Friday, August 24, 2012

Asteroid Dragon

The Asteroid Dragon or "Rock Knucker" is a predator found on rocky moons and rugged worlds along the fringes of known space. How these monsters have managed to make it to so many worlds is a mystery, but the prevailing theory is that big game hunters and zookeepers have transported them for their own purposes. These monsters are a particular nuisance to colonists, as asteroid dragons are rapacious predators that will eat anything and everything they can catch.
Asteroid dragons are 16-25ft long reptilian monsters somewhat resembling a dinosaur or dragon from legend. Though reptilian in form, asteroid dragons are warm-blooded, allowing them to hunt a wide range of habitats, though they hate damp places such as forests and swamps.
Thankfully, these creatures are amazingly stupid, and can easily be baffled with electric fences and other tricks. The remarkable metabolism of an asteroid dragon renders it an immunity to all known poisons and disease, though they are host to a dreadful variety of harmfully septic bacteria.
AC: 20, HD: 12d8, THB: +12, Att: 2D6/2d6/3d8, ST: 7+ (Survival), MV: 6, SPC: Cause Fear, Disease, Immunity (Disease, Poison), Stupidity. XP: 1,000

Story Possibilities

Space Ranchers
An asteroid dragon has been stalking a herd of terran cattle on the outskirts of a colonial settlement. The big lizard has been nabbing cows, eating them bones, horns hooves and all to the distress of the local ranchers. The X-Plorers team is contracted to find and kill the beast.

Big Game Hunter
A corporate executive who likes to play big game hunter has hired the X-Plorers team to help him bag an Asteroid Dragon to mount on his wall. The players characters not only have to find a wild Asteroid Dragon, they need to "help" the exec make a kill without killing the beast themselves. 
To make this even more difflicult, the exec isn't a very good shot, preferring flashy guns and high-tech gear to actual skill. So the team has to not only worry about the beast, but their employers collateral damage as well.
Happy hunting!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Ravening Beetlebeast

Lurking on remote asteroids and lonely moons, the dreaded Beetlebeast stalks anything even remotely edible. These monsters will happily munch upon asteroid miners, algae, plastics, or anything else unfortunate to get caught. Beetlebeasts can survive in vacuum environments and are highly resistant to radiation, leading some specialists to surmise that they are the product of genetic engineering by some unknown alien race.
Beetlebeasts are powerful subterranean predators whose ironlike claws allow them to burrow through solid stone in search of prey. Beetlebeasts are tremendously strong, standing nearly 8 feet tall and over 5 feet wide. Muscles bulge beneath their exoskeletons and their powerful arms and legs all carry great claws. They have no necks to speak of, but the head features a powerful maw with 8-inch mandibles capable of biting through any hide, bone or steel and composites. Their eyes are mere blackened dots each the size of a small coin.
For all of their monstrous features, beetlebeasts are intelligent opponents. They lie in wait for passing prey, peeking through a crack they've made, until likely prey walks by. The rock devil then springs out upon its startled victim. When using this technique, opponents have a +4 modifier on their ST for Stealth checks. Other tactics involve planned cave-ins and dead-end tunnels and burrowing up underneath their chosen prey. Their burrowing rate varies from 4 meters per turn in solid stone to 6 meters per turn in soft earth.
AC: 16, HD: 8d6, THB: +8, Att: 3 claws 2d6, claw 2d6 and bite 3d6, St: 11+ (Survival and Stealth), MV: 6 (Burrow 4-6), SPC: Optional Movement (Burrowing), Dark Vision, Immunity to Cold, Radiation Resistance (+8 to save vs. any kind of radiation poisoning),
XP: 150

Notes: My players had a chance run-in with a Rock Devil this past Sunday. It is only due to some fast thinking and accidentally coordinated action allowed them to escape the beast. 

