Saturday, March 19, 2011

Humanspace Empires Playtest: The Morning After

After sorting out some technical difficulties with Skype at the start, we delved into ckutalik's HSE playtest game. No PCs died and the citizens of Maub IV were spared destruction. A few Saturday-Morning GM thoughts:
  • It was cool and helpful to have The Drune on board for this one to answer questions and get direct feed back on issues with the rules.
  • While I'm sure to hear shrieks of "sacrilege" from some gamers, I think that miniatures and a map would be useful in games like this. For online gaming purposes, I'd recommend a program like MapTool that features interactive mapping, text-based chat, initiative tracking, a dice roller, and other features. While it requires a little more preparation, it can be a huge help. I played in a Hellfrost campaign using a Skype/MapTools combination and it was loads of fun.

On that note, I've got my own HSE game to prepare for.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Raise the GM Screens!

Since I'm going to be running my own Humanspace Empires game at GaryCon, I've created my own handy, dandy GM screen. I made this by taping a pair of 9x12" Elmer's Bi-Fold Foam Boards together at the middle and printing out the relevant tables along with various pieces of art work and pasting them to the boards.

The Front View

The Rear View
Why spend $30 for one of those vinyl pocket GM screens that fall apart after a few months when you can do the same for less than $10?

Humanspace Empires Playtest PC: Chwé Ek Kt’tet

I'll be taking part in ckutalik's Humanspace Empires Skype playtest game March 18. I've decided to try something a little different and created Chwé Ek Kt'tet, a female Pé Chói scientist. Here's a look:

Image by Talzhemir
Chwé Ek Kt'tet
Race: Pé Chói
Level/Class: Level 2 Scientist
Gender: Female
Homeworld: Procyon 3

Strength: 10
Dexterity: 12
Constitution: 9
Intelligence: 15 (+1 Additional Language, +1 Skill/Power Selection)
Psychic Ability: 16 ( +2 PSY Saving Throw, +1 PSY power success rolls)
Charisma: 14 (-1 Reaction Adjustment, 5 Retainers, Morale 8)

AC: 6 (Skin Suit)
HP: 15
Languages: Pé Chói, Sunúz

Background Skills: Agriculturalist, Cook, Hunter, Alien Contact, Comms Tech, Lab Tech, Medic, Entertainer (Dancer), Musician.

Scientist Skills: Biologist-Botanist, Physician, Energy Pistol, Chemist, Astrophysicist, Inter-Planer Physicist.

Scientist Powers: Holographic Scanner, Attractor Field, Y-Ray I, Hea t Ray.

Gear: Lens, Laser pistol. Skin Suit, Air Tablets, Utility Belt. 2 Doses of Flask.
CR: 95

Thursday, March 10, 2011

The Hot Elf Chick and the Hot Priestess of Dlamélish

Since I've always been a follower rather than a leader...

Picture by Mark Allen @

The demon that tumbled out of the conjured nexus point was unlike anything that Nyára hiArusá of the Jade Diadem Clan, priestess of the 8th circle of the Temple of Lady Dlamélish, had even seen. It appeared to be human in shape, and a female shape at that, but it was as lithe as a young clan maiden and stood nearly two hand spans taller than Nyára! "She" was clad head-to-foot in uncomfortable (and prudish) looking leather armor. The demon had a long bow slung across her shoulder and she was brandishing a rather plain-looking short sword that glinted in the torch light. Steel! Whatever plane this being came from must be a rich one indeed!

What Nyára thought striking was this demon's skin: she was a nearly as pale as the snows upon Thénu Thendráya Peak rather than the coppery skin tones of Tékumelyani humans and her long hair was the color of gold. Even more striking where her ears; long and pointed like dagger blades. Any other human from the Five Empires would have probably found this demon utterly repulsive from description alone, but for some strange reason, Nyára found her stunningly beautiful. The priestess's womanhood began to throb at the thought of the pleasures she could have with this lovely demon.

Patience. One thing at a time Nyára, she told herself. First, let us dispel our guest's fears. Then...

The demon looked about Nyára’s private chapel to the Emerald Lady like a caged Zrné beast. At first the creature shouted at Nyára in its own musical language as she pointed her sword at Nyára warningly. Even tinged with fear and anger, the demon's voice was enthralling. She then started to chant made odd gestures with her free hand. A spell, no doubt, but Nyára had been cautious to create the proper wards to shield her from such attacks. However, the priestess did not sense the familiar release of Pedhétl that accompanies a successful casting. If this demon had magical ability on her own plane, they were of no use to her on Tékumel.

Nyára slowly raised the Eye of Incomparable Understanding and pressed the stud. "Please, calm down," she purred reassuringly. "I mean you no harm." 

The demon dropped her defensive posture slightly and starred at Nyára for a second then spoke. The words Nyára heard where in fluent Tsolyáni. "You do speak my language! Or is this some manner of spell? Who are you? Where am I? What is this place? Where are my companions...?" The demon paused again as her gray, almond-shaped eyes looked up and down the human's body. "And... errrr... why are you naked?"

Nyára smiled...

Welcome to the OSR!

Humanspace Empires Playtest Pick-Up at GaryCon!


A Humanspace Empires playtet is landing at GaryCon!

Humanspace Empires is a pulp science fiction game set in the space opera "pre-history" of Prof. M.A.R. Barker's classic fantasy world of Tekumel. Thousands of years before there was ever an Empire of the Petal Throne, the Humanspace Alliance and their alien allies ruled the cosmos, explored strange worlds, and battled weird alien menaces from beyond space and time.

Drawing from the science fantasy traditions of the 1930s and 1940s--when a young Phillip Barker was first conceiving of Tekumel--and using on a rules engine that implements the best aspects of the original fantasy role playing system and Empire of the Petal Throne, Humanspace Empires rockets players into the far future in a galaxy of danger and excitement! 

Since this pick-up playtest is being done on the fly (the current rules draft was just finished a couple of days ago), I'm going over the event schedule trying to figure out the best time/s to play. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

In the meantime, for more info on Humanspace Empires, log onto the creator's blog at . Also, you can download the current playtest draft here.

Hope to see you there!