Sunday, 15 May 2016

Starport Scum!

Be any one.
Travel any where.

Die any time.

Starport Scum is the upcoming space adventure game from Nordic Weasel Games.
So what is it all about?

What are the rules like?

 The basic rules engine is quite simple, intended to move quickly and with minimum fuss.
Roll a small handful of dice, count off 5's and 6's, with 1 success pinning the target down, 2 successes knocks them Down and 3 or more scatters their remains all over the battle field.

Ranged combat and hand to hand work similar, with cover and armour providing a basic saving throw.

Initiative is an opposed roll, allowing an aggressive player to maintain initiative and move several figures in a row, while in a tightly contested battle, actions may pass back and forth between the players.

All in all, the rules could be squeezed into a single page, with a bit of small print. The goal is to play with virtually no explanation needed.

So how do I tell my guys apart?

Characters will have traits that set them apart.

A trait can be almost anything you can think of, but mechanically they boil down to either giving bonus dice or enabling an action to be taken.

A gruff old space marine sergeant may use his IRON WILL trait to resist alien mind control, while a HACKER trait might permit a roll to break into a secured door.
Meanwhile, an alien with LEVITATION can move up and down buildings without penalty.

This allows you to create characters for a scenario by literally just writing down a few keywords for each notable character.

That sounds a bit too freeform for me

If you want a more robust system, we give you that as well.
Traits can have Conditions applied from a supplied list (and you can add your own).

Let's say we have a SHARP SHOOTER trait that gives us an extra firing die.
Nice, right? But maybe that doesn't quite feel right.

Lets give it the Static condition. Now, we can only get the bonus die while standing still.
Or we could make it Mobile. Now, we HAVE to move to get the bonus die, maybe suitable for a hit-and-run assassin?

Okay, that's cool but can you get a bit more crazy?

Let's start with a trait we invent called HIDE.
When used, it lets the user disappear from view.

A good candidate for Static, but what if we also apply Exclusive (which prevents other traits from being used in the same turn)?
Now it's a demanding stealth power that strains the alien using it and requires them to concentrate.
Or what if we make it Targeted to Droids. Now we have an alien race that is invisible to non-organic lifeforms. Wild.

The idea is that you can simply scribble some notes on paper but if you want to get creative, you have an incredibly robust build-system that is also incredibly simple to use.
Simply pick your traits and apply any conditions you need.

Tomorrow, we'll talk about GUNS. Because what good is space adventure if you can't shoot things?