Now that the basic deck plans are done, I want to make a 3D model of the ship. I’m going to be posting this as a series of small articles as I work on the model so you can see the bits and pieces as they happen. Let’s get started.
I’m going to be trying something new for this model. Well, new for me at least. I’m going to attempt to create the model in Blender. I’ve used Blender a bit in the past but only to add materials and textures to an existing model that I created somewhere else. Never to completely create the model from scratch. In the past I’ve done all my models in another program called OpenSCAD. It has some features that I really like (as described in this post on the Arcane Game Lore Blog). But it also is fairly simple and I’d like to have the extra control an options available in Blender. If you want to see some of the other things I’ve created, check out the 3D Models category here on the Expanding Frontier. That includes several posts I’ve made on the subject.
So we’ll see how this goes. I’ve been working through a Blender fundamentals tutorial on Pluralsight and feel comfortable with the basics that I think I’ll need to create this model. If all else fails, I can fall back on OpenSCAD. In truth I’ll be using both of those tools in this project since I can export objects from OpenSCAD into Blender. So for parts and pieces that make more sense to create in OpenSCAD, I’ll be using that.
For this ship, the first step was to lay out all the interior pieces in their proper size and position. This is what I’m calling the skeleton of the ship. Once that is done, I can build the hull around the interior structure so that it is all properly contained.
This is one of those cases where OpenSCAD is just going to be so much easier to use then Blender. Since we’re talking about adding in basic geometric shapes in very specific, defined positions, the programming interface to OpenSCAD that allows me to specify the position and dimensions of basic shapes like cubes, cylinders, and spheres is exactly what I need.
I work on these models at 1/1000 scale. The default units in OpenSCAD are millimeters so I just use the sizes of the rooms in meters as my values in the functions. This naturally gives me that scale. I can always scale it up (or down) later as needed. For tabletop minis to be used in a tactical game, I typically create the model at 1/3000 scale so I just have to scale the final model by 1/3. For display models, I can scale it to anything I want.
To begin, I just pulled up the deck plan for deck 1 (the lower deck, see this post) to use as a reference. OpenSCAD needs an origin so I selected the center of the grid to be (0,0) in the horizontal directions and the bottom of the deck to be 0 in the vertical direction. I could just have easily selected the lower left of the deck plan but thinking ahead, I knew I would want the origin on the center-line when I got into Blender so I chose appropriately. I then just started adding in boxes to represent the various rooms in the ship.
The cargo bay is 6 meters tall. The little side rooms off of it are not quite as tall ranging from 3-5 meters in height. The forward section of this deck has 3 meter tall rooms. And the elevator shaft connecting this deck to the upper one can be extended 10 meters up to intersect the middle deck. Here’s what things look like after adding in this first deck.
On the left is the OpenSCAD code. On the right is the actual render of the code as a 3D model. The large block sticking up high in the middle is the elevator shaft to the next level up.
On the first level, I added in each room individually. On the middle level, there are a lot of rooms that are adjacent forming large blocks. These areas I just added as single large bits as there was no need to make them all individual. This model I’m creating is just really a sort of wire-frame and will not be part of the final model. It’s more of a guide. The room for the Ion Cannon machinery is 4m tall instead of the standard 3m and is so represented in the model. Here’s the model after this deck has been added.
Those little bits sticking out on the sides are the access tunnels to the engines. Those might very well change as I start modeling but for now, I’m just reproducing what’s on the sketches I drew. Somewhere out there will be engines. Again the bit sticking up is the elevator shaft to the next level.
Finally we need to add in the upper deck. This one has the 6m high runabout bay aft with all the other decks being 3m in height including the round bridge area. Again this deck has a bunch of adjacent rooms that form large blocks. In fact, it only took three shapes to model this: the large block for the runabout bay, a cylinder for the bridge, and an block connecting the two to represent the other rooms. Here’s the model with deck 3 added.
Nothing really exciting here. Although now you can see how the ship sort of tapers toward the middle and the back as you go up to the higher levels.
Finally, I wanted to add in the exterior weapons: the Ion Cannon and the Laser Battery. So I went in and modeled those to scale and put them on the ship. Having these exterior elements will help me to get the hull placed properly. With the weapons added, I now have a completed model of the interior of the ship as well as some of the exterior features I need to account for. Here’s the final model.
Making the weapons was kind of fun. I may just export those out to use in Blender. It depends on how hard it is to make the tori around the barrels.
