Horizon Survey Craft Update

A little bit of self- promotion for this blog post, Paul Elliott of Zozer Games contacted me a few weeks ago to see if he could use some of my artwork that I produced in a previous article. I’d created an image and some isometric views of the Horizon Survey Craft, based on the (at the time) freely available PDF from Drivethru RPG. The Horizon DRV is a 100dTon TL9 spacecraft which is designed for use in the Orbital 2100 SF RPG setting, compatible with the Cepheus Engine rules. However the original version was still written with the Mongoose 1st edition rules in mind and disappeared from Drivethru RPG for a while. When Paul contacted me, he was intending to bring it up to date with the Cepheus Engine rules set.

I sent over the artwork to Paul, plus an additional rendering of the ‘Spider’ 5dTon lander which he added to the book. The updated version is now available to download for free from here and if you have already ‘bought’ it from DTRPG, you should find the updated version in your library.

Thanks very much Paul for asking to use my artwork – in return he sent me a copy of ‘Hostile’ which I’m looking forward to reviewing very soon!

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Signal 99 Review

Signal 99 authored by Richard Hazlewood was released by Stellagama Publishing back in June. It is set in the ‘These Stars Are Ours’ universe (also by Stellagama) but because it is compatible with the Cepheus Engine rules set, it can be adapted with little work for any other 2D6 SF RPG system. You can purchase it from Drivethru RPG for $3.99 as a PDF.

The 38 page PDF is an adventure designed for four players and starts with them receiving a distress signal (the Reticulan ‘Signal 99’) meaning that a ship is in danger and needs help (has the same legal definition as ‘Mayday’ or ‘Signal GK’). As they draw closer to the ship, they discover it is a badly damaged Reticulan Abductor; the hated Reticulan Empire used these to capture subjects for experimentation so seeing one of these should be shocking sight for the players.

The players have some hard decisions to make in how they deal with the rescue; they also discover that there aren’t just Reticulans on board, but the insect-like Zhuzzh are also on the ship – known throughout the galaxy as scavengers and pirates. It turns out that the ship’s cargo is actually a number of humans in low berths, which presents the players with a number of questions and moral dilemma’s; will they go after the Zhuzzh, who seem to have a plan for the low berths? Will they rescue the Reticulans (and this question isn’t that easy to answer, despite Reticulans dominating Terra / Earth for a couple of centuries)? On top of this, the power plant looks like it may blow up at any moment, taking everyone who is on board the ship with them!

The book itself is structured in the following way:

Pages 3 to 7 start with an introduction describing an overview of the adventure, required materials and conventions used. You also get a background to the ‘These Stars Are Ours’ (TSAO) universe, describing the primary combatants and empires. I won’t repeat the background here, but I did review the TSAO sourcebook back in March 2017:

Page 7 rounds off with some tips on using the adventure using other settings. Page 8 starts with the referees information; the events in the lead-up to the Abductor getting damaged, some significant NPCs and some pre-generated characters. Page 13 then begins with the adventure itself, starting with the distress call and what the players discover. You’re given plenty of detail on the approach to the ship, which is great as I think it builds tension and doesn’t make it a simple task for the players in simply using a docking computer. Pages 17-18 contain deck plans for the Abductor, with damaged areas of the ship indicated and room locations labelled. It’s important that the referee keeps track of time in this adventure as the power plant will go critical in a limited amount of time, which helps to keep the pressure on the players. This isn’t a take-your-time-explore type of adventure; actions cost time and once the players are on board, they had better think and act fast. There is plenty of atmosphere; lights are crackling and blinking a sickly green colour, gravity is non-existent and there is debris everywhere. It makes for a claustrophobic and difficult environment to move around in.

Pages 22-23 give a short summary of much of the Reticulan equipment found aboard the Abductor, but you would be best served by having a copy of ‘50 Wonders of the Reticulan Empire’ handy (reviewed in July 2017).

