Category Archives: RPG tools

Get to know your players! Sci-Fi Questionnaire

Sci-Fi checklistKeeping with the theme of Michael’s last post about campaign design, I would like to share a little something I created for my upcoming sci-fi game. As I’m ramping up for my the much posted about science fiction game, Wanderers of the Outlands (click on that link to read the background) I’ve created a questionnaire to get some feedback from my players about their likes and expectations.

I’ve written about questionnaires before, specifically the questionnaire for my supers game. I know my players make fun of my handouts (and my Power Points), but they have proven invaluable when preparing campaigns and creating adventures. So without further ado, here is a Sample Sci-Fi Questionnaire. You can also click here to get the file in WORD format.

I hope you  like it and find it useful! Looking forward to you feedback.


Pulp-O-Mizer Cover Image I am pretty sure some of you have already heard of Pulp-O-Mizer, the customizable pulp magazine cover generator. Up until now I haven’t played around with it that much, but for this post I gave it another look.

In a nutshell it’s a web application that allows you to create pulp magazine covers. So what could you use these for? I’ve noticed that several RPG-related blogs actually use these covers on their blogs.

If you are currently running a pulp RPG you could actually use it to create custom covers for your adventures. Imagine that you want to run a new adventure called “The Death Ray of the Magnificent Brain Thieves”(1). Wouldn’t it be cool if you could give your players the adventure’s title as a pulp magazine cover handout?

Regardless of how you intend to use the covers, it’s definitely fun to play around with the Pulp-O-Mizer. If you have a few minutes to spare, check it out! That’s an order! 😉


1) This title has been created with the Pulp Sci-Fi Title-O-Tron, another great web app on the same site.

Preparing for the Mass Effect game (Part 1)

Usually I don’t do much in the way of preparation and rely on my improvisation skills. But with the upcoming Mass Effect game I want to stray from my usual path. The Mass Effect computer game has a strong background setting and interesting characters, but also great visuals. To make good use of the game’s visuals I plan to rely on player handouts a lot. Why describe the interiors of the characters’ spaceship when you can show them images and a deckplan? Instead of describing what a NPC looks like you can easily provide them with an image. Being able to show the players maps of the planets they explore definitely helps with immersion into the game world and is fun. There’s also the added benefit that I finally can put tools like ProFantasy’s Campaign Cartographer 3 (plus the Cosmographer 3 addon) and Fractal Terrains to good use.

Today I had the idea to use TCG-like cards as handouts for my players. I could probably even create cards that not only include an image of the NPC/location/item/etc. but also include the game stats as well. While it would be possible to create such cards in a graphics or DTP program, I’ve decided to use the free Magic Set Creator. The MSE is pretty easy to use and is almost perfectly suited for what I had in mind. Here are a few cards I created earlier:

Ashley Williams Omega_ C-Sec Customs Officer

The first two cards are pretty simple. They provide the players with an image of the NPC or location respectively and a few lines of background information. The third card is an attempt to include all the stats needed to use the NPC in play. While I managed to squeeze everything onto the card, the result is not that great. But overall I like the idea of using TCG-style cards as player handouts. They are easily created and help to bring Mass Effect’s visuals to the gaming table.

What are your thoughts on my idea? Do you think it’s worth the effort? As always I am very interested in reading your comments. Feel free to post your ideas, criticism and advice in the comments below!