And Done (for now)
Now that the model is done, I can create an actual 3D object and export it for use in Blender. That’s it for this segment of the modelling process. Next time I’ll pull this skeleton model into Blender and start shaping the actual hull around it.
Let me know if you have any questions, comments, or suggestions in the comment section below.
I’ve been working on the antagonist’s ship for the Ghost Ship Osiris module and now have the basic ship design down. This is a larger vessel, used by Thrawl and his scavenger crew to collect materials around the frontier and transport them for sale. It’s relatively well armed and with the larger crew, can even take on smaller vessels if it wants to. I still haven’t come up with an actual name for Thrawl’s specific instance of this ship but am simply calling the general ship type the Scavenger Transport. In this post I’ll talk about how I designed the ship.
Initial ship specifications
It starts by deciding exactly the roll the ship is to play. I knew I wanted it to have a large cargo area, a bigger than normal crew (to provide muscle in scavenging operations), be relatively well armed, and relatively fast for a vessel of its size. The last bit is because in the module, it needs to be on par speed-wise with the PCs’ ship. And a fast, armed ship isn’t too bad for a crew that works a bit on the shady side of the law. Also the ship has to be able to carry a smaller personal runabout for the captain, again needed for plot reasons.
Given that basic plan, I sat down with the FrontierSpace rules and started picking out systems and features of the ship. Now to be honest, I had a bit of behind the scenes help as Bill has created a spreadsheet to use for basic ship design that helps a lot. That tool is not generally available but I believe Bill is working on a more detailed starship generation system that the basics provided in the core rules. In any case, I was able to determine all of the ships systems, components, and statistics using the spreadsheet. Using that information, I created a basic ship characteristic sheet.
There’s no picture of the ship yet as I haven’t completely designed it and don’t know what it looks like. But now that we have the specifications for the ship, we can start working on the deck plans.
As I do with most of my ship designs, I start with paper and pencil. I have a nice little Moleskin graph paper notebook that I use to sketch out ideas and designs in so I started by drawing a side and top view of roughly what I wanted the ship to look like. It can be seen here in the upper left of this scan of two of the pages from the notebook (Note: on this an all other images in this post, you can click on them to get them at their full resolution).
The initial plan was to have three decks, each smaller than the one below forming a somewhat pyramidal or wedge shape. The larger box in the back that spans the upper two levels was to be the hangar for the runabout. The lower level would be taller than the other levels as it contains the cargo bay.
Once I had the basic outline, I started mapping out what I wanted each level to contain. I basically went through all the specifications and figured out which deck the machinery, storage, and hardware would be for each of those systems. You can see that list in the middle of the first page.
The basic breakdown was this:
Level 1 (bottom) – Cargo bay, shuttles and workpods, and many of the ship’s weapons and defenses along with other bulky systems such as life support and power storage.
Level 2 (middle) – Crew quarters and living space, sensors, ion cannon, engineering and tech spaces
Now that I had the basic plan, it was time to start getting into details. I started with the lower, largest level which can be seen on the second page of the scan above. On limitation of working in my notebook (which is 8.25×5 inches, 5 squares to the inch) is that there is only so much space to draw in. I probably should have sketched at 2m/square but did the sketch at 1m/square.
I stared by working out the cargo bay size. Assuming that one CU from the game rules is about a cubic meter, I figured out how big the cargo bay needed to be (see the notation on the left page) give that the bay itself was 6m in height. From there I started adding in the other features that were supposed to be on the ship.
After I finished this deck I compared it to the top view sketch that I created. I realized that the width matched pretty well assuming that the sketch was done at 3m/square except that the detailed sketch was 6m too short. So I made a note about that (on the upper right) to remind me to stretch it out a bit when I finally got down to drawing it. With the lower level done and an approximate scale, I started in on the next two levels.
I actually skipped deck 2 to start and did the upper deck first. The reason for this is that I needed to know where the deck access would be so I could connect everything up. I knew I wanted the bridge at the front of the deck spanning the entire width and the runabout hanger at the back. The Laser Battery is actually mounted at the top of the ship so I put it in the center of the deck. I wanted a conference/meeting room off the bridge that was also connected to the captain’s suite. Picking the left side for the conference room determined where the Captain’s Suite would be. That put the elevator on the right and I added in the main computer, some life support space and small toilet off the bridge. This deck was done.
On deck two, I knew I wanted to put the crew cabins and living area in the back of the ship and the working areas center and forward. I actually started this level by putting in the two elevators (one to the deck below and one to the deck above) so I knew how the rest of the design had to work around them.
