Friday, February 28, 2014

VIDEO: Oblivion - best of the drone scenes

I loved Oblivion. I know it's not everyone's cup of Romulan Ale, but it was a great "small" scifi flick (tight cast, compact in scope). It owed more to Wall-E, Planet of the Apes, and 2001 A Space Odyessey, than Star Wars and the like.

Here's a cut of the drone scenes from the film. The art and sound design for these killer robo-bubbles was quite slick. They'd make perfect Big Bro villians for any game. Maybe even cool PCs if one was captured and reprogrammed. They're sort of like floating ED-209s from Robocop.

Also, it's fun to watch them bully Tom Cruise who's lot in life is to fix them.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

TRAILER: Star Wars: The Clone Wars - The Lost Missions

Netflix brings us what Cartoon Network refused--the well-deserved ending to the Clone Wars TV series. It's both sad and satisfying to say that the series was more successful in its storytelling than the three prequels that preceded it.

Fans can look forward to getting closure and seeing the dots connected, starting March 7.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

TRAILER 2: Bryan Cranston is not a fan of Godzilla

The new trailer for Godzilla drops some dramatic plot hints--quite a unique take actually. I appreciate the nod to the original 1954 film. Still no word on whether we'll see a kaiju showdown, but there's enough intrigue injected into this promo that it almost looks unnecessary. When Walter White and Kick Ass take on the Big G come May 16, count me in!

Tantive IV for X-Wing Miniatures game is drool bait


This, my fellow space hounds, is one fine looking miniature, from hometown game gurus, Fantasy Flight Games. I haven't even cracked open the X-Wing basic sets I picked up on clearance. It's unfair. This baby will cost you a cool $89.95 at retail. I'm sure you could pick up cheaper, but why treat a refined lady like the Tantive like that?

Lookit all the goodies!

The Tantive has long been my favorite ship from the first Star Wars film. Yeah, the Falcon is the heart of the trilogy. Yes, X-Wings are awesome. But I'll take a Corellian Corvette over all of them, any day.

I've got several versions of it, including several Micro Machine renditions (Remember those? Perfect for gaming...) the hand-sized Action Fleet version and the big mama-jama--the electronic model from Hasbro. I've also got an unfinished Lego version I hope to tidy up one day when I finally clear a path to the work bench in the basement. I'm still holding out hope that Hasbro will make a BIG version in scale with the 3 3/4" basic figures. I have no idea where will put it. I suppose hanging it above our bed will likely annoy the missus. Pity.

FFG has really outdone themselves with this one. Some excerpted game specs, from their website:
Designed for use in the game’s Cinematic Play and Epic Play formats, this eye-catching starship also comes with rules for using “energy” to power its shields, turbolasers, and unique abilities; a huge range ruler that allows the CR90 corvette to fire against enemies as distant as Range “5,” and all the tokens and templates you need to bring this starship to life on your tabletop. Furthermore, the expansion includes a set of six new missions for Cinematic Play that can be woven together to form a compelling campaign, and you’ll also find twenty-four upgrade cards, many of which can also be used in the game’s Standard Play format.

  • The CR90‘s primary weapon and most of its offensive potential are associated with its fore section, which also happens to be able to perform the target lock action.
  • The recover action associated with the CR90’s aft section allows you to spend all the ship’s stored energy to regain a number of shields equal to the energy spent, possibly taking your corvette from zero shields back to full.
  • The CR90 is divided into two sections, fore and aft, and if you take the Reinforce action, you can reinforce one of those sections, adding an evade result to all defense results against attacks directed at that section until the end of the round.
  • With its coordinate action, the fore section of the CR90 can grant a free action to any friendly ship within Range 1–2. However, if your CR90 happens to be Dodonna’s Pride, your coordinate action can be applied to two friendly ships within Range 1–2
The two section business is really interesting. I wonder if they'll do an Imperial ship as well. A Star Destroyer is likely too big an undertaking, but a capital ship broadsides battle would be magnificent. Still, this size is perfect for a TIE raid on an X-Wing escort. Seems like it would be a lot of fun. Or just staring at it. On my desk. For hours.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Guardians of the Galaxy poster knows you're grateful...


A Farscape movie is coming!

