Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Then this one time, Batman and Space Ghost teamed up...

I'm seriously going to miss this show.

Props to ToplessRobot.com And yes, I'm shamelessly ripping of the headline too. Awesome things must always be paid forward.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Expendables: where are the space hirelings? 1d30

So older versions of D&D have hirelings--hired labor/meatshield minions who are the first line of fodder in any exploration or combat scenario. But what are the sci-fi equivelents? Red shirts, are surely at the top of that list. But it got me thinking, a few possibilities about some sci-fi versions of these para-PCs. Here's my d30 "chump chart":

"Put Johnson down and get back to work you lazy tribble-biters!"

  1. Men-at-blaster-arms
  2. Force screen operators
  3. Pack beast wranglers
  4. Computer bank switch expert
  5. Load-lifter pilot
  6. Ray rifle carrier (doesn't actually get to shoot it though)
  7. Jefferiesweeps (guys with circular brooms who clean the jefferies tubes on starships)
  8. Short order food replicator chef
  9. Hoversled / moon buggy driver
  10. Robot assembler
  11. Sliding door repairman
  12. Guys who pull bodies off the battlefield
  13. Bulkhead repair crew
  14. Boarding party welcoming committee
  15. Teleporter repair guinea pig
  16. Droid cleaner / enslaver
  17. Sensor-corder knob turner
  18. Jump gate / super laser lever puller
  19. Zookatube rear-fueling technician
  20. iPad holding cruise bureaucrat
  21. All-purpose space-grease monkey
  22. Space janitor
  23. Scanning crew guy
  24. Xenolinguistics intern
  25. Space caddy
  26. Laser sword inspector (other end, genius!)
  27. Medical assistant
  28. Door greeter
  29. Galaxy's "most feared" bail bondsman
  30. Anyone in engineering

Here's a list of gear for your laser fodder, give each crew member just one item. This is d30 as well, but this way you can roll the item and work-up your crew in reverse.

  1. Sonic drill
  2. Big magnet on a little crane
  3. Laser or sonic rifle
  4. Hoversled
  5. Macroscope
    "Dad's home! I hear the garage door!"
  6. Atomic reactor service pack (full radiation suit, radiation badge, multitool, graphing calculator)
  7. Starfighter service pack (hydrospanner, plasma torch, face shield, cigar) 
  8. Robot service pack (hydrospanner, oil can, data card, restriction bolt)
  9. Rocket boots
  10. Force screen groundstake emitter
  11. Sensor-corder
  12. Circular space broom
  13. Blasting caps
  14. Mop bucket
  15. Dyson Vacuum of Space, Space Vacuum™
  16. Medical wand
  17. Hypo-stim packs (set of 2)
  18. Portable energizer
  19. Tripod with screw-on top
  20. Hyperdrive fuel can
  21. Load-lifter
  22. Malfunctioning translator
  23. Meal trays
  24. Case of dueling ray pistols
  25. Inflatable moon tent
  26. Radar dish helmet
  27. Beast saddle
  28. Tranquilizers
  29. Clipboard
  30. Coffin

Anything else that should be on the list?

Exiled Jedi Vocational Readjustment (1d20)

I recently found some old notes I had on post-Jedi job opportunities--in other words, what do Jedi do when there's no proper temple or organization for the Order. If you've ever played the 2E version of West End Games' Star Wars RPG, they had a character template for a "failed Jedi". This was ostensibly any Jedi who survived The Purge and went on to choose a new line of work, be it paid or hobo.

So here's a list to get the ball rolling (literally, it's a random table of course!). Keep in mind, that any Jedi in hiding in plain view needs to remain so and if their powers come in to play they need to be able to explain their powers away as "tricks":

  1. Psychic / Fortune Teller
  2. Street Magician
  3. Private Detective (a la Psych or The Mentalist, but with real powers)
  4. Investigative Journalist
  5. Gangsters / Smuggler / Street Informant
  6. Physician / Veterinarian / Horticulturist (for those specializing in healing Force powers)
  7. Archivist / Librarian
  8. Alien Artifact Expert
  9. Ghost Catcher / Exorcist
  10. Homeless / Hermit
  11. Beast Whisperer
  12. Circus Freak
  13. Psychiatrist / Svengali 
  14. Gambler / Grifter / Stock Broker
  15. Politician (after elective surgery to disguise oneself)
  16. Sports Star (ditto)
  17. University Professor
  18. Combat Trainer
  19. Ruler of a Primitive Society
  20. Night Club Bouncer

Common sense dictates that many of these can be combined. And it should go without saying that they no longer need to stay completely on the light side of the Force. Once they're unemployed, their ethics are in a state of flux.

This also could just as easily work for any other RPG setting using psionicist, but I especially like the notion of a disbanded society of psionic ronin looking for purpose after The Fall.

Can you think of any others? I'll add them to the list.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Create a random 3D spaceship with shapeWright

An "Exonaut" Class Destroyer!
Looking for a vessel to take to the stars and beyond? You're in luck (as long as you're not picky!) because you can whip one up by hitting the "Build It" button on shapeWright. It's basically a random shape generator that quickly puzzles together a spaceship from pre-made forms.

Here's the "Torquemada" being built. A fuselage appears and a con tower falls into place (must be a command ship!)....

After a few more forms attach, a secondary fuselage appears! Definitely a large crew complement...

The final piece, fresh from the shipyards:

How it (seems to) work
The designs themselves are rather blocky, kinda' like a video game. But there's something very satisfying about hitting that button and watching your ship come together! You can even have it brought into meatspace via 3D printer (though the prices are pretty hefty at this point). Luckily, for the rest of us, there's the download button. The viewer is very simple though, and not everything appears centered on the screen. Not satisfied? Hit the button and pop out another one! I had fun putting in celebrity names and characters as well as just mundane words. It's case sensitive, allowing for a different design with caps added or not.

"Black Adder"

Ideas for use in gaming
In thinking how you could make this useful for gaming purposes, you could probably find a VRML (the download file format) viewer that would let you position the finished piece the way you want and then print out a jpeg. Right now the shapeWright just rotates the model on an axis. You can poke at it, but it doesn't really stay level enough to take a satisfying screen grab.

Once you have your ship, stat that puppy up and start flying! If you loved it enough, you also could order the printed model as a miniature. I think prices need to come down a lot or customization of your own design would need to be implemented for that to become a real consideration though (at least for me--prices start around $40).

One other item to note--when you name your creation it stays in the shapeWright memory. At least it seems to (I tested a few models 3 or more times). Here's a few ships I whipped up this morning (click on them to enlarge and see detail):

"EVO 1"




"Hand Sanitizer" (I was toying with whether more or less letters affected the randomization...still inconclusive).


My favorite so far is the "Powder Puff", here's the front:

Here's her engines:

She's definitely no push-over! Another tip: If you type in the name exactly as it's on these pics, you should pull up the exact same model (it seems that way). 

I do have one wish, which is that it would let you select some options like a class of ship and then it would slap on the appropriate module (doesn't really matter how or where). So imagine typing in "destroyer" and some heavy guns get attached or "scout" for smaller ones or maybe "recon" for a radar dish. 

Anyway, it's a neat internet gadget to mess around with!

UPDATE: Maybe you wanna start with the stats first, or you're so lazy you can't be bother statting up your random built space vessel. Try Chaotic Shiny's Spaceship Generator.

Props to Boing Boing for posting it this morning!