Pages 24 to 31 form the bulk of the book, namely being the room descriptions for all the locations found on the Abductor. There are plenty; the players really are going to have to get a move on if they are going to get around as many of these as possible (I counted 54 across two decks) and most rooms have at least a paragraph with plenty of detail to set the scene in each room.

Pages 32 and 33 describe the background to the Zhuzzh scavengers, their place in this adventure and a couple short descriptions of Zhuzzh starships (though there are no deck plans for these). The next couple of pages describe the aftermath and what happens to all the parties involved in the ‘incident’. Finally, the last page contains an Appendix to the Parvati system where the adventure is set.

Though the premise of the adventure is relatively straightforward (a rescue), the book gives plenty of detail and descriptions to make this an atmospheric, frantic rush to save lives. The book is well laid out and edited (by Omer Golan-Joel and Josh Peters); images (by Luigi Castellani) are limited in number (when compared to say, a Gypsy Knights Games product) but there is ‘just the right amount’ to help break up the text throughout the book. The cover and deck plans are provided by Ian Stead. Combined with its very reasonable price, I think this is another excellent quality product by Stellagama whose portfolio continues to grow and will provide a really good evenings gaming and entertainment.

I’d like to suggest a couple of audio tracks to help with the ‘tension’ aboard ship, as the final remaining minutes tick by before the Abductor’s power plant goes nuclear. From the ‘Aliens – The Deluxe Edition’ soundtrack by James Horner, start off with ‘Ripleys Rescue’ and then round off with ‘Bishops Countdown’ – well worth providing as background music I think! The latter two links are only there to demonstrate the tracks, I highly recommend you purchase a copy of the soundtrack as it really is a cracking piece of music. To finish I’d like to thank Omer Golan-Joel for kindly sending me a copy of Signal 99 for review.

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Cepheus Engine Fantasy Traveller Part 1 – Basic Character Generation

Its been exactly seven years since I started writing my ‘Fantasy Traveller’ series of articles where I converted the Classic Traveller rules system for use in a fantasy environment. As much as I love Classic Traveller, I feel Cepheus Engine is its modern decendant with an ever-improving level of support from third-party publishers. More and more settings are being released with a greater variety of backgrounds and source material. Some examples of these are Gypsy Knights Games ‘Clement Sector’, Stellagama Publishing ‘These Stars Are Ours’ and Zozer Games’ with Orbital 2100 / Hostile and various CE-related products.

I’ve dabbled and dipped into parts of Cepheus Engine, but I want to get to grips with the system in more detail to support additional articles in this blog.

Therefore I’m going to start converting my ‘Fantasy Traveller’ articles to Cepheus Engine as I think this could be interesting for future visitors and provide an alternative environment to use the CE rules set in. I’m not going to drop support for the Classic Traveller articles entirely, but I’ve reached the point where I’m happy with the ‘rules’ as a ‘system’ and adding much more feels like adding for the sake of it.

So, I need to get to grips with the char gen system, combat and weapons before I start updating the world of ‘Grond’ with a Cepheus Engine set of mechanics. I’ve been reading through the CE System Reference Document and noted the most relevant parts which I think I can utilise for the basis of a rules set. Originally, I extracted the Classic Traveller careers mainly from Supplement 4: Citizens of the Imperium and CE already includes a number of these as a career path. To get the char gen process ‘right’, I’m going to take one career path and use that as a basis that I can apply to other careers.

The general aim should be roughly the same as the original Fantasy Traveller where I try and keep it as simple as possible (within the game mechanics) and not deviate too much from the original rules set. Only where there aren’t rules already in place do I add something in eg. magic. So, I’m going to have a look at a ‘Hunter’ career and modify it for a fantasy world.

One if the lions at Osborne House I photographed on the Isle of Wight.

