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 Post subject: VOID HUNTERS: The Flaming Kickstarter Thread of Doooooom...
PostPosted: Tue Oct 15, 2013 3:03 pm 
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After discussions with JG and sending in my Licensing agreement, I'm pleased to announce that Jabberwocky Media LLC [ http://jabberwocky-media.com/ ] is going to start work on Void Hunters, the DCC game of Seventies Science Fiction in November, with a Kickstarter to follow in the Spring of 14.

The default setting is focused on the horrors of space exploration, including isolation, alien terrors, and weird quirks of science and nature that defy man's understanding of the universe. The rules will follow closely in the gritty mold of DCC and reinforce the notion that space is a cold, lonely, uncaring thing that will kill the unprepared, and, when faced with an infinite variety of things that can kill you, it's practically impossible to be totally prepared.

Adventures would largely be based around sandbox style exploration of the universe, discovering the remains of other civilizations that died out long before man took his first steps into the universe, fighting against alien super-predators that are bred in the darkest and harshest environments, and salvaging the remains of lost expeditions that fell prey to unknown forces or the predations of their fellow men. Basically, DCC In Spaaace! But there will information for setting up Feudal Dark Sci-Fi settings (like Dune or 40k) and War Amongst the Stars settings (like Ender's Game or Starship Troopers)

In accordance with the 3PP licensing agreement with GG, it will, like my Barbarians of the Aftermath supplement for BoL, be a supplemental book that requires the main DCC rulebook to use, and it will focus on converting those rules to fit a Dark Sci-Fi setting. Here is the working Table of Contents (subject to change, of course):

Chapter 1: Introduction
● How to Use This Book
● Setting Assumptions - What is Seventies Science Fiction?
● New Rules (the Resource Attribute, firearms, technology rolls, etc.)

Chapter 2: Characters
● Defining Setting Assumptions about PC Classes
● Redshirts - Level 0 Characters
● Soldier
● Scientist
● Scout
● Officer
● Psychic
● Synthetic

Chapter 3: Psionics
● Rules
● Psionic Disciplines
● Power Listings

Chapter 4: Gear
● Defining Tech Level in your Setting
● Acquiring Gear - Resource Checks
● Standard Gear
● Combat Gear
● Servitors
● Psychic Gear

Chapter 5: Starships
● Defining Space Travel in your Campaign
● Acquiring a Starship
● Running a Starship
● Fighting a Starship
● Starship Construction
● Starship Modules

Chapter 6: New Worlds
● Sector Generation
● Star System Generation
● World Generation

Chapter 7: Alien Menaces
● Defining Setting Assumptions about Aliens
● Random Species Generation
● Sample Alien Flora
● Sample Alien Fauna
● Sentient Civilization Generation
● Alien PCs

Chapter 8: Exploring the Darkness
● The Interstellar Sandbox
● Hazards of the Void
● The Planetary Sandbox
● Planetary Environments
● Lost Civilizations
● Hulks

Chapter 9: Missions & Campaigns
● Player Unit Organization (Expeditionary Forces, Survey Teams, Traders, etc.)
● Mission Generator
● Dungeons In Spaaaace (Creating and stocking adventure sites)
● The Wider Universe (Level 6+ Campaigns)
● Mission 1: The Lost and the Damned (Level 0 Hulk Recovery Mission)
● Mission 2: The Pyramids of Pyxis (level 1 Planetary Exploration Mission)

What is Seventies Sci-Fi? Well, outside of the elements I've mentioned above, here is my personal 'Appendix N' that is currently inspiring the design of the book:

BOOKS

All the Stars a Stage (James Blish, 1971) - The imminent destruction of the sun forces humanity (now a matriarchal society in which men are considered largely useless) to flee for the stars in untested starships. Over 50 years of dangerous exploration to find a suitable homeworld ensue.

Dune (Frank Herbert, 1965) - The prime example of the Feudal Sci-Fi setting, the universal order has regressed into a series of interstellar Dukedoms ruled over by an Emperor; space travel and psionic disciplines along with human computer/assassins are controlled by guilds; and Machiavellian schemes, political assassination and interstellar war are the primary past-times of the noble houses.

Ender's Game (Orson Scott Card, 1985) - Although the full novel came out in 1985, the basis for it appeared as a novella in Analog magazine in 1977. Mankind, still recovering after a narrowly won war against an implacably alien insect race known as 'the buggers,' starts training the next generation of children to become generals and launch a pre-emptive strike against the aliens before they can regroup and return to finish humanity off.

