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Savage Space 1889?? How cool would that be?

 
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tylermo
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 15, 2008 9:49 pm    Post subject: Savage Space 1889?? How cool would that be? Reply with quote

I found this over at rpg.net. Somebody heard an interesting rumor at GenCon. If this is true, sign me up!


This is my second column about GenCon. I think I have one or two more columns worth of stuff from the show on my dresser and in my head. That’s also why Close to the Edit may appear a little more frequently for the next few weeks.

One of the coolest things that I heard at GenCon was a rumor that I desperately want to be true. Someone is possibly doing a new version of Space: 1889. I was unable to get independent confirmation of this, but I heard the rumor several times from people who would know.

Originally created by Frank Chadwick and published by GDW in the late eighties and early nineties, Space: 1889 is a game of Victorian imperialism in a Jules Verne inspired reality where Edison invents an ether propeller and mankind ventures into the "out of".

Space: 1889 was notable for a couple of reasons. One, I really loved the background. It seems to combine the best of the Victorian stereotypes. There are brave British soldiers in sun helmets, adventuresome ladies in full Gibson regalia, cool Martians, and great visualizations. It was also notable because it also had one of the worst systems in RPGs. The system didn't seem to be able to reinforce any of the tropes of the genre. Six weeks after the game debuted my local group had converted everything to GURPS and rarely, if ever, used the published rules.

Still the setting alone was enough reason for me to love it and buy nearly everything for the game. Just think how excited I was to learn that not only was the game being redone, but also the rumor went on to state that the game was going to be developed for Savage Worlds. The emphasis on speed of play and reduced prep time, as well as the emphasis on story over realism and detail, make the two ideally matched in my mind.

In a perfect world Marcus Rowland would write this book. Most well known for his Forgotten Futures RPG but also the original author of Canal Priests of Mars, Marcus has a unique experience in this type of Victorian “Scientifiction”.

A persistent rumor over the last few years, Canal Priests of Mars, an adventure set originally published in abbreviated form by GDW, was rumored to be restored to full-length and reprinted by Heliograph several times over the last six years. Sadly, that has never happened. So to recap, a new SPACE: 1889 in Savage Worlds, the particulars are vague, but the possibility is awesome.

Tylermo again: The possibility is awesome indeed. I own some of the Space 1889 material, but have never played it. From what I've read, this setting is perfect for Savage Worlds. Just imagine...Slipstream, Savage Mars, Daring Tales of Adventure, Ravaged Earth, and Space:1889? WOW!
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Inferno!
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Joined: 20 Feb 2008
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 15, 2008 9:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That would be as cool as the other side of the pillow. I've only played Space 1889 a few times but that is one game book I will never willingly part with. I have a box full of old Challenge magazines in my closet with some good 1889 adventures. My favorite being a three issue arc covering Thymiamata, a U.S. colony on Mars (issues 49-51 I believe). I've begun several attempts to Savage it in the past, but I always get derailed somehow. Sad

Did the source of this rumour say who would be doing it?
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Ogma
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 15, 2008 10:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

About two years ago, I acquired a "mint" copy of the hardcover edition of this ol' classic RPG (got it from Crazy Egor).

No reason why this can't be re-released and certainly no reason why it couldn't be Savaged!
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Snate56
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 16, 2008 2:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I particularly liked the branching nature of the sciences in the original; don't quite know how to translate that to Savage Worlds.

Tylermo: So the Canal Priests published back to back with Beastmen is the old original one published by GDW?

By the way, This one has lots of figures produced for it!

SteveN
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Savage Yinn
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 16, 2008 5:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm also a 1889 fan, so I'd have to add it to my collection.

Both Slipstream and MARS are on my must have list too...


Surprised Looks like I need to get some more shelving.
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Y'all Of Cthulhu
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 16, 2008 6:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ok. If Space: 1889 comes out for SW then you might as well burn my rpg shelf (except for my AD&D and Cthulhu material Sad ) and consider me a full-on convert. I LOVE Space: 1889, but hated the system. We used to play it anyway. The system is ok, but it just gets clunky in combat with the rolls and parry rolls. The setting rocks and William Barton, the mind behind Cthulhu by Gaslight, is talking about doing a Cthulhu by Starlight supplement which is essentially a pseudo-Space: 1889 set in the world of the Cthulhu Mythos.