You know who would be right at home next to the Guardians of the Galaxy? These guys:

I loved Farscape when it debuted on the SciFi Channel (yeah, back before it showed wrestling and became "SyFy"). Every week was space opera adventure with aliens designed and operated by Jim Henson's Creature Shop. You couldn't ask for a more winning combination in my book.

It was sort of rudely ushered off the airwaves in 03, and left many plot holes dangling until they were finally resolved in a TV movie (Peacekeeper Wars). It'll be nice to see what the cast and crew can do on the big screen.

Here's a plot synopsis from
It turns out that Monjo has also written a screenplay for what would likely be a Farscape television movie. Set to follow the awesome comics written by our favorite Keith R.A. DeCandido, the film would follow John and Aeryn’s son, D’Argo (or Little D, as we will always refer to him). Because their baby was exhibiting a set of interesting powers that made him a magnet for galactic villains, we find that John and Aeryn hide their son on Earth to grow up. Now the kid is 19 and ready to go into space with his parents.

D’Argo in space! With his amazing super parents! And then they could go visit Chiana and Rygel and Noranti...


This makes me glad to hear. The more I think about it, the more I feel like GotG embraces the same wa-hoo-go-for-broke madness that made Farscape a fan fave.

Maybe Guardians is the forgotten love child that late-90s SciFi Channel had with Marvel Comics? Who knows. All I can say is it's been a spectacular week for amped up, gonzo space-fi!

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Blogger contest: 30 posts to create a campaign setting in 60 days!

So I was reading up on the 24 RPG project which seems like a really cool endeavor that I totally don't have time for.* I do hope to someday write one of my own, but realistically that's a ways off. But what I can do is whip up a blog (as I'm wont to do with side projects from time to time) and basically come up with a campaign setting or my own version of how I'd play an established game with house rules, etc.
Put on your thinking cap, kids!
Throw in there the idea that the OSR loves light rules. Bloggers love to talk about how the early games gave you a pencil, a piece of paper and some funny dice and away you went. It seems there's something to be said for brevity and starting with just bare bones inspiration.

Then it got me thinking... (I know, dangerous!) What if there was a similar festival/contest/whatever for game bloggers? 24 hours seems nearly impossible for a decently rounded out campaign blog, but what about limiting the posts? Keep the paramenters centered on worldbuilding and gameplay of something you'd actually kinda' want to play.

Got me thinking about all settings I've started, but never finished......


  1. Pick a game--any old rules will do. Stick to one set though.
  2. Dream up a campaign setting--it can't be anything you've previously posted, published, or talked about before. It doesn't have to be "new" per se, just new to the rest of us.
  3. Create a new blog--yes a new URL and everything, but use your current account so we can tell it's still yours. Name if after your campaign settting.
  4. Write 30 posts in 60 days. (C'mon, that's less than 1 a day!) You have just that long to outline the major key elements (setting, monsters, rule modifications, classes, races, etc.). This is straight-up worldbuilding using elements you'd normally talk about on your home blog. But here, you've got economize and decide what the most important elements are. Here's some general guidelines:


  • 13 on monsters or villains, one type or one specific individual per post (so "hobgoblins" is one, a "kaiju" is another, "Vader's granny" another, etc.)
  • 4 on special treasure, a lost artifact, weapons, vehicles, etc., however you choose to parse. 
  • 3 on setting, this is all aesthetic so you'll want to focus on places, maps, NPCs, the way magic works, how the local ruling space authority, uh...rules the galaxy, etc.
  • 3 on classes with each dedicated to a separate player class.
  • 2 on house rules, specifically how your campaign either strays, modifies, or embellishes on your chosen rule set (posts can be as detailed as you like); carousing rules, etc. all apply here
  • 3 on any topics you like, these help you round out the rough edges and could be additional classes, races, setting, etc.
  • 1 intro post to set up your premise for your campaign (e.g., , declare your ruleset and acknowlege participation in the contest
  • 1 report of actual play, which should include at least one picture, be it from the campaign or actual play; you can make this your final post with a big sign off or you can use it as a playtest, but you gotta play it at least once and record it for posterity

That's it! That's all you get!

Why be so limiting?

Well, limits help push you to problem solve, be creative and force you to make decisions. Why 30? Well seems like you need at least 20 or so to establish the world and make it feel like there's enough of it to explore. 10 more to round it out. "But we should do 40 or 50 or..." Yeah,  we could. But we're NOT. It's gotta feel like a doable, participatory event with a clear finish line.

