The Gas Mines of Regulon-4

Finally got to sit down with the Daughter of Nod last night and play some Space Princess. You met the core of her crew a few days ago. We added a couple more for this run-through – a veteran gynoid star warrior named XJ9 (pronounced “nye-in”, for those who never saw the cartoon) and a genius scientist named Egon. It gave me a chance to find the missing parts in the game and tinker with the mechanics. It also was pretty fun. Here’s a brief re-cap:

The gas mines are located on a small moon of Regulon-4, which is surrounded by a sort of asteroid belt / ring structure like Saturn. They represent a forward base for the empire of Lord Kang. Recently, one of the space cruisers of Kang overtook the royal yacht of the Princess Miranda and captured her. The dreadnaught took her to the gas mines, where she will be held until Kang can arrive and “convince” her to marry him, thus uniting his empire with the the Space Kingdom of New Avalon. Or something like that.

My daughter’s crew has managed to sneak into the gas mines via a forgotten shaft that runs through an exhaust port for the radium furnaces located beneath the main mine structure. A diversion caused by a wing of star fighters allowed their shuttle to land in a nearby crater on the rocky, barren, slightly radioactive moon.

The action kicked off with them sneaking into the exhaust port. This was a room divided by a 10-ft wide chasm through which radioactive green gasses were vented. There was a door and control panel on the other side of the room that looked as though it extended a bridge. Every so often, gasses would be vented. The crew were in space suits, so being in the presence of the radioactivity was not a problem, but being caught in the exhaust would probably kill them. Declining to use Lum’s “leap and swing” skill to vault the chasm, and instead sent Egon, with his anti-grav belt, across. Once there, he commandeered the control panel and extended the bridge. The crew waited for a venting of the gasses and then hurried across. Egon opened the door and they made their way into the complex.

A few turns later, they were listening at doors. Behind one there were many voices, so they passed it by. Another was fairly silent, so they opened it to find a sleeping carnelian space dragon and dozens of silvery gas canisters. They closed the door before it awoke and tried the door across the hall, which had the sound of industrial machinery.

This room had a balcony overlooking several machines that were extracting gas from the asteroid and packing it in the cannisters. Two maintenance drones were working here and ignored the group. The balcony had, one either end, two silvery discs implanted in the floor. Declining to look at these (I think she forgot they were there), Egon again used his anti-grav belt to reach the floor 20 feet below. Realizing the others were still trapped up there, and with some prodding by dad, she tried out a disc and found that it was a sort of elevator. When the whole crew got to the floor below, they checked out an exit door. This led into a small, 10×10 metal room with another door. Stepping in, they triggered a freeze gas trap, but all managed to duck back out before they were frozen. Egon went to work on the trap and disabled it, allowing them to enter yet another room.

This room was piled high with the gas canisters, all labeled and organized. As they entered, a computer voice asked them their business. Not knowing what to say, they quickly moved checked out another door, which led to another freeze gas trap. A third door led into a long room occupied by a floating black hole. Egon identified it as a graviton, a dangerous creature, so they retreated. Now, the computer voice was asking for a pass code. Egon managed to find a control panel and got lucky, entering a code and quieting the voice.

Passing through the trapped room, they enter a sort of small break room – coffee dispensers, chairs, tables. [Made me think of this – some language NSFW]. Sitting in here were three bounty hunters, which we nicknamed Space Cowboy, Space Pirate and Evil Space Suit. A fight breaks out, and after young Dr. Zaius is nearly killed (he has to spend a luck point to avoid death), the good guys finally prevail. Unfortunately, they’ve taken some damage by now. Egon and Dr. Zaius get to work jerry-rigging a medi-kit from spare parts (they take apart a communicator and locator device found on the bounty hunters, and also find another anti-grave belt and three ray guns for the scientists and psychic). While they’re working on the medi-kit (takes an hour), a wandering probe-bot enters the room, stunning the scientists with an blue cone of light and nearly killing the psychic by the time they’re done. Its spare parts are added to the scientists’ collection, the medi-kit is used to do some healing (three uses, only three were then left), and the group gets a move on.

