Tag Archives: Osric

How Do You Handle A Problem Like A Death Star?

So I’ve started very casually puttering on “Stellar Battles”, enough to already know that if I finish it, it will be a bit different than “OSRIC in Spaaaaace”, thought it’s still going to draw from a lot of older design patterns and probably be pretty “Generic retro-clone compatible if you work at it”. If it gets any further, which, who knows, it may or may not. I like to be definite.

Anyway, in the course of writing Generic Flavor Text while describing how hyperspace works, because that’s the bit which grabbed my mayfly-like attentions, I need to put in $DEATH_STAR, or, in other words, “Something that isn’t called a ‘Death Star’ but which is patently obvious to even the most clueless reader that it occupies the same trope-space.” (I want to use the word ‘tropic space’, but that implies a hot part of space with palm trees and suntanned women in bikinis. Tropeic? Doesn’t look right either.)

So I’d started with Omega Base, but it seemed meh, and I am using Greek letters thematically in Earth Delta, and while Judge Judy would inform me that my trousers have been involved in a conflagration if I ever said anything like “And I hate to repeat myself”, I did want to at least try for something else.

“Murder Moon” sounds great and I’ll need to use it for something, but it’s too Jack Kirby for this. Granted, “too Jack Kirby” borders on inherently contradictory, much like “too much sex and violence” or “too much money”, but it is tossed to the holding pen for now.

So I’m throwing this out to the world.

Random brainstorm of adjective-y words: Death, murder, mayhem, chaos, omega, apocalypse, genocide, armageddon, slaughter, massacre, alpha, prime, ultimate, nova, cataclysm, omni-, fire, firestorm, laser, fusion, plasma, war, doom, dark, orbital

Random brainstorm of noun-y words: Base, station, star, platform, moon, world, complex, center, fort, fortress, craft, point, nova, cannon, sphere, satellite, core

So we can get things like “plasma sphere”, “alpha base”, etc. with any additional decoration as needed… Imperial Plasma Sphere, Imperial Plasma Omni-sphere, Dark Omni-Nova Complex, or something.

Any other ideas?

Earth Delta Update!

Yes, those long awaited (by, what, two of you?) words! Earth Delta Beta 1e is now up on the main Earth Delta page. This offers a smegload of new material, mostly for Paragon tier, as compared to Beta 1c, which was posted in October. (And a reminder, all creatures are now in the Mutant Manual). It also represents, not an ending, but a momentary break — Earth Delta has been my sole “big project” for a year now, and I need to work on something else. I am still overflowing with ideas for ED, and I’m likely to post more of them here directly (and put them in the book, of course), so there will be a constant flow (I hope) of new monsters, feats, tech items, mutations, etc, along with a more public creation process for my next Big Whatever, which is looking more and more like Stellar Battles.

I’d also like to re-iterate that if anyone has posted legitimate comments and not seen them approved within 24 hours, it means my spam filter is being overzealous and to please repost them and/or email me directly.

OSRIC Wars (Or: Stellar Battles. Or: Lizard Has Too Many Ideas.)

Imagine, if you will, that around 1977 or so, a certain E. Gary Gygax saw Star Wars and thought, “Wow, you could make a fortune turning this into an RPG!”. He set about a parallel project to develop a Star Wars RPG that would use the still-evolving AD&D core rules, confident he’d have no trouble securing the license rights. By 1980, the game was done, but the licensing had fallen through completely. With hundreds of manuscript pages written and playtested, a hasty editing job scrubbed all explicit references to the films (and the books by Alan Dean Foster and Brian Daley), tossed in some sci-fi elements ripped off from other media sources, just to make the game more “generic”, and released “Stellar Battles”, the RPG of science fiction adventure. (Maybe “Galaxy Wars”. “Star Rebellion”? “Starships & Smugglers”?)

At the moment, not one word has been written on this; it’s simply an idea. A science fiction RPG based off the OSRIC retro-clone, as it might have been written in 1980 or so, drawing from the first wave of Star Wars material (pre “I am your father” and all that), with plenty of nods to Lensmen, Buck Rogers, Flash Gordon, and John Carter. Classes, levels, lower-is-better Armor Class… in this fantasy alternative universe, a good chunk of the development work was passed to freelance writer David Hargrave, who brought his own unique worldview and style to the project.

It’s hard for me to even think about working on this, as my time is very accounted for over the next few months, and the parts which aren’t accounted for are given over to Earth Delta, which is going to be one of the few projects I actually finish, by Ghod. Still, if there’s interest expressed at all, I might post whatever random dribbles of text I actually create for this, or whatever thoughts, however inchoate and unformed, I have about it.

This would be old-school as I remember it… big, bold, balls-to-the-wall attitude, a deeply personal and raw writing style, a somewhat adversarial player/DM relationship, a chaotic mix of concepts and mechanics, rules that are highly abstract (one minute combat rounds) and highly detailed (weapon vs. armor class) at the same time, and yet, eminently fun and playable. A small dollop of affectionate parody of the era, but mostly as close as I could come to a game that could have, would have, should have, been published a couple of realities over.