What happens after the contest/thingy?

Well, you abandon the blog. At least, you no longer post to that blog address. It's done. Finito. You can/should link to it on your regular blog and you're totally able to take it further on there. But on the newly created blog--you only get 30 posts.

Then, hopefully, we all get a chance to maybe play our games? Talk about sharpened skills and broken pencils, etc. Enjoy some laughs and return to our civilian lives, changed but better human beings.

...or not. But at least you'd have a cool contest entry and maybe that would spark some ideas.

So is there a winner?

Dunno yet. Maybe I could come up with some prizes and/or get others to pitch in. But I'm not comfortable being the only judge. So maybe we all vote? Maybe there's a jury that recuses themselves from the contest? Maybe it's just a cool thing we attempt like those Lego builder "contests" and NaNoMiRoWhatever. But one thing is for sure YOU ONLY GET 30 POSTS!

So, is anyone interested in something like this?

I tried to parse out the blog post requirements along the lines of something I generally see on home blogs. Maybe that needs to be modified. But then again, I don't think anyone wants to read 20 posts on house rules, 10 on play testing, and only 10 for worldbuilding. Of course, I could have missed something major so be sure to let me know.

If enough people are interested. When should we start? After the one-page dungeon contest? Gives you a few weeks to read up on rules or daydream at work about your new setting. What's the contest called?

30 FOR 60
RPG World-Building Blogging Challenge!
(If I could do art, this is where that cool custom logo would go.)

Okay, questions? Suggestions? Let's hear 'em!

*I'd also nitpick the thing to death after the fact and I just know I'd never be satisfied with the outcome.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

VIDEO: Bradley Cooper voicing Rocket Raccoon!

Man, we're getting a wealth of Guardians of the Galaxy clips and photos this week! Here's a short clip of the main mischief maker himself, voiced by Bradley Cooper.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

FULL TRAILER: Guardians of the Galaxy is full of wonderful insanity

I seriously need this movie in a meaningful way.

When traveling in space, this is my drivers license picture:

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Guardians of the Galaxy teaser!

It's only 15 seconds long, but the full trailer will air tonight on Jimmy Kimmel (10:35 CT). I think I'll be switching over for this one!

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Classes for Rad Astra and more

Here's a recap of some, like, totally bitchin' classes for Rad Astra campaign setting for X-plorers that you can totally try out in your next scifi game! They're easily adaptable to most other scifi games. More are in the works.

  • Starbuckler - Swashbuckling, space hero type (rogue/smuggler/pirate etc.) 
  • Astrosassin - Agents of interstellar espionage, like Barbarella, Mara Jade, James Bond via Moonraker, and any number of ninjas, etc.
  • Starbarian - Interplanetary muscle, think He-Man, St. Examin, Thundarr, Zandor and family from Herculoids

Other classes:

Space Ranger (Long arm of galactic law: Buck Rogers, Buzz Lightyear, etc.)

Starship Gunner - Great shot kid, but don't get cocky! (Still mulling this one over a bit)

Stay tuned for more!

STARBUCKLER, ASTROSASSIN, and STARBARIAN are copyright  2013 and 2014. I've permission from X-plorers publisher, Brave Halfling to use the game's rules and stats and intend to publish a supplement, using the class names and descriptions above. The same goes for the descriptions for the Space Ranger and Starship Gunner classes. You may use them in your games, but may not use them for profit.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

New X-plorers Class: STARBUCKLER!

Do you yearn for a life of carefree adventure? Are you more or less fearless in the face of overwhelming odds (or do you regularly fool yourself into thinking you are?)? Are you constantly getting into scrapes with local space authorities, goading them on until your seems to run out? Then unholster that ray pistol and swing that plasma saber because you're ripe for the life of a STARBUCKLER!

Prerequisite Attributes

  • Wisdom/Presence of 12 or higher is required for this class.

