Swords & Stitchery - Old Time Sewing & Table Top Rpg Blog
A blog about about sewing machine repairs & sales as well the my hobbies including sewing,crafting, & old school table top role playing games. If you've got an interest in science fiction,horror,crafting, & sewing as well general geekery sit down & please stay a spell.
Over the last couple of months the PCs in my Stars Without Numbers game have been dealing with the remains of a Martian clan. This clan was decimated by Apex Medical ( the big bad A.I. council controlled mega corporation in my games) and the clans remains solid off as slaves to various interstellar interests. The PC's effected an operational save of the survivors, some royals, and have over the last couple of weeks made their way to a small pocket universe with a strange post apocalyptic Mars within and the other nine primaries. Within a hidden valley which is satellite and sensor blind the PC's have been staying within the 'Summer house' of the Martian clan. The Clan has hired them to wage a grurella war against Apex and find out why the corporation is on the planet. Part of the reason might be this book. You can get that for free HERE
Many of the players suspect that Apex is there because of the work of Ras_Thavas (who has not been seen in thousands of years.) But this might not be the same Mars that the players suspect. The Green Martians have only recently returned from the depths of space and this isn't the same world that they remember at all. The PC's have already encountered several entrances to an extensive Martian Under world of mega dungeons and incredible interiors.
There has also been extensive evidence of terraforming efforts and weird ruins of human colonies here as well. They've encountered the wrecks of several atomic rockets and the contamination of their cores. The PC's spent several days cleaning up and stowing the valuable radioactive material they found.
The PC's hhave noticed that the Green Martians are sporting Radium Rifles with one hundred round drums and weird scopes on them. The rifles do 1d10+1 but also can hit anything out with exploding bullets one to five miles away. Some are now carrying weird automatics as well. When asked about this the Green Martians say something about dangerous Silver Rays ( actually robotic mecha drones armed with Xray lasers capable of taking a mech on. These seem to be only in certain territories).
For now the PC's ship is drydock in a hidden Martian grotto. The PC's have started toward the polar Space Port/Space Elevator. While there are city states things seem a bit primitive and there are a lot of degenerative Red men around. More coming up.
Further Thoughts on George Pal's Time Machine and HG Well's book
Its Thursady December Fifth and I'm looking over notes for another article on George Pal's The Time Machine. The movie is fresh in my mind having watched it three times in succession to get all of the points I need to. I believe that everything begins and ends with the Time Traveler himself.
The seeds of October 12, 802,701, are already in play in 1899. George Wells (Rod Taylor) isn't traveling in space merely time, his time track to be exact. For this is a series of alternative time liness that are all connected to the character.
Filby speaks of Jamie and George meets him in 1914 only to appear again an alternative 1966.
According to Wiki :
"George uses the Time Machine to travel to the future. He first leaves the machine on September 13, 1917, where he meets James Filby (Young again), whom he mistakes for his father, David. James informs George that his father had "died in the war", and that the United Kingdom has been at war with Germany since 1914. He tells him that an inventor lived across the road who disappeared around the turn of the century and that his father wanted to keep the house in case the owner ever returned. George then travels to June 19, 1940, into the midst of "a new war", which he briefly stops in as his machine is buffeted from side to side."
Out of the entire group of friends (witnesses) Filby is the only one who contemplates the horrors of the machine and keeps George's house, workshop, plans and notes. He knows the machines possible applications and what might happen. Filby also knows two things : Geroge has the secret of time travel, plans for the machine, and knows that George may return someday. He will do anything to keep the secret of time travel out of the hands of anyone else including his own family hence Jamie not knowing George. The Secrets Of The Time Machine Folks have been building replicas of the time machine prop since the movie first appeared. Plans for the machine are readily available online. You can see an archive right over HERE The
Seeds of The Eloi Once again Wiki:
George's next stop is August 19, 1966, in a futuristic metropolis. He is puzzled to see people hurrying into a fallout shelter amid the blare of air raid sirens. An older James Filby tells him to get into the shelter. James spots an atomic satellite zeroing in and flees into the shelter. A nuclear explosion causes a volcano to erupt. Civilization is destroyed in a nuclear holocaust. George restarts the machine just in time to avoid being incinerated, but lava covers the machine, then cools and hardens, forcing him to travel far into the future until it erodes away.
Let's face some facts here:
This isn't our 1966 and its very advanced for the time period. There are some very advanced technology presented. Humans can survive nuclear weaponry and fall out. The weather was artificially controlled and right up to the nuclear satallite strike pleasant.
