Perry Rhodan is definitely my favorite SF series. Even though it’s pretty unknown in the US it is the world’s largest SF series. It has been started in the 1960s by two German authors in the form of dime novels which were (and still are) published weekly. Today a whole team of authors works on the series. This Friday Perry Rhodan #2664 will be released. The series spawned several spin-off series (like ATLAN, Perry Rhodan Action, Perry Rhodan NEO), one crappy movie, several computer games, board games and two roleplaying games. Alas both roleplaying games were not what most roleplaying Perry Rhodan fans have been hoping for.
The Perry Rhodan universe is huge, complex, but could also be a great place for roleplaying adventures. So it’s no surprise I tried to run a RPG campaign based on my favorite SF series for many years now. Alas this is much easier said than done. We already established that the two official Perry Rhodan RPGs (both are out-of-print now), are not really that great. So I am looking for other systems I could use. I have thought about using Open D6 or Savage Worlds, since I have experience with both systems and both systems are quite versatile. But they might not be versatile enough for the Perryverse.
One of the main issues the series always had was that during it earlier years each author tried to outmatch his colleagues with descriptions of exotic aliens, bigger spaceships, and more deadly weapons. Over the years several attempts have been made to “nerf” things, but a few extremes still exist.
I’ve been fortunate enough to be contributing for this blog for two and a half years now… How time flies! Through this time I have made many new friends, had the opportunity to interact with other fans and authors, but most of all I have been really lucky to know this guy sometimes called Stargazer after discovering his blog while searching for material about Savage Worlds. I was fortunate enough to be here when Michael invited other writers to contribute to the blog. So as a contributor I became a roadie to this show he’s been running, a roadie to the rock star himself, the STARGAZER!
Stargazer’s Worlds had its anniversary a couple of days ago and I thought it would be fitting that for the 4year anniversary I’d turn the tables on the our fearless leader and interview the guy responsible for the blog and giving us contributors a forum to talk about our passion, role-playing games.
Sunglar: Hello Michael, why don’t you begin by telling us a little bit about you? Who are you? Who is the man doing the stargazing?
Michael: Who am I? Good question. My usual response is that I’m a 37 year old German guy who loves roleplaying games, gaming in general, has an interest in astronomy, science in general and who enjoys writing about his hobby.
Sunglar: I think you have talked about this before on the blog, but just in case there are any new readers, how did you get into gaming?
A lot of players shy away from certain games because they use “fancy” dice like Fudge dice, non-standard polyhedral dice, dice with funny symbols instead of regular numbers or something like that.
In a way, I can understand that. Usually roleplaying game players just need a set of the most common polyhedral dice and they can play almost everything. It’s like a basic tool you can use all your life. But then there are these games that need you to buy these fancy dice, or even worse, only one set came with the game itself and you have to share these dice with your GM and the other players! Yuck! Nobody touches my dice!
Roleplaying games that use fancy dice exclusively or even utilize cards for task resolution are usually hard to sell to the average gamer. Or is this just a common misconception? That’s why I am asking my readers today: do you like fancy dice or do you hate them? And why?
I am curious because I have pondered using fancy dice for my own game designs from time to time. I totally love Fudge dice and recently I picked up a set of dice with six-sided dice numbered from 0 to 5 as seen in the image above. Rolling 4 of those and adding the results together generates a number between 0 and 20 in a nice bell curve. My friend Andrew called them z5 (analogous to d6). The results are basically the same as if you rolled 4d6 and subtracted 4, but rolling 4z5 is just easier and nicer.
So, what do you think about fancy dice? Yay or nay? Please post your comments below.