Monday, May 30, 2011

Some Rogue Space Characters

While ships are still on the launch pad, over at Mike's Amazing RPG Fun Pad, Mike's created some great Rogue Space characters!  You can fire them up as NPC's in your own adventures!  Great work can't wait to see what he does next!

Back for repairs...

Well I thought for sure I'd have the first supplement done this weekend, but no luck.  Not for trying, but it just did not fit the rest of Rogue Space.  So back to the drawing board to make it short, simple, playable, and flexible.  I won't put a time line out there yet because I need to overhaul what I have.  As work starts again tomorrow, I hope maybe in the next week or two to have it up and done.  Sorry for the delay and thanks for your patience.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Double Barreled Fun: BUCKSHOT Wild West RPG!

I just released my latest 8 page RPG: BUCKSHOT! I played Boot Hill as a kid, own Aces and Eights, and of course loved Stuart Robertson's Weird West.  In their own way each has been an inspiration.

Mosey on over and check it out-heck mash it up with Rogue Space and you get Firefly? or maybe Cowboy BeBop?

Don;t worry, I still plan on launching space ships this weekend, in the meantime I hope you will check out Buckshot!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Next for Rogue Space

Thanks to those who took time to vote for what comes next!  Starships will be the next supplement followed by Aliens and Droids.  I have though after these, perhaps an optional or idea generating setting book or an instant galaxy maker sort of chart book might be helpful?  Ground vehicles as well should be in there somewhere along with more equipment.

The benefit of this format is brevity.  If I can't fit something into roughly 8 pages I have to edit, cut, and redesign to make it work in that space.  It's a good exercise and I hope as each section is done it will compile into one brief complete game.

Work on Starships will start this week, and I hope to publish it this weekend along with Buckshot my Wild West RPG...

Friday, May 20, 2011

Rogue Space supplements: Sneak Peeks!

Just a few days left to vote and right now we have a tie between a star ship supplement or an aliens and droids supplement.  So in the interest of provoking more votes to break the deadlock and to re-affirm (or create fear) for those who have kindly already voted here is a sneak peak of both:

Star Ship preview
Star ships are based on the acronym: S.H.I.P.S.  which stands for: Shields, Howitzers, Interiors, Propulsion and Structure.

Shields is damage your vessel can take before hitting internal systems
Howitzers represents weapon systems
Interiors represent science labs, cargo space, living quarters, sensors, etc.
Propulsion is movement and speed
Structure gives you your base points to build with and serves as a notation for total ship size.

Aliens and Droids preview
Aliens are classified by behaviors and relative expected reaction.  This is summarized by the acronym H.A.I.K.U. representing-Humanoid, Animal, Insect, Known, Unknown

Humanoid-they look different but in general react and act like humans:  Klingoids, Vulcats, vookies are all humanoid
Animals-they react like animals on earth concerned with basics of life like lizards, horse and bears.
Insect-they are job based with  specialized breeding/build patterns to create specific job based offspring-like bees, ants, or xenomorphs, and droids
Known- is kind of a catch all for a behavior pattern that is somewhat known but different and thus far unclassified.-like a giant space Amoeba-you know its an amoeba, but its flying in space somehow so who knows what it will do.
Unknown would be like Ancient Aliens-you have no idea how they function, will react, nor why, its a complete mystery

Okay there is your food for thought for the weekend, we will all see the results on Monday.  As they say in Chicago-vote early, vote often!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Rogue Space ALIEN?

 Gonster over at Attack Plan R did a quick write up of the xenomorph from Aliens and its posted.  I am really impressed with the write up, and the minimal space it took to write it up.  That's a gold star! Give it a look, as he has some great write-ups for Weird West as well!

If you are doing something with Rogue Space (besides recycling it), let me know and I'll add your blog to the 8 page Astronaut links.  Also there are a few days left to vote for what comes next for ROGUE SPACE, so if your reading, before clicking away-click and vote, it matters!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Rogue Space direction?

As promised earlier today a new poll is up as to what and where to focus next for Rogue Space RPG.  The poll is up for a week so that should give you ample chance to read the basics rules and decide.  I appreciate your feed back and interest!

Rogue Space RPG Questions answered-kind of...

@Robert brought up number of relevant questions and criticism in a kind post yesterday evening.  I thought maybe these questions might be of broader interest so rather than hide them in a post I thought I’d take time to respond widely.

