Category Archives: Advice

Mindjammer Kickstarter final 48 hours!

The Mindjammer Kickstarter has been pretty strong so far and has now entered itslast 48 hours. If you haven’t decided to back it yet, now’s your last chance, The project has been funded 600% over its initial goal and seventeen stretch goals have been unlocked.

For a mere £20 (appx $30) you can get the digital versions of thirteen products:

  • THE CITY PEOPLE adventure – deadly exploration beyond the Commonality frontier.
  • THE CITY PEOPLE digipack: hi-res artwork and maps for actual and virtual tabletop Mindjamming.
  • The MINDJAMMER PLAYER’S GUIDE: 160-page supplement specifically aimed at Mindjammer players.
  • MINDJAMMER TRAVELLER: 288-page supplement for playing in the Mindjammer New Commonality setting using the 2nd edition Mongoose Traveller rules.
  • The MINDJAMMER COMPANION: 48+ page supplement repurposing the new Mindjammer Traveller setting content for the Mindjammer Fate version of the game.
  • BLUE adventure – mystery and adventure on the devastated homeworld of a near-transcendent alien species.
  • BLUE digipack: hi-res artwork and maps for actual and virtual tabletops.
  • DOMINION introductory adventure.
  • MINDJAMMER novel
  • SONGS OF OLD EARTH: novel-length short-fiction collection tracing the deadly history of the Commonality and their nefarious foes, the Venu.
  • CHILDREN OF ORION: the Venu sourcebook. 80-page supplement of history, background, worlds, starmaps, and character creation guidelines.
  • The ENHANCED COMMONALITY SPACE SCHEMATIC: gorgeous map of Commonality Space, updated with new infomatics and key Commonality world and stellar body images.
  • The CORE WORLDS SOURCEBOOK: 80-page supplement detailing the heart of the ancient First Commonality: history, mysteries, worlds, and starmaps, and descriptions of cultures and Coreworlder character creation.

If you’re a fan of transhumanistic SF and the Fate Core system you definitely should check this Kickstarter out. And with the Traveller rules for Mindjammer at the horizon even fans of this old-school SF RPG could make some good use of it.

Inkarnate Entertainment Team Interview

If you’re like me, your love for RPGs goes hand in hand with a love for maps. From the first time I read The Hobbit and the Dragonlance series, to when I first opened the original Forgotten Realms boxed set, I’ve been obsessed with maps. My long running homebrewed campaign actually began with a crude map I drew and has grown from there. Through the years I’ve created maps various ways, hand drawn, electronic tools, old school hex maps, but the search for tools to create maps with never ends.

That’s how I came to discover Inkarnate Worlds. Some months ago someone shared their webpage on Facebook and when I gave it a try I was really impressed. They describe their tools on their Facebook page as follows: Inkarnate is a web app with a video-game-like interface that makes Table Top RPGs easier to play, and more fun.” Their current tool, Worlds, allows you to create truly beautiful maps through a really intuitive and easy to use interface. You can create a free account and begin creating your maps, saving them on their site, I’m really impressed!

A little googling allowed me to find out they began this journey through an unsuccessful Kickstarter Campaign, and despite that obstacle, they soldiered on and currently have this tool available. I sent the team a message and they were kind enough to answer my questions… Then I sat on this interview almost two months! Let me publicly apologize to them.

If you follow me on social media you may be aware that I underwent surgery in early October, then three family members have been sick, two hospitalized more than once. Times have been hectic to say the least, but they seem to be calming down. I’ve recuperated, the family members are doing better, and I owe it to these gentlemen to finally publish the interview. Here we go!

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So You Want to Run A Hard SciFi Campaign?

A friend of mine is currently working on a scifi campaign set into our solar system. Instead of a campaign spanning lightyears he plans to focus on our own cosmic backyard. Instead of racing through the galaxy with faster-than-light starships, the players will hobble along using more realistic technology.

If you’re planning to run a hard SF campaign, there’s one website you definitely should check out: Atomic Rockets. It’s a vast well of knowledge for scifi writers and gamemasters alike. You want to understand why reactionless drives can’t work or what project Orion was all about? Look no further! Especially if you want to keep a sense of realism to your campaign, you should make sure you make your research.

But even then you should consider your audience. If one of your players is a aerospace engineer or a physicist, you should make sure your science is rock solid, if you don’t want to get into discussions all the time. Or at least ask them if a certain level of handwaving is ok. If noone in your group has a firm grasp of physics, you can probably get away with a lot of bad science, as long as it feels plausible enough.

In most space opera games space travel is commonplace, cheap, and relatively safe (aside from random pirate attacks). This should never be the case in a hard SF campaign. While new technologies can make extended space travel more feasible, it will always be very dangerous. Space ships will probably still be very expensive, so only governments and multinational corporations own them. In addition to that interplanetary space ships will probably be pretty huge while the living compartments are rather small and very cramped.

Again, I can’t recommend Atomic Rockets enough at this point. The site is full of good information on realistic space flight, which can be sobering at times, but also very inspiring. It cites from a lot of Science Fiction books and movies, so you’ll easily find more sources for inspiration.

If you don’t want into too much detail regarding space flight, I advise using torchships. Torchships are space craft with high thrust and high acceleration, often using fusion reactors or even matter-antimatter-reactions as power sources. With a reasonably high acceleration, space travel becomes much easier. Instead of complex navigation you basically just “point and shoot”. As Atomic Rockets puts it, torchships are “unobtanium”, impossible to build at the moment, but plausible.

A torchship capable of constant acceleration of 1g or above can reach Mars in about 2 to 3 days, but reaching another solar system is still a totally different ballpark. But if you don’t mind putting your crew into the freezer for 6 years even trips to Alpha Centauri are possible.

So what are you’re thoughts on creating hard SF campaign? Have you ever done so? What experiences can you share? Please comment below!