Tag: science fiction

Starfinder is Coming!

Starfinder is Coming!

Monday, January 9, 2017 | By | Add a Comment

 



Starfinder is Coming!

Hello my readers, today I found out about a new science fiction RPG that will be available on the market around August of this year.  It is called Starfinder and it is created by the same company, Paizo, @ www.paizo.com, that has brought us the renowned Pathfinder fantasy RPG.  In fact, it is basically the same core roleplaying system as Pathfinder such as character creation, core rules and gaming system.  Unfortunately, it has been said that they will not be producing many books or references for the game, which is all fine since the game expands on the Pathfinder core rules, but to me that sounds very familiar with sci-fi role playing games (Gamma World, Shadowrun, GURPS).  Nevertheless, I am always excited about the release of a sci-fi roleplaying game, whether it is an expansion or not.  Pathfinder seems to be the popular choice among roleplayers these days, so I can only imagine a high degree of interest in this game as well as the possibility for more expansions in the years to come (depending on its popularity, of course!)  Check out some of the wonderful artwork for the game!

Setting

It seems to be set a few hundred years past the current time of Pathfinder. Golarion has vanished and a few hundred years is just missing from people’s memories. There are no records of this time and it will be a HUGE mystery in the new game.

The new setting will be based around the solar system Golarion is in. Distant worlds is the foundation of all of this but it is just in the distant future. Absalom Station is floating over were Golarion used to be and will be there heart of the new setting. It is very easy to get back to Absalom station and everyone is vying for control of it.

The setting is around exploring new worlds so there will be a lot of new places to explore. This is for both players and third party groups to go nuts with and apparently they are already getting request from third parties to start making new worlds.

The Multiverse is still the same, all of the same planes exists though it has been a long time so who knows what is different. The Gods will also be different, apparently some of the current Gods aren’t as popular and new Gods have taken their place.

Races and Classes

All races that are core races in Pathfinder will be in Starfinder, but there will be new races in the core book. While some of this is being kept close to the chest, four of them have been confirmed to be, Humans, Ratfolk, Androids and Kasatha. There will be three other races in the core, but they would not announce them at this time.

The seven base classes have been announced and I am pretty excited about them.

  • Soldier: they will be similar to the fighter, being a weapon master and using one type of weapon expertly.
  • Operative: This sounded an awful lot like a rogue to me, being a heavy skill user and being a bit more of specialized fighter.
  • Envoy: This is a charismatic buffer and face of the party, sounding similar to a bard. Princess Leia was given as an example of their role.
  • Mechanic: This one sounded truly bonkers. With the ability to create a robot or an A.I. you could use it as a kind of high tech summoner, or druid. I was really excited about it.
  • Mystic: this sounded like a Jedi to me, and was described as an Oracle type character. Drawing their power from magic but not worshipping anything.
  • Technomancer: Oh boy oh boy, so this sounded like what would happen if a computer programer found magic. It is such an unusual idea and was a true hybrid of magic and technology.
  • Solerian: they really saved the best for last. This class is so different than anything I’ve ever seen. They see the ebb and flow of energy and entropy and use those powers to great effect. Apparently you have to be very careful which abilities you use. If you use an energy ability then your next energy ability will be more powerful but you entropy abilities will be weaker.

The monsters will have a two page spread. Now some of this was Erik Mona being silly but I do think there was a lot of truth to it. The monsters will have two pages so that players can use crazier races in the future, and he wants things like floating cubes to be playable races. It sounds amazing if they can pull it off, but one thing is for sure, there will be lots of crazy races.

How Much Content to expect

They will not be producing as much Starfinder material as Pathfinder. They seem to want people to be able to play both and they don’t want to overwhelm people with the cost of two RPG’s.

A portion of the core book will have campaign setting details. While it will be very easy to use the system for other settings they are really trying to encourage people to use the setting … but based on what I’ve seen that shouldn’t be too hard.

What about Items?

Magic Items will be rarer as technology has slowly taken over. We didn’t get a good answer on how important equipment will be or how they will balance that with alien physiology. It is likely this is the biggest thing they are still working on. Cybernetics and magical enhancements will be very important though.

