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Author Topic: Interest Check: Swashbuckling Space Opera! (VAN thru BON)  (Read 4150 times)

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Offline MadPandaTopic starter

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Interest Check: Swashbuckling Space Opera! (VAN thru BON)
« on: November 13, 2009, 01:32:08 PM »
So I'm kicking around a new ruleset I picked up called Swashbucklers of the Seven Skies, and on the associated yahoogroup the author posted a 'patch' for Space Opera using the rules...Buck Rogers and Flash Gordon style silliness.  This, I say to myself, is a game that deserves to be tried at least once!

It uses these rules as a starter: http://www.atomicsockmonkey.com/freebies/PDQ.pdf

Discuss!  Ponder!  Put on the campy Queen soundtrack to the movie and do a Brian Blessed imitation!

Online HairyHeretic

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Re: Interest Check: Swashbuckling Space Opera! (VAN thru BON)
« Reply #1 on: November 13, 2009, 02:56:41 PM »
"Half the fun of Roleplaying is pretending to be Brian Blessed. The other half is obviously violence." :)

You tempt me :)

Offline MadPandaTopic starter

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Re: Interest Check: Swashbuckling Space Opera! (VAN thru BON)
« Reply #2 on: November 13, 2009, 03:14:18 PM »
Good, good...

A couple of setting bits from the SpOp doc on the yahoogroup:

This is 'blasters and broadswords' stuff, so check your sense of realism at the door.  I'd like to shoot for mostly four-color, if folks can stand it.

All planets are named after elements.  Yes, as in Tom Lehrer and the Table Of..., and in all likelihood the capital city of Helium is going to be called Barsoom.

Aliens (Elves, Dwarves, Furries of all sorts) et cetera are permitted by GM fiat.  :-)  At the moment, I'm thinking of running down a copy of Spelljammer so we can have boarding actions in space.

And one other thing: I have a 'freebie' in mind that should hopefully amuse, although it might not make any sense until folks get to the damage system in the rules: Battle Bikinis (or Briefs) for all!

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Re: Interest Check: Swashbuckling Space Opera! (VAN thru BON)
« Reply #3 on: November 13, 2009, 03:29:56 PM »
How about a cross between this ...




and this ...



 ;D

Offline MadPandaTopic starter

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Re: Interest Check: Swashbuckling Space Opera! (VAN thru BON)
« Reply #4 on: November 13, 2009, 04:10:43 PM »
I think that would be a good template for a character.  The resulting dialogue would be about right.

Come to think of it, this will be the perfect game for my Space Pirate Amazon Ninja Catgirl and her lesbotic tendencies.  Now where'd I leave her, again?

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Re: Interest Check: Swashbuckling Space Opera! (VAN thru BON)
« Reply #5 on: November 13, 2009, 06:19:19 PM »
Is the ruleset patch freely available anywhere?

Offline MadPandaTopic starter

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Re: Interest Check: Swashbuckling Space Opera! (VAN thru BON)
« Reply #6 on: November 13, 2009, 06:20:12 PM »
Here's most of the important bits.  Technically, we're in 'setting the dials'...


SETTING THE DIALS
Here is where you set the “feel” of your game (this process may also generate Facts; see below):
·   Thumbnail: The basic “gist” of your game. Two options:
o   Media Plus or Versus: Mash-ups of various established SF touchstones (e.g., Robotech + Ghostbusters; Firefly vs. Star Trek; TMNT vs. Terminator; Starship Troopers + Godzilla).
o   General: “rebels against an oppressive empire” or “explorers, seeking new life and new civilizations” or “rag-tag fleet fleeing horror”.
·   Sapients: Human only, aliens, robots, AIs.
·   Psionics: Yes/No. (If yes, consider rarity and power of such abilities.)
·   Space Travel: Single system/interplanetary; intersteallar; intergalactic, etc.?
o   How?: How is long-distance travel done (FTL drives, jumps, jumpgates into hyperspace, etc.)?
·   Spaceships: Individual (PC) ships, group ship, bridge crew of a capital ship?
·   Raygun Power: (see PDQ#, p. 28) Just a weapon, a more powerful weapon (extra damage = shooter’s MOD), or one-shot kill weapons  (extra damage = TN of shooter’s Forte)?
·   Why are the PCs Together: Household/Family. Organization. Crew. Comrades from long ago. “Picked team” (by patron). Chance companions. Someone Done Us Wrong.  And so on.
·   A Thing I Would Like to See: Posed to all PCs: something they would like to see in the game. Not all will be satisfied, but the more the GM can provide, the better the session.
·   Any Givens?: Characters might get a “freebie” [G+2] Forte given to them by the GM for a game with a specific thrust (everyone is/has a: Star Ranger, Q-Wing Fighter, Robo-Servant, etc.).

