Thursday, December 31, 2020

The Final Post of 2020

Hey, how about a respective post about 2020? Yeah, no. 

2020 was a dud. Today, I'll post a couple of images. Back when this s---show started, I pushed myself to practice drawing. 

I burned through pens and paper like crazy. Princesses, dragons, castles, knights, cat's, horses. I drew until I ran out of stuff to draw on and with. 

Thankfully, I resupplied in summer. And I'm still at it. 

This is a rough pencil drawing of a castle I'm working on. I've drawn it before and I'll probably draw it again. 

I wanted to work with my brush pen but it ran out a couple of months ago. 

This scratchy horse was done with a .5 sharpie pen. It was an iffy save. I figured I'd work on crosshatching if I couldn't do brush work. I don't know how I forgot that brush pen gave out and I never replaced it.

Ah, 2020. Kiss my... 

Sunday, December 27, 2020

Green-5 Stats for WotC Star Wars

Green-5 is a unique droid to the Tarkeren Campaign. He has been on his own for far too long, Green-5 is suffering from corruption. He has taken on some traits that are not helpful. 

He has this obsession with turning speeders into fighters, which is less useful than it sounds. He has also taken on the idea he should know medicine. For a tactical droid, this is even more questionable than the thing with the speeders. 

T-Series Tactical Droid Statistics
Medium 4th-Degree Droid Soldier 3

Force Points: 2
Initiative: +6; Senses: Perception +7
Languages: Basic, Binary, Zabrak, Rodian

Defense:
Reflex Defense: 18 (Flat-Footed: 17), Fortitude Defense: 13, Will Defense: 13; Vehicular Combat
Hit Points: 30, Damage Threshold: 13
Immune: Droid Traits

Offense

Speed: 9 Squares (Walking)
Melee: Unarmed +1 (1d3)
Ranged: Heavy Blaster +2 (3d8)
Base Attack Bonus: +1; Grapple: +2
Attack Options: Quickshot (Heavy Blaster)

Base Stats:

Abilities: Strength 10, Dexterity 12, Constitution -, Intelligence 14 (Corruption. 10), Wisdom 14, Charisma 12
Talents: Battle Analysis

Feats: Armor Proficiency (Light), Armor Proficiency (Medium), Armor Proficiency (Heavy), Vehicular Combat, Weapon Proficiency (Pistols), Weapon Proficiency (Rifles), Weapon Proficiency (Simple Weapons), Point Blank Shot. 

Skills: Initiative +6, Knowledge (Tactics) +7, Perception +7, History +6, Use Computer +7, Treat Injury +2, Pilot +1, Astrogation +1.

Droid Systems: Walking Locomotion, Heuristic Processor, 2 Hand Appendages, Internal Comlink, Vocabulator, Backup Battery. 

Possessions: Heavy Blaster, Electrobinoculars, Durasteel Plating (Droid Armor; +6 Reflex), Cape, Notebook, Pen.

Availability: Unique

Tankeren's Defenses

The Tankerenian armed forces are not really what they should be. They have aircraft like the ship below. I call it an H-Wing. In real world terms, it's like an A-10 or a SU-25. However, no conflict has reached the level of needing those machines. Unlike their real world counterparts, they owe their robustness to devolved fighter designs of the Republic. They are incidentally tough, but not as tough as a Y-Wing or B-Wing. 

The whole planet probably has 200 of them. Of those, 20 or so of them are outfitted for training, aerobatic groups and the odd civilian hobbyist. Of the remaining fighters, 30-40% are down for servicing at any given time. Tarkeren doesn't have much a fighting air force. 


They have evolved this ship into a space fighter. The lines are more angular, the engines are bigger and the wings much smaller. Since the planet has a tiny space presence, these little ships are hot rods. They go from ground to orbit when needed. They are on par with an A-Wing in terms of speed, but lack missiles and maneuverability. They do have one advantage over most fighters, the pipe like structures are sensors so each ship acts as control ship. Maybe they have 100 of them.  


I showed this air speeder in my last post. It is unarmed, but a purpose build speed machine. It uses advance technology to perform more like a spacecraft than a speeder. It can reach orbit, but this is more of a stunt than a capability. Citizens of the Republic or Empire would be terrified at the power of this commercial speeder. But like I said, it's unarmed. These speeders are ubiquitous on this planet. 


Green-5 has transformed this air speeder into a power space fighter. It has heavy ion cannons for battle against capital ships, space for an astromech droid and powerful lasers. It can match TIE fighters in speed, Y and B-Wings for armor and has better weapons than both. It does lack missiles and photon torpedoes as the planet doesn't have the ability to produce either. 

