Saturday, November 30, 2013

On Theme

Rey had a nifty post over here discussing a cool idea, where fighters can wear ridiculous outfits and gain the equivalent of chainmail armor class. My first thought was "I totally want to steal that" and my next thought was "Definitely shouldn't steal that."

Or at least, definitely shouldn't steal it for Legacy of the Bieth. I'm shooting to have a certain theme and atmosphere in my setting, where things are washed out and sun-blasted and Sergio Leone cinematography, even in the Zone itself. The fancy peacock outfits of the Imperials and other city slickers wilt and fade in the borderlands. Life means little, death sometimes has its price.

Once Upon a Time in the West
I find myself finding all sorts of things that sound really cool, but I've got to keep reminding myself about what I want in my setting and how I need to get that across. Once I've gotten that established in the setting (and importantly, convinced myself I've gotten that established in the setting), then I can maybe start to expand other areas and use some of the cool bits I've seen elsewhere. But until my stuff...makes its bones, for lack of a better term, I don't want to start heading out of the areas I need to get right.

The same thing applies with the 40K stuff I'm working on. I need to get the right balance between the weird and grotty John Blanche of the early days

"Jaq Draco" - John Blanche
"Ryan, be careful what you shoot at.
Shome things in here don't react too well
to bolter shells."

...with the slick fancy Adrian Smith stuff

"Eisenhorn" - Adrian Smith
"I am a badass despite the fact
that I am also ludicrously microcephalic."

And the question there is going to determine how I reshape everything. I know I want to have something that embraces a lot of the universe and setting assumptions of early 40K, but I know that I want something of the slickness and baroque tomfoolery that goes along with Dark Heresy and the Abnettquisition works. Early 40K fits in really well with Traveller (at least the STARSLUGS Traveller I've been playing recently), but it's an Abnettquisition premise that I've been noodling at for about two years that's got me started on the conversion process in the first place. 

None of this is dealing with players, mind you. They're going to keep engaging in their ridiculous-awesome plots and crazy shenanigans and not giving a crap about my fretting over themes. As well they should. 

Joesky Note: Dark Heresy weapons and armor would be a pain in the ass to convert into Traveller's regular combat system. Thankfully, the alternate combat system that Sun-Lord Chris posted over at Hill Cantons actually allows for really rapid conversion. The penetration and armor values from Dark Heresy can come over into Traveller almost directly (with a few tweaks to account for Traveller's baseline weapons assumptions). 

(Yeah, this isn't a full tax. Shut up, I'll do more later.)


  1. It's a full enough tax for me. Anything that helps cross systems is very useful.

    How's the punk-dark coming on? It's a great blend in itself, but even better to weave it into Traveller like that.

    1. Sorry for the delay in responding! I just posted a bit of discussion as to where things are at on that score. Gotta write up lotsa custom tables now :)