Friday, December 26, 2014

The Star Ship From Hell By Rafael Chandler From Neo Plastic Press For Your Old School Science Fiction Game

Grab It Right 

I'm extremely surprised that no one's yet put up a review of  this product on Drivethrurpg, The Star Ship From Hell is everything that I needed over three years ago as a science fiction or science fantasy DM. Simply put this is a random tool box of tables that the author/designer has cleverly arranged and created to allow a DM to create a system agnonistic star ship with a clear cut and concise back ground, setting, cargo, back drop and even NPC right along with it. 
This is done through a series of random tables that lists everything needed to gauge, install, and twist into a system antagonistic space ship and adventure generator all in one package because its done with wit as well as style. 
Rafeael Chandler is a clever bastard and he's balanced his material against the criteria of the science fictional elements for his creation. The book does live up to the hype and I noticed the product while looking at 'Obscene Serpent Religion' and decided to look into it. If we look at the Drivethru blurb we get an example of what Star Ship From Hell provides. 

From the Drivethrurpg blurb: 
The Starship From Hell is a system-agnostic toolkit to be used at the table during sci-fi RPG sessions. With a handful of dice, generate a starship's type, category, name, nearby phenomena, reason for distress signal, dangerous cargo, and passengers or crew members with horrific secrets.
The end result looks like this:
The colonial barge Obsidian Mistress, carrying religious pilgrims (en route to a horrifying ritual involving mass murder and handmade altars), has encountered a 2000 km/s Moreton wave. Worse, all trace connection to the brain-frame has been lost, and the captain no longer has control of the ship. Something else is trying to establish a remote connection to the brain-frame; the crew doesn't recognize the cortical pattern, and they're terrified.
Dr. Beata Lorel of the Hallowed Chirocracy (planet Alecto) is aboard. Imperious and arrogant, Dr. Lorel is an expert in surveillance. She's in the weaponry cockpit. In her attache case, she has a finger in a small crystal tube. It's been sliced from the hand with a surgical laser, and the stump has been cauterized. It belongs to someone well-known to one of the PCs (a friend, lover, ally, or bitter enemy).
Now grab a liter of Araxan bile-wine, a writing stick, and a square decimeter of tanned human skin. It's time to build a starship and crew!

Yes the pdf can give the DM this level of detail if desired and do it with a twist. The Star Ship From Hell is a must for a Stars Without Number or old school science fiction DM. This book can literally create from the ground up any number of ships on the fly with a fantastic level of detail with a series of random rolls. As I said,clever bastard and the encounter will be balanced enough to allow the PC's to survive. This isn't a  Slaughter Grid level product or an old school adventure generator where each encounter is a suicide mission. In point of fact a DM can dial up or down the level of deadliness as they like it. This isn't simply a star ship generator. There are plenty of other random tables to fill in the system around the ship. The inner cargo workings and items to run into. Motives for NPC's are also available as these are filled in. The level is solid as the detail is relative to the inner workings of the DM's campaign. The work here is actually making a decision to add or subtract to your ship encounter and adventure setting as necessary
I can totally see using this product for anything from a Traveler game to OD&D with little problem. Hell I can see using this product with Call of Cthulhu or even Chill for that matter. The fact that its system agnostic is a plus in my book and one of the product's strengths. 
 The fact is that I wish I had this book when I was running Gamma World and Star Frontiers. Because it can be used to do a 'fast fill' for a game sector a blank space on a map. This isn't a product for those who don't like the OSR axis of random charts which I for one happen to love.
The Star Ship From Hell By Rafael Chandler  is a great product and not a one trick pony. This book can allow a DM to come up with and branch off of these charts to create their own setting and circumstances if used properly. More on that coming up. 

Using The Star Ship From Hell By Rafael Chandler
For Your Old School Science Fiction or Science Fantasy Campaign 


The first film that I thought of when going over the Star Ship From Hell pdf was Event Horizon. Unknown ship appears at the edge of a system and God only knows what's happening on board.
Right so the book is divided out in such a way that with a few tosses of dice you've got a ship hull and each little detail of the star ship. You can simply add this set of circumstances to your favorite fantasy world & you've altered the course of your campaign world forever. Add such a ship into Star Frontiers and you've got an instant extension of the existing campaign structure in Night Hawks. Add in a star ship into Stars Without Number and you've got another mystery to the SWN background universe with very broad strokes for complete campaign development.
 As a DM we're always searching for a way to keep players engaged with something new, original, and organically created. The Star Ship From Hell pdf can allow a DM to create from the ground up a ship with a real mystery as the PC's wake up from Cryo sleep and randomly create the unfolding mystery around them as play goes on.
Add this product to something like Metamorphosis Alpha and you've got a complete old school campaign with potential for years to come!
There's so many interesting variations with this product that a clever DM could slip this product in week after week and generate everything from salvage missions, to bug hunts, or randomly create some of their own brand of mayhem.
 Is this an old school product? Yes and no. Yes it can be if applied to your old school games but no it doesn't have to be one. Do I think its worth money to pay for this one? Yes I do! Now go grab it and play the hell out of it! 


  1. Thanks for the heads up on this. Random tables? Sold! Also, I'll send you a couple more of my random post-apocalyptic scavenging tables.

  2. I have this and it is indeed a great resource!

  3. Oh your welcome Heath and thanks for the random post apocalyptic tables, my PC's aren't going to be happy at all.

  4. Bill its going to be one of my next purchases from Neo plastic press. I really do love some of their stuff. Hope you and the rest of the family had a great holiday! Cheers pal!


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