Technically, I do not need any more role-playing game rules. I use Mythic for most applications, and have some old standbys in ROAD&D (Revised Original Advanced Dungeons and Dragons), Traveller, and CoC (Call of Cthulhu). However, the truth is that those last three, representing years of divesting myself of game systems, truly only remain on my shelf because of nostalgia. I have wonderful memories of being young with no cares or responsibilities, playing for long weekends eating and drinking and smoking with no thought (or care) of going to work on Monday. The rules themselves, in any objective analysis, are pretty ordinary. Mythic is different. Mythic is the pinnacle of freeform story telling. But that’s not what is on my mind now.

I was always a fan of FUDGE. I recall running several sessions with various gaming groups and friends as they came and went over the years. None seemed to bite on the hook that had me. Most thought it interesting but wanted to play with a ‘real’ set of rules. This was ignorance on their part, of course. Rules are just a vehicle – not an absolute measure of truth elevated to respectability once a flashy cover has been thrown at it.

So far, for role-playing, Ornithopter has used Mythic, and I see no reason to change. However, my games extend into miniature wargaming as well, and I want to be able to play with toy soldiers in the same ‘setting’. Drawing these threads together I believe that StarBlazer Adventures will give me the vehicle to create a usable set of wargaming rules that retain strong story-telling aspects.

It will require the melding of several mechanisms:

  • the turn sequencing from SBH (Song of Blades and Heroes), rolling 1 to 3 d6 to give a variable number of actions per unit and a built in variable turn length by the dice result. This is reminiscent of Warmaster, and that will need to be tested as well. I choose this over a card draw system (such as that used in Picquet and Sword and the Flame) because the card draw feels like a trite intrusion. It does not feel ‘random’ enough to me – possibly because the possible outcomes are hidden (in the deck) rather than always visible (on the dice).
  • possibly the squared board of PBI (Poor Bloody Infantry), but certainly a zoned board to control movement and ranges, and measuring on a wargame table feels like an intrusion into the imaginary scene.
  • and finally the Skills (general abilities), Stunts (guaranteed specific situational benefits) and Aspects (word portraits that evoke and suggest story telling events) from StarBlazer Adventures.

StarBlazer Adventures does not specifically have a section on military vehicles (tanks, armoured troopers) and this is strange for a book over 600 pages long that seems to cover everything else. I am simultaneously disappointed and chuffed – anything ‘off the rack’ would probably disappoint me as well. Anyway, the section on Robots is a good place to start as these share a great number of characteristics with the vehicles I have in mind.