Character Creation Checklist

Characteristics

1) a) Roll your six characteristics using 2D6

b) Determine characteristic modifiers

Homeworld Background Skills

2) a) Character gains a number of background skills at Level 0 equal to 3 + their education modifier. Select from table.

Career

3) a) Choose a career.

b) Roll to qualify for that career. If you fail the roll, you automatically become a Drifter and follow that career path.

Basic Training

4) a) For your first term in your first career, you get every skill in the service skills table at Level 0.

b) For the first term in the Drifter career, you may pick any one skill from the service skills table at Level 0.

Survival

5) a) Roll for survival, if you succeed, go to step 6.

b) If you fail, you have died. Alternatively you can roll on the mishap table and you complete your career development process. No benefits are received for this term.

Commission and Advancement

6) a) You begin as a Rank 0 character.

b) If you are a Rank 0 character and your career offers a commission check, you can choose to roll for commission if you want. If successful, you are now rank 1. Choose one of the skills and training tables and roll on it for an extra skill. Take any bonus skills from the ranks table for this career.

c) If your career offers an Advancement check and you are rank 1 or higher, you can choose to roll for Advancement. If successful your Rank improves by 1. Choose one of the skills and training tables and roll on it for an extra skill. Take any bonus skills from the ranks table for this career. You can also roll for Advancement in the same term that you succeeded in a Commission roll.

Skills and Training

7) a) Choose one of the Skills and Training tables for this career and roll on it. If you get a characteristic gain improvement, apply it immediately. If you gain a skill as a result and do not already have levels in that skill, take it at Level 1. If you already have the skill, increase your skill level by one.

Aging

8) a) Increase your age by 4 years.

b) If your character is 34 years or older, roll for aging.

Re-enlistment

9) a) Roll for re-enlistment. If you fail, you must leave the career. If you roll a natural 12, you cannot leave even if you want to and must continue for another term. Go to step 5.

b) If you have served more than seven terms, then you must retire, go to step 10.

c) If you wish to continue in this career, go to step 5.

d) If you wish to leave this career, go to step 10.

Benefits

10) a) If you are leaving the career, roll for benefits. A character gets one roll for every full term of service. You also get benefit rolls if you reached a higher rank.

Starting Equipment

11) a) Purchase your starting equipment.

I’m on holiday as I write this article so here’s a picture I took of Freshwater Bay on the Isle of Wight just to break up the text…

Hunter Career as an Example

Roll 2D6 for the six attributes Strength, Dexterity, Endurance, Intelligence, Education and Social Standing. Apply characteristic modifiers as per the table on page 24 of the CE SRD.

Because all careers are based on the world of Grond, there are no homeworld-specific skills so I’ll suggest the following table that you get three skills (choose, or roll D6 for) plus 1 per education attribute modifier and receive the skills at Level 0.

1 Animals (choose cascade skill from Farming or Veterinary Medicine)

2 Linguistics

3 Survival

4 Tactics

5 Vehicle (Wheeled Vehicle)

6 Streetwise

Career choice, using Hunter as an example. Roll to qualify (assume qualification). Gain all service skills at level 0. This is where I’m going to have to change the service skills list, using this table:

If you already have a skill at level 0, there is no additional advancement if you get the skill again.

Roll for Survival – need to get 8+.

There are no ranks or advancement, so you get skill Survival-1 at Rank 0.

Skills and training; if your character has Education 8+, then they may choose from the Advanced Education table in addition to the Personal Development, Service skills and the Specialist skills tables. If not, you may only roll on the Personal Development, Service and Specialist tables. Roll 1D6 per table chosen – because the Hunter does not have an advancement table, you can roll twice.

The Personal Development Table is changed thus:

Specialist Skills Table

Advanced Education Table

Now increase your age by 4 years and apply any modifiers if appropriate and roll for re-enlistment, where a roll of 6+ is required. Repeat the survival and skills rolls, until you are either dead or exit the career.

Benefits: You get one roll on the benefits table per full term of service served. You can only roll three times on the cash table and there are no retirement benefits.

