Saturday, December 16, 2017
It's release day! An exciting new mission for scifi tabletop RPG gamers, Operation: Broken Citadel involves surviving a crumbling space station, squad combat, hacking, starship battles, and more. Available at RPGnow.com DriveThruRPG.com here:
Friday, December 15, 2017
1 more day until disaster strikes on a Union Guard space station. A few of the gamers that played this mission at the Chessiecon and Shorehammer conventions were given early release access with a discount to this mission, and several of them have already downloaded it for a first look. Special thanks goes out to everyone that helped beta-test this mission; you'll see that I've responded to your feedback and suggestions with some of the changes I made. I'm excited for this to be available to everyone, and I hope you all have lots of fun playing it with your friends! But, can you survive?
Thursday, December 14, 2017
Last summer I wrote Operation: Void Hunter as the first part of a larger story arc. The second part of the story arc, Operation: Broken Citadel, releases Saturday, and continues with some of the same themes and characters, but involves an entirely new set of challenges and events. I have banner ads that I run once in a while on RPGnow.com, and I decided to design the ad for Broken Citadel along the same lines as my design for Void Hunter—I like to show some of the major players involved in the story, without giving too much away. If you've played Void Hunter, you may recognize the feisty female character pictured in the Broken Citadel ad! I hope you like the artwork: there's a combination of art by John Fell, Sarah Carter, and me (my planets are getting better, I think?) Enjoy!
Wednesday, December 13, 2017
As I began writing the Broken Citadel mission, I quickly realized the need for a large space station map. Visualizing where they characters would move became increasingly difficult until I had a map to reference. Considering that the space station will be crumbling around the characters as they run through it to find a way out to safety, I also needed a way to better illustrate this visually to players. I came up with the idea of using map icons of the different disaster events that would happen around their characters. Electrical explosions, fire, falling objects, and even hull ruptures that sucked air and debris towards them and out into the vacuum of space were all events that the characters would face, so I made a variety of map icons for each. As characters move through the space station, the GM will roll to find out where these events will occur in close proximity to the team, sometimes even landing right on a character! These events create excitement and compel urgency towards getting off the space station; it's likely that more than a few of the characters will be injured as they traverse this dangerous environment!
Tuesday, December 12, 2017
"Suddenly you hear a deep, dull boom echoing from somewhere in the station and then feel a massive vibration ripple across the metal floor. Loud alarms begin to blare and red emergency lights flash. As you look down the hallway, you see panicked groups of agents and staff running in fear through the corridors."
Monday, December 11, 2017
Unless you've been off in a galaxy far, far away you are probably excited about the new Star Wars film, The Last Jedi, that releases this Friday! I'm planning to see it a week later when I'm finally on vacation, but in honor of this much-loved space opera, I've set the release date for a new Solar Echoes product on Saturday. If you like space operas, then this is a weekend to be excited about! Experience the next installment of the Star Wars saga in the theater, and if you're still in a space opera mood, team up with a group of friends playing alien agents and work together to survive a crumbling space station in Operation: Broken Citadel. Here's a quick description of the upcoming mission:
When the Union Guard space station Citadel suddenly suffers extreme damage, everyone is in a panic, rushing for escape pods and nearby starships. As you and your team struggle to survive the deadly catastrophe and escape with your lives, will you be able to save the one agent that might know what really happened? What choices will you make and who will you choose to save? While the station begins to break apart and its orbit gradually decays, your only chance of survival might be fleeing to the planet below--a planet that has long since been abandoned. What dangers will you face there, and can you last long enough for help to arrive? And where are all the other survivors?
Friday, December 8, 2017
After Saturday's missions, I led a discussion on Game Mastering and mission design, and there was a good crowd of interested gamers. I'm not much of a public speaker, but I think I was able to cover some helpful points and it was great to see everyone get into the discussion after I'd wrapped up my presentation. We bounced around with various topics, sharing our experiences and advice regarding topics such as handling unruly players and fudging die rolls to keep the game fun. After my talk, the convention organizer, Scott, led an entertaining and comical discussion about 8th edition, and though I'm unfamiliar with the Warhammer system, his sense of humor had everyone laughing so often that I wondered if he should consider a career in stand-up comedy. When Sunday arrived, the Armies on Parade entries were judged in various categories (most creative, best painted, etc.) and the now famous “Nutcrusher” tournament was underway. Meanwhile, I ran one last game for the convention with a couple new players and some of the team from Saturday's Void Hunter mission, continuing into the new sequel, Broken Citadel (funny highlight in second paragraph below.) Finally, the convention was wrapped up with a fun awards ceremony, complete with flashing lights, rock music, and a flamboyant costumed host, “Pimpcron,” handing out awards with his tiny son dressed in an oversized blazer. Shorehammer was an awesome convention!
Before I conclude, I wanted to thank TJ, a new player to Solar Echoes, for being a good sport! We were near the last half hour of the game, and though there were many moments worth sharing, the best was regarding TJ's unfortunate Chiraktis: when this insectoid agent left cover and stopped in an open area, he was gunned down by 3 elite Reln focus-firing on him using assault rifles. The others on the team wanted to rescue him but were wise not to leave cover. One of the players had a great idea, and fired his magnetic tether gun to try to attach it to something metal on the Chiraktis's belt to reel him back into cover so they could heal him. Unfortunately, that player rolled badly, so the magnetic tether attached to a thermal grenade on the Chiraktis's belt. The player decided to try reeling him in carefully anyway, but...he heard a small metal “plink” as the grenade pin was accidentally pulled out by the magnet. Poor Chiraktis! We were all laughing when we wondered what would happen to a Chiraktis in a fiery explosion, and imagined it might look something like a popping piece of popcorn. Thanks TJ, for being cool about the accidental demise of your Chiraktis! (We can clone him later, the UG has him on file ;)