Gateway (Fredrick Pohl, 1977) - The core premise of this story, an ancient and long dead alien race leave behind a stargate and several hundred ships for humanity to discover and experiment with, would make an excellent setup for a Void Hunter's campaign. The fact that the poor humans have little control over where they are going (Habitable world? Dead world? Edge of a black hole?) and when they might get there (Do we have enough supplies to last the trip or will we starve in space?) just makes it all the more fun. Throw in a 1849 era gold-rush mentality as people risk it all for a chance to get rich off the unknown, and a greedy corporation looking to exploit them when/if they return, and you've got the perfect recipe for adventure.

Rendezvous with Rama (Arthur C. Clarke, 1972) - The subject of this novel is another space born artifact from a long lost alien civilization, which would qualify as an extremely unusual hulk: part space craft, part world. The 'biots' also make for highly interesting alien fauna.

Ringworld (Larry Niven, 1970) - Louis Wu and company crash land on the mother of ancient archeological artifacts, a Ringworld, and are forced to explore it's massive, bizarre structure in order to find a way to escape. While not all that dark, and featuring a number of different alien races, Ringworld does provide a perfect example of exploring the remains of a lost alien civilization while interacting with the retro-grade descendents and strange creatures that make up the flora a fauna around it. It is a massive, campaign worthy, sci-fi sandbox.

Starship Troopers (Robert Heinlein, 1959) - For more military based campaigns, there isn't a great deal of combat in the book, but there is a great deal on the no holds barred, anything to survive mentality humanity may adopt in order to cope with the extreme circumstances surrounding interstellar war. Brutal training for a brutal people to fight a brutal enemy in a variety of brutal environments..

Solaris (Stanisław Lem, 1970) - The perfect example of what happens when man inadvertently discovers that life doesn't neatly fit in the pigeonhole that he places it in, and the consequences that emerge from that arrogant assumption. I won't give away the core story element that makes this novel unique, but suffice to say, sometimes the observer doesn't realize that they're the one under the microscope.

Warhammer 40k Rogue Trader (Rick Preistley, 1987) - Although a game book, not strictly straight fiction, the first edition of the world-popular WH40k game set forth a dark interstellar empire in its decline, its teaming subjects living a feudal existence underneath a brutal regime venerating a corpse Emperor and beset by external enemies and internal corruption. The original is still the best and presents humanity and space as terrifyingly uncaring and full of black humor. It also provides a ton of story seeds revolving around the exploration of new worlds, the rediscovery of lost worlds and salvaging of massive 'space hulks,' essentially mega-dungeons in space.

MOVIES

Alien (1979) - A crew of space miners, ordered by the Company to investigate a signal coming from a mysterious moon, end up exploring a dangerous world, encountering the crashed hulk of an alien spaceship and bring aboard a parasitic alien life form that stalks the crew in the 'dungeon' of their own spacecraft. This is the quintessential Void Hunter adventure in the Dark Sci-Fi paradigm.

The Black Hole (1979) - No aliens, space demons or lost civilizations, just a mad scientist in a massive 'lost' space ship (the sci-fi equivalent of an evil wizard's dungeon complete with the robot equivalent of orcs and an ogre) perched on the edge of the most destructive force in the universe with all the danger that entails.

Dark Star (1974) -Somewhat less serious than some might expect from the title, the comedy is still black as the void of space, the end result of the film is fairly fatalistic and the clear insanity of the crew after a long space voyage (not to mention the dark nature of their ongoing mission) is likely to remind players and GMs of the black humor and absurdity that even the most well meaning and serious RPG adventure devolves into after a long night's play. It's like somebody took an actual sci-fi RPG session, wrote it into a screenplay and then filmed the results.

Event Horizon (1997) -This movie came out well after the seventies, but it encapsulates the horrors of space exploration and turns them up to 11. A search and rescue team finds a spacecraft with a prototype interstellar drive that went missing 7 years earlier. As they explore the 'hulk' they find that, on its maiden voyage, the Event Horizon uncovered horrors beyond human comprehension. It's 'The Shining' in space with a little bit of 'Hellraiser' thrown in for good measure.

Outland (1981) - Again, shortly outside of the seventies, but still deep in the ethos of many of the stories from that time. No aliens, just man's inhumanity to man in the pursuit of interstellar resources and profit. Often described as 'High Noon in Space,' nothing better captures the frontier nature of space, where help is not around the corner and running away is not always an option when you're surrounded by an environment that is totally antithetical to human life.