Starbuckler Skills

You've managed to get a ride off that barren rock where you grew up a mold farmer--made your way to the Space Academy--and promptly got yourself expelled. Now what do you do with years of training or apprenticeship and a bad reputation? Become a Starbuckler! Begin your road to infamy with any two of the following skill. Add the modifiers listed in the table below to the appropriate skill check rolls:

LevelHotshot PilotSidearm or SwordplayTumblingSilver TongueSupercharge
1 Brash Brat0+2/
2 Adventurous Apprentice+1+1d4/
3 Headstrong Hero+2+1d4/+1d4+2+1d4+2+2+1d4
4 Callow Cavalier+2+1d4+1/+1d4+3+1d4+3+1d4+1d4+1
5 Fearless Fighter+1d4+1d6+1d6+1d4+1+1d6
6 Scruffy Scoundrel+1d4+1+1d6/+1d6+1+1d6+1+1d4+2+1d6
7 Pirate Prowler+1d6+1d6+1/+1d6+2+1d6+2+1d6+1d+1
8 Rakish Rogue+1d6+1+1d6+1/+1d6+3+1d6+3+1d6+1+1d6+1
9 Dauntless Daredevil+1d6+2+2d6 (both)+2d6+1d6+2+2d6
10 Cosmic Corsair+2d6+2d8+1 (both)+2d6+1+1d8+2d6+1

After reaching Level 5, Starbucklers may add additional skill sets, starting first with the ones listed here and then at their GM's discretion.

Skill Descriptions

Hotshot Pilot (AGL/DEX) - Flying is your natural state. The flight controls to any air vehicle or spacecraft comes naturally to you. At level 7 you can add "Space Ace," to your list of titles.

Sidearm and Swordplay (AGL/DEX) - The bread and butter skills for every Starbuckler. In the skill table, two modifiers are listed for each level--you can choose which is your greater and which is your lesser (this is a permanent selection). Weapon choice should indicate signature weapon for that warrior. Starbuckler's may double-wield any two weapons (minus a rifle) without penalties once they reach level 4.

Typical ranged weapons include:
  • Carbine (conventional) 40 rounds
  • Automatic pistol (conventional) 50 rounds
  • Pistol (laser) 100 rounds
  • Rifle (laser) 80 rounds
  • Double-barrel blaster (laser) 60 rounds
Melee weapons:
  • Saber, cutlass or rapier (metal)
  • Saber (sonic)
  • Saber (laser)
  • Bullwhip/Cat o' Nine Tails (Bullwhip +2 bonus to swing from stuff), CO9T +2 bonus damage)
  • Laser Whip
Tumbling (AGL/DEX) - Dodging out of danger--or into it, as the case may be--is your signature move. Show those stuffy academy chumps how it's done. At level 6 you earn the title "King of the Jungle" and can swing while shooting or sword-swinging without penalties.

Silver Tongue (PRE/CHA) - So you're hanging out in the usual hive of scum and villainy you're outnumbered, outgunned, and the exit is too far to run. You reach down to find your sidearm is missing. Looks like you're in a jam. Better be doing some fast-talkin'. Think of this as an "attitude enhancer" depending on whether you're used to being charming, devious, or just plain pushy. Bluffing, conning/confusing, intimidation--it's all covered here. At level 4 you can choose to acquire a robot companion--or hold out for something better at level 7--an alien wingman!

Technical Repair (INT) - You've had to hotwire yourself out of several messes just to get where you are in life. Now it's time to pick up those power converters and apply yourself! See if you can supe-up that beaten, boat of a spice freighter you're uncle gave you. Covers repairs on all vehicles and spacecraft but if you've got a dedicated ride, you'll earn a set of professional-grade tools at level 5, which will cut repair times by half.

Special Abilities

In addition to the skills listed above, those with ability of 14 on a given attribute may choose one of the following special abilities for that score. You've been in your share of scrapes and you've got a guardian angel on your shoulder. All special abilities may be used once per game session.
  • Strength/Physique - Let the Hammer Down: Drop both fists down on your opponent starship cap'n style!. Let's fly a double fisted attack of 1d4 per fist. If you've got Tumbling as a skill, add your level (level 5 would be 1d5+5/fist).
  • Intelligence - Fly Casual: Usually you just look like you know what you're doing. This time you gain a +1d6 on any INT related feat. Hey, school wasn't all bad!
  • Wisdom/Presence - Don't Get Cocky: Double any Silver Tongue or general PRE/WIS roll. You've earned it.
  • Charisma/Presence - Call in a Favor: Your old buddy, you know the one--that guy. He owes you big time. Summon any friendly NPC in 1d4+1 rounds. Then pray he's not already in more trouble than you currently are.
  • Dexterity/Agility - Shoot First: Initiative is everything. You've got it and a +1d10 to hit bonus to boot. Not even Lucas can tamper with that.
  • Constitution/PhysiqueSkin of Your Teeth: Re-roll on any one evasive maneuver that should had your number, kid..