Technician-Robert was not sure the trade off was okay for low HP but more brain ability would be worthwhile.  I can understand that, but I was thinking of the trade off a person makes for brain power vs. brawn as plays into the Archetype.  You are sacrificing one for the other and the rules (as stand now) reflect that.  I see the technician as a Scotty, Spock, or Bones McCoy.  I don’t think of any of these guys as helpless or unable to fight, but they developed their brains to try to avoid that problem and their fields of pursuit took them out of the direction that would have lead to a more combat centric or physical pursuit.  A lot revolves around the referee frankly, and if his campaign is combat-centric then yes these guys are going to have to be well protected.  My goal is to make everyone equal in importance, that’s the referee’s job based on his campaign and playstyle.

Psionics-Robert brings up the (too?) open structure nature of Psionics being widely open to  interpretation and possibly needing more ruling.  Part of the openness is a limit of the rule books size, but part of it is my own thoughts on rules.  The structure is there, but its open to experimentation.  The Psi says what he would like to do, and the referee rules by giving a target number or juicing a Competitive Test roll.

Let’s take a look at Pyrokenisis.   A player trying to light dry tinder should have an easy target number ideally.  What about lighting off a ship’s magazine?  The weapons are filled with propellants so a spark in the right weapon should do it.  Fine, but now let’s look at the situation possibilities: Is the Psi on the same ship? Is the Psi in the same room?  Is he in a building on planet?  Or is he on the other side of the planet?  Is the Psi wounded? Has he been up for 36 hours straight? Has he used his psi power once this week or multiple times today?  Now let’s say an enemy Psi tries the same thing to the player’s ship…Okay now I’ll ask why make (or try to make) rules for all of that?  I’d rather leave it open for player and referee to work out the limits as best serves their ideal, not mine.  No worries, I have ideas on a Psi Stress chart modifier if people want/need it so I do have a bullpen answer.

Simple rules for things like aliens and droids could be next, star-ships seems to me like a logical next step, but maybe more fleshing out of Psi stuff is better-or even necessary.  I will put up a poll for you to voice your opinion tonight.

And for those who read this far, a sneak peak at a similar take on my Western Rpg BUCKSHOT-the attributes for a character spell out F.I.G.H.T.  

Rogue Space Refit

Damn, I hate when the most obvious thing hits you in the middle of sleep like a ton of bricks.  In a nutshell the Letter nomenclature for defense and damage is a carry over from Roguish RPG.  It helps not having 2d6 or 1d6+2 written out behind everything... I mean maybe it does, that's still in the test phase.

Any way I obviously carried it over  for Rogue Space but I forgot to ask my self my own favorite question...WHY?!  Sigh, clearly there is no point with fixed damage amounts, an the letter meaning something different depending on damage or protection!  What a mess.  Anyway its 5am here, and I have to fix it...before going to work or it will bother me all day.  Solution?  Well I uploaded it as v2.  The old rulebook files are gone replaced with v2. I can't say it's perfect as an honest re-write is really needed--BUT it is both clear, and playable.  As Han Solo would say, "C'mon baby hold together..."

Sorry for any needless confusion, time to launch!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Rogue Space RPG supplement #1

Who are these Rogue Spacers?  I don't know-but you can tell me when you create them!  These are the first wave of guys on the top of the Rogue Space Character sheets.  Taking a bit more of my work on Roguish RPG, I made a version of bookmark sheets for you to use.  Look for the PDF download in the Rogue Space Sorties to your right.

We're off to outer space...Rogue Space is go for lift off!

I can't think of a better "theme" for Rogue Space RPG than lifting from the greatest of Sci-Fi cartoons Star Blazers!  It's theme song is perfect and the cartoon is a big influence in how I view and think about Sci-Fi RPG's.

One choice I made is to use Three Archetypes in Rogue Space: Warrior, Rogue, and Technician.  Note, those are Archetypes-NOT classes.  I do not know if it will translate to everyone but I thought  about people at my work and how many have the same title (class) who they are and how they react problems can really be defined by one of these archetypes broadly.  So Rather than have a Noble/ Entertainer multi-class, or Jump Pilot/ Politician you can just call yourself that if it helps.

Instead your attributes kind of determine how good you will be at doing something regardless of your "class." Instead your Archetype for dealing with challenges will have a stronger influence.  So if you are a noble with a "warrior" Archetype you will be more prone to answer challenges with death stars, not diplomacy.  Or if you are an entertainer with a Technician" archetype, you will probably be overly concerned with lighting, sounds checks, stage design, etc as the major part of your performance.  Is it splitting hairs? You can decide if I was successful or not.