I heave a feeling that the flower that George brought back with him allowed scienctists to break the secret of DNA and genetic manipulation allowing the creation of Project Morlock in 1962. This project's seeds were began with the hope of creating a superior solidier. There are characteristics that reflect this:
Superior night vision, technological prowness,
Superior strength and survivability in the savage enviroment of a nuclear winter
RNA memory of technological know how and engineering
omnivororic tendancies ~ The morlocks were sortt of like human cockeroaches capable of dealing with the various challeges that nature threw at them. The Eloi diet came later on.
The Eloi are a commerically created food product born of genetic and corporate desparation. According to the time machine by HG Wells and wiki :
By the year AD 802,701, humanity has evolved into two separate species: the Eloi and the Morlocks. The Eloi are the childlike, frail group, living a banal life of ease on the surface of the earth, while the Morlocks live underground, tending machinery and providing food, clothing and infrastructure for the Eloi. Each class evolved and degenerated from humans. The novel suggests that the separation of species may have been the result of a widening split between different social classes, a theme that reflects Wells's sociopolitical opinions.
The main difference from their earlier ruler-worker state is that, while the Morlocks continue to support the world's infrastructure and serve the Eloi, the Eloi have undergone significant physical and mental deterioration. Having solved all problems that required strength, intelligence, or virtue, they have slowly become dissolute and naive. They are described as being smaller than modern humans, having shoulder-length curly hair, chins that ran to a point, large eyes, small ears, and small mouths with bright red thin lips. They are of sub-human intelligence, though apparently intelligent enough to speak, as they have a primitive language. They do not perform much work, and in the book and 1960 film when Weena falls into the river, none of the Eloi help her.
While one initially has the impression that the Eloi people live a life of play and toil-less abundance, it is revealed that the Morlocks are attending to the Eloi's needs for the same reason a farmer tends cattle; the Morlocks use the Eloi for food. This is why there are no old people, and why the Eloi seem to fear the dark.
We are given a portion of the equation from the 'talking rings from george pal's time machine.
Yet the 'Time Machine' itself gives further evidence that this is not the end of the Eloi 'modification'. According to Wiki:
A portion of the book written for the New Review version, later published as a separate short story, reveals that a visit by the Time Traveler to the even further future results in his encountering rabbit-like hopping herbivores, apparently the descendants of the Eloi. They are described as being plantigrade (with longer hind legs) and tailless, being covered with straight greyish hair that "thickened about the head into a Skye terrier's mane", having human-like hands (described as fore feet) and having a roundish head with a projecting forehead and forward-looking eyes that were obscured by lank hair.
Once again we find ourselves looking at a post humanoid here. As I said in the last installment we find all kinds of post human races in the Nightlands. These rabbitoid Eloi are simply another variety of the product brand known as Eloi.
The eloi are simply a product for the Earth's masters who might have once been talked about by Charles Fort. We might call them' The Great Old Ones', The cosmic jokers, and a wide variety of names bottom line. We're property and the owners are coming back.
Weena is really the problem. She's a spot really. A throwback and a reject to boot. She goes against everything that the Morlocks want. She's curious, confident,brave, and just intelligent to survive. She also dies in different timelines. More information right HERE
The Time Machine Itself and The Nightlands
The time machine was powered by the electrical properties of the large Tabetian cut crystal. The machine tied to the time space contiuum of the Earth itself.
This same tapping into the Earth's time space contiuum would later be used in the Nightland by William Hope Hodgeson. The time machine provides much of the use of the Earth Current in the Nightlands.
. The Sun has gone out and the Earth is lit only by the glow of residual vulcanism. The last few millions of the human race are gathered together in a gigantic metal pyramid,nearly eight miles high – the Last Redoubt, under siege from unknown forces and Powers outside in the dark. These are held back by a Circle of energy, known as the "air clog," powered from a subterranean energy source called the "Earth Current". For millennia, vast living shapes—the Watchers—have waited in the darkness near the pyramid. It is thought they are waiting for the inevitable time when the Circle's power finally weakens and dies. Other living things have been seen in the darkness beyond, some of unknown origins, and others that may once have been human.
To leave the protection of the Circle means almost certain death, or worse an ultimate destruction of the soul. As the story commences, the narrator establishes mind contact with an inhabitant of another, forgotten Lesser Redoubt. First one expedition sets off to succour the inhabitants of the Lesser Redoubt, whose own Earth Current has been exhausted,
The morlocks and eloi are the first of the so called Abhumans. Again the Nightland provides more insight into their origins :
The term "Abhuman" was used by Hodgson in The Night Land to name (apparently) several different species of intelligent beings evolved from humans who interbred with alien species or adapted to changed environmental conditions and were seen as decayed or malign by those living inside the Last Redoubt, who preserved artificially (to an unspecified extent) their human characteristics, though they were not fit for the new environmental conditions.
