It’s May the Fourth and the big OSR darling is White Star by Barrel Rider Games. Here is in a nutshell, based around Swords & Wizardry White Box which is based on the original three little brown books of the original edition of the world’s most popular RPG. White Star is a pulp scifi take on those rules.
If you’ve followed my blogging over the years, you’d know that I’ve had a very long love-hate relationship with science fiction RPG’s. Some get too tied to a setting. Some are over complicated, especially when it comes to starship combat. And some just it was just a combination of things that just didn’t do it for me. White Star seems to be hitting all the notes in my little grognard mind.
As far as setting goes, there isn’t really an official one yet. Let’s face it D&D was massively influenced by Tolkien but you could take your game to whatever weird direction you wanted. White Star is massively influenced by Star Wars but (like some games out there) it’s not Star Wars with serial numbers filed off. Star Wars would fall into White Star’s Appendix N (if it had one). But I can see the inspirations from lots of other sources. It comes together as both a tool kit and a blank canvas to play with. That’s a big plus. That’s what I want in scifi game.
The rules are dead simple. Heck, just follow that link above to the Swords & Wizardry White Box rules. Read them thru. It’s simple. It’s old school. There’s not a lot there as far as moving mechanical crunch. There’s just simple, easy, and tweakable rules. That’s another great thing about this game and the OSR in general. There’s so much great stuff out there and it’s all mostly compatible and convertible. Start with the basics and gather in what you like to make the exact game you want.
Starship combat is usually the big fail in so many SciFi RPG’s. It’s either so abstract that it practically doesn’t matter or so detailed that it’s like a whole new game and usually that game is a war game. I think the starship combat hits that sweet spot of detail and abstractness. And it plays pretty much exactly like character combat.
Let me talk about classes a little here. Simple and to the point. You’ve got Aristocrat, Mercenary, Pilot, and Star Knight. Then there’s the sort of racial classes, Alien Brute, Alien Mystic, and Robot. There isn’t an alien generation system as some games. But heck. Import one. Or just takes some the foes from the back of the book and let them be characters. It’s not that difficult. Plus heck kids, it’s only been out a day. More stuff will be on the way.
So over all. This is OSR SciFi sweetheart. It’s got the basics covered and whatever else I want I can just bring in or make. And if you want to know more. Check out the Google Plus Community.
Well, it’s Swords & Wizardry Appreciation Day and I had really big plans for a really cool preview. I wasn’t happy with what came I out so I decided to give a good introduction rather than a crappy preview.
What’s Outer Space Raiders?
It’s a Retro Space Opera supplement for Swords & Wizardry. It’s not hard sci-fi and it’s not Spelljammer. Think of it as Flash Gordon and Conan fight Skeletor. The main inspiration is the old serials, pulp comics, crazy Jack Kirby art, and B science fiction movies. It’s fantastic but not fantasy. But heck if you want space elves then just add them. The line between science and magic is really blurred. Heck, just don’t think about modern science too much at all. Set your brain back 90 years. I’m going to rewrite huge sections of the rules. There really isn’t a point. The main focus is on classes, races, monsters, gear, and various other tools to grab the feel. There’s only going to be implied setting but heck if folks really want it, I’ll do more for it.
I know there’s lots really fine OSR space opera games out there like Bandits & Battle Cruisers, Hulks & Horrors, and X-Plorers. (Just to name a few.) There’s nothing wrong with them. Heck, there damned good. There was just something more I wanted to add. And since it’s OSR stuff, it’s really easy to convert.
Here’s the classes that are planned right now to give you good taste for the tone of the game.
Astormancers use Quantum Formulas to alter reality and navigate the spaceways.
Galaxy Rangers are the law in lawless space. Protect the weak and all that stuff.
Noetic Knights trained their minds for years to become deadly warriors.
Scoundrels are daring swashbuckling heroes.
Starbarians plucked from primitive worlds and thrust into adventures in space. Tough and deadly warriors.
Star Warriors are soldiers trained in all manner of weapons.
Techno-Priests build and repair advanced technology.
Warp Ninjas are deadly assassins who draw their power from a black hole.
Now I’m not 100% sure what the final goal is going to be on this. Sure, there will be some cool updates in the coming weeks. I might just throw it up for free or maybe PWYW on Drivethrurpg. We’ll see how it goes. So stay tuned for that.
Lastly, I really to mention a couple of folks whose work has really gotten me excited about this. There’s Jay over at the Exonauts! Blog and Trey Causey of From the Sorcerer’s Skull and most recently and darned awesome Strange Stars.
So there it is. This is my current Swords & Wizardry project. Stay tuned and hang on to your rocket packs!