A couple of days ago I was made aware of the D&D: A Documentary Kickstarter. What is the project all about? In a nutshell a group of people want to make a movie documentary about the roleplaying game phenomenon that started with Gary Gygax, Dave Arneson and D&D.
Alas even though the KS ends in just 6 days they haven’t reached their goal, yet. For a pledge of just $15 you can get the HD digital download version of the movie. If you would like to see that project succeed after all, check it out, spread the word and pledge.
In my search for a roleplaying game system that I can use for that Perry Rhodan game that I have planned for ages now I stumbled upon Basic Action Games’ BASH! Sci-Fi Edition. Back in the day when I first heard about BASH (I think it was in one of the podcasts I listened to back in the day) I picked up BASH! and BASH! Sci-Fi Edition at RPGNow but never did anything with it. When looking for a rules system able to handle the extreme characters of a Perry Rhodan game, I quickly realized the best way was to look at superhero games. At first I thought about using Savage Worlds in conjunction with the Super Powers Toolkit, but then I remembered BASH! Sci-Fi.
BASH! Sci-Fi Edition is a 138-paged softcover book or PDF that contains all the rules needed to run SF games of every subgenre using the BASH! system. BASH! was originally a superhero game that the author Chris Rutkowsky designed in order to teach math to kids. If this sounds horrifying to you, don’t fret. We’re talking about basic multiplication here.
Whenever your character wants to perform a task in a conflict situation or when there’s a chance it might fail in a way that affects the story, you roll 2d6 and multiply the result with the relevant stat. The result must be higher than a set difficulty number to succeed. Skills are usually not rated but either you have a skill or you don’t. If you try to use a skill the character is not trained in, the 2d6 roll is modified by 4. The three stats (Brawn, Agility, and Mind) are usually rated from 1 to 5 where 1 is the human norm. To give the underdog some better chances, rolling doubles allows you to reroll and add one die (and another one, if you roll the same number again), and heroes always win in a tie.
Earlier today Sean Preston of Reality Blurs released a sneak peek of tremulus with his latest Kickstarter update in the form of the The Heir playbook. The Heir is actually the character I played during playtest.
The Kickstarter is still going strong: five stretch goals have been met and $24,421 have been pledged so far. But I really hope we’ll hit the $30,000 stretch goal soon. The Asylum expansion to Ebon Eaves sounds extremely cool!
Even though I am currently going through a gaming dry spell, it doesn’t mean that I can’t share a few tricks from my GM toolbox. As I’ve mentioned before I love to use music in my games. Nowadays it’s very easy to carry a lot of music around on an MP3 player or smart phone. I usually have a large variety of background music on my iPhone or iPad that I can easily take with me when I run a game away from home.
The problem is that the speakers on the iPhone and iPad are ok for watching YouTube videos, but they are lacking when it comes to music and I don’t really want to place the phone or tablet in the middle of the table during play. That’s why I picked up a small and easily transportable Bluetooth speaker made by Verbatim several months ago. The device is powered by either two AA batteries or via USB. The sound quality is surprisingly good and it even looks pretty sleek.
By the way, even if your MP3 player doesn’t support Bluetooth you can still connect it to the speaker via a standard audio cable. I think I paid about €40 for the Audio Cube when I bought it back in the day. If you like to play some music during your games and if you are of the travelling kind of GM, the Verbatim Bluetooth Audio Cube (or a similar device) is a must-have!
IT’S ALIVE! This is the moment I have been waiting for a long time. Just a few moments ago, Reality Blur’s Sean Preston hit the button to launch the Kickstarter project for tremulus, his new “storytelling game of lovecraftian horror”. If you want to learn more about tremulus, check out my playtest report or check out the Kickstarter page. For it’s the game I have been anticipating most this year and I hope that Sean reaches his goal of $5000 in no time!
As soon as I get my next paycheck I’ll put my money where my mouth is and support this fine project!
Yesterday the competition, in which two of our readers could win a signed copy of the novel Mindjammer by Sarah Newton each, ended. The questions you had to ask to be eligible for the competition were the following:
- Question 1: In Mindjammer, what organisation do Thaddeus Clay and his team work for?
- Question 2: In the FATE RPG system, what kind of dice do you normally roll, and how many of them?
- Question 3: In transhumanism, what’s the event called where technology becomes so advanced that it’s impossible to see what happens afterwards? (Hint: it’s also the name for the heart of a black hole!)
The correct answers were:
- SCI Force (but we also accepted “Security and Cultural Integrity Instrumentality”)
- Four Fudge dice (but we also accepted d6-6 since that’s used in Starblazer Adventures)
I put all the names of the people who sent in the correct answers into the proverbial hat and determined the winners using my trust random number generators (aka dice).
The lucky winners are: Mark Perotti and Jacob Schmidt. Congratulations! I already sent your names and postal addresses to Sarah, she’ll send your signed paperback copies to you.
Thanks for everyone who participated in the competition!
In October 2011 I did my first interview with Sarah Newton, who then worked with Cubicle 7 as head of the editorial team and line developer. Since then her novel Mindjammer has been released and she also left Cubicle 7 to form her own company Mindjammer Press. Mindjammer has recently relaunched and I took this as an opportunity to do another interview with Sarah again.
By the way, if you haven’t read Sarah’s novel yet, you really should check the interview out, because there might be an opportunity for you to win a paperback copy of Mindjammer!
Stargazer: It’s good being able to talk to you again, Sarah. How have you been in the last months?
Sarah: It’s great to talk to you again, Michael – thanks for having me on the blog! My writing life has been extremely busy since we last spoke – lots of great news to share with you!
Stargazer: In the introduction to the interview I mentioned that you created your own company called Mindjammer Press recently. Can you tell us a bit about this?
Sarah: That’s right – that’s one of the big events for us this year. After the previous production delays with the Mindjammer line, we decided to bring everything in-house and set up an imprint purely to focus on producing and publishing Mindjammer books. That includes the roleplaying line, and also the fiction line I’ve been working on. It’s a very exciting move – we’re liaising with industry artists as we speak, and have a production schedule set out right through to 2015, so at last we’ll be able to bring fans and gamers the Mindjammer products you’ve been asking for, including the Mindjammer novel, available right now, and the second edition Mindjammer – The Expansionary Era, releasing in early 2013.