Material Benefits Table for Hunter career

1 Hunting and trapping equipment sufficient to catch small animals

2 +1 INT

3 Weapon

4 Weapon

5 Armour (piece of or full set, as described on armour table)

6 Horse and riding equipment

Cash Benefits (gold pieces (gp)

1 50

2 100

3 150

4 200

5 500

6 1000

So now I have a basic process with which to generate character careers in CE; over the coming articles I’ll expand more on the skills by modifying them for the fantasy background, more on the character classes and testing the system in a dungeon adventure.

This article is released under the Open Game License as defined under the heading ‘In respect to Cepheus Engine and Open Game License (OGL) Products‘ in the ‘About’ page.

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Anderson and Felix Optional Components Guide Review

At last its the summer holidays here in the UK and a chance to catch up on my review pile and get this blog updated.

Authored by Michael Johnson, the Anderson and Felix Optional Components Guide was released a couple of months ago by Gypsy Knights Games and is available from Drivethru RPG for the normal price of $4.99 or current price $3.74 (25% off) during GKG’s ‘Christmas in July’ sale. It is available as a PDF or with soft/ hard cover options and contains 31 pages.

This is a supplement to the main ‘Anderson and Felix Guide to Naval Architecture’ for the Clement Sector but can be used with any Cepheus Engine / 2D6 SFRPG set of rules. The book provides some useful additional starship equipment that is quite varied in its scope. The first couple of pages start with an introduction and brief background to the Anderson and Felix shipbuilders and the company place in the Clement Sector. You are then presented with the first of the main headings, which take the major parts of a starship and offer variations or additional components. Each section is constructed from a section heading and an individual paragraph detailing the component, room or weapon.

Page 6 kicks off with ‘The Engineering Section’ which is spread over three pages (though one and a half of these are taken up with some very fine illustrations related to the engineering section, by Bradley Warnes).

Page 9 starts with ‘The Main Compartment’ and this is a good example of where that varied list I mentioned is demonstrated. The section has paragraphs for ‘Computers’, ‘Steerage Accomodation’, ‘Astrographic Cartography Room’, Casino’, ‘Interrogation Room’, ‘Retail Shops’, ‘Small Office’ for example. In the description, it typically describes some information needed in order for you to add it to the ship, being the amount in displacement tons (dTon) and the cost (in Cr / MCr). Weapons stats are listed where appropriate.

Armament begins on page 14 and is a pretty tasty section including such weaponry as the ‘Plasma Gun’, ‘Railgun’ and ‘X-ray laser’. What I like about these is that the book presents some pretty exotic weaponry, such as one I’ve never heard of before, the ‘Orillery Railgun’, which is a variant of the ‘standard’ mass driver railgun but fires projectiles at slower speeds but are optimised for smashing planetary targets. Suitable spinal mountings for these types of guns are also discussed in this section.

Something that was (probably) rarely seen in most SFRPGs more than ten years ago, but are now a prominent piece of technology are drones; this is forms part of the next section on page 19, ‘Small Craft, Vehicles, Drones and Cargo Holds’. You get ‘Boarding Pods’, which are specialist transfer launches normally used to breach hulls with six occupants such as special forces or pirates. In addition, you get a description for Point Defence Drones (PDD’s), which are small armed drones which are designed to extend a ship’s point defence sphere beyond the range of normal PD node weapons.

Page 21 continues with describing ‘Cargo Holds’ and options for conveyors, access locks, modular and cargo cranes.

