Sunday, September 6, 2015

Yet More Commentary On Crawljammer Issue #3 From Moon Dice Games & Quick Intergalactic DCC Rpg Adventure Design

Grab It Right Over
So I'm zipping through issue #3 of Crawljammer last night or this morning at four am, because let's face it that's simply the way I roll with the punches of life. Issue three seems to have a different feel to it, as if Tim Callahan decided to go a bit into the seedy side of their intergalactic crawling. So what is it about this issue? The inclusion of the kick ass intergalactic PSYCHIC KNIGHT PC class? No the psychic knight is someplace between Krull's kick ass 80's VHS tape linage and the pulp magazine goodness of yesteryear. Was it the inclusion of the Advanced DCC psionic rules? Nope those work pretty well for a roll over into your DCC game. Nope it's the  the Perilous League which is like one of those straight up sci fi pulp magazine back up organizations from an old issue of Planet Stories. There's a problem with those kinda guys who appear to finance the main hero in the old pulps. They usually get the hero eaten by a space worm or some other interstellar horror. Which is great for DM to use these guys as backers for your heroes. This brings me to one of the other main problems that these guys present for your heroes, they're shady not so legal business usually brings down the cops onto your heroes heads. That's not a problem at all, because it gives you the DM to introduce yet another aspect of intergalactic fun. Hard boiled DCC intergalactic police action to your games. With a bunch of scoundrels like the  Perilous League, its a prime opportunity to bring in the Space Cops! Way back in the 90's there was a perfect show with all of its glorious cheesiness that goes straight along with this theme. Space Precinct! Perilous League is in for some skull busting!

According to Wiki:
Space Precinct is a British-American television series that was broadcast from 1994 to 1995 on Sky One and later on BBC Two in the UK, and in first-run syndication in the United States. Many US stations scheduled the show in late night time slots, which resulted in low ratings and contributed to its cancellation.
The series was created by Gerry Anderson and was a mix of science fiction and police procedural that combined elements of many of Anderson's previous series such as Space: 1999, UFO and Thunderbirds, but with an added dash of Law & Order and Dragnet. Anderson was executive producer with Tom Gutteridge. One of the series' directors was John Glen, who had previously directed five James Bond films.
So the show didn't really have much of a chance to get the ratings it deserved or have half  chance to get off the ground. With plenty of wonderful 90's cultclassic cheesy goodness  it's a perfect for Crawljammer. Want your PC's to meet their latest NPC from the League? Have them arrested dumped into the drunk tank and fined down on their luck guess whose waiting with a job and opportunity? A representative of the League ready to pay the poor fool's bail sobering up right along with them. Need to introduce an alien species to the public? Hold a press conference with one of the first alien officers of species XYZ ready to patrol the interstellar space lanes! Your party of space scum might be running afoul of the cops because of serving interstellar wizards and the mob.

Need some cool weapon introduced to your party of space scum,ermm adventurers I mean. For example the Promethean Lance along with the introduction of chaotic phlogiston energy have the cops make a raid on a location that your adventurers happen to be in. Then your off and running with your crew of spacers with the cops, the mob, and the League all on your PC's behinds. Win/win in my book. These guys might have something to say about it. Might being really the operative word here.

Of course this also brings in the adventure Red Planet Rendezvous:The Phaseship of the Starmongers by Tim Callahan, this is a perfect opportunity to not only introduce the white Martian technomancer, Queldoz,
along with his violent Shapeshifter companion but get the PC's involved right up to their necks in the intergalactic events  of the adventure if they survive. What if you want to introduce some of the powerful trinkets from the MAGICAL ITEMS AND SPACE ODDITIES table? Well of course the cops have some of those in lock up and there is a powerful space wizard who hasn't made bail. All you've got to do is come up with the cash to get him out.
Here we have an excellent example of Spellburn and corruption gone wrong we've busted Xozeorth here for red Thousolan goofballs.
Space cop style adventures allow a dungeon master to introduce all kinds of mix and match elements to his Crawljammer game without breaking too much of a sweat. The combination of 'seen everything' and the over worked small time city cop trope slides in quite nicely with DCC & Crawljamer making this an easy sell to players also the working outside the bounds of intergalactic law has a certain appeal to folks. Since this is a Gerry Anderson production, you've got lots and lots of models to use as visual references for players and to generate ideas for adventures.

To bring this issue to a close, and to loop it back around, the show brought with it a certain sense of small city weirdness to the darkness of space and by looking into the plot you can get yet another anchor to help hold together the desparate threads of the DCC fanverse that seems to have emerged over the last couple of years. Crawljammer is a fantastic product for a pickup and go game of DCC but for long term campaign play more of a back drop is needed. Here's where cultclassic shows like Space Precinct can come in handy. Here's the original plot of the show according to wiki :
The series is set in the year 2040 and starred American actor Ted Shackelford as former NYPD detective Patrick Brogan, now a lieutenant with the Demeter City police force on the planet Altor in the Epsilon Eridani system. Brogan and his partner Jack Haldane (played by Rob Youngblood) must adjust to living in another solar system, and investigating crimes being committed by aliens as well as humans. Also co-starring was Danish actress Simone Bendix as Officer Jane Castle, Haldane's love interest (Brogan being happily married with a wife, daughter and son who made the move to Demeter City with him). All other major characters were played by actors wearing complex make-up that also included elements of puppetry in order to depict the different alien races. So yeah lots and lots of potential opportunity to introduce the PC's into a whole range of space going weirdness in places like Demeter City or even your own creations.
So is issue three of Crawjammer worth picking up? Well if it generated all of this for my own imagination I personally think its a perfect vehicle for your own DCC space going campaigns. After all your PC's are going to be wanting to make the big scores and the big cash rewards.

All of this blog entry is for pure entertainment and educational purposes none of this article is an attempt to violate nor impinge upon the copyright or trademarks of the DCC rpg,Space Precinct  owners,  nor those of The Crawljammer fanzine. This is strictly the author's opinions as a sci fi film & television  and DCC fanatic.

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