Something has been bothering me about Alpha Blue for a long while now; now its not the over the top adult content, the off colour humor, or the ridiculously weird adventure plot lines. But today was one of those days where I had to visit the New Hartford transfer station and take a whole load of material there and for a while something about the new Kickstarter for Universal Exploits has been bothering me. Its the cosmic horror of it, many sci fi adventure rpg put the PC's front and center for the action. According to Venger;"Alpha Blue was directly inspired by such films as Ice Pirates, Flash Gordon, Barbarella, the aforementioned Starchaser, and stuff like The Satisfiers of Alpha Blue, Flesh Gordon, Star Babes, Sex Wars, and other various porn parodies of science-fiction classics."
Accept that doesn't do that at all instead the plot takes the ideas of intergalactic sexual politics and turns it into a running adventure commentary from the Absurdist school of philosophy with a good deal of Venger's patented weirdness thrown into the mix; "
However, a mad scientist and political radical friend of yours has been tracking sub-quantum energy waves through the nova field. That lead to the discovery of this alternate universe containing (among other things) an enchanted star-blade, as if the Space Gods had forged their divine will into an omnipotent phallus.
This magnificent universe is unlike the one you're used to. It's a place where the average spacer can get the fellatio and/or cunnilingus he or she really, really wants - and for only a fistful of credits!
However, just as soon as you arrived, an armada of battle cruisers outfitted with nutronic missiles was dispatched from the sex-poor universe. They want you back, to stand before the Inter-Galactic Sex Crimes Tribunal. Most likely you'll be executed for chasing pussy and oral sex (are the legends true... can such things really be found?). Only the crystalline laser sword known as Kort'thalis can unite those repressed galaxies against totalitarian celibacy. Long live the revolution!"
But in actual essence Universal Exploits isn't about any of that at all; a recent play test of Universal Exploits by Venger and co. up points a very interesting fact about his supposed over the top parody. All of the PC's in his test game are in fact just a bunch of working class slobs trying to make it against the back drop of a series of strangely twisted settings in a very dangerously uncaring universe. This is very similiar to certain concepts embodied in Lovecraft and others of his circle. Its a strange mix of the over the top humor that hides some very dark truths inside itself.
I'm reminded at once of Eugene Thacker 's work and some of the themes of Rick and Morty "Thacker distinguishes the "world-for-us" (the human-centric view of the world), and the "world-in-itself" (the world as it exists in essence), from what he calls the "world-without-us": "the world-without-us lies somewhere in between, in a nebulous zone that is at once impersonal and horrific." It is 'the world without us' that almost seems to be the stage for the offerings of Alpha Blue. Many of the over the top antics of the adventurers of Alpha Blue are not going to make a hell of a lot of difference to the greater schemes of the various factions of the adventure setting. This isn't a bad thing at all, it basically means that any of the over the the top weird antics of the PC's are not going to break the setting. It also puts the sexual politics of the Universal Exploits into a very weird and somewhat twisted back space. The soul crushing mediocrity of most intergalactic life would crush many weaker souls but your PC's are made of far sterner stuff then that. Because its a really weird universe out there and your going to screw whatever moves to prove it.
There is something inherently twisted about Alpha Blue because not only are the adventurers struggling to work against the ever increasingly dangerous and horrid backdrop of the uncaring universe. They're doing their best to use every trick in the book including using their bodies to get ahead of the curve of the sexual politic and the savagery of the setting. Once again here's Thacker's work and how it fits into the dialetic of Alpha Blue;"Thacker's work has often been associated with contemporary philosophies of nihilism and pessimism, as well as to speculative realism. His text "Cosmic Pessimism" defines pessimism as "the philosophical form of disenchantment." The text begins with the following line: "Pessimism is the night-side of thought, a melodrama of the futility of the brain, a poetry written in the graveyard of philosophy.""
Basically this means that while Alpha Blue plays at being an over the top humor filled parody there are some really disturbingly weird things going on just below the surface of the game's setting. This isn't a bad thing at all, there's been tons of games with similar sci fi settings. There are places in the sci fi rpg universe that I love to game in but would never want to live in. Both Traveler and Star Frontiers come to mind here but why? Well because each and every adventurer is going to be desperate, dangerous, and out for the perfect score in each and every way possible. So much so that its built right into the back pattern of the game. If you don't believe me check out the Kickstarter video.
