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Found 7 results

  1. [ATTACH=CONFIG]70[/ATTACH] New Project: The Pumpkin Suit's Handbook I know I've already got about three month's worth of new projects in the pipeline, but it's never too early to plan ahead for future releases, especially when you're putting together a whole gaming company solo. As the title suggests, This new project is a resource for players getting into the world of Hard SF space travel. What The Pumpkin Suit's Handbook is about Unlike soft SF, which draws a lot of it's spaceflight inspiration from modern naval tradition and a huge amount from WWII, Hard SF gets its impetus from the real worlds of physics and the historical precedents of NASA, Roscosmos, Jaxa, ESA, et al. This is the world of hard evidence, gained through fifty years of manned space missions. From Yuri Gagarin's risk-taking flight to answer whether or not human could survive in space at all, to the heroic efforts on the part of Gene Kranz's Tiger Team during Apollo 13, to the loss of two Space Shuttles and the success of the ISS, each mission into the black has given us the knowledge of what it would take to survive, function and thrive in the most hostile of environments, space. Thing is, unless you're addicted to documentaries, you may not know just what they do up there. For example, how does a Command Module execute an orbital rendezvous? What does it take to accomplish a space walk? If there is a fire in free-fall, can you even see it? For those of us gamers who really want to embrace the Hard SF experience, these are important questions. The Pumpkin Suit's Handbook would be an attempt to answer them. How would The Pumpkin Suit's Handbook be set up? This is all in the very early planning stages, so bear with me. I'm currently thinking about dividing this guide into several chapters. There would be a chapter on Player Characters which would give several rules options for making effective astronauts for the game, including Story Traits that account for personality. Personality combinations are extremely important when planning a space mission, and every gamer knows that personality conflict can but an entire campaign at risk. Just what do you roll for that? Another chapter would cover space procedures, such as the aforementioned orbital rendezvous and such. These entries would explain the procedure, so the GM can give effective descriptions during play, and include rules for running the maneuver, with difficulties, consequences for failed Skill Checks and so on. There would also be a section on "Damage Control" which would give stats and descriptions of the many disasters that befall space travelers. Things like debris strikes and decompression, patching the hull, fires, smoke, and so on. These entries would of course have stats for the GM as well as recommendations for what Skill Checks should be performed. There should also be a Chapter about human factors; not just personality conflicts, but disease and illness, injury, and psychological problems having to do with isolation and the monotony of life in space. Is The Pumpkin Suit's Handbook something you want? What do think RocketFans? It this kind of supplement, an index of Hard SF elements in game play, something you are interested in. One of the advantages of such a supplement would be that it is not setting specific; physics is physics, and any Hard SF campaign would benefit with a breakdown of just what's involved in the real world of space travel.
  2. [ATTACH=CONFIG]78[/ATTACH] How does a Command Module execute an orbital rendezvous? What does it take to accomplish a space walk? If there is a fire in free-fall, can you even see it? For those of us gamers who really want to embrace the Hard SF experience, these are important questions. The Pumpkin Suit's Manual: Easy Rules for Hard Science Fiction is an attempt to answer them. The Pumpkin Suit's Manual is a 41-page PDF product with rules for space launches, EVA Combat, Damage Control, and Free-fall maneuvering, as well as Character Templates and equipment for your space campaign. If you ever wanted to run a gritty, realistic scenario in space where gravity, air and power are missing, where your players must race against time to save themselves from drowning in vacuum, or there spacecraft suffer damage that makes Apollo 13's look like a fender-bender, then you need this sourcebook! ON SALE NOW!
