Monday, November 3, 2014

A World a Week: Still Spending the 90s In Space

Still in the stars, those previously mentioned Star Trek-styled tabletop sessions led to War Star 3,ooo, or WS3K. Going from the tight group of gamers that I knew during my time on the Reaction Force to new folk, luckily Babylon Five and Star Trek Deep Space Nine were going strong. If not for those shows, I don't think I'd find anybody that would want to play anything but Vampire or Dark Sun otherwise. Most of these games were at my house after the deployments slowed down enough for me to have time so books crept in. Traveller: 2300 books, a couple FASA Star Trek scenarios, and many articles from Challenger magazine were placed on the table to add visual atmosphere, but rarely had anything to do with the game going on.

The rule system was loosely based on my beloved T&T, rewritten from memory of the Fifth edition into a waterproof pocket tablet of some 40 pages. It was getting worn out, but I couldn't find FBI products over in Europe, where I spent most of the time for the rest of the decade.

The Yankee Sector would evolve from the Starfaring play-test. One of the player's, Weinmann, found a heavily population world made up of various interstellar species along with humans. He named the planet Graceland, but the humans that were there already called the planet Primrose and themselves the Prime. The Elvis Confederation warred against the natives, of all species, and took over the sector. From there I started filling in the blanks. One of the players, Diamon, I met in a "task study group" training for hypothetical operations in places like Syria, Iran, and Iraq, so interstellar species became like the various tribal ethnics that we so often hear about today. The Concord human kingdoms were straight up American crusaders imposing their culture on the region, and various species just didn't have the numbers or tech to complain about it. The two major (and powerful) alien species, the Berger and Kodoan, were loosely based on Turkey and Iran. That is if the Turks were hominid creatures that specialized in burrowing and were masters at genetic engineering, and the Iranians were amphibious reptile humanoids that had space ships bought from the Romulans; still there were little allusions. 

The parallels of our world faded as the sessions went on over the years. The players changed, and sometimes I had to run them in chat rooms while on deployment in less homey parts of Europe and eastern Turkey.  You see it was Star Trek, but grittier. It wasn't Star Wars at all, the "war" came before the "star," totally different. Looking back, the WS3K campaigns were totally in line with the rather military-minded scif-fi TV shows that I ran across over the decade. Not surprising given my job at the time. But I still consider this some of finest sci-fi RPGing ever.

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