Sunday, January 12, 2020

A Campaign Idea in Pictures

A scout ship crashes on a distant planet.

A world teeming with life, some of which mysterious shows ties to Earth, and primitive civilization.

Things are not what they seem.

But what can explain the apparent examples of magic?

The short pitch summary: A Planetary Romance short of sandbox, inspired by Vance's Planet of Adventure series with Talislanta (modified to taste) used as a base.


JB said...

Our player characters the downed scout ship pilots? What system would you use for this?

[Apes Victorious does include an "astronaut" class that could be readily translated to D&Dish systems]

Trey said...

Yeah, the players would be the crew of the scout ship, hopefully as a group managing to be as competent as Adam Reith in Vance's book. That makes it easy because the players and their characters are discovering the world together.

I think I might use Stars Without Number, but I'm not entirely sure. If it ever moves forward, I guess I'll have to make my final decision!

JB said...

X-Plorers RPG is also quite nice (just to build the player character crew).

I really like the idea of mashing different (compatible) systems for a single setting, rather than a single system/setting for a “planetary romance” game.

For example, I own Thomas Denmark’s Red Planet RPG (about as planetary romance as you get), but I would still prefer a mishmash of sorts rather than that single system. Maybe include some Planet Eris stuff.

Simon J. Hogwood said...

'White Stars' would be another good one to look at.

Cross Planes said...

Have you thought about using the Omni System that is, essentially, Talislanta's native system?

Trey said...

White Star seems more geared to Star Wars replicating. I'm looking for less heroic and swashbuckling PCs. More like Star Trek or The Expanse.

JB said...

Yeah, that's why I suggested X-Plorers. It almost feels like the B/X version of Star Frontiers.

[plus it's got a small page count and is still available as a free download]

Stars Without Number feels a little too WH40K to me.

Trey said...

In what way? It lacks all the things that seem to me the 40K trademarks: pervasive grim Empire, Chaos, military focus, elves

JB said...

Whoops! Thought I'd already replied...sorry!

It's not in the setting, but in the system of SWN and the rules provided which (for me) would be able to model much of the WH40K universe. Sure you'd have to add the Eldar and mutations and whatnot, but much of the human Imperium stuff (space marines and power armor and whatnot) seem ready made for such an adaptation.

Honestly, it's been a few years since I've read SWN and I can't remember all the things that led to me having this impression. Here's my review of it from 2011:

Maybe if I read it now my opinion would change.

Trey said...

It does have powered armor rules. The space marines (does it have those by name?) seem a more generic idea. More an Aliens vibe than a WH40K, because power armor doesn't seem integral to the setting. I agree you could use the rules set for a lower powered WH40K game but I don't get that sort of focus from the rules. It feels more like it wants to be a new Traveller to me, but that may be some influence of the setting.

Trey said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
JB said...


I was re-reading my old post on SWN, especially the follow-up comments between myself and the author. Sheesh! Talk about needing to "agree to disagree!"

Anyway, he was definitely NOT thinking 40K vibe so much as "generic space opera" of the kitchen sink variety (of course, one might say the original 40K *was* quite "kitchen-sinky"...*ahem*). I can easily see Traveller...especially late edition an influence. Trav had "space marines," too (though no power armor in CT).

However, my original thought/point (for you) was just that SWN might be too BIG for the setting you describe (in that it deals with star systems and such while you were locating your game on a single planet). Again, I'd recommend taking a look at X-Plorers simply for the crew/castaways (PCs) as something lightweight, yet compatible with other early-style fantasy RPGs.

Regardless, it looks like a fun campaign idea.
: )