Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Sketching With a Heavy Hand Tonight

I'm doing a series of sketches based on my game play of Star Smuggler. Click the link to read the review and download a copy. 

I am sick of the vector art right now. My hand has gotten heavy from a lack of practice plus I am using a mechanical pencil which requires a very light touch. This is probably not helped by the fact that I have been using a Wacom Bamboo for a few days in a row.

Many of these characters are based on what I have seen the TV show Rebels on Disney+, plus a bit of Robotech and reality thrown in. This woman is what I think Emily, the Pilot/Navigator of the Antelope looks like.

Her uniform is sort of based off of a British Submariner's fire fighting kit, mixed with a police officer's bullet proof vest. 

As a pilot/navigator, she doesn't often carry a weapon, therefore doesn't have any holsters. By the Star Smuggler rules, there is barely enough room for her and one other person in the cockpit, therefore she very little in the way of gear that might hang up on something. This is inline with real world tankers.

This guy on the right is also a pilot. He is wearing the minimum amount of kit for flying in space. He is wearing a dress uniform which does have the capacity to accept a helmet on the neck ring, but while one duty, he would be completely suited up in a space suit. He holds his glasses in his left hand. His helmet does have a prescription visor and a HUD, but in his dress uniform, the helmet is mostly for show.

He has a logo on his chest for his unit. The armor like piece on his chest is merely a high-tech unit sash for easy identification, plus it pulls his neckring down tight. Notice that he is fully gloved like Emily above. Unlike Maverick and Han Solo, pilots don't like freeze or fry their hands off while flying.

I will likely add some sort of ceremonial pauldron to one or both shoulders. This guy's outfit is for show, so he'll need to be reworked in mission ready suit.

Deadeye on the right is dressed for combat. He carries a heavy side arm, with some sort of explosive rounds. Unlike the two characters above, he is mission ready.

The cap that he wears over his helmet is cloth, meant to deaden the sound of his gun should his high-tech "ears" fail him. He has heavy body armor plainly visible, but also wears a bulky fabric vest for storage on top of it.

The backpack contains a very limited amount of air and re-breathing apparatus, an evaporative cooling unit and a small short range radio like the Apollo astronauts.

Unlike an astronaut, he has only limited capabilities in a vacuum. This armor is mean for planets with low atmospheric pressure or extremely polluted air. The fabric portions of his suit would probably be a hindrance in a vacuum. Exiting an airlock would probably cause frost to form and perhaps particles of ice to drift around him in a cloud. His undergarment is skin tight to prevent it from balloon in low pressure.

The next person only has a nickname: "Delta Vee". This is my motorcycle's name. Yes, I named it. Like the motorcycle, her clothes are going to be black, teal and purple.

She has three different logos on her uniform. The larger of the two is based on Kingdom Hearts. When I redraw her, this heart area will be more padded or quilted keeping with the idea of softgoods. I think the center will be black, the striping purple and the rest of the outfit, teal.

Zoom in a bit closer, you can make out the second heart on her shoulder. Emily has a braid of some sort on her shoulder, while this woman has embroidery. Between her neck and chest is her knickname: δV or Delta V. This should be an upper case Delta, Δ, to match the Rocket Equation, but I like to soft lines of the lower case δ. I might use a more scripty V to match the δ.

She is probably a mercenary or pirate, with a military background. She carries a light side arm, with a sideways magazine owing to the fact that she is pilot. Should she be trapped behind or worse, in a downed fighter, her pistol needs to clear obstructions like Sten type gun. She is probably not the best shot with a pistol, so she carries a lot of ammo with an extended mag. She might not carry many magazines, but what she has is enough for a slow shooting pistol.

In this iteration, she has a cape. I am not sure if that will stay with her in subsequent drawings. Perhaps she wears in when traveling, but not in the cockpit.


Strictly (Duke) Springer - Day 021

Sorry gang, Day 21 is boring. One of those skimmers is down for repair and I need it fixed before we sell it. So we need a day of RRR.