The final two sections ‘Interstellar’ and ‘Reaction’ drives are described from page 23 onwards to the end of the book on page 28. The Zimm drive is the means of interstellar travel used in the Clement Sector and though it is not recommended to use another form of starship drive as it would change the nature of the setting (bit like Classic Traveller’s Jump Drives in the Third Imperium), a few examples are offered who wish to explore different types of drive technology. You get a pretty detailed description of the ‘Alcubierre Drive’, which includes the theory of operation, distance travelled and how to construct a starship using such technology. Reaction Drives includes two types: Extended Pulsed Plasma Propulsion and Electromagnetic (EM) Drives. The former are also known as ‘Orion Drives’, the technology proposed in the 1960’s as an incredibly powerful method of launching large spacecraft and ‘quick’ way of travelling to the other planets. The drive relies on firing nuclear ‘pellets’ to create a small nuclear explosion which forces the spacecraft to accelerate. Hundreds of these nuclear explosions would be used to accelerate the spacecraft to the outer planets such as Jupiter or Saturn, in a matter of weeks. However the idea was abandoned in the 60’s and 70’s due to the huge amounts of radiation it left behind. For more information about Orion Drives, take a look at over at Atomic Rockets. The principles of EM Drives are actually being tested at the moment, though only a few weeks ago a group of German scientists have proved that the principle behind the EM drive does not work. More on this can be found on this page at Atomic Rockets.

This is a pretty decent supplement to own; there is quite a varied range of equipment listed, some have only a small description paragraph whereas others cover two to three pages. However I do like the level of detail that has been included in all the sections, there are things that ‘go beyond the norm’ here as most spacecraft designs include typically much the same thing as this adds a great deal of ‘variety’ to your spacecraft construction. With the character scene artwork by Bradley Warnes, spacecraft / line art by Ian Stead and logos by Stephanie McAlea, if you’re looking for a supplement to spice up your spacecraft construction, this is definitely worth looking at. I would like to thank John Watts of Gypsy Knights Games for being so kind as to send me a copy to review.

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Freelance Traveller July-August 2018 Out Now

Just a quick mention to say that the latest issue of Freelance Traveller magazine is out now (July-August 2018, issue number 088); I’m very proud to mention that Jeff Zeitlin (editor) has included my review of the Gypsy Knights Games product ‘Manhunter: Bounty Hunters in Clement Sector’ which has been previously published on this blog.

I’d like to thank Jeff for asking if it could be included in Freelance Traveller and hopefully he will consider future submissions.

Its an excellent read (as always!), which this month includes amongst others a scenario for Zozer Games ‘Orbital’ setting, a scout/courier design, a TravCon 2018 report, reviews and rules supplements contained in 68 pages.

Freelance Traveller can be downloaded for free following this link.

Posted in Classic Traveller, Clement Sector, Freelance Traveller, Mongoose Traveller | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

Games Day 86 Programme

Whilst sorting through some of my old gaming material the other day, I came across a few programmes and leaflets from some of the conventions I went to ‘back in the day’. I’ve scanned some in, the first if which is presented here; the programme for Games Day ‘86, held at the Royal Horticultural Society Hall in London.

I hadn’t long turned seventeen and I was on an electrical engineering course at college. I’d managed to save some money from the meagre wages I was getting and my cousin Carl and I travelled down to London on a National Express coach (North American visitors = equivalent is the Greyhound buses) from Birmingham. I think it arrived at Victoria coach station and we walked to the venue. We went on the Saturday so it was pretty busy; arriving at the entrance was like turning up at some hallowed halls of legend as we’d been looking forward to the day out for months.

My memory is a bit vague of what was there, I can recall visiting most of the stands; there were some live games taking place, plenty of books and miniatures to look at – some were up some steps either side I think, looking at the programme. I also recall leaving the venue and making our way to outside Parliament and standing at the bridge crossing the river Thames. We made our way back and the serious spending started. I went with the full intention of purchasing a new set of gaming rules and bought the Palladium RPG (black and red cover). I’m not sure what other books I bought, but there were plenty of figures from Citadel purchased. An endearing memory was hauling what I bought across London back to the coach station in several plastic bags which felt like it weighed nearly half a ton! We poured over our purchases all the way back as we had table seating on the coach.