Their next encounter comes as they enter a large arena, setting off alarms. A slasher (essentially a robotic marilith demon) is lifted into the arena and attacks. it is defeated, but when the group tries to leave the way they entered, they find a squad of soldiers coming their way. They quickly close the doors and Egon locks them. As the soldiers blast at the doors, the group opens the other exit. Only one soldier is posted there, and he is quickly dispatched with a hail of ray gun fire. Running down the long corridor, they trip a pit trap. Zaius and Crow T. Robot fall in and have to be rescued using the anti-grav belts. The group moves to the end of the corridor and finds an elevator.

The elevator, once activated, takes them up to the plush quarters of Lord Kang, who is not present yet. Here, they find the bound Princess Miranda and a hideous Star Inquisitor. The inquisitor uses its mental domination and turns Zaius and Lum against the party. Now, XJ9 and Crow engage the Star Inquisitor while Egon tries to subdue Zaius and Zora Lum. Egon makes pretty quick work of his student, but Lum kills Zora. Egon then subdues Lum. In the meantime, the Star Inquisitor has been slowly beating Crow while the two robots, immune to his psychic powers, chip away at him. In the end, the Star Inquisitor is subdued by a final ray gun blast from Egon (probably the party’s MVP for the session) and Lum and Zaius are released from his grip.

At this point, we stopped because it was getting late. Getting back out of the fortress while it was on alert would have been daunting, but fun.

Addenda: I used my handy dandy chamber generator to make this adventure on the fly while we played. Initially, there were no gas mines, but when the first four rooms ended up with “Gas” as special, it became a gas mining station. That, ladies and gentleman, is the value of random tables.

The Star Warrior

My conception of Space Princess is as a very focused, rules-lite, beer & pretzels game that you and a few friends can break out one day and play without too much prep. For all intents and purposes, it is about dungeon crawls with a pulp sci-fi motif inspired by the original game. I wanted to make a very simple, focused set of rules that worked, and allow others to add on to those rules if they wanted to expand the game into different realms.

With that in mind, and as a way to show the simplicity in the rules, I present the Star Warrior class for the game, along with a sample illustration by Jason Sholtis.

Star warriors are the rocket-powered heroes of the game, leaping to the fore when things turn ugly. The star warrior is usually a soldier or professional adventurer with marginally more ethics than the scoundrel. They are not as skilled as the scoundrel and scientist and do not have the powers of the psychic, but nobody is more valuable in a fight than a star warrior.

HIT DICE: Star warriors roll 1d10 for hit points.

REQUIREMENT: Strength and Dexterity of 4 or higher.

SKILLS: Star warriors may choose one of the following skills as a skill to which they can add their skill bonus during a test: Avoid Notice (Dexterity), Leap & Swing (Strength), Pilot Ship (Mentality) or Swim (Strength).

STARTING GEAR: Ray gun and hand weapon.

Hit Dice in this game determine one’s attack bonus, much as monster Hit Dice determine attack bonus in other old school games. They also determine hit points and are the basis for one’s DEFENSE (i.e. AC).
The ability scores in Space Princess are really just the ability bonuses, which run from 0 to 8. To roll abilities, you still start with 3d6, so we get the bell curve, and then translate those into the ability scores. An ability score of “4” in Space Princess corresponds to an ability score of “9-12” in most old school games. The game uses four abilities – Strength, Dexterity, Mentality and Knowledge.
The skills work off of the skill bonuses in the chart. If your character has a skill (scientists and scoundrels have more skills than the star warrior and psychic) and is attempting a test, they add the skill bonus to the attempt. Otherwise, they add nothing. Tests are also modified by one’s ability score.
Example: Athena Laserwolf, a veteran, is attempting to out-pilot some space pirates. She has chosen “Pilot Ship” as her skill, and thus adds her skill bonus (6) to her Mentality score (we’ll say it is 5) to get her total Pilot Rating of 11. The space pirate pilot has a total Pilot Rating of 9. Comparing the two ratings, we see that Athena Laserwolf will get a +2 bonus to her roll to keep her distance from the space pirates. She will then roll 1d20, add 2, and try to roll a 10 or higher.
Combat works the same way, except you figure out your combat rating by adding your Hit Dice to either Strength (for melee attacks) or Dexterity (for missile attacks) and compare it to your opponent’s Defense (HD + Dex + Armor). Compare the two to determine the bonus or penalty, roll the dice and try to get a “10” or higher to hit.