The downside of this ship is, it is modification from air speeder to spaceship. That's expensive. Every fighter is a custom job involving droids and humanoids, which means that each one is unique. Also, it requires a humanoid droid or live pilot which means that Green-5, defender of the planet, does not have direct control of them once in service. Not enough droids are available to fly them, they type of droid required is not anything the Trade Federation has, so he needs Tankerenian pilots. 

So far, Green-5 has convinced the Lord and Lady to make 30 conversions. Half of them are still being assembled. He knows he needs 100 times that number to defend the planet against the Empire. 

Over the next couple of posts, I will stat up these ships. I hope you enjoy them. 

Saturday, December 26, 2020

Tankerenian Speeders and Aircraft

I penned up some aircraft which are unique to my Tankerenian Star Wars Setting. 

For a warmup, I did a couple of open top speeders which are pretty Star Wars standard. Tankerenians are weird, they like fast vehicles, so these would only be found in cities and towns. They are small enough to fit inside a cargo transport so they are everywhere as a secondary mode of transport. 

What they really like are their skyspeeders, something like a cross between a cloud car and a snow speeder. They are insanely fast for 7 or more person vehicle. 


The Tankerenians only developed a vague sense of warfare and they do have some horribly antiquated fighters. They are limited to in atmosphere flight and are totally outclassed by even the oldest Republic designs. 




Friday, December 25, 2020

Mom, Dad... I'm in prison, and I don't like it.

This morning, I busted out some pens and graph paper to come up with the next scenario for my Star Wars campaign. This post is somewhat applicable for other campaign types, as you can grab the maps for just about anything. The links below go to the worldbuilding and character information about this campaign, in case this is the first you are hearing of it. 

In my worldbuilding post, I mentioned many names. Bergel was the Neimoidian viceroy in charge of the planet but he is playing a very sideways game of "not it". He knows the Empire or the Rebels will be paying him a visit very soon and he doesn't want to be the guy in charge when it happens. 

He set up the Tactical Droid, Green-5 as the pasty when whoever arrives has an obvious target to kill. He ordered the droid to protect the planet and Bergel charged him to work with the leadership of the planet. Additionally, Bergel has a Neimoidian bounty hunter, La'ow Houd keeping tabs on Green-5 and the leadership. His intention is to make sure that Green-5 puts up a bit of a fight, but not enough to get the planet glassed. Bergel is going to play the deposed leader card and say that Green-5 took over. 

Green-5 is pretty smart when it comes to tactics. He drew up a plan to kill everyone on the planet but since he's been ordered to work with the Lord and Lady of the planet this idea has been ditched. The Tankerenians are treating him like a living being which is causing him to wildy exceed his programing. He should have gone into safe mode a couple of times already but keeps lumbering on.  

In light of the riots and a party of unknown adventurers, he is in high threat mode. He has negotiated a plan to keep everyone safe. The Lord and Lady of Tankeren have granted him plot of land that contains a ruins. Green-5 started construction of a prison to incarcerate the rioters as he catches them. Currently, they are mostly held in place, which is very dangerous for his droids. They are not jailers or wardens. 

Bergel hates this idea. For one, the prison is far too close to the Capital making both a military target. Second, if anyone attacks the prison, it will be a bloodbath. This will cause the Tankerenians to fight with anyone that slaughters the prisoners. Bergel is an opportunist and has been exploiting the citizens, he doesn't mean to get them all kill or enslaved. This is exactly what will happen if the prison is completed. Someone will come to knock it out. 

Bergel is playing both sides. He set Green-5 on his course but also has La'ow Houd keeping eyes on him. La'ow has set his ship down near the prison site and has been evaluating the situation. He has a mandate to sabotage it any way he can. He doesn't have the means to destroy it himself, but he does know of a party of adventurers (click here for their character sheets) who might get the job done. In a perfect world, these adventures will do double duty: free the prisoners and destroy the facility. 

Last week, I posted some towers. I really liked these designs and incorporated them into the maps. When I drew them, I was thinking medieval towers but the slender design lends itself to sci-fi. 

The prison has 16 towers to jail prisoners. Green-5 is pretty sharp and he tried to eliminate as many problems with jailing people. Each tower is 6 levels or 22 meters high and 9 meters wide. They were carved right out of the local bedrock, so it should be impossible for prisoners to dig their way out. 

The bottom floor is the bathroom and showers. There are no windows on this floor. The next 4 floors are accommodations for the incarcerated. Each level does have a narrow slot window, but is far too small for an adult to crawl out of. The roof is for recreation. Prisoners are dropped off on the roof by a floating platform. There are no droid guards inside the towers.

The Tactical Droid has invented a variation of an oubliette, and the prisoners know it. Several smaller prisoners, mostly women and children have managed to get out of the towers and explore. They have not found a way to breach the walls, so they have not escaped. When they do figure out a way, they are going to destroy this place. This keeps the prisoners from fighting with each other. Wrecking this place is their game plan. 