Next I added in the engineering spaces around where I wanted the engine access tunnels to be. Then came the location of the Ion Cannon (which extends out the front of this deck, not shown) at the front of the deck and then just started filling in details.
Also you might notice that I don’t have the roundabout hanger extending down into deck 2. It would have filled the space where the rec room is and a bit more. That was because as I was doing the sketches, I didn’t look back at my side view (the deck sketches were done several weeks after I made that side view sketch) and I completely forgot that that was my intention. So I decided to just extend it up more instead of down, making the ship even more pyramidal in shape.
Now, if you’re paying attention, you may have noticed that I forgot a fairly important feature that any good spaceship needs. (I probably forgot several but one is definitely going to be added in). Can you spot it? I’ll call it out when I get to drawing up the level it occurs on.
Slightly more detailed drawings
With the sketches done, it is time to start in on final drawings. I do my drawings in Inkscape and if these were going to be the final plans for this ship, they would end up with much more detail that you’ll see here. However, I knew that for this ship at least, I would be sending of the drawings to Bill to create the final version. The reason is that he has a specific style that he has used for ships in FrontierSpace that I can’t quite recreate yet. He had already done the PCs’ ship for this module in that style so I needed him to do the final drawings to match. More on this later. But that means that all I really need to do is get a good working drawing with the spaces mapped out for him to work from.
I like do do these drawings at 50 pixels per meter and 100 dpi. This is mainly due the fact that I started doing maps in Inkscape to digitally recreate some of the original Star Frontiers maps and those maps were all a two squares per inch. Give the preponderance of virtual table tops and the need for maps for those systems, I should probably shift to 70 pixels per square since that seems to be the default for those systems. However, since Inkscape is a vector drawing program, it’s really easy to scale the final map up (by 40%) to reach the desired scale. So I’ll probably stick with what I’m using since the math is easier.
Anyway, I start by laying down a grid. I know how big the ship is going to be so I create an image that is big enough to hold the ship plus 1 square larger on each side. Inkscape has a great extension to draw grids (Extension->Render->Grids->Cartesian Grid) so just use that to make the base grid:
Next I import the scans of my sketches and place them on a layer behind the grid. I have to rotate and scale the sketches so that they match the grid I just created. The sketch for the cargo deck looks like this:
You’ll notice that the sketch doesn’t go all the way to the end of the grid. Remember I said I needed to stretch it out? The final grid is larger than the sketch to accommodate that.
Next we lay in the outer hull. This is done on a separate layer. In the final drawings, the hull will probably have some final thickness and shape to it but for now, It’s just going to enclose the space where the rooms and passages will be. Some may stick out slightly but it provides the overall shape.
Starting a new layer, I turn off the gray fill on the hull (so I can see the sketch, I could also just play with the opacity if I wanted) and start drawing in the rooms and adding doors. Once that is all done, I turn the gray fill on the hull back on (I’ve also turned off the sketch in the background.)
Now, if I were working on the final versions, I’d next go in and add details to all the rooms: consoles, chairs, desks, beds, whatever the room required to show it’s use and function. However, as I’m just sketching out space, this is good enough for now. So we add some labels to indicate what the rooms are:
Now that deck one is finished, it’s time to do deck 2. This is where I realized I was missing something important. Besides the ship bays and the cargo doors, there’s no way to get in and out of the ship. I seem to have forgotten the airlock. Now originally I was going to just run a passage and airlock through the side of the ship near the dining room/galley in the space labeled food storage, but as I started drawing the plans I realized I had more room over by the sensors than I thought based on the sketch and was able to add it in there. The final deck two looks like this:
On this deck, the sensor and airlock extend outside the edges of the hull boundary I drew. This ship isn’t designed for atmospheric flight so that’s not a big deal. I also added in the barrel of the ion cannon I didn’t add in the engine areas, just a small passage headed out to them. The engine compartment will probably actually start right on the edge of this map or just off it. They aren’t all that far away from the ships.
From looking at these plans, you may have noticed that there seems to be an awful lot of life support and food storage space. That is intentional. If you look back at the ship stat sheet, you notice that it has expanded life support. The ship is designed to be able to spend a long time out in space without returning to port so it needs lots of space to store food, air, and water as it doesn’t have a complete recycling system, only a partial one.
Finally, the top deck. This one’s not that interesting, just a bunch of rooms with a small passage connecting them.
Finally we need a cross section view that shows how all these things are placed in relation to each other vertically. As I said before, the cargo bay and the runabout hangar are going to be taller than the rest of the rooms on the ship, each with a 6m tall ceiling (most of the rooms off the cargo bay will be this height as well). The other rooms are going to be 3m in height.
