Friday, April 24, 2020

Strictly (Duke) Springer - Day 125 – The Seventh and Final Hour

According to “About the Game”, this system can be used an adventure or campaign guideline. Since I have effectively “won” this game a couple of times over, let’s try this.

The story so far... Duke and the gang were jumped by the police. They shot their way out, but then the military showed up with 3 tanks and 6 troopers. All three tanks are disabled, but still firing on the ship. They have the equivalent of tech level one spaceship guns. The battle has been going on for an hour. The officer leading the tanks had a field disruptor, which forces any piece of equipment to make a breakdown roll. The ship has been hit several times, but has succeeded in it's save. This ship is Tech 6. Tech levels for ships only come into play for breakdown or risky jumping.

Dirtside, combat rounds are 5 minutes. In space, they are an hour. This the second hour of combat. We're going to do a little space combat soon.

2 hr, 00 minutes: Duke has ordered the ship to land and the hoppers to launch in the last round. This hasn't happened yet and he doesn't know why. Duke has taken over shooting from Audrey. He blasts another tank, as does Deadeye. The last tank misses.

David and Ace are in one hopper while Mike and Lefty are in the other. Each hopper can hold 14 CU of things. There are 13 crewmen. If they suit up, but abandon their heavy weapons, each one can carry 7 crewmen. Emily splits the crew up: Ace's hopper holds David, Audrey, Ratchet, and Bones. The second hopper hold's Mike, Lefty, Doc, Jon and Lucy. There is space for 2 more people on each Hopper. The crew in the hoppers are ready to pull in Fuel and Life Support units.

2 hr, 05 minutes: Emily is now at the controls of the ship, Duke and Deadeye have the guns as they break for orbit. Duke is confused by all of this, but rolls with it.

3 hrs, 00 minutes. Emily spots two patrol ships (e108) in orbit, ready to intercept the Buffalo. She switches on the ships ECM, sets the autopilot for max speed and orders Deadeye to a hopper. Deadeye hops into Ace's shuttle and they load one more Fuel Unit and Life Support Unit. Ace opens the Hopper bay doors.

The patrol ships are TL-4, have TL-4 guns and 10 hits. They have neither ECM or Screens. Duke and Emily unload on them, as does Ace's shuttle. They focus their fire on one of the two ships. Splitting fire in the game doesn't work. Duke and Emily roll six dice each, since they have TL-6 guns. The hopper rolls 5 dice, while it has TL-6 guns, against ships they do one die less. A roll of 1 or 2 is a hit, a roll of multiple hits indicates a critical has occurred, too.

Duke hits the lead ship for two points of damage. Emily piles on the criticals, doing 3 points of damage plus 2 criticals. Life support goes down in that ship. David scores another 2 hits plus a critical. The ship's cargo hold is bleeding air.

The ships return fire. They get 4 dice each. They lose one die because of the ECM, but gain one because there is no one at the controls of the Buffalo. I said we were on autopilot, but effectively, all three ships are flying in a straight line with no change in distance. The patrol ships are maneuvering for advantage while our hero's can't.

The Buffalo takes 3 hits, but no criticals. It's down to 8 more hits.

4 hrs, 00 minutes. Emily orders Duke to met her at the last hopper. You know he won't do that.

David scores three more hits on the lead patrol ship. She begins to break up. Duke rains now a barrage on the second ship. He scores 3 hits plus a critical that would have been scored on their ECM system. They don't have one, so the critical doesn't count. Emily is running back to the hopper, so she doesn't shoot.

The Buffalo takes another pair of hits. She is down to 6.

5 hrs. 00 minutes: The crew of the second hopper want to get out of here, but Emily is holding out for Duke. He blazes away at patrol ship, doing one more point of damage. David does the same.

It's not an even trade, as the Buffalo takes three hits. The Buffalo has 3 hits left while the patrol ship has 5.

6 hrs. 00 minutes. The last hour... Emily orders the hopper to leave as Duke hammers the other ship with 2 hits. It returns fire and explosions rack the Buffalo. As the ship burns, the hoppers destroy the last ship.

THE SEVENTH AND FINAL HOUR. Duke was all about the safety of his crew. He had a stasis unit installed in each turret, but as a consequence, there was no room for a U-suit.

Several civilian ships rush to search for survivors. Ace's hopper lands on the Serena Dawn out of Truane's Star while Emily's group makes for a courier ship bound for Mithril...

This adventure with the Star Smuggler Rule set is at an end. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did. I tried to use this set of rules as a jumping off point to see what I could start with a more advanced set of RPG rules. This set has its limits set the stage for future adventures. Half the gang will be moving on to the planet Volturnus in the Zebulon system while the larger group will join the crew of the courier to conduct the survey of Mithril. Fortunately, Lucy's ability to drive a skimmer, and possibly an ATV, will be an advantage.

