Some months ago I created a new version of my Ad Astra Primer document. The new PDF is much more printer-friendly and includes some artwork created by my fellow RPG blogger Greywulf. Since I planned to release a complete book including rules for either a game licensed under the OGL or maybe even Savage Worlds, I just haven’t had the time to finish it yet.
But today I decided I should at least share the updated Ad Astra RPG with you. Enjoy!
This weekend I finally continued work on my Ad Astra project. Some time ago fellow blogger Greywulf provided me with his awesome SF-themed render artwork and so I decided to give my Ad Astra PDF a complete overhaul. The new version is also much more printer friendly. You can check out a sample page to the right.
If everything turns out as planned, at least the background section should be done in a few days. But then I have to make some important decisions. Should Ad Astra be just background without any rules or shall I make it a complete game?
I’ve looked at several games released under the OGL that could work with the setting. The problem with most OGL systems is, that usually I will either have to include the complete SRD or I will have to comply to one of the Trademark licenses. Since I am no lawyer nor do I want to pay one for a project that will probably never make me any money, I will avoid doing the latter. But without a Trademark license I can’t claim compatibility.
I am currently looking into creating a stripped down variant of one of the OGL systems. Using Microlite20 would be a viable option, although it’s a bit too stripped-down for me. Another possibility would be to create a system from scratch, like I did for Noir. Decision, decisions!
So, what would you do, if you were in my shoes? Adapt one of the OGL systems (like d20 Fantasy/Modern, Action! or perhaps even FATE or FUDGE), create a system from scratch, or release the book without any rules?
The first part of my first Ad Astra adventure started a bit slow but that will soon change. The adventurers, new recruits of the Twilight Star, were ordered to investigate an archeological dig on the planet Kalanda III in a solar system at the very edge of known space. The planet is unhabited and undeveloped but has a breathable atmosphere. There is plenty of plant life but aside from a few microorganisms the planet is devoid of any animal life.
A couple of months back a scout discovered Elohim ruins under a glacier on the northern hemisphere. The Twilight Star send a science team to investigate. But suddenly the contact with the team has been lost. So, the players are sent to investigate.
The player group is provided with a Warhawk class FTL frigate, a Theseus class starfighter and a Black Hawk class shuttle. Aside from these space ships, they have access to a variety of weapons and equipment. After some preparations and some research in the Twilight Star archives, the team heads toward Kalanda III. The trip in hyperspace takes about two weeks that give the players some time to get to know their ship and the crew. When their frigate finally drops back to normal space, they at once notice that there’s something terribly wrong.
The espers on board suffer from headaches and can’t use their powers, there’s just static on the hyperband and making the jump back to hyperspace is impossible. They are stranded. A quick sensor sweep of nearby space reveals to space ships in the vicinty: a civilian mining vessel (that was used by the science team) and a Tovenaari partol ship! Both ships are obviously out of power and do not respond to hails.
After some consideration the group decides to fly to the civilian ship to investigate. They order the frigate’s crew to wait on the other side of the planet, fearing that the Tovenaari ship may have prepared for some kind of ambush. A closer examination of the mining vessel’s hull reveals no visible damage. When the player characters finally enter the vessel, the shocking truth is revealed: the crew is dead, and the corpses look like the attackers used tools and their bare hands to kill their victims. At first the player characters believe this may be the work of the Tovenaari crew from the patrol ship but quickly dismiss this idea again. When checking the ships logs the agents find out that the crew obviously killed each other, obviously driven mad by an unknown force. It also becomes clear that the scientific team was on the planet when the unspeakable happened onboard the ship. They leave the mining ship and use their shuttle to dock at the Tovenaari patrol ship.
This concludes part two of my play report. I have to admit the revelation of the “ancient enemy” will have to wait a bit longer since I will split the second part of the adventure in several posts. So stay tuned!
A Roleplaying Games blog
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