Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Commenarty On The Free Science Fiction Classic - The Lost Planet (1956.Winston) - Paul Dallas For Your Old School Space Opera Campaign

Grab It Right Over 
Another offering in the Winston Science Fiction collection with a cover by Alex Strumberg, this is a pretty strong offering in Winston collections. Even though its another juvenile science fiction offering there is plenty here that can be used with your old school science fiction retroclone games. 

 From the Inside flap of The Lost Planet: 
With a shout of "Rockets a-a-away!" three young Earthmen send the untested XL-35 rocket ship screaming into space toward the lost planet of Poseida. Space doctor Bill Hudson and two friends have courageously taken off on a forbidden flight in their eagerness to help prevent a catastrophic war between Earth and the intelligent but octopus-like Poseidans .

On an earlier visit to the lost planet to do medical research, Dr. Hudson had learned to respect the intelligent but octopus-like Poseidans and had developed a lasting friendship with Kutt, the Leader's son.

When the bond of good will between the two worlds reaches the breaking point, Bill devises a startling plan to outwit the small group of unscrupulous men from both planets who are behind the monstrous scheme to wreck peaceful relations. In carrying out his counterplot aided by Lt. Eddie Watkins and Courier Griff Hughes of Planet Earth Forces, Bill rights the universe in a truly dramatic manner.

Here is a tale full of intrigue, suspense and deeds of daring spacemen. It explores the realms of medicine and science in outer space and reveals some fascinating probabilities. More than this, however, the story conveys to the reader an underlying theme intended to promote wisdom, fellowship and friendship among worlds and their peoples.

Using The Lost Planet by Paul Dallas
For Your Old School Space Opera 

The Lost Planet has a lot to offer the DM for his old school retro clone science fiction games. First we've got an entire planet with aliens, eco system, culture, politics and the rest of it to pull from. The lost planet of Poseida is fully fleshed out and ready to use. Given the background of games like Stars Without Number this is kinda of a 'shake and bake' world to insert into your favorite sector. We've had a ton of worlds in SWN that have been cut off from the rest of intergalactic space and the planet of Poseida fits the bill quite nicely. 
Then there are the characters of the book, Space doctor Bill Hudson and two friends make excellent NPC's for PC's to encounter during the midst of an adventure. Its always excellent to have veteran NPC's for exposition and to get out of jams. 
The fact that this book takes place against an impending galactic war is sauce to the goose.  The show down between Earth and Poseida makes for a great cold war style game of spy vs spy for X  plorers or SWN. 
The intelligent but octopus-like Poseidans make for some interesting potential PC characters as well. They've got a ton to recommend them. Their technology is pure pulp, the culture has some interesting twists and their not really well known to players. 
 Even though the book was written in 1956 many of the situations in the book lend themselves to interstellar deplomancy with plenty of opportunity for PC's to step in and do a bit of Star Trek The Next Generation negotiation. 
 All in all the book has lots to borrow and adapt for your old school space opera game. The aliens make wonderful NPC's or PC's for that matter. the intelligent but octopus-like Poseidans's world makes a great addition to any sector. And best of all the book is relatively forgotten today making it an easy go to resource if you need a world yesterday for tonight's adventure! 

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