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Malkian (Cat People)

The Malkian's (Cat People) are a species of felinoids native to Freya. They also settled on a number of colony worlds and are allied with the UCN, often joining corporate nations as citizen/employees. Malkian have some similarity to the non-humanoid cats of Earth, though they are closer to the size of a human. They have fur in a variety of lengths and colours, including brown, black and tabby stripes. They have retractable claws which they can use for self defense and ritual combat. Malkian voices are often punctuated with sounds like the purring and of cats.
Malkian society is matriarchal, with a council of the wisest and strongest females leading a community. Males typically keep to their own cliques but regularly seek to gain the backing of a powerful female. Technologically, Malkians were comparable to early 20th century Earth (WWII era), but have been catching up quite quickly thanks to their sharp minds and usefulness to the UCN as scouts. Malkians are considered to be the most physically appealing of alien races yet encountered by the UCN, but are considered to be aloof and unfriendly by those who "dont get cats". All Malkians are curious and inquisitive people who take great pride in their appearance.
Restrictions: Malkians will never wear any armor higher than Flex Armor (AC 12). Due to the fact that they have a full coat of fur, they will overheat in a very short time if wearing armor. If a malkian PC puts on any armor higher than Flex Armor, they will faint within one turn. In fact, many malkians do not wear armor at all. Malkian can use force fields.
Attribute Adjustments: +2 AGI (18 max), -2 PRE (3 Min)
Bonuses:  Night vision of up to 30 feet. The retractable claws of Malkians grant them 1d2 damage on all open hand attacks (if a Soldier, increase Martial Arts damage by one die type, so 1d3+1 becomes 1d4+1 and so on). Also the heightened reflexes of Malkian grant them a +1 on initiative checks.

As Creatures
Malkians are intelligent and dangerous opponents as well as skilled scientists, technicians and spies. In combat, Malkians prefer ambush, sabotage and assassination to open battle. Malkians can be found anywhere humans are, often finding work for UCN corporations, UCNP (police), or as Space Pirates. Malkians tend to prefer melee weapons such as swords and sonic swords over firearms, but will sometimes use laser pistols.
AC: 14, HD 2d6, THB +2, Att 2/1d2 or by weapon, ST 15+, MV 8, XP 40

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Olympus Mining Industries (OMI)

Industry: Mining, energy
Headquarters: Olympus City, Mars, Sol System
Key people: Sophia N. Tusi, President
Revenue: increase UCN $ 2.147 trillion (2222)
Employees: 24,008,000 (2222)
Olympus Mining Industries (OMI) is a Mars-based interplanetary mining corporation, which is amongst the largest corporate states in the UCN. Olympus Mining Industries, including its consolidated companies and its share in equity companies, is one of Sol Systems largest fuel and ore producers, eludium marketers, hydrocarbon marketers and antimatter manufacturers.
The OMI is based primarily in Olympus City, located on the slopes of the mighty Olympus Mons of Mars. This city is owned and controlled entirely by the OMI, and is considered the jewel of the Sol System for its beauty, industry, and use of engineering wonders.  It is from this capitol, that the OMI controls and directs its enormous fleet towards the betterment of mankind.

Olympus Mining Industries is the longest running corporate venture on Mars, having its start from the earliest days of the Mars Terraforming Initiative in 2020.  In those days the OMI was a coalition of elements from the old Shell Oil, Space-X, NASA, and several smaller companies. From its beginning, OMI has been focused on unlocking energy sources to power a busy human race.
Now OMI ships and power stations can be found throughout the Sol System, from positron forges near the Sun (where antimatter is created), to gas mining on Jupiter, Saturn, and mining interests in the belt and on the moons of Jupiter and Saturn.
Within the past fifty years, Olympus vessels have begun venturing into the reaches, seeking out energy and opportunities. The "Nomad" series of vessels are a recent marvel. Massive starships sent far from the Sol System to set up hubs from which the company might assay the surrounding star systems and make claims. These vessel are veritable flying cities, equipped with a Shors Hammer class Quantum Computer to aid the crew and to set up a "quantum beacon" to allow instant communications with home.