Starting gear seems pretty light, but consider the source material – old movies. Once a group is in a space fortress prowling around, they can pick up additional gear and find (or build) pieces of super science (i.e. the sci-fi version of magic items). Naturally, the Referee can provide additional bits of equipment if he or she likes.

Luck points balance the different levels, allowing games that include both old veterans of clone wars and eager young space cadets. A luck point can be spent for an automatic success on a roll – any roll. At character creation, aliens can spend a luck point to gain a new special ability, and any character can spend a luck point to gain a super science item.

So, creating a character means rolling four ability scores, picking a species, class and level, rolling hit points, calculating a few basic ratings (so you don’t have to do it later) and writing down your starting gear. Theoretically, a group can be ready to delve into a space fortress and rescue a space princess in about 10 minutes.

Alien Critter Generator

Any viewer of mainstream sci-fi has heard a few alien animal names that consist, usually of three elements. First, is their place of origin. Perhaps a planet orbiting the star Deneb. Then a descriptor – maybe this creature is slimy or dwells in slime. Finally, a noun – perhaps this irascible creature can best be described, like the well-known critter from Tasmania, as a devil. Hence Denebian slime devil. Okay, so how about a random table to do the same and stat the critter out.

1. Venusian
2. Martian
3. Jovian
4. Saturnian
5. Mercurian
6. Plutonian
7. Neptunian
8. Denebian
9. Altairan
10. Cygnian
11. Betelgeusian
12. Polarian
13. Andromedan
14. Cetian
15. Algolian
16. Pleiadeian
17. Rigelian
18. Aldebaran
19. Antarean
20. Arcturan

* Note, if you prefer your beasties to be from distant stars rather than planets, just re-roll if Martian or Venusian, etc comes up. Or make your own table you lazy bugger – what do you want for free? You might also want to alter the critter’s stats based on the conditions of the planet (i.e. high gravity, etc.)

1. OOZE/SLIME: Creature may be covered in slime, granting it DEFENSE +3 vs. grabbing or wrestling attempts. Otherwise, just lives in a slimy environment.
2. ROCK/STONE: Creature may have DEFENSE +2. Otherwise, simply lives in a rocky environment.
3. DEATH: Creature either has a deadly poison bite or +2 hit dice.
4. SHADOW: Creature surprises opponents on a roll of 1-3 on 1d6 in darkness.
5. DUST/DESERT: Creature dwells in the desert, enjoys STRENGTH +1.
6. TREE/FOREST: Creature dwells in woodlands, enjoys DEXTERITY +1.
7. GIANT/GREAT: Creature has double hit dice.
8. CRYSTALLINE: Creature has DEFENSE +2 against all attacks except those from bludgeoning weapons and DEFENSE +5 against ray guns.
9. ICE: Creature suffers half damage from cold attacks.
10. LAUGHING/HISSING: Creature makes a laughing or hissing noise when threatened.
12. SPECKLED/SPOTTED: Creature has speckled or spotted hide. Heck, you could do stripes as well.
13. ACID: Creature has an acidic bite that inflicts +2 damage.
14. FIRE/STAR: Creature suffers half damage from fire and ray attacks or has ray attacks from eyes (weapon rating +5).
15. FANGED/HORNED: Creature has +1 weapon rating to bite or horn attack and +1 to bite or horn damage.
16. VAPOR/MIST: Creature either surrounded by a weird fog (opponents -1 to hit with SHOOT attacks) or creature dwells in misty area.
17. STINK/MUSK: Opponents must pass a Strength test or suffer -2 penalty to hit this creature in combat.
18. SEA/RIVER: Creature dwells in the sea or rivers and is equipped to swim at its normal speed.
19. CLOUD/SKY: Creature has a flying speed one category faster than its land movement.
20. LEAPING/HOPPING: Creature’s land movement is one category faster.

