Category Archives: Fluff/Inspiration

Wanderers of the Outlands, a sci-fi setting!

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Milky_Way_GalaxyAlmost two years ago I wrote my first post about a sci-fi setting I had in mind. I plan ahead for my campaign so I knew I wanted to run some sci-fi and began to put together some ideas about what to run. I posted a first draft here in the blog, talked with my players, the majority was excited about the prospect, listened to the comments the first time around, and have been tinkering with it ever since.

In the meantime I wrote about designing aliens (and some wonderful readers offered to help with the design, I never took you up on it because just what the aliens looked like had not really solidified in my mind, but if the offer is still good I’d love to work with any artist willing to help!) and wrote the end of the campaign for a ConCurrent game I ran, both at a Geeknic and online during the con (the links to part 1 and part 2).

So coming back full circle, here is the finished background to my sci-fi game. I already discussed it with my players, and they seem to be on board. Some elements remain undeveloped, but that is a purposeful decision because my players have agreed to develop specific elements of the campaign. I love that idea and look forward to their input.

So, without further ado, Wanderers of the Outlands! (I’ll be back after the background to discuss some specifics of the campaign…)

SWN: Jumpstarting my Creativity

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Stars Without Numbers Mongoose CoverFor the last few weeks I really struggled getting anything done. I don’t know what caused it – perhaps it’s this long, cold and dark winter – but my mental health issues have been more severe lately. At this moment I am slowly starting to feel better. The bouts of anxiety I get from time to time are fewer and further between, but I still have troubles when it comes to creativity.

But just today I found a good way to jumpstart my creativity again. Stars Without Number has a pretty elaborate World generating system that allows the game master to quickly roll up detailed worlds. There are random tables for atmosphere, biosphere, tech level, population, tags, etc. Within a few minutes you can roll up a whole slew of worlds. Since I want to run SWN in the near future I decided rolling up a sector would be a good start. So I got my dice and started rolling.

To make things easier for me, I created a spreadsheet in Google Drive that allows me to enter the numbers I rolled and it automatically puts out the results. That way I didn’t have to write everything down myself. Instead I just rolled and watched as the worlds slowly took shape on the spreadsheet – and in my mind. Especially the tags generated by this system really help to jumpstart one’s ideas.

For one world I rolled up the tags Unbraked AI and Zombies. Immediately I had ideas about a world controlled by a mad AI that creates mindless cyborg zombies from any hapless human being it can get its hands on. This world could be the perfect setting for a horror-themed adventure. In another case I got Desert Planet and Alien Ruins, and my mind was filled with ideas of a lost alien civilization whose remains are scattered across a deadly desert. Within a couple of minutes I had a couple of great adventure ideas.

Of course rolling up the worlds is just the very first step. I still have to turn everything into a workable setting. Some worlds I created using the random generation method are pretty silly and don’t make much sense at all, so I’ll have to make some subtle – and not so subtle – adjustments in the coming days. But the important part is that using the random world generation in Stars Without Numbers helped me getting some creative work done. Now I have to make sure that my perfectionism and self-doubt don’t stop me dead in my tracks. Wish me luck!

Star Wars Infinities – The Gathering Storm (Part 9 of 9)

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SW InfinitiesWell here we are at the end of this weekly series! It’s been a great experience for me. For a long time I had wanted to try my hand at doing a series of related posts on a unifying topic and I’m very thankful to Michael who said “Go for it!” when I told him of the idea of revisiting my old Star Wars RPG Infinities (i.e. What if? or alternate story) type campaign.

Through the process of writing these posts I’ve revisited, edited and remixed my notes on that campaign and have reacquainted myself with my plans for the game. In a way it’s reignited my desire to revisit the game. Perhaps it will happen…

I had originally planned to do eight sessions but as I revisited my notes I realized there was one more bit of information I wanted to share with our readers. The characters! My players back then made some very interesting characters and I wrote some introductions for each of them.

When the game began our group had just changed the location of our game, some players had move to the USA and amazingly I had only 4 players as the campaign began. That quickly changed and the group eventually grew to 5 early one and eventually to 6 by the end of the campaign, about 8 or 9 months later.

On this post I’m going to share the character concept the players gave me and the introduction I wrote after my discussion with the players following character creation. The following stories are not simply my creation they were crafted with player input, so I am very thankful we could tell these stories together. A BIG thanks my player then, Luis Manuel Alvarado, Luis Lao, José Bellavista and Karlo Yeager. Two of them are not currently playing with us regularly, but I always hold hope these good friends will sit at my table once more.

Each section will begin with the character concept as presented by the player, in italics, and the introduction I wrote for each of them. So here we go!

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