As I said the Eloi almost resemble the society in Logan's run. Both have no old or wise folks as leaders, both focus on the here and now, they have only remains of technology, and have forgotten much of what they know. Logan's world is another controlled society of cattle.
All of the technology of these various timelines, Logan's Run, The Time Machine, and even the Nightland are all very regressive almost alien and weird. Why ? Because of the cycle of destruction and rediscovery wrought by the nuclear war, the winters, and loss of bits & pieces over the centuries. Treasure Houses of the Year AD 802,701,
The H.G. Wells book describes the landscape of the year 802,701 as dotted with various porclean green build ruins and gives a very detailed description of the so called 'Palace of Green Porclean'. A former museum that has appeared in many of my games as place where time travelers and dimensional travelers can equip themsleves with some of the weird technology of this era. Many of these porclean ruins may contain a few types of equipment common in the various retroclone rule books. The morlocks and eloi have appeared in Nightlands in isolated valleys heated by valcanoic vents and engineering.Treasures in these locations have included the following random treasure table. 1d10 Random Treasure Table
Glass beads that are actually holoprojectors capable of displaying treasures and wonders of a forgotten age. Twenty percent chance they don't work after 1d4 hours.
A pan of glass the size of a man't hand that will generate light and enough electricity to power a small room or device.
A magnetically sealed jar containing nanites that are capable of acting as a mini home computer abet a very primitive one. Also capable of displaying primitive holograms as well with sound.
A ligquid metal knife that has lost its shape appears to be a quick silver puddle on the floor. Extremely sharp and wicked looking when activated by a small electrical spark. There are four different configurations of the knife.
A large metal pylon that is covered with worn writing on all sides. The thing will occassionally buzz or hum to itself and my play a small tune on cold nights. Other wise unremarkable.
A set of twenty cubic dice like devices that are actually a primitive A.I. secrurity system that will do 1d4 points of damage to anyone crossing the blue green field tht connects these magnetically held beauties.
A simgle silver sphere that will play back anything reflected in it when activated by singing an eloi song to it. It is also capable of projecting a sharp 1d6 damage current in a 30 foot arch every 9 hours when exposed to sun light.
An eloi head coated in metal that is actually the download personality of an ancient eoli lord. It will answer 3 questions per day but become confused and dazed after those questions otherwise it ryhmes to itself in common.
A silver bird that is actually a key to one of the most dangerous looking ruins nearby.
A morlock tool set capable of opening any of the cages, doors, or structures the morlocks build. The metal of the tools is weak and brittle. So after 20 days they will corrode and break.
A couple of weeks ago on the OD&D forums I stumbled across reference to AFS magazine which is a small press fanzine that supports AS&SH featuring some of the top talent in the OSR and beyond. Now isssue four of the magazine is being released! You can learn more HERE
This is a monster of science fictional campaign that takes place aboard a 'living ship' and forget those Star Trek Next Generation Tin Man thoughts because this is much, much, worse and a far darker a tale. This is a horrifying journey into a science fiction nightmare for your PC's as only James Ward and Chris Clark's twisted minds can dream up. This is also a mini sequel of sorts to James Ward's Dark Visitor. However this is a monster of a campaign clocking in for one hundred and one pages of action packed encounters.
According to Drivethru Rpg:
Dark Visitor is an epic adventure into the bowels of an alien spacecraft; a world unlike any you have previously seen. It is a living vessel, filled with undiscovered life forms, strange technologies, dangerous and unexpected pitfalls, and yes, fabulous treasures. A well-equipped exploration or salvage team could make a handsome profit. They could just as easily die a gruesome and unforeseen death.
There are many ways to die in space. We just added a few more.
Not for the faint of heart, Dark Visitor is designed for exploration by three or more characters of low to moderate levels, and armed to the teeth with items. It can be used as either a stand-alone adventure or as the sequel to Dark Outpost. According To James Ward's Blog :
"Anyway, Chris is just finishing up two layout projects. DARK VISITOR and RAIN OF TERROR and they look terrific. DARK VISITOR is a generic science fiction campaign. A ship made out of fungus comes into the solar system looking for a scout ship. The player characters are sent to explore the ship. Chris and I co-authored that one, but really Chris did the lion’s share of that project. Chris wrote RAIN OF TERROR by himself and I have rarely seen a product look as good as that one does. It’s an amazing adventure and I’m very jealous because he has thought of a new adventure hook I have never seen used before in my 40+ years of creating adventures. We hope to show those available to you in the first week of December."
