Community Post #167 - To Boldly Take Fantasy Where No Lore Has Gone Before

Discussion in 'Community Posts' started by Tyro D. Fox, Apr 23, 2017.

  1. Tyro D. Fox

    Tyro D. Fox Ho, hog, heg! I can does Game Dev thing, yes!
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    OK, Uni has suddenly thrown three technical projects on me and it's taken a while before I've been able to, at least somewhat, fight my way though this technical onslaught to build Javascript Pong, C++ Frogger and a Unity RPG with ORK Framework.

    That last one has been a colossal pain. Ugh...

    I do want to get to my Best/Worst List of MLP Season 6 but I haven't finished it yet because...I like inane things I've seen a thousand times when I work. Ponies are the reward right now. That and Pokemon Sun (Mimikyu is my special snuggle horror! <3). Will work on that when I get through the last few episodes. The last I watched was the D&D inspired one. Which I found adorable.

    Partly, because games can be that weird and some actual monsters are surreal (flicking through the 5e Monster Manual, try looking up Modrons for a slightly surreal intro into how off the wall this stuff actually gets). Though, through my unique resources, I discovered a part of D&D that needs to be seen, or played, to be truly understood.

    And I think it's kinda wonderful. Fillies and Gentlecolts, may I introduce you to...

    Community Post #167

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    SPELLJAMMER
    When Fantasy Explores the Stars​

    It's 1989 and you're trying to think of something cool to do with your next D&D session because your the DM. Your browsing through a hobby shop where they're selling Advanced D&D compatible books and such (Advanced being the version of D&D out then, also called 2nd edition, I think). Your flicking through, looking for something a little off the wall and interesting so your player's will really take notice. It's only so often that you can throw a bad guy and his minions at them at the bottom of a big pit.

    Then you find this. Something that looks like it was born right from a wonderful pairing of John Carter of Mars and Star Wars. You flick through it and it's unlike anything you've ever seen before. Either a fevered and bizarre mind has come up with this, or a beautiful genius has melded two ideas you never thought would work. Medieval Fantasy and Space Travel together in one setting.

    It's further proof that 1989 was a year when media in general seemed to just knock it out the park. Batman, The Little Mermaid, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, UHF, Super Mario Land, SimCity, Ducktails on NES. A large amount of awesome things came out that year.

    The pulp novel basis for these games was always a staple but now that pulp was introducing verticality. The way this is done is through a Spelljammer Helm. These are special rudders that are attached to any ship that looks like it won't fall apart instantly. Then, a spellcaster may sit upon the Helm and take control of the ship. Our GM, when I played a session in the setting he'd updated for Pathfinder, ruled that they also became part of the ship, melding with it and even taking damage when the ship did, as if one entity. In short, if you could throw fireballs, you could also wiz around the cosmos on a dingy if you had a Helm attached.

    Yes, I do mean that. 'Spaceships' in this setting are litteral. Humans just slap a Helm on any seafaring vessel and then rise into the air with it. Any boat will do but it could also be a house, a barn or anything with some structural rigidity. The helm apparently makes a bubble that will lift whatever's attached to the helm, letting you will yourself into space like you sprinkled Tinker Bell on everything.

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    Fairy Dust: The Equivalent of Gold Rims

    What do you find out there in the great unknown? Nothing you would be familiar with. The idea was to take the bizarre ideas of what a medieval idea of space was supposed to look like then trying to make that work within the game. As such, this stuff is nuts. Flat planets and planets of any size do exist. Massive creatures just float around the cosmos, doing their thing till a ship gets in their way. I was told about a massive wolf that circles around a sun, which it will some day consume. I was also informed that Dwarves hollowed out meteorites and punted them around space using magical items as fuel. Suns and moons can rotate around worlds. Planets can be made entirely of water that pours into another planets ocean. Dead titans and giants can have civilisations grow within their heads.

    It's pure bloody chaos. As much as I love Sci-Fi, this is pleasingly off it's rocker and 'out-there'! It's every myth and idea that you could think of to do with what people believed was beyond the Heavens, turning space into a massive 'Here Be Dragons' spot from old maps. It sets things apart from the likes of Star Wars and Star Trek (which you do more expect with this thing) and puts it right in that pulpy sensical gibberish that let's a player just try things out you can't do elsewhere because it's not realistic. It does have it's own rules, but the setting is pretty free and loose otherwise.

