Tuesday, September 22, 2020

'Strange Stars' & The 'Strange Stars OSR Rule Book' By Trey Causey From The Hydra Cooperative For Your Old School Space Opera & Stars Without Numbers Rpg First Edition

"It's the far future, Old Earth is lost and shrouded in legend, and the children of paleo-humanity have long ago populated the stars, branching into new forms and strange cultures. Adventure is measured in light-years!"

Lately we've been on a real roll of space based OSR games with Cepheus Engine, White Star, & now I'm starting to slide back into my Stars Without Numbers vibe again. Tonight its a series of two books by the same author that really feel like one book. 

Strange Stars by Trey Causey  is like a smoke ring from the 70's or 80's from the fevered mind of its author, and its a graphic as well as artistic slight of hand trick of a laser sword of retro science fantasy gaming goodness. The author presents a great overview of his space opera setting with great artwork and a wary eye towards the material being used in your games. This book is wall to wall system neutral artwork as good as your going to find. The races are really nicely designed and can fit into a wide variety of science fiction or fantasy settings. 
Strange Stars is a wily and so what lean beast, its part setting book, part alien races, and a whole lot of details designed around the fact that this beast wants to be your go to space opera campaign. Right and this is the system neutral first book of the series. The second book is  the 'Strange Stars OSR Rule Book' which presents essentially what is an alternative universe setting for the  Stars Without Numbers first edition rpg. 

The set of Strange Stars setting  books has been sitting on my hard drive now for years. But its only recently with the death of Alfred one of my players that its kinda forced me to look back at my SWN campaigns. 

Looking at Strange Stars as a setting set of books its great but as a OSR sandbox setting. This is a universe that has some stunning parts & pieces. The ideas here are 'big', 'wide', 'wild', & 'expansive' but some of it feels very much in keeping with the  Mandate Archive: Transhuman Tech. And before you even send me emails.. From what I've read through 99.9 percent of Strang Stars for SWN should work with second edtion with little issue. This is a really solid sand box setting for SWN with really nice alternative setting options for SWN. 

With these two books of strange stars you're really ready to run a whole cloth campaign from the ground up. Add into it a ton of side support from Trey Causey's blog entries specifically for Stange Stars as campaign setting it becomes highly obvious that this is a good OSR  campaign.

Over all both Strange Stars &  the 'Strange Stars OSR Rule Book'  both feel like one whole cloth book that should be considered as one. The rules clearly support both a campaign setting, universe, & jump off point for an OSR space opera. Which is exactly as these books were intended to be. 

Between all of the alien races, modified humanoids, A.I.'s and much more there is a ton of stuff to unpack here in Strange Stars &  the 'Strange Stars OSR Rule Book' . The sum is greater then the parts. The whole package feel like an interstellar sand box that can be used straight into itself tonight! 

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