The other decision I had to make was how much space to place between the decks. When I’m building ships for Star Frontiers, I typically use 2m between decks. However, for this ship, I decided that the minimum spacing would be 1m (you’ll see why I say minimum in a minute). That gives room for piping, duct work, machinery and such between the levels. That’s also what that big 2x3m area in the middle of the living quarters section is for, to allow for connections between the lower and upper levels.
With that in mind, I drew a rough side view of the ship and placed the decks, elevator shafts and other bits in there relative positions:
You can see in the front of the ship, there is a lot of space between the lower deck and the deck above. That’s why the 1m was only a minimum. You can also see the laser battery there at the top. The outline of the ship at this point is really rough and I’ll updated it later once I have all the details.
With the basic plans done, I’ve sent them off to Bill to get the final treatment. He was quite excited to see the ship and get to work on the plans so hopefully I’ll have those back relatively soon. I’ll post them when he sends them to me. In case you haven’t seen his deck plan style, here’s the PCs’ ship from the game in Bill’s FrontierSpace style.
I now have the original drawing for this particular ship so I’ll be working in the future to be able to match it for future drawings.
My plan at this point is to start producing a 3D model of the ship. With the basic plans and design done, I can start working on a model that accurately reflects it’s shape. There will be a bit of back and forth between me and Bill as I work on this so that the outline on the deck plans and the model match. Expect the next big post in this series to be on the creation of that model. I’ve been working on brushing up my Blender skills as I’m going to attempt to create the model with that software instead of OpenSCAD which I’ve used for all my models in the past. I like the programmatic aspect of OpenSCAD but Blender provides much more flexibility. However, I might do a hybrid approach like I did with the Assault Scout model I used in the Assault Scout Technical Manual.
So there you go. A new ship. It can actually be used as is in your games if you want. Everything from here on out is details. Let me know if you have any questions, comments, or suggestions in the comment section below.
What follows is player background information for the Death at Rosegard adventure. This is information that it is assumed the PCs would know from living in the Frontier and on the planet Pale where the adventure takes place. It covers a bit bit of history, planetary data, and socio-political information.
The adventure is written as if it takes place after the first sathar incursion into the Frontier but before the Second Sathar War begins. As such, instead of referring to the initial sathar invasion as the First Sathar War as is common in the rule books, the text refers to it as the Great Sathar War since there hasn’t been a second one yet. Expeptions occur when providing GM information designed to help modify the adventure for a different time period.
Pale is a new old planet. It was first colonized 176 years before the founding of the United Planetary Federation. It had a medium population before the Great Sathar War that led to the founding of the UPF. At that time Point True had a population of several hundred thousand inhabitants.
During the war every major population center other than Point True, as well as most minor population centers were destroyed by orbital bombardment. Even small villages and farmstead were destroyed by aerial bombing. There is basically just a big crater at the location of every city, town, village, or farm that existed before the invasion. In Point True, the old military base was nuked leaving several large craters and damage to remaining structures but the rest of the city was left relatively intact. There are still signs of the Sathar occupation that can be seen throughout the older portions of Point True.
The sathar were in the process of exporting the inhabitants off-world when the Frontier forces arrived and the sathar were defeated and driven off. Many thousands of the inhabitants of Point True were taken away in sathar ships and have never been heard from since.
After the war, the planet rebounded, partially due to the influx of people coming to help rebuild and partially due to aggressive development by Streel Corporation (known as Streele Mining Corp before the war). At the time of the adventure, about 40-50 years after the invasion, the population has grown to nearly its pre-war level. While the population is predominantly human, there is a significant representation of the other three major Frontier races. The racial breakdown is 46% human, 23% Yazirian, 18% Dralasite, and 13% Vrusk. However, since the war, the population is much more concentrated around Point True. Some portions of the planet are still completely uninhabited.
Planetary Rotation and Timekeeping
Pale orbits its primary, Truane’s Star, in the outer portions of the star’s habitable zone. This causes the average temperature on Pale to be fairly low resulting in cold and severe winters and cool summers. Pale is also a slightly smaller world with a surface gravity of only 0.9 g.
In addition to the cool weather, Pale rotates very slowly on its axis, completing one revolution every 55 standard hours. As such the local population has divided the day into four working time periods:
Day-day: Corresponds to the 13 hours starting roughly 1 hour after sunrise on the planet’s vernal equinox at Point True. This is the typical working time when the sun is up.
