Its amazing to me how much time has passed since I did anything with the White Star Retroclone Rpg system. The material for White Star comes out every single week or day it seems. Someone comes up with a new science fiction or science fantasy title for the game. This is not a bad thing in my humble opinion, it keeps the community vibrant and live with fresh ideas and new prospective toward the game. There's one area that always seems lacking to me and that's the middle management vile villains. You know those guys who are challenges and the type that are always dogging your White Star adventurers but don't quite have the TPK potential of the void knights. Well the Outer Space Raiders: The Norni from Magic Pig Media are not quite as cut and dry as they might appear. The Norni are an alien race example of what happens in those old Marvel Star Wars comics when the Rebels high tale it out of dodge and the Empire moves in for the conquest. We know that White Star drives its inspiration from old school Star Wars and Magic Pig Media has tapped that well with the Norni but in a good way. There's a lot going on here. According to the Rpgnow blurb: The Norni supported the fledgling rebellion. When the Imperial Armada arrived, the Rebels fled and the Empire bombed the planet making it an example to any who would oppose their power. Civilized worlds turned their backs on the refugees out of fear of imperial reprisals. The Norni are a people without a home, fated to wander the stars.' Sure it might sound a bit like the old Marvel Star Wars comics from the 80's but its not. There are several factors that those comics would never have tapped into.
- The Norni themselves are basically a good people caught in the cross fire of forces beyond their control and the Rebellion is no better then the Imperials in their eyes. There's a racial history to this and the product has this built right into its history.
- There are lots of opportunity for violence and deadly conflict with this race and they've got a reputation for space piracy and dark forces at their call. They also have access to technologies that generally seem to involve some heavy duty but kicking and its likely that your PC's are going be caught in the cross fire of it. This is not a race of NPC's that's made to sit on the side lines.
- There are plenty of fleshed out details in nine pages and this isn't a pdf that leaves you with cliff hanger questions unlike Marvel's Star Wars where we got alien races and zippo background until later issues.
As I've said this is not a slow and steady pdf at all you get lots of tools for your dollar, yeah that's right a dollar buys you the following :
Included is information on the Norni and their culture, the Norni Star Wanderer Racial Class, and twenty adventure hooks.
Also included is Lady Iliza, Mistress of the Void, a powerful Void Knight villain for use in your campaigns. So why do I like this pdf? Because you get a group of middle management vile villains with a reason to hate everyone and yet their not actually really bad guys more like victims with regrets who have issues with the universe of White Star. And their coming to get your adventurers in spades. Their is a new PC class right out of the gate that presents the Norni Star Wanderers which has a bit of the Star Trek Orions in their gamer racial PC DNA and a whole package of trouble for PC's ships. Here's the introduction blurb: The stars are your home. You wander the space ways in search of fame, fortune, and just a little bit of revenge.
Not the type of PC that you want on the bad side of your adventuring party or their ship, instead I can see actually using this class to fill out the ranks of a smuggler or pirate ship on the side of the Rebels with a whole package of reasons to get into and out of trouble. We get broad strokes on culture, signature weapon, homeworld, timeline, Norni technology and solild looks into the race's home world, timeline, events, and more. This presents the Norni as a well rounded and fleshed out race with plenty of room for DM DYI campaign hook ins. There's also plenty of room to squeeze out even more play with the twenty Norni adventure hooks. There's enough here to be introducing the Norni into your campaigns and for using them for other applications.
They don't make that kinda fun anymore. Because the author has included the little twist that the head of this race is a Void knight in her own right and there's a whole subplot involving the fact that she's got here own dark agenda going right in the back of the plot. She so evil that even her own race has exiled her. So there's a ton that can be done with her.
This makes customizing the Norni a snap because using them anywhere means that they can pop up in the least likely places. For example the Norni could with little effort be used in a Mutant Future Mazes and Mutants campaign providing the muscle and high tech alien assistance to mutant armed forces in the wastelands. For a Labyrinth Lord or Swords and Wizardry campaign the Norni could be the power behind the throne of your favorite despotic rulers. For Hulks and Horrors these guys make a opposition for adventurers combing through the space hulks for treasure, artifacts, or more. For White Star or other OD&D retroclone style rpgs this race has lots of potential such as filling in a middle management enemy role, they could be bounty hunters or even gasp as a possible PC alien PC race. My recommendation is to grab the PDF and customize the Norni as you see fit for your old school campaigns.