It would have been nice to visit the Games Workshop store whilst in London but alas this was my one and only visit to Games Day in London.

The programme is in excellent condition so I’ve provided a scanned copy free to download here. I wonder if anyone else visited the same Games Day? If so please feel free to comment in the usual place!

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Laserburn as an RPG Part 2

Now its time to put my example character through a scenario that will hopefully test a range of stats. I’m not going to set it in the default Laserburn universe, but the Gypsy Knights Games Clement Sector background just to give it an introductory starting point.

So Amer Rivis is hanging around in a bar, in between jobs on Sequoyah. Its one of the more seedy bars there, with lots of rough and tough looking individuals. Propping up the bar, he is approached by a patron who starts a conversation with him. Amer finds out that the patron is looking for someone who is discrete and reliable, who can ‘do a little job for him’. The little job involves a little industrial espionage, where this evening there is a party being held for some senior executives of the Blaylock Mining Corporation in a nearby hotel. Andreas Morgan (as the patron is named) would like Amer to gain access to the hotel and obtain copies of some files which are likely to be held in one of the executives rooms. Andreas will pay 20,000Cr if copies of the files stored on the executives handcomp can be made, without anyone from Blaylock noticing.

Ok, so at this point would I want to make any rolls regarding the job? At best, probably just an intelligence roll to see if there is any sense that the patron is telling the truth. Amer has got a 3, so roll a D6 or less and I get a 3, so Amer gets a good sense that the patron is telling the truth. Andreas gives Amer the plans for the hotel and a pass that should get him past the Blaylock company security agents.

So Amer arrives at the Ross Interstellar hotel (one of the largest and most prestigious in the Clement Sector) and approaches the security desk. He passes the ID card to the security officer; the officer looks suspiciously at Amer and asks a few questions about why he is here and what he is doing. Another attribute check to convince the officer; I’ve got a choice – Initiative or Intelligence. The problem with Initiative is that its generated using a variable number of dice – so Amer’s score of 18 sort of ‘floats’ and I can’t roll using a set (or calculated) number of dice in order to check against it. So I’m going to refer back to the Intelligence score (even though it doesn’t feel like the most appropriate characteristic to check against) so I roll a D6 to get 3 or less. Amer gets a 5 and fails to convince the security officer, so he’s unceremoniously ejected from the hotel.

Feeling a bit frustrated at failing at the first hurdle, Amer decides to try and gain access through a back route. Finding a service route into the hotel, he needs to make a dexterity roll to gain access through a partially open window. I’m going to make this a bit difficult and apply a -1 DM to the DEX roll, so I need a 4 or better. I roll a 4, so entry is gained without anyone noticing. Amer manages to walk down several corridors before I reckon he needs to make a random encounter check. So a roll of a 6 on a D6 will result in someone seeing Amer… and I get a 5, so he hasn’t been spotted yet. He eventually arrives at the hotel room where the executives hand comp is located; the door is locked, so a turn of brute strength (and ignorance) should force the door in. I reckon a DM of -1 (because I think the door is hard to beat) so Amer needs to get 5 or less. I roll a 6, so he bounces off the door which remains in place, undefeated.

He decides to try and find another way in and looks around for a member of the hotel staff, who might have a keycard. Hearing the clattering of a trolley, he sneaks around and waits for the trolley to get closer in an adjacent corridor. Here I make a combat factor roll based on civilian stats 40.10.1 – the hotel worker rolls 80 + 10, gets 90. Amer rolls 90 + 70 = 160 and wins the round. To hit Amer has a chance equal to his combat factor (70) minus using a bare fist (-30) and gets an 18 for a successful strike. Now I need to roll for the hit location (D100) and I get 94, a left leg location; bit of an odd place to land a hit in a brawl. Now at this point, I’m starting to struggle for the hit effect. There doesn’t seem to be any mention of what effect a punch to a part of the body has on a victim. Therefore for ease of use, I’m going to say that Amer kicks the hotel worker’s leg from under him and manages to silence him without killing him.