Day-night: This corresponds to the next 14 hour period and is typically a rest period although the sun is still shining. Because this rest period occurs during daylight hours, all houses on Pale have windows or curtains allowing rooms to be completely “blacked out” to simulate darkness and nighttime even though the sun is still up.
Night-day: This is the 13 hour work period occurring during the local night. Since this is a time of major work and transportation, all the streets and buildings of Pale are well lit to provide a semblance of daylight during this work period. When seen from orbit, the cities and towns of Pale in the Night-day part of the cycle blaze with light.
Night-night: This is the final 14 hour rest period that occurs during the local night time.
The extra hour is added in to either the Day-day or Night-day period depending on the season, the hour being added to the Day-day in the summer when the days are longer and the Night-day in the winter when the nights are longer.
Typical work periods are 10 hours long during the Day-day and Night-day periods although there are many graveyard and swing shift positions that run during other hours.
Sathar Presence on the Planet
As part of their invasion, the sathar seeded the biosphere around the planet, especially around Point True, with a number of their bio-constructs and attack monsters. Despite efforts to clean up after the war, some of these creatures are still loose on the planet. While quickdeaths and slithers are the most common, there are also a few other creatures that can be encountered when ranging away from the population centers. There are even still some cybodragons (and their descendants) running around although the cyber features are no longer functional due to lack of power. There are bounties for the elimination of these creatures paid for by the Pale government.
In addition to sathar bio-constructs, there are rumored to be some small pockets of sathar still living on the planet. These are remnants from the sathar army that was driven off and mostly destroyed when the planet was liberated. They survive by foraging and by hypnotizing and controlling members of the population to provide food and materials as needed. It is unknown how many of these sathar still survive and how active they are but the numbers range from a few dozen to several hundreds.
While rare, it is still possible to find some sathar technology from the war. It is rarely intact or functioning but any such finds are almost immediately collected by Star Law as soon as the discovery becomes known.
Politics and Corporations
Streel is by far the dominant force on the planet. After the war, Hilo Headrow took over Steele Mining and expanded its operations – first on Pale and then across the Frontier. While Streel doesn’t officially control the government, the government and its policies are fairly favorable towards the company and it is rumored that a majority of the government’s officials are “owned” by Streel in one way or another. Despite the potential negative aspects of this situation, Streel’s touch on the government is surprisingly light-handed given the tactics the company employs elsewhere around the Frontier. Much of the work of the government is environmentally sound and intelligent. Thoughtful practices are put into place that benefit all companies on the planet not just Streel. In fact, the planet is strong on fostering new ideas and companies.
While Streel is the dominant player, Pan Galactic Corporation still has a sizeable presence and even dominates in a few areas on the planet’s surface. In addition, a number of new emerging corporations have offices and operations on the planet. Names like StarPlay, WarTech, TransTravel, and Universal Households are becoming more common.
Miscellaneous GM Notes
The adventure takes place during the events of Laco’s War, the corporate war between Streel and PGC. While that conflict actually has no impact on the adventure, it should be kept in mind when PCs are interacting with outside agents. There is some tension between to two corporations.
Most of the other corporations listed in either the Knight Hawks Campaign Book or Zebulon’s Guide to the Frontier exist at this point although they are not yet considered mega-corps. Only Streel and PGC currently have that status. That said, they are growing and their presence is being felt on Pale.
By the time of the Second Sathar War, the population has rebounded to its pre-war level and is pushing into the heavy population category. If you set the adventure at another time period, adjust the size/number of towns and the population accordingly.
That’s it for the general background. I have a whole other section of background and detail information on the village of Rosegard itself but that will be another post. Feel free to share your thoughts on the planetary background in the comments below.
Okay, now that I have the basic outline for the three projects, it’s time to get started working on them. I will most likely be jumping back and forth between the three projects, although my intention is to put a bit more effort into the Ghost Ship Osiris project simply because that’s one I’m working on with someone else and not just for the Patreon. If you have preferences, let me know in the comments.
My plan initially is to spend at least 15-30 minutes each day working on something related to these three projects. Hopefully that will translate into some sort of significant post each week. In addition, there may be other small posts here and there commenting on what I’m working on. The posts will typically be to present maps or materials created but may also include tutorials or descriptions of processes and how I created stuff.
I haven’t yet decided when I’m going to post but most likely the major posts will occur mid-week. It might be spotty here the first few weeks as I get going but hopefully I’ll build up a rhythm as I get under way. Any minor posts will occur as I think of them. From the Patreon, I’m on the hook for at least one major post (>2000 words) a month. If you took all three of the outline posts together, that would have hit that word count, but those don’t count. That post will probably come in a couple of weeks, toward the end of the month.
