UbiquitousRat's Roleplaying Dreams

UbiquitousRat's Roleplaying Dreams: November 2011

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Dark Trek

Today I began to watch the one Star Trek series that I have, as yet, never really got my head around: Voyager.

Whilst viewing the spurious antics of Janeway's crew in the pilot twin-episode, Caretaker, I was once again reminded of the one-off idea we had a while ago for gaming Trek-style.

Dark Trek was born after the most recent Star Trek movie. The key inspiration was the idea that the Star Trek universe could contain multiple alternate realities... of which the latest movie is but one. From this humble idea sprang the one-off game played in 2009 within our own alternate Trek universe... and since then the idea has stuck.
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Sunday, 27 November 2011

Races, Cultures and Professions

Starting to play Skyrim this weekend I quickly ran across one of my pet hates in fantasy roleplaying games: the stereotypical racial template which declares that such-and-such species is always good at a given skill set.

My example is the Dark Elf in Skyrim: automatically good at magic and sneaking. Hmm. It makes for a cool shtick in a computer game but is lousy racial typing. Are you really telling me that ALL Dark Elves have the same talents?

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Sunday, 20 November 2011

Travelling Further...

Probably the most annoyingly wonderful thing about Traveller5 (the currently in-playtest fifth edition of Marc Miller's Traveller SF RPG) is that it appears to be really good.

In my last article I was frustrated with the system for Psi and had decided to return to my positive decision in running all my campaigns using GURPS. I'm still reluctant to shift from that view... but... Traveller5 is really comprehensive.

So... here's what I plan on doing...

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Sunday, 13 November 2011

Teasing Your Mind

"Asperance regarded the young woman in front of him coolly, his brown shiny eyes trying to penetrate the layer of colourful cosmetics that she had applied to her pale human flesh. Was she really legally old enough to hire onto his crew? She looked very young to his eyes, but then he wasn't really an expert on female human growth patterns. If her skills were as she claimed on her resume then he would certainly find her useful on board the 'Astral Tease'. And what was this about an 'Institute for Higher Learning'?"

Yesterday, as I began to imagine the crew that would accompany Asperance upon his adventures in the Traveller setting, I decided that I'd like to look over the Psi rules and see how they might fit into my campaign. As those of you who know me probably realise, I have a great interest in esoteric knowledge and beliefs and, so naturally, I like to draw such elements into my gaming.

Guess what I found? Yes, the new Traveller rules have Psi BUT... it's a Psi chapter written by a person who clearly does not believe in the possibility of such powers and who, with the best will in the world, has codified and structured the rules for such things in an almost completely "scientific" and over-organised manner. In seconds I was turned off from the rules and turned back to the reality that my own vision for Traveller can be more readily realised using GURPS.

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Saturday, 12 November 2011

Out On The Rim...

It's been a rough week at work but an exciting one in my head. I've been dreaming of the Far Future again... in a world of sleak and speeding starships, long-snouted Bruxx adventurers, and the Solomani dream.

Rimward Bound
My favourite and largely unexplored part of the Traveller universe is the Solomani Rim. For those who are new to the setting, the Solomani are those humans descended from Terran stock and who, by and large, view themselves as the purest and highest breed of Humaniti in the Known Universe.

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Sunday, 6 November 2011

Travelling Again...

"Asperance T. Hood swaggered into The Golden Nut and took a look around at his old stomping ground. It seemed like a lifetime ago since he had last set foot in here, celebrating his graduation with Honours from the University of Halo. Three weeks later he had been in training with the IISS and now, some 12 years further on, he was a renowned local hero responsible for three major discoveries on worlds across the Alderamin and Albadawi subsectors. He was the first of his kind in several generations to have access to a starship, even it was on detached duty from the service, and one of the very few Bruxx inhabitants of Halo to be known across the system. Basically, as he walked into the bar and looked around, Asperance was famous. He raised a finger and ordered a pot of sweet-juice."

When I was very young, cusping into my teens from childhood, some friends of mine introduced me to a neat little game called Traveller. This was a cool set of small A5-ish books with plain black covers gathered in a little black box and containing rules for SF roleplaying. It was very exciting and very addictive to read and play. I got hooked.

30 years ish later I have just spent the better part of my weekend tinkering around the edges of the latest drafts from Marc Miller (the designer of Traveller) for T5. Not being able to say anything about the content of the work, what I wanted to say is that his latest drafts are as intriguing, engaging and addictive as ever they were. For fun, I've been delving into the past background of the Solomani Rim to find a home for my new sophont species, the Bruxx, creating them as a usable race in the game, and then creating a character from the species to play with. While the rules have a lot of raw edges the outcome has been nothing short of inspiring.

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