Perhaps someday, they will meet up with Duke again. Or perhaps, one of them will become a Star Smuggler like him.

Thursday, April 16, 2020

#TBT - Campaign Helper - A Dictionary of Classical Antiquities

This a throwback post. This entry was originally posted on November 28th, 2019. 

As a social studies teacher, I like to tell people that I know everything... just not all at once. :)

The fact is, while I can't know everything, I have complied a list of resources so I can get an overview of a vast variety of subjects rather easily. Today, I found a new resource:

From the desk of Dr. Oskar Seyffert. this 1895 illustrated dictionary runs from Abacus to Zosimus. I'm sure it's horribly dated, but you have to love a dictionary that ends with a Greek historian and an Index. The first seems perfect to me, but the second is most definitively wrong in my internet addled brain. has 10 different files and 19 different ways to download this book for free. Check it out, it could be a great campaign helper for you game.

These Old Games, powered by Macintosh

Well, let me introduce you to the little machine that sparked the idea for These Old Games. I always meant to review old video games, but that never came to pass. Too many people do it better.

Anyway, I have this little odd machine from 1999 that just keeps ticking. It began it's life as a Scandinavian Mac from lord knows where. The prior owner tried to throw 10.4 on it via an external DVD drive and apparently got hosed by the language or the chipset. It ended up as eBay fodder. I picked it up for 20 bucks.

I feel bad about that because they went through all 52 steps to upgrade the hard drive from 6 GB to  16 GB.

I was able to "fix it" by wiping the whole thing down to 9.0 then disc danced my way back to up to 9.2.2 using discs I had lying around. Theoretically, the whole thing shouldn't have worked, but somehow it did. It also required me to install 10.0.3 Kodiak. As beta-ware it's ok. 0.3 is nothing like OSX in use.

Looking at the machine, I can't tell if the prior owner replaced the Apple logo with a newer one or perhaps that logo is made of plastic which is not as susceptible to sun bleaching. I've had to glue the little leaf back into place twice in the past decade or so.

The little beast has an upgraded battery and RAM. I believe it has a 512 mb RAM chip inside, but it can't read it to the full potential. The modern battery gives it a life of an 8 solid hours, or days if I run a RAM disk.

The Airport card works, but doesn't connect to any wifi router with modern security. I can plug into a cable, so theoretically, I can connect to the internet. I'm running Classilla but that is super wonky with modern websites. It's far better not to try.

To supplement the 16 GB hard drive, I have a 32 GB thumb drive which occupies the single usb port. It's a pain because this machine works nicely with my Bamboo tablet.

Over the years, I have been able to pick up editions of Mac Addict at my local thirty store, so I basically have every insane bit of software "1999 Me" would have wished for, two decades late.

This machine is ridiculously overpowered for what it was meant to be, but I can't tell you great it is to open up Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy or Zork.

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Strictly (Duke) Springer - Day 125 – April 15th. Hour 1.

According to “About the Game”, this system can be used an adventure or campaign guideline. Since I have effectively “won” this game a couple of times over, let’s try this.

1 hr, 00 minutes: Duke and the gang leave the ship to make a contact at the spaceport bar. On the way, they are intercepted by the police. Apparently, they don’t like smugglers. These police are listed in e017. There are 3 police skimmers with TL-1 guns, each with a driver and gunner (E:6, M:5, H:3). There are two troopers in the back of each vehicle, (E:7, M:4, H:6) armed with TL-1 side arms and heavy weapons. They surround our party and order them to surrender. It’s 12 vs. 13. Game on!

Combat rounds on the ground are 5 minutes. In space, they are an hour.

Duke, Lefty, Deadeye, Emily, David and Audrey have TL-4 heavy weapons and open fire. But Lucy, Michael, Jon and Ratchet have TL-6 side arms and go first. Side arms will only damage skimmers on a critical. They hit 3 times, but fail to do any damage. But it keeps the troopers in the skimmers.

Next go the heavy weapons which should go better. And they do. All three skimmers are disabled and one officer is down. The police jump from their burning vehicles.

1 hr, 05 minutes: Duke and the gang run back to their ship in the distance. The drivers and gunners stay with the burning vehicles while 3 troops chase Duke’s gang and 3 other shoot. They all miss.

1 hr. 10 minutes: Duke and the gang reach the ship’s ramp. Duke, Lefty and Emily guard the ramp while the rest pile into the ship. They exchange fire with the Troopers. One trooper is killed outright, another is KO’ed and the third has a single hit point. Return fire is ineffective again.

1 hr. 15 minutes: Duke hit’s the last of the pursuing trio, killing him. In the meantime, the police have put out the fires and have called for backup. Jon fires up the ship while Deadeye takes one turret and Audrey takes the other.

1 hr. 20 minutes: The police have regrouped. The skimmer gunners have remounted the smoking vehicles and open fire on Duke, Lefty and Emily. Skimmer guns aren’t as dangerous as I thought, Duke shrugs off a single wound and the gang retreats into the ship.