Government and Politics
Like all corporate states of the UCN, Olympus Mining Industries is run by an all-powerful Board of Directors under the leadership of President and CEO Sophia N. Tusi. Under the leadership of President Tusi, Olympus Mining Industries has expanded beyond the Sol System into the reaches, seeking an ever-increasing variety of resources and sources of power.
As a primarily mining and energy producing corporation, OMI has a large number of "factory" style work environments and has a "working man" attitude of self reliance and tough determination drilled into its employees. As with all major corporations, there is a definite line between management and worker "castes" enforced by policies and the OMI security forces. Execs rarely interact with workers and vice-versa.

Olympus Mining Industries is always looking for materials to mine and process, with a particular focus on gold, cobalt, iron, manganese, molybdenum, nickel, osmium, palladium, platinum, rhenium, rhodium, hydrocarbons, ruthenium, tungsten, oxygen, hydrogen, water.
Olympus Mining Industries specializes in the following special materials;
Antimatter: The production of antimatter is extremely dangerous, and expensive, but the end result is the super fuel that allows interstellar travel possible. At present, the OMI is responsible for 64% of the antimatter consumed by the UCN fleets. Antimatter pollution is a major issue, as engines using this material for power produce a significant amount of radioactive waste.  
Eludium: A rare ore mined from certain neutron stars, Eludium is crucial in the production of gravity manipulating technologies as well as the newer models of matter screens. Eludium is very expensive to process, and mortality rates amongst mining crews is quite high. Despite these issues, Olympus Mining Industries controls the majority of Eludium production in the UCN.
Hydrocarbons: Reliance on hydrocarbon fuels (ie oil, amongst other things) is still widespread in the world of 2222. Hydrocarbons are cheap, easy fuels that are also useful in construction, domestic use and even as a component in many food products. OMI holds many mines throughout the Sol System and beyond, and are masters of its processing.

Io is one of the moons of Jupiter. It was discovered in 1610 by renowned astronomer and scientist Galileo Galilei.A rocky world, by the 2100s Io had been colonized by Olympus Mining Industries who have built domed cities in order to create a suitable atmosphere for living.
The domed and underground cities are home to a wealthy aristocracy of corporate executives and their families. The domes are full of the very latest diversions and luxuries, and the best boarding schools in the Outer So System. Maintaining this colony are a great many robotic laborers, servants, as well as a solid core of human and chuman menials and technicians.OMI Security Guards have their own sectors and are quite well paid.
As an "ideal" world for the privileged, Io is closed to idle visit. Those just looking to see the sights had better have their papers in order. Security here is tight, but the guards are usually quite bored, and so greatly enjoy getting to harrass anyone there without proper clearance.
Many OMI execs will come from Io, or have at least some family there. It is considered a real honor to from or attached to the Io aristos, if only for name dropping purposes. For those not born, raised and educated in ivory tower opulence, execs from Io might seem painfully distant from "lesser" men and women, privileged, but a bit out of touch.

Using Olympus Mining Industries in the X-Plorers RPG
Olympus Mining Industries is a good example of a Corporate State for the X-Plorers RPG. Its is an immense, monolithic corporation that can pretty much do what it wants.Employees of the corporation are almost always loyal, as the OMI spends a great deal of efforts to make sure its employees are busy, either with work or entertainment.
Outside of the corporation Olympus is widely loathed as a slippery corporation with a long grocery list of violations filed with the UCN. Antimatter pollution, genocide, claims jumping and all manner of villainy have been laid on the doorstep of this Corporate giant. But with the kind of money that OMI can spend, it can afford mighty big bribes, and the best lawyers money can buy.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Zephys Class Survey Ship

The Olympus Mining Industries (OMI) has a large fleet of ships, but none are sent as far afield as the Zephy Class Survey Ship. This Class 2 ship is designed to carry a small crew into distant systems to continue the Olympus Mining Corporation's never-ending quest for valuable ores.
Make: Buckley Astronautics Shipyards on Deimos.
Length: 18 meters
Width: 9.5 meters
Height: 3 meters
Ship Class: 2
Type: Scout
Crew: 2-7, cockpit capacity: 3
Hull Points: 10
Weapons: Laser Cannon (1d6)
AC: 10
NPC Skill: 15/13/11+
XP Value: 60
Cost (in millions): 30cr

