Tuesday, September 1, 2009
Warriors of the Red Planet - Sept Preview
Enric Castaigne, Olympic Fencing champion from Barcelona, now a castaway on an alien world, speeds across the Sulfur Sea of Tantaloore in his four-man flier, in hot pursuit of Tan Dranas, the Mad Scientist of Hern. Some meters to his left, his stalwart companion Liris Lir, notorious scoundrel of Carbol City, commands another flier.
The heroes' lighter airships overtake Dranas' heavier twelve-man cruiser easily, but the wily Scientist aims his Lightning Generator and a blinding blue arc of energy slices into Lir's flier, sending it careening down towards the churning yellow sea below. Enric curses roundly, and manuevers his airship above his nemesis's cruiser, unleashing a barrage of irradium bombs across the engine housing. Crippled, the cruiser drifts into a slowly descending spiral. Turning the flier back towards it, Enric gives the controls over to one of his crewmen and, sword in hand, makes a fantastic leap onto the deck below.
Snarling, Tan Dranas orders his black-bearded, ochre-skinned flunkies forward with sabres drawn, while he himself retreats to the safety of the forward cabin's doorway. Grim smile on his lips, Enric slashes about himself, a whirlwind of flashing steel, and cuts down man after man. At last only one enemy crewman is left before him, but the hapless man chooses to leap overboard, cartwheeling down through the thin Martian air to take his chances in the poisonous waters below. Enric advances towards his sworn enemy, but Tan Dranas points a heavily wired , gun-like instrument at him and Enric is frozen in place.
Cackling, Dramas strikes the blade from Enric's nerveless grip, and draws his own dagger, ready to plunge it into the Earthman's chest. Suddenly, from above, Liris Lir appears with a great whoop! Saved from the plummeting flier by his trusty jet-belt, he has flown with haste to aid his friend. Swooping in closer, he takes careful aim at the surprised scientist with his customized irradium pistol...
Above is a "narratized" version of a short combat we ran, one of a series of playtest scenarios designed to test out the new ship-to-ship combat rules from Warriors of the Red Planet, as well as a cool (imo anyway) new Warrior class ability. You'll find these new rules surprisingly familiar (hehe), but used for a whole new aspect of gaming based around the iconic airships of Sword & Planet fiction. As with the rest of the ruleset, there is nothing in WotRP more rules-intensive than anything presented in Swords & Wizardry, and easily used with that game (and similar games wink wink) as well. The battle between an immense Albino Sea-Dragon and a Zodangan Dreadnought was vicious, glorious to behold (ie imagine), and over in just a few minutes of table time.
Warriors of the Red Planet also includes simple rules for combat between groups of adversaries, so you can set up your own large-scale battles on land or in the air, with no complicated rules headaches.
Past WotRP Previews.