X-Wing Miniatures: Ghost

On twitter I got into a discussion about the Ghost from Star Wars Rebels. The conversation started about how Ghost would be represented in X-Wing Miniatures but quickly turned into me defending my hypothesis that Ghost has a cloaking device of some sort. It may not be true cloaking device of the type we saw in Cat and Mouse (Clone Wars, episode 2.16) or featured on the TIE Phantom.

Ghost is Hera's ship but has become the home for the entire crew of Rebels.

My argument comes from two primary sources: A New Dawn and episodes of Star Wars Rebels.

The Ghost makes its first appearance in A New Dawn, along with its owner Hera Syndulla, covertly observing the heavily trafficked shipping lanes between Gorse and its moon Cynda. The key word is covertly. “The green-skinned Twi’lek in her stealth-rigged starship…” A New Dawn advanced reader’s edition, pg. 22. We are led to believe that no one notices the Ghost despite there being literally hundreds of ships in the area, one of them being an Imperial Star Destroyer. The next page describes Hera copying the transponder code of a freighter in the space lanes, which is pretty cool. I can’t find them but I think there are a few more sly references to Ghost’s ability to avoid detection.

The other information comes from Rebels. In the Rebels pilot A Spark of Rebellion, the Ghost is able to fly up to an Imperial Star Destroyer and enter one of its hangars before it is detected. That’s not just a transponder being switched. There’s some sort of active stealth technology at play. I don’t believe it’s a sensor jammer because we’ve seen in Return of the Jedi that jamming signals can be detected. Throughout the show there are hints that the Ghost is special and has some superior capabilities. They’re very coy about it so I think there’s some sort of reveal that’s being led up to.

At any rate, I think there’s going to be a reveal on Rebels at some point that the Ghost has a cloaking or stealth device beyond normal capabilities. And it should be awesome.

Ghost in X-Wing

The Ghost is unique in that it has a small shuttle craft, named the Phantom, docked to it most times. Granted, it’s about a third larger than the Millennium Falcon so there’s space for a shuttle. It would be great to see that represented in X-Wing miniatures. Two models in the package: a Ghost and a shuttle. The Ghost would have Hera as the elite named pilot at either pilot skill 8 or 9.  The shuttle would feature Kanan with a pilot skill of 7. Both ships would have the usual complement of other pilots. We could get Chopper, Sabine, Zeb, and Ezra crew cards.

Phantom

The Ghost has a turret but its heavy guns are in the forward and rear arcs. I see that as 3 attack in those two arcs with a turret upgrade slot. It’s not the most maneuverable ship so let’s call it 1 agility. 7 hull and 5 shields would round things out. Give the ship the focus and target lock actions. It’s got two crew slots and a systems upgrade. The Ghost title for the ship would add the cloak action to the toolbar and run 5 or 6 points. The base ship would be expensive, maybe 34 points for a 1 or 2 pilot skill pilot.

The Phantom would be a small-base ship with 3 attack, 2 agility, 2 hull, and 2 shields. Start it at 15 points for the base model since it’s somewhere between an X-Wing and a Z-95. Things change with the action bar and upgrade slots. The shuttle gets the focus and barrel roll actions with crew and turret upgrade slots (don’t look at me, StarWars.com says it has a turret!). Maybe have the Phantom title give it the cannon upgrade since there are some ludicrously large guns on that bad boy.

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Metatopia 2014 Recap: Part 5, Novapunk

The last game I played at Metatopia was Novapunk, a forthcoming dystopian cyberpunk fantasy game from Legendsmiths. Shane Harsch, whom you may remember from my write up of How to Make Hacking Interesting in RPGs from my Friday Metatopia panels, is the designer and was our GM.