Silent Running (1972) - While this film is set within the solar system, it has many elements that define seventies sci-fi. Man's inhumanity and self-destructive nature, the delicate nature of life and maintaining it in the cold dark of space, and a perfect example of how some last remnant of a lost civilization could end up floating in space (becoming a Hulk, in VH vernacular).

MAGAZINES

A lot of the science fiction I read that really defined the themes of seventies science fiction came from a selection of magazines that were popular during that decade and into the eighties as well. I can't necessarily remember the specific stories or the particular authors, but the influence of these periodicals, whose stories reflected the time they were written in, will impress the feel of the era on you like nothing else can.

Omni - A magizine of technology, science and science fiction, it boasted articles featuring some of the most influential writers, scientists and artists of the time, including Carl Sagan, Isaac Asimov, and H.R.Giger. The stories were a bit on the weird side. One story that sticks in my brain to this day involved an alien shape changer that absorbed people to feed itself and then took on their form and memories. It had escaped from a government black site and became the lover of a woman who took it in after she found out it had eaten and taken the form of her ex-husband. She basically kept it as a lover until she started to think it might leave her, at which point she turned it over to the government, stoned out of its mind on oregano, which acted as a powerful and addictive drug for it. Yeah, that's the kind of weird stuff the seventies was known for...

Analog - The premier science fiction magazine of the time, it collected the works of authors known and unknown and many of its stories really reflected the zeitgeist of the time, one of uncertainty and fear of the unknown. Find yourself a dozen or so back copies form this period and you'll probably have enough material for an equal number of adventures.

Heavy Metal - Now, as a whole, this comic magazine was all over the place, with fantasy and science fiction of bewildering variety and wildly varying quality decorating its pages. A lot of it was just cartoon porn. But occasionally, once every other issue or so, they'd have story that really grabbed the Dark Sci-Fi vibe of the era and ran with it. And let's not forget they published the comic version of Alien, one of the best movie to comic adaptions ever.

***

As for me, I'm the author and designer of Barbarians of the Aftermath and was a designer on the Doctor Who RPG line (writing, game design, graphic design and layout) so I've got a far bit of experience in this area and should have a manuscript ready for folks to peruse by January. In the meantime, while I'm gathering my material together, does anyone have any questions or requests?


Last edited by Maxwell Luther on Thu Oct 24, 2013 8:52 am, edited 4 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: VOID HUNTERS: Seventies Sci-Fi Gaming...
PostPosted: Tue Oct 15, 2013 3:14 pm 
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Looking forward to it.

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 Post subject: Re: VOID HUNTERS: Seventies Sci-Fi Gaming...
PostPosted: Tue Oct 15, 2013 3:26 pm 
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Awesome! Are there stipulations in the licensing that prevent you from producing an "all-in-one" rendition of the rules? I'd much rather have a complete game in the volume and have the ability to port over items (classes/spells/etc) from the core rulebook. Much of the core rules are a modified d20 anyways...was that just not in scope with what you had in mind?


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 Post subject: Re: VOID HUNTERS: Seventies Sci-Fi Gaming...
PostPosted: Tue Oct 15, 2013 3:37 pm 
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Raven_Crowking wrote:
Looking forward to it.


8)

Skars wrote:
Awesome! Are there stipulations in the licensing that prevent you from producing an "all-in-one" rendition of the rules? I'd much rather have a complete game in the volume and have the ability to port over items (classes/spells/etc) from the core rulebook. Much of the core rules are a modified d20 anyways...was that just not in scope with what you had in mind?


To be able to use the DCC logo and have Goodman Games support, which is a major selling point, the license forbids any reiteration of the main DCC rules. Specifically, 'Third party content should not reprint or paraphrase the rules in DCC RPG. The intent of the third party support license is to build up a community around the DCC RPG rules set, not provide a substitute for it. Your work cannot include a reprinting or restating of the core DCC RPG rules.' They also must approve any material before it can be sold.

Me personally, I'd prefer restating the basics in the book so folks can just pick it up and play, but them's the rules and, considering the marketing power of being an official 3PP publisher for GG, I'm going to go with the flow for the logo.


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 Post subject: Re: VOID HUNTERS: Seventies Sci-Fi Gaming...
PostPosted: Tue Oct 15, 2013 3:50 pm 
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Sounds awesome. I was planning to run sci-fi in the near future, and if I can use DCC as a core for that, then why not?