I must apologize now for the orientation of the prison. The prison towers are on the south side of the map, which means that if I wish to continue this tour of the facilities, the maps will be upside down. 

South Ward (Prison Area)
In the map above, you can see the tower arrangements. The guns that point inwards are heavy stunners. The outward pointing guns are light and heavy weapons for taking down infantry and armor. The dotted lines are the gates. Imbedded in the ground are metal posts meant to stop vehicles while the gate doors slide sideways. They don't stop people, that's what the gates are for. At the bottom of the image are two ramps that lead to the fortress. 

As you can see from the arrangement, the towers block lines of fire. Green-5 believes that a force could come down the ramps and sweep up anyone trying to escape. He's never seen a prison riot before. 

The walls are hollow. There is a 1 meter wide and high tunnel through them, so Destroyer Droids can deploy from cover via secret openings. On the top towers of the prison side are two domes so that the Destroyer Droids can rally before rolling out into the yard. These tunnels are also how droids reach the weapon emplacements in the tower. 

The Command Section

The command area is much more reasonably designed. On the right bottom corner is the barracks area. Since only droids are station here, not much room is needed to store them. The towers along the perimeter have heavy weapons. The box like structures are missile launchers, however, they lob missiles upward. They cannot target anything inside the perimeter, not even the prison area. 

In the courtyard on the left are several faint pencil lines to mark where ships should land. This is also where the hovering platform is stored. These are not permanent marks and are moved, added and removed as needed. The faint pencil work at the top of the image is a duplication of the prison area so I can match the two halves of the map together. 

For the next session, La'ow will alert the players to the problem the prison represents to the people of this planet. He will be helpful, but not really helpful. The players will arrive before the entire structure is complete, they will see how the towers are constructed and gain useful recon information before making their assault. 

Thursday, December 24, 2020

Merry Christmas and Happy Holiday!

The season is upon us now. I'll be spending the next three days with friends and family, as much as we can get together in the middle of this pandemic insanity. We are going to make the best of it of what we have, each other. There will be food, drink and games. I can't wait to tell you about it next week.  

Peace! 


Wednesday, December 23, 2020

The Modelling Post - Figures for 1:144 scale models

I've been building some 1:144 scale models by Bandai. I have a snowspeeder and AT-ST built. I also have a couple of X-Wings, TIE fighters, two different Millenium Falcons and a few other things to build. 

I can't wait.  

I want to make some ground crew figures and have had difficulty sourcing them. The best I could find was 1/75 architectural figures. They're not a bad fit for the scale, being just a little too tall. I am going to end up modifying them, so I don't mind the off size. I'll be cutting and painting them to look like Star Wars characters. 

To get a sense of scale, I stood one up next to the models. They aren't too badly scaled. (Ignore the tape I used as a base.) For less than 10 bucks, I picked up a 100 of them from Amazon. For the price, they're great. 




Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Towers - Tiny Maps

I started drawing a few towers this week. They came out pretty well.

The first is a 35 foot tall tower, meant to be placed on exterior wall. The exterior is on the left and the interior of the walls is to the right. The first floor has no windows, just a door. The door opens inward while a pair of barred doors open outward. 

I haven't filled in the walls because I don't know what pattern I want to use. The walls are tapered from bottom to top so this is not a good design against siege engines. The bottom might hold, but the top could be collapsed by catapults. 

I drew no interior designs, not even stairs, so I can adapt them for different purposes. 

The next tower is 55 feet tall. Again the walls are tapered. This design is basically the same as the tower above, except the barred doors open inwards.

I like the details on the doorway at ground level, except I made a mistake. The scale in the profile view is one square equals 10 feet, while the side view is one square equals 5. The door is a massive 10 feet wide. As you can see from the tiny doodle on the upper right, I tried to fix that by making the door multifunction with two sally doors.

Additionally, I didn't like the way the windows looked. I changed styles and neither one looks very good. Plus, with the tower being so tall, there has to be a way to reach the walls. 

That won't do, so I decided to redraw it.  
In my third iteration, I came up with some ideas I liked such as the door leading to the top of the walls on the 4th level. I forgot to fix the door on the first level. Actually, this is the point where I realized the door was so big. I added some arrow loops next to the ground floor door. 

I think that I can fix the door digitally, but maybe I'll just redraw that level or the whole tower tonight. 

I really like this design and I'll use it to work up some designs in both Inkscape and Worldographer. 





Monday, December 21, 2020

YT-3000 Type Freighter for Star Wars Campaign

My Neimoidian bounty hunter, La'ow Houd needs a ship. I started working on a rough image for it. I'm trying to get some sense of proportion and I think I got that down. 

What is missing is details on the front view. A lot of those lines just don't mesh up. One of the issues is, I work in a place that doesn't allow electronics so I am working on paper and from memory. 