This is a project I’m working on with Bill Logan, the creator of the FrontierSpaceTM role-playing game. This will be a module for that game designed for somewhat advanced characters. Bill created the general outline of the adventure, the star system, and the PC’s ship, but I’ve been working on a lot of the rest of the details. I suspect that as we get further along Bill will be adding in additional details and material as well.
As I was writing up this outline, and the one for the Sathar Assault Carrier, I realized that while the spoiler alert icon was an interesting idea, almost everything I’m creating is for the GM side of the screen and so it is all spoilery. I’ve decided to just drop that icon and not worry about it going forward, both on this project and the others. On to the outline.
Ghost Ship Osiris
Project Tag: Osiris
A FrontierSpaceTM adventure for 4-6 characters of rank 1-2.
Tagline from the Title Page
A team of corporate troubleshooters is sent to Outpost Osiris to solve a dangerous threat. What they find may change the political, technological, and scientific landscape of the frontier forever.
The Nebula Vista corporation operates the Osiris mining base in the inner asteroid belt. The miners uncovered something dangerous a few days ago and have requested help. The PCs are being sent in to investigate and assist the mining team.
Outpost Osiris is a Nebula Vista Corporation mining and research base on a mineral-rich asteroid in the Duergan’s Star System. They mined deep into the rock, following unusual readings from their mining scanners. They located what they believe to be the ruins of an ancient alien starship, somehow embedded deep in the asteroid’s core. While probing its exterior, they somehow awakened it from its slumber. Its proximity defense system attacked them, and they were forced to retreat to the warehouse complex on the asteroid’s surface. They tended their wounds and sent a request to NVC for a team of troubleshooters to assist.
Unknown to the miners, their discovery attracted the attention of a crew of independent scavengers who believe such a find would bring forth untold riches. The crew, commanded by Captain Thrawl, intercepted the mining outpost’s call for aid and has contacted a group of hit men on Hawthorne (the closest known NVC administration facility) to stop any departing troubleshooter team, or at least slow them down. Thrawl and his crew landed and took over operations at the facility, hoping to get as much salvaged alien tech as they could before the NVC team arrives. Thrawl explored the alien starship and found a very valuable piece of alien tech: a “phase screen” generator, but lost several men in the process of trying to decouple it from the reactor core.
Hiring hitmen is a bold move for Thrawl and his kind. They’re not normally this violent unless they believe they have vast wealth at their fingertips. The scavengers aren’t looking for a fight. They will dump their prisoners and escape with a cargo bay full of looted alien tech at the first sign of an NVC ship approaching, reluctantly abandoning the phase screen generator.
The activities of the scavengers have activated alien security robots which are not moving through the mining complex. The PCs will need to neutralize the robot threat, pursue Thrawl, investigate the alien ship to remove the phase screen, and fight off an attack by Thrawl and a rag-tag scavenger fleet bent on capturing the phase screen.
System map showing the location of the planets and asteroid belts
Star system description (partially done by Bill)
Deck plans of PC ship (already done by Bill)
Deck plans for Thrawl ship
Stats for the various robots
Map of Outpost Osiris
Deck plans for alien ship
Details on the aliens
Bio for Thrawl and other significant NPCs
Stats for all NPCs, both scavengers and miners
Table of rumors for the PCs to know/learn (partially done)
Final adventure write-up
That’s the basic outline for this project. This one is slightly different as it is a collaborative project between me and Bill. As such, I’ll only be posting what I work on here on the blog. To get all the details you’ll have to wait for the final product.
Now that the three projects are laid out, it’s time to start working on the details. If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions, let me know in the comment section below.
As I was thinking about this project, I realized that if you are a player in a campaign and your GM uses any of my sathar material (probably a Star Frontiers campaign), this entire project is one giant spoiler. Although if you’ve already read through my Sathar Destroyer Technical Manual, then there will only be a few new things in this project beyond the decks themselves. Those are the bits I’m going to call out with the spoiler icon in all future posts on this subject as I’m going to assume that anyone here has read the technical manual. If you haven’t read the Sathar Destroyer Technical Manual, then the following warning applies to the entire series. You’ve been warned.
Now that that’s out of the way, let’s get started.
Sathar Assault Carrier
Project Tag: SatharAC
This is a project in the vein of my Sathar Destroyer and UPF Assault Scout technical manuals. It will cover in detail, including maps for every deck, the interior of the Sathar Assault Carrier. The design of the assault carrier will be based on the game stats and (roughly) the silhouette from the game rules but with my twist on how the sathar design and use their ships.