  3. The Black Desert RPG: 2012 Update Now that we've talked a little about what's coming up in the next couple three months, let's take a look at what the rest of the year has to offer. One of the advantages of breaking down the Core Book into smaller supplements is that it provides a steady stream of smaller milestones that will keep the pipeline full of Hard Science-y goodness all the live long year. Between that and all of the ideas I've been picking up from my new Christmas and birthday books, such as The Case for Mars, Failure is Not an Option, and Rocketmen, I am prepared for the new year in a way I haven't been in the previous one. So good news, RocketFans, as far as 2012 is concerned, we here at Blue Max Studios have plenty to work on! The Black Desert RPG: 2012 Update Schedule January: Ships of the Black Desert: The Destiny Foundation CASSTOR Launch Vehicle February: The Pumpkin-Suit's Manual: Easy Rules for Hard Science Fiction March: Ships of the Black Desert: The Alan B. Shepard-class Escort IPV April: The Black Desert: Weapons and Gear June: Ships of the Black Desert: Consensus Manufacturing Commune Laredo Base Module July: The Black Desert: Spacecraft and Space Combat (note: The P-SM and IPV supplements will cover most of the rules for regular space travel, so this will cover space combat and updates on the ships already released.) August: Ships of the Black Desert: EASA Hoplite-Orbital Cutter September: The Black Desert: Basics and Skills for BD6 October: Ships of the Black Desert: TBA November: The Black Desert: Conflicts and Combat December: Ships of the Black Desert: TBA January: The Black Desert: Hazards and Threats Unless something major comes up, this schedule means that the complete Core Rule Book can be ready for publication around March of 2013. I will of course include new artwork and additional material not found in the smaller supplements. It may seem unnecessary to publish a complete version of the RPG, given that I'm putting out so many supplements this year, but there is a good reason for this. The small supplements provide rules for Classic D6 and D20; The complete rule book will only feature the BD6 rule set. Play-Testing, or How to Get All this Stuff for Free! I'm depending on all of you, dear RocketFans, to use the small supplements, with their open game rules, to help me play-test the BD6 variations and see if they make as much sense in practice as they do on paper. For this service, I will offer a boon: Not only will each RocketFan that emails me a report on the BD6 rules in a certain supplement get play-test credit in the final compilation, They will receive a free copy of the next Core Rule supplement as my personal thank you. Enterprising RocketFans may wonder; if they get a free copy of the next supplement and do a play-test review on that one, will they get a free copy of the next one? The answer is yes, yes it does. If you keep submitting play-test reports, I will keep giving you free copies of the Core Rule supplements. This means that you can get the entire collection for the cost of only one supplement, as long as you keep giving me valuable input on the BD6 rules being included. Play-Test Deal Details This deal starts with The Black Desert: Species and continues through he whole program, to next January. In order to qualify, I need you to email me at bluemaxstudios@yahoo.com and include you name (for play-test credit) The name of the supplement you are critiquing, and a concise report of any problems you had with the BD6 rules during play. Your comments must be based on real play – I value you impressions and opinions, as always, but if you want the free swag, I need to see some hard evidence. Any fiends in you gaming group that contribute can receive play-testing credit, but only one free coupon per email will be issued. If you give me more than one critique on a single supplement, I'm happy to provide another free coupon for the next Core Rule supplement, but not for the one after that, sorry. As always, any comments, questions or ideas submitted to the blog will be published and answered, but these do not qualify for the free supplement deal. Posts made by me that are copied from your emails only eligible for the one coupon, but by being posted, all of us can debate the points brought up in play-testing and hash out a solution. I don't know about all of you, but I'm excited! See you later, RocketFans!
  4. From a Future Stranger than Fiction... Despite having unquestionably the largest extant military machine of any Terran polity, the Union of the Americas has nevertheless embarked on a new construction program aimed at modernizing their orbital fleet. This program hinges on an ambitious new design for a military spaceplane that combines the best traits of the UA's venerable Heinlein-series rockets and the hard lessons learned during the Great Space War. In addition to three fully detailed maps, this 22 page PDF includes: The history of the Vesperides' design and development, A full explanation of all rooms in the interior and all major systems in the spacecraft Adventure seeds and tips for GMs on how to use the rocket in a Black Desert or OpenD6 campaign, Ship's statistics in the OpenD6 rules variation used in The Black Desert Campaign Setting, And a complete set of four battle maps for use with one inch square counters and miniatues!
  5. Despite being off-line for awhile, I've still been busy trying to put The Black Desert Core Book together. There is a rough first draft of our space combat system available for perusal on our blog. Please look it over and offer comments here or there.