CHARACTER GENERATION
The steps of character generation in PDQ# SpOp can be done in almost any order, but Planet should definitely come first. Many of them will generate Facts (see below). They are:
·   Planet [G+2]: Three facts about your planet. (What’s it like; how seen by others; particular skill/knowledge/ability/nature natives have; climate/terrain; how see others; location; special goods/services/industries, etc.) These absolutely become Facts (see below).
·   Past [G+2]: What you did before; your background; how you were raised (occupation, family, role in society, etc.).
·   Motivation [G+2]: What spurs you on? (Goals, drive, needs, relationships, etc.)
·   SpaceOperatic Forte [G+2]: What are you awesome at?
o   Techniques: Things that, when they come into play with your SpOp Forte, make you even more awesome (categories include idiom, situation, location, maneuver, weapon, vs. Foe, quote, etc.).
o   Grant a +1 to roll result, or the ability to re-roll one die, provided you can narrate/justify how that Technique comes into play.
·   3 Fortes @ [G+2] – or you can use the 3 Forte Ranks to increase any of the ones above.
·   (optional) Given Fortes [G+2]: If all characters get a “freebie” Forte given by the GM for a game (Star Ranger, Q-Wing Fighter, Robo-Servant), it gets placed here (and doesn’t count against the 3 Fortes above).
·   Foible: What causes you problems – be it an aspect of your nature, a relationship, a situation, a need, etc.? (Note that Foible helps earn you Style Dice; find something you’d like to play to!)
·   Character Name.

FACTS
Facts are the building-blocks of the overall setting. Facts will certainly be generated through Setting the Dials (see above), group character generation (especially with Planet discussions), and will also crop up in play -- from general invention at the moment or when a PC spends a Style Die for a Significant or Major Fact.
GMs should record all Facts.
Important basic Facts to keep in mind:
1.   "Swords & rayguns" (a la Buck Rogers and Flash Gordon).
2.   Planets are named after elements.

These first two Facts are at the heart of PDQ# SpOp.
Relevant “quotes” of a session can be added to the Fact Sheet, if desired. While possibly impenetrable to those who were not around the table, quote Facts offer insight to the “vibe” of the session.
« Last Edit: November 13, 2009, 06:36:29 PM by MadPanda »

Offline MasterMischief

Re: Interest Check: Swashbuckling Space Opera! (VAN thru BON)
« Reply #7 on: November 13, 2009, 08:57:09 PM »
If I am not mistaken, Swashbucklers of the 7 Skies is largely based on PDQ# which is largely based on PDQ which was linked to earlier.

Good to see some PDQ love.

Offline MadPandaTopic starter

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Re: Interest Check: Swashbuckling Space Opera! (VAN thru BON)
« Reply #8 on: November 13, 2009, 09:00:50 PM »
It is indeed!  I'm a recent convert, by way of MNPR and NinjaBurger 2e.   ;D

Offline Bishrook aka Fate sisters

Re: Interest Check: Swashbuckling Space Opera! (VAN thru BON)
« Reply #9 on: November 14, 2009, 12:48:45 AM »
I'm interested.
I have PDQ sharp but it's been awhile since I looked  it over and as you know I'm not very good at the mechanics.
Are you going to set the dials beyond the two you set up?
In any case I think with a little help I should be able to play.

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Re: Interest Check: Swashbuckling Space Opera! (VAN thru BON)
« Reply #10 on: November 14, 2009, 05:42:29 AM »
I should probably point out I have no experience with this system, but that's never stopped me from playing a game before.

Or running one for that matter :)

I may need a hand in getting started.

Offline DeviantMunster

Re: Interest Check: Swashbuckling Space Opera! (VAN thru BON)
« Reply #11 on: November 14, 2009, 05:46:27 AM »
I'm too confused to understand half of what's being said on this message board! But I may be interested.

But I need someone to explain what the setting is going to be, and the general plot first!

