Monday, September 27, 2010

The Making of Space 1889 - The Burning Desert

This post is a companion post to AP - Space 1889: The Burning Desert. In it I detail how the scenario was developed, what Maptool modifications were needed to run it, how the maps were created, and what other resources were used in the final product.

Adventure Source
I used the first scenario in Frank Chadwick's original Tales from the Ether. The adventure used the original Space 1889 rules and so I had to convert the NPCs into Savage Worlds.

The conversion was amazingly simple. In Space 1889 the attributes and skills go from 1 to 6. I simply doubled the score to give values from d4 to d12 (counting 1s and 2s). The skills matched Savage Worlds fairly well but I fudged them a bit here and there as needed.

The handouts I pulled directly from the pdf using GIMP's screen capture utility (File->Create->Screenshot). There were quite a few of these which included letters, newspaper articles, and a detailed description of Mercury. The hand-written letters were a bit hard to read in the source material and this remained true once I moved them into Maptool.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

AP - Space 1889: The Burning Desert

On Sunday, September 19th, I ran another Savage Worlds/Maptool introductory game using the Space 1889 setting from Pinnacle Entertainment Group.  We had three participants who played Adventurer Tex Chapman (ChiTownRoy), Naval Petty Officer Aku (Aku), and Inventor Alexander Setsu (rstehwien). Unfortunately ChiTownRoy had technical problems and left before the final battle.

The characters started in London at the Explorer's Society. One of the characters received a letter from a friend on Mercury describing a plot that could harm the economy of England. The letter included a Times article about the falling price of tin due to flooding of the tin markets from a small Pacific island. The letter ended with a plea for the character to come to Mercury to help root out the conspiracy.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Space 1889 Player Characters

Below are a few Player Characters for use in the Savage Worlds Space 1889 Red Sands setting. They can be used as a group or individually.

The Adventurer is an American thrill seeker who's traveled the Ether in search of fame, fortune, and, of course, adventure. He carries a Winchester rifle, six shooter, and a Bowie knife. He's nearly as dangerous with his fists as he his with his pistols being an accomplished hand-to-hand fighter. He spouts off in battle letting everyone know that ass-kicking they are about to receive. His boisterous personality is better suited to the wilds of Africa or the deserts of Mars than in a more confined 'civilized' setting with all it rules and expected social behaviors. The adventurer is a little dashing and a lot cocky, making his way through life on charm and braggadocio.

The Explorer's Society recruited the Adventurer after he single-handily stopped a plot by the Brotherhood of Luxor while on a tiger hunt in India.

Rank/Race: Novice (0 xps)/Human
Attributes: Agility d6, Smarts d6, Spirit d4, Strength d6, Vigor d8,
Skills: Climbing d4, Fighting d6, Guts d4, Notice d4, Riding d4, Shooting d6, Stealth d4, Survival d6+2, Swimming d4, Throwing d6, Tracking d4
Languages: English, French, Koline
Derived: Pace 6, Parry 5, Charisma 0, Toughness 6, Bennies 3, Status 1, Favors 0
Hindrances: Major: Cocky, Minor: Loyal, Disowned
Edges: Pugilist, Explorer
Gear: Dagger, Pistol, Winchester, Bulletsx100

Friday, September 17, 2010

Interview with Arc Dream Publishing's Shane Ivey

When I review of a product, especially one as interesting as The Keberos Club, I want to know more of the people behind it. Most game makers wear many hats and have family lives to balance with their RPG endeavors. So why do they do it? In Shane Ivey's case the answer is simple: for love of the game.

Beside adoring all things Cthulhu, Shane Ivey is a writer, editor, and webmaster. He is responsible for the official Web site of Delta Green, and helps out with The Black Seal. He spent years as a play tester and occasional writer for Pagan Publishing before launching Arc Dream Publishing with Dennis Detwiller. He founded the popular science fiction Web zine RevolutionSF, with contributors including Joe R. Lansdale, Michael Moorcock, Jhonen Vasquez, Caitlin R. Kiernan and many others. He also works as webmaster for boardgame publisher Avalanche Press.

Recently he and Dave Blewer converted ENnie nominated The Kerberos Club into the Savage Worlds system. Tales from The Savage Troll caught up with Shane shortly after Gen Con.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Quick Mapping with MapTool, TokenTool, Google, and Gimp

Recently I faced the dilemma of a time shortage and the need to produce several new maps for an upcoming game in my Space Nazis campaign. I was able to produce everything in about an hour but only because I follow a tried and true method of map and token making. This post details the source, resources, and methods used to generate these maps quickly with a minimum of effort.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Review: Space 1889 - Red Sands

Years ago I picked up a game book with a Victorian Era British soldier on the cover fighting off gold-skinned ape men with fin ears. The logo had "SPACE" drawn as riveted metal with a stylized "1889" below it. I picked up the blue book and read the back cover.

Role-Playing In A More Civilized Time. Everything Jules Verne should have written. Everything H. G. Wells could have written. Everything A. Conan Doyle thought of, but never published because it was too fantastic. Everything you need for adventures of the century! The Space 1889 role-playing game covers the exciting background of Victorian science fiction: ether fliers and Martian cloud ships, the canals and ancient civilizations of the red planet, Venus' swamps and dinosaurs, the honeycombed interior of Luna, and the thrills of inventions and inventors; the driving force behind Victoria's multi-world empire!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

AP: Galaxia's Web

Greetings Rocketeers!