As you can see, it has lines similar to the Falcon, but it is not the hot rod that the Falcon is. It has only one gun turret, the radar dish is on the bottom in place of one of the gun turrets and it has a massive cargo hold in the back. I wanted to the ship to be reminiscent of the Clone War ships. To that end, the cargo bay has a massive wing like structure. 

Where Han tricked out his ship for speed, this one is customized for cargo. That cargo bay is designed for holding a sailboat. Weird, eh? 

Well it is the ship of a Neimoidian bounty hunter. La'ow is a technological bounty hunter, he uses data. The sailboat is proof against counter-technological attacks. It is also low profile. 

As a consequence, this freighter is not very fast or good in combat. 

On another note, my next build will be the Millennium Falcon by Bandai. See my Snowspeeder and At-ST builds at these links. 




Sunday, December 20, 2020

DRIVETHRURPG PRODUCTS BY DUNROMIN UNIVERSITY PRESS Ad Post

Over in the lefty column are ads for DriveThruRPG. It takes a bit of work to get them looking nice and when I delete them they are gone. For this reason, I am creating a post with the links so I can save them for the future. I hope you have taken a look at all that Dunromin University Press has to offer. I'll be adding new links in the sidebar the next day or so. 


SM03 Cityguide to the City of Karan
SM03 Cityguide to the City of Karan
SM03 Cityguide to the City of Karan


SM00 A Traveller's Atlas of Dunromin and the Land of the Young
SM00 A Traveller's Atlas of Dunromin and the Land of the Young


SM12 The Trials of a Young Wizard
SM12 The Trials of a Young Wizard
SM12 The Trials of a Young Wizard

SM06 The Warren
SM06 The Warren
SM06 The Warren


SM04 Gazeteer of the Land of the Young
SM04 Gazeteer of the Land of the Young
SM04 Gazeteer of the Land of the Young


SM01 A Players' Guide to Dunromin
SM01 A Players' Guide to Dunromin
SM01 A Players' Guide to Dunromin

Saturday, December 19, 2020

AD&D Hoodlum

In June, I typed up a character class for a Unicorn. It worked very well for this off-kilter game session. The other three characters are a Druid, a Gangbanger, and a (Space) Marine. 

Today, I would like to work on the Gangbanger character class. First, I think gangbanger should be a title of the class, so the class name will be Hoodlum. At first, I thought hoodlums would be a fighting man or thief, but after some consideration, I believe they are more like clerics than anything. They have a clan, family and they have friends that believe the same thing they do. So, they are reskinned clerics. 

Hoodlums are anachronistic to the fantasy setting, being people from the 20th century. Skaters, punks and gang members. That being said, they can't use heavy blade weapons just like clerics. They will use knives and daggers plus blunt weapons. Oh, how a good baseball bat can feel. They use slingshots over bows and regular slings, knives over darts but can use a crossbow. 

They don't use shields and generally will not dress like normal fantasy characters, so AC is difficult. The Gamma World conversion rules are a nice option, but I think I will stick to just 3 types of armor. 

A leather motorcycle jacket will count as AC 8. Adding helmets and padded will get them to AC 7. Also, they can modify any type of armor found in a fantasy setting to get to AC 6. This is the lower limit for them, as they are wearing real armor in a fantastic way, it's more for looks than function. It really doesn't matter that they pull parts off of full plate, they are wearing it wrong and can't improve their AC score below 6. Creating their own signature armor is level dependent, which grants improvements at 1st, 3th and 6th levels. 

Hoodlums have the ability to pick pockets, sneak and hide, so in respects to those three talents, they operate like thieves of like level. They do not climb, detect or disarm traps as thieves. These skills aren't in their field of practice. Plus booby traps are for losers. 

Their next ability is improvised healing. Once per day per person, they can heal 1-3 hit points. It takes an hour. This ability comes from their desire to avoid hospitals and police involvement. Normally, they patch themselves up with items on hand, such as Mr. Clean, vodka and scraps of fabric, but it also works on others. It hurts. 

Hoodlums can use any magic item without a class restriction, they may not use magical weapons, shields or armor that they can normally can't wield. 

Their last ability is very powerful - technological adaption. Their ability to use crossbows, sling shots and create custom armor are minor variants of this skill. The ability to use horses and scrolls is a major expression of this skill. 

Hoodlums are current on all technologies to support their criminal activities. They will seek out a horse by 3rd level and will gain ability to fight from horseback at that level. This is not a magical animal like the paladin's warhorse but just as treasured. At 5th level, they will be competent with driving and maintaining wagons and carts. At 7th level, they can ride war chariots. Much of their money will be directed into pimping out these vehicles and conveyances.  

