Real Estate in the Universe

The universe is a big place. As Douglas Adams once wrote, mindbogglingly so. But the thing it doesn’t lack is space. The commute may kill you, but there’s an infinite number of places to hang your hat if you look hard enough. Here on Earth, we’re running out of room in a lot of the…

Religion in the Dominion

It was once said that there are no atheists in foxholes and I suspect the same might be said of being a spacefaring race. Though Aliens & Asteroids may be set a couple of centuries in the future, I suspect that our need to call on a higher power in a time of need may…

Treasures in the Belt

There are few things in the solar system as unique as the asteroids in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. Since Giuseppe Piazzi discovered Ceres, the first and largest asteroid, we’ve had a fascination with discovering what was out there. And when we finally started a process of not only mapping, but mining the…

Reports from the Edge: Eager Shadow, 2228

The Excursori are a secretive society of explorers who brave the edges of space, exploring uncharted worlds and treading where few souls dare. Through many of their explorations in the last century and a half, they have aided greatly in expanding human understanding of the larger universe in which they find themselves in. Though the…

Aliens & Asteroids

Though we initially intended Aliens & Asteroids to be based on the Old School rules of Mazes & Perils, we changed course after several long design sessions and decided to make a new system that was more flexible and less cumbersome. The new system for A&A relies on more speedy mechanics using one or two d20s and a…

The Trick is to Keep Breathing

The title of this post comes from a great song done by the group Garbage back in the 1990s, but definitely applies to dealing with certain conditions in a science fiction setting. Breathable atmosphere is one of those things most creatures require to survive. In the human case, we tend to like a good mix…

The Gravity of the Situation

Dealing once again with a science fiction setting after so many years of being focused in the realms of fantasy, I’ve been forced to deal with several things I’ve not really pondered before as a game designer. One is the application of gravity. One of the many alien races we’ve come up with so far…

Exploring the Future’s Past, Part 2

In the last post, we talked a bit about the “alternate future” that led to the formation of the Dominion, the dominant organization in the world of Aliens & Asteroids. Run by a collection of the most powerful corporations in human-controlled space, it’s definitely a force to be reckoned with. But the Dominion, though immense,…

Exploring the Future’s Past, Part 1

This week I received some input on A&A from friends of mine from way back… Derek, who I’ve known since college (nearly 30 years now) and Mike, who I’ve known since my days at Sybase (more than a decade). Both offered some intriguing feedback. But first, we’ll take a look at the wacky history that…

Aliens & Asteroids: Designing Weapons for the Future

Looking into the crystal ball a few hundred years is a challenge. Understatement of the year. But as I look to the future and what humankind has wrought upon our universe, I’m left with one very obvious fact: weapons have to be tough. It’s tough to get replacement parts when you’re light years from the…

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