So what is all this going to mean for your PC's in Alpha Blue? Well it means that your going to be encountering some truly weird and rather nasty characters aboard Alpha Blue and the edges of the various universes. Here's my take on some of these alien and weird sci fi desperadoes and outlaws of the space ways.
1d30 Weird and Dangerous Spacers and Adventurers Among The Space Lanes
- A Zedi warrior addicted to space spice is seeking his long lost sexual partner among the various space rabble. He is a dangerous quality because of his stalker like obbession. But he has money and is willing to pay for help.
- An intergalactic arms dealer is a part time space hooker and life coach this alien is looking for a score and is a crack shot with a blaster. It is best to keep her away from any Lovecraftian artifacts or she make become possessed.
- A dangerous bounty hunter who happens to be a porn star on the side; no one knows that he makes some of the loathsome stuff. He's also looking for the android of his dead lover's android and is willing to pay heavily.
- A space bum with a blaster and a vendetta is after the alien slime who killed his father he's been searching for fifty years now. She also has a taste for younger meat and because she can shape shift no one is safe.
- A strange alien energy cloud forms into various space adventurers to gather information about a dangerous space criminal and thug. It will take on many guises in its hunt but is willing to employ a back up or two.
- The former radio being off a star liner is now a telepathic spy and thief for hire; he also happens to be one of the most in demand male space hooker this side of the galaxy.
- A sell sword with a magical sword and a space monkey whose moving across the universe in search of his father and wife. He sleeps with anyone with information.
- A dangerous black hearted space wizard whose android heart has been twisted by his contact with The Outer Ones. He seeks the heart of a black star and is willing to pay for help on his quest.
- A soiled space nun looking for her kidnapped sisters she ends up in bed with a wide variety of clients because of her worship of an ancient god of porn.
- An intergalactic bard and drug dealer whose patterns conceal the heart of an assassin but he is unaware of the twisted soul within him. Charming, and very friendly he has left a trail of broken hearts and twisted corpses in his wake across the universe.
- A bounty hunter with the heart of a lion and the cybernetics of a big game hunter who tracks the most dangerous criminal scum across the universe. This bounty hunter has the guise of a love lorn adventurer who worms his way into hearts and beds.
- The male alien adventurer whose body is a roving door of conquests and rewards for bounties.
- A used weapon salesman whose combat androids also double as pleasure and spy bots. He hasn't been seen in months.
- A twisted telepath whose abilities are used to seduce and twist men, aliens, and women to this bastard's will.
- A strange being of weird colours and lights is going to recruit lovers and adventurers for expediations of the Outer Fringes.
- A weird and striking adventurer whose shape shifting abilites are the center of this bounty hunter's weird agenda.
- An ancient space pixie princess is looking for her people and screwing anything that comes her way.
- A dangerous space nun is on the trail of one of her order's target and needs money because of her charades. A bounty hunter of some note she has great attraction for many of her contemporaries.
- A giant sentient space hamster is looking for work and has a side quest into Earth's Dreamlands.
- An ancient alien adventurer is out looking for a new set of novices to offer them to his weird Lovecraftian gods. But during the rest of the weak he looks like he's ready and closing in on the right one.
- The one eyed alien being is on the. trail of a new adventurer and is willing to pay for information.
- A lone Zedi warrior is sleeping his way across the galaxy and is looking to help capture a black Zedi knight warrior.
- Strange eye formations come from within this cloud there are looking for adventurers to help him with a little home coming on a planet of madness.
- A skilled alien swordswomen is looking for several adventurers to help them out with a sexual matter and a new bounty.
- This squad of a collective alien is after a Lovecraftian shape shifting horror who loathsome activities are disguised because it works on Alpha Blue
- A young archelologist is on the trail of a brand new treasure but he is recruiting adventurers to help with the temple traps and security of his adventures.
- A sentient mold warrior is after a cargo of illegal drugs and is looking for help as each passing day allows his bounty to slip away. This NPC is looking to get into porn.
- A young adventurer is looking to make a name for himself by challenging the locals to strange sexual games of chance.
- An inquisitor of the Temple of the Clit it looking to recruit adventurers for a month long trek into the loathsome realms of the dead and dying.
- A black souled Zedi warrior is out for revenge against the killer of his entire family and is hopping bed to bed looking for clues but has a limited sexual season. Can you help him?