Hoodlums see scrolls as codes and secrets to be deciphered. This is a two step process. They must study a spell for one hour to see if they understand it, which they have a 50-50 chance at first level. Success means they understand the spell enough to try it in combat later, which also requires a roll with the same chance of success. For every level of experience, their odds improve by 3% to a maximum of 80% at 11th level. This is a once per day skill. They can only work on one scroll, one spell at a time. The level of the spell in irrelevant. Hoodlums will not be able to activate a scroll which would cause a loss in ability points (wish and the like). They know this and will not try. 

If they decipher a scroll with hostile magic (a curse or explosive runes) they will set it off. 

In combat, reading a scroll takes one whole round. Failure during combat indicates they get tongue tied and can't activate it. They may not make a second attempt until the next day when they can take an hour to study it again (and possibly fail).  

For the purposes of the hoodlum class, each and every spell and scroll combination is unique due to the handcrafting of the scroll. Deciphering a spell on one scroll does not confer the ability to read that spell on a different scroll, unlike clerics and magic users who use a different methodology to practice magic. 

It is interesting to note that this skill is more akin to code breaking than spell casting. They do not have the ability to read magical text in any meaningful way. Clerics and magic users will be confounded by the hoodlum's attempts and will understand how risky this talent is. 

The Hoodlum receives 1d6 hp per level plus Constitution bonuses. They fight and make saves as clerics and have limited armor and weaponry. They are always human to start the campaign as they are dimensional travelers, but once a gang is established in your campaign, they could be of any race. 

I'll update once I create a pretty table like the one I used in my Unicorn post. 



Click here to download the Google File.

Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Latest Novels and Test Posting from Kindle and Moto G Stylus

I've been reading a lot. I have a series of novels I'd like to review. I am also trying to combine my Kindle and Moto G Stylus phone so I can post more frequently while on the road. 

I have two books to read and 7 that are done. I'm making a list by screenshotting the covers on my Kindle and loading them up via my phone with the Blogger app. One of my issues with Kindle is the poor imaging handling. People pay a lot of money or put tons of effort into having the best of the best, only to have Kindle regulate it to a see once cover or a tiny image that doesn't play nice with the software. 

First, up on the completed list is a set of books by Rick Wayne. The Minus Faction series is an incredible collection of stories that build to a world breaking peak. Exactly how I will review this is beyond me. The stories build and build, so reviewing one might spoil others. I don't know how to handle that. I'm sure I'll figure it out. 




Copper Knights and Granite Men is by Mike DiBaggio and Shell "Presto" DiBaggio. This husband and wife team are dynamic duo of artist and author. Previously, I reviewed Population of Loss. It was an excellent read. Mike and Shell also caused me to update my own book, Zero to Hero: Uncommon Commoners. I didn't list Illustrator and Stationers among the professions. 

The Feast of Shadows series is next to read. I've only read the reviews and it looks great. 

Tech notes: One of the glitches I have encountered is my phone and Kindle don't sync as quickly as I would like. In the Blogger app, there is no good way to cancel out of selecting an image. Deleting incorrect images is also an issue. As you can see below, I picked the wrong file.  


Like I said before, I'll figure it out. 

Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Stat-ing up the Neimoidian Bounty Hunter

I've picked a name for my Neimoidian bounty hunter, La'ow Houd. I have also modified some rules to allow him to be a bounty hunter. According the rule book, they need to 1d10 vitality per level. That means only soldiers become bounty hunters. Judging by The Mandalorian, any boob with a weapon and drive can call themselves a bounty hunter. 

As a Neimoidian, he doesn't have a long tradition of bounty hunting. La'ow is a hunter of data which sometimes involves people. He observed the Mandalorians at home as a trade representative and spy. He has collected many items from Mandalor, but most of it is the not equipment of a hunter. He appreciates their arts and beliefs but doesn't try to emulate their combat style. 

Not all bounty hunters look like this. 
He does have some tricky items that the Mandalorians perfected, the whipcord, a smallish jetpack and the flame thrower. The whipcord and flame thrower are stock Mandalorian weapons in his gauntlets. The jetpack is a modified Tankerenian hoverpack for picking fruit. It can't exactly fly, but it can allow swift jumps and can save him from a short fall. 

He wears light armor which is similar to Rebel combat suits, although customized to his liking. He often wears a short cape and high riding boots in and out of armor. 

He has a light repeating blaster rifle and a heavy stunner. The heavy stunner is specifically designed to shoot like the LR blaster, but with no damage just the stun effect. He also carries a stun baton and sometimes uses electro-nets.   

La'ow has a variety of tools for breaking into systems without a droid. He also has a couple of holographic projectors which stick to surfaces. One of them will project a distortion over his body, so he can appear as a holograph. He must set this up first, it doesn't work on the fly as it requires specific viewing angles to work convincingly. 