You can find more over on Mr. Ward's Blog HERE Using Dark Visiter with Your Old School Science Fiction or Science Fantasy Campaign
Dark Visitor picks up where Dark Outpost left off if your PC's were lucky to survive and thrive in that deadly little adventure right over HERE. Where Dark Out was a sprawling mini campaign sandbox with monsters easily converted. Dark Visitor is a fully fledged sand box campaign with deadly encounters, high weirdness for PC's and even treasures! The writing is crisp, clear and very entertaining. The elements of the adventure are very easily adapted to any retroclone or science fiction adventure rpg. Dark Visitor has lots of potential though for those looking for an X - plorer campaign with room for lots of expansion. For Stars Without Number this is a hell of a campaign that could last several months as the PC's explore a very alien mega dungeon. The adventure is system agnostic and has the feel of a 1970's or 80's science fiction film where the PC's are up to their necks in alien situation where they're actions could decide the fate of not only themselves but the entire party. The encounters are well balanced and with the conversion notes this one could easily be adapted to even a Star Frontiers game if one was so inclined. Both adventures speak volumes about the quality of writing that we see from Mr. Clark and Mr. Ward. This adventure would make a heck of a convention set and could well lead PC's up several levels if they survive long enough to enjoy the fruits of their labors. These adventures could be used with Metamorphosis Alpha 1st edition as add on campaigns and bring PC's into the bounds of outer space very easily. The artifacts and technologies are great. The puzzles and encounters are interesting, challenging, and somewhat deadly if PC's are not careful. Be warned that Dark Visitor is a monster of a campaign and will take several months to play through. Combined with Dark Outpost and you've got the makings of a complete and total campaign for some time to come!
I'm not going to lie to you folks, I enjoyed reading the hell out of this adventure. I found myself clapping my hands and wringing them with delight to subject my friends and players to this one. There is a tone of desperation that seems to run through the entire adventure as if the PC's are going through the paces of some demented organism out to deal with them. I mean this in a fun way. This is a highly recommended adventure and it would work with many of the science fiction games currently on the market and a few that are no long as well. The lion's share of the campaign takes its time with the PC's and really subjects them to some trials and puts them through their paces. I keep thinking either X plorers or Stars Without Number for these adventures! Grab some players, grab some dice, and grab your copy of this one today!
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Get It Right HERE Astounding Stories of Super Science was always one step from outrageous and very weird. The stories were exciting and entertaining as much as pulptastically cool. There was always an invasion of New York, San Francisco, or some other major city on the covers. This issue is a great resource for the pulp retro science fiction DM. Featuring :
The Man Who Was Dead / Thomas H. Knight
Monsters of Moyen / Arthur J. Burks
Vampires of Venus / Anthony Pelcher
Brigands of the Moon (Part 2 of 4) / Ray Cummings
The Soul Snatcher / Tom Curry
The Ray of Madness / S. P. Meek
Using Astounding Stories of Super-Science April 1930 For Your OSR Campaigns
This issue features some great stuff like the Man Who Was Dead by Thomas Knight and it works great as an origin point for a campaign. The Monsters of Moyen featured on the cover works as invasion or post apocalyptic start point. Many of the ideas are way,way, ahead of their time. The Vampires of Venus are a straight up adventure/encounter story that can be inserted into an existing campaign or as a jump off point. The Ray of Madness by S.P. Meek makes a great super hero or pulp hero campaign adventure. This isn't a bad resource for pulp or retro old school games. Grab it while you can and best of all its free!
After three weeks ago Asgardian fest the 'Well' we're now blasted into the dark side of the Marvel movie universe with last week's episode 'Repairs'. There is a definite vibe of 'Anti mutant' style hysteria with a rogue telekinetic if that's what she was in last week's episode? The various alien invasions have probably played merry havoc with the world and Shield for that matter. This is certainly not our world nor was it ever. There are cosmic events here in this Earth's history and they keep leaking their consequences down through the ages.
We know that five to ten thousand years ago, a war happened on Earth and that the Asgardians were involved. The Dark Elves intrusion onto the Marvel movie universe was a direct result of this and the reappearance of Thor here. It also shows that the alien nature of these beings isn't always a good thing to us mere mortals. 'Repairs' got into the darker side of the movie Marvel universe. The idea of transformation as the gate way to death and not as simply the gate way to great power.
