Monday, May 18, 2015

Sword of the Stars lore snippets

I'm not a big fan of current story, setting, or models of Warhammer 40,000 but there's something about the older editions of it and especially Rogue Trader that really appeals to me. In fact, the idea of retro-cloning RT has been something that has been nibbling at the back of my mind for a while, although I don't feel qualified to really make any efforts in that regard. One thing that did seem more manageable to me was a retroclone of Space Crusade, the licensed Warhammer boardgame by Milton Bradley.

It's much more contained system that nevertheless has a lot of potential for expansion. The first thing that I actually did was try to create the fluff for this hypothetical Space Crusade simulacra. Here's what I wrote for Sword of the Stars (the clone's tentative title):

It has been over thirty thousand years since Humans left the embrace of Gaia. All across the galaxy, Humanity spreads, bringing order and civilization to savage worlds. But the the forces of Chaos and Entropy are ever lurking at the edges of the realms. So the Knightly Orders arose, to defend Order and Evolution, to fight for the honor of Sol and the children of Gaia. This is an age of sorcery and science, noble deaths and pyrrhic victories, forgotten heroes and immortal villains.
It's rather close to the standard 40k blurb but it emphasizes the fantastical elements a little more. The Knightly Orders and their Space Knights are equivalent to Space Marines. Here are some brief enemy descriptions:

It is said that the seed of Chaos lurks in the heart of all Humans. Knights struggle with their base desires, overcoming their temptations with the help of the sacred codes. But just as all Humans, some Knights succumb to temptation. At their best, Chaos Knights are thieves, liars, and murderers; at their worst they are apostates against Sol and Gaia, fiends who have entered into compacts with vile spirits of Chaos and Entropy.
It should go without saying that Chaos Knights are just SOTS' version of Chaos Space Marines.
Said to have been born from the blood of the first Chaos Dragons, the K'bolts are one of the numerous Entropic races to be encountered. They are small and weak but attack in endless numbers. The worlds they claim quickly overflow with corpses and offal as they outstrip their environment's resources.
Space Kobolds although I seem to have included some Ork/Tyranid in there as well.
Among the most mysterious and powerful mortals to serve Chaos, these single-eyed giants possess not only physical might but mental sorcery. A single Psyclops is a terrible danger even to a Fellowship of Knights
Doesn't really say much about the Psyclopses themselves other than "they're scary". Hurm.

Here's a statline for a Paladin (Space Knight):
MELEE: Lectro Weapon - 3 dice
RANGED: Laser pistol - 2 dice, range 6
Note the use of "Defence". Range and Speed are in 1-inch squares. I'm a little unsure how exactly I changed Space Crusade's combat system but I believe that the dice in question are d6s and that the combined roll of those d6s must exceed the target's Defence to deal damage. So, supposing two Paladins are facing off and one swings his Lectro Weapon he must score a 9 or higher from his roll of 3d6 to damage his opponent.

I think this one speaks for itself:
Hypothetical Model list
KNIGHTS: 3 Paladins; 7 Knights with rifles; 4 Knights with swords and pistols; 4 Knights with heavy weapons
CHAOS KNIGHTS: 1 Butcher; 6 Knaves with rifles; 6 Knaves  with swords and pistols; 3 Knaves with heavy weapons
K'BOLTS: 3 Champions; 30 Fodder
PSYCLOPS: 1 Visionary; 2 Seers; 4 Brutes
Of course, my talent for sculpting is even worse than my talent for drafting game rules, so don't expect Sword of the Stars to be showing for sale. 

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