We roll for contacts today, which would really be unwanted. Nothing comes of it, so we proceed to RRR. The Ship's Engineer rule has a quirk, which I don't see anyway of fixing. On a RRR day, we can regain health and he can fix equipment. But does he regain health while fixing equipment? Maybe? I have to check the rules again.

Anyway, we must have that skimmer fixed plus back on day 014, everyone took a hit of damage. RRR will heal that.

Our assets are:

1 Antelope starship, which I owe 119,300 secs. in principle.
1 Stasis pod 2 CU,
15 Fuel Units,
23 Repair units,
10 Life Support Units
1 U-bot,
2 PS-bots,
7 Skimmers,
7 U-suit,
and the ship is fueled with 4 hypercharges, having used 2 to get here.  

I have 275 secs. in my pocket. 

I promised ads on every day of RRR, so here it is.

I saw a few people post on some charity bundles over at DriveThruRPG for the fires down under. 100% of your purchase goes to the following organizations:

Disaster Relief and Recovery - Australia Red Cross
Bushfire Emergency - World Wildlife Fund of Australia

DriveThruRPG and it's publishers have really stepped up, here. There are 5 bundles for every type of interest. I didn't bother to count the number of great titles included with each. All of them appear to have more than a dozen books each.

Fantasy Core & Settings $19.95
Starships & Posthumanity $29.95
Modern & Urban Horror $19.95
Fantasy Supplements $29.95
Capes, Grit, and Gunsmoke $19.95

Personally, I'm going for the Fantasy and Core Settings bundle. What a great way to celebrate gaming, a birthday or whatever while helping out those in the awesome but beleaguered OZ.

Monday, January 20, 2020

It's Been a While Since a Plug...

The logo and covers for my products on DriveThruRPG are reminiscent of Leonardo’s Vitruvian Man. Sometimes, we are not as flexible, adaptable or available as we feel we should be. We can't possibly have all of the resources we need, when we need them.

It will be ok. We just do our best.

Today's plug is for DriveThruRPG's charity bundles. 100% of your purchase goes to the following organizations:

Disaster Relief and Recovery - Australia Red Cross
Bushfire Emergency - World Wildlife Fund of Australia

Fantasy Core & Settings $19.95
Starships & Posthumanity $29.95
Modern & Urban Horror $19.95
Fantasy Supplements $29.95
Capes, Grit, and Gunsmoke $19.95

I haven't counted how many products or how much money you'd save, but just the Fantasy Core & Setting bundle took a heck of a lot of time to download. All five of them could take hours, depending on your internet speed. And playing them could last years.

If you still have extra money and time, you could also "buy" one of my products. They are priced at pay what you want. Don't be afraid to download them for free to get an idea if they will fit with your campaign.


Clicking the links above will take you to DriveThruRPG for purchasing.

Strictly (Duke) Springer - Day 020


Let’s talk about the big picture. There is a starmap below.


Moving down one yellow line costs 1 hypercharge and is done relatively risk free. I have to roll for an encounter when I arrive, but that is all. 

If I want to hop two worlds without stopping at the intervening planet, I can burn 3 hypercharges and immediately move from one planet to another. I risk damage to ship by skipping steps and I will also have to roll for entry contacts in a possibly damaged ship.

Additionally, to safely jump, I need to move to orbit (1 hour) then several distances out from orbit. Each step burns an hour. I can, if I am lucky, jump two systems in a day, at a cost of 2 hypercharges. That is my intent.

Why am I skipping a planet? Each system has a tech level and wealth code. The next system over, Palatek, is no better than where I am so I want to go to Imperia. Imperia has a wealth code of 100, the best in the game. This means sold items are worth more. Buying items is also more expensive, so if I can sell the Skimmers at a premium, I can return to Regari or Palatek to buy hypercharges at a much reduced price. They have a base price of 500, so I need to score big. 

My first jump is to Palatek. This takes 5 hours just to get to the jump point and go. Half a day is gone. On entry, I get a 1 which is e93. That event describes a deserted area, nothing happens. I can immediately jump again, so I do so. On entry, I roll a three. This happens to be the same event above, so I can move to a landing area on the planet.

