Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Why you already love Hulks & Horrors sci-fi RPG but didn't know it.

There's a bevy of new sci-fi games out there, of the pencil and paper variety, that are looking for crowdfunding. I'm here to tell you that Hulks & Horrors is worth your hard earned space creds.

YEAH, it's a gonzo, whatever, space dungeoncrawl that you'll totally love and you'll get to play things that look like they escaped from the Brooklyn Zoo, circa 3012:
Yes, that's an anthropomorphic bear in a space suit back-to-squishy-part with a hovering squidAre we done here?

No? (Seriously?) Fine, let's continue. What you probably weren't aware of is that the artists are incredibly talented dudes who's work you likely already adore.

Ever seen this mini comic?

Click to enlarge any of these images to awesome proportions.

Clandestinauts, like its predecessor Intrepideers, is GONZO in all caps, my friends. It's a mini (and web) comic exploring the adventures of a ragtag group of adventurers through a sick and fantastical dungeon where all manner of horror is hoisted upon the hapless heroes. It's by Tim Sievert, who happens to be an amazing cartoonist and illustrator based in Minneapolis. I've met Tim on many occasions when he's hosted a table at local conventions and I'm the proud owner of several pieces of his work.

The other righteous fellow is Evan Palmer, who I met a while back and have been buying all the mini comics he's put out that I can get my grubby clubs on. My favorite so far is The Godins, about a band of wiley goblin misfits and their constant self-sabotage. (His site doesn't have a sample of that one up, but check out "The Trials of Sir Goodknight" for a close approximation of his expertly crafted sequential storytelling).

The H&H adventure party near the top of this post is his illio, FYI. Here's another robot character from his personal website.
I've wanted to see some sci-fi art from these guys--independently--for a while now. The thought that they'll BOTH be working on something TOGETHER is just about enough to make my primitive lizard-nerd brain go supernova. They're not only talented, but seriously good guys and I'm immensely proud their in my neck of the woods. They're the real deal.

So it comes to this, you space oaf: become a frakin' backer--for five measly space bucks you can get playtest access. For $10 more you can get it electronica. For $25 you can get the assassinated arbor version and can color in your tentacled friends. (There's also an H&H widget at right.)

Look, if the art alone doesn't get you, then the idea of mutant aliens (or is it alien mutants?) as the basis for an adventure party should, because astrobears.

Give your dice something fun to atomize!

Hulks & Horrors official site

Images are the property of their respective awesome creators. Word.

P.S. If I find my copies of their comics (we just moved, gimme a break, there's like 40 boxes still unpacked!) I'll post those and delete this sentence.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Trailer: Wachowskis' "Cloud Atlas" looks amazing

When was the last time you saw something this ambitious attempted in a Hollywood film? I can't recall any in recent history.

The visuals look incredible. I hope the story lives up to them! :)

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Alien Space Yetis (Wookies) for X-plorers

I've had some thoughts rattling around for a while on adapting aliens and creatures from established franchises in pop culture for X-plorers. I wouldn't do them as by-the-book, opting instead to tweak the established templates. Here's the first in a series of posts....

WOOKIES (Space Yetis)
So we can all agree that Wookies are generally space yetis, yes? I've always favored a more alien approach myself. Take the Galaxy Laser Team's version:

These are the same character I bestowed to Jon Scalzi a while back. Anyway, this alien has always kinda reminded me of Ralph McQuarrie's early Chewbacca concept art:

Anyway, I'd make a few adjustments. Wookies are supposed to be the grease monkeys (ha!) of the Star Wars universe--and yet, Han's always chewing out his co-pilot for perceived incompetence. Maybe it's his growling that makes him so misunderstood. Well, no more!

Telepath: Space yetis antennae give them the ability to send and receive telepathic brain waves. They're not born with them though--a potion is given to infants that allow them to grow one stalk to receive messages from parents, teachers, and those of higher rank. When a yeti brave becomes a full-fledged warrior, he receives a second stalk which allows him to send messages to her/his peers and those being lead in battle.

Claws: 1 in 6 space yeti have retractable claws (like Wolverine) that do 2d4 slashing damage.

Extra arms: 1 in 10 space yeti have an additional pair of arms (a la, white apes of Barsoom), allowing them an added attack per round. Since they're obviously good climbers (move full speed when climbing) the 6-limbed variety get an additional 2 moves per round when climbing. Also, more arms equates to more opportunities to rip off your arms.

1d20 will have both mutations.

Darksight: Big eyes = catlike vision at night. They can be blinded easily so many opt to wear goggles for everyday use.

Other: Space yeti keep the same characteristics of typical wookie stock, including thick coat to give them a resistance to cold (no penalties in subzero temps down to -30), ferocious roar to intimidate enemies (+2 to roll in combat situations), super strength (+3 PHY if you're making a PC) and are generally about 2.5 meters tall.

Blastin' stuff: In my cosmos, they love carbines and old beam tech. The older/crappier, the better and get +1d4 proficiency up to 200 meters from target.

Tinkering: Space yetis are fascinated with technological junk. If you're playing one as a PC, you should build a robot or six. If you're constantly scavenging parts and putting them in your satchel, I'd give you an extra skill for every bot you make at no cost. Spaceship repair comes naturally, consider it a built-in skill. I'll give you a +1 to-hit bonus for tinkering with your primary hand weapon of choice.

Welding: Every space yeti can weld. They all got As in metal shop. If you're making a weapon or welding some sort of A-Team war wagon. Your conveyance will get an armor bonus (+2 protection) cause you're so awesome.

Personality traits (1d12, for inspiration):

  1. Cranky
  2. Kleptomaniac
  3. Stubborn
  4. Loveable (+1 in human encounters while negotiating)
  5. Short-tempered
  6. Methodical
  7. Inquisitive
  8. Brooding
  9. Belligerent (-1 in human encounters while negotiating)
  10. Gentle
  11. Secretive
  12. Haughty
If you're not using them as PCs, they should be generally unfriendly. I once thought (after Star Wars, but before the holiday special) that wookies were naturally mean and it was just Han's relationship with Chewie that made him sociable. If you're not already a space yeti, then yer most likely looking fer trouble, dig?

Society: Space yeti's hail from the planet Himalannia where they build Frank Lloyd Wright-style homes in the mountains and jungles. They're mainly tribal and omnivorous.

There's no freakin' Lifeday, so don't go there. They have a natural musk that not everyone finds enchanting.

Customs: Because they love tech so much, it can sometimes become an obsession. Many a yeti has been cut down by a rival over a gadget or gizmo. Should you be a space yeti PC and run into another of your kind, expect the following:

  1. Chest thumping and mispronunciation of your name, a comment about your closest friend or family member, or lewd implication regarding what's about to happen to you.
  2. Rite of Challenge for what's in your satchel.
  3. Winner reduces rival to 1/2 hit points (or more) in order to claim victory. 
  4. Loser must take victor's last name as shame for one year.
  5. If you win, you have the right to boss that dude around for one session.

Yeti can also challenge other races if they like, but only if they really, really want some piece of highly-prized tech. GM's discretion advised (said piece should technically be important to the adventure's plot).

P.S. Wanna pick up some of those Galaxy Laser Team space yetis? They're in production again!

Archie Bronson Outfit has your next campaign setting all ready to go...

Set in the same universe as Multinauts, methinks.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

May all your Christmases be cauterized

New this year from Hallmark, just in time for the holidays!

Here's a closer look:

I love how the red ribbon joyfully thumbs it's nose at the notion of cauterized 'saber wounds.

Via Rebelscum