Category Archives: Fluff/Inspiration

In My Traveller Universe

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The work on my version of the Traveller universe continues. Initially I planned to create a subsector from scratch and place it at the edges of an empire which was in the process of falling apart, but that turned out too much work. Why reinvent the wheel, when I can just use the Third Imperium and tweak it to my whims?

The Spinward Marches are IMHO a perfect place to set a classic Traveller game (regardless of which era and ruleset you choose) and I already own several sourcebooks about this region of space. In order to start small, I decided to focus on a single subsector first. I can always expand the scope of my campaign later if needed.

The Regina subsector makes a great starting place, since a lot of classic Traveller adventure modules are set there, BUT I wanted to explore a region I wasn’t really familiar with. Eventually I stumbled upon the District 268 subsector. The Imperial influence is minimal and many of its worlds are so close together, that even a Jump-1 ship can easily travel through the subsector. In other worlds: a perfect place for adventurers.

At the moment I favor starting the campaign during the civil war shortly after the First Frontier War. The Imperium is busy fighting with itself, while worlds like Trexalon work towards keeping Imperial influence out of the sector. Several factions will use the power vacuum to further their own agendas. Piracy becomes more common and smaller worlds struggle to survive. Since this is before the establishment of the X-Boat network, people don’t really know what’s going on, and rumors are abound…

Rules-wise I’ve settled on the Cepheus Engine. Why? Mostly because I want to try out how well it works at the game table. It’s also available for free, so I can share the rules with my players without breaking international copyright law which is another plus.

The campaign itself will probably follow the “classic” Traveller campaign. The player characters will be freelancers with a ship, lofty goals, and (since I know my players) low impulse control. The first session or two will be about how they acquire a ship. After that they are pretty much on their own. Do they want to do some trading? Missions for various patrons? Explore strange alien ruins (every good space opera game needs lots of those)?

At the moment I plan to use aliens sparingly (to keep them interesting). Most NPCs they encounter will probably be human. I might throw in a few Vargr for good measure (and because I have a soft spot for these guys). My Traveller universe will be way more humancentric than the OTU. I don’t want every spaceport bar feel like the cantina from Star Wars.

This week we will probably start with character creation and I might run an introductory adventure, so that the players can get their feet wet. Going full sandbox with a group of first-time Traveller players is probably not a good idea. And don’t forget, even though Traveller was the first RPG I ever bought (back in the early 90s), I didn’t run it that often (only once or twice), so I am pretty much a newbie myself, when it comes to Traveller.

Happy New Year … and I got Darkest Dungeons in my White Box

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Wow. That title is a mouthful, but let’s not digress and get to the matter at hand! At first I want to wish all the readers of Stargazer’s World and all current and former team members a great year 2017! May it be better than the last one. For me 2016 started with the death of my grandma, who was very close to me and went on with a lot of disappointments and hard times. One the plus side I finally moved together with my girlfriend which I eventually married!

On the roleplaying games front things have been hit or miss too. I had some great sessions during the year, but I also burned out on some games repeatedly. Luckily the year ended with a success!

Yesterday night I ran a game of White Box for a group of friends while celebrating New Year’s Eve. I wanted to keep things simple, so I chose Charlie Mason’s excellent White Box RPG for the rules and created a set of pregen characters inspired by the awesome Darkest Dungeons computer game. I wish I could say this was my original idea, but instead someone else had basically done the same for Lamentations of the Flame Princess before. I stumbled upon the idea on reddit a while back.

For some reason I am really thrilled by the idea of running a mega-dungeon at the moment (feel free to recommend cool megadungeon products in the comments below), so I started working on my own. Ok, I haven’t progressed that far yet, but at least I had enough material to run my players to the first level of said dungeon.

The characters I created were already 3rd level and had a slightly higher AC than usual (I used LotFP’s starting AC of 12) and gave them some pretty cool and unique abilities and item. The game was not meant as a tough challenge but more like a fun romp through a dungeon while eating, drinking and being merry.

My players and I enjoyed the game very much and we already scheduled a new session where we want to explore the rest of the caves and dungeons. In the long run, I want to create my own mega-dungeon or use a preexisting one and run through it using the awesome Fantastic Heroes & Witchery which my friend Marcus recently introduced to me!

Update: I just uploaded the pregen characters to the blog for your perusal. Please note that these characters are heavily houseruled and far from balanced. They are roughly based on the classes in the White Box game mentioned above, but changed to suit the inspirational material and my tastes. You can check the PDF out here.

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!