Sean's Picks of the Week (0710-0714) - Take to the Stars Week!
  • Sean's Picks of the Week (0717-0721) - ENnie...

    With the ENnie Awards coming up at Gen Con soon, and voting fully underway, I thought another look at the various nominations was in order. So, once again, I've chosen to delve into certain categories and pick something to highlight while...

    Read More

    D&D's Lead Slightly Increases On Roll20 &...

    Industry stats are a bit like buses - you wait ages for one, and then two come along at once. I covered Fantasy Grounds' latest stats a few days ago, and now Roll20 has weighed in. The two data sets usually line up reasonably well at the top end (taking players as the metric,...

    Read More

    Warhammer FRPG 2nd Edition Books return to PDF...

    Cubicle 7 Entertainment have just made available the range of Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 2nd Edition PDFs through Drivethrurpg and...

    Read More

    Tactics And Combat In Fantasy RPGs

    Think of the old days of FRPGs when parties bumbled into encounters, opening doors without preparation or scouting. Think of how few parties actually took prisoners in order to gather information! And how few parties ran away occasionally rather than engage in a fight that had nothing to do with their mission and might get them killed. And...

    Read More
  • Sean's Picks of the Week (0710-0714) - Take to the Stars Week!


    Between the appearance of randomly generated (and often dead) characters from the fun & cheeky original Traveller web-based randomizer and the general release of the new Star Trek game, it seemed like this would be a good week to Take to the Stars! Though not one of this Picks this week, one should not forget our fine host's most excellent N.E.W. as another option for hitting the spaceways.


    TRAVELLER

    In honor of this seriously fun trip in the wayback machine, I’m declaring this Take to the Stars Week, a celebration of space-faring sci-fi RPG products. Of course, I must open with this update of the very classic that fun random generator pays homage to. This is, friends, the Great Grandfather of all interstellar science-fiction games.

    This is Free Trader Beowulf, calling anyone…
    Mayday, Mayday…We are under attack…
    Main drive is gone…Turret number one not responding…
    Mayday…Losing cabin pressure fast calling anyone…
    Please help…This is Free Trader Beowulf…

    …Mayday…

    A brand new edition of Traveller is now available – based on the original but tweaked, finessed and updated through a massive months-long beta playtest by you, the players!

    Traveller is a science fiction roleplaying game of bold explorers and brave adventurers. The Traveller Core Rulebook contains everything you need to create one of these adventurers and begin exploring the galaxy.

    Spaceports, ancient civilisations, air/rafts, cold steel blades, laser carbines, far distant worlds, and exotic alien beasts – this is the futuristic universe of Traveller, the original and classic science fiction roleplaying game.

    Come visit the future.



    ERA: THE CONSORTIUM

    Yesterday, for Take to the Stars Week, I Picked something that represents the all-time classic of sci-fi gaming. Today, I want to show you something newer (but clearly inspired by the foundations laid by Traveller). What’s intriguing about this RPG is the ability to play at any time during a 500 year span of time. The premise is strong, and it looks like a really interesting set of mechanics, too.

    Humanity has left Earth over a thousand years behind, landing on a new planet and founding a new government. The Consortium is an inspiring ideal – three star systems teaming with life and four species living and working together. As time passes, however, cracks are showing in the Humanity-led society and those less scrupulous have taken power.

    Enter at any point in 500 years of playable story, following the Consortium’s growth from a small colony to a multi-system economic and political establishment. Explore new worlds and encounter alien races, direct or fight in battles which span a solar system and will decide the future of the Consortium or join a Resistance movement against the government to save or destroy billions of lives!

    What you decide will define the fate of the Consortium…

    If you’d like to know more about the setting, please check out our website’s Backstory Page.

    There are 8 released expansions for this book, giving the rules and background for psionics, a fifth alien race, the chance to play as secret agents, survival horror rules and much more! You can grab them right here!

    ————————————————————————————————

    The Era d10 ruleset is designed to allow you to experience this universe in a way that is as unobtrusive as possible without being misrepresentative. By choosing your skills carefully, your character can dominate in any of 5 forms of combat, talk their way out of any situation or protect their teammates from harm.

    The rules could be described as “A Success-counting dice pool system where you roll Attribute + Skill in d10s and the difficulty of the task determines which numbers count as Successes.”

    In case that was a bit too brief or jargony, here’s a bit more detail:

    The system is based around multiple dice – the more skilled you are, the more dice you have – and a variable goal based on activity difficulty.

    Using an Attribute and Skill system, which each define their own areas of influence, you roll your dice depending on what you’re attempting – whether Dexterity + Engineering for a precision piece of work, Intelligence + Engineering for a more theoretical problem or Luck + Engineering for a complete long shot, you’ll be able to adapt to your circumstances and focus on your strengths.

    Although you roll more dice the more skilled you are, the number you are attempting to reach varies depending on the difficulty of the action – if shooting someone in clear conditions, the GM would ask for a 7. If someone was laying a mine, more likely a 6. Firing over your shoulder at someone 30 metres away, while crouching behind a low wall would definitely be a 10!

    If you would like to try the rules, please see our Quickstart Pack!



    THE LAST PARSEC

    We continue Take to the Stars Week with the space-exploration-and-adventure setting from Pinnacle that Shane Hensley says was, in great part, inspired by the classic space opera RPG Star Frontiers. To get the most use out of this, you’ll need both the Savage Worlds (still only $10) core rules and the Science Fiction Companion (which, by themselves, are indispensable to anyone interested in Savage Worlds).

    FROM THE KNOWN WORLDS …

    Take a tour of Sol’s galactic neighborhood, where hundreds of slower-than-light missions into unknown reaches resulted in a far-flung assortment of human worlds, and discovery of alien civilizations as well. Then join JumpCorp’s interstellar exploration teams as they travel to the limits of Known Space and beyond…

    … TO THE LAST PARSEC!