1 hr. 25 minutes: Deadeye and Audrey return fire from the turrets. Two vehicles explode killing the gunners. In the meantime, the police units have recovered their dead, wound and more importantly, their weapons. The police force is down to just 7 guys, but 6 have heavy hand weapons and 1 has a side arm.

1 hr. 30 minutes: Audrey and Deadeye finish off the remaining vehicle as the police take cover. David and Ace head for one hopper while Mike and Lefty head for the other. Jon rotates the ship.

1 hr. 35 minutes: The military is on the scene now. 6 soldiers armed with heavy weapons and 4 frag grenades each. They have the same stats as the troopers, as e018 neglects to give stats. On top of this, the officer has a field scrambler. He fires on the ship and misses. The rest of the men start assembling an artillery piece.

1 hr. 40: I’m making a judgment call here. Starship guns inside an atmosphere use the ship’s computer skill which is 6 instead of the gunner’s skill. I call B.S. because I have TL-6 guns, which is an automatic hit. I’ll roll 1d6 per tech level, minus one 1d6 for being in the atmosphere. That is 5d6, and a hit occurs on a 1 or 2. If I roll more than 2 hits, the each extra hit is a critical. I hit that artillery piece and destroy it. The officer fires back with his discombobulator. He hits and the ship falters, but doesn’t breakdown.

1 hr. 45 minutes: The gunners try to hit that officer, Deadeye misses, but Audrey wipes him out.

1 hr. 50 minutes: 3 TL-2 tanks arrive on the scene and open fire on the ship. One vehicle takes a single hit while the other takes a single hit and an ineffective critical. In the meantime, someone retrieves the officer’s field scrambler. One tank lands a hit on the ship for a single point of damage.

1 hr. 55 minutes: Return fire cripples the last tank, but they keep shooting. They don’t hit. The ship is hit by the field scrambler and power flickers again. Duke orders the ship to land and the hoppers to launch.

The police force is down to 6 troopers and the military has 3 damaged tanks and 6 soldiers.

We have 71,573 in cash, have 8 hypercharges. Duke and the ship has taken one hit. And we are in big trouble... 

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Strictly (Duke) Springer - Day 124 – April 14th.

We land at the space port with no trouble and set about shopping for hypercharges. We are rudderless again since we paid off the ship.

Let’s take stock today by displaying the character sheets again. I’m only missing a few bits. The ship has screens and the hoppers have TL-6 weapons. The pantry is pretty bare. We could probably have a dozen skimmers, a pair of tanks or two hoppers in the ship's holds. But we don't.

On the character sheets, I removed all money and salary. I wasn't tracking that for a good long time.  Audrey should have a military suit from the hold.

We have 71,573 in cash, have 8 hypercharges.  We now own our ship. We are wanted on Palatek.

Digging Deeper into Star Smuggler - Surprises in the Events Booklet - Military Equipment (e018)

In my first post in this series, I detailed the Battleship found in e081. This post will cover the cool military gizmos found in e018. This encounter plays the reader against a military force determined to capture Duke and the gang.

These soldiers have standard equipment such as side arms, heavy weapons and plus some items really meant to take down a criminal lord. The force numbers between 6 and 9 men. 

The first item is a frag grenade. These weapons have a variable tech level, but also are reduced by 3 tech levels to reflect the fact that they are thrown weapons or fire indirectly. The rules don't specify how much damage they would do, but I think we can safety assume they do damage like a heavy weapon with explosive effects. They should be able to do damaged to everything smaller than a ship and probably can't be used against a hopper or ship's boat in flight.

Next up is a dalurium-screen helmet. It protects the officer in charge from psionic attack. I haven't mention psionics before, but it is one of the options for the reader. This helmet makes the officer immune to attack by mind powers.

The third item is a shimmer-screen. It imposes a -2 to hit the target. If the characters take them, they are subject to a breakdown roll and once this occurs, they cannot be repaired.

The four item is really fun, a field scrambler. On a hit from this weapon, it forces a breakdown roll on 4-6. Otherwise it does no damage. It cannot affect ships with ECM.

This equipment is super fun for they player to deal with and expands the setting with new tech not obvious from a read through of the rules. These items aren't overpowered, but do present more challenges and surprises to the player.

Monday, April 13, 2020

Strictly (Duke) Springer - Day 123 – April 13th.

We decide to go right back to where we began, Regari.

I'm not sure what I'll do there, but it'll be nice to be home. We pass through the Palatek system and meet no troubles. The same for Regari. We'll head to the spaceport to refuel.

We have 72,573 in cash, have 6 hypercharges.  We now own our ship. We are wanted on Palatek.

Sunday, April 12, 2020

Strictly (Duke) Springer - Day 122 – April 12th.

