Skips and Misjumps Pt. 1

 Pity the poor banks. they give loans out of the goodness of their hearts (and 220% interest) to devious traders who then proceed to skip -run for the frontier and never make a payment again! That's why There are no longer any banks around, just traders living off their profits in their ill gotten ships. Hold it. Banks are still there, large and in charge.Traders for the most part are making payments and plying their trading. People skipping are far and few between. It must not pay. Why is that? Read on. The Loan Getting a loan is more than just signing on the dotted line. You need to come up with a business plan. For RP purposes this could be as simple as trading food and machinery between an agro world and a high population or industrial world, or running metals and resources from an non-industrial world to anyone really in exchange for anything manufactured or grown. Have a couple of such runs in mind in a single cluster and you'll have it relatively easy (aside from pirates

One Man's Science is Another Man's Magic

SF fans often have a jaded view of technology. We see it all over movies, read about it in literature and view it in art (turns out a lot of technological progress in our old futures was to make space suits for the femmes skin tight and appear open to vacuum around the torso). In many SFRPs including the original 2d6 progenitor, technology seems to mostly involve tweaking and refining a few gosh! golly! true breakthroughs. The venerable Atomic Rockets site views a new tech level as being 85% refinement and 15% shit you never saw coming. The laser is one example. It was invented (or rediscovered depending on your world) at TL 7. At that point you could burn stuff with it, maybe melt stuff with a really good model. Now at TL 8 we use lasers for all manner of things, analysis, measuring, medicine, communications and they are smaller and burn a lot of stuff even better.  TL 8 is the great mother of all leaps forward. We get anti-gravity, fusion power, and portable laser weapons. Makes you

Jumping Blind

A Shot in the Dark A subsector contains about 40 worlds or star systems. That means it also has about 40 empty hexes. Or are they? For many 2d6 referees the empty hexes are forbidden. You may only jump from star to star for… very good reasons. So never mind. Astronomy as it is currently practiced indicates that there are a lot of things between the stars. There may be as many rogue planets as stars or even several times the number. Many of them are gas giants and thus could enable wilderness refueling. This would make a hash of those mains, routes of adjacent worlds. There is an economic reason for them discouraging empty hex jumping.  If empty hex jumping was common, pirates, spies and invaders could infiltrate, bypass your lovely defense in (not enough) depth and nuke your core worlds before you knew anything. So there are military reasons for discouraging empty hex jumping.  This discouragement can take the form of simply not including rogue worlds in ephemera. Navigators a

Six Guns and Snake Men!

 First of all apologies for my lackluster publishing schedule on this blog. Second for the time being at least I am turning to pulp action. I recently put out a relaunch of Lightning League for Stellagama Publishing's Quantum Engine rule set. The rule set is quick, easy and covers te major concerns of RP -can I kill it, can I con them, what do I get? Apparently I have a lot more recognition with 2D6 folks than I realized.  What is Lightning League?  Look here!  TL;DR The Lightning League is an organization of philanthropists, heroes, and adventurers fighting despots, mad men, and monsters in a Post War world. It's inspired in no small part by the pulp magazines and pre-comics code comics. I have written several splat books supplements for it on Evil Clowns , Uplifted Apes , Snake Men , and Ghouls  and am enjoying increasing success (translation: I am not asking WTF am I doing this for every minute this week.) My next project will be Thunder Mesa -Western heroes, a lost world, a

Hyper Drives (and even more) Part 4

 After pondering ways to remind people they were on a dang spacecraft, I came up with an overview of gravity control technology. I decided the interface of hyper and regular space could exert a repulsion force allowing lift and thrust relatively near a planet or large body. So no taking air rafts to the moon though they would make orbital towers less effective and put the rocket industry out of business. Besides classic 2d6 technology levels (TL)  I added generic development stages.  Prototype (TL 8)      No gravity control. the Hyper force is harnessed to allow air rafts and grav vehicles. Maximum altitude of 500 meters. Field Testing (Late TL 8)      Gravity is 'generated at a single node at one end of a vessel or station in the direction of thrust. This may result in part of the ship's having reversed gravity and it being difficult to transit between the two sections. The effects of gravity gradually diminish over the length of the ship to about 0.25 to 0.5 gees at the nose.

Two Words

What two words always start a fight? Roll Initiative! The initiative mechanic is an industry standard. In its basic form, you roll, they roll. High roll goes first. All things being equal you go first about half the time, they go first about half the time and there is a certain balance achieved. What does initiative mean in the real world? Actually the give and take of Initiative in game systems is way more forgiving than the real world. A truly experienced combatant could take several actions before less skilled opponents can respond. When the fur ball starts losing that initial momentum cal lead to people going to ground, being defensive and seeking to live, not strike back. Initiative can mean very little in a close up fight, with everyone shooting and striking like mad.  Some tweaks to Initiative follow. Why just use one system for a game? There are many different forms combat can take.  No Initiative. Combat is nasty. You may still roll to see who makes their hit and damage rolls


 One of the interesting and often ignored rules of Classic Traveller was 'expending' points of Endurance to make melee attacks or sprint. CT was often about resource management. This rule was dropped from subsequent editions of the game. No one seemed to like it =I get six good shoots then I'm -3 to hit with my chainsaw? Something like that despite the fact that most people had a plethora of guns and could fire enough rounds to darken the sun. I don't want to suggest using Endurance/blows, I have no desire to be lynched. However, what if Endurance could be expended to allow extraordinary efforts? Reserving this for PCs or important NPCs would improve a group's odds of survival, especially if you're using old style simultaneous action turns. It will also give players an incentive to cut and run rather than engage in long running fights. Once their Endurance runs out, no more playing action hero. As with all combat, your Endurance score is not changed due to wound

Ship Dossier: Launches

Ship Dossier: Launches
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