At great expense, he managed to get his hands on two lightsabers which he had on display in his sailboat. No, he did not kill Jedi or Sith. He bought them from some really dangerous people. He does not use them as he is unskilled. He has a variety of trinkets from Mandalor, Jedha, and Coruscant which are made of kyber crystals. La'ow thinks they are object de art and it has not occurred to him that they could have any other value or purposes. 

Statistically, I have decided that Neimoidian's have a +1 Dexterity and Charisma, and a -1 to Strength and Constitution. They receive a bonus rank of swimming and the bonus feat Cautious. La'ow is an 8th level Noble and 4th level Bounty Hunter. As an isolated Noble, he can only call in favors from Bergel and Green-5. He is not well known on this planet. 

His ship, the Gallant, is a heavily modified YT-1300 transport. It is not fast, stealthy or very combat-effective. It does have great hover and low speed maneuverability so he is able to deploy his cargo from the starship to the water.   

The cockpit is located between the mandibles and the dish is located on the bottom, in place of one of the guns. The top of the ship has a gun turret and a 12 meter tall sail like cargo bay in the rear. The turret cannot shoot backwards because of the cargo bay. There is a nasty surprise at the top of the sail, a mine launcher with 5 mines.   

The ship is much slower than other YT-1300's as a quarter of the engines are missing to allow the Gallant to carry the large sail shaped cargo bay. La'ow owns a staysail ketch and needed the modified design to carry it. The cargo bay is large enough to enclose the whole boat with the masts and 4 sails deployed. The whole boat is 12 meters long and is crew by light droids. While the ship does have crew quarters, La'ow often sleeps on his sailboat.  

Here is a test image from my phone of his ship. Sorry about the lightness, it's a photo of a pencil drawing taken under fluorescent light at night. 

Like I said, this bounty hunter is non-standard. 

Monday, December 14, 2020

Testing New Tech with Sketches

I bought a new phone, a Moto G Stylus and new Kindle Fire then started working at a place where neither are allowed. That's ok, it gives me time to draw. 

The first image was a warm up for pen work. Just some designs. Perhaps, they are windows, dias* or portals. (* I'm not sure if the plural is "dia", "dias" or "diases".) 
The next two pictures are of towers. Each tower is drawn in profile and then top down. The profile is 1 square equals 10 feet while the overhead view is in 5 feet per square. 
i didn't like how the arrow slits looked and completely forgot the side door. 
These towers are strange because the exterior of the castle is to left and there is no windows on the ground floor. I need to draw in stairs next. I love the detail on the doors. There is a main door plus two gates to bar it from opening. In this rendition, the fifth floor has no windows at all. 

Both need a top floor.

Anyway, it's late at night. That might explain the strange pink cast to the images. I didn't use a flash.  

Adding complexity to a Star Wars Campaign - World Building

I'm running a Star Wars campaign on the very distant planet of Tankeren. I need to know some stuff about Tankeren to create this setting.

The map was created using The Planet Map Generator by Torben Mogensen. Tankeren is largely Earth-like, just a bit more arrid on land owing to the equaralterial nature of the land masses. The map really isn't that big, its only for show. 

What about the people? Here is what I know so far: 

  1. Tankeren was a member of the Republic. 
  2. The inhabitants are tribal in nature divided by waves of colonization, there were no native inhabitants.  
  3. Tribes revolve around each wave of colonization.  
  4. The population is heavily mixed up with all species having at least some presence on the planet.
  5. There is no majority species. 
  6. The Separatists had no problems seizing the planet. 
  7. The planet is agrarian, but has a lot of technology. 
Ok, so these people have loose alliances and don't do the representative government thing. What did they have prior to the arrival of the Separatists? A mess. What can I flesh out from these details?

Quite a few things actually. 

The planet is divided into 36 10° zones that
absolutely no one uses. 
Each tribe has an area called a Glide and two leaders called The Bearer and The Breaker. These are short hand terms for "The Cup Bearer" and "The Bread Breaker". Traditionally, the Breaker is a woman and the Bearer is a man, but that's all ancient history. It really doesn't matter who leads in the colonists opinion.   

Ok, what is a Glide? Initially, tribes controlled the land they lived on. But since these people were always technologically advanced, it made little sense to limit the tribes area based on where the houses were. They were also highly mobile using their TNK-101 transports to get around and as supplemental housing. 

A TNK-101 transport, civilian model.
The standard of a Glide was defined as how far a TNK-101 transport could safely glide in a disaster as per the specification booklet. It's about 603 KM (375 miles). This solves the problem of islands having one tribe per isolated landmass. Anything outside of the circle is deemed wilderness and the wave like nature of colonization caused many ribbons of wilderness between most settlements. When Glides are physically adjacent, a large landing strip and tower is built at that contact point. These facilities are used as data control points and as a site for celebrations. They are not militarized. A real world comparison would be an industrial park next to an airport. 

