Due to some unforeseen family crisis progress on my NaGa DeMon project is much slower than I anticipated. Luckily it hasn’t come to a total standstill yet. Today I actually managed to finish the character creation section and what better way is there to present a new system than by going through its character creation process.
The character we want to create today could be a typical League Soldier who we will call Commander Shep… eh … Farmer. She’s part of the LDF’s marine corps and has already seen some action. Since we want to focus on the mechanical side of things we don’t need a fully-fledged out concept yet.
Galaxy Core (that’s what I called the system powering Galaxy Rising) is a rules-light d%-based system. Each character is described by three attributes (Physical, Mental, Social – each ranked from 1 to 20) and eight pretty broad skills that get some more granularity by player-defined specializations that grant bonuses from +10% to +30%. There are also three values directly derived from the attributes: body points, Initiative, and Damage Bonus. Last but not least each character has up to three “hooks” (think of FATE Aspects) that help to flesh out the character.
Fall is upon us (well those of us living in the northern hemisphere at least)! It’s the time of harvest, leaves fall, the weather turns colder, and apparently Kobolds come out of their den. I received a review copy of the Fall issue of Kobold Quarterly, number 23, by the friends from Kobold Press and sat down to write a review about it over the weekend, when their Kobold Courier newsletter arrived in my e-mail I and I read about a wonderful new contest they are having which I thought may be of interest to our readers, so I thought I’d combine both into a post!
Eloy Lasanta of Third Eye Games recently me told me about the Kickstarter project he’s running right now. Together with Chris Lewis Carter who created the Camp Myth series, he’s trying to raise funds for a roleplaying game in which you play mythical kits from across the globe trying to earn merit badges for skills like Phoenix Watching, Kraken Fishing,or Golem Building.
The pledge levels are pretty nice, for just $10 you’ll not only get the PDF of the final game but also an ebook copy of Camp Myth #1: Phoenix Watching. The game will use a modified version of Third Eye Games’ Pip System which powers Eloy’s other games like Apocalypse Prevention, Inc. or Part-Time Gods.
I have to admit that the setting is not my cup of tea, but Camp Myth: The RPG sounds like it could be fun for kids and young adults alike. If the premise interest you, why not check out the official Kickstarter page and back the project? There are still 19 days to go.
A couple of days ago I wrote down a few notes on how FTL travel and communication is supposed to work in my Galaxy Rising game. I haven’t decided yet, how fast you can travel using a Slipstream drive nor have I set a limit for FTL communication. I’ll set those limits when the setting has progressed a bit further. In the short fiction piece I released a science vessel made a trip to the Orion nebula, which is about 1,344 light years away. This might be around the upper range limit of what League drive technology is capable of.
The Slipstream Drive
The slipstream drive invented in the late 24th century finally allowed fast interplanetary and interstellar travel. The drive creates a slipspace tunnel through which the vessel can travel at faster than light speeds without breaking special relativity. Another use of the slipstream drive technology are the so called slipgates which create semi-permanent slipspace tunnels through which ships without their own FTL drive can travel. The League has established an extensive slipgate network in their area of influence. While in slipspace a vessel does not interact with matter in normal space.
The physical properties of slipspace also allows electromagnetic waves to propagate much faster than in normal space, allowing almost instantaneous communication over vast distances. State-of-the-art slipstream drives can also generate several slipspace tunnels with tiny diameters in order to allow laser or radio communication over several light years. Alas it’s impossible to open communication tunnels while the ship travels in slipspace, so starships have to make regular stops in order to communicate. The League has constructed a network of relay satellites which which is known as LeagueNet.
Would such a drive system be possible from what we know today? I highly doubt it. But it works in the realm of fiction and has a couple of limitations that can be used by to help the plot of your game. FTL travel is not unlimited in range and it still takes a while to travel from A to B. Communication is faster but probably more limited in range. Which means starships are pretty much on their own when far enough away from League space. And this alone always helps to create great adventure opportunities. “You’re on your own. What do you do?”