Last, but certainly not least, space ships will be very important. Space combat rules will exist and people will be required to fill multiple roles. They described it has meeting half way between BattleTech, and SpellJammer. They wanted everyone to be involved but it to not be too crazy detailed. They mentioned Star Wars and Serenity a lot when talking about the style and  feeling of ships. They like the idea of one ship being as much a character as the party.

This is the biggest news about Starfinder yet! I am very excited about it and it seems like everyone at Paizo is has well! It is expected to drop at GenCon 2017.

Robotic Cosmetics Design

Robotic Cosmetics Design

Saturday, April 2, 2016 | By | Add a Comment

Robotic Cosmetics Design

In the accessorizing of the semi-cosplay group of dark electronic, science fiction lovers that I affiliate with, a common theme is robot or cybernetic add-ons such as robotic appendages and electronic, lighted body features in robotic cosmetics design.  There are specialty websites that are geared towards the hobbyist that have sections of DIY or do-it-yourself wearable components that you can use to aid in the design of your own custom attire.

Researchers are continuing to develop robotic like designs to aid disabled people and the elderly in rehabilitation and assisting functionalities.  A recently devised hand exoskeleton called the Assisted Finger Orthosis, is a hand exoskeleton can be customized for an individual using 48 parameters. The battery-powered device uses small linear motors that can be programmed to move the finger as part of a rehab process.  Parameters can be set for finger movement, the range of motion and the frequency.  Each finger on the exoskeleton has eight rigid parts and pins that can be made using a 3D printer.

Someone interested in these type of accessories can either pay for the individual parts through the developer’s means of selling the parts, or they can also decide to design and make it themselves.  This could be done using computer aided drafting and design programs such as AutoCAD and transferring your design to a 3D printer or CNC machine for your own custom made parts.  Many cosplayer and semi-cosplayer designs are now being made this way.

In order to get an individual effect that is unique to your cosplay make-over, then one must have unique designs to add to their attire.  This takes a matter of instruction and learning about a range of technology and other topics including electronics, drafting, design, CAD, CAM, CNC manufacturing, 3D printing, fashion, sewing and materials which would be best suited for your accessories.  If this is something you are interested in, or are considering doing, then you will need to learn these things as well as keeping up on the latest developments as well as the practices and processes of designing your own custom cosplay, or semi-cosplay design.  Take a look at the above video regarding an Iron Man robotic hand an arm accessory and lights that some innovative designer created to give you some inspiration.

Gaming, online gaming, and pen and paper gaming

Gaming, online gaming, and pen and paper gaming

Thursday, March 24, 2016 | By | Add a Comment

Gaming, online gaming, and pen and paper gaming

Gaming, online gaming, and pen and paper gaming has such a wide audience and not every gamer is into or plays the same games as everyone else.  I am a gamer who enjoys games over many genres and that includes video as well as RPG or role playing games.  Mostly I am a huge fan of sci-fi based RPG’s.  One of my most favorite pen and paper RPG’s by far is Shadowrun.

Shadowrun is a role-playing game set in a fictional alternate universe.  Shadowrun combines cyberpunk and high fantasy to create a near future world where technology has advanced beyond our understanding, powerful mega corporations control everyday life, and magic and classical fantasy races have returned to the world.  The game also has a rich history and novels to go along with the game to keep the player inspired when not actually involved in a “campaign” or role playing group.  There are currently several video games also related to the RPG which are rapidly becoming more and more in depth with all of the elements of the original game and with expansions as well.

The fourth edition of Shadowrun uses a point-based character creation system. Earlier editions and later in the fifth edition, used a priority-based system with point-based character creation as an advanced option. Priorities are divided into race, magic, attributes, skills, and resources.  All things that do not explicitly fall under the first four classifications, including contacts in third and earlier editions of Shadowrun, are given cash-equivalent values to be bought with resources.

Shadowrun characters are created with contacts, friends and acquaintances who serve as key nodes in the character’s social network and who will often help the character out. Through the contacts system, players may uncover information that their characters cannot independently acquire.  Additionally, players can often negotiate for the use of skills that their characters do not themselves have, a radical departure from most role-playing games.

Although the skill system is freeform, certain combinations of skills and equipment work well together.  This combination of specialization in skill and equipment is known as an archetype.   So whether you want to be a street samurai with magic skills, or an adept with fighting skills, you can mix things up however you want with certain restrictions and consequences of course.

Check out the video above for more on learning the world of Shadowrun for your first time.