Monday, November 27, 2023

Black Star and the Light of Xaryxis

As a break from our Land of Azurth 5e game, I decided a wanted to run a loose, more space opera adaptation of the Spelljammer adventure Light of Xaryxis. After considering the Star Raiders action flick of Outgunned and some other fairly light space opera games, I settled on Black Star from LakeSide Games. Mainly, I felt like trying something new, but it's even lighter than Outgunned, I think, and made for Space Opera.

The system uses a simple 2d6 roll to resolve tasks, though characters can spend Resolve (which also serves as Stress/Hit Points) to either reroll or move a failure to a partial success or a success to a greater success. It also has only player rolls and minion rules, both things I've enjoyed in Broken Compass/Outgunned.

It's only about $5 on drivethru, so worth checking out if that sort of system sounds interesting to you.

Anyway, we only did characters this session, but I'm looking forward to bringing a touch of Star Wars ripoff space opera in the vein of Battle Beyond the Stars and Micronauts to Light of Xaryxis.


Dick McGee said...

I'm never wholly at ease with "only players roll" systems (one of my few beefs with Whispering Vaults, where I first encountered the mechanic years before it was trendy) but it does sound pretty promising otherwise.

Also the four-eyed not-Wookie is nigh-irresistible. :)

James Mishler said...

Thank you for bringing Black Star to my attention! I've been looking for a solid, very simple set of rules to run Star Wars over Zoom, and this hits that mark perfectly.

I adore Star Wars d6, but my players are really into super simplicity, and trying to run SWd6 online when I'm the only one with the books would be, well, night impossible.

But I love how Black Star totally captures the feel of Star Wars.

I've picked up the Companion, and the Mecha booklet, and Magnum Fury (some good stuff in there to borrow for a grittier game).

I'm already bantha deep in developing the Gordian Reach (the sector where Yavin is found) for a campaign set in 4.5 ABY. The future is not set, none of the Canon or Legends matter... Yet.

Should be a lot of fun. Thanks!

Trey said...

Glad to help!

SF said...

James, for what it's worth, last time I looked there was a complete fan-done refresh of the SW d6 system as a free PDF online -- might be worth it to get copies to your players? (For whatever insane reason, my 15yo prefers SW d20 -- but I think I'm finally getting the hang of being pretty free-form with that, because it is far too much damn work to actually stat out NPCs.)

James Mishler said...

SF, I have the REUP PDF, and it is a glorious work, clocking in at some 500+ pages.

My players are all old gaming friends from high school, most of whom have not games in 35 years.

I find Black Star to be amazingly refreshingly simple, even by comparison to SWd6.

It is to SWd6 what Shadowdark is to 5E... Stripped to the absolute basics and with wide open play.

If I were playing with a fully experienced group, I'd use REUP. But for these guys, Black Star is just right.

Plus, when I add a new factor, the stat blocks are dead simple.

James Mishler said...

For example, here is a stat block for a Dark Side Adept in Black Star (one of the most complex NPC stat blocks you can make):

Dark Disciple: Beamsword, Elusive 2, Fighter 2, Multiple Attacks 3, Mystic Powers 2 (Assault, Cloud, Deflect, Move, Move Mastery, Sense, Shield, Surge, View), Strong Will 2.

And here is a stat block for a Dark Side Adept in SWd6:

Species: Human
Gender: Male
Move: 10

Blaster: 3D
Brawling Parry: 5D+1
Dodge: 5D+1
Lightsaber: 5D+2
Bargain: 5D+1
Command: 5D+2
Persuasion: 6D+1
Search: 4D
Intimidation: 6D
Scholar (Sith Lore): 6D+1
Tactics: 7D
Willpower: 6D
Brawling: 3D+2
Repulsorlift Operation: 4D+1
First Aid: 3D
Lightsaber Repair: 5D+1
Security: 4D

Control: 4D+2
Sense: 4D+1
Alter: 4D

Force Powers:- Absorb/Dissipate Energy, Accelerate Healing, Control Pain, Detoxify Poison, Reduce Injury, Remain Conscious, Resist Stun, Life Detection, Life Sense, Magnify Senses, Telekinesis, Lightsaber Combat, Affect Mind, Enhance Attribute, Rage, Combat Sense, Danger Sense, Injure/Kill, Telekinetic kill, Inflict pain

Lightsaber (5D damage), Comlink, Robes