I remember seeing somewhere that creativity is 10% inspiration and 90% persperation.

This post is the inspiration part of creativity.

If we go back to our campaign's main idea:

"Smugglers/Free traders/Tramps trying to make a living while dodging the Cartels/Oppressive Government™ and trying not to get fried by progenitor tech/eldritch powers."

Then we can see that there are somethings that we can draw inspiration from. Star Wars is full of all those things, and we'll certianly be taking some inspiration from there, but not all of it. The Homeworld games are also chock full of progenitor tech and a major theme in the games is rediscovering what was lost after the progenitors destroyed themselves. Firefly and Cowboy Bebop also make for some good inspiration, if not for setting, then certainly antics and tone. I would also like to throw in a little bit of Guardians of the Galaxy for the same reasons, and because there's some good stuff for alien races, factions, and eldritch powers.

I guess I should also mention that this campaign is probably going to be a might bit silly. :P


We have our sources, so lets break things down a little to see what it is we want from each of them.

Firefly and Cowboy Bebop have some board similarities, a crew of misfits looking to make a quick buck while trying not to get into trouble with some power. For Firefly, the big power was the Alliance. For Cowboy Bebop, it was the Syndicate, a criminal organization. There are some differences, some huge ones, and the overall tone of the series is different for each one. Firefly was more serious while Cowboy Bebop was down right silly at times. This is supposed to be on the silly side, so we'll probably hew closer to Cowboy Bebop's tone, and Guardians of the Galaxy's tone by extension.

But what about Star Wars and Homeworld?

Well, those are what we'll be taking our larger setting elements from. Used future, large starships, lots of old relics hanging around, and lots fo jury rigging. There's also an oppressive empire that controls a fair portion of the galaxy with a plucky resitance or a ragtag coalition of other political powers fighting to remain free from the empire. There may be multiple empires, but the idea is that this is mostly background and won't impact the characters unless the players want it to.


Now comes the hard part, hammering this into something useable. We don't need it all of the way there, just far enough to be able to play, or at least be able to build what we need to play.

For now, we can ignore the bigger setting elements. There's an empire, or several of them. There's a gaggle of crime syndicates/cartels. There's a lot of progenitor ruins out there. That's all we really need at this point. What we need to focus on is our core activities, what the characters will be doing. Our campaign's statement/main idea/thesis gives us some clues to that already, but I'd like to and bounty hunting to that list since if you're going to be operating in the kinds of environments that you're going to be finding bounties anyway, might as well give the players another way to get into trouble.

So, looking at Action 2 and Spaceships 2, it looks like getting cargo and passengers to transport is going to be a prominent feature of any adventure. We'll use the rules from Spaceships 2 for finding cargo and passengers, but we'll also be using the rules for The Job from Action 2 for finding bounties. Things can go wrong, and the Cartels are never happy about losing their cut, so Chases and Combat will also likely be prominent. Some jobs are not what they appear, and it can be helpful to have a little information on what's really going on, or to have those clearance  codes, just in case. That falls under Gathering Intelligence, which nicely fits into out bounty hunter getting information on his target as well. Then there's the times you need to sneak past the custom officials or station security, and for that, Deception is the go to. Then there's the times you need to guard your cargo, passengers, archaeologist employers, which falls under Providing Security.

To put that all together in a nice place, we have these core activities:

  • The Job/The Cargo - Finding bounties, cargoes, and passengers to get where they need to go.
  • Gathering Intelligence - Finding out more about what's going on, what hazards are likely to make things go pear-shaped, and what the codes to get past are.
  • Deception - Getting close to the bounty or the young officer that has the clearance you need to get those codes. Bluffing and sneaking past guards and customs officials.
  • Providing Security - Guarding the cargo or passengers. Providing security for employers.
  • Chases/Combat - Getting out of trouble by either running or fighting. Can be involved when things go wrong with any of the above.

And now we have enough to get started on some mechanics. That will come in the nest post.