    Air, for example, forms in bubbles around anything that leaves an atmosphere. Planets can generate their own but ships are often working on a decent roughly-3 month supply of air forming around their ship as soon as they break out into space. If you jump out of this bubble, a bubble of air will form around you too, but only for so long. It is possible, therefore, to leap from ship to ship with no risk other than missing. You would then float off into the darkest reaches till you are saved or your bubble can no longer sustain you.

    Planetary Systems are all protected from The Phlogiston by massive Crystal Domes that no known means has the power to break. The Phlogiston is a gas of an unknown element that forms rivers to allow for travel between Crystal Domes, each forming with a current that must be navigated if you're to make it safely through. These rivers form cracks in the domes and appear randomly though a skilled mage can locate them with spells.

    Now, I got to play as one of my now favourite characters: Olimar Smythe. He is an orangutang alchemist that specialises in using special potions and chemicals for his own needs, such as the surprisingly powerful explosives he could create. Typically, I played him as rather intelligent and reserved compared to the man made of delicious plant matter and Linkle, my co-hort in this mission, who was a pyromaniac monk that loved to throw fire everywhere. A little theatrical in voice but the best part was actively trying to play the part.

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    "Hmm...It says we need more cheese."

    Yes, when Olimar was scared or agitated, I would scream out like a chimpanzee or move my arms around above my head to mimic the look of a primeape walking on it's legs. I was trying to match the fantastical nuttiness of the world with an animal that happened to be a capable scientist. Honestly, I might play him again as a Gunsmith if Wizards of The Coast ever make that class a little less uber powerful. 3 or 4 d6 per shot on a ranged weapon with no limit other than having to construct ammo...good gravy!

    Anyway, our task was to take our ship out into space so that some mystical types could read the minds of gigantic, ancient beings that were all sat around a sun, watching it for millennia. Mainly to figure out why as some of these ancient beings had died while keeping an eye on this sun, yet never moved. We were then attacked by a big monster and one of the psionics suddenly had a huge power boost as something took control. As the ship was smashed and it's helm user killed, it fell down towards the sun.

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    The place was an endless desert but we weren't there long enough to get to the urine drinking stage so don't worry.

    When we all came too, we found we were inside the sun. Somehow, we'd survived and where now on a tiny planetoid inside the huge fireball, protected by a shield radiating from a huge city. The Psionic who'd protected us through the sun with a shield, was missing. So, we went off to find her. We fought off mutants and weird beasts along our way, coming towards the huge, crystalline city. It was full of texts and strange markings, illustrating stories of the people on this world. It was odd and desolate.

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    Spires in all directions and not a Burger King in sight. Their Yell review is getting a hammering.

    While we walked, we were being followed by a being known as 'The Witness'. Through chatting, he pointed towards a ship that was stuck on a huge tower. It was an elven ship, so imagine an elegant butterfly that can regenerate it's form and still function. We were to get to it and get away from this place, as it's not like you can just fly casually through a sun. We were going to try to get to the ship and climb our way up but there was a huge monster in our way. A large spider that was being projected by a creature made up entirely of brains, fused together into one, psychic entity. With the use of my mutagen to hulk out and Linkle's determination, we were able to lay down the hurt on this thing. Between the two of us, we kicked it's arse!

    We climbed the tower and found the elvish crewmen of the above ship, being put into special Helms that were used to generate the shield around the planet, as well as the psionic who'd been lost. Together with the elves and The Witness, we pilot the elven ship off to pick up the remainder of our crew. With the shield gone, this planet would be consumed, so our psionic friend protected us with a shield. whereby we punched our way out of the sun and back into space!

    [​IMG]
    On this thing. It looks amazing but also looks like it would buckle in a sharp wind.

    The Witness explains that it was the last remains of his people, who hid their planet inside the sun when Ithlids roamed the galaxy. He jets off to restart his people's civilisation somewhere else and the ancient giants watching the sun we were trapped in clapped in our honour.

    Yup, we ended on a gigantic couch potato giving us an applause before wondering whether there's anything on another celestial body.

    Afterwards, I was given pretty much every book on the setting my DM had and it's an incredible amount. I've mentioned before that I'm a big fan of Star Trek, partly due to early adoption as a kid, so it does feel familiar and one idea I've clung to an found I enjoy is that of a 'ship'. I like the idea of a vehicle playing the part of a central base for all the characters, to the point where I gave my 5e D&D group an Airship that has, due to it's creatures uncertainty over terminology, has been dubbed 'The Wind Dingy'. It's not only your own space but it's basically a moving fortress once your character live on the thing. The Starships Enterprise all came to be their crews' home, with the bigger emphasis supposedly being on Voyager. It's where they're stuff and life was but it could move to explore new things, like a flying appartment. When it went down or was taken from the characters, it was a big moment.

