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  1. I’m looking for an online, consistent and ongoing blog that postulates a future idea or sci fi tech idea every week. I already watch Isaac Arthur and I want something I could read. Amateur blogs are highly encouraged.
  2. So I'll start this with the prerequisite obligatory statement; I've been away for some time and am looking to bounce ideas and thoughts off of other GM sorts to help me build a better mousetrap. FYI I tend to be long-winded and explanatory, so either be ready for that or if this isn't for you... thanks for reading this far and goodbye. I run a 5th edition Hero game every Saturday up at a local game shop in Stafford TX called Golems Cate Gaming and Geekdom. It's currently a four hour game from 2 PM till 6. I started it at the request of another player GM who wanted to know more about Hero Games and how to play. He is an experienced player and GM from several other systems who was expanding his horizons and I was happy to help after the great game of Vampire he had run for me and some other friends. So my new realm is a world of politics, trade, and danger set in a noir cyberpunk setting in space. They started their characters as "heroic" with 75 points and an additional 75 disadvantages. I explained that if they chose to be human, they could boost themselves with cyber technology abilities and powers, which in my world was how humans tried to level the playing field when they encountered aliens who were more than we soft pink squishies could deal with on the regular. I've as a GM become quite fond of using OneNote to organize my game worlds and develop as the players explore. This helps me work on the fly in a creative table full of out of the box thinking players, some of whom enjoy the ROLE PLAY aspect of our games as much or maybe more than I. How I run my games. I develop a few interesting NPC's with problems they require help with, pick a cool setting to start the characters off in, and set up several strings of domino's that the players will run into. I have either created conflict when they pick a direction using the old writer's tools here; Character vs himself character vs environment character vs antagonist Sometimes several of these domino traps get enacted at once, and the players have to think fast to survive. I as a GM only have to come up with the NPC's, the settings, and sometimes write up a villain or seven for them to encounter along the way. Because of the sandbox way I build my OneNote, I can be ready pretty easily for almost any decision they as players make. Villain motivation is... PARAMOUNT Breaking the world build idea into parts, think of the nouns your players will come into contact with, attach a verb, and add adjectives for flavor & season to taste. People, place, or thing is doing describe with at least three of the five senses Ensure the descriptions use words and visuals related to the setting you chose to place them in. Watch players and dice roll's set behind the scene actions into play, and keep in mind the motivations of your villain(s) So there are the easy bits for me. I have the latest version of Hero-Designer and have been using it to help my newer players who were drug into this game, to flesh out their visions of who their characters are based on the world setting I put them in. Taking inspiration from Bladerunner, Altered Carbon, Babylon 5, Deep Space 9, and Titan A.E. I've built my base settings. I also have sprinkled in some anime movies such as Ghost in the Shell, Akira, and used a liberal application of Star Wars based on the characters my players have brought in. Their first mission was to help my NPC Rogen (wealthy businessman they were already working for) out of a tight legal issue he got tangled up in, wherein one of his freighters had picked up some gases from a gas giant in the Andromeda sector and accidentally kidnapped three members of an alien energy life form race when they did. All his assets were frozen and he was arrested. His butler and personal assistant Spencer was able to use some liquid resources to procure an old beat to crap and back freighter, find and liberate the three energy lifeforms from Andromeda gas giant, get them into containers and then Rogen met the players at the docking bay where they were returning from a "deep space run" for his company. The authorities locked down the ship in bay and were taking the cargo into evidence, Rogen explained is predicament to the players and said "If you could meet Spencer and return the life forms to the gas giant, then explain our mistake to the rulers there and get them to drop the charges, I will be able to pay you for this DSR & will let you keep the ship Spencer has that the authorities have no hold on. If you can't get this done quickly, however, I'll go to jail, Spencer will pull the rights to the ship, and you won't get paid for anything because I'll be broke..." So they've gotten it all partly done, they now have an envoy of the race who will return with them to the drift city Annex 09, where Rogen is being charged and held. They've met a few ambassadors, stolen and conned a few folks, been chased across three sectors of space by a militant group hunting one of their crew, and taken on a few folks along the way with complications of their own to deal with. The game is fun, fast-paced and growing quickly. I've built the space station called "The Sanctified Gardens" where ambassadors of the various empires, kingdoms, and governments come together like united nations in space, to try and diplomatically work out issues of war, trade, and legal incursions in an area called "The Globe." The player who has taken the title of ships captain is their face. He does most of the trade and negotiations. Another player is their techno spy. She acquires knowledge and information, hacks into security areas, updates software and tech where she can, and tries to stay out of trouble ... mostly. They have a bounty hunter, a mechanic, a soldier in armor, and a brick/gunslinger aboard as well, and I have a new player that may join soon who is trying to develop more of a detective-investigator sort. Their ship is an archaic tech with new computers and software jerry-rigged together. It has a few hyperdrive engines, but they were tough to get them all working together at first. Every now and then behind the screen, I roll on a random table of malfunctions that they have had to deal with as they go. Life support suits, a translator device to let them speak to the energy life forms, trying to slip past the militia group called "The Savage Angels" and other opportunities and inconveniences I've thrown in along the way. What behind the scenes antagonist can you guys think of that might have been pulling these strings? I have ways of linking that into my game pretty quickly too. Today's game will be the beginning of their return trip with the envoy and all the blowback from other things they did on the way out to the Andromeda gas giant.
