Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Dim stars, bright treasures

Current Song: Upbeat Losing My Religion by REM. Works's surprisingly well.

I have missed going to the writer meeting once again. What is the writer meeting? Well, the writer meeting is a group of good friends who are all writers (and are awesome) who get together to write together. It's a great way to actually get some work done. By working with other people, you can trigger your racing instinct, which leads to surprising gains.


Our group has a problem: We have been kicked out of at least two bookstores due to the bookstores crippling fear of money and success (Durrrr, lets force the people who buy a book every week to never return! WE IZ SMRATS!) and have now taken up position in a Starbucks.

I hate Starbucks. It's loud, the seats are uncomfortable, and I'm fairly sure some randos are reading my screen as I type.

Still, I plan to go next week, because I miss my writer meeting peeps.

But that is not all that is going on in my life, oh no!

I - as I have mentioned before - run a Rogue Trader game every Sunday. Rogue Trader, a game of interstellar trade, exploration and warfare, involves lots of going to new planets and looking at things. Unfortunately, it can sometimes be hard to determine what exactly the "new things" are every week.

Fortunately, a brand new book in the RT line has come out: THE STARS OF INEQUITY!

And it is amazing.

It begins with a star system generator, which allows you to use dice and a few well made tables to generate enter solar systems, then populate them with resources - industrial metals, radioactive elements, strange organic compounds, ancient alien ruins, and so on - and then fill them with dangers: Wastelands, sinkholes, eternal storms, active volcanos. You determine the climate, the atmosphere, the gravity, even the moons of these worlds.

It then moves on to a series of chapters about how to run adventures on the worlds you've created. If the players are exploring a ruined city, then it has a table for "ruined city dangers" and the potential rewards.

Just as an example, let us say our heroic Rogue Trader Ansin Afdahl is leading his bridge crew through a ruined alien city. I would sneakily roll on the table and...


Oh no! Ansin has stumbled onto a pitfall! He'd have to roll an agility test to avoid a jagged collection of spikes. And later, he and his bridge crew may be set on by the deranged survivors of the alien civilization, reverted to bestial savagery. But if they survive, then Ansin could claim...


A gleaming silver flail, made of some alien metal and fashioned in the likeness of their strange, inhuman fists. While fast and more damaging than a human weapon, carrying it might be more dangerous than Ansin could predict.

But that's just one example of the endless treasures that may lurk for the crew: Arcane technology from humanity's distant past, cursed pistols crafted by maddened sorcerers, entropic blades, powered lances and articulated voidsuits that project holographic disguises...and these are just some of the examples.

Needless to say, my players have a great deal to look forward...

And to dread.

For not all that glitters is gold.

And not all that lies still is truly dead.

Also, there are stats for genestealers.

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