see my video review of it here–I’m thinking of running some OSR style sci-fi when when Dungeon World campaign wraps up in a few weeks or so; I’ve been looking at the concept of hex crawls and have even taken a few ideas from them to use in my ongoing FFG Star Wars campaign and the methodology seems to work well in a sci-fi genre. Given that so many sci-fi franchises have effectively been reskinning fantasy races to use as aliens for a long time, I thought it might be interesting to do the reverse and run a science-fiction setting where the fantasy analogues were embraced openly.

I’m not talking about a Spelljammer-esque fantasy in space style game but a science-fantasy game (ala Star Wars) that takes direct inspiration from fantasy races and ideas to use in the setting.

All About Aspects: Sci-fi High Concepts

Sci-Fi High Concepts

star-wars-145063_960_720Okay, now we’ve explained the basic formatting in our previous post, we’re going to provide a series of ideas for creating the description, job and twist sections of the high concept for a science-fiction character.

There are lots of different types of science-fiction ranging from hard sci-fi to space opera, post apocalyptic and everything in-between; in this article we’re shooting for a more general science-fiction vibe, but we may cover specific sub-genres in future articles. Continue reading All About Aspects: Sci-fi High Concepts

Star Trek hack: Boldly going where several people have gone before

Do you ever throw yourself into something and then, it’s only halfway through that you think ‘I wonder if someone else has done anything like this?’
That was the position I found myself in when asked to come up with a hack for a Star Trek (pre-Enterprise era) game by my friend Simon (you can see my two previous posts in this blog for details), I fell prey to my usual downfall of leaping straight in and starting to look at the mechanics rather than stopping to consider my options; this is something of a normal response for me and is something i’m working on. However, at least this time I had the good sense to stop and look around before I got too entrenched.
As I was wading through hacking Diaspora’s skill list and working out whether or not Professions (as per the Fate Toolkit were the best way to go) I flicked through Jacob Poss’ big list of Fate related links (viewable here http://walkninginshadows.blogspot.co.uk/2013/02/fate-core-important-links.html) and did a simple search for the term ‘trek’; I suppose it shouldn’t have surprised me that there were a number of results (given Star Trek’s popularity).
One in particular caught my eye, an adaption by Aaron M. Sturgill (available here http://trailofdice.weebly.com/uploads/6/9/2/1/6921148/star_trek_fate.pdf) which seemed to do everything that we needed for a game but had a light enough touch that it could be expanded and adapted to the pre-Enterprise era of the game; it also seemed to use a modified and simplified version of the Diaspora rules (which was the track i’d been taking). I think it will be ideal for the game that we are doing, and many thanks to Mr Sturgill for making his work on the subject available 🙂

I suppose the lesson that I should take from all of this is that, despite trying to rain in my instincts to tinker with mechanics, I still have a way to go and that, certainly for Fate, there is an awful lot of very good material available (free of charge out that) that can be tweaking or used for your own games without having to start off completely from scratch.