Today I want to share my notes about the League with you.
The League of Free Worlds was formed shortly after discovery of the Slipstream drive and the first contact with an alien species. The first contact showed that it was necessary that mankind spoke with one voice at least in matters of interspecies relations and space exploration. In 2397 the League was formed by the major space-faring nations on Earth, the Mars colony, the Icarus space colony which is situated near the Jupiter trojans, and the newly-established colony on Gliese 581g. Each member elects a number of representative which form the League’s Council. The Council then elects the Speaker from among its ranks who acts as diplomatic representative of the League. The League gets funded by its member states and uses these funds to fund colony projects, the League Defense Force and the Institute of Space Sciences which is responsible for space exploration and developing new technologies. The League Defense Force defends the League against attacks from outside threats and also helps to maintain order in League space. The LDF has no jurisdiction on Earth or within the space claimed by one of the member states.
Any thoughts? As always any advice is highly appreciated!
One important part of any game design is coming up with fitting terms, names, et cetera. Alas I have to admit I am really bad at this aspect of game design. I have pretty cool ideas on how a game setting is supposed to look like but when it comes to naming things, the trouble usually starts.
The most important name to come up with is the title of the game itself. The project I am currently working on for NaGa DeMon will be a Scifi roleplaying game set into the 26th century. One aspect of the game that’s very important to me is that space exploration and a sense of wonder should play a major role in the game. A large portion of our galaxy is still undiscovered, there are mysteries behind every other corner. For quite a while I wanted to create a game called “Galaxy Rising” and I think it might actually be a good fit for what I have in mind. The name is inspired by a quote by Carl Sagan. In his TV series Cosmos he said the following: “A still more glorious dawn awaits, not a sunrise, but a galaxy rise. A morning filled with 400 billion suns. The rising of the milky way.” (Check out “A Glorious Dawn“, a musical tribute to both Carl Sagan and Stephen Hawking!)
In my opinion “Galaxy Rising” is a great name and conveys the same sense of wonder I want to convey with the game itself.
In the small piece of fiction I published last week I included some of the names of alien species that will play a role in my game. But since then I have pondered whether I should use plain language names for the alien species instead of “Valar” and “Arelians”. Or alternatively I could use names from mythology that fit what the aliens look like or behave. The problem with names you’ve come up with is that you may pick something that actually has a meaning in another language. Perhaps you heard about the issues Mitsubishi had with their Pajero, which is actually an offensive word in Spanish. I’ve not come to any decision yet, so every name I post here on the blog is subject to change.
By the way, what’s your stance on the subject? And how do you like “Galaxy Rising”? As always every comment is highly appreciated.
The possibility of links between the Nazis and the occult have been a topic of speculation for a very long time and eventually became a trope in fiction. Just think of computer games like Return to Castle Wolfenstein or the Hellboy comics. Especially the combination of Lovecraftian horror with the real horrors caused by the Nazis seems to be a very potent mix.
Modiphius’ ACHTUNG! Cthulhu is a series of adventures for Call of Cthulhu and Savage Worlds (you need a copy of Realms of Cthulhu for this; versions for Trail of Cthulhu and PDQ are in the works) that are set in WW2. But not everything is as we remember it from our history books. The Nazis are using the occult to give them an edge over the Allies and play with forces better left alone by man.
“Three Kings” is the first adventure of the Zero Point campaign set in the world of “ACHTUNG! Cthulhu” written by Sarah Newton. It’s a 44-paged PDF and contains a stand-alone adventure that is set into a Nazi-occupied Czechoslovakia in summer 1939. The adventure includes a couple of pre-generated military characters, but you can also create your own characters using the normal Call of Cthulhu or Realms of Cthulhu rules depending on which version you want to run. The adventure even provides possible entry points for academic or spy characters. So you don’t have to play military personnel. More