Please let this rumor be true. #1dance
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steelbrok
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 16, 2008 7:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Maybe mix in a bit of Castle Falkenstein and the mix is really interesting
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arkcaver
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 16, 2008 8:17 am    Post subject: Re: Savage Space 1889?? How cool would that be? Reply with quote

tylermo wrote:


A persistent rumor over the last few years, Canal Priests of Mars, an adventure set originally published in abbreviated form by GDW, was rumored to be restored to full-length and reprinted by Heliograph several times over the last six years. Sadly, that has never happened.


I've got the Canal Priests: Special Edition text file that Marcus use to have posted on the Heliograph site (it is dated 1996). It has everything, much of it condensed, that was taken out of the original Canal Priests.

You can download it from here: Canal Priests of Mars: Special Edition
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tylermo
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 16, 2008 9:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm not sure about the particulars of Canals of Mars and the Beastmen. I bought some of the old material on Ebay back in the 90's. I knew that some things had been reprinted over the years, as well. Other than that, I'm no expert. I don't recall who submitted this, but I believe it was probably a regular contributor to rpg.net It was under some heading of more gencon news. Somebody needs to make it happen. Savage Worlds would be one of a few systems to really do it right.
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arkcaver
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 16, 2008 9:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

tylermo wrote:
I'm not sure about the particulars of Canals of Mars and the Beastmen. I bought some of the old material on Ebay back in the 90's. I knew that some things had been reprinted over the years, as well. Other than that, I'm no expert. I don't recall who submitted this, but I believe it was probably a regular contributor to rpg.net It was under some heading of more gencon news. Somebody needs to make it happen. Savage Worlds would be one of a few systems to really do it right.


Ross Winn wrote the article. You can read it here: http://www.rpg.net/columns/edit/edit50.phtml

I hope this happens. Space 1889 was a great setting - I've got everything that was printed for it and that was one of the few older settings I kept when I sold off a bunch of my gaming stuff earlier in the year. The adventures were VERY railroad-ey, at times the characters could only sit and watch while stuff happened around them. But a little work on the adventures and they were runnable.
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The Angle
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 16, 2008 12:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Snate56 wrote:
Tylermo: So the Canal Priests published back to back with Beastmen is the old original one published by GDW?

No. Those were separate products originally. The B2B version is a reprint from Heliograph, Inc.

Steve
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Keltheos
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 16, 2008 12:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Knock me down with a feather.

I LOVED Space: 1889 way back when. Had Sky Galleons of Mars, the boardgame, etc. We never got into the RPG (other than me buying it and voraciously reading through the material - loved the gear list with the little hand-drawn images, like an old catalog) as my play group wasn't into the mechanics.

I'd be all over a Savaging of it.

Heck, if it's not on the agenda I'd be all over helping with a Savaging of it. In fact...grr...you've already got me skimming ebay for used copies of the stuff... #gunbattle

Oh snaps: http://www.savageheroes.com/conversions/Savage1889.doc
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The Angle
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 17, 2008 10:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

S:1889 is something of an anomaly (IMO) in that everything about it seems to be either excellent or terrible. There's not much in the middle.

The conversion linked above is good, but it loses one of the S:1889 features that I found most charming, which is character generation through career choice. This type of chargen -- choose a career based on your social standing, receive skills randomly -- ain't for everybody, admittedly, but I like it. If someone were to savage that ...

Steve
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Keltheos
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 17, 2008 11:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think it could be done. Set up a different creation path than the standard setup and it's doable.

I'll have to review the old system (when I get a copy) and see how simple it would be.
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steelbrok
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 17, 2008 1:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm partway doing something like that for Traveller careers (GDW again!), will try and shake off the dust and finish it off.
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steelbrok
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 17, 2008 2:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK, here's an unfinished draft of my career system:

[I've alomst certainly borrowed thigs from other people's Traveller conversions, reworded and twisted them. No disrespect or credit hogging is intended]

Career

Once the character's initial skills, edges and hindrances are assigned the character is run through the career process. A career is treated as series of four year terms.

Enlistment
Each career has minimum skill requirements. If a character has these they may enlist. A character is assumed to have spent their first term learning these skills and receives no XP. This also applies to characters who change careers.

Resolution
For each four year term a player draws a card and sees what happens to their character. From the second term onwards give the character 10 XP and level up before proceeding to the next term.