Offline MadPandaTopic starter

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Re: Interest Check: Swashbuckling Space Opera! (VAN thru BON)
« Reply #12 on: November 14, 2009, 10:05:31 AM »
Yes, we're going to set the dials up before we start--and part of the idea of doing it here is to give those interested a chance to share in the joys of doing so!

I've never run or played this system either, Hairy, so we're all in the same boat.   :-)  And battening down the hatches is probably a good idea!

Here's what I definitely have in mind so far:
Thumbnail: Flash Gordon meets Buck Rogers, as written by Rumiko Takahashi and directed by Ralph Bakshi.
Sapients: Aliens!  That means Elves, Dwarves, Hawk-men, Furries of all sorts...
Any Givens?: Uniform Battle Bikini or Briefs.  Go watch an episode of Dirty Pair to see what I mean.

Everything else is currently open for discussion.  Like, for example, use of Spelljammer type ships, the deadliness of blasters, and why the PCs will be together.

Oh, and don't forget the one question put to all players: A Thing I Would Like to See

Offline MasterMischief

Re: Interest Check: Swashbuckling Space Opera! (VAN thru BON)
« Reply #13 on: November 14, 2009, 12:24:26 PM »
I ran a Pirate game with PDQ# briefly.  I consciously choose not to amp up the deadliness of firearms because I feel one of the beauties of PDQ is that deadliness is completely dependent on the character not the +6 Holy Smiter of Thine Neighbor.  Sure, it may not be realistic that a dagger does the same damage as a sword, but in the movies, do you ever see the villain laugh at the hero and point out that his puny dagger only does 1d4 damage?

An added bonus for me is that hours are not wasted pouring over the equipment list looking for the Thing® with the best damage.

Offline MadPandaTopic starter

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Re: Interest Check: Swashbuckling Space Opera! (VAN thru BON)
« Reply #14 on: November 14, 2009, 12:33:49 PM »
Sounds good to me: that's one vote for Blasters doing 'normal' damage.  Anyone else?   :-)

Oh, and before I forget to answer DeviantMunster's question...the way PDQ# is set up, plots tend to be largely player-driven.  That means that you will have some say in what goes on around here.  Permit me to use an example.

The first step in character generation is developing your home Planet.  You get to come up with three facts about your planet that become canon.  So if you want a game that involves a struggle against a main bad guy, you can always declare that there's this Evil Bigbad Boss who has taken over your Planet.  That means the campaign now has a Ming the Merciless knockoff, who will tend to show up as a Plot Hook for your PC.

Does that make sense?

Offline DeviantMunster

Re: Interest Check: Swashbuckling Space Opera! (VAN thru BON)
« Reply #15 on: November 14, 2009, 06:13:58 PM »
I've always been -terrible- with game systems like Fate, or this one. Honestly, I have no idea what you're talking about, even after skimming the PDF >< I can probably make a character, but where does this planet thing come in? And could you perhaps include a 'beginners' breakdown on character generation?

Offline MadPandaTopic starter

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Re: Interest Check: Swashbuckling Space Opera! (VAN thru BON)
« Reply #16 on: November 14, 2009, 07:38:16 PM »
We'll work through it step by step, if we have to.  :-)  Keep in mind that I haven't posted the char-gen stuff just yet: still working on setting the dials!

If you have any specific questions, I'll be glad to help.  Plus there's MasterMischief, who may know better than I...
« Last Edit: November 14, 2009, 09:20:13 PM by MadPanda »

Offline Bishrook aka Fate sisters

Re: Interest Check: Swashbuckling Space Opera! (VAN thru BON)
« Reply #17 on: November 14, 2009, 09:02:38 PM »
Ok this is a planet description. It is rather detailed but Ihave grouped it into catagories of facts and declared each group a fact.
This is an example to test
What is and how complex can a fact be. Is this too detailed? If it is too detailed could have a template for planetary 'facts'.

Offline MadPandaTopic starter

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Re: Interest Check: Swashbuckling Space Opera! (VAN thru BON)
« Reply #18 on: November 14, 2009, 09:19:44 PM »
Believe it or not, they don't specify or define!  I would assume, though, that these would be general remarks.  You can always add to these facts later, in play, through the liberal expenditure of style dice.

