StarCraft tagged posts

Gamma StarCraft: We’re not alone in the universe

I was completely shocked today to find out–through the comments of my most recent Gamma StarCraft post–that C. Steven Ross over at DMG pg. 42 has been working on his own adaptation of the StarCraft setting to the Gamma World RPG. If you’ve been interested in my own project here, or if you just want to see some exciting game design (his own StarCraft project, or any of the other articles published there), do yourself a favor and check out that blog.

DMG pg. 42 was kind enough to credit us with the chronologically first article on the subject, but I’d like to point out that, regardless of who hit the “Submit” button on what date, it’s clear that a lot of hard work went into his creations, and the quality reflects that...

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Games from Scratch: Gamma StarCraft

banshee concept

Over the past few months while I’ve posted my progress on Gamma StarCraft, I’ve tried hard to make it as close to the feel of the computer strategy game as possible. With an RPG there are so many moving parts that it’s hard to see the whole sometimes, so I thought I’d wrap up this series with a survey of what’s been put out so far and how I think it fits into a game that feels like StarCraft. This is the last regular article we have planned but we’ll be putting up a pdf summarizing everything to date. This is still ongoing so we’ll probably have more to say eventually, but for now what does it look like?

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Gamma StarCraft, Part VI

coverfirstborn

A terran with a protoss preserver riding around in his mind is an ideal character for Gamma StarCraft.

 

Read parts I – V here

One thing that Gamma World lacks but Gamma StarCraft needs are origins that define a character’s personality or role in society. In Gamma World, there is no society, so instead you are making characters which are crazy mash-ups between two different worlds: the android plant, the radioactive speedster. But in StarCraft we want things a little more balanced and if someone wants to play a pure concept they can.

We already saw the Squad Leader who is an example of a personality-driven origin, and the ones presented here are somewhat in the same vein. One of the first playtest characters made for Gamma StarCraft was a Marine and a Reaper, who ended up being a rougher . Another playtest character was a career officer with Squad Leader and Firebat, someone with one source of inspiration and then an origin which complements that.

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Gamma StarCraft, Part V

This time, we’ll look at some higher-level enemies: the Crucio siege tank, powerhouse of the Dominion military; the overlord, backbone of the zerg command structure; and the high templar, psionic masters of the Templar caste.

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Games from Scratch: Gamma StarCraft, Part IV

hydra-skulls

Click here for Part I, Part II, and Part III.

I have to admit: I love making monsters. I used to dread this chore in 3rd Edition, although I would still insist on doing it “properly,” which in those days consisted of opening a half-dozen books on my kitchen table and reading from a bunch of tables to find out how many cross-class ranks in the Appraise skill I could buy for a troll with 9 giant hit dice, a level of adept, and 3 levels of barbarian (the answer, by the way, is 8 ranks at the cost of 16 skill points).

On the other hand, building monsters in 4e is a ton of fun. By skipping over most of the boring bookkeeping, I can jump straight to the fun part of fiddling with the moving parts. Gamma World didn’t come with rules on designing monsters, but there isn’t any obvious problem with building them along the exact same rules as D&D.

So, let’s get started with some of the warriors that will be doing battle in the Koprulu sector. For each of these adversaries, I wanted to balance the depiction of the creature in StarCraft with the needs of a Gamma World enemy, and one whose tactics in the tabletop game would match its role in the story. I leave it to you to tell me how I did.

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Games from Scratch – Gamma StarCraft, Part III

Armory

Games from Scratch is a new article series, and we hope that it’s something you can find useful, either as a game to run, an interesting mod of a game or setting you like, or an experiment in game design. We’ll examine a wide range of worlds and rule sets as we go along, but we want Games from Scratch to be more than a bin for homebrew odds and ends, and even more than assorted rules hacks. When one of us sets out to create a Game from Scratch, the goal is just that: an examination of the whole play experience, hoping to adapt some kind of already-existing RPG to make something you could at least get a few hours’ enjoyment out of in a new way.    

    

Click here for Part I and Part II.    

Weapon Lists    

I use Gamma World’s weapon lists (pp. 73-74) for the vast array of weapons found in the StarCraft universe. It’s flexible, easy, and it’s already written to work hand-in-hand with the Gamma World rules. In this system, there is a tradeoff between different weapons’ features, but all are roughly equally effective: Melee does more damage than ranged. Two-handed weapons do more damage than one-handed weapons. Heavy weapons (modified by Strength or Constitution) deal more damage than light weapons (modified by Dexterity or Intelligence), but light weapons are more accurate. Guns deal more damage than other ranged weapons, but require ammunition.

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Games from Scratch – Gamma StarCraft, Part II

starcraft-ii

Games from Scratch is a new article series, and we hope that it’s something you can find useful, either as a game to run, an interesting mod of a game or setting you like, or an experiment in game design. We’ll examine a wide range of worlds and rule sets as we go along, but we want Games from Scratch to be more than a bin for homebrew odds and ends, and even more than assorted rules hacks. When one of us sets out to create a Game from Scratch, the goal is just that: an examination of the whole play experience, hoping to adapt some kind of already-existing RPG to make something you could at least get a few hours’ enjoyment out of in a new way.

In Part I, I talked about some of the big-picture considerations I went through when I was trying to decide how to render StarCraft in Gamma World. Wisely, I made a few of those wide-reaching decisions up-front, before I had time to get ahead of myself. For example, I decided that ammunition would work slightly differently than in Gamma World. I like that it’s tracked abstractly, while preserving the possibility that characters will run out of bullets. But, I want to make some changes so that players aren’t quite as stingy with their guns as they are in a post-apocalyptic survival game like Gamma World.

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Games from Scratch – Gamma StarCraft, Part I

Games from Scratch is a new article series, and we hope that it’s something you can find useful, either as a game to run, an interesting mod of a game or setting you like, or an experiment in game design. We’ll examine a wide range of worlds and rule sets as we go along, but we want Games from Scratch to be more than a bin for homebrew odds and ends, and even more than assorted rules hacks. When one of us sets out to create a Game from Scratch, the goal is just that: an examination of the whole play experience, hoping to adapt some kind of already-existing RPG to make something you could at least get a few hours’ enjoyment out of in a new way.

Last winter, I dusted off my old CD-ROM of StarCraft and subjected my roommates to weekend after weekend of endless LAN parties. At first, they tolerated it mostly because we were trapped under a mountain of snow, but soon they came to agree with me: StarCraft is epic. It needs no introduction, and has spawned an expansion set, novels, comics, and a sequel (along with the frankly bewildering world of professional StarCraft competition).

What I’m working on isn’t the first attempt to produce a playable StarCraft RPG (Wizards of the Coast licensed an RPG in 2000 using the Alternity game), but my goal is a game that captures the feel of the StarCraft universe from a different perspective than the top-down strategy game–that perspective being that of the individual grunts running around at ground level, which hopefully gives some appreciation for the game’s perspective.

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