* Other special abilities could include spitting (poisonous spit, like cobra), long-necked, long-legged (faster movement), dwarf (half normal hit dice – probably meaningless for animals with only one hit dice to begin with), burrowing (gains slow burrow speed) and hypno- (can paralyze with eyes)

Stats are for Space Princess – you can no doubt find stats for Swords and Wizardry or Dungeons and Dragons if you just snoop around a bit.

1. DEVIL/BADGER: HD 1; DEFENSE 9; FIGHT 5 (claws and bite +0); SHOOT 8; MOVE N; Burrow S; STR 10; DEX 17; MEN 6; KNO 2; DL 2; Special: Flies into rage when damaged (+1 to hit and damage).
2. CRAWLER/CREEPER: HD 1; DEFENSE 8; FIGHT 5 (bite +1); SHOOT 7; MOVE F / Climb F; STR 10; DEX 15; MEN 2; KNO N/A; DL 2; Special: Poisonous bite (1d6 damage).
3. BAT: HD 1; DEFENSE 7; FIGHT 1 (bite +0); SHOOT 7; MOVE S / Fly F; STR 3; DEX 15; MEN 4; KNO 2; DL 1; Special: See in dark with echolocation.
4. DOG: HD 2; DEFENSE 8; FIGHT 7 (bite +1); SHOOT 8; MOVE F; STR 14; DEX 15; MEN 6; KNO 2; DL 2; Special: None.
5. CAT: HD 1; DEFENSE 7; FIGHT 3 (claws and bite +0); SHOOT 7; MOVE N; STR 6; DEX 15; MEN 7; KNO 2; DL 1; Special: None.
6. BIRD: HD 1; DEFENSE 7; FIGHT 3 (talons and bite +0); SHOOT 7; MOVE S / Fly F; STR 6; DEX 15; MEN 6; KNO 2; DL 1; Special: None.
7. HOG/PIG: HD 3; DEFENSE 8; FIGHT 9 (tusks +1); SHOOT 7; MOVE F; STR 16; DEX 10; MEN 4; KNO 2; DL 3; Special: +2 to strength tests to ignore pain.
8. BEETLE: HD 1; DEFENSE 7; FIGHT 5 (bite +2); SHOOT 5; MOVE N; STR 10; DEX 11; MEN 7; KNO N/A; DL 1; Special: None.
9. LION/TIGER: HD 6; DEFENSE 13; FIGHT 16 (claws and bite +2); SHOOT 12; MOVE F; STR 20; DEX 15; MEN 6; KNO 2; DL 7; Special: Pounce (two attacks when it wins initiative).
10. BEAST/ELEPHANT: HD 11; DEFENSE 17; FIGHT 26 (tusks +7 or stomp +5); SHOOT 15; MOVE N; STR 25; DEX 10; MEN 5; KNO 2; DL 12; Special: Trample (all in melee combat must make a dexterity test or suffer 1d6 damage).
11. BEAR: HD 6; DEFENSE 12; FIGHT 19 (claws and bite +3); SHOOT 11; MOVE F; STR 23; DEX 13; MEN 6; KNO 2; DL 7; Special: Creatures hit must make a strength test or be hugged for automatic damage each round until a successful strength test is made.
12. PINCHER/CRAB: HD 1; DEFENSE 7; FIGHT 5 (bite +2); SHOOT 5; MOVE N; STR 10; DEX 11; MEN 7; KNO N/A; DL 1; Special: None.
13. MOLE/RAT: HD 1; DEFENSE 7; FIGHT 2 (bite +0); SHOOT 7; MOVE S / Climb S; STR 4; DEX 15; MEN 2; KNO 2; DL 1; Special: Bite may cause disease.
14. APE: HD 4; DEFENSE 10; FIGHT 12 (claws and bite +2); SHOOT 10; MOVE N; STR 18; DEX 15; MEN 7; KNO 2; DL 4; Special: None.
15. LIZARD/SNAKE: HD 3; DEFENSE 10; FIGHT 10 (bite +1); SHOOT 9; MOVE M; STR 17; DEX 15; MEN 2; KNO 1; DL 3; Special: May be poisonous.
16. ANTELOPE/DEER: HD 2; DEFENSE 10; FIGHT 6 (antlers or horns +1); SHOOT 9; MOVE F; STR 12; DEX 17; MEN 4; KNO 2; DL 2; Special: None.
17. SPIDER: HD 1; DEFENSE 9; FIGHT 4 (bite +0); SHOOT 8; MOVE N / Climb N; STR 8; DEX 17; MEN 2; KNO N/A; DL 2; Special: Poison (2d6 damage).
18. BRUTE/RHINOCEROS: HD 8; DEFENSE 14; FIGHT 22 (horn +5); SHOOT 12; MOVE N; STR 24; DEX 10; MEN 2; KNO 2; DL 9; Special: Charge for double damage.
19. SNAIL/SLUG: HD 2; DEFENSE 4; FIGHT 4 (bite +0); SHOOT 4; MOVE S; STR 6; DEX 6; MEN 2; KNO N/A; DL 2; Special: None.
20. FISH/SHARK: HD 3; DEFENSE 10; FIGHT 8 (bite +1); SHOOT 9; MOVE F; STR 13; DEX 15; MEN 2; KNO 1; DL 4; Special: Blood frenzy (+1 to hit and damage when blood is in the water).