Need some inspiration?

Here was mine: Flash Gordon, Luke (New Hope, Empire, and early Marvel comics), Han, and Lando (both before RotJ); Corsair, Zorro, Jack Sparrow, the original Apollo and...oh, Starbuck!

NOTE: This post assumes familiarity with X-plorers ruleset, but can be converted easily to other games. Attribute equivalencies for D&D also given.

STARBUCKLER is copyright Feburary 2014. I've permission from X-plorers publisher, Brave Halfling to use the game's rules and stats and intend to publish a supplement, using the class name and description above. You may use them in your games, but may not use them for profit.

New X-plorers Class: ASTROSASSIN

When massive galactic hegmonies topple overnight, you can bet your last pressed latinum credit that some Astrosassin had something to do with it. They are masters of stealth, espionage, and interstellar intrigue, faciliating operations as the fulcrum of covert enterprises--be they private, governmental, or just for hire.

So you tested high on your academy entrance exam and/or climbing the rope in gym class. As such, clean our your closet, because your about to slip on the last suit you'll ever wear--a new identity!

As an Astrosassin you'll want to wear a thermal bodysuit to protect you from harsh climes. You can embellish this outfit as you see fit, but anything more than two pieces of armor (in any combination) is restrictive. Selections vary and may include a harness, helm, titanium sleeve (mail or jointed plate), or lightweight shoulder armor. Footwear is extremely important in astrosassination, in stealth and high performance (running, acrobatics, wallwalking, etc.) so tread carefully.

Prerequisite Attributes
Intelligence of 12 or higher OR Dexterity/Agility of 12 or higher is required for this class.

Astrosassin Skills

Your mind and body have been sharpened and honed into deadly weapons. You're a practiced tactician, master of deception, and highly trained operative with a license to atomize! Add the modifiers in the skill charts below to your roll for those skills.

Intrigue Skills

Astrosassins should pick two skills from this list to start.

LevelGetaway DrivingAstrobaticsMaster of DisguiseComputer HackingStealth
1 Recruit0+1+1+1+1
2 Astroanalyst+1+2+1d4+2+2
3 Skiptracer+2+1d4+d4+1+3+1d4
4 Foxhound+3+1d4+1+1d4+2+1d4+1d4+1
5 Saboteurn+1d4+1+1d6+1d6+1d4+1+1d6
6 Redactor+1d6+1d6+1d6+1+1d4+2+1d6
7 Wetworker+1d6+1+1d6+1+1d6+2+1d6+1d+1
8 Ninjanaut+1d6+2+1d6+1+1d6+3+1d6+1+1d6+1
9 Interstelligent+2d6+2d6+2d6+1d6+2+2d6
10 Master Spyfy+2d6+1+2d6+1+2d6+1+1d8+2d6+1

Assassination Skills

Astrosassins should pick two from this list to start, marksmanship is a freebie.

LevelMartial ArtsToxinsDemolitionsMarksmanshipJanitorial
1 Recruit0+1+1d4+10
2 Agent+1+2+1d4+1+2+1
3 Skiptracer+2+1d4+d4+2+3+2
4 Hound+3+1d4+1+1d4+3+1d4+2
5 Provocateur+1d4+1+1d6+1d6+1d4+1+3
6 Redactor+1d6+1d6+1d6+1+1d4+2+1d4
7 Wetworker+1d6+1+1d6+1+1d6+2+1d6+1d4+1
8 Ninja+1d6+2+1d6+1+1d6+3+1d6+1+1d4+2
9 Interstelligent+2d6+2d6+2d6+1d6+2+1d6+1
10 Master Spy+2d6+1+2d6+1+2d6+1+1d8

After reaching Level 6, Astrosassins may add additional skill sets, starting first with the ones listed here and then at their GM's discretion.

