Sunday, September 29, 2019

Barbarians of the Ruined Earth Alternate Cover

Here is my finished alternate cover for Mike Evans' Barbarians of the Ruined Earth (check out the Kickstarter).

I'm happy with this. I wanted a comic book vibe with action and spectacle and I think I pulled it off. I'm not sure why the giant robot is spitting liquid fire but I thought it was very metal so I kept it.

Ah, but what is this game you ask?

Barbarians of the Ruined Earth, from here on known as BotRE, is a post-apocaliptic sci-fantasy RPG in the spirit of Thundarr the Barbarian. So basically swords, sorcery, and super-science. It is based on The Black Hack by David Black, which is one of the best and most versatile old-school RPG engines around. If you have played D&D you will recognize many of the tropes of the game system, though it plays quite differently. For example, in BotRE and TBH the players do nearly all the dice rolling. The GM only rolls for things like random tables and whatever madness they have going on behind the screen. They GM doesn't touch dice otherwise. Let the players do the work.

So check it out.

Saturday, September 28, 2019

Sketch for Barbarians of the Ruined Earth Cover

Work in progress... pretty metal?

Here's the Kickstarter!

Decommissioned Warbot

Here's #46 on the Backgrounds Table for Hellion Cross. This guy has seen its better days but maybe it's got some spark left in its metal bones.

46. Decommissioned Warbot (AWOL)

In your heyday you were a first-class robot warrior with a really big canon. You used to level buildings. But too many drops into hot messes has left you battered, broken, and beset with bugs. They took your canon first, then they slated you for spare parts storage. That just didn’t sit right with your over-stressed AI... so you opted out of the program. With your fist. What will you do when the Law finally catches up with you? 

-Long distance scanner 
-Welding torch finger 
-Short distance boosters (for flying) 
-Detachable limbs 
-Pick one weapon: PL22, 11 gauge shotgun, revolver, RIG 207
-Robot body (armor 2) 

Advanced Skills:
4 Pistol 
4 Rifle 
2 Strength 
2 Fly 

In times of stress, the GM may call for a Luck test. If you blow it then something inside you blows, at least for a short time. Your body has been scavenged. Roll 1d6 to find out how. 

Missing hand.  
Missing arm.  
Missing part of head.  
Power module incomplete; 1d6 hour recharge time  
Rust prevention gone; avoid water.  
Hard skin stripped to 1 armor.  

Sunday, September 22, 2019

Blas-Tar Field Agent

Here's #15 on the Backgrounds table for the Troika! setting book that I'm currently writing. Working title for the project as of now: Hellion Cross!

15. Blas-Tar Field Agent

You had one dream: blow stuff up and get paid doing it. Well congratulations! You’re living the dream as a rep for Blas-Star, one of the most popular arms manufacturers in the Coz. Each day you get to travel with customers and explode stuff, followed by paperwork and Dramurian rotgut. And you like it... maybe a little too much?

-2d6 Blas-Tar Boppers
-Blas-Tar Blas-Ter blaster
-1 random Blas-Tar demo item (1-2 Blas-Ter, 3 QuEF [Quantum Entangled Fist], 4 Pulsed Plasma Pistol, 5 Pulsed Plasma Rifle, 6 experimental Blas-Tar Bopper)
-Company credit card
-Standard issue company saber

Advanced Skills:
4 Knowledge: Blas-Tar Corporation
4 Demolitions
1 Pistol
1 Sword
2 Smooth Talk
2 Corporate Connections

You can use your corporate connections skill to secure demo products, travel accommodations, and diplomatic immunities (where recognized). But only when corporate bothers to return your pages.

Saturday, September 21, 2019

Troika! Character Sheet #2

This is my second effort at making a Troika! character sheet. It was a lot more fun. Here's the PDF, for you weirdos who like that stuff.

Troika! Character Sheet #1

Here's my first effort at making a Troika! sheet. It's not great, but it helped me get a feel for the spacing required and gave me more comfort with the elements.

Here's a link to a PDF of the sheet.

Monday, September 2, 2019

Zoa Space Fantasy Design Notes #1

EDIT: The book is complete. The title is Supercalla. Go check it out! Now back to the older post...

I'm in the early stages of creating a Troika!-based sci-fantasy RPG. The working title has always been Zoa Space Fantasy, but that is subject to change. An alternate title I have on the table is Hellion Cross, which is the name of a specific sunrealm within the larger setting of the Coz.

Here are a couple of design choices I'm currently wrestling with.

1. Should this be a Troika! setting or a standalone RPG based on Troika!? My inclination is to make it standalone. My only reason for entertaining the idea of making it a setting is that it would be slightly easier to pull that off. Of course this game has precious few rules so really we're not talking about a huge amount of work to make it a standalone book. The benefit of going that direction is also that I can incorporate "house rules" directly into the actual rules.

2. I had this notion that the Backgrounds would either be in 3 sets of 36 or 6 sets of 36. I feel like 6 sets is a little overkill. It would be fun to create that many, but maybe that would make choosing a Background a little harder. Rolling for it would be as easier either way.

3. How much of the setting is implied by the Backgrounds vs. explicitly described in other sections? What I love about Troika! is that the Backgrounds do in fact give you a sketch of a setting and that's really all you need in order to get a game going. From there it can go anywhere. So here the conceit of the world-builder comes into conflict with the game's very simple aesthetic. The more I enforce the crunchy details of this world the less room you have as a player to be playful and creative. I have always gravitated to things that give me more room to play and be creative, so why would I want to create something that hinders people?

What I'm leaning toward right now is to have the vast majority of the setting suggested within the Backgrounds and maybe give the broad setting an Isle of Dread-style treatment... brief little paragraphs describing the major concepts and places - information that would fit on a couple of pages at most.

Ultimately I'd like to make this a fairly visual book, saddle-stitched and in the realm of 48-64 pages. Probably in color, like a 70s comic art album. A thing that inspires role-playing more than directing it.

Sunday, September 1, 2019

Blue Wizard (finished)

I posted the sketch for this guy a while back. Here's the finished art. The version appearing in The Hole in the Oak is cropped a bit.

Back in my day, sonny, we rolled our only d6 up hill in the snow. Both wa-- well you get what I'm sayin'.