Thursday, February 17, 2011

Reading Room: the Stars Without Number skim -- part 03

(Game) Systems
So from page 59 to page 70, I read most of the main rules regarding skill and combat resolution -- including initiative, skill checks, attack checks, injuries, poisons, saving throws, damage and death, and ship-to-ship combat.

Pretty lean, but not vague. Now, sometimes I'm scratching my head about one rule or another, like why 1d8 for initiative and why ties are broken by the player to the right (or was it left) of the GM; sometimes, I understand why the phrase "it's up to the GM to decide..." is used -- because it IS up to the GM; and sometimes I'm blown away and stunned that there's an extended example on the ship-to-ship combat, when personal combat didn't get that much attention.

But overall, clear and concise. I don't know if that's because I've swung to the preference of leaner rulesets when tackling new games (and was a Hero fanatic for the longest time, now just a fan), or if it's because I've got so many ruleset options rattling in my brain that I'm not worried about how handle unusual circumstances or any gaps that I've not seen yet (see the mention of Hero fanaticism, and add to that a fascination for tinkering with 3rd Edition and various flavors, AND Fuzion as well).
A not-so-subtle reminder that space is dangerous enough
for traveling adventurers; why look for more trouble?

And I know why there's an extended example -- OSR gamers and 3E gamers alike I'm sure know how personal combat goes. That ship-to-ship stuff can be tricky if you've never done space battle wargames. Even if the rules are pretty much based on the same concepts (armor class, combat rolls, hit points, etc.) as melee combat.

All in 12 pages. Not bad at all. Maybe it's because they only put one illustration (see the pic to the left) in that entire chapter to fit every damn thing in there!

Next, I jump ahead to the faction rules, which I'm just a bit curious about. And am eager to see if I can pair with the Babylon 5 OGL rules for using influence for an organization you're a part of, and see if I can re-use for the eventual impending release of the 3rd Edition of the faction-riddled Fading Suns setting.

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