Skill Descriptions

Getaway Driving (AGL/DEX) - You get an adrenaline rush that sharpens your senses and gives you an extra edge behind the wheel or stick of any planetary ground, sea, OR air vehicle. Specialize in one of the three categories and earn a +2 bonus at level 4 for any stunts you attempt.

Astrobatics (AGL/DEX) - Tumbles, leaps, flips, zero-G parkour--it's all at your disposal. You're an escape artist with a flair for the dramatic. Use the bonuses as listed, or double-down on a feat by spending hit points to earn a little extra boost. Must declare your intention to spend points BEFORE you attempt the feat. You can spend up to 4 points per feat. HP spent cannot be restored until next game session.

Master of Disguise (PRE/CHA) Fool your adversaries with a variety of subterfuge abilities:
Precise Vocal Modulation (throw your voice or imitate someone you've heard).
Prosthetic Creation (become an expert in recreating the facial structure for a disguise in 1d4 turns).
Attitude is Everything- You're a master of body language allowing your costume and disguise to pass with incredible believability.

Computer Hacking (INT) - Slice your way past firewalls and passwords and become one with The Grid. There's no data node you can't crack. Once you're in, you'll need regular skill checks to make sure you can cover your tracks and you're not caught.

Stealth (AGL/DEX) - Skill allows astrosassin to evade detection per the modifiers listed. At level 4, character gains an extra attack at the beginning of combat where initiative is won. At level 9, the title of "Shadowshiv" is bestowed out of sheer terror by her or his enemies.

Martial Arts (AGL/DEX) - Astrosassins are well-trained in hand-to-hand combat and pick up Martial Arts as a free skill. They advance normally along the usual modifier table for Martial Arts, but they gain a free subspecialty bonus in one of the six forms below. (They may choose or roll 1d6 randomly):
  1. Kung Furious (+1d4 landed punches per level)
  2. Tae Kwon 0WNED (+2 damage per level for roundhouse kicks)
  3. Zero-G Judo (+1 per level to throw opponent, +1d6 in weightless environments)
  4. Krav MEGA! (+1 per level to hit vulnerable areas of opponent so hard target must roll vs. Pain)
  5. Jujitsooooooooo (+2 meters per level to sonically grapple opponent using only vocal emanations)
  6. Clipped Wing Chun (+1 per level to trap opponent and +1 per level advantage in rendering them unconscious)

Toxins (INT) - You've able to detect, identify, and fabricate a myriad of poisons and other deadly substances either by honing your senses or through chemical analysis. This skill gives you a modest amount of knowledge in astrobiology. At least, when it comes to knowing what poisons kill which alien species.

Demolitions (INT) - You blow stuff up real nice. You know timers, detonators, and all kinds of substances that go boom--including what type of chemical traces they do/do not leave behind. You also have knowledge of structural integrity (knowledge of where to put the explosives to get the biggest ka-blam for your buck).

Marksmanship (AGL/DEX) - Ranged weapons are standard issue in the service. If you choose not to specialize, use the bonuses as listed. Otherwise, a very special weapon to be the only signature you leave behind. You'll earn an extra +1 at levels 3, 6, and 9, plus the ability to repair or customize your baby as you see fit.
  • Shruiken
  • Light Disks of Death
  • Crossbow
  • Needlegun
  • Laser Pistol
  • Laser Sniper Rifle (with scope)
Astrosassins are likewise practiced in the art of timing and, if need be, patience. Astrosassins with initiative have the drop on their targets--which means they've got time to steady their aim. Declare a shot and then wait until next round to fire and see your to hit and weapon damage doubled.

Janitorial (INT) - Part of being the best at what you do is leaving nothing behind that could be used to trace back to you (unless you specifically want it to). So get a sponge, some latex gloves, and a canister of industrial strength Comet Cleaner because you're going to need to erase yourself from the scene. You'll finish up with a little xenomorph acid (diluted, of course!) and a lot of elbow grease. It's not as bad as it sounds, it's just another form of stealth--really!