    Starjammer lets you tell that sort of story, indulging in everything from ship types to playing with the new rules of gravity this setting does and doesn't care about. There's ships that have two decks, because characters can be 'upside down' on the underside of a ship. So, the ship is like a mirrored image of a ship fused into one. The universe can be seen as silly but it makes it no less possible to make something worthwhile to me.

    Still, maybe I should look into Star Trek tabletop. I'm sure that's there somewhere. For now, I'm happy sailing around space as an explosive-creating orangutang. Because tabletop games are awesome.

    [​IMG]
    "A banana? I could use the potassium to create a new explosive. Why would I eat it?"

    - Recommended Reading

    Right! Your turn.

    @Mister Asmodeus brings us a review, of sorts, of an ancient Buzzfeed quiz about how 'privileged' you're life has been. He runs through the whole thing and makes a pretty reasonable summation of the thing at the end: that it's bloody idiotic and feels kinda condescending to be told that your life isn't that bad so help people. Yaaaay...

    I took the test and scored 55%, making me a little privileged. Most of it was because I live in the UK, so everything to do with being gay, being of another race or to do with religious intolerance doesn't really effect me much over here. I guess I live too close to Brighton to really get much of that.

    [​IMG]
    Pictured: The Most Aggressive Thing I've Seen In Brighton

    @Lioconvoy details the time he was hit by a car. I'm not sure why this is on the list other than how surreal it comes off. It makes for mildly eerie reading.

    This was funny. Though I does remind me how long we've been trying to think of something like this to run the site on, only to remember how we have no idea what to suggest as rewards. Like...A...Desktop Tyro for your computer that'll sit there and judge all the YouTube videos you watch? I dunno...A cuddleable Dragonbait that also doubles as a keychain?

    @Flippyman asks us to dig deep and speak out about the last time we ever shed a tear. I think mine was the first time I saw the new Ratchet and Clank movie. Ugh...

    Oh @Stuffy McPatch, your work always looks cool. Pretty pictures everypony!

    More reviews from peeps, this time it's from @CobaltBreeze talking about an episode of Season 6, The Gift of Maud Pie. Check it out and let them know what you think. I think he could use it.

    Let's do some game stuff....Umm...Oh! Final Fantasy XV: Magical Boyband World Tour, I've heard good things. And Persona 5, I've also heard good things though not about their treatment of YouTube. And speaking of getting angry for no reason, Atlas, people crapping all over Breath of the Wild for being hailed as the second coming of Ocarina of Time. Whut?

    OK, I'm going to get going though I will throw a recommendation at you. Check out 'Captain Delusion' on YouTube. I think it's pretty funny and informative as he busts hoaxes and illusions posted on YouTube. A little harsh in places but certainly worth a look.

    Right, I'm off to think of more Everypony Plus bonuses...Maybe a tabletop game every month. Ah crap, I was supposed to do funny ones. not a legitimately good idea. I'm out of practice.

    Oh! A Solid Gold Butt that dispenses Champaign for the Staff Room. There! Much better.
     
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  2. Mister Asmodeus

    Mister Asmodeus That One User

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    I thank you for the shoutout!
    Also, first!
     
  3. A Jewel of Rarity

    A Jewel of Rarity I never wanted to think about life without you
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    I seem to have missed the solid gold butt, where can I find it in the staff room ?
     
  4. Tyro D. Fox

    Tyro D. Fox Ho, hog, heg! I can does Game Dev thing, yes!
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    Next to the dartboard with Grey One's face on it and the Schnitzel Buffet.

    In-jokes!
     
  5. Ridley Wolf

    Ridley Wolf Destroyer of Worlds

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    Wait, you guys have a schnitzel buffet?
     
  6. Mister Asmodeus

    Mister Asmodeus That One User

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  7. Tyro D. Fox

    Tyro D. Fox Ho, hog, heg! I can does Game Dev thing, yes!
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    You're thinking of cholesterol.
     
  8. Prince of the night

    Prince of the night The secret Tyro~

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    GIVE ME 20!!!!!!
     
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