In addition to the physical design of the ship I include information about how the ship typically operates and information about the larger divisions of the sathar military (beyond that detailed in the destroyer technical manual).
Finally, I’ll include, either as part of this document or as a pair of separate documents, deck plans for the shuttles and fighters used by the assault carrier. I provided basic information on the shuttles in the Sathar Destroyer Technical Manual but no deck plans. I aim to correct that.
3D model of ships (one each of the following for the assault carrier, fighters, and shuttles)
basic STL file for printing
Blender file with materials and coloration for 3D graphics
Complete technical manual write-up describing each deck and the ship’s operation
That’s the basic outline for this project. The assault carrier is a big ship. Based on the game rules, it’s about 380-475 meters long. I’m suspecting it will be closer to the smaller end but still, that’s going to be a lot of decks to create. However, many of them will be identical but used multiple times throughout the ship. It may actually end up having fewer unique decks than the destroyer did but we’ll see how this all falls out in the end.
If you have any thoughts or comments on this particular project, let me know in the comments below.
This is the first of what will be the “Outline” series of posts. I’ll typically do one of these for the start of each project and possibly smaller ones for major sub-projects pieces. We’ll have to see how it goes. In these posts my plan is to lay out the basic structure of the project, identifying what will be included, what needs to be created and so forth. I’ll tag each of these outlines, along with the post related to that project with a tag to make them easily identifiable. For this particular project, the tag is “Rosegard” as is called out below.
The first three outlines, for my initial projects, will probably be a bit more fleshed out than later ones since I’ve been thinking about them a bit, or in the case of this one, already mostly finished it. Or it may be that things go on, these will get more detailed as I’ll be better about thinking of things in advance. We’ll have to see. Also, these first ones won’t be open to much debate as they are projects that are fairly well along. For future projects however, I will be taking input and idea from commenters and Patreon supporters to provide direction on what is created.
This particular project, Death at Rosegard, is an adventure I ran for my on-line Star Frontiers game and I have all the major pieces in some form, I just need to clean them up and present them. So hopefully it will go pretty quickly. That’s not true of the other initial projects and any future projects I create.
Let’s get started.
Death at Rosegard
Project tag: Rosegard
An adventure for 4-6 beginning characters. This was literally written for a group of 6 brand new characters as their first adventure.
The PCs work for a mega-corp (Streel in this case) which has an arrangement with the small village of Rosegard to operate a mine near the town. One of the mining staff has been murdered and the PCs are sent to investigate.
These outline posts are going to be, by definition, spoilery. It can’t be helped. But then again, I think the main audience for this material is going to be game masters more than players. However, if you want to be a player in these adventures and have your GM run them, I’ll try to flag out things to skip so you don’t ruin the surprise. To do so I’ll flag spoilery sections with this blue and gold warning mark:
If it appears near a heading, skip to the next section. If it appears next to a paragraph or bullet item, you only have to skip that small bit. Finally, when I do a post about one of these spoiler topics, I’ll put the warning icon right at the top and that means you may want to skip the entire article. I may not always be successful in tagging everything but I’ll try. You’ve been warned.
In this particular article, I think the only thing you need to skip is the Basic Story section coming up and a couple of bullet items in the “materials needed” section.
One of the mine staff is a sleeper agent for the sathar and has been recently activated. He has been slowly over the past several months been “liberating” supplies from the mining facility and providing them to his sathar handler. He has been aided recently by someone from the town providing supplies as well. His actions were discovered and caught off guard, he killed the discoverer. He then disposed of the body in a way to attempt to make it look like it was done by the native fauna but that failed.
The PC’s are sent to attempt to find the murder and in the process should uncover the sathar connection, discover another sathar agent unconnected to the town, and a small sathar base in the mountains. In addition, they will get to interact with the village, meet the inhabitants and possibly form some connections to the village. There is also the person in the village that is aiding the sathar agent at the mine to discover
Materials Needed for the Adventure
World map showing the location of Rosegard in relation to other points of interest
Area map of the countryside around the village and the mine
Village map (rough draft appears above)
Mining compound map
Stats and bios of the mining staff
Stats and bios of the villagers
Map and bio for location with the external agent and how he’s connected to the story
Map and stats for the sathar base
Various bits of background and history for the planet and area
A “Where to go from here” section with further story ideas
And there we go, a basic outline for the adventure and a list of what is needed. Normally that “materials needed” section would be the final bit of the outline but seeing as this is the first one, I thought I’d talk about it and how it will be used. At a most basic level, that list is the roadmap for upcoming blog posts. Those are the bits and pieces I’ll need to develop (and share) as I build the adventure.