We enter the Palace area. We get a chance to steal some statues, but we are here to sell a bed for a base price of 1,100. We have a 10 times multiplier. The crew is hysterical because Duke uses another one of these pheromones to double the price. We take in another 19,850 while the crew gets 220 each.

We move the ship over to the spaceport and try to replace our hypercharges. We end up doing it by the end of the day. Not bad for a day’s work.

Where do we go next?

We have 72,573 in cash, have 8 hypercharges.  We now own our ship. We are wanted on Palatek.

Episode 001 - Why I hate Walking Dead and the New Star Wars Films almost as much as I hate 5th Edition D&D

Title says it all, come on over to the dark side and take a listen as to why.

While you are processing that, let me tell you about the music. It is a track called Sovereign by Kevin MacLeod, available through the Creative Commons License.

Sovereign by Kevin MacLeod.

The Original is acceptable.

This is also acceptable.

I don't think so...

Saturday, April 11, 2020

Strictly (Duke) Springer - Day 121 – April 11th.

We blast off for Imperia. One of the special rules I made for the Buffalo was that it couldn’t double jump. So we have to jump from New Karma to Nipna, Talitar and finally Imperia. Surprisingly, nothing happens on any of these jumps.

We spend the last two hours moving two units in. Tomorrow, we will set down at the palace.

We have 54,723 in cash, have 4 hypercharges.  We now own our ship. We are wanted on Palatek.

Friday, April 10, 2020

Inkscape again - Fighters on the Horizon

I'm still tinkering with that limited color pallet and funky looking ships.

I like the design, but need to fix the colors.

Strictly (Duke) Springer - Day 120 – April 10th.

At the colony on New Karma, we find these books have a base price of 12,000 secs. The crew is elated. The multiplier is three, but hold on to your hats. Duke uses one of those pheromone vials and doubles the price. That’s 72,000 secs. Each crewman gets 720 while Duke pockets 64,080. 

Our first 2 rolls are to purchase side arms. We want to sell them so that is annoying. Our last two rolls are to sell skimmers for a base price of 30 multiplied to 90. So we take in another 450 secs. Instead of pocketing these funds, Duke shares it among the crew. It makes the math easy and the crew happy.

We have 249,586 which is more than what we owe on the ship. We pay it off.

We have 54,723 in cash, have 7 hypercharges.  We now own our ship. We are wanted on Palatek.

The Continuing Adventures in Inkscape - Rocket's Pale Glare

I have to tell you, I've been watching Disney videos again and it's effecting my style.

I wanted to keep the color pallet simple and stuck to 4 colors and two shades of purple, green and grey and blues.

It was kind of fun. I took the idea of rockets and skinned them off in the vein of it's a small world. I'm not sure what color background looks correct to me.

Let me know what you think in the comments below.

Thursday, April 9, 2020

Strictly (Duke) Springer - Day 119 – April 9th.

I now have the calendar sync to at least the last digit, which is easier on the mind.

Based on all of the stuff we found, our best bet is to head to New Karma, then Imperia. Skimmers are hot commodity at Colonies and the books we have are worth a lot there, too.

On landing at the colony, we get hit up for custom fees for vehicles. 5 secs. per vehicle, including the ship and boats. How annoying. It burns up the rest of our day and costs us 40 secs.

We have 185,506 in cash, have 7 hypercharges.  We now owe 194,863 on our ship. We are wanted on Palatek.

Encumbrance and Campaigning

I love my characters, but a lot of times they come up with some odd choices. Backpacks are one of my favorite sources of amusement.

I really don't mind overburdened players, but somethings are beyond the pale. The people walking around with stakes and hammers and a small fry pan aren't the problem.

I have a very ad hoc encumbrance rule, one which secretly hides one of those never named zeroth laws. My ad hoc encumbrance rule is armor OR a backpack plus two items in your hands means you are totally encumbered. It may or may not slow you down, but you certainly can't carry more. You can also be encumbered by having stuff (or an opponent) wrapped around your legs.

Romans would pack a lot of stuff on their soldiers. Gaius Marius demanded that the soldiers carry most of the load themselves. That earned them the nickname Marius' Mules. The Romans didn't wear backpacks, but carried a sacrina.

Not a link to Gander Outdoors

The sacrina held a cloak bag, a pot, a satchel, a Patera or mess tin, food, a waterskin and a net for loose items, all on a big forked stick. Notice the rectangular satchel on the back and the net on the front. When they dropped these, they landed on that satchel with the stick projecting upwards for easy recovery and unpacking. The bonus of the sacrina was that it made armor a benefit to carrying one as the armor distributed the weight of the stick on their shoulder. This is probably a better tool for carrying stuff than a backpack over armor or a backpack full of armor.

Here is where my zeroth law comes in. You drop your stuff and I will almost never have someone mess with it. If you leave it behind, that is one thing, but I really don't want to annoy my players with cheap shots like stealing all of their gear. Stealing money, sure. But not a backpack.