* You might want to swap out toad/frog for fish/shark, maybe throw turtles in somewhere.

Some Examples …

ANTAREAN ICE CREEPER: HD 1; DEFENSE 8; FIGHT 5 (bite +1); SHOOT 7; MOVE F / Climb F; STR 10; DEX 15; MEN 2; KNO N/A; DL 2; Special: Poisonous bite (1d6 damage), half damage from cold attacks. I’m picturing a stark white centipede of great size that hides beneath the snow. It has pockets on it in which it stores bodily fluids sucked from victims. It draws sustenance and heat from the decay of these fluids.

POLARIAN SEA BIRD: HD 1; DEFENSE 7; FIGHT 3 (talons and bite +0); SHOOT 7; MOVE S / Fly F / Swim S; STR 6; DEX 15; MEN 6; KNO 2; DL 1; Special: None. Polarian sea birds resemble Earth penguins except they are as large as dolphins and have coloration and habits reminiscent of killer whales. They have horn-like crests on their heads that allow them to make a low-frequency rumbling that can be heard by other sea birds miles away.

CETIAN HORNED SLUG: HD 2; DEFENSE 4; FIGHT 4 (bite +0, horn +1); SHOOT 4; MOVE S; STR 6; DEX 6; MEN 2; KNO N/A; DL 2; Special: None, horn does +1 damage. These slugs are the size of lions and are covered by a shiny, pink segmented shell. The forward-most shell piece has curved horns that the beast can use to attack.

Image from HERE.

Monsters of Space Princess

Here are a few sample monsters – “aliens”, in fact, from the Space Princess game. The game is coming along pretty well – just a bit more writing to do and then some artwork and she’s ready for testing!