Special Abilities

In addition to the skills listed above, those with ability of 14 on a given attribute may choose one of the following special abilities for that score. These additional abilities come to you in a zen-like focus of singular and discerning prejudice. All special abilities may be used once per game session.
  • Strength/Physique - Furiosity: Add +1 damage + your level to all your hand-to-hand attacks for 3 rounds.
  • Intelligence - Tactical Smackdown: Your mind is a sharp shruiken, observing everything in the room--entrances, exits, computer panel layouts, display readouts, etc.--with exquisite detail. Remember it for later or use it to your advantage in combat.
  • Wisdom/Presence - Bluffterbuss: Doesn't matter if you're interrogating, charming, or just plain bluffing--you make for one damn convincing argument that's not questioned for 1d4 rounds.
  • Charisma/Presence - Psiblock: Keep nosy minds out of yours for 1d4 + your level rounds.
  • Dexterity/Agility - Silent AND Deadly: Totally unfair stealth skills for 1d6 rounds.
  • Constitution/Physique - Titanium Heart: Boost your strength and endurance for 1d4 rounds by +3.

Measures of Last Resort

Every astrosassin must choose one getaway/gotcha clause that's installed as a recruit. Switch sides all you want, this one stays with you forever:

Dental Denial of Service
Two molars, on opposite sides, are replaced. One is an inward facing self-immoliating emitter for when your cards all turn up jokers. The other, a outward spewing knockout gas that's guaranteed to work against any single biological target--for close encounters with those of the opposite agenda. Let's hope you remember which tooth is which--roll an Intelligence check to be sure (-1 if you're drugged or inebriated).

Black Hole Beam Out
Inside your brain is a microscopic transponder than can only be read by one computer in the galaxy. That computer belongs to the agency that first recruited you. Say the magic words (a code word of your choosing, and relayed only to your GM) and they'll come rescue you for a price: $10,000 per your level +$5,000 (each) for any of your cohorts. In all likelihood they'll pretty much own you after this. One time use. Rescue occurs within in 1d6 rounds.

A single, self-replicating nanite roams your bloodstream at all times. It's mostly harmless, except in the worst kind of event--the one you can't escape. Trigger it with a memory combination of your first kill and your last kiss. Once activated, it will begin doing what it does best until you, your friends, enemies, and the planet beneath your feet are consumed. No returns, no exchanges. The ruling space authority will likely quarantine or neutralize the planet afterwards.

Need some inspiration?

Here was mine: Barbarella, StarCrash, Nick Fury: Agent of SHIELD, The Empire Strikes Back, Pulp Fiction, DUNE, The Matrix, Chuck, a little bit of Pulp Fiction, and--yes...James Bond!

NOTE: This post assumes familiarity with X-plorers ruleset, but can be converted easily to other games. Attribute equivalencies for D&D also given.

ASTROSASSIN is copyright Feburary 2014. I've permission from X-plorers publisher, Brave Halfling to use the game's rules and stats and intend to publish a supplement, using the class name and description above. You may use it in your games, but may not be used for profit.

Friday, February 14, 2014

TRAILER: Documentary on Jodorowsky's DUNE is finally here!

The long-in-production documentary about Alejandro Jodorowsky's imagining of Dune is finally here! Judging by the trailer, the filmmaker's infectious enthusiasm and wildly ambitous vision for the film is even more heartbreaking and fascinating than previously hinted.

I cannot wait to learn more about how the film nearly came together with some of the biggest names in science fiction: Moebius, H.R. Giger, Chris Foss, Dan O'Bannon--not to mention Salvador Dali and Orson Welles. Here's the trailer:

Here's a few pieces of concept art from the stalled production (click to enlarge):

Emperor's palace, ornithopter and spaceships by Chris Foss



Sandworm concept by H. R. Giger


Jean Giraud, a.k.a. "Moebius" character designs




H.R. Giger's work on Alien is apparent in his organic designs for this film. Moebius used the work he did on Dune as inspiration for his original comic, The Incal and later Metabarons (thanks for that tidbit Trey, I later found a copy of The Incal and loved it!).

You can even trace some aesthetic DNA from Jodorowsky's Dune exploits all the way to The Fifth Element, where Moebius' work was eventually captured on screen (with or without his permission, but that's another story).

The big question surrounding this film is whether Jodorowsky would have changed the direction
of science fiction in film, had it debuted before Star Wars as planned. What do you think?

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Rocket Raccoon test footage proves he's a badass!

Rocket atop his good buddy Groot! With a machine gun/laser blaster! Screaming!