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 Post subject: Re: VOID HUNTERS: Seventies Sci-Fi Gaming...
PostPosted: Tue Oct 15, 2013 4:13 pm 
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What I plan to do in the coming weeks is outline the game in general terms on my blog, The Vorpal Mind [ http://jabberwocky-media.com/?cat=3 ]. I tend to use my blog as a personal diary and notebook for game development (you can find a lot my musings on Barbarians of Heavy Metal over at my old Blogger version of the site). I'll be developing the ideas behind Void Hunters there long before I sit down and start writing the book proper, so you can see what direction I'm heading in add your thoughts as I go along. I'll add links to those updates here as they pop up.


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 Post subject: Re: VOID HUNTERS: Seventies Sci-Fi Gaming...
PostPosted: Tue Oct 15, 2013 6:18 pm 
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Awesome news, amigo! I'm looking forward to this for sure.


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 Post subject: Re: VOID HUNTERS: Seventies Sci-Fi Gaming...
PostPosted: Wed Oct 16, 2013 8:53 am 
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The Venomous Pao wrote:
Awesome news, amigo! I'm looking forward to this for sure.


Cheers, VP!

I think this has a much better chance of getting funded than BoHM, seeing as it is much less of a niche game. But who knows, if it does well, maybe I can do a BoHM version of Void Hunters in the future...


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 Post subject: Re: VOID HUNTERS: Seventies Sci-Fi Gaming...
PostPosted: Wed Oct 16, 2013 1:26 pm 
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Maxwell Luther wrote:
The Venomous Pao wrote:
Awesome news, amigo! I'm looking forward to this for sure.


Cheers, VP!

I think this has a much better chance of getting funded than BoHM, seeing as it is much less of a niche game. But who knows, if it does well, maybe I can do a BoHM version of Void Hunters in the future...


Fingers crossed for sure! And let me know if you need any playtesting done. I think I can round up some folks who would have a serious interest in the milieu.


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 Post subject: Re: VOID HUNTERS: Seventies Sci-Fi Gaming...
PostPosted: Wed Oct 16, 2013 6:34 pm 
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This sounds awesome. Looking forward to it.

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 Post subject: Re: VOID HUNTERS: Seventies Sci-Fi Gaming...
PostPosted: Thu Oct 17, 2013 12:22 am 
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reverenddak wrote:
This sounds awesome. Looking forward to it.

+1

I'm particularly interested in psionics and sandbox space/planets exploration !


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 Post subject: Re: VOID HUNTERS: Seventies Sci-Fi Gaming...
PostPosted: Thu Oct 17, 2013 8:08 am 
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aesdana wrote:
reverenddak wrote:
This sounds awesome. Looking forward to it.

+1

I'm particularly interested in psionics and sandbox space/planets exploration !


The trick with Psionics, particularly when dealing with a more 'realistic' environment like the harder sci-fi of the period, is to make sure that it isn't just 'Magic In Spaaaaaace!' Ironically, it is the way DCC handles magic that inspired my current take on the system.

Psychic powers are going to work in much the same way as DCC Magic in that there will be a 'Psychic Roll' based on Personality, and the result will be looked up on a table. There will also be corruption in the form of 'Psychosis,' various temporary and long-term mental disorders that the Psychic can pick up and may eventually drive them totally insane (and there are some things in the darker corners of the universe that will speed up that process).

The tables remain, but they will have a much different slant. Hard Sci-Fi Psychics are a recent evolution of the species, their powers barely understood by science. This means, mechanically speaking, that the curve of effect on the tables will be much steeper (and the tables much shorter as a result). The low end of the table will be rife with poltergeist effects and misdirected mental energies, with only the lowest results costing the Psychic the use of their powers for a time or knocking them out from the strain. On the other hand, unlike Wizard Tables, the higher end of the Psychic tables, the ones where a Psychic shows truly massive power, offer a chance for corruption/Psychosis just as the low ends do. At level 5, a psychic might truly start to frighten their team-mates, whom the Psychic no longer relates to in the same way, and a level 10 Psychic risks turning into an insane being of god-like power with every use of their powers!

Psionic abilities will also be grouped into Disciplines, and Psychics will be defined by a single discipline until they gain higher levels (3, 5, 7, 9), at which point they might branch out. This means that they will be much more focused than wizards and their role in the game will vary from character to character. One can imagine a Telepath being part of First Contact team (or used as an interrogator in a War Amongst the Stars setting, ala Starship Troopers); a Telekinetic acting as the 'thief' in a Hulk Recovery Mission, using their powers to unlock doors or grab potentially dangerous artifacts from afar; while a Pyrokinetic would serve as ranged fire support for a Military Special Ops unit.

