Thursday, May 7, 2015

The Cinematic Nature Of The Starships and Spacemen Second Edition Rpg System From Goblinoid Games


 There is a sort of mini sci fi retro clone renaissance going in the OSR about White Star rpg system  now that being said. So there is a ton of stuff being tossed out into the wild for White Star. Extra classes, artwork, adventure ideas, etc.,etc.. The G+ community is going nuts right over HERE. So its getting plenty of deserved love these day. But Timothy Brannan over on The Other Side Blog has been posting about one of my all time favorite games Starships and Spacemen second edition from Goblinoid Games available right over HERE
It's always been a sweet little hardback game and the fact that sort of emulates old school star trek is pretty sweet. The whole game is built on the Labyrinth Lord rpg engine makes it that much easier to add in your favorite retroclone rpg system. Because it's build to be cross compatible with Mutant Future And Realms of Crawling Chaos this game isn't simply an editor's reworking of the original rpg but a complete ground up rework of the original game. This game does one thing incredibly well. It presents the party with a reason to be together and to act as a whole. The fate of their ship depend upon their actions.
Now I've seen review after review and forum posts,etc. cross comparing this game to the original Star Trek now that might be true but I actually don't think that its a fair comparison. FASA Star Trek emulated the original show and did it well. I've run game after game of this set up and it works much better with the recent Abram's Trek especially the last film as a comparison. There are several reasons for this and yeah I might take a lot of heat but the production of the Abram's Trek is very well done and lines up with much of the technology and equipment of Star Ships and Spacemen second edition. The action orientation of the films are much more in keeping with the action based missions of the game as well. And the DM doesn't have to make the lame mistakes of the films.Personally I've only used the films as an inspiration and visual reference point.

The second influence that I've had is the lesser known Australian science fiction writer A. Bertram Chandler whose Rim World series of books came to me whist I was staying in the U.K. with my other half. A. Betram Chandler was according to wiki:
He was born in Aldershot, Hampshire, England. He was a merchant marine officer, sailing the world in everything from tramp steamers to troop ships. In 1956, he emigrated to Australia and became an Australian citizen. He commanded various ships in the Australian and New Zealand merchant navies, and was the last master of the Australian aircraft carrier HMAS Melbourne as the law required that it have an officer on board while it was laid up waiting to be towed to China to be broken up. Chandler wrote over 40 novels and 200 works of short fiction. He won Ditmar Awards for the short story "The Bitter Pill" (in 1971) and for three novels: False Fatherland (in 1969), The Bitter Pill (in 1975), and The Big Black Mark (in 1976).

But his Rim World series is key for Star Ships and Spacemen second edition, because the novels concern not only star ship crews but complete alternative universes, weird happenings, Lovecraftian god like entities all in the face of naval style Hariato Hornblower adventures where the crews and captains of his adventures are up to their necks in it.
According to wiki: 
handler's descriptions of life aboard spaceships and the relationships between members of the crew en route derive from his experience on board seagoing ships and thus carry a feeling of realism rarely found with other writers. He was most well known for his Rim World series and John Grimes novels, both of which have a distinctly naval flavor. In the latter, Chandler's principal hero John Grimes is an enthusiastic sailor who has occasional adventures on the oceans of various planets. In the books, there is a repeated reference to an obsolete type of magnetically powered spaceship known as the "Gaussjammer", remembered nostalgically by "old timers" – which is modeled on the Windjammer. The heyday of the Gaussjammer, some centuries earlier than the Rim Worlds books, is the setting of the less well-known The Deep Reaches of Space (1964) which has undisguised autobiographical elements: its protagonist is a seaman turned science-fiction writer who travels to the future and uses his nautical experience to save a party of humans stranded on an alien planet.
You can read more about this sort of science fiction and more about A. Bertram Chandler right over HERE
The Grimes novels follow their protagonist from Ensign level all the way up the ranks just as you might see in a game of Starships and Spacemen second edition. The usual of alternative planes and dimensions makes these novels a snap to use because of the Goblinoid Games Retroclone planes and dimension designations. There is a great resource for the Rim World Series right over HERE
But I can hear various voices already saying that in Starships and Spacemen Second Edition there are hardly any ships and the game needs extension! Well there happens to be a fan based organization that covers exactly that issue. The Space Guard Command has ships, resources, and more right over HERE

Starships and Spacemen Second edition fills a very nice niche with plenty of room to add the old school science fictional naval style games without the extra baggage of many other retroclone gaming systems. There is more to come and I'll be covering more on Starships and Spacemen Second edition very soon. 

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