Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Sci fi Western Wednesday - Another Forgotten Classic Part II

Back in 1988 Filmation was top of their game & Brave Starr The Legend appeared on the small screen. A bit later the cartoon appeared. The main villain was a nasty piece of work called Tex Hex who was pulled from the Ghostbusters cartoon (If you don't remember it then read about it Ghostbusters)
Filmation was looking for their next hit after Heman & was really pouring on the merchandising for this one. In 1986, a year before the TV series premiered, Mattel released an action figure line based on the Filmation cartoon series. These figures were large for the time at nearly 8" tall and came in a windowed box with artwork similar to that of their Masters of the Universe contemporaries. Each figure had a unique action feature and was packaged with one or more Kerium nuggets. Marshall BraveStarr and Tex Hex were also packaged with a Laser Fire Backpack which shot infra-red beams and had "space-age" sound effect. I noticed the figures back then in Toys R Us & pretty much ignored them. They were huge compared to the rest of the figures on the market at the time. That was until I saw this.
See back then I was playing in Arduin game in the afternoons but on Saturdays I was babysitting for my little cousins & needed something to get them into table role playing. I needed to bridge the gap with these kids 8 & 10 respectively. Bravestarr fit the bill with a plot that went something like this: The story is set in the 23rd century (around 2249) on a distant planet called New Texas, which is located 600 parsecs (=1956 light-years) from Earth and has "a sky of three suns." New Texas has a native population of "Prairie People," which are small beings who resemble prairie dogs (both Scuzz and Fuzz are members of this species), and has been colonized by a multi-planet government. A mineral called Kerium, a rare and powerful crystal of great importance in spacefaring societies said to be ten times more valuable than gold, is discovered there, giving the planet a valuable natural resource. Most of the episodes revolve around the heroes preventing the villains from stealing Kerium ore.
The culture of the New Texas colony (inhabited predominantly by humans but also by various aliens and robots) bears a remarkable resemblance to the culture of the American Old West. In addition to Kerium mining, the planet is also the site of "solacow" ranching. "Solacows" are large cattle-like creatures.
Two episodes are set on Earth, where the city of London resembles Victorian England, including a time travelling Sherlock Holmes. This lends a steampunk flavor to the series and is a logical extension of the series' setting.
 Take one part Boot Hill, One part Gamma World, add a bit of AD&D for the races & you have a campaign that lasted for 4 months which isn't bad considering these are kids we're talking about here. Read more about BraveStarr

You can watch BraveStarr on Hulu Right Here
BraveStarr & The OSR 

BraveStarr is a perfect introduction to Rpg games for kids. The fact that adventures are pretty fast, the races varied, there's even a steampunk element in the Sherlock Holmes episodes as well. The best rules to accomplish this game might be either Human Space Empires or Terminal Space. Your other option might be to use a combination of Mutant Future &  Labyrinth Lord 
If you don't mind the corny setting, races, & retro tech BraveStarr isn't a bad show to borrow elements from. The "Prairie People equal halflings.. A mineral called Kerium, a rare and powerful crystal of great importance in spacefaring societies said to be ten times more valuable than gold, is discovered there, giving the planet a valuable natural resource. Perfect stuff for Boot Hill styles of play. Infact I adapted a few Boot Hill modules for this campaign with very little trouble. The game is perfect if your Serenity group has petered out & you need something a bit odd & a little different. The character of Thirty Thirty- BraveStarr's talking "techno horse," who can "transform" from a quadruped into a more anthropomorphic biped. He carries a giant energy rifle he refers to as "Sara Jane." He is the last survivor of an ancient civilization called the Equestroids, a cybernetic breed of sentient equines, and has strength approximating BraveStarr's bear strength and was loosely based on rock legend David Lee Roth. How cool & warped is that? These are just my random thoughts about one of my favorite campaigns pf yesteryear 


  1. I remember Bravestarr well. It was (not surprisingly) better in concept than execution.

  2. The concepts were cool & they make a perfect Saturday morning campaign. Light, airy, & a bit breezy. The animation is typical Filmation


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.