So what the hell am I talking about? A Masala Dabba is a traditional Indian spice box. The whole idea of curry powder is a Western invention. Instead of a pre-made off-the-shelf spice mixture, the traditional spices are used based on the dish that is being prepared. The quantity, order or even additional steps like toasting a spice make a huge difference in the final dish.
It’s just my little opinion that it’s perfectly fine to take a pinch of Swords & Wizardry, a dash of Lamentations of the Flame Princess, and a handful of OSRIC to make up the kind of campaign that I’m envisioning. The next campaign with a different feel and style might use a totally different subset of ideas, rules, and clones. Last week, I did a little rant on my other blog about how I’m viewing Basic 5E D&D as just anther retroclone. In many ways, the OSR is lucky. There’s plenty of choices out there. Really make you want. Play what you want. It’s party of the DIY vibe that makes the OSR so cool.
If you’ve been paying attention, I’ve been brainstorming on some Gonzo Space Opera action. While dong this I went back and looked more closely at some of the stuff that’s sitting on the good old hard drive. Lo and behold! There was X-plorers! X-plorers is a simplified Sci-Fi game based on the old editions. There’s only four stats (Agility, Intelligence, Physique, and Presence) with the normal 3 to 18 range. The Saves and Skill system have a lot of influence from Swords & Wizardry (another of my favorites) with rolling a number or greater on a d20. Very simple and to the point. The core book has only four classes (Scientist, Soldier, Scout, and Technician) with some decent multiclassing rules. Throw in the Aliens & Robots supplement and you’ve got pretty much endless options. Most importantly, there’s an easy starship combat system. I really hate SciFi RPG’s where starship combat is in reality a whole other game. Plus, there’s something for all the characters to do. That’s major points. As far as equipment goes there’s a decent selection in the core book but hey, there’s a supplement for that too. X-plorers pretty much hits it on all points for me. I’d like a little more details psionics systems but that’s not a real biggie. I’ve got a couple of ideas bouncing around inside my head. It’s simple. It’s clean. And OSR fans and newbies should be able to pick it up quickly. Should I also mention that there’s a free adventure too? Cleopatra Station.
This is great game as starting point for all those crazy ideas bouncing around inside my head. A few tweaks here and there. And some total awesomeness. Now I have to give some credit where credit is due. I probably wouldn’t have look too closely at X-plorers if hadn’t been for the awesome Exonauts blog. Check out the Rad Astra setting over there.
Those guys over at & Magazine are at again. This time how about a free mega-dungeon: Castle Triskelion.
OK, it’s not all there yet but the rest of it should come out in the future. And that’s better than some Kickstarters. Hey, it’s free so just go and check it out. There’s even some new monsters there, if you aren’t into the mega-dungeon thing.
Looks like a pretty straight dungeon crawl. Ready for any tweaking, house ruling or just plain using it as inspiration. Did I mention, free?
OK, this crazy idea popped into my head. You know about Flailsnails right? Basically, it’s a little OSR thing. Bring whatever character into a campaign. Fun and simple. If that sounds cool then check out the Google + Community for it.
So here’s a thought. What about place that’s a repository for OSR characters. Let’s say there’s a game going via Google Hangouts or maybe you’re a running a game at a convention or at your FLGS. Somebody shows up without a character. Just go to the repository and pull a character and play it. Then the character goes back into the repository when the player is done. The character gets adjusted for experience, loot, or any other things that might happen. The character’s go up in level but get played by different people. New characters get added. Old characters die and get removed from the data base and so on. I know folks will be more likely to pull a character and use it rather than spend the time to update it and put it back into the rotation.
I’m not sure how exactly this should be implemented whether via Google drive or a blog or a wiki. Right now, it’s just an idea bouncing around inside my head. Thoughts? Critics?
So here’s one little thing I got “done” so far this weekend. Damn, it’s been a long time since I painted any mini’s. The old eyes and hands aren’t what they used to be. Plus a lot of my paints were dried out and the brushes. Well they weren’t in the best of shape.
This is also an example of Kickstarters that I didn’t back. I haven’t backed any of the Reaper Bones Kickstarters. One, I already have a ton of miniatures. Two, I buy the ones I want at my FLGS and throw a little cash their way. Yes, I don’t get the mini’s sooner but what the heck. These took months to get around to painting.
And heck this also reminds that I still really want to get an OSR game off the ground. But more on that later….
You ever have an idea that you just can’t get out of your head? That’s the way it is with me on the idea for a Gonzo Space Opera campaign. I just can’t seem to shake this and it keeps coming back into my little brain and bouncing around. Sort of a mix of Farscape, Lexx, Heavy Metal, Firefly, Fifth Element, Dune, and Star Wars thrown into a blender and seasoned with other nifty ideas.
What I want is something cool, weird and just a bit crazy. Heck, an average party just might look something like this:
And they just might end up fighting a bunch of guys sort of like this:
I want a game that is simple and gritty but still cinematic. Basically, I want the threat of character death there but not so much that the players won’t be scarred to do crazy, outlandish, and cool stuff. I want starship combat to simple and not like a whole separate war game. I don’t want characters to have to min-max in order to fly or participate in shit-to-ship combat. I want an easy way to have just about any kind of alien race that a player can imagine (within reason). I’ve thought about this and have been scribbling down random notes at lunchtime in a little notebook. So here’s the rules that have made the final cut.
1. An OSR Hack: Start off with Machinations of the Space Princess mix in some Hulks & Horrors and generous dose of little bits from other retro-clones. Make it simple and easy. An interesting thought about this option is that there is so much OSR stuff out there that with just a little bit tweaking could go from fantasy to far out space opera. Plus many players are already familiar with the basic mechanics.
2. D6: Really, who doesn’t have some good memories of the first Star Wars RPG by West End Games? Heck, there’s still thriving fan base for the system. I don’t why there isn’t more love about this system. I don’t know maybe it still has to do with the flaming wreckage caused during the death throws of West End Games. I’d probably start off with Antipaladin Games Mini-Six and work from there using the freely available supplements and source books.
3. Savage Worlds: Yes, I love me some Savage Worlds but the folks of my gaming group aren’t that fond of it No biggie. It’s still an option in my head. I don’t have the new SciFi Companion yet (plan on getting it when it hit the shelves of my FLGS) but I still have the old Tool Kits. I probably simplify a few things here and there and start with Daring Tales of the Space Lanes as starting point to throw things together. I grabbed some of the freebies when it first came out and like it.
4. HardNova 2: I’ll admit that I don’t know enough about HardNova 2. But as I did numerous web searches it kept coming up and always in a positive light. This got me thinking seriously about the game. And bonus a new revised and expanded edition is coming out soon. While it may be a new set of rules for many, it still sounds simple and easy to learn.
So those are my thoughts. Tell me your opinions, oh Great and Powerful Internet.
I like free tools and stuff that makes my life easier and this is a good one not only for throwing ideas for a campaign, sand box, dungeon or what not. Freemind is handy little Java based tool to “mind map” that is put down all those random ideas in some sort order. If you’re like me, you just have too many random ideas to keep straight. What you can with this is pretty limited by your imagination and creativity. Now I admit that I would like a little better if it could handle images more efficiently but it is free and you can work around it. Just look at this quick and easy little map I made for the World of Skarynth. I didn’t even use all the functions available this is just the simple stuff. Oh and did I happen to mention that you can export the files too.
Click to enbiggen
So it’ really worth a look, folks. I really plan on using this a lot more for a lot of different kind of projects.