The list will probably be incomplete and often a bit vague in the beginning as I’ll think of other things that need to be added along the way. It’s not my intention to come back and edit it as we go but I might do a post at the end to compare what was made to what I originally envisioned, in part to just see how it fell out and partially as a learning tool for myself to get better at planning and estimating what is involved.
In this particular case, most of what is on that list already exists, either as notes, sketches, rough drafts as I have already run the adventure. We’ll be working on turning those notes and drafts into final forms over the coming weeks.
What do you think about the outline format? Are there things you’d like to see included? Things that need more detail? Should I not worry about the spoiler alerts? Let me know in the comments below.
I would love to hear from you! If you have suggestions, comments, or questions about any of the stuff I post or am working on feel free to reach out to me. If you do want to reach out, there are quite a number of ways to get a hold of me.
The most obvious is to comment on the post here on the site you want to discuss. I’ll respond here as well and we can have a public discussion on the topic that anyone that comes after can read and learn from. This works best for discussions specific to the post in question.
If you want or need a non-public discussion, feel free to e-mail me at tom[at]expandingfrontier.com. I check my e-mail regularly so you should get a fairly timely response although it definitely won’t be immediate. If you are a Patreon supporter at the Senior Advisor level or higher, you will also have a private e-mail channel to contact me at. Those e-mails will typically get a faster response, or at least a higher priority in responding to them.
If you are a Patreon supporter you can always contact through Patreon or on the Discord server as well.
Beyond that, I’m active on social media in a variety of places and you can find me in those venues by clicking on the social media icons in the sidebar. Twitter (I’m @dagorym) is probably best as I typically have my Twitter feed up on a side screen during the day but my phone will ping me when I get direct messages at any of the other locations as well.
So don’t be afraid to contact me. I want to interact with those reading the blog and supporting me on Patreon.
That said, I’ll probably be off-line from now until Tuesday (May 8, 2018) as my wife and I are headed out of town for our 24th anniversary and for at least part of the time will be places where there is no internet or cell service. I’m going to try to get a post queued up to post tomorrow but beyond that I’ll be back next week.
After I posted my announcements about this site on my various social media platforms, someone asked about content samples. The plan to post some examples was already in the works as part of launching this site so here we go.
Let’s start with this one, the image I’m using as my cover image on the Patreon campaign.
This showcases a few of the bits that went into making the Assault Scout Technical Manual (link downloads the PDF) that I released back in Nov 2017. The deck plans on the right fade from my initial sketches through different iterations to the final labeled deck plan. Then comes the cross section created to show the relative positions of the decks in the ship. Next comes a page from the technical manual where that cross section image is featured. The yellow ship is the full 3D model of the ship based on the deck plans and the final image is the 6″ printed version of that model (1/333 scale) fading from unpainted to painted (with a different color scheme that the digital image).
I had posted most of the images used in this collage on-line in the process of creating them. Here’s a few links to some of the posts with full versions of the images:
The unpainted model – The image at this link is actually the 4″ one unpainted but there are pictures of all of the various sizes I printed including the 12.6″ (10mm scale) version of the model
A Star Frontiers logo I made (that I’m trying to get permission to make a patch out of) that used the painted digital 3D model used to make that cross section image.
Here are a couple of other large maps I made, recreating the big poster maps that came with the original Star Frontiers boxed sets. Unfortunately I can’t to link to the full files since I was asked by WotC not to and they own the IP
Here’s a “family portrait” of many of the 3D ship models I’ve created (this one predates the assault scout model). All of these models were designed to be used as tabletop minis. Several are based on the old Star Frontiers metal miniatures and are replicas of them.
Finally, I’m going to link to you my collection of Two Sheet Locations on DriveThruRPG. These are small four page write-up (the first 4 are free) that provide a map, location description, and NPC for use in your games. The are mini versions of the types of things that I’m hoping to produce with this project. The only reason that project stalled was that I reentered grad school for my Masters of Library Science degree and just didn’t have the time to keep producing them.
I hope that gives you a feel for some of the things I’ve created in the past and what to expect in the future. In addition, you should check out my posts (published under my dagorym handle) on the Arcane Game Lore blog (which is now offline and the posts are archived here on this blog) to see some the “behind the scenes” materials I’ve posted in the past.