So psychics are more limited than wizards in some ways, but they don't have to make deals with supernatural patrons, find arcane manuscripts to gain new 'spells,' and may eventually recover from their 'corruption' over time with the right psychiatric care. Like Wizards, however, their ticks and psychosis will slowly make them peculiar in a way that will make it harder for them to deal with the 'normals' that surround them. One day, they find themselves totally unable to relate to what are essentially dumb apes in comparison to them, from an evolutionary point of view, and may even find themselves at war with their previous team-mates and friends who are terrified of the Psychic's power.

This of course, assumes that they live long enough. There are things in the void that hunger for the minds of the 'gifted'...


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 Post subject: Re: VOID HUNTERS: Seventies Sci-Fi Gaming...
PostPosted: Thu Oct 17, 2013 11:40 am 
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For my money, I am hoping that the rules will work well to emulate the kind of science fiction that Leigh Brackett, Frederic Brown, ERB, Sterling Lanier, C.L. Moore, Andre Norton, and Jack Vance wrote. If your product can deliver a DCC character to Amtor or Jekkara as easily as it does a trip to Rama, and then can top it all of with The High Crusade, I'll be on that thing like a mixed metaphor of some type or another.

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 Post subject: Re: VOID HUNTERS: Seventies Sci-Fi Gaming...
PostPosted: Thu Oct 17, 2013 2:56 pm 
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Put me down as interested -- and all in favor of mixed metaphors.

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General Yoros, Warrior, Str 13, Agl 8 (10), Stm 17, Per 13, Int 11, Lck 8; Law, HP 39, AC 17, R+2, F+4, W+2, band/shld, warhammer, longsword, longbow, pitchfork

Han Dee, (Weaver) Neutral Thief, Str 10, Agi 13, Stm 11, Per 11, Int 15, Lck 14, AC 13 (Leather), HP 25, Luck Die d6, Backstab 3, Sneak Silently 10, Hide In Shadows 9, Pick Pocket 10, Climb Sheer 10, Pick Lock 9, Find Trap 9, Disable Trap 9, Forge Doc 10, Disguise 3, Read Lang 5, Handle Poison 3, Cast Scroll d14+2, birth augur (Born under the loom) +1 to all skill checks (including thief skills), Banepicks (auto pick lock/disable trap, but lose 1d3 random ability loss, if a 3 then 1 pt is perm)


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 Post subject: Re: VOID HUNTERS: Seventies Sci-Fi Gaming...
PostPosted: Thu Oct 17, 2013 4:16 pm 
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I'm definitely in. I have Aftermath, I backed Heavy Metal (sniff, sniff), and I'll totally back this.


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 Post subject: Re: VOID HUNTERS: Seventies Sci-Fi Gaming...
PostPosted: Thu Oct 17, 2013 4:40 pm 
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I'd back it, but I have some questions.
Going to the website I see some failures.

Has anyone backed a KS before from this copany and received the product?
How fast do they fullfill the promised items on a successful KS?

I only back those who I know fullfill the pledges.
I'd rather pay more later and miss freebies and add-ons than get nothing later.

I've 'subscribed' to other items, before KS was the newest way to get backers & money.
I was lucky and got my money back when the the 'subscription' failed to produce half of the product.


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 Post subject: Re: VOID HUNTERS: Seventies Sci-Fi Gaming...
PostPosted: Fri Oct 18, 2013 10:29 am 
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marshal kt wrote:
I'd back it, but I have some questions.
Going to the website I see some failures.


Failures? Plural? Are you looking at the right site? I've only done one KS. And although it didn't get funded, 'failure' is a pretty harsh word.

Quote:
Has anyone backed a KS before from this copany and received the product?
How fast do they fullfill the promised items on a successful KS?


Again, didn't get funded, so I'm not sure how you can judge me by that measure.

Quote:
I only back those who I know fullfill the pledges.
I'd rather pay more later and miss freebies and add-ons than get nothing later.


