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Martin Page
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This is Free Trader Beowulf, calling anyone… Mayday, Mayday… we are under attack… main drive is gone… turret number one not responding… Mayday… losing cabin pressure fast… calling anyone… please help… This is Free Trader Beowulf… Mayday….

35 years and those words still send a chill run down my spine.

I can even see the shelf in the now defunct gaming shop on Edinburgh’s Forest Road. I was there to pick up Chivalry and Sorcery. Even at thirteen, I was a howling medievalist and that game seemed like it would be my game.

However it was a box of little black books — #TravellerRPG! — that I came away with that day.

Sure, I’d played it before… briefly… with a kid in the year above and I’d liked firing pulse lasers and negotiating the mean streets of human space.

However, I hadn’t seen the possibilities. (Click through to read the rest.)

Question: In creature listings, is the given skill score the total score, or does the GM have to add the attribute?

Griffin S 6 C 1 Q 5 H 18 D 10 Mv 50 Sk Peck/Claw 2 (Damage 4) Sp Fly Ha A,M F Neutral X 210

Does this creature attack with D6+2, or D6+2+6 (for S) 

Just had a wonderful afternoon GMing kids through an old school dungeon bash using OneDice. I did do two house rules things, though:

1. Dispensed with Defense and made all combat rolls opposed by other rolls.

2. Ruled that against natural and brawling type weapons (e.g. dagger), the longer weapons attack first - e.g. axe vs dagger both are "Blades" and do same damage, but the axe lands first. Otherwise no justification for having the axe cost more...

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Shaka When the Walls Fell: The Brunnen-G When They Sang “Yo-Way-Yo”

I’m not a Trekkie so I had to google it. You know? That meme: “Shaka When the Walls Fell.”

Turns out it comes from a really clever Star Trek: The Next Generation episode where the universal translator for once doesn’t work because the aliens talk in allusions.
This is just one episode in a really big fat franchise, but it’s the one people make memes of, and I don’t think it’s because of the interesting angle on xeno-linguistics. Nor do I think it’s about the humor. There’s something about the way those lines resonate....

(Click through to read the full article)

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0th July 1460, near Northampton, England. Battle of Northampton. It’s the Wars of the Roses. King Henry VI — well His Grace’s advisers, anyway — the Lancastrians, if you must — versus the Yorkists led in this case by the Earl of Warwick .

The King’s forces have fortified themselves into a bend in the river.

They’ve got a ditch, wooden stakes, perhaps carts, certainly cannon. They’re gearing up for a rerun of the Battle of Castillon (an English defeat so utterly embarrassing that the swords of fallen English men-at-arms are a scholarly category in their own right!)

Warwick’s men advance into a hale of armour-piercing arrows, cannon balls and crossbow bolts. It looks as if he’s going to try to grind through the defences — the battle will be down to killing power and morale.

Except it doesn’t turn out that way....

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In which I guest blog for Charles Stross and talk about bloody Luddite parents but do so nicely.

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I did an analysis of what makes the Dumarest series tick. Dumarest was a big influence on Traveller, and EC Tubb the author really nailed the "stranger comes planetside" sub sub genre. So I thought you guys might find it useful... 

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Air Pirates, Acrobats, and Zeppelin Fleet Action: Review of "The Ring of Seven Worlds"

I've just realised how to handle civilian vehicles! I'm going to give them Health about the same as humans. At 0 they are disabled. At -Health they have a chance of catching fire (if applicable).

However they are not actually destroyed until they reach a negative multiple of their Health, typically -5 x for small vehicles and -10x for the large ones.

Thus a motorbike could have Health 10. A good blast from a shotgun will disable it because tires and hydraulics etc. However, to totally wreck it you'd need to keep shooting, or get in close and disable it manually.

What do you think?

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