Wednesday, 27 July 2016

A bit of Starport Q&A

A few rules clarifications:

*Pinning is removed after the figure activates next.
You cannot be pinned "multiple times", if you are already pinned, ignore additional pin results.

*The terms "lead" and "clue" are used interchangeably with regard to Quests. They are the same thing.

*The terms "Defence roll" and "Saving throw" are both used interchangeably to mean the same thing.

*Note that in a few cases, distinctions are made between the source of Defence/Save dice. For example, some abilities affect dice derived from cover specifically.
In such situations, you may have to roll them separately or use distinct colours.

Thursday, 21 July 2016

Summer sale!

As always, Nordic Weasel understands that gaming should be available even on a shoestring budget, so we're participating in the onebookshelf summer sale.

With the exception of titles released in the last month or two, everything is 25% off, so go grab some goodies.

Wednesday, 20 July 2016

Starport scum. Rolling up a character

Starport Scum includes a few ways of doing things.

If we're building a character, we could just write down a few words to describe them.

Our character is a bounty hunter with an EAGLE EYE and was trained as a MECHANIC in the military.
His blaster pistol PACKS A PUNCH.

Boom. Done.

But if you want to get a bit more involved, there's the dice and random tables so let's break those out.

We're going to build a random Hero class character.

Step 1: Our timeline. 

Three dice rolls tell us that our guy got a decent job after growing up. Things were going great and he found the meaning of life but a terrible accident ended it all.

We'll figure that his farm on one of the frontier colonies was burned to the ground and being flat broke, our disillusioned gun slinger sets out for adventure.

Step 2: Traits

We need some Traits to set him up. We'll give him 3.

The character focus is going to be Technical, which means the first and third trait will be in that category, while the second can be anything else.

I'll give him BITTER SURVIVOR as a player created trait. I imagine it might give him a bonus die when trying to avoid dying from things.

For technical traits, I roll on the table in the book, earning FIXER and HACKER, giving bonus dice to repairing things and intruding on things.

A roll on the starting gear table gives us some peculiar clothing, maybe an old scarf he always used to wear on the farm, kept as a memento.

Lastly, I roll on the Gun table in the loot chapter of the rules to see if we've got some firepower and get a Officer's Sword. Well, fair enough but how the heck did he get that?

I decide that this is an unexplored character trait. It's not actually his but he's holding on to it.
If our campaign ends up encountering someone interesting, it'll let us add in an old friend (or enemy).

Step 3: Some hired help.

Can't take on the galaxy alone, so we throw in two goons.
Goons are just guys with guns. No particular skills or talents. We roll twice on the Goon table for a bit of flavour earning us a mercenary and a security guard.

I guess they're just some paid help that will add a bit of firepower.

Step 4: Putting it all together.

Goons get 2 dice when firing, 1 die when moving and these guys have basic guns and no armour from the start.
I figure since they're hired muscle, I can get away with giving them 1 die of armour, due to wearing a helmet or something.

Our main guy has a standard slug pistol, his sword for close encounters and is wearing normal farm clothes.
He'll roll 3 dice when firing, 4 dice hand to hand and 4 dice when hacking or fixing things.

Not too bad and the entire process took maybe 4 minutes to go through.

Tuesday, 19 July 2016

Starport Scum is HERE!

Starport Scum is a tabletop game of fierce space adventure, space pirates and salvage crews looking for the next big break.
Drawing on sources such as Traveller, Firefly, Trigun and Borderlands, it's a game about getting by on the outskirts of civilization, always on the look out for that next job.
Combining miniatures war gaming with role playing game touches, Starport Scum is playable as a conventional miniatures game, a narrative RPG or a hybrid beast combining the best of both worlds.
* * * * *
The core combat rules use a dice pool system to deliver results very quickly.
While the rules cover a variety of situations, the basics can be condensed down to one page and revolve around gathering up a base number of dice (based on character class), adding bonus dice for suitable traits and weapon tags.
For example, an Ace-class character gets 2 dice to shoot, but if she's a QUICK THINKER, she might get a bonus die when its a surprise encounter.
The only need for book keeping or markers during a game is for figures that are pinned down and wounded hero figures. Thus, you can avoid the table being cluttered up by status effects.
* * * * *
Character design can be as simple as scribbling down a few descriptive words for each character or traits can be built using the "build engine" included.
You also get a random character creation process that helps set up your heroes with a bit of context in the world.
Guns and gadgetry likewise can be invented on the fly or built using a "lego-style" system of combining tags and conditions.
To help you run the game, we include rules for handling common situations, again modifiable to almost any outcome and a full set of campaign rules covering how your figures can gain experience, take a variety of jobs and find interesting loot.
Tables are provided to roll up a random gang of bad guys, as well as a few alien horrors to get eaten by.
Rounding out the package is a collection of random tables to help spur the imagination, aid solo gamers and generally spice things up for those times when the party has touched down on a planet and you're not sure what's out there.
Starport Scum is formatted to be screen friendly and print friendly.
* * * * *
The game is intended to be played with miniature figures of any scale, with a typical game featuring 4-10 figures on each side.
Provisions and suggestions are included to play without miniatures for those wishing for a more freeform experience. 
No canned background is included though the creation tables will suggest the nature of the universe. Adapt your own setting or fit the rules into an existing world.
* * * * *
Some Q&A can be found here:
If you want to read an After Action Report from a game, go here:

The rules are available here:

Thursday, 14 July 2016

Starport. Writing is done!

The text is finished. Holy smokes.

Now to begin chopping it into readable form :-)

The whole thing clocks in at 76 pages right now but that may go one a page or two, when its fixed up a little.