There are aspects here of the darkness that seems to be a part of the undercurrent of the Marvel movie universe. Rewatch 'Repairs' here and see what I mean. Right over HERE
I think that we're seeing a bit of a dark under current or could one say almost fascist sort of leans of Shield and its operatives? Or perhaps there are other organizations working behind the scenes and in the ranks that have very different agendas. I think that the movie going public are being set up for something. That something is Captain America Winter Soldier.
There is probably a ton of Dark Elves artifacts lying around that Shield isn't going to get around to cleaning up. An organization like Damage Control is doing the rebuild but who takes care of the clean up of alien artifacts? Could there be another shadow organization that we've not seen handling this sort of thing or it is possible that a high level out side government contractor goes in? I saw Iron Man III over the Thanks Giving holiday and while I did like aspects of it. I've always been a fan of the Mandarin( you know one of those villains you love to hate) and the movie simply pissed me off. As a friend said, "I appreciate the movie for its Agents of Shield connections but otherwise. UMMM no to some of the other stuff portrayed." One aspect of the movie that sort of rings true is even if the hero wrecks AIM and its projects. Someone someplace is going to pickup the pieces and start right back up on the materials and its super soldier applications or if they where smart the organization would have used the cell structure and simply relocated and moved on. I think that there are a number of such organizations operating all over the world and that AIM, Hydra, and various other incarnations are going strong at this moment in the Marvel universe. Yet we've seen none of them in the Agents of Shield show. But we did get a look into some of how they operate in another Marvel movie property. I'm speaking of the new Wolverine movie.
So whose behind the various powerhouses of the Marvel movie universe? I think that there are a number of so called 'super villains' that simply set up organizations, advance capital, and see that the fruits of their labor are released onto the world as the chaos ensues. Remember in the Marvel 616 comic book official incarnation there have always been super villains working together. The problem with any of this stuff is the time scale. Some folks don't grow old and die, others seem to be immortal, others are gods, etc. Death is never permanent in the Marvel universe and never has been. Could it be that the lines of reality only apply to lesser beings. That there is a giant chess game going on that only a madman can see? Are the chess pieces put into play by the so called Illuminati of the movie Marvel universe? Using The Marvel Illuminati In Your Old School Super Hero Campaigns
They each represent a certain something that is very special to the Marvel Universe:
Namor is a ruler of the oceans and represents the antihero mindset.
Tony Stark represents the Avenger type of hero, one who understands and appreciates that a hero can work with the government, rather than outside of it. He also represents the common man, as he possesses no natural superhuman abilities.
Reed Richards represents the science-based part of the superhero community.
Black Bolt represents the Inhumans, who are an important part of Marvel history and play an important part in events that have not yet come to pass. He also represents a ruler/king archetype, one that has also been filled by Namor.
Professor Charles Xavier is there on behalf of the mutant community. They all bring with them a unique viewpoint and perspective that isn’t shared by the others. I think that behind the scenes these folks have been manipulating the entire battle field to their advantage for centuries. You can get more right over HERE As for gaming materials you've already got them if you've got the Marvel Super Heroes game or simply go HERE I've been watching the Black List from NBC starring James Spader and over the course of the Thanks Giving Holiday certain facts dawn on me.
The super spy game is still on going and Wall Street has been added to the mix.
The days of the Super Spies are still on going but we need to understand that these folks are now free lance operatives.
The gadgets and characters are not so much the focus as the storyline as well as surroundings are.
The Black List is Marvel Super Heroes grown up. This isn't the first time that the lines between super agents and balls to the walls action have been around. Believe it or not I've run a very successful Marvel Supers game using a very different director Nick Fury then the one we've seen back in the 90's.
You see Charlton Heston in " True Lies " was my go to Nick Fury back in 1994 when the emergence of the Super Humans began when Marvel did one of their famous reboots.
Omega Sector has been a division of Shield since '95 in my Marvel Super Heroes games and handles many of the so called "Omega Level Threats." You can find out more about Omega Sector right over HERE Repairs basically showed the blow back logic of the various invasions and snfus of the recent events of Thor Black World and The Avengers movies. Yet the loss of life and resulting weirdness are only now beginning to manifest (I hope).
A very quick and dirty list of five films that I recently view filled with what is best in life! Eighties Cheestastic fantasy films for the Astonishing Swordsmen and Sorcerers of Hyperborea or any retroclone! And no Conan isn't on the list because its simply that damn iconic! Conan will get a blog post all his own! Meantime the list HERE !