In my most recent campaign, my players have made an art of being unencumbered at all times. They have 2 wagons, oxen and a bunch of NPCs in tow. When they say they have a pack, it's pretty much a purse: a snack, some useful items and some water. I'm vaguely annoyed because they should have purchased a boat, but instead got the wagons because I left that word, "ship" out by accident.

Oh, well.

How do you handle encumbrance in your campaign? Let me know in the comments below.

Hot Products - Dishonored, City of Nexus and The Halls of Arden Vul

It looks like the hot product tool for Affiliates is a little broken on DriveThru. For the last week, the site has been telling me that City of Nexus is the hottest new book, while logging in displays Dishonored as number one.

Hottest New Book
 City of Nexus | 20x30 Battlemaps [BUNDLE]
City of Nexus | 20x30 Battlemaps [BUNDLE]

How annoying. The other day I decided to make up my own links to products I like. They are over on the left hand column. If you want to read how I was able to get a neat little box for a website from data on DriveThruRPG, click here for the tutorial.

What seems to be a truly hot product is The Halls of Arden Vul, in many different forms. Below is a picture and a link to the complete set PDF, all 1,100+ pages.

The Halls of Arden Vul Complete
 The Halls of Arden Vul Complete
The Halls of Arden Vul Completer

As a dungeon goes, it doesn't get any more mega than that. If 1,100+ pages at one go is too much for you, it comes in 5 volumes. Volume I to IV are $30 for the PDF and $55 for the printed book. Volume V is different, it's the map (well, 33 maps) and sells for only $5.00 digital.

I'm probably going to order the maps for now (Volume V). I love my artwork and the artists on this product are incredible.

Here are links to the whole series:

Volume I
Volume II
Volume III
Volume IV
Volume V
and Complete.

In looking up this information, I found a bundle pack for $275.00. I don't know... it's almost like they gave me a MEGA-amount of information to process.

The bundle pack is a PDF of 1,100+ pages and a physical copy of Volumes I-V. The "complete" PDF is the aforementioned PDF from the bundle pack. If those entry points of $109 and $275 are too steep, ordering the first four volumes individually, entitles you to a copy of that 1,100 page PDF. Additionally, if your order the $109 Complete PDF, you can receive a 33% on print copies of the individual books at a later time.

Wow... just the description is MEGA all on it's own. That is a lot of information to process. 

Digging Deeper into Star Smuggler - Surprises in the Events Booklet - Battleship (e081)

Star Smuggler was a set of rules with two small booklets. The rule set was a 24 page booklet which included everything you needed to play. It was seamlessly integrated with a 20 page event booklet. In doing some careful analysis, I have yet to find a mistake not covered by the short errata sheet.

One of the fascinating things about the rule set is how well it plays off the event booklet. One of the complaints about this game is the number of "game breaking" events that can end your game via a single die roll. Well, those are flaws, those are features of a choose your own adventure style book.

Within the events booklet are hidden 30+ new items for the player to enjoy or be challenged by. They range from axes to battleships and when such items are stat'ed out, they never break the system laid out in the rules booklet.

I'll be taking a look some of these items, as this system can easily be fleshed out into a full rpg, complete with a campaign setting.

The first surprise I would like to look at is a ship described in one of the events - The Battleship. This is a TL-2 ship with 12 turrets and 120 hits. It's a beast. I took the time to stat it up in the normal parlance of the game. To say it's OP is an understatement, but Duke can be victorious over this beast with careful game play.

Using the basic ship, the Antelope, I extrapolated what a battleship might look like. I'm not happy with the re-skin of the Buffalo Transport, so I will be revisiting this ship's layout soon.

The first conclusion that I came to was the fact that this might be a Pocket Battleship. The limitation comes from the description of the ship itself. It's TL-2 ship, which is pretty weak.

Even so, it is a massive ship. The Pocket Battleship is 410 CU in size and it's the largest ship in this image. The Antelope is the smallest ship.

Let me know what you think. I'll be continuing this series on a weekly basis.

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Strictly (Duke) Springer - Day 113 to 118 – April 8th.

The Buffalo with cleaned up spaces
so we can take on more cargo
I want to resync the calendar to the days in game, so we are spending 6 days in the Ruins. Here is my game plan. Duke and Emily will form teams for alternating days. Any day that Engineers aren’t repairing found junk, they will be doing maintenance.

When an engineer does this, it causes a +2 on breakdown rolls for the first day and a +1 on the next two days. Breakdown occurs when a 2d6 roll is equal to or less than the tech level of the item in question. This is why TL-1 items are valuable. They never breakdown. Since the start, I’ve been tracking breakdown, but not really mentioning it. The reason is two-fold, for every item I had that could breakdown, I had a spare, which makes this a boring exercise. The breakdown roll on those healing tanks are kind of important, so I will be looking at that.

