All posts by Stargazer

Michael Wolf is a German games designer and enthusiast best known for his English language role-playing games blog, Stargazer's World, and for creating the free rules-light medieval fantasy adventure game Warrior, Rogue & Mage. He has also worked as an English translator on the German-language Dungeonslayers role-playing game and was part of its editorial team.

In addition to his work on Warrior, Rogue & Mage and Dungeonslayers, he has created several self-published games and also performed layout services and published other independent role-playing games such as A Wanderer's Romance, Badass, and the Wyrm System derivative Resolute, Adventurer & Genius, all released through his imprint Stargazer Games.

Professionally, he works as a video technician and information technologies specialist. Stargazer's World was started by Michael in August 2008.

Interview: Contact RPG

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Recently I wrote about the Contact RPG Kickstarter, which unfortunately was unsuccessful. After doing the review of the PDF version I also asked Robert Hamberger, author of Contact, to do an interview for the blog. He agreed and answered the questions I’ve sent him in record time, but due to some mistake on my behalf, I didn’t get the email until today. But instead of lamenting the mistakes made in the past, let’s have a look at what Robert has to say…

Stargazer: Robert, could you please introduce yourself to our readers? Who is the guy who wrote Contact when he’s not designing roleplaying games?

Robert: Hi, Michael. I’m a 37-year old gaming aficionado, male, pasty-white, probably around 19th level (character class: nerd), and married to a wonderful girl with similar inclinations. Science fiction has been and always will be my favorite genre of literature and film, and I have been making up stories for as long as I can remember. When I’m not creating new content for my books, I work in a rehabilitation clinic as a doctor. Aside from that, I lead a quiet life in a small town in the vicinity of Cologne in Germany, where the air is clean and everything is more laid back than in the big cities. It helps focusing on the more important things in life, such as writing games.

Stargazer: Please tell us about your introduction to RPGs. What was the first pen & paper RPG you played?

Robert: Oh, I don’t think I can fully remember, as I tried out many games in the beginning. I think it was something someone else came up with in high school, an original setting with minimalistic rules. I have flashbacks of space pirates and violence in a dark universe. I also created a primitive RPG of my own back then, which had a post-apocalyptic theme with lots of hot warrior women in it. Look, we were only 17! Soon after that, Shadowrun came up, which is very likely to have influenced the style of games I like today. We played countless sessions of Shadowrun, third Edition, in my old gaming group. It was fun while it lasted.

Continue reading Interview: Contact RPG

Lazy Tuesday Video Post: Nuka Break

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IMG_4983As some of you may be aware of, I am a huge Fallout fan. I think picked up the first game in the series shortly after it came out and I was immediately hooked. I have tried running pen & paper games in the Fallout universe several times, and right now I am working on a new project: writing my own variant of the SPECIAL system.

In the meantime let me share my favorite Fallout fan movies/series with you: NUKA BREAK!

Check out the web series and the movie “Red Star” on Wayside Creation’s YouTube channel. You won’t be disappointed!

A Look at the Cepheus Engine

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My current series of Traveller-related posts would not be complete without having a look at the Cepheus Engine SRD. Many people have called “Traveller with the serial numbers filed off” and from what I’ve seen this is pretty close to the truth. The Cepheus Engine was obviously born out of necessity. But let’s start at the beginning.

Mongoose, Traveller and the OGL
When Mongoose got the license to produce a new edition of the venerable scifi RPG Traveller they did something unexpected: they released the game under WotC’s Open Game License. There was also a Traveller Logo License, which allowed third party publishers to claim compatibility to Mongoose’s Traveller system. I guess Mongoose went that route in the hopes that many publishers would jump onto the bandwagon and produce settings for Traveller, which would all need their core rulebooks.

Then earlier this year, they released a new edition of Traveller and nixed the Traveller Logo License. This means that you can still use the OGL, but you can’t claim compatibility anymore. If you ever read something like “compatible with the 2d6 SF OGL game”, then it means it is probably compatible to MgT 1st Edition.
As you can imagine a lot of small publishers who have created Traveller supplements were not happy about this change.

Continue reading A Look at the Cepheus Engine