In the last episode of Adventures in Z-Space, our heroes evaded or destroyed a squadron of Nazi fighters and war rockets after stealing an ancient Stargate from a hidden Nazi swamp base. Stargates are incredible devices allowing instant travel from one place in the universe to another. Queen Galaxia was displeased with the theft of the device and threatened to destroy the small Texas city they used as a base if they didn't immediately bring the Stargate to her ship, The Dominance.

And now for this week's episode

Galaxia's Web

Savage Releases

The following Savage Worlds products were released recently.

Hellfrost Encounters Book 1 from Triple Ace Games
I enjoyed my brief stint in Hellfrost. Its a crunchy setting from Triple Ace Games that reminds me greatly of 2nd edition DnD. Not in terms of the mechanics but in terms of character flexibility for DnD went over the edge in complexity. Wiggy's latest work, Hellfrost Encounters Book 1, is designed with the busy GM in mind containing 50 encounters covering a variety of situations and locales.

Each encounter fits in one or two pages and is useful for random encounters, a mini-adventure on the spur of the moment, something to break up the party’s travels, or a starting scene for an adventure of your own devising.

The Sundered Skies Companion from Triple Ace Games
Sundered Skies is a dark fantasy setting with hints of steam punk thrown in for good measure. Triple Ace Games just released The Sundered Skies Companion which expands upon the information found in the Sundered Skies Setting Book. The companion is designed to be used by players and Gamemaster’s and includes;

  • New Edges and Hindrances.
  • Detailed information on day-to-day life in the Sundered Skies, including superstitions and commonly held beliefs.
  • Advanced Dwarven munitions add even more explosive options to your arsenal of equipment.
  • Several new ship designs, including the experimental flame dancer.
  • New magic and spells, including a new goddess, The Beautiful One, and Voidomancy—where the caster draws on the void itself as a source for his spells.
  • Holy days for the gods.
  • Expanded information on the isles of the skies, including four brand new islands —The volcanic Atrium; frozen Frostrock, the desolate and tragic Remorse, and the mysterious jungle isle of Savannah
  • 16 cults and secret societies the heroes can join or oppose. Each goals and organization is fully detailed, including unique Edges available to heroes who join.
  • Over 25 new Savage Tales designed to be used alongside, and within the existing Plot Point found in Sundered Skies.
  • Sundered Gods—a guide to what direction your campaign can take once the Plot Point is completed.
Space:1889 - Red Sands from Pinnacle Entertainment Group

Since Thomas Edison first explored the worlds with the help of his marvelous ether propeller, the British Empire has grown to include the red plains and stately canals of Mars, the steaming, dinosaur-infested swamps of Venus, and even a remote outpost in the twilight zone of Mercury. In 1889, the sun truly never sets on the British Empire!

But deep inside the Empire a core of revolt festers and grows. Martian cultists cry out for the Earthlings' expulsion. Britain teeters at the edge of war with the Oenotrian Empire. In the midst of seething turmoil, the being known only as Kronos seizes the technology of a forgotten race to threaten the very future of mankind!

Space 1889: Red Sands contains everything you need to play thrilling Victorian space adventures with the Savage Worlds game system: new Edges, Hindrances, combat and construction rules for ether vessels and aerial fliers, a complete system for Inventions, copious information about the various locales, races, and mysteries of the Solar System, an Adventure Generator, dozens of Savage Tales, a bevy of alien creatures and nefarious foes, and a Plot Point campaign to take your heroes to the stars and back again.

Interface Zero from Gun Metal Games

Welcome to the Future!

Interface-Zero, is the first book in the Interface-Zero Cyberpunk Setting by Gun Metal games. IZ brings your Savage Worlds game up to speed with the dark, frenetic world of 2088.

Didja Bring Your Gun?

Within the pages of Interface-Zero, you can match wits with ancient triad lodge masters, anarchist hackers and digitalized corporate moguls. Thwart the machinations of the New Chinese Mandarinate, or the Theocratic North American Coalition. Stare down the end of your Gauss rifle at or match nano-woven steel with ganglanders, gene-spliced hybrids and borg shock troopers.

Are ya Wired?

Life is fast in 2088. If ya wanna survive, you need to be faster. Don't worry Ami, we got ya covered. Fast Furious and Fun cybernetic rules enable you to create any type of cybernetic implant or bioware modification you can imagine!

Wanna crash a corp Domain?

Interface Zero hooks you up with everything you need to hack a computer network or de-res an enemy hacker in 2088. But watch out, omae; ghost into the wrong system and you'll get fried faster than your food vat can spit out NUTRIpaste!

Interface Zero is a game without barriers; a setting where you can be artificially intelligent robots, vat-grown simulacrum, transgenic hybrids or just plain old flesh and blood humans. You can jack into the world around you and program it to suit your needs. You can implant cyberware in your body, interface with machines, fly hover craft, golemmechs, jump bikes and even hover tanks and Low Altitude Vehicles complete with the latest weapons and cutting edge VTOL or anti-gravity propulsion systems.

You can assume the roles of shadow operatives who rage against the corporate machine, private detectives cut from a noir-inspired cloth, fearless, larger than life heroes piloting mecha in a futuristic, transhumanist Japan- even survivors gutting it out in a post-apocalyptic wasteland filled with mutant horrors or AI-spawned mechanical nightmares are viable concepts in Interface Zero. Interface Zero is more than just a game setting, it is a toolbox you can use, adding or dropping whichever elements you wish to create the scifi game world that you and your friends want to play.