Since Lucy and Ratchet have been assigned skills first, they has reported an accounting error in yesterday’s activities. No one got their cut when we sold the guns. Duke and Emily confer with the crew and decide that the best plan of action is to apologize profusely and hand out some bonuses. 100 secs. each. This costs us 1,100 total. The crew seems happy and Duke breaths a sigh of relief. Emily cusses about Duke’s lackadaisical record keeping.

None of this in the game mechanics, I just happened to notice that glitch and thought this would be fun and easy way to fix it.

We are starting with 20 repair units and 14 fuel units. I’m not tracking Life Support as Nipna has good air. My scouts won’t be wearing U-suits, either but will have their PS bot on hand in case they are knocked to zero wound points.

Duke is out with David and Lefty. Emily will lead Deadeye and Audrey on opposite days.

Day: 113 – We find two skimmers. One is intact and the other needs repair. Lucy and
Day: 114 – Emily finds 30 secs. in coins then blunders into a building collapse. We roll very low and Emily takes 1 hit, Audrey takes one and Deadeye takes 3. Lucy begins repairs on the skimmer while Ratchet and Doc ready the tank for Deadeye. We are down to 19 repair units.
Day: 115 – Emily and Audrey heal up. Deadeye is fully healed in the tanlk and it doesnt' break down. The skimmer is now repaired. Duke’s team finds a single repair unit and a very large bed (e088). We have 20 RU.
Day: 116 – Emily finds a damaged GM-Bot and another damaged skimmer.
Day: 117 – Ratchet and Lucy have repaired the GM-bot and skimmer. The GM-bot starts doing maintenance. We are down to 18 repair units. Duke’s team finds a single U-suit and a set of books (e088).
Day: 118 – Last day. We find a pair of intact skimmers.

Based on what we have found, we need to go to New Karma and Imperia. We have a bed, 5 skimmers, a GM-Bot which we are keeping and a set of books.

The Buffalo packed full of found items. 

We have 185,546 in cash, have 8 hypercharges.  We now owe 194,863 on our ship. We are wanted on Palatek.

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Strictly (Duke) Springer - Day 111 and 112 – April 7th.

We blast off for the space station, because that is the only place you can sell starship guns apparently. We spend an hour moving to orbit, another to get to other planet’s space station.

We make a contact on the way in and purchase 3 vials of pheromones for 720 secs. Good deal.

Our first roll is nearly as fruitful. We get repair, life support and fuel units. For some reason, you can’t sell life support units here. We can sell fuel and repair units for 10 and 5 each. It turns out that we can’t really sell any fuel units and still have a reserve, so we purchase one for 20 secs. We take in 75 for this transaction.

We spend the whole rest of the day rolling to no effect. 95 secs isn’t very much so it’s distributed among the crew.

The next day (112) we get our roll for starship guns. We managed sell for 200 each. We also make another 600 secs interest payment. I have to be honest, I am only making sure we pay every ten days or better. I am pretty sure we are two weeks in advance but I’m not tracking that.

We have 186,646 in cash, have 8 hypercharges.  We now owe 194,863 on our ship. We are wanted on Palatek.

Monday, April 6, 2020

Art with Jeremy Hart

Jeremy Hart is a great artist over on MeWe, Facebook and Patreon. He has a whole series of items on DriveThruRPG (link to all of it), but I want to focus on his paper minis.

Jeremy Hart Solo Mini
 Eidolon A1 Solo Paper Mini
Eidolon A1 Solo Paper Mini]

So, I have dilemma. How do I post about paper minis without artwork? I mean as minis, a screen grab is essentially the product... so... you know, I don't want to do that.

The other day, I complained that I have no idea what I am doing with these colored pencils. It's not a format I normally work in. Rather than give up, I figured I'd just teach myself. It's a lot harder than it looks. Part of the issue is, I get a drawing done and want to get it colored, which will complete the work. Instead, I end up "ruining" it. Or at least not do it very well.

Sigh... artist's brain...

Here is where Jeremy Hart comes in. He makes these amazing drawings of monsters for whatever game you are playing. They are two sided little minis. A lot of them are black and white but some of them are in color. I am pretty sure he is using a computer and tablet combo, but this is an excellent opportunity to try out colored pencils. I don't have to trouble myself by drawing something to use the pencils. In fact, if you wanted to, you could run through his whole back catalog and print yourself a great coloring book.

The images below are close ups of his work, the green one is Jeremy's while the purplish one is my attempt with colored pencils.

This is a bad cell phone pix, actual images are
razor sharp and clear. 

The great thing about these Solo Minis are the price. Jeremy has them on sale for $0.10 each. That's a steal. I meant to download just one, but ended up with more than 12. Go give some these a try. You don't have to be a nut like me and use them for coloring sheets, you can incorporate them into your game.

