// archives


This category contains 11 posts

The real message of Starship Week

We got to the end of Starship Week but still had a day left, which I’ll chalk up to the weird time disconnect that happens during faster-than-light travel. Kind of like when you travel through space for six millenia and when you get back you find out they’re still not out of Final Fantasy sequels. […]


Starships as platforms

I was talking with a colleague about spaceship games, and told him I was particularly interested in games where you had to do things aboard a starship. He came up with a nice list for me that I’ve added at the end of this post. All of these involve being aboard a starship in some […]


Memories of a starship

Of all the starships in history, the Enterprise is the only one I can think of which has had such a long, consistent, and well-documented life. It started out in the 1960s as a toy suspended on wires and progressed through the 1980s and 90s as a more elaborate toy, to reach its present existence […]


A text adventure for the ages

The Epilogue to my game of Awful Green Things from Outer Space is a series of completely random encounters driven by the ancient method of rolling a six-sided die and referring to a choose-your-own adventure book.* After the jump, you start at #1 1. The crew sets course straight for Snudl-1 (see #7) or for […]


Requiem for a starship

That’s the opening setup, I mean that’s how things looked on the actual Znutar when the crew discovered the Awful Green Things. The monsters started out in the Cockboat Bay (ha!) and spread out one per unoccupied space: 6 eggs, 4 babies, 2 adults. This was determined by the stars, or by 2d6. In the […]


The magic of Tom Wham

I tend not to be jealous of people who are good at things that I’m not. I figure that’s just the way it goes. I mean, I’m good at some things, too. However, I make a special exception for artists. I have a great aptitude for thinking of things with none whatsoever for drawing them, […]


The adventures of Blnt and Hesiod

I start the game by distributing the crew around the ship. Captain Neema Strof starts on “C” Deck in Pod 3 near the risor. Science Officer L.J. Gepidus is on “B” Deck, as is Maintenance Officer Najeb Kelly, although he’s all the way down the hall at the other end. Ground Survey Officer Blnt Skraaling […]


Accident or incident?

The history of gaming is distinct, I think, from the history of gaming ideas. Gaming has been such a fragmented hobby that very often people weren’t aware of their peers’ ideas, leading to a lot of reinventing of the wheel. This struck me the other day when I was reading an excerpt from “Designing Modern […]


Space crewin’

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 … –cover of the original Traveller game box […]


To stop a Titan

There’s one last element to the scenario — a huge Titan bearing down on a space colony — I didn’t mention yesterday, and that is that the space lords have sent us a relief force! Roll one die at the beginning of the End/Repair Phase and record a running total. When the total is equal […]