Saturday, May 7, 2022

Sanctuary & The Darkness of Space Between the Sectors - The Thieves World Box Set & the Cepheus Engine rpg

 Over the last twenty four hours we've been looking at original Dungeons & Dragons rpg & the original Traveller rpg on the OD&D forums here. And up pops up Chaosium's Thieves' World another artifact from an earlier time peroid in gaming. 
And let's look at the wiki for the  Thieves' World box set; "The Thieves' World Complete Sanctuary Adventure Pack is a boxed set published by Chaosium in 1981, containing: 1) The Player's Guide to Sanctuary; 2) The Gamemaster's Guide to Sanctuary; 3) Personalities of Sanctuary; 4) Map of Sanctuary; 5) Map of the Maze; 6) Map of the Maze Underground.[1]

Just as the Thieves' World series of books was a shared universe with multiple authors using a common setting, Chaosium initially positioned the Thieves' World RPG as a setting that could be used with multiple game systems. The Personalities of Sanctuary included statistics and gaming notes for Advanced Dungeons & DragonsAdventures in FantasyChivalry & SorceryDragonQuestDungeons & DragonsThe Fantasy TripRuneQuestTraveller, and Tunnels & Trolls. Later products in the series provided stats only for RuneQuest and Rolemaster/Middle-earth Role PlayingThieves' World series contributing novelists Lynn AbbeyPoul AndersonRobert AsprinMarion Zimmer BradleyJohn Brunner, Christine DeWees, David DrakePhilip José FarmerJoe HaldemanJanet MorrisAndrew Offutt, and A.E. van Vogt wrote descriptions, essays, and short stories for the player and game master volumes in the box set, and game designers Dave ArnesonEric GoldbergRudy Kraft, Wes Ives, Stephen MarshMidkemia PressMarc W. MillerSteve PerrinLawrence Schick, and Ken St. Andre helped translate the world into the various game systems" 

What this little artifact from another era does right is actually merge Cepheus Engine style rpg rules with how to handle royals & planetary governors in 2d6 Science Fiction rpg's. And while Challenge magazine had a few articles on this very subject. These days the Barbaric! rpg would be perfect to merge your Cepheus Engine space elements with a Sword & Sorcery asthetic.. 

 Sword & Sorcery worlds such as Thieves World brings up the point that outpost worlds could hold far more then mere gold and glory. Looking over Stars Without Numbers rpg's  Distant Lights: Creating Borderworld Outposts then we get a  set of tools to build remote planetary outposts, isolated deep-space asteroid colonies, secretive exile stations, and other far-flung motes of human habitation in the sci-fi void. And those far flung outposts remind me of the classic H.Beam Piper's Space Viking. And because Distant Lights really is game generic it's tools and tags are easy to use for 2d6 gaming. 

The high frontier of the Earth Sector's outer edges might be just the place that may see raiders from worlds a sector away. And some of these might not even be remotely human. The fact is that Reticulan pirates or worse may have been forced far out into the void of space by their war with the Terrans. Remote backwaters such as 
Sanctuary may be the only places where the elders & the wizards still remember their inhuman trading partners. Perhaps the back corporate servers of the Clement Sector & Earth sector mega corporations might remember as well. But with such a glut of info would they know?! 

The void or that black wine ocean or the last frontier analogy that we play in is incredibly vast. And magick & psionics may be left in the darkness of the galaxy in the hidden places and more. There are however parts of the map that may be still marked, 'here be monsters'. And those might just swallow up a space craft without a care. 

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