These monsters are unique, so you'll either have to get his stat'ed products or make up some of your own stats. Don't forget, Jeremy has a patreon page which can score you monsters and stats starting at a dollar a month.

Strictly (Duke) Springer - Day 110 – April 6th.

Duke, Emily, Deadeye, Audrey and David are out attempting to make contact with a buyer or seller of those high tech items we found yesterday. We get a few meaningless rolls, such as a repossession team before we get that offer. The repo team ignores you so long as you are current on your bills and not wanted.

We can purchase a regrowth tank, which will heal someone 1d6 a day. If it breaks down at the end of the day, it will cause 1d6 points of damage. I like it. They have a base price of 2000 times 2. So, I purchase 2 for 8,000.

We also purchase our hypercharges at 1,500.

We have 186,290 in cash, have 5 hypercharges.  We now owe 194,863 on our ship. We are wanted on Palatek.

Sunday, April 5, 2020

The Post About Fighters

Gurwinder as Keeper
Welcome back. I haven't posted much about D&D and AD&D lately.

Gurwinder as Warrior
Let's fix that with some thoughts on fighters. In B/X D&D fighters were characters who specialized in putting their weapon on someone and hard. Exactly what kind of guy or gal he was was totally in the theater of the mind. They could be any kind of fighting man or woman.

Not so in AD&D. Fighters gained sub-classes, the ranger and the paladin. For years, no decades, I always thought of paladins as being the guys with great armor and heavy weapons and rangers were archers due to the their outdoorsy nature and good dexterity. Plain old fighters were a mix of the two, using a short bow, sword and board. While fighters might have horses that they use and care for, the paladin has a horse built into their character but rangers often had dogs and wolves as companions. And these animals were not so friendly company.

However, the big thing that sets rangers and paladins apart from fighters is their use of magic. Paladins have spiritual magic while rangers have arcane spells.

Not Venus Genetrix,
but Venus Bellatrix. 
In the campaign I have been playing, there is a fighter, Gurwinder A’flumine. She is a small woman with a bow and knife. She wears a stola, palla and tunic at all times. She is reserved and calm, but the player has done her best to make her the leader of a band of misfit rangers, mages and daredevils. There was no declaration of intent, but she leads from the front.

While I rolled her up and foisted her off on the player, that player accepted her as she was designed, a fighter. But as she played, the character changed.

A slight change her stats to that of a paladin mechanically alters very little, except retainers. Gurwinder would have a modest boost in strength and constitution, which would not change her combat stats. Her charisma would climb by 7, which is huge but not out of character as with a 10, she was the de facto leader of this motley band. She retains no monies for herself, has not sought a horse or armor, or even better weapons. This player has redefined how I thought of fighters and their subclasses since I began playing.

What do you think? Let me know if I should offer to retroactively reclass this character as a paladin in the comment below.

Strictly (Duke) Springer - Day 109 – April 5th.

Every planet has a theme.  Mynkuria’s theme is to win the war with Nipna via unusual tech. Nipna’s theme is to win the war via high tech.  Mynkuria isn’t working out for us, so we travel back to Nipna.

On our way back into the system, we encounter gun buoys. Emily manages to get the ship away before they can fire on us.

We head for the spaceport on the first planet and are detected on entry. We are approached with the opportunity to purchase some high tech items. We’re offered starship defensive screens for 2,500. We take ‘em.

This uses up all of our time for the day, but it was a super effective use of time.

We have 195,790 in cash, have 5 hypercharges.  We now owe 194,863 on our ship. We are wanted on Palatek.

Saturday, April 4, 2020

Strictly (Duke) Springer - Day 106, 107 and 108 – April 4th.

On Day 106, we take a day of RRR to heal up the entire crew. We also pay 300 in interest.

On Day 107, we get cracking on those Stasis Units we picked up from e103. In the first stasis unit, we find a wounded pilot. The medics lead him off to the crew quarters.

The next unit is more problematical. We open it and 4 guys jump out. Based on the last encounter, I’m going to decide that Duke tries to talk to them. Everyone except the medics and the newly found pilot are here.

The bodyguards open fire. They have the following stats:
Marksmanship: 4
Melee: 1
Endurance: 6
TL-5 side arms.

Duke makes his cunning roll and they do not surprise us. Lucy, Ratchet, Jon and Mike all have TL-6 side arms so they shoot first. All of them hit, but only Lucy scores a critical. 3 of these guys take a single point, while the last takes 5.

They return fire. They shoot at Duke, Mike, David and Lucy. Each needs a 9. Duke, Mike and Lucy are hit. Duke takes 3 points as a critical, while the other two take one point of damage.

To finish the round, Duke, Lefty, Deadeye, Emily, and Audrey shoot back with heavy weapons. Ace shoots with a TL-1 side arm. All four guys go down in a hail of gun fire.

We call for medical help and all of the wounded, including our newly found pilot, are transported to the city for treatment. This is expensive, but it avoids encounter checks. We pay 600 for the service.