A map of the planet with the Capital Glide marked in red. It is to scale.

The Bread Breaker handles all issues of societal logistics; the distribution or trade of goods, the establishment of Glides, or anything else having to do with logistics. The Cup Bearer is responsible for all areas of social norms; agreements, contracts, honor, law, etc. Notice there is no chief executive or commander in chief. These roles would be taken on by either the Bearer or the Breaker as they saw fit. 

A Glide is the smallest area of control, while a Shield is the next level up. The Shield (or Continental Shield) is ruled by a Shield Breaker and Shield Bearer, who represents everyone on that Continent. The highest and least used part of government are the two Lord(s) and Lady(ies), two people who represent the planet to outsiders. These positions are alloted by tradition, economic power and in the past, might of arms. In almost all cases, anything higher than the Cup Bearer or Bread Breaker is a useless institution, having little to no local control of the Glides they represent. These high level institutions are run by the first waves of colonization and have little in common with the average person. They tend to get into fights among themselves which thankfully rarely trickles down to the citizens of the Glides. 

There are 4 Shields: East, West, Southern and Islandic. They were colonized in reverse order. 

As the Separatists took control of Tankeren, they realized the political situation was more complex than anything they encountered before. Green 5, the lead tactical droid came up with a battle plan to take the planet Glide by Glide called Green Glass Glider or G3xG5. He's a little haughty about his role on the planet. The idea was the droid army would be able to focus on one Glide at a time and this would probably result in a total depopulation of the planet, like a Glassing event. 

Green 5 is currently in charge of the droid army and directed by the Lord and Lady of the planet. They are trying to make the droids more like a police force, which doesn't work very well. It doesn't help that the Lord and Lady have different points of view. Green 5 is flummoxed by the wild, independent nature of the citizens. He spends a lot of time preventing his droids from entering combat situations. The current rioting is baffling to him because the rioters only attack droids if no other target presents itself. 

Green 5 has some conflicting programing due to the fact that Viceroy Bargel has ordered Five to take instruction from the leaders of the planet and to stop taking orders from the Viceroy. Green 5 doesn't see Bargel's organization as a separate power and the hapless droid often reports to Bargel as a matter of course. When he doesn't, he often shares information with Bargel's bounty hunter.  He has no idea that Bargel expects the droid to get himself and his robotic brethren killed when the Rebels or Empire arrives. 

Sunday, December 13, 2020

Session 001 - Character Rewind

I forgot to post character sheets. It's Sunday and I am working on my Neimoidian bounty hunter, but I would like to share the player's initial sheets.  

These are photocopies of a character sheet I had on hand and I rewrote what the players did on their sheets. There are mistakes, either one of the players didn't write in languages or I missed it. 

In either case, these are available by hitting the Pregenerated Characters tabs above or from the links below. When the players share their updated sheets, I'll load those, too. 

Just to recap, there are 5 player characters. Nonin is a Devaronian force adept with a blaster. Talhana is a Zabrak force adept, also with a blaster. Malta is Rodian scoundrel and dreamer, with a tiny holdout pistol. Dex is a human handiman and fringer with a sporting blaster. And lastly is Lidda. She is a twi'lik solder with more weapons than anyone else. Click those links for the individual PDF files. 

The characters have made it to level two, but I wanted to show their initial stats from Session 000.  Click the link for a recap. The short of it is, all of the characters have far more equipment and funds now. 

These characters the players created are forcing me to change up the scenarios in Invasion of Theed. In dumping the players on a different home planet, the scenarios can't play out as described. That one I knew. The second change followed by an adjustment was the players wanted to be in a place like the worlds in The Mandolorian. Since they made that choice they changed their minds. They want lightsabres now. Not too hard. The final change I have to make is the final villains can't exist on the players homeworld for a variety of reason, but the primary is, as played the characters would see these villains as heroes. That just won't do. 





Friday, December 11, 2020

You can't buy that!

Alright, I hope you noticed all of my ads the past couple of days. They help support this site. However, they aren't the main reason for the site. Gaming is the reason. 

To that end, lets promote a couple of games you can't buy at any price. Enter Dwarfstar Games. In coordination with Reaper Minis, they brought several games back from the dead. These games aren't abandoned or even in the public domain, but the people behind Dwarfstar have brought back 7 tiny games publish by companies like Heritage in the 80s. You can download them directly from that website above or click the names below.  

The first is Barbarian Prince. I am using Dwarfstar's description copy here: 

"BARBARIAN PRINCE is a solitaire game of heroic adventure in a forgotten age of barbarism and sorcery. No opponent is necessary as the Event Booklet takes you through a pre-programmed sequence of encounters which is different each time you play the game. For each event, you, as the Barbarian Prince Cal Arath, must make the decisions which will make your quest successful -- or may cost you your life.