Devil Girl
Devil girls come from a female dominated society with a declining male population. Devil girls are undeniably attractive, but merciless in their treatment of others. They wear uniforms of a black, vinyl-like substance that is a surprisingly good armor. Devil girls suffer only half damage from cold, electricity and fire and they can blanket a 60-ft radius area around themselves in complete darkness once per day for 10 minutes. Devil girls are capable of seeing in this weird darkness, but other creatures are not, giving the devil girls a +5 bonus and the others a -5 penalty to attack.

DEVIL GIRL: HD 4; DEFENSE 12; FIGHT 9 (strike +1); SHOOT 9 (ray gun +5); MOVE N; STR 13; DEX 13; MEN 9; KNO 12; DL 5; Special: Darkness, resistance to damage.

Space Amazon
Space amazons are women of tremendous strength and dexterity who are sometimes hired as elite guards in a space fortress, or perhaps were captured and subsequently escaped, living as outlaws in the fortress’s myriad tunnels and chambers. Space amazons stand about 8 feet tall and have green skin, white hair, and long antennae. Large groups of space amazons are commanded by a myrmidia. Each myrmidia has a 5% chance of secretly falling in love with a male star warrior and betraying her sisters on his behalf. If spurned by him, her berserk fury is doubled against him.

SPACE AMAZON: HD 4; DEFENSE 8; FIGHT 10 (axe +2); SHOOT 8 (ray gun +5); MOVE N; STR 15; DEX 12; MEN 12; KNO 10; DL 5; Special: Berserk Fury (+2 FIGHT and +2 damage vs. males).

MYRMIDIA: HD 6; DEFENSE 10; FIGHT 13 (axe +2); SHOOT 10 (ray gun +5); MOVE N; STR 16; DEX 13; MEN 13; KNO 11; DL 5; Special: Berserk Fury (+2 FIGHT and +2 damage vs. males), chance to fall in love, double fury when spurned.

Trilodites are protoplasmic aliens consisting of a ooze-like interior and a pink, rubbery exterior. Trilodites “stand” about three feet tall, usually on three pseudopods. They often have three additional pseudopods emerging from higher on their bodies that they use as arms. Trilodites can use these pseudopods to manipulate small objects as a human uses hands, and can retract or grow additional pseudopods as they like, though eight seems to be their useful limit. Trilodites have a high sensory awareness, and are thus rarely surprised. Because of their alien structures and minds, they enjoy a +2 bonus on tests to resist psychic powers that attempt to control or influence them. Their elastic forms give them a +2 bonus to DEFENSE to resist attempts to grab or hold them.

TRILODITE: HD 2; DEFENSE 8; FIGHT 7 (weapon +2); SHOOT 5 (ray gun +5); MOVE S; STR 14; DEX 8; MEN 10; KNO 10; DL 2; Special: Resist psychic powers, hard to hold.

Voltans are a humanoid species with slightly pointed ears and bald heads covered with peaked ridges. They are quite strong and very intelligent. Some voltans have red skin, while others have blue skin. The red voltans tend towards contemplation and a love of logic, while the blue voltans are emotional, over-bearing and militant. Blue voltans arm themselves with jagged blades and ray guns and wear steel mesh tunics. Red voltans do not wear armor or carry hand weapons, but do use ray guns.

BLUE VOLTAN: HD 3; DEFENSE 9; FIGHT 9 (weapon +2); SHOOT 7 (ray gun +5); MOVE N; STR 16; DEX 10; MEN 14; KNO 14; DL 3; Special: Immune to fear.

RED VOLTAN: HD 1; DEFENSE 5; FIGHT 7 (open hand +1); SHOOT 5 (ray gun +5); MOVE N; STR 16; DEX 10; MEN 14; KNO 14; DL 3; Special: ESP, stunning grasp, immune to fear.

Space Princess – Tech vs. Treasure

Still pondering Space Princess.By design, I want the game to very focused – group of heroes enter space fortress to rescue the “princess” (and “princess” here is a MacGuffin – it can be a prince, ambassador, secret plans to the Deathstar, the Space Emperor’s favorite potted palm, etc) and escape. That way, the game can serve as a core on to which new parts can easily be hung if they wanted to take it from being a beer & pretzels kind of game to being something more immersive.