Well, when I have a KS funded, you'll get to see how I fulfill pledges. And this is the main problem with KS, these days. KS is NOT a pre-order service, which a lot of people are treating it as. It is a way for new publishers (like Jabberwocky Media, which has only one product to its name, Barbarians of the Aftermath, has only just incorporated and has no established distribution chain and must partner with larger companies, as I have done with Cubicle 7 in the past for BotA, and will be doing next month with Chronicle City) to get the funding to pay for art, professional printing and professional distribution. It is a forum for people with ideas they can't realize directly because they can't afford those things to get funding from people that think, 'hey, that's a great idea I'm willing to risk some money to see if it can be realized.'

Unfortunately, big companies, with the capabilities to do a proper pre-order service, i.e. one that will definitely get over 1000 orders so it is worthwhile to print and distribute and have a distribution chain to get the product into stores, are using KS as a pre-order service now, and that is not only taking potential pledges away from these smaller independents (WTH Green Ronin? You've got a major company that can afford to print so many 400+ page full color rulebooks in one printing that you can sell them at a ridiculously low $40! Why are you on KS?) but it is changing the perception of what KS is for.

So if everyone had the attitude of 'I won't pledge to anyone who hasn't got a track record of fulfilling pledges' then KS is pointless, as no one outside of Hasbro, Green Ronin or Palladium would
ever get funded. It's like telling a college graduate 'you can't have a job in your field because you lack experience but you won't get experience until you get a proper job in your field.' It's silly.

Quote:
I've 'subscribed' to other items, before KS was the newest way to get backers & money.
I was lucky and got my money back when the the 'subscription' failed to produce half of the product.


And that is a risk. You got something, but not everything came through. Read my Barbarians of Heavy Metal KS page. At the bottom there is a statement of risk (as there is with every other KS page). I stated that if the electronic version fell through for whatever reason, I'd give the customer a book in its place for no additional cost. But even if that wasn't there, the operative word is Risk. Sometimes stuff happens and you don't get everything you want, but that is the nature of the beast (and only a real problem because a lot of people over-extend themselves with stretch goals to the point where they can't possibly deliver).

Here is my advice to you:

1. Research the publisher, creator, whoever. I'll save you the effort for me: I'm an Ennie award winning game designer and writer with the following, successfully delivered published materials to his name:

Barbarians of the Aftermath - Author, game designer, layout and graphic design.

Doctor Who: Adventures in Time & Space - Writing, design and (for the Eleventh Doctor Edition) layout and graphic design. Ennie 2013 Nominee for Best Family game and Best Production Values.

Doctor Who: The Time Traveller's Companion - Writing, Design, layout, Graphic Design. Ennie 2013 Nominee for Best Writing and Product of the Year. Won a silver for Best Supplement (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nYHX7sPniJM)

Doctor Who: Aliens and Creatures - Writing and Design (including random world and alien species/civilization generation).

Doctor Who: Defenders of the Earth - Additional Material, mechanical editing.

Doctor Who: The First Doctor Sourcebook - Editing

Doctor Who: Gm's Kit (in production) - Adventure and Villain sections.



2. Research the production process necessary to create the product. Get a feel for how the printing industry works, how much it costs to produce plastic pieces, what are the costs of software development, etc.

3. If the stretch goals and freebies appear unrealistic for the person you researched using the method of production and distribution they are touting, then approach with caution and, if you pledge, be prepared for disappointment. Best to pledge only a small amount in this case. Otherwise, if the product really grabs you, and it seems the goals are within the reach of the producer, then go for it. A lot of times you'll be getting exclusive material (like those who scored The Doom of the Savage Kings for backing the DCC RPG) or be getting the final product at a cheaper cost than the in-store release due to Stretch Goal increases in quality or content.

Again, I'll save you the effort for me: I've worked with Cubicle 7, am Working with Chronicle City and Beyond Belief Games, and have a business partner, the COO of a major hotel chain, handling the finances so that we don't overstretch ourselves. We are in our freshman year or production, trying to get some games going to establish ourselves as a professional company over the next 5 years. To that extent, my stretch goals are modest and all within the realm of my capability to produce through my connections in the gaming industry as well as my own abilities in writing, design, layout and multi-media production (over 12 years of experience). Just take a look at Barbarians of the Aftermath, the 11th Doctor DWAITAS Set and the Time Traveller's Companion and my radio play (https://www.dropbox.com/sh/ebv03ahejnmpw7f/Z7J8Zo-6Jx) if you doubt my ability in any of these areas. I'm graduating this December with an MFA (a PhD for people who actually make things) in Game and Sound Design from the University of Texas at Dallas, and many of my current projects were originated there under much tougher academic standards of quality than most game companies are forced to adhere to.

Owzat, then?