    This book contains background and Setting Rules to create action-packed scifi adventures in The Last Parsec. Learn about the Known Worlds, their sapient races, JumpCorp operational details, and a dazzling assortment of galactic personalities—plus new gear, vehicles, and even an adventure generator you can use to inspire your own journeys into deep space!

    *** About The Last Parsec ***

    Faster-than-light travel has finally allowed humanity to spread beyond its lonely corner of the Milky Way. In the depths of space these explorers found millions of star systems, strange planets, and exotic alien races. Centuries later, they form the Known Worlds, a vital region of trade and technology where empires grow and business thrives.

    It is an unparalleled age. Cutting edge science has opened limitless frontiers of space and consciousness, and has even begun to hint at the mysteries of the universe itself. But to find them, one must travel beyond the familiar, to the last parsecs of reality.

    This Primer paves the way for an expanded core book to come!

    The Last Parsec is a science fiction roleplaying game of exploration and adventure. It requires the Savage Worlds core rules and the Savage Worlds Science Fiction Companion to play.



    UNCHARTED WORLDS: FAR BEYOND HUMANITY

    Onward through Take to the Stars Week with a supplement for the Apocalypse World Engine-driven Uncharted Worlds. This adds a number of elements to your space opera game, and is designed to do so in a modular fashion so as to serve whatever needs the GM and players want.

    Beyond the worlds we know lies a universe of wonder and terror. Beyond the bounds of mere humanity lies the perfection of flesh and soul.

    Far Beyond Humanity is an expansion of the Uncharted Worlds space opera roleplaying game. It adds alien societies, cybernetics, psionics and much more to the core rules.

    The elements in the book are designed to be picked and mixed to customize a campaign setting. Any genre of sci fi can be turned into a campaign with FBH, from intense xeno-politics, to sci fi horror. From dystopian cyberscapes, to giant robot battles against monstrous invaders.

    Pick up Far Beyond Humanity, and expand the possibilities of your Uncharted Worlds campaigns beyond the worlds we know.



    STAR TREK ADVENTURES

    It seems only fitting to close out Take to the Stars Week with the game that goes “where no one has gone before,” Modiphius’ take on a setting near-and-dear to sci-fi-fan hearts the world over. Many attempts have been made to craft a playable experience in the Star Trek universe, with various levels of success. This time around, a rather all-star cast of writers and designers (including folks involved in previous versions) hopes the first Star Trek RPG in over a decade is the crowning effort. The fact that it’s set in the era defined by The Next Generation, Voyager, and Deep Space Nine will make many, many fans happy.

    Welcome to your new assignment, Captain. Your continuing mission, to explore strange new worlds, seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no one has gone before…

    Star Trek Adventures takes you to the Final Frontier of the Galaxy, where new discoveries await keen explorers of Starfleet. Your duties may take you to the edges of known space, or to Federation colonies in need, to the borders of neighbouring galactic powers or into the eye of interstellar phenomena. Your ship and your crew epitomise the best Starfleet and the United Federation of Planets has to offer, and you are needed more than ever.

    A new threat looms from across the Gamma Quadrant, as it is confirmed by Commander Sisko and his crew that the Dominion, led by the Founders, represent a significant threat to the Alpha Quadrant. Tension is already high in the region of Bajor and Deep Space 9, as the Maquis continue to act against the Cardassian-Federation peace treaty, with Captain Janeway and the crew of the U.S.S. Voyager preparing for their mission in the Badlands. It is a volatile time for the Federation and new crews have never been in higher demand.

    • Create your own Star Trek stories of discovery and adventure on the Final Frontier with 368 pages of content. Full colour PDF.

    • Complete 2d20 game system from Modiphius Entertainment adapted for Star Trek Adventures, used in Mutant Chronicles, Conan: Adventures in an Age Undreamed Of, John Carter of Mars and the Infinity RPG.

    • An extensive exploration of the United Federation of Planets and its galactic neighbours in the Alpha, Beta and Gamma Quadrants.

    • Guidelines for Gamemasters old and new, on how to run an adventure of exploration and discovery for the crew of a Federation starship.

    • A full catalogue of aliens and antagonists including Klingons, Romulans, Cardassians, the Borg and the Dominion.

    • Brought to you by a team of expert Star Trek writers including writers from previous editions of Star Trek roleplaying games and other gaming talent.

    • Personal logs and intercepted communications by Starfleet Intelligence provide a new perspective on Star Trek and its events.


    -----
    And there's our week of space-faring adventure! I think the Theme Week approach is going pretty well so far, but I'd be interested to know what you think of it. Comment away!

    Meanwhile, as you're reading this, I am probably trying to stay as far indoors as possible while being a Guest of Honor at Phoenix, AZ's Crit Hit! I'm running a session of Savage Rifts, one of Freedom Squadron, and a special session of a Super Secret Totally Awesome Game.

    Hope you're having a great weekend, whatever you're up to!

    The Adventure Continues!

    Note that I use affiliate links in all my posts as a way to generate additional revenue for my efforts; I make my Picks and other article choices, however, based on the desire to share a wide variety of things with you. Thank you for your support.

    Sean Patrick Fannon
    Writer & Game Designer: Shaintar, Star Wars, Savage Rifts, much more
    Please check out my Patreon and get involved directly with my next projects!
    Comments 2 Comments
    1. Anthony Amenta's Avatar
      Anthony Amenta -
      Fantastic coverage, many thanks!
    1. Desh-Rae-Halra's Avatar
      Desh-Rae-Halra -
      I love The Last Parsec. Their Plot Point campaigns for it are equally as good!
    Comments Leave Comment