Now that Amer has obtained a keycard, he is able to successfully gain entry to the executives room and start searching for the hand comp with the documents. Again I’m going to use Intelligence to roll a D6 against, I roll a 5 (Amer has 3 Intelligence) and he doesn’t find anything in his initial check. At this point, I think Amer should make a second check but with a DM of -1 to reflect that its a bit more difficult; I roll a 2 so Amer (just) finds the hand comp and starts the download of information required.

By the time Amer has completed the download, he can hear noises from outside. Chances are someone has found the unconscious hotel worker and is raising the alarm. At this point, Amer grabs his kit and makes for the door. He can make out the sounds of activity nearby, so he makes a break for it. Just as he turns the corner of one of the corridors near the exit, he can see a security officer at the far end. Amer is going to have you fight his way out, so lets roll for ranged combat.

I’ll stat the security officer as 100.40.10, so rolling for initiative he gets 47+10 = 57. Amer rolls a poor 18 plus his initiative results in a total of 36, so the security officer gets to fire first. Armed with a slug gun, I work out that Amer is a moving target (-10), is 5m away (-20) and because the firer is using a slug gun, -15. So that totals -45 take away from 100 is 55, so I roll an 83 and miss. Amer’s turn to fire results in (WS) 140, firer is moving (-15), -10 for 5m distance so he needs to roll 115 or less on a D100, so thats a guaranteed hit. Roll for hit location – I get a 24 (left arm). I roll a D10 as the security officer is unarmoured, on a limb the 6 I rolled is a serious hit. The security officer’s left arm is completely unusable for the rest of the combat.

So a new combat round starts with an initiative check; security officer rolls 1 on a D100 (!) plus 10 equals 11, Amer rolls 24 plus 18 equals 44, so Amer wins this round. He rolls to fire with -25 modifiers, results in a direct hut, so roll for hit location. A D100 results in an 8, thats a head shot. A throw of a D10 gives a 7, so thats a knocked out security officer.

Amer then makes a break for it and exits the hotel from the same way that he got in. Returning to the same seedy bar where he met the patron, who hands over the 20,000Cr for a copy of the data extracted from the executives hand comp.

Conclusions

Ok, that was a fairly simple scenario to demonstrate how Laserburn could be used as an RPG, comparitive to Classic Traveller or Cepheus Engine. First of all – for all you Laserburn afficiando’s, if I’ve mis-intrepreted or mis-used a rule, I apologise. Its been 30 years since I ran a proper Laserburn scenario and I’m having to read the rules and adapt to my demonstration situation as I go along. What I found that whilst coming up with different situations to run stat checks against, I was coming up short on a few things. Because much of Laserburn is so combat orientated, I found that I couldn’t match a number of situations to what I felt was the most appropriate stat. For example, trying to gain access to the hotel (first time) I could have done with some sort of personality / appearance stat or skill to try and convince the security officer that Amer could enter the hotel. Initative or intelligence didn’t seem to cut it as the most appropriate stats to use. I also found it a bit difficult to try and apply a simple punch to knock out the hotel staff and steal the keycard. However ‘general’ combat using guns and ranged weapons was very easy and I like having the hit location tables to illustrate where your shot landed.

Through my simple example, I’ve at least demonstrated to myself what Laserburn’s strengths are – combat orientated gaming, mainly using miniatures which is exactly what it was designed for. It does lack a number if elements for non-combat orientated role-playing where I would want to use some stats / skills found in Classic Traveller or Cepheus Engine, but depending on your style of play you may wish to ignore this completely and stick to just the combat rules to resolve those situations. However if you use Laserburn, enjoy it – its a great system and there is still a lot of support for it!

If you’ve come into this post directly, you can find Laserburn as an RPG – Part 1 here.

Link for Alternative Armies Laserburn 15mm range.

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