Unfortunately, I roll a six while entering a city space. This gives me a System result, which is a result specific to the System I am in. This one is very bad... depending on how evil I am. The ship is swarmed by beggars. We can fight or pay them to leave. 2D6x5 secs. will cause them to walk away. I mentioned that I could be evil. They have rocks and I have a starship guns. Guess how that is going to go?

Realistically, there are zero consequences to gunning them down. I can't pick them over for cash, because they event says they have none. However, I could spend all day long rolling up number of combatants then rolling massively effective weapon fire on dozens of unarmed people.

It isn’t worth my time as a player and sort of follows the ethic of a smuggler not a criminal. We pay them off with 45 secs.

Our assets are:

1 Antelope starship, which I owe 119,300 secs. in principle.
1 Stasis pod 2 CU,
15 Fuel Units,
24 Repair units,
10 Life Support Units
1 U-bot,
2 PS-bots,
6 Skimmers,
1 Damaged Skimmer,
7 U-suit,
and the ship is fueled with 4 hypercharges, having used 2 today. 

I have 275 secs. in my pocket. I might have made a bad financial call on paying off the beggars, but it saved a bunch of time in addition to not being nutjob insane. 

Matt Jackson's CollaboDungeon... Number 1?

Over on MeWe, Matt Jackson kicked off a Dungeon Collaboration. He posted a map over on his blog, MSJx.org and invited us to pick a room to describe. You can follow the conversation over on mewe with the hashtag #collabodungeon and the results on Matt's blog.

Matt declared a free for all while Goblin’s Henchman through out an idea for 300 word description limit, which I ran with.

I picked area 7. Unlucky number 7.


The 300 word description:

Location Seven. The Twins.

There are two women, twins, in the pit. They are identical in all ways save one. One women wears a lead ring. When they become aware of the characters, they will both shout out for help. When the characters look in the pit, they will hear the following orders:

Twin with the ring: "Kill her! She's a demon!"
Twin without the ring: "Kill her! She's an idiot!"

They are both at the bottom of the pit and represent no threat to the characters in this state. They are both bloodied and bruised from the fall and each has a blacken right eye.

If the party rescues them, they will find out the following information. Twin One, the one with the ring is named Meredith. She entered the dungeon with her friends in search of treasure. She found a gold ring in area 8 and after discerning no purpose to it, put it on. She was pushed by a monster into the pit.

Twin Two, without the ring, was a doppelganger hiding in area 8. To take on Meredith's form, she ambushed her by pushing her into the pit. Unfortunately for the monster, Meredith grabbed it's wrist as she fell and both ended up at the bottom. As the doppelganger took her form, Meredith shouted "Begone!" which the ring of wishes interpreted as a command against the monster. Since the doppelganger was in mid-transformation into Meredith, the ring fixed it in that form before turning to lead. The doppelganger is now an exact copy of Meredith.

The twins have found combat against each to be profoundly lethal, as they mirror each other's moves perfectly, hence the matching black eyes. They will not fight each other. They will join the party to escape the dungeon.


I'll probably make up stats for Meredith someday, but she is presented as rule set agnostic here.

No one said anything about a follow up, but I'd love to see #1, #2, #3...

Sunday, January 19, 2020

Strictly (Duke) Springer - Day 019


Emily reporting for duty. 
We get things done quickly today. I make some great rolls and get my Life Support Units and U-Suits by mid-day. Annoyingly, I also get a roll for a ship and a boat again… I can’t afford those. I buy 10 Life Support Units and 5 suits. More than what I need at a price of 60 secs. I have 690 left.

Since it’s mid-day, I am going to take on some financial tasks. I pay the crew for the week early, leaving 620. I also make an early payment on the ship so I have 320 credits left.

If I don’t change things, I will either become wanted for not paying on the ship next week or lose most or all of my crew.

Our assets are:

1 Antelope starship, which I owe 119,300 secs. in principle.
1 Stasis pod 2 CU,
15 Fuel Units,
24 Repair units,
10 Life Support Units
1 U-bot,
2 PS-bots,
6 Skimmers,
1 Damaged Skimmer,
7 U-suit,
and the ship is fully fueled with 6 hypercharges.

I have 320 secs. in my pocket.