2014 is the year all your fauna + flora team-up dreams come true!

Via io9

Just released--a photo of the new action figures! These will likely make their way to NY Toy Fair next week. These seem to resemble the previously released photo from the film.

Via Comic Book Resources

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

20 quick questions for your scifi campaign

Getting ready for the con this weekend has me scouring the archives for old and trusted resources. I remembered this post by the estimable Jeff Rients (crosses self, buddy-salutes sky). Here now is my attempt to do a scifi version. Note: some of these will remain modestly adapted if unchanged.

[clears throat, cracks knuckles] 
  1. What is the deal with my psion's order?
  2. Where can we go to buy standard mission gear?
  3. Where can we go to get custom cyborg implants for this alien/mutant/monster I just befriended?
  4. Who is the meanest warlord in the galaxy?
  5. Who is the greatest warrior in the galaxy?
  6. Who is the richest person in the galaxy?
  7. Where can we go to get some discount medbay healing?
  8. Where can we go to get cures for the following conditions: poison, disease, space witch curse, level drain, mutagen contamination, nanomite infestation, brain swapped back into original body, death, zombification?
  9. Is there a vocational guild my PC belongs to or that I can join in order to get better at that thing I do?
  10. Where can I find a scientist, techno wizard, psion master or other expert NPC?
  11. Where can I hire mercenaries like bounty hunters, smugglers, pirates, or laser riflemen?
  12. Is there any place on the map where lightsabers/weirding modules are illegal, advanced technology is outlawed, or any other notable hassles from [insert name of ruling space authority]?
  13. Which way to the nearest space station for fuel, repairs, upgrades, supplies, and entertainment?
  14. What infamous interstellar criminals are terrorizing the outer rim sufficiently that if I kill them I will become famous?
  15. Are there any wars brewing I could go fight?
  16. How about gladiatorial space arenas complete with hard-won glory and fabulous cash prizes?
  17. Are there any secret societies with sinister agendas I could join and/or fight?
  18. What is there to eat out of this 3D food printer thing?
  19. Any legendary lost artifacts of the ancients I could be looking for?
  20. Where is the nearest kaiju or other monster with Type H treasure?
So, not groundbreaking by any means on my part, but at least it's a start for space opera setting. Here's a few more of my own:
  1. What's the state of the galaxy at present moment? Does my planet of origin still exist?
  2. Where can I get a ship to take me to this dangerous planet on my star chart?
  3. Where can I buy or get parts to build a robot to do my bidding?
  4. What are the planets that no one dares visit?
  5. Are there any dives on this rock we shouldn't go into?
  6. What aliens will blast my hand off on sight?
  7. What aliens are allies that I can call for help?
  8. Are there any space derelicts or abandoned asteroid outposts we can go raid?
  9. Where can I sell this relic/spacejunk/secret weapon I found/stole/inherited?
  10. Where can I get a decent cape to romp around in?

 Have more? Let's hear 'em in the comments!

Monday, February 10, 2014


BORED GAME™ from Dark Igloo on Vimeo.

Here's a fun, never-made, everything-including-the-kitchen-sink "bored" game that shoulda' been from Dark Igloo.
"Bored Game" by Dark Igloo, via
From the official rap:
Starring The Technodrome, Hot Shots Electronic Basketball, Boglins, a GoPro mounted to a slot car, Mall Madness, the TMNT Pizza Thrower, Power Glove, Toe Jam & Earl, Laser Tag, Don’t Wake Daddy and at least one thing you had growing up. Some assembly required.
And I think I see not one but TWO Castle Greyskulls in there. Sign me up for the Kickstarter! ;)

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Con of the North this weekend...

John Harris / Temple
Just a quick note to remind you Twin Citians out there (or folks passing through) that local gaming convention Con of the North is happening this weekend. I'll be running a Rad Astra version of X-plorers. I sincerely hope to debut a few new classes.

I'm behind schedule though mainly because of babies, being sick, work, babies, crappy weather, and ....did I mention babies? It'd be unfair to lay all the blame on the kid, so I think "lack of sleep" should cover all of the bases. Thankfully, we've been getting caught up and I'm back at squaring away background characters and plot for the adventure.

I'm only running one game so I can spend the rest of the con playing and racking up some XP of my own. Anyway--it should be fun!