On Day 108, Emily brings the ship to the city to pick up Duke and the gang. Nothing really interesting happens. On entry to the city we have a chance to sell TL-5 or six side arms, but the crew doesn’t want to sell. This is a rest day for Duke, Mike and Lucy.

Emily makes her rolls for the ship as we would like to sell these TL-1 level weapons. No deal on those, but we do get buy life support (1 secs. base), repair units (2 to buy, 1 to sell) and fuel (1 secs. to buy and sell). Twice, each actually.

This creates a dilemma for the solo player. If a player first makes all of their rolls for the day like I did, effectively, they can see the future. So, in order to blind myself, Emily decides to purchase 10 each at the first transaction, then possibly sell some on the second transaction if the price is right.

The first round results in Life Support for 3 each (30 for 10), Repair units for 2 each (20 for 10) and fuel at one each for a total of 10. This is due to the price multipler. We paid a more for the LSU, and base price for the other two. In the second round, the multiplier is 1, so we would lose money if we sold, so we don’t. A player can always refuse to buy or sell based on price, the problem comes in when you know that you have multiple chances.

We have 195,790 in cash, have 6 hypercharges.  We now owe 194,863 on our ship. We are wanted on Palatek.

Strictly (Duke) Springer - Day 105 – April 3rd.

This has been a bad deal all around. We are hauling back to Mynkuria and our entry contact is r328. This gives us an advantage to sneak into the area of our choosing, until we are detected. We pick the military base on Mynkuria. This gives a bonus on detection rolls.

We grab our 13,500 credits, 1,485 goes to the 11 crew members.

Duke decides to make a large payment on the principal of the ship, dipping into our savings. We map our 4 rolls and thankfully get Stasis Units. This time we can buy units in any size we want for a base price of 50 per CU. Since the wealth code is 30, we get them for 50 per CU.

I need two stasis units to open the 2 stasis units we found. For that, we need 2 five CU units. That’s 500 secs. Next, I want to put a Stasis unit in the pilotage and improve the ones in the crew quarters. Another 5 CU unit. The crew quarters are going to be broken in to 4 parts, so that is 4 seven CU Stasis Units. That is another 1400. While I’m at it, I might as well cover engineering for another 350 secs. All told, that is 3,250 secs.

We can discard all of the old stasis units, as they can’t be sold. What waste. This approach hardens the ship against attack. In the crew quarters area, up to 7 people can be protected in each of 4 areas. Each 7 unit device takes up 8 spaces.

This hardens the ship against attack.

We have 196,750 in cash, have 6 hypercharges.  We now owe 194,863 on our ship. We are wanted on Palatek.

Thursday, April 2, 2020

Strictly (Duke) Springer - Day 103 – April 2nd.

Duke isn’t pleased with all of the guys packed in the hold of the ship. Emily had the engineers install the TL-6 guns. If we get in a fight, we are going to be in trouble. All we can muster is a pair of Hoppers as the turrets are down.

If we get caught, explaining 45 freedom fighters will be hard. They’ll execute us. It’s really not worth the 13,500 secs. we will get for dropping them off and returning to Mynkuria. Sigh.

Our outboard trip is peaceful and arrival in system is boring. We find a second 3 CU stasis unit floating in space. We haul it on board. There is just enough room to store it in the crew quarters.

They weren’t really specific about where we drop them off so we head to the craters. There is a -2 on entry detection there. We don’t get detected, but we zip right through a radiation zone which causes a hit of damage to everyone on board.

We keep going and land to let these guys off.

The Engineers get those guns installed at the end of the day.

I have updated our deck plans as I notice a few mistakes on the last upload. Boat Guns take up five CU, the two groups of 5 CU of space next to the ship's boats are not inside the boats but in the bay they sit in. I didn't bother to draw in the fighters we were transporting as they got off.

We have 218,686 in cash, have 7 hypercharges.  We now owe 225,564 on our ship. We are wanted on Palatek. 

Pilot Episode - That's Not New or Maybe It Is.

Well, I've finally jumped off the deep end and launched a new project.

I discovered a few things about podcasting at least.

  • First, never wear a windbreaker. 
  • Two, paper scripts are good for editing, but if you use them while recording, people hear it. 
  • Your talking speed is not what you think it is. 
  • And item D... It ain't as easy as you'd think. 

But, here it is. It's rather raw but let me know what you think. 

Show notes are as follows:

In this episode, I'll be looking at the 1981 solo game, Barbarian Prince by Dwarfstar Games/Heritage USA/Reaper.

You'll also be listening to Sovereign by Kevin MacLeod, available form the website, INCOMPETCH, linked below.


I'll also be plugging “Playing It Wrong” by Charles Thorin, available at TheyMightBeGazebos.Blog or subscribe to his podcast through

The most important plug is the website where you can get Barbarian Prince,