  6. ...Seriously. The D6 system is fine for space/vehicle combat in Space Opera, Pulp Space, and other settings where the Rule of Cool is more important than the Laws of Physics. For hard sf...honestly, I'm not sure I can manage it. Not without roughly doubling the length of the rulebook. Another reason I am not thrilled with the idea of making hard sf space combat rules can be summed up in two words: Ken Burnside. Ad Astra Games' Attack Vector: Tactical is the definitive 3D space combat game and has become the gold standard by which all others are measured. Not only am I unsure that I could make something half as good, I don't really want to try. In my SW games back in the day, Space combat was always glossed over or ignored completely. In fact, the reason my wife (one of the best DMs I've ever seen) is loath to play sf games is that space combat does not interest her and most of the characters she wants to play have little to do when the blaster bolts fly in the Black. This got me thinking...even though I design spacecraft and they are an integral part of my Black Desert setting, do I need to make rules for space combat, with all the hex maps and other nonsense? I started to wonder if I could, maybe, have space combats fought in the Character Scale. Bear with me. I will explain. First of all, I have no problem with big space combats; I just never thought they worked well in a character-based RPG. They make for great board games, but in the context of an RPG I feel that they interrupt game flow and take away from the main focus - the Players. It's understandable; after all games like Star Wars wouldn't be complete if you couldn't take an X-Wing into a dogfight with a couple of TIEs. But in a hard sf game, combat in space is dangerous as hell. It's hard to manoeuvre, hard to stop, and you only have a few minute's worth of fuel. If you run out of fuel, you still keep on flying...right out of the Solar System. If you get hit, you're probably done for. I could do this in The Black Desert, because it is not a visualised setting. There are no movies or television series that I have to pay service to. I can describe space combat as it would truly be; too fast to react to and too deadly to ignore. Think about it, the part where the opposing rockets are in close range of one another is less than one average gaming round. In an eye blink, its all over. Even hard sf usually fudges a little here, as narrating an epic battle like this: “...the two opposing wings met and passed in less than a second, there was a flash of light, and (roll, roll) you're dead. Good game, everybody!” Is absolutely no fun for all of the Players whose dead characters didn't get to roll. In its proper place (like in AT:V), the milder version of Newtonian space combat is really fun. But one of the most frustrating experiences for a Player in an sf RPG campaign that I have observed is, like I said, to have their bad ass character that has almost no skill in pilot or repair, look on helplessly as the ship is blown out from under them and they cannot fight back. So, I thought it would be interesting to make a set of space combat rules that kept the focus of the action inside the spacecraft, where the characters are and give them things to do that have an important impact on their survival. Now, the quoted example above is lame, this is granted. However, if the focus is on the characters, then preceding that snippet are several dramatic scenes where characters can earn their XP by getting their spacecraft braced for battle. They will be struggling to get everything on their ship ready, optimising the engines and lasers, hoping that if the ship is hit their station is not in the section that decompresses and that kind of stuff. How is this different from other helpless situations? For one thing, everyone that performs successful actions increase the chances that the ship will survive. For another, since manoeuvrability is not a tactical consideration at these speeds and with these weapons, everyone is helpless. After the “flash of light”part, the fun really begins. All of the characters will have to struggle in a deadly melee combat with the hazards of space itself. The Pilot will have to try to change vector and find a course that lets them land the rocket before the fuel is used up, The Engineer will have to get the engines back on line, or shut down to prevent a meltdown, and everyone else will be performing Damage Control. You will have disabled systems, decompressed compartments, possible radiation zones, flooding, fires and any other dangerous (and high XP) condition a GM can imagine. Even better, all the desperate running from one disaster to another will be in zero gravity. Sure, it's not a chasing a squadron of Vulture Droids in and out of Star Destroyer formations, but it will be exciting. And a Player need never depend solely on the skill of the Pilot or the stats of their ship to survive. If this hasn't painted a sharp enough picture for you, don't worry. As the idea continues to evolve, I'll add details, mechanics, and scenarios from GM and Player perspectives. The main thing I want to know at this stage is: does this sound interesting to you? Do you want to know more? Do you have any suggestions? Thanks for your replies! RocketDad
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