The main focus for fantasy dungeon crawling is treasure and experience. In my rough draft for Space Princess, I’ve replaced those two goals with “find the princess”. The “princess” is the treasure. But players do like finding things when they creep through a space fortress (i.e. dungeon), so I think I’ll replace the traditional “gold pieces” with tech points. Different objects found in the space fortress are worth “tech points” that the scientist class can use to create inventions. I’m specifically thinking about Flash Gordon – Chapter 11, in which Dr Zarkov, who has been given access to Ming’s laboratories, whips up an invisibility ray that he uses to give Flash Gordon an edge, or episodes of Star Trek in which Spock has to rig something up by stripping the parts out of their communicators or phasers.

The fun would be that unlike gold pieces, tech points aren’t “things” in an of themselves. That means all the “treasure” (wow, I’m using lots of quotation marks in this post) would be in the form of old ray guns (worth 5 tech), robot parts (worth 10 tech), crates of diodes (worth 15 tech) – etc. With enough tech points, a scientist could attempt to create a new invention – maybe 100 points of tech to create a 1st level invention, with extra tech put into the effort giving him a bonus on his roll.

Image found at ix: Woman of Mongo

Eyebots, Horned Tigers & Space Princesses

A couple things today.

First – some cool sci-fi art harvested from the digital tides.

This one makes me think Traveller, but very ’70s slick sci-fi. From the Syd Mead Gallery.

These images are more Encounter Critical to my mind – the kind of game I’m probably way more likely to play than Traveler. To be completely honest, though, I’ve never played either game. I’ve rolled up characters, but never had the chance to play. Found at (like the image above) Super Punch!

Also …

So, I was perusing a blog that asked why sci-fi RPGs never hit it as big as fantasy RPGs. My take was that D-n-D (’cause when you’re talking about uber-successful fantasy rpg’s, you’re talking about D-n-D) was successful because it borrowed things from the fantasy genre without trying to emulate fantasy stories. Instead, it was a wargame set in a dungeon. That kind of game is easier to run than story emulation, and therefore it was more popular. So – my question – would a sci-fi game that attempts to be nothing more than, for example, “save the space princess from the starlord’s fortress” work. I think my next project that I promised I wouldn’t write was just born. And I think I’ll call it Space Princess.

Hmmm – Star Warrior, Scoundrel, Scientist and Psychic … this could be fun.

Update: Jay reminds me of X-plorers. I need to look into that game.

Update 2: In the meantime, I’m thinking about the concept of sci-fi heroes delving into star fortress, and here’s where my mind is wandering:

Four ability scores – Strength (bonus to hit, bonus to hit points), Dexterity (bonus to hit, bonus to defense), Mentality (for psychics) and Knowledge (for scientists) – simple bonuses and used for saving throws (maybe score x3 as a percent + 5% per character level?)

Four classes – As above; I’ve already written a scientist and psychic class that I could adapt, and the star warrior and scoundrel should be pretty easy as well.

Races – Human, Android, Alien – the alien rules would be a “build your own alien” concept – probably would resemble d20 race builds more than anything else. They would probably have a level limit and be able to take levels as star warrior or a multi-class based on whatever ability score they get a bonus to.

Scoundrel skills – Disguise, Defeat Security System, Hide Contraband, Avoid Notice, Fast Talk, Pilot Ship – percentage skills like a thief, except you get six columns with percentage changes and assign the skills yourself; maybe Star Warriors can choose a skill as well?

Would rules that assign levels to players by dice roll – a’la Young Hero (Luke), Experienced Heroes (Han and Chewie), Old Hero (Obi-Wan) – be any good? Maybe a fun option. Also – maybe just five levels with slow advancement in the middle.

Need rules for the space battle when you’ve escaped the space fortress and the minions are chasing you.

I don’t know if I’ll go any further, but it’s fun to think about.