Last edited by Maxwell Luther on Fri Oct 18, 2013 10:48 am, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: VOID HUNTERS: Seventies Sci-Fi Gaming...
PostPosted: Fri Oct 18, 2013 10:39 am 
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Raven_Crowking wrote:
For my money, I am hoping that the rules will work well to emulate the kind of science fiction that Leigh Brackett, Frederic Brown, ERB, Sterling Lanier, C.L. Moore, Andre Norton, and Jack Vance wrote. If your product can deliver a DCC character to Amtor or Jekkara as easily as it does a trip to Rama, and then can top it all of with The High Crusade, I'll be on that thing like a mixed metaphor of some type or another.


What I will be producing will be a more hard sci-fi game based around sandbox exploration of the universe which is more Alien and Dune and Ender's Game, not science fantasy or Sword & Planet like Star Wars and pretty much all of the authors and stories you mention above. Also, I'm leaning much more towards the vibe of stories created in, or are very near the style of, the Seventies.

HOWEVER, the rules will be completely compatible with DCC, so you could easily take elements you need, like Spaceships, and add them to your DCC game to create anything from Barsoomian Sword & Planet, to Medieval invasions of Alien Worlds (The High Crusade)to some truly Weird Science Fantasy. So a win all around if you have both the DCC RPG and Void Hunters (which you should, as one is necessary to run the other) and a flair for kitchen sink settings 8) .

SavageRobby wrote:
I'm definitely in. I have Aftermath, I backed Heavy Metal (sniff, sniff), and I'll totally back this.


You ROCK! YEA-YEAAAH!

Incidentally, I'll be breaking out the Heavy Metal Movie Soundtrack and incense while I'm working on Void Hunters, so you should get the same sort of vibe that you got from Barbarians of the Aftermath. Like BotA, it will be very much a toolbox for creating 70's style sandbox settings, but it will also have some default setting assumptions baked in (my Appendix N pretty much describes it) and along with a couple of adventures set in that paradigm. But as I said above, you can mix and match it to do whatever you like and there will be info on (and random tables for) setting assumptions in almost every chapter.

Oh, and if VH is successful enough, I might be tempted to do BoHM as a setting for that rules set...


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 Post subject: Re: VOID HUNTERS: Seventies Sci-Fi Gaming...
PostPosted: Fri Oct 18, 2013 11:29 am 
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Maxwell Luther wrote:
Raven_Crowking wrote:
For my money, I am hoping that the rules will work well to emulate the kind of science fiction that Leigh Brackett, Frederic Brown, ERB, Sterling Lanier, C.L. Moore, Andre Norton, and Jack Vance wrote. If your product can deliver a DCC character to Amtor or Jekkara as easily as it does a trip to Rama, and then can top it all of with The High Crusade, I'll be on that thing like a mixed metaphor of some type or another.


What I will be producing will be a more hard sci-fi game based around sandbox exploration of the universe which is more Alien and Dune and Ender's Game, not science fantasy or Sword & Planet like Star Wars and pretty much all of the authors and stories you mention above. Also, I'm leaning much more towards the vibe of stories created in, or are very near the style of, the Seventies.

HOWEVER, the rules will be completely compatible with DCC, so you could easily take elements you need, like Spaceships, and add them to your DCC game to create anything from Barsoomian Sword & Planet, to Medieval invasions of Alien Worlds (The High Crusade)to some truly Weird Science Fantasy. So a win all around if you have both the DCC RPG and Void Hunters (which you should, as one is necessary to run the other) and a flair for kitchen sink settings 8) .


That's what I hoped to hear.

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 Post subject: Re: VOID HUNTERS: Seventies Sci-Fi Gaming...
PostPosted: Fri Oct 18, 2013 11:02 pm 
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I like the sound of this!

Any inspirational movies? There was a fair amount of sci-fi on tv and film in the 70s.


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 Post subject: Re: VOID HUNTERS: Seventies Sci-Fi Gaming...
PostPosted: Sat Oct 19, 2013 6:49 am 
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ctaylor wrote:
Any inspirational movies? There was a fair amount of sci-fi on tv and film in the 70s.


Do you mean, besides these?

Quote:
MOVIES

Alien (1979) - A crew of space miners, ordered by the Company to investigate a signal coming from a mysterious moon, end up exploring a dangerous world, encountering the crashed hulk of an alien spaceship and bring aboard a parasitic alien life form that stalks the crew in the 'dungeon' of their own spacecraft. This is the quintessential Void Hunter adventure in the Dark Sci-Fi paradigm.

