Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Notes On Running The Alpha Blue Rpg By Venger Satanis For Use With Your Old School Campaigns

So I'm taking some time out to talk about Alpha Blue by Venger Satanis  once again, the Kickstarter is long over and I reviewed the game on December 18th. Its two forty two A.M. in the morning and it seems rather an appropriate time to turn up the volume on an rpg on cheesy Seventies & Eighties space opera and science fantasy. For me Alpha Blue isn't about space brothels at all or space western movies. Alpha Blue emulates those three am HBO almost soft core science fantasy movies that used to come on HBO & Cinemax way back in the heyday of cable. Now believe it or not this is a tight little game that combines Crimson Dragon Slayer and The Outer Presence two of the writer's other products. Both of these  catered to 80's fantasy and cheesy investigative horror films respectively.

In point of fact the blurb for the Kickstarter sounds exactly like a psychotronic four am film on cable television;
"Alpha Blue was a Federation space station for the study of sexual addiction and rehabilitation of its clientele. That was back in the good old days when enjoying sex was for deviants. Behavioral psychologists believed that stimulus overload would cure addictive personality disorder. Simply, give those hopeless degenerates what they crave... seven-fold! And pretty soon, their obsession will burn itself out.

It was years before those kinds of theories were debunked and said behavioral psychologists were rounded up with the rest of humanity's failures and blasted into the nearest star.

Now decommissioned, Alpha Blue is something akin to an interstellar whore house or "love boat", drifting from planet to planet, acquiring new talent, clients, and security. It's as big as a city, so there's no shortage of wild escapades, interesting characters, lucrative opportunities, and naked throbbing pleasure. Plus, there will be plenty of scenario seeds fleshed out for planet-side shenanigans."
If you remember those incredible maps I posted about? Well those are actually available right over here for download.  Monkey Blood Designs does a fantastic job with the maps of the Blue Flamingo and the Alpha Blue station.  The one thing that Alpha Blue does is to augment & support existing OSR rpg even though its actually its own system. This is the sort of game that you can add in adventurous space scum such as outlaws, smugglers, thieves and johns into a game with little to no problem at all. Games such as X plorers, 
Hulks and Horrors  
and even rpgs such as Star Frontiers can all be used with Alpha Blue's anesthetics. We're basically talking all of the desparate space scum here who cross the star lanes from one midnight rip off of Star Wars to Battle Star Galactica

With the success of Star Wars in 1977 everyone and his uncle were busy creating rip offs of the film to cash in on its success. This went on for years and years following all the way down to Star Wars The Force Awakens. Two nationalities that brought the psychotropic film to new levels were the Japanese ( yes I know that Star Wars is based on the Hidden Fortress) & the Italian's Star Crash not to mention numerous lesser efforts. All of these can be mined for ideas for Alpha Blue, and this includes Roger Corman's Battle Beyond The Stars with its flying cleavage ship Nell. But it goes deeper into the heart of old school adventuring in space all the way back to when you could take your D&D campaign in the 70's & 80's into space.

Battle Beyond the stars is a prime example of a retelling of the Magnificent Seven through the space battles lens of star wars. The gathering of the heroes and the desperate fight to save the planet all mirror quests that have been played out on table tops across the world. This is where you end up with adventuring parties consisting of numerous outlaw and renegade adventurers.
Meet your new team mates and party members.

Here's the thing Alpha Blue allows you to create a complete adventure setting in less then fifteen minutes with motivations and set the level of gonzo that you want. For me reading through the game the film Message From Space came through loud and clear. "The peaceful planet of Jillucia has been nearly wiped out by the Gavanas, whose leader takes orders from his mother (played a comic actor in drag) rather than the Emperor. King Kaiba sends out eight Liabe holy seeds, each to be received by a chosen one to defend the Gavanas. Each recipient, ranging from hardened General Garuda to Gavana Prince Hans to young Terrans Meia, Kido, and Aaron all have different reactions to being chosen."  Yeah all of the elements to put together exactly this sort of mini campaign adventure are included in Alpha Blue.

Yeah these are the sort of space scum we're talking about, the sort of folks that the Next Generation's  Enterprise would have tripped over itself  and did in a few episodes actually and yes the Federation or the Venger Satanis analog is in Alpha Blue just as dangerous and condescending to adventurers. Roger Corman's Space Raider's star ship party are more like the sort of folks who are walking the hallways of Blue. They've been out in space they've seen some weird crap and now they want to get laid with the station's facilitators and space hookers. 

Alpha Blue's adventurer's watch word is rag tag and desparate folks whose done exactly what Conan used to do. Blown through ever last bit of treasure, gone whoring, and is now going to get wiped out by some snot nosed kid on the other end of the galaxy by a minor official in a two bit sector of the Galactic Federation. Roger Corman has a lot to answer for in my choice of video rentals in the Nineties.

And these are the sorts of jack asses who are going to be trying to stop you from stealing stuff, taxing your cargo, and making complete jackasses of themselves against your adventurers. Speaking of the awesome Ice Pirates, did you ever wonder where Bruce Vilanch and his Blade Runner owl got all of those ladies?

Speaking of the awesome Ice Pirates, did you ever wonder where Bruce Vilanch's character  and his Blade Runner owl got all of those ladies? Well since he eventually joined up with Jason and his crew later on in the film I assumed that his body guard Amazons went back to central casting or in this case back among the crew of Alpha Blue. Alpha Blue is the Ice Pirates of OSR rpg's and is  very adult at points.  The game is  very comedic and most of the comedy is sex jokes, bodily functions, and alien race jokes.  Be it the party's spaceship being invaded by a space herpes, castration machines, an extended sex scene complete with innuendos, and Bruce Vilanch. Alright unless you really want to include Bruce Vilanch as an NPC which I have in a few OD&D game adventures but that's another blog entry. 

Not a creepy NPC at all.
Here's the thing about Alpha Blue you can pretty much set the level of gonzo where you want it. From Ice Pirates all the way to Turkish Star Wars, the game will pretty much handle the level of gonzo as you like it and gives the PC's a not so safe home base to operate from. Because guys like this mother might just be down the hall and two rooms down along with his boys just waiting to get a hold of the adventurers ship to get to their hidden battle fortress that they held in reserve in case of a palace coup.

Basically take the entire Edo period of Japanese history and cycle it through the lens of  too many misspent video rental movies and you've got an entire campaign's worth of Alpha Blue material ready to go.

All of the movies mentioned here are sited for influence and used under fair use, this post is for entertainment and educational  purposes only and is not an attempt to violate the copy write or trade marks of these films. The authors of the Alpha Blue rpg nor the rpg's sighted here neither condone any of the opinions expressed in this blog entry. This all the ravings of a Seventies & Eighties sci fi and science fantasy fan.

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