Equipment: The ships lab is equipped with the equivalent of a Scientific Kit, Survey Kit and Medical Kit. The Engineering section is equipped with the equivalent of a Mechanics kit. Furthermore, all ships come equipped with the following;
Base Camp Kit: As those found on page 11 of the X-Plorers rulebook.
Environmental Suits: All ships come with four E-Suits.
Ground Buggy: As a ground car (X-Plorers page 12), but built for heavy use in exploration. Each ground buggy has six tough wheels and a bed that can carry 2 tons of cargo. The driver cab is not pressurized, so pilots and passengers must wear environment suits on planets without breathable air. The Ground Buggy is housed in the ulk Storage compartment.
Manna Farm, Basic: This is a small unit designed to maintain and cultivate a small amount of Manna for an unlimited period of time as long as it is supplied with power and filtered water. This farm can produce enough food paste for up to seven grown men, or enough spacers gruel for two every day. This is normally unflavored.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Chuman: Homegrown Allies

Chuman pilots getting ready for a mission.
The Chuman (also known as the Humanzee or Manpanzee) is a chimpanzee/human hybrid initially created via genetic engineering. These creatures have been companions for humankind since the late 21st century, and can now breed naturally. Chuman can now be found working as pilots, technicians and many of the dirty and dangerous jobs so abundant in a busy universe. They have a significant presence in the UCNP, especially in outlying colonies where personnel is always thin. Though they are considered fully sentient by the UCN under the Transgenics Sapience Act of 2120, Chuman are still treated as second class citizens, relegated to heavy labor and lower management positions at-best.
An adult chuman is only slightly shorter than the average human, though broader in the chest, with longer arms and shorter legs. Though taller and straighter than a chimpanzee, they retain an ape-like posture and gait when walking. All Chuman have ape-like features and are covered in hair. They can wear clothing and use equipment designed for humans.
AC: 15, MV: 6, HD: 2D6, THB: 20 Att: 2, Dmg: 1d10/1d10, XP Value: 65

Player Character Information
Chuman make excellent player characters. They are tough, versatile, and allow a player to run a non-human without being too alien. Chimps and humans have more in common than humans and aliens would. Chuman characters will have been raised within human culture, albeit in a lower tier of society (usually), and will likely have a great deal in common with human PC's. However it should be noted that Chuman are considered OK to treat as sub-human in society, so elements of racism can and should be an element in the game world.
Restrictions: Chuman are restricted to the Scout and Technician classes, as these fields are what their species was initially engineered for. Though many Chuman are capable of becoming Scientists and Soldiers, the educational opportunities do not exist for these fields.
Attribute Adjustments: +2 PHY, INT -2
Bonuses: Chuman have a base armor class of 12, and a +2 attack bonus when in melee due to their long arms. Also, the great fists of a Chuman deal a whopping 1d10 damage, making it capable of breaking bones and denting armor.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Still Here!

It has been awhile since my last posting. But FEAR NOT, the (mad) scientists over here at Space Madness Incorporated have been working hard on further installments and additions to the SPACE MADNESS blog, particularly fleshing out the Terry Go Home campaign setting for the X-Plorers RPG.

I will be further detailing my take on my Terry Go Home campaing setting for X-Plorers, particularly regarding alien species, vehicles, and assorted setting details to help flesh out a vibrant game setting. I will have additional material posted soon so STAY TUNED!

On a related note, the X-Plorers RPG will be shipping to games stores this Fall. This is a big deal for an independant game company, especially one with origins as humble as X-Plorers. When Dave Benzi made the game, he really just wanted a fun game that he could play with his kids, one that focused on pulp sci-fi adventure. I think thats an origin we can all appreciate.

So get out there and support this game, and the games stores that sell it. Ask the folks at your local games store about it, spread the word. If you want awesome things to happen, you have to help.

For those of you who dont know, X-plorers is a science fiction role-playing game with an old-school feel. The system is basic and allows for endless possibilities! Here's a few resources to get you started:

Get a copy of X-Plorers now
X-plorers publisher, Brave Halfling
Official X-plorers blog
X-plorers Forum on