Friday, May 17, 2013

Spaceways 1953 Movie For Your Old School Space Opera Campaign

Spaceways Poster.JPG
There are some classic movies and then there are movies that become classic for another reason. This is one of those sci fi classic cheese fests. I happen to love this movie.   According to Wiki: 
Spaceways is a 1953 British-Americanblack and whitescience fiction film co-produced by Hammer Film Productions Ltd. and Lippert Productions Inc.. It was filmed entirely inEngland by the Hammer company, with Michael Carreras as producer-of-record and American Robert L. Lippert as uncredited co-producer, from a screenplay by Paul Tabori and Richard Landau based on a radio play by Charles Eric Maine.

The Plot: 
The film starred Howard Duff and Eva Bartok, with Alan Wheatley, directed by Terence Fisher. It was distributed in the UK by Exclusive Films Ltd. and in the USA by Lippert Pictures Inc.
The plot dealt with the first manned spaceflight (piloted co-ed by Duff and Bartok) against the backdrop of Duff's character's failing marriage, his wife's infidelity and murder (for which Duff is suspect), and his budding romance with Bartok, who plays a renowned mathematician working on the space project.
Some of the special effects shots of the rocket taking off were taken from Rocketship X-M.

All of the classic sci fi elements are there from the "space leathers" to the classic rocket ship. 
Using Space Ways For Your OSR Campaign 
Elements of Space Ways from 1954 has gotten recycled into endless movies and other science fictional magazines etc. For the various campaigns I've run elements of this movie have becomes the back bone of low rent spacer districts. The suits, the rockets,etc. are all found on backwater planets still in operation and still being manufactured. 

For a game like Explorers and Stars Without Number. The "Space Leathers" seen here are considered old fashioned and slightly out of fashion among spacers but still offering superior atmosphere holding. These suits by modern standards allow a spacer to put a small sensor suite on the suit. 
These wonderful rocket ship/space planes have been switched over to an ion/nuclear drive combination allowing them to be used for planetary landing. In more advanced quarters a small Spike drive 1 has been installed in a Stars Without Number style planetary system.

These rocket ships remains have been seen orbiting within the Carcosa system and other known areas of Lovecraftian space. 
Within the Star Ships and Spacemen second edition universe these ships never went out of service. They form the backbone of mining outposts and the less then savory  corners of the universe as mining vessels and rocket jockey's ships. 
In a game like Mutant Future or other post apocalyptic style games these rocket ships might still be orbiting the Earth just waiting for a group of adventures to make the great leap outward. 

The Type 78 Ion Rocket Plane For SWN
Power 3/2 free  Mass 5/0
AC :8
Hit Points : 17 
Crew 1/20
Fittings : Spike Drive -1, Atmosphere Configuration, Extended Life Support, 6 tons of Cargo Space
Based on a centuries old design these work horses have seen action in every system within the Talon Sector. A very reliable and versatile design. Many times the owners of these ships strip out two tons of cargo space and equip these ships with extra sensor suites or for personal defense Sand thrower batteries. These rocket planes are also used for Capital class drop planes for atmosphere configurations. 

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