"BARBARIAN PRINCE is a new concept in Adventure Gaming. No rules reading is required; the programmed event sequence lets you begin play as soon as you open the box.

"BARBARIAN PRINCE contains -- A full-color 12"x 14" mapboard, a die, rules folder, Event Booklet, and summary sheet -- and a detailed cast metal figure of the Barbarian Prince to mark your position on the board."

I played a few round in my Pilot Podcast Episode

The next game, Demonlord is equally interesting: 

"DEMONLORD is a game of strategy for two players. It vividly recreates the grand sweep of empires in conflict in an age of sorcery and enchantment. Infantry and cavalry sweep across the land to meet in battle or besiege fortresses, as winged troops wheel overhead. Priests invoke friendly spirits, as magicians prepare potent battlefield magic, or summon great beasts to their aid. And controlling it all, the dread Demonlord, and the Captains of the Hosar alliance with their retinue of personalities and special powers.

"DEMONLORD contains -- a full color card stock mapboard, 12"x14"; 154 full color counters; a die; instruction folder.

"PLAY LEVEL - Intermediate/Advanced"

I can't wait to play this one. 

I seem to recall having Goblin back in the day, but I must have lost it. No worries, you can still download it for free. 

"GOBLIN is a fantasy game of raiding and plunder for two players. Each player takes a turn at playing the Goblin King, leading raiders into the peaceful valley, pillaging and burning. The other player maneuvers the farmers and the Baron's troops in a desperate attempt to stave off the raids. The player who amasses the greatest amount of plunder as Goblin King, before being killed in battle or deposed by his own goblins, is the winner. Goblin is a light-hearted, free-wheeling game with surprisingly subtle strategy.

"GOBLIN contains -- a full-color 12"x14" mapboard, 154 full-color counters, a gaming die, and complete instruction book."

Next up is Grav Armor, another game I had in a baggie. I seem to recall picking it up from Kaybee Toys on close out. 

"GRAV ARMOR is a fast-moving game of future armored warfare for 2 players. It realistically simulates the high-speed, high casualty combat between streaking gravitic vehicles, surface-effects craft, supersonic fighters, orbital dropships and power-suited infantry. The modular map sections allow scenarios to be played on radically different types of planets (earthlike, molten, frozen or airless).

"GRAV ARMOR contains -- Six 4"x7" full-color map modules, 154 full-color counters, two dice, and complete rules booklet with 5 scenarios.

"PLAY LEVEL - Introductory/Intermediate"

My friend Scott R. had OUTPOST GAMMA. He was also the person who introduced me to Traveller. I've never recovered, but I still love these sorts of games. The art work reminds me of the stuff done for Dark Tower

"OUTPOST GAMMA is a game of science fiction combat for two players. With its unpredictable storms and fast-playing combat system, OUTPOST GAMMA captures the tension and rapid-fire action of high versus low-technology combat in a hostile environment.

"OUTPOST GAMMA contains -- a full-color 12"x 14" mapboard, 154 full-color counters, a die, and rules booklet.

"GAME LEVEL - Introductory/Intermediate"




My personal favorite is Star Smuggler. I've posted hundreds of times on it. You can check out my two series on it here and here

STAR SMUGGLER is a solitaire game of tense adventure in the far future. No opponent is necessary, as the Event Booklet takes you through a pre-programmed sequence of encounters which is different each time you play the game. For each event, you, as star smuggler Duke Springer must make the decisions which will make you huge profits -- or may cost you your life.

STAR SMUGGLER contains -- Twelve 4"x3" full-color mapboard tiles, four full-color counters, a rules booklet, events booklet and gaming dice.

I've put hundreds if not thousands of hours into this. It's like Traveller Lite. I've also played it as a multi-player game. The rules are pretty solid. 

And last but not least is Star Viking. This has little to do with the book Space Viking or Traveller, but somehow these three works are tied together with callout and callbacks. I had a blast playing it with my kids. My review is right here

"STAR VIKING is a game of interstellar raiding and plunder for two players. Using a unique system of 12 mapboard tiles to represent the various star systems in the Outrim sector, it captures the tense uncertainty and the sudden, flashing battles of an interstellar war. Units represented include Viking cruisers, sloops, and fighters. Federate and local frigates, battle-cruisers, and patrol boats, as well as raiding detachments, security forces, grav-armor units, specialized warfare pods, and conventional low-tech armed forces ranging from atmospheric aircraft to stone-age hordes.

"STAR VIKING contains -- Twelve 3�"x4" full-color cardboard playing tiles, 154 full-color counters, a die, and a complete instruction folder.

"PLAY LEVEL - Intermediate."

Remember, you can't buy these from Dwarfstar, but don't hesitate to download them. Be kind and don't abuse their terms. They are more than generous.