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…

The Problems With Alien Invasions

Do you want to know what the problem is with most alien invasions? They want something from us. It’s not like they’re Santa Claus, here to deliver wisdom and technology from the stars out of the goodness of their hearts… Nope. They’re here because we have something they want. I mean, I get it. Every…

Games

Roleplaying has probably been around as long as mankind has had an imagination. As a child, can you remember pretending to be someone else on a school playground or in your own back yard? You might have imagined yourself as a famous sports figure, playing house, or stepping into the shoes of your favorite character…

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