05 November 2012

XP awards for current Stars Without Number game

 There's a missing mathematician, his research, and the shadowy forces that appear to have kidnapped him.

Recover the missing mathematician alive: 1,000 XP
Stop the mathematician from escaping: 500XP
Recover the research:1,000 XP
Understand the implications of the research: 250 XP
Lose the insurance, but stop anyone else from getting it: 500 XP
There are also three unsettling bits of information, each worth 250 XP points.

Life at Ix.

Planet IX, Ward's Star

On moonbases:

Mineshaft colonies, harnessing tidal forces for power, autonomous industry on the surface. Mostly settled by Japanese and Russian colonists.

In O'Neil cylinders:

Corporate enclaves. The top 500 all have official headquarters at Ix. Terrariums in space filled with nightmare suburban hell. The wealthiest baseline humans in the entire system play out whatever fantasies and amusements strike their fancy. Patrick Bateman would be in heaven. The old money families tend to be descended from Japanese colonists, and the new money from Russian colonists.

Inside hollow rocks:

Medium security corporate research facilities predominate. Ixian corporations are known for producing autonomous machinery, starships, cybernetics, and self replicating devices and software. Ethnically diverse, with many researchers from both the inner system and from other stars.

Aboard the Unflinching Eye of Heaven:

The Unflinching Eye of Heaven is a large cylindrical space habitat built shortly before the Collapse. The Eye survived the Collapse, and is at the high end of tech 5 or the low end of tech 6. The Eye is the seat of the Ixian Confederacy, and the largest population center in the Outer System. All residents of the Eye have a high standard of living, supported by the autonomous industrial capacity of the Eye. Most tech level 3 consumer goods are essentially free, but only in a limited range of styles. The pre-Collapse culture aboard the Eye was Russian and Japanese, with North American, Georgian, Indonesian, Romanian, and Peruvian minority groups.

National Geographic Star Survey #98567

30 October 2012

Yesterday, Tomorrow, and the Great Race of Yith

The Yithians are my favorite time travelling psychic jerkasses.
1. Yithians are great background noise, like the constant threat of nuclear apocalypse. Although you can get used to them, they are always unsettling. You could be snatched by the bastards at any moment!
2. The Yithians work well for missing persons cases. Missing persons, kidnappings, or any other kind of investigatory scenario can give players a feel for a city setting, as they blunder about like Walter and The Dude.
3. Where there are Yithians, there are Mi-Go and Elder Things. That's a great inter-species gang. If the Yithians don't steal your mind, the Mi-Go will cut out your brain and stick it in a jar. If you're lucky an Elderthing will adopt you as a pet, like the witch from "The Dreams in the Witchouse."
4. Its like elves and dwarves. Common starting point before you turn up the weird.

Orbital Habitats and Space Elevators (Stars Without Number)


More cylinders, this one is from a Gundam fan wiki.
Space elevator diagram from the wikipedia article.
Not a space elevator, but the citadel form City 17 could pass as the base of a space elevator.


26 July 2012

Hirelings From the Docks

Hirelings from the docks
It costs 1d6x10 gold to roll on the table. Cross off the hireling once they've been hired and replace them. I used one of the tables I found here as a starting point. Kilgore has a lot of useful PDFs up.

1. Nigel, a lotus powder addict. 2 HP, AC 10. Filthy, wielding a long sword (1d8), and and short bow (1d6). Willing to kill.
2. Gregor, a large bald man with cruel eyes. 5 HP, AC 14. Wearing a jack of plates (studded leather) and a buckler. Armed with a longsword (1d8) and a spear (1d6). Willing to kill.
3. Olaf, a northern berserker covered in crude blue and red tattoos. HP 6, AC 11. Wearing sandals, a loincloth and a small shield. "It's not that cold." Armed with a danish axe (1D8). Willing to kill.
4. Hamza, a green man from the south. 5 HP, AC 14. Wearing exotic foreign armor made of overlapping bronze scales sewn to boiled leather. Armed with a curved short sword (1d6) and a massive club covered in iron studs (1d8). Willing to kill.
5. Ingrid, a bone woman. 6 HP, AC 10. Jaunty pirate clothes, as well as a dashing hat. Armed with a cutlass (1d6). Willing to kill.
6. Brundergilta, a dwarven woman. 3 HP, AC 10. Wearing motley covered in rusty brown stains. Wielding a large mace (1d6). Willing to kill.
7. Mary, an aspiring robber. 2 HP, AC 12. Black leather armor, a mask, and a shock of red hair. Wielding a short sword (1d6) and a hatchet (1d6). Willing to kill.
8. Pip, a chimney sweep of indeterminate gender. 6 HP, AC 10, carrying a shiv fashioned from a piece of glass wrapped in a rag bound up with twine (1d4). Willing to act as a torch bearer, likely to bolt at the first sign of danger.
9. Samsa, a sullen wizard from the east. 4 HP. AC 10. Unshaven, unkempt, and apparently perpetually hungover. Smells terrible. Can cast Sleep once per day. Armed with a large knife (1d4). Willing to kill.
10. Sigmar, a cadaverous mugwump addict. 2 HP, AC 14. Wearing exotic armor fashioned from the hides of swamp lizards, wielding a mace (1d6). Willing to kill.

Right, here it is. The story so far, to the limit of my ability to recall.

 A gang of printmakers, needing a break from the bar and the printshop, sit down to play D&D.
Here's the party:
Brett's fighter guy, who has a gladiator thing going.
Kim's dwarven priestess and her creepy shiny rock that whispers things to her.
Kristy's gnomish bard who proves bards don't suck.
Rob's pie obsessed street urchin.
Brian's smooth talking thief.

We used a mishmash of 3.5 and whatever bits from Labyrinth Lord or the Basic/Expert books that came to mind. I'm still struggling with how to convert the characters to a system that I'm comfortable running but will work for players who are more used to 3rd/4th edition.

"Mental Illness in Freeport."
500 gold pieces would weigh far too much to carry. You wouldn't receive a sack of currency, much less raw gold. Mr. Johnson would extend you a line of credit, good throughout both the white, grey, and black markets of the city. That's how you first met him. Every foreign adventurer who washes up in Freeport needs someone to launder their money. Better to never handle the money yourself, at least not with the Lady High Treasurer's (Lady Anne Deerhall) unsettling pets snuffling and snorting about. Not to mention the danger of sitting on top of that much currency in a city swarming with thieves, hucksters, spies, and hired killers.

500 gold pieces is a lot for a missing librarian. Perhaps too much, but now it's more than just the gold. Albert, the missing librarian, hadn't made friends at work. Another Librarian-Priest is so desperate to be rid of the man that he's propositioning random adventurers himself, without the polite fiction of a middle man. Albert's diary is full of mad ranting and rambling, the fragments of a mind shattered by amnesia. There must be something there, some insight or secret worth killing for.

The trail has led here, to a burned out bakery on the edge of town, and into the sewers and tunnels beneath the city. To make things worse, the trail leads right into what is obviously an entrance into the dark underworld that festers beneath the city. If you go too far underground, things get strange. The barriers between this universe and the one next door are weaker down there. Hopefully whoever, or whatever, has kidnapped Albert hasn't gone too deep. Of course, there's bound to be gold down there. And gems, finely crafted art, talking swords, and relics of great power.