Off to your right you will see a Rogue Space Sorties it to get to the downloads section.  The Basic rules are up as both a Pocket Mod and standard page size so download, read them, and please let me know what you think.  Your reaction, or failure to do so will have a major influence on if this is a solo shot, or becomes a full space program.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Stay on target...

A quick update on Rogue Space...I am done with the basic rules!  8 pages, one of those is a cover, and as a concept it really is kind of cool.  Obviously there is a lot of room for more...but in comparison to Weird West RPG and its set up, I think I managed to put more in.  Clearly some things had to be sacrificed to hit the page count, and having to use a large (16pt) font so that it is visible in pocket mod format eats up even more space.  As is though, I think it gets across the skeleton of a game and its concepts.

Now comes some light editing and then the launch....tomorrow!  I have a plan in mind and frankly the rocket ship this became from late night idea to basic rules outline overnight is kind of exciting.  I guess it only seems overnight as it builds upon previous stuff I have done and will do.

So I am going to make the basic rules a free download, get feedback and then we will see what, if anything, comes next.

In the meantime, keep calm and stay on target...

I hope you will check back tomorrow..t-minus 10 hours to launch...

Friday, May 13, 2011

Rogue Space...inspirations

Listen; there's a hell of a good universe next door: let's go.
--e.e. cummings

I am not sure if it started with Space, I think it goes back further to ALIEN...a small group exploring a derelict spaceship.  Sure its obviously a technically advanced setting but the act itself is as old as humanity itself...exploring the unknown.  I think that's what makes the best of sci-fi resonate: the truth it represents and shows to us, just in a different wrapper.  Star Wars (at leas EP: 4) and really one could say the whole trilogy is a big play on the Arthurian myths.  Luke is Arthur, Ben is Merlin, Vader is Mordred, and Leia is a different spin on Morganna...yada, yada, yada.  Gene Roddenberry with Star Trek attempted to tackle social space.

So how does any of this relate to the idea of Rogue Space RPG? well I think it may only tangentially.  I know and like a number of sci-fi RPG's...but none of them held the same dungeon delving mystery and exploration that D&D did.  I am not sure if it was us, or all the extraneous stuff I'll term chrome in most sci-fi rpg's.  I didn't want to worry about low or high gravity, batteries, computer programs, cybernetics, bionics, star ship construction, and a whole host of other details that seem to be mandatory parts of sci-fi games.  Okay, so Star Frontiers should be right up my alley...but the flying monkeys, shmoos, insectoids, snake leach aliens felt...well lame.  They took the juice right out of the game like some aliens did in Star Trek.

It's tough because races like Klingons, Vulcans, Romulans etc. all seem plausible..but Ferengi? For whatever reason not so much...yet the Alien and even the queen in Aliens does work?  I can't quite put my finger on why, but for whatever reason that's just the way it is for me.

Okay so getting back to that whole human experience "exploration" theme. In fantasy RPG's this is such a given and natural part of the playing experience that its part of almost every rulebook-random tables setting up locations to explore.  A dungeon, a ruin, a monastery...maybe a castle, or village or town, but that get a lot harder to do.  So scale plays a big part in the exploration theme and the potential burden a referee will experience.  populating a 30 room dungeon takes work, a village and shops a lot more, a city? whew that is a ton of work!!

Okay if a city is about a whole damn planet,  eco systems, flora, fauna, gravity tides, weather patterns cities, defenses, cultures, politics, I mean HOLY CRAP!  Okay that was easy?  So how about a freaking solar system, no wait, a full on star sector!  In space no one may hear you scream...but brother you have every reason to be hollering!  It seemed overwhelming in the sense that the details that go into making a dungeon are not possibly for a whole damn planet.  So you short change that and you are left with kind of lame half-assed game.  Plus the expectation (given our own instant on demand computer usage and knowledge) grows more exponential in the future.  If I can download blue prints of the Kremlin and know what the weather will be like from satellite images in Hong much more should players know?  If satellites in space can read license plates now...why can't character 500 years from now do more?  How do you plan for all of that in your adventure over a planet...or solar system?

So I think with Rogue Space I am going to keep everything small, focus on exploration and discovering what is out there in the inky vast darkness.  Much like any fantasy RPG, Rogue Space assumes players are on the frontiers, their ship is their refuge, and danger is should be expected anytime they leave it.  I am not sure how...or if...I'll really answer any of my own concerns, but it will be a game I'd like to play and will fit my own ideas of what makes neat sci-fi from Space hulk, to Aliens, and hopefully beyond.