Promotion
Once a character has one of their career's Professional Edges they are promoted once per term unless the card draw or career notes say otherwise. To become an officer the Commission edge is also required.
The Solomani (baseline human) free edge allows them to qualify for promotion in their first term unlike other races

Career Results

2 Dishonourable Discharge Wounded on Black Card
3 Demoted Wounded on Black Card
4 Passed over for promotion Wounded on Black Card
5 Routine tour Wounded on Black Card
6 Routine tour
7 Routine tour
8 Routine tour
9 Routine tour
10 Routine tour
J MCUF awarded Wounded on Black Card
Q MCUF awarded, extra promotion Wounded on Black Card
K MCG awarded Wounded on Black Card
A MCG awarded, extra promotion Wounded on Black Card
J SEH, extra promotion, raise Social Class Wounded on Black Card

MCUF = Meritorious Conduct under Fire
MCG = Medal for conspicuous gallantry
SEH = Starburst for Extreme Heroism

On a black 2, 3, 4, 5, J, Q, K, A the character is badly wounded and makes a roll on the Injury Table in the core book. For a black Joker they roll twice. Once you know what the damage is your options are:
1. Live with it. Some wounds require an Honourable Discharge, these are loss of a limb or any attribute falling below the minimum required for your career. Flag Officers and Ship Owners may ignore such a required discharge.
2. 'Buy off' the wound with Bodyware. These count against normal bodyware limits and must be paid for at the end of character generation.

Dishonourable Discharge
May start a new career, enlisting at the lowest rank. May not take Commission edge again unless the Alter Ego Edge is taken first.
No Social Edges may be taken on mustering out
Single low passage for enlisted, middle for officers

Mustering Out
Characters receive one passage per term.

Enlisted personnel receive Low Passage
Senior NCOs are entitled to Shared Passage
Junior Officers receive Middle Passage
Senior Officers are entitled to high Passage

Aging

From the 4th term onwards time starts to take its toll on characters, roll 1d6 plus terms served and apply the result:

1-9 No penalty
10 Can no longer raise strength naturally*
11 Can no longer raise vigour naturally*
12 Pace reduced by one
13 Strength reduced a die type
14 Vigour reduced a die type
15+ Roll twice and hope for the best

* - Only applies once

Example Careers

Army - May be World, Noble, Corporate, Imperial
Enlistment Requirements: Str d6+,
Professional Edges: Jump Trooper, Battle Dress, FA Gunnery, Deltajock (OrCav), Scholar (Staff College)

Belter
Enlistment Requirements: Space Walker, Knowledge (Geology) d6+
Imperial Requirements:
Professional Edges: Ace, McGuyver

Marine - Imperial only
Enlistment Requirements: Strength d6+, Smarts d6+, Agility d6+
Professional Edges: Battle Dress, Space Walker,
Ranks/Awards: Ground/Military
Notes: Battle Dress AND Space Walker are required for promotion.

Merchant (Choose Free Trader, Subsector or Sector line)
Enlistment Requirements:
Imperial Requirements:
Professional Edges:
Steward (requires +2 Charisma), McGuyver, Trader, Navigator

Navy - World, Colonial, Imperial
Enlistment Requirements:
Professional Edges: Deltajock (Fighters), Remote Pilot, Beam Weapons, Navigator, McGuyver, Nautical Ops (SDF only)
Notes: Naval Academy or Noble edges required to command a capital ship.

Scout
Enlistment Requirements:
Professional Edges: Ranger, Woodsman, Scholar, Navigator, Ace, McGuyver,
Awards:
Notes: Highest rank is Commander
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Inferno!
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 29, 2008 10:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

For those interested, I stumbled across Space: 1889 pdfs at Steve Jackson Games e23.

Link here: http://e23.sjgames.com/credits.html?t=publisher&n=Heliograph,%20Inc.
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Big Juju
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 29, 2008 10:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cancel Bear wrote:
For those interested, I stumbled across Space: 1889 pdfs at Steve Jackson Games e23.

Link here: http://e23.sjgames.com/credits.html?t=publisher&n=Heliograph,%20Inc.


That's awesome! I didn't know they were available as PDFs. $10 for the SPACE: 1889 rulebook seems very reasonable. Now I've just got to get caught up on reading Slipstream and Sundered Skies so I can buy another rulebook!
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