Monday, September 5, 2016

More Adventures Out On The New Frontier - Further Old School Campaign Thoughts on Star Ships and Spacemen Second Edition From Goblinoid Games

So last night I ran into a friend in the local Walmart whom I hadn't seen in about three or four years. Glen G. is a local car collector/restorer whose collection of vintage cars is something to behold. Now Glen is also a fellow war gamer and D&D enthusiast whose passions run deep. Glen isn't the type of guy you'd take to being a retired Wall street type but there you go. Glen saw my post about Star Ships & Spacemen second edition & he's got a keen interest in Labyrinth Lord and the Advanced Labyrinth Lord Companion. That being said we have some slight differences of opinion over the some rulers but that's to be expected. Glen runs his group of car guys, war gamers and D&D folks over in Litchfield Ct.More on all of that during another blog entry.

So we started to chew the fat about classic Eighties animation & he turned me back onto a show I hadn't seen in a hundred years.See Glen is also a huge Western enthusiast & animation art collector. As soon as Glen mentioned 'The Adventures of the Galaxy Rangers' the familiar strains of the lead syth guitar started roaring through my head. The Galaxy Rangers was way ahead of its time;"The Adventures of the Galaxy Rangers is a Japanese-American animated Space Western television series created by Robert Mandell and Gaylord Entertainment Company.[1] It was broadcast in syndication between 1986 and 1989.[2] The series combines sci-fi stories with traditional wild west themes. It is one of the first anime-style shows produced mainly in the United States, although the actual animation was done by the Japanese animation studio Tokyo Movie Shinsha. At the time it aired, The Adventures of the Galaxy Rangers was considered a revolutionary children's show"

The Galaxy Rangers proceeded Brave Starr by a whole year and yet both shows premiered on September fourteenth. Brave Star: September 14, 1987  came onto television and Galaxey Rangers: aired on  September 14, 1986. Before Firefly before Cowboy Bebop before Outlaw Star there was The Adventures of  The Galaxy Rangers! So last night I got a hold of a couple of episodes and started binge watching again. And man does this series hold up well and in fact I can see this one being appreciated by audiences today. Animation was so fluid back then.
But back to the gaming aspect, over the last month or so I've been quietly watching the interest in Labyrinth Lord in both regular and the advanced companion versions of the game line from Gobinoid Games. What does any of this have to do with the 'Further Adventurers of the Galaxy Rangers?'  Everything and nothing in one huge ball of a shooting match. See Star Ships and Spacemen is Labyrinth Lord game with a Star Trek like veneer. And the classic Roddenberry Star Trek has been described as a show in the tradition of the classic 'Wagon Train tv show' (look it up kids)  in space. Given the military theme of PC generation in Star Ships and Spacemen second edition you would think that this would be a limitation. Actually this is one of the strengths of using the Adventures of the Galaxy Rangers as a campaign setting blue print. According to Wiki;" The show is set in the future, some time after the year 2086, when two aliens from the planets Andor and Kirwin travel to Earth to search for allies against the expansionist Crown Empire led by the Queen of the Crown. In return for the help, the two aliens gave mankind construction plans for a hyperdrive device. After this key event in human history, interstellar travel flourished and a huge number of colonies emerged in distant star-systems. Alongside the growth of human activities in space, criminal activities also grew, and the new colonies required defense against various threats, including the Crown Empire. A group known as "BETA" (Bureau for Extra-Terrestrial Affairs) was founded to cope with these tasks, with a "Ranger" division being a part of it.

Most of the colonies portrayed in the show specialized in either agriculture or mining "star stones". Many of the planets on the show have names that evoke ideas of a Western setting, Nebraska, Mesa, Ozark, and Prairie being a few."

The Bureau for Extra-Terrestrial Affairs is a perfect add on to the Galactic Confederation especially if the PC's are a part of the early affairs of the S&S second edition timeline. or you can create your own interstellar organization to help out in the affairs of the galaxy.
"Galactic Confederation" is a perfect backdrop to port in a BETA style organization into your own S&S second edition setting;" BETA is shown to be the major military and exploratory arm of Earth. The organization's headquarters are on Earth. BETA sustains several bases on and around Earth, such as the Longshot Research Facility in the Grand Canyon and the BETA space station in Earth's orbit. The Series-5 Brain Implant, or S5 is implied to be the closest mankind will ever get to merging with cybernetics. The S5 implant enables a dramatic boost of innate abilities due to its unique conversion of bio-electrical power generated by alpha radiation stored within the badges worn by the Galaxy Rangers."
The technology of Galaxy Rangers is a bit Eighties especially given the A.I., the ships, cybernetics and more. But that actually fits the Star Ships and Spacemen second edition retro future tech! And there's always those mysterious alien relics and interstellar aliens. Now given the weird planets and possible adventure locations its quite easy to shoe horn in a LL module or adventure with no one the wiser. In fact you could even get in a sword and sorcery or post apocalyptic planet or two in.
Here's where Mutant Future comes in. Given the wide variety of aliens seen in the background of the 'Adventures of the Galaxy Rangers' the forehead and mutant NPC generation of Mutant Future is going to be working overtime. Remember the sweet spot seems to be a level eighth or tenth Labyrinth Lord PC for use with these games. These are essentially the same back system with lots of minor system twists & PC generation weirdness tacked on. Given the way the military & space explorer background is in S&S second edition they'll easily fit the Galaxy Ranger mold.

I love me a good Space Western and S&S second edition is ideally made to handle this sort of an interstellar  campaign setting. The PC's are Earth and the galaxy's only hope and the Crown empire is easily replaced with the alien empires presented in the Star Ships & Space Men second edition book. The wastelands and weirdness of Mutant Future can easily be a stand in for various planets or unknown interstellar frontiers. And here's where Apes Victorious comes perfectly into the picture.

The frontier for our heroes might mean reclaiming planets and lost colonies that have fallen through the interstellar cracks. This also means they might come up straight against an interstellar empire  of apes who has taken over. And they're not about to give up their worlds to any filthy humans! So you've got a point crawl of interstellar proportions with apes. Everyone knows everything is better with monkeys and apes. The Adventures of the Galaxy Rangers is a pitch perfect blue print for running such an OSR campaign just add in apes!

This blog post in no way is an attempt to violate the trade marks and copyrights of the Adventures of the Galaxy Rangers nor do the authors, trade mark holders, or owners of the copy rights of  Goblinoid Games endorse this blog post. This is post is for educational & entertainment purposes only. All original content is from the blogger's deranged imagination and brain.

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