Monday, December 27, 2010
OSR - Outer Space Redux
First off, I've got to level with you. The last few days have been rough.
The Holiday largely stank, I'm just getting over a cold and I'm feeling those end of the year blues.
Of course, this is the time my mind decides is just picture perfect for a huge spurt of creativity. When I read over my last few posts I find them far to chaotic and unfocused. There are some cool ideas in there, but I'm not really selling them, or getting the point across.
The same thing can be said of some recent comments I made on other game blogs. I stand by what I said, but I wish I had explained myself more eloquently. One specific point I'd like to rectify was my mention of the RPG Stars Without Number.
Some may have gleaned from my post that I didn't think it was a good game. That couldn't be further from the truth. In fact, I think it's an extremely good Science Fiction RPG, and quite well done. It reminds me a bit of my favorite RPG (well, one of my top three), the ICON System version of Star Trek by Last Unicorn Games. And therein lies the problem.
The game is too modern to convince me it is an OSR compatible Science Fiction game inspired by D&D. Its (and I don't mean to be facetious) too well put together. It makes almost too much sense the way they went about it. It needs to feel more clunky, arbitrary and odd. It doesn't need to really be those things, but it needs to generate that kind of vibe.
What I think an OSR Sci-Fi/Space Opera RPG should be like may well be impossible to make. Maybe it shouldn't be done. Honestly, I'm almost looking forward to a game I wouldn't play. Not really of course...but sort of.
To that end I issue myself a challenge! I, Adam Dickstein, will create an Old School, D&D inspired, Science Fiction/Space Opera RPG and save it to PDF by the First of the Year! Yes, racing rocket fans you heard (-pst-read-) er, read correctly. I give my lazy, candy ass 1 week to put my money where my mouth is and make Aliens and Astrobases available to the online viewing public. It'll be a nice practice run before I complete my real RPG project sometime in March. Who knows? Might have a hit and have to do a sellable version. Damn, but that would be funny, no?
Anyway, a few disclaimers...First and foremost, it might be very, very bad. Second, it will be an unplaytested game so it may have numerous flaws I don't even know about. Play it and send my feed back. It will have art but not a lot and not the best. I'll likely be using assorted old sketches from my previous Sci-Fi campaigns. Lastly, it will beg, borrow and steal heavily from Swords & Wizardry, Jeff Rients, SRS Basic* and numerous other places. I said I was going to do it in a week. I didn't say it was going to be super original or mind-blowing. This is more of an excercise in "Can Adam make the Old School feel, Sci-Fi RPG he always imagined TSR should've created but didn't."
It will be free to download but if you decide to use it as a substitute life support system device for intelligent, plant based aliens, I will have to charge you.
Comment, questions, words of encouragement and even the shaking of your heads is welcome.
I better get cracking!
*SRS Basic is the Basic version of the 'Standard Roleplaying System', the house engine used by Japanese tabletop RPG company FarEast Amusement Research (F.E.A.R.) for all of their games.
P.S. - Zak S of the forever awesome 'Playing D&D with Pornstars' and I are having a difference of opinion. Nothing hostile. I appreciate where Zak is coming from as I too came from there some 20 something years ago. It is a cool place to be. It rocks. Now I am largely here and here.
P.S.S. And speaking of there, I mean here, I mean...screw it. Look at this. Apocalypse World will change the way so wake up in the morning, go to sleep at night and enjoy spending time with your significant other. And I am understating how *&#^ing cool it is.