The vast majority of that is what I like to call "the good stuff". Things related to running campaigns and scenarios.

Saturday, 9 July 2016

This week

Blast Pistol expansion tomorrow, introducing new races (well, old ones if you're a Clash or In Sight veteran).

* * * * *

Starport Scum is coming together quick.
One of the more fun parts to write is the "random bits" chapter in the back. This is basically just a collection of random tables for everything from planets to corporation names to sinister plots.

The sort of thing that can spawn campaigns or make a saturday night go by with a cup of tea and a few dice.

Still not sure about an exact release date. I'd like to say Thursday but I don't know for sure.
If its not out by then, it'll be after the next weekend, as I have to go on a short trip to visit some friends.

* * * * *
What is the end for the Living Games line? The goal is to have a total of 3 more variants, allowing the series to encompass basically every type of gaming I am interested in: The additional variants will be Dirty Wars (cold war backwaters and police actions), Last Offensive (tentative name, ww2) and an unnamed pulp adventure book.

Thursday, 7 July 2016

Starport Scum. The big talk

Alright, so Starport Scum is one of the two big releases planned in July (The other being Allied Storm) and as we get closer, I wanted to talk about it a bit, both for those of you who picked up the beta and those who did not.

This will be in the style of a Q&A format, since its easier and it lets you use some of the questions I've been emailed.

Who are the people behind the game?
My self and my good friend Matthew Sparkes.
He created the core mechanics, I refined them and the creative bits are shared between the two of us.
You're stuck with my writing though :)

What is the scale of the game?
5-15 guys per side, with 10 being a typical upper limit. Think games like Necromunda or Inquisitor.

What is the style of the game?
"Narrative character-driven conflict-simulation".
Impressed yet?

Joking aside, it's written to be played much in the style of games like Laserburn or Inquisitor, where the story is the most important part and your games are linked together in an RPG-style campaign.

It's aimed at being played with a Game Master setting up a scenario for a recurring group of characters, though it is also well suited for the solo-gamers that populate much of the bloggo-sphere.
If you like creating stories behind your games, we got you covered.

Campaign rules?
Yes. They'll be a bit on the more open-ended side.
More akin to Inquisitor than Necromunda, to use a GW analogy.

The goal is to give you a little bit of structure without forcing you down any particular path.

Points systems? 
Negative. It was considered briefly and if we do an expansion, I'll see what I can do, but I decided it would detract from the nature of the game.
The thing is, the traits that build your characters are interesting because they are extensions of your characters story and personality.
Boiling them down into a +7 point upgrade seems to miss the point a little.

Failing that, if we hit 300 copies sold, I'll write one. Deal?

What is the deal with the build system? 
Okay, so one of the clever side bits is the build system.
Essentially guns, equipment and character traits can be "built" using a lego-style build system.
You basically pick words to key together and it will produce anything from an alien that can climb on walls to a stealth cloak.

It's a way for players who like to invent their own ideas but want a bit of structure to the process.
It also makes it very easy for a Game Master to populate a world.

Do I have to do that?
Naw, not at all.
If you prefer to just get the game set up, its as simple as writing two or three words on an index card.

Need a hardened bounty hunter? He's HEARTLESS, has QUICK REACTIONS and a STEADY HAND.

Is this set in the Fringe-verse?
Not really.
The aliens included in the book (which was in the beta) were taken from there, because they are my default scifi setting.

That also gives an anchoring point if you want to move between, say, Clash on the Fringe and Starport Scum.

What format will the rules be in? 
PDF as always. Page count probably around 60 pages.
Some original art but relatively limited to be print-friendly.

Is this replacing "Five Parsecs?" 
No, it is not.
Five Parsecs is getting an update in the fall (and changing a little bit, based on feedback), but I don't want to talk too much about that.

Give me a one-liner that tells me whether I should buy the rules
"Ever wanted a Laserburn style campaign but with less dice rolling?"

Tuesday, 5 July 2016

Price of a Mile available! WW1 quick skirmishing

This was actually ready to go a few days ago, but I went back and redid a few things, and I wanted to get it off my chest while Allied Storm and Starport Scum are being worked on this month.

Price of a Mile takes the "Living Game" system used in Blast Pistol and Powder&Bayonet, and adapts it to the mud and trenches of the first world war.

The rules clock in at 25 pages, which covers rules for infantry action, horsemen, the odd tank, flamethrower and other bit of kit and provides ability scores for 11 types of squad plus 5 individual figures.

Points values are included, along with a "patrol" mission for quick pick-up games.

If you are not familiar with the "Living Games" engine, it relies on simple D10 rolls for combat, a simple "two failures and you're out" Morale system and allows each squad to move and fight in a way that is detailed without being overly complicated.

You can even carry out troops from battle to battle and an option is included for "Man to Man" mode, suitable for games with 10-15 men on each side.

As with other Living Games systems, the game will receive several updates both free and paid expansions, covering a variety of topics, including mission objectives and details on specific historical troop types.

Monday, 4 July 2016

Company Command update

Company Command receives the next update, this time for the firing rules.

Almost everything is cleaner and better explained now, status effects match their FiveCore 3 counterparts.

Rallying and Recovery will be moved off to its own chapter.

Reaction fire is a bit more drastic now.

Go grab the updated file.
There will most likely be another update tonight or tomorrow with the recovery chapter, so don't print just yet.

Friday, 1 July 2016

Coming next week

If all goes well, another entry in the "Living Games" line will be in your hands next week.

Centered around the first world war, it can of course also serve for Balkan troubles, German revolutionaries in the streets and Russian civil war.