Music to Drive Starships to, Part 1 Classical

The first in an occasional series where I look at the soundtracks to my sci-fi imaginings.

Holst the Planets


In the 80s, my dad had a high-spec record player on which he would listen to jazz to escape my mother’s nagging and recover from the working week. On Saturday afternoons, when he was either out in the garden or creating his latest Curry Masterpiece, I would take over the record player and listen to this on heavy rotation. It was probably the first piece of music I bonded with at age 8 (approx) and still gives me goosebumps whenever I listen to it.

With the headphones on, I would drift off into space and go on an imaginary journey through the planets. Guided by each piece having a definite audio-theme. Favourite pieces are the more intense ones: the almost heavy metal Mars Bringer of War, the sad and mysterious Saturn Bringer of Old Age, and the triumphant and rather cheeky Uranus the Magician. But all the tracks are killer, no filler.

Obviously, it clicked with the idea of the Gods as Planets, and if I sat down and wrote a piece of gaming material directly inspired by it, it would be a Planetary Romance with each of the planets having a people and a living avatar of the God associated with it, running about causing all sorts of fun for the players 🙂



Blasters and Lasers Zero Edition Funded!

A small note of victory here if you are already following this blog. We successfully funded the Blasters and Lasers Zero Edition as part of the Grogzilla 2 Kickstarter.  So it’s now officially in development. I’ve already got the introductory chapter written, part of which was previewed here.

My rough timescales are June/July for a Zero Edtion of about 60-70 pages. There will be printed copies available from the D101 Games web store. This is the bare bones of the game, and it’s similar in scope to the Skyraiders of the Floating Realms Zero Edtion. Then a full release sometime in 2022.

Blasters and Lasers Zero Edition on Kickstarter ZineQuest

I’m in the last two days of a successful ZineQuest 3 campaign (Kickstarter’s February promotion). Its already funded two zines (Grogzilla #2 and The Duck Crusade) and it is now funding one last zine, a RPG in a zine Blasters and Lasers Zero Edition.

Here’s the cover by jeshields.

Blasters and Lasers (B&L) is a traditional tabletop roleplaying game at its Maximum Gaming Fun. It is a game about characters exploring a far future that should be familiar to anyone who was brought up on a diet of TV and Film science fiction full of travelling the galaxy in a spaceship. The setting of the game, the Fractured Galaxy, is teaming with humans and aliens, opportunities to trade, explore strange worlds and fight for what the characters believe.

D100 Powered

B&L uses the same stripped-down, straightforward D100 variant as Skyraiders of the Floating Realms, a fantasy game of skyships and sky islands, developed for fast and furious campaigns and one-shot convention games. The system is short and concise and does not mess about getting stuck into the action when needed yet fades into the background when not needed. All skills and chances to do things are expressed as percentages, so it is easy for players to understand the risks that their characters are taking.

What this Zero Edition Contains

A fuller version of this game is being developed, but this Zero Edition gets you up and going in the worlds of the Fractured Galaxy, with the following chapters.

1. Characters

Using simple archetypes, players create their alter-egos in the game and learn how to develop their skills and abilities during the game.

2. How to do Things

This chapter deals with the percentile-based skill system that the game uses. Small and compact, it allows both the players and the Referee to quickly resolve whether the characters succeed at what they are attempting when the outcome of their actions is unclear.

3. How to Fight

Be it with blasters, lasers, laser-sabres, or exotic martial arts this chapter explains how combat works in the Fragmented Galaxy.  There will also be a simple system for resolving space ship combat.

4. Augmentations

This chapter deals with the different sources of extraordinary power that characters from the Fragmented Galaxy may have. Such as.

Psychic powers, Cybernetics & Bioware, Alien powers, Signature Technological Items.

5. Factions

The Fragmented Galaxy may not have a unifying Galactic Government, but it has several factions that are vying for control.  This chapter gives a few typical examples and details the benefits that characters may gain by becoming members.

6. Aliens, Pirates, and other Freebooters

A short chapter that explains how to create memorable Aliens and other non-player characters. A few examples are given to get the Referee started with populating worlds.

7. Adventure: Marooned

A non-linear adventure that sees the newly created characters find their way off a small Mining Moon, and into a life of galactic adventure. As well as encounters and events that make up the adventure, there will be a quick review of the % Indexing system that is used to quickly describe planets.

Welcome To the Stars

Growing up Science Fiction, in the form of books then Film and TV shows were a big part of my life. More so than Fantasy, which was really just a huge blimp on the chart in my teens.

Yet when it comes to Roleplaying Games, Fantasy has dominated my gaming life. It only been recently in the last five years or so that I’ve questioned that, a subject that will crop up on this blog, and done anything to remedy that in my own publishing output.

As well as popular sci-fi in the form of TV series, Computer Games, and of course Roleplaying Games, I’ll be blogging about D101’s sci-fi rpgs, both those in print and in development.