Archive for the ‘News’ Category


Dark Future Ahead 22 – News from the ‘Net of a Cyberpunk bent

29 July, 2017

My latest scores from my time jacked into the Matrix, hopefully you find this as weird, wonderful and inspiration for cyberpunk gaming as I do:

Fashion advice from several sources on how to confuse and distract surveillance.

Where does the French Foreign Legion fit in the modern world?  See this article for some answers, still a good background option for mercenaries and ex-soldiers.

The Russian company Android Technics is developing robots and drones for a variety of uses including FEDOR (Final Experimental Demonstration Object Research) a humanoid robot their have taught to use pistols.

A company called UrbanAlps has developed the Stealth Key using 3D printing technology to make nearly uncopyable keys.  Steal the key or the source file to get in (or pick the lock but that is boring).  You can visit the UrbanAlps site for more information and advertising.

Stealth Key System

Image from the UrbanAlps site and used without permission.

Such things are probably a good idea, as a team of hackers have built a simple robot that can crack safes.  Not perfect yet but such things can always be improved.

What visions of the coming dark future have you seen recently?  Any skies the color of television, tuned to a dead channel?






Review – Through Their Own Eyes: New Personality Features for Fantasy Races for D&D 5e

6 July, 2017

More than pointy earsThrough Their Own Eyes: New Personality Features for Fantasy Races for D&D 5e presents good roleplaying tools for constructing nonhuman characters. It is entirely support for character building and is quite helpful for those interested in playing nonhuman characters.

Through Their Own Eyes: New Personality Features for Fantasy Races for D&D 5e by Brandes Stoddard and published by Tribality Publishing is what you would expect, new traits for fantasy cultures tied to the traditional type of fantasy folk. The layout is clear with thematic color photographs for illustrations.

For each dwarves, elves (surface and drow), halflings, gnomes, half-orcs, dragonborn, tieflings, aasimar, goblins, and kobolds there is a short paragraph with thoughts on their culture. Then each of either six or eight options for personality traits (gnomes get ten options here, the only ones that do), ideals, bonds, and flaws to mix and match with those from backgrounds.

The only layout issue is that the notes on aasimar culture are repeated, it is not a lot of wasted space but some more thoughts on aasimar would be interesting. While primary player oriented, a DM can get some food for thought about the nonhuman cultures in their campaign world as well.

Disclosure: As a featured reviewer for RPGNow/DriveThroughRPG, I received my copy of this product for free from the publisher for the purpose of this review. Also, Brandes is a friend of mine and one of the players in my original Sea of Stars campaign, but I like to think that did not influence this review.

The links are affiliate links and I will earn a small amount if you purchase through it.


To July, Goodbye June

30 June, 2017

Welcome Summer (at least here in the Northern hemisphere) though things have been hot and rainy here sinceall June.   July was named after that all around interesting Roman, Julius Caesar in the re-formalization of the Roman Calendar creating the Julian Calendar (which, as you no doubt guessed, is named for him too).  So, in honor of Caesar, we shall be looking at governments, organization and people of ambition here in the Sea of Stars journal.  As usual, if there is a particular subject you would like to know more about or see more of, please let me know.

I have also started work on a secret project that I look forward to sharing with you when I can.

Looking back over June, 2017, it was a fairly light month for posting but did see the following:

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Shadowrun Campaign Update and new Seattle Scream (#52) prop

29 June, 2017

Ghoulish, ne?If it seems like a while since I did one of these, it is because it has been (October, in fact, here).  But Shadowrun continues apace with monthly open games held at Tyche’s Games and occasional other games scattered almost randomly.  Though the PinkCat/NorCal game is also going strong having racked up more than thirty sessions at this point (most recent here).

I have been using Shadowfist cards to randomly generate adventure ideas which has been working out really well.  One of the character was almost eaten by ghouls in the last adventure (see the Cannibal Army card which inspired their inclusion) which was great fun for me, maybe not so much for the player and character!

Playing again this coming Saturday and felt it was past time for a new Seattle Scream, so here you go, Issue 52 (July 2073).



Review – Shadowrun: Forbidden Arcana

25 June, 2017

SR - FAShadowrun: Forbidden Arcana will be on the list to acquire for anyone GMing a magic heavy Shadowrun campaign, both for useful background information on what is happening with magic and new things to play with. For players, sightly less useful but there is still a lot of good information and interesting options for characters here. Overall, one of the more solid works to come out of for Shadowrun lately.

Shadowrun: Forbidden Arcana are the Advanced Magic Rules for the 5th edition of Shadowrun, expanding on the earlier rules presented in the Street Grimoire (which is required to use several sections of this work).

The book begins with one of the ubiquitous fiction sections, then it begins with a section called Seeing the Invisible World which talks about how non-magical people perceive magic with a variety of (in game) first hand accounts of encounters with magic. This is useful for both for players and GMs when describing magical effects to characters who cannot directly see magic.

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PinkCat: Running in the Shade “Things Go Wrong” (A different sort of SR campaign report)

24 June, 2017

To understand what is going on here, you had best read the first PinkCat: Running in the Shade post, but short summary, this is a campaign report for our Shadowrun campaign set in NorCal through the filter of a cartoon made by one of the team members.

Episode Twenty Nine: Things go Wrong

Guest Starring: Clawz, DD, Double Up, Jove and Toru.

More power!Pink and the crew are hired to steal a new energy drink recipe from MaXPwRDrink.  It seems like an easy run, just get in, grab the data and go.  But of course, nothing is every that easy.

Sneaking in as product testers, the team get split up.   Communication is scrambled, by a turtle technomancer, isolating the team into scattered pockets.  Double Up and Clawz decide that the right tactic is to attack the guards.  A crazy comic combat ensures while the rest of the team is chased by security drone that look like robots from the 1950s.

The whole sequence ends with DD and Toru grabbing the recipe and Jove and Glitter overloading one of the mixing vats leading to the entire team being washed out of the building on a wave of brightly colored energy drinks.

What really happened:

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Welcome June, Goodbye May and its RPG Blog Carnival

31 May, 2017

June is named from the Roman month Iunius, or Junius, is named in honor of the ancient Roman goddess Juno (parallel to the Greek Hera) who is the wife of Jupiter and goddess of marriage.   The first half of Iunius is a period of religious purification and was considered the most favorable time to marry by the Romans.  It will also be the eight anniversary of this journal, so I may try and do something special for that.

Summer officially starts this month, so, any thoughts on a theme, reader?  Send me your suggestions and I will try to act on them.

This May, the Journal hosted the RPG Blog Carnival with some success and I hope do do so again in the future.  The following article were published here in May, 2017:

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