  3. Note: I use "simplified" perhaps incorrectly here.... This was brought up in / by the "Balanced Starships" thread. For my Star HERO campaign, I was trying to make somewhat simplified rules for doing ship-to-ship combat with minimal use of minis or maps, since weapon and engagement ranges in my setting can range from a few hundred meters out to several light-seconds (or, more, using guided missiles or munitions - if you don't mind waiting a few days for results :D) I had the idea to adapt the very simplified Air-to-air chase / follow rules, from the 6E APG page 190-ish, but replacing "chase" with "advantage." Basically, all pilots / helmsmen make Combat Piloting rolls as Skill vs. Skill contests. Faster ships (whether by acceleration or current actual velocity) have a bonus to this roll, I hadn't exactly finalized this but was thinking +1 per 10m of difference in base flight speed. Winners of the roll have "advantage" over the opposing craft, and get to fire first on their next phase regardless of comparative SPD or DEX values - like the block / counterstrike mechanics. Advantage also means you can increase / decrease range between the craft by the difference in their velocity. But even this simplified setup gets REALLY complicated and time-consuming at realistic velocities and ranges. Assuming you start just outside of weapons range, 1.2m KM or so, 10m difference in flight speed means you are increasing / decreasing range by a few thousand meters per action phase. Dozens of per-phase rolls to whittle down that range. ----- Example: Rogue Trader (SPD 2, DEX 8, Flight 20m x512) is trying to escape from two Federation Interdictors (SPD 2, DEX 12, Flight 30m x256) The interdictors get +1 to their Combat Piloting roll due to higher base flight speed (higher base meters of flight = higher acceleration), up until the Trader reaches a velocity the interdictors cannot (it has a higher cumulative flight total.) If the trader were moving at more than 30x256m velocity, it would get the bonus, instead. (+1 per doubling of velocity?) At the start of combat, it is assumed / determined that both ships are on similar vectors (both "in orbit") and similar velocities (10m x 128), but outside of weapons range. 1.2m KM. Trader rolls 10 on 16-, interdictors roll 8 and 11 on 15-. One interdictor has "advantage" on the trader, and chooses to do a non-combat burn to catch up, reducing range by 60x128m. The other loses the contest, and the Trader opts to increase range to that interdictor. ----- Eventually, ships get in weapons range. At this point, you start actually doing combat maneuvers, and I set up the following: Broadside: -0 to CP Roll. +2 OCV, 1/2 DCV. This maneuver sets your ship up for a broadside attack, but makes your own craft a large target. Can fire all weapons on one side ship facing, unless multiple targets exist on multiple facings. Evasive Maneuvers ("Dodge") (Abort, vs. all attacks): -2 to CP Roll. -1 OCV, +3 DCV. Interpose: (Block, Abort) -2 to CP Roll. +0 OCV, +0 DCV. Only to block fire aimed at other ships. This maneuver places your ship into the path of an attack aimed at another ship; you take the damage rather than the target ship. Minimum Aspect Ratio (Abort): -2 to CP Roll. +0 OCV, +5 DCV (vs. one attacker.) A maneuver designed to make your craft as small a target as possible. If not aborted to, can be used in conjunction with forward-firing weapon attacks. Overrun: -2 to CP Roll, +2 to next CP Roll; Full Phase Action. +2 OCV, -1 DCV. Increase / Decrease distance on a single target by current velocity difference. Can fire forward weapons during maneuver if chasing; rear-firing if being chased. Strafe Run: -0 to CP Roll; Full Phase Action. +1 OCV, +2 DCV. Unless multiple targets exist on multiple vectors, ship can only fire weapons from forward facing and one side-facing of ship; so long as initially facing target ship and making a turn during the maneuver, or turning to face a target ship. Stabilize and Fire for Effect: -0 to CP Roll, Full Phase Action; +2 OCV, 1/2 DCV. +2 to offset range penalty. This is "Set + Brace" for spacecraft, basically. Can only fire weapons from one ship facing, unless multiple targets available on multiple vectors. Underrun: -2 to CP Roll, +2 to next CP Roll; Full Phase Action. -1 OCV, +2 DCV. Decrease / increase distance between your craft and target craft by target craft's current velocity. Can fire forward weapons during maneuver if chasing; rear-firing if being chased. The bonus / penalty to the CP roll applies to the roll made to make the maneuver, and this roll is a skill vs. skill roll (success = you complete the maneuver and gain the CV and other benefits, but can still lose the contest.) Just looking for input and/or dire warnings on this. The one scene I did on RPOL worked well enough, but I didn't really get much player feedback, and it was a very small encounter (them running from a larger fleet) and thus limited testing.
  4. http://www.wired.com/2014/04/mit-whizzes-invent-magical-transforming-furniture/#x In my Traveller Hero game, this is more-or-less how I had envisioned the kind of furniture most people have on their starship. Able to take on specialized shapes for a variety of situations (within reason) you can make the most out of limited resources; the only thing you need is electricity, which is easy to generate in Traveller.
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