I was probably the most unlikely playtester imaginable for Novapunk. It’s very much a new take on the Shadowrun style of of cyberpunk-meets-fantasy and I have never played Shadowrun. It’s not even in the lengthy list of games I’ve read and never played. The first I’d heard of Shadowrun was in 2010 or so and I know just enough to have a basic concept of what the setting is. Oh, and it uses a lot of d6 dice.

Unlike other play test sessions I forgot to write down the names of everyone involved. Rob Donoghue and Brennan Taylor were present, as were two other players whose names I didn’t catch. Sorry about that. Continue reading

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Metatopia 2014 Recap: Part 4, Hyperreality

Hyperreality is a bonkers, gonzo game of reality game show parody. Tim Rodriguez, of Brooklyn Indie Games and Dice + Food + Lodging, ran a play test session for Adrian Stein, Quinn Murphy, Fred Hicks, Julia Ellingboe, and me. If Spın̈al Tap turns it up to eleven, Hyperreality goes to thirteen.  Continue reading

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Metatopia 2014 Recap: Part 3, By the Book

The one game I preregistered for at Metatopia was Mark Diaz Truman’s By the Book, a Powered by the Apocalypse game of straight cops in a dirty city with a budding vigilante/superhero loose on the streets. The major influence here is Gotham Central, a comic book focusing on the detectives of Gotham City. Of course, it’s easy to see parallels with the new TV show Gotham, which is similarly inspired by Gotham Central.

My fellow players were Joe Zantek, Rachel E.S. Walton, and Misha Bushyager. Mark was the GM for the sessions. Yes, plural. Mark wanted to get two sessions of the game in to see how a second session goes. We played Friday afternoon and again the next morning. Both sessions were three hour slots. Continue reading

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Metatopia 2014 Recap: Part 1, Friday Panels

Metatopia has a surprisingly robust panel track because of its strict focus on game design, development, and play testing. When I sat down to arrange my schedule, I found myself filling in something for every hour of every day. The panels were that good. Given that I only played in four short sessions of RPGs, there were a lot of panels I attended.  Continue reading

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Things Don’t Go Smooth

The first non-adventure supplement for the Firefly RPG has gone live on DriveThru. It’s called Things Don’t Go Smooth.

TDGS

 

Much like with the Firefly RPG Corebook, I wrote the new Distinctions appearing in this book. Some of them get pretty far out there. Check out Bai Yin’s Distinctions on pg. 81 for really creepy stuff. The story of Bai Yin is a futuristic ghost story, something spacers tell to scare each other out in the black. She’s a young woman who simply appears on a ship. Rumor has it she never means anyone harm and always offers to trade secrets. People who deal with her plain swear she can speak with the dead. Those who cross her inevitably come to some terrible end. No one ever sees her twice.

I also wrote up the character sheets for the major GMCs. These get pretty weird, too. Program 741 (pg. 69) is a sentient computer virus that tries to hunt down Browncoats and wreck their ships. It has almost no physical or social ability but, wow, will it tear you up in pure intellectual challenges. There’s also an honest to goodness pirate queen in there, Tessa Barbossa (pg. 49).

Lastly, there’s an FAQ in this book! And I wrote it! It was a bit of a technical writing exercise and I had to sludge my way through all the internet forums I could find talking about Firefly. But it was worth it. I think it answers a lot of questions and can be very valuable to the players.

Things Don’t Go Smooth was a great book to work on and it let me branch out from just writing character Distinctions. I’m really happy to see it is now available for purchase and hope you all like it.

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Babylon 5 Remix

The Three Rocketeers has many influences, something I call out specifically in the design document with a movie night, TV binge, and reading list of inspirations and genre defining works. One of those influences is Babylon 5, the “novel for television” created and helmed by J. Michael Straczynski. I put it there because The Three Rocketeers is my attempt to mash together the grand romance of swashbuckling France and the immense, starhopping majesty of space opera. B5 is most definitely space opera. I began revisiting the series a few weeks ago as I look at what I like in space opera and what I can bring to the table.

cob5logo Continue reading

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