For now, though, let's focus on setting the dials.
Psionics, yes or no?
Space Travel: How?  (I like the Bab5 jump gate idea, myself)
Spaceships: what sort?  One group ship?  Individual craft?
Raygun Power?  (One vote already for 'normal' damage)
Why are the PCs Together?
And of course, things that you would like to see happen.

Offline DeviantMunster

Re: Interest Check: Swashbuckling Space Opera! (VAN thru BON)
« Reply #19 on: November 14, 2009, 09:27:15 PM »
Yes for psionics! Spacehips... one group ship I think would be best.Space Travel... depends! Mass relays, wormholes, Warp... there's a few.

As for 'Raygun power', I have no real idea what that is, so I can't exactly say. Personally though, I like weapons having different damage. Half the fun is assembling your equipment.

As for the PCs, well, I'm still not sure if this is purely comedy or not. We could have a ridiculous mad villain that needs stopping, or a serious threat from an alien species. Ooor... could be that someone or some group will be looking to recruit people. A gang, or private military organization or some such, and we all get together like that.

And as for things I'd like to see happening... I can't really say yet!

Offline MadPandaTopic starter

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Re: Interest Check: Swashbuckling Space Opera! (VAN thru BON)
« Reply #20 on: November 14, 2009, 10:02:31 PM »
Psionics, one vote for yes.
Space Travel: unclear, but no objections to warp gates.
Group Spaceship, check.

On raygun damage...rayguns can be like any other weapon in this system, kind of deadly, or REALLY deadly.  I would suggest not plumping for anything higher than basic damage without understanding how damage works.  :-)

Yes, this is supposed to be a lighthearted game...or at least playful.

Offline Bishrook aka Fate sisters

Re: Interest Check: Swashbuckling Space Opera! (VAN thru BON)
« Reply #21 on: November 14, 2009, 10:08:53 PM »
Big duh on my part.
This was supposed to be appended to my last post.

Planets name Cobolt
Three facts
 Description of planet It is located on a planet close to its sun so that only the Polar Regions are habitual and these are covered by thick jungle and rain forest. In the Southern polar region is a continent the size of Australia. Here is the nation of Bravonian Cobalt. (Though most outsiders simply refer to it as cobalt and it’s inhabitants as Cobaltians)
Description of Cobaltians: Cobaltians are human sized humanoids but are covered with fur (of various hue) and long snouts that give the race an intense sense of smell(as well as having a long flexible tongue). They have eyesight and hearing roughly in the human range.  They as rule very agile and their flexible prehensile tails enhance this. They are omnivores who eat almost anything and are reputed to always hungry.
They have a high birth rate and are notable for their sexual appetite.
Political and economic factors. Cobalt has  vast tropical areas that are largely rural but on an interstellar level it is primary a mercantile economy. It is said one can buy or sell anything at its capitol Port Royal .   The form of government is is technically a monarchy but a powerful plutocracy actually controls thing.

Offline MadPandaTopic starter

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Re: Interest Check: Swashbuckling Space Opera! (VAN thru BON)
« Reply #22 on: November 14, 2009, 10:11:20 PM »
That'd be your character's homeworld, then?   :-)  And, presumably, species...

Offline Bishrook aka Fate sisters

Re: Interest Check: Swashbuckling Space Opera! (VAN thru BON)
« Reply #23 on: November 14, 2009, 10:24:37 PM »
For now, though, let's focus on setting the dials.
Psionics, yes
Space Travel: Somewhat simular to that depected in Star Wars.
Spaceships: what sort?  One group ship?  Individual craft?
I would like individual ships as I hope my character will be a pirate/ rebel) captain/pilot

Raygun Power?  (One vote already for 'normal' damage)
Less then a sword except at point blank range for someone in armor. (Normal?)
Why are the PCs Together?
To resist a government

And of course, things that you would like to see happen.
Ship to ship space battles
Person to person battles. Character building by different types mixing
Possible love affairs (including across species lines)
Exploration of unknown worlds.
First contact.

Offline Bishrook aka Fate sisters

Re: Interest Check: Swashbuckling Space Opera! (VAN thru BON)
« Reply #24 on: November 14, 2009, 10:27:02 PM »
That'd be your character's homeworld, then?   :-)  And, presumably, species...
Yes to both questions. She may be an exile or outlaw or perhaps the local government winks at the groups activities if they sell prizes and on't touch Cobalts own commerce.