The Black Hole (1979) - No aliens, space demons or lost civilizations, just a mad scientist in a massive 'lost' space ship (the sci-fi equivalent of an evil wizard's dungeon complete with the robot equivalent of orcs and an ogre) perched on the edge of the most destructive force in the universe with all the danger that entails.

Dark Star (1974) -Somewhat less serious than some might expect from the title, the comedy is still black as the void of space, the end result of the film is fairly fatalistic and the clear insanity of the crew after a long space voyage (not to mention the dark nature of their ongoing mission) is likely to remind players and GMs of the black humor and absurdity that even the most well meaning and serious RPG adventure devolves into after a long night's play. It's like somebody took an actual sci-fi RPG session, wrote it into a screenplay and then filmed the results.

Event Horizon (1997) -This movie came out well after the seventies, but it encapsulates the horrors of space exploration and turns them up to 11. A search and rescue team finds a spacecraft with a prototype interstellar drive that went missing 7 years earlier. As they explore the 'hulk' they find that, on its maiden voyage, the Event Horizon uncovered horrors beyond human comprehension. It's 'The Shining' in space with a little bit of 'Hellraiser' thrown in for good measure.

Outland (1981) - Again, shortly outside of the seventies, but still deep in the ethos of many of the stories from that time. No aliens, just man's inhumanity to man in the pursuit of interstellar resources and profit. Often described as 'High Noon in Space,' nothing better captures the frontier nature of space, where help is not around the corner and running away is not always an option when you're surrounded by an environment that is totally antithetical to human life.

Silent Running (1972) - While this film is set within the solar system, it has many elements that define seventies sci-fi. Man's inhumanity and self-destructive nature, the delicate nature of life and maintaining it in the cold dark of space, and a perfect example of how some last remnant of a lost civilization could end up floating in space (becoming a Hulk, in VH vernacular).


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 Post subject: Re: VOID HUNTERS: Seventies Sci-Fi Gaming...
PostPosted: Sat Oct 19, 2013 10:14 am 
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ctaylor wrote:
I like the sound of this!

Any inspirational movies? There was a fair amount of sci-fi on tv and film in the 70s.


As Rick said, my list is above. It doesn't include any television shows, but the only ones I can think of that would be appropriate would be Battlestar Galactica (for a War Amongst the Stars campaign), The Starlost (which I've only heard of but never actually seen, but was apparently the basis for Metamorphosis Alpha the first ever sci-fi RPG, which is also a huge influence on Void Hunters) and possibly Space: 1999 if you reduce the aliens to flora and fauna and the degenerate remains of lost civilizations and figure out how the hell a moon can travel fast enough to enter a new star system every week (I'd turn the moon into an alien hulk with a mysterious form of interstellar travel no one understands).

Certain episodes of Doctor Who work extremely well if you take the Doctor out of them. Death to the Daleks, for instance, has a marvelously advanced (but homicidal) city and degenerate primitives that are all that remains of an advanced alien civilization. Take out the Doctor and the Daleks and you've got the basis for a good Void Hunters adventure (the results of which you will see as a Level 1 adventure in the rulebook).


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 Post subject: Re: VOID HUNTERS: Seventies Sci-Fi Gaming...
PostPosted: Mon Oct 21, 2013 6:20 am 
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Thanks for your explanation of what psionics will look like ! Il like it and it has interesting consequences. :wink:

May I ask you about your sandbox exploration rules ? :mrgreen:


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 Post subject: Re: VOID HUNTERS: Seventies Sci-Fi Gaming...
PostPosted: Mon Oct 21, 2013 12:20 pm 
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aesdana wrote:
Thanks for your explanation of what psionics will look like ! Il like it and it has interesting consequences. :wink:

May I ask you about your sandbox exploration rules ? :mrgreen:


I'll be posting an explanation of those up in the Design Diary on my blog in the near future. Those of you who have read Barbarians of the Aftermath and the back third of Doctor Who: Aliens and Creatures, however, will have a good idea of the direction I'll be going in.

Speaking of, there is a new post in my Design Diary breaking down the essence of Seventies Science Fiction Gaming. You can find it here...

http://jabberwocky-media.com/?p=159


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 Post subject: Re: VOID HUNTERS: Seventies Sci-Fi Gaming...
PostPosted: Mon Oct 21, 2013 2:05 pm 
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This is great news. I'm a big fan of Barbarians of the Aftermath. Can't wait to see Void Hunters.


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