Friday, May 29, 2015

Frontier Space

[quick FYI: KWN posts will be continuing through the weekend...they're on "auto-pilot." However, I may not get around to advertising them on the G+...just so you know]

There are probably some people who are tired of my tirades against that Old School Darling, Star Frontiers. Specifically, they're probably thinking:
" say things like 'the system is deplorable'...but what exactly have you done better? Sure, you're serializing a supplement for X-Plorers (tl;dr, just BTW), but what exactly have you offered as a substitute system? Where's the space opera micro-game? If it's so damn easy, and everyone else is so darn stupid, why aren't you putting your money where your mouth is?"
The proles, of course, have a valid gripe. So here it is:


Your one-page micro-game, free-o-charge. Fairly easy to expand upon, you can use it as the basis for your own Star Frontiers game OR adapt it to a different setting, if that floats your goat.

BTW: there are no gyrojet weapons since, per wikipedia, real world gyrojet weapons are "long out of production" due to their expense and limitations of design. Hey, if we don't use 'em, I'm not putting 'em in a "futuristic society." But you can, of course, add them if you like.

As always, comments are appreciated. If I see enough download activity, I'll consider adapting Knight Hawks (that would probably necessitate a 2nd page). Have a good weekend, folks.
: )

Bunch o SF fans getting ready to jump me...



Most of the game play information from Chapter 3 of the X-Plorers rulebook is unchanged in KWN, except as noted below:

Gaining Experience (XP)

As per the standard rules, characters earn 100 XP for each game session attended and a variable amount of XP for defeating hostile NPCs based on the degree of danger posed by the antagonist. Star Knights that can find a non-violent means of overcoming an enemy should receive DOUBLE the normal XP for the effort.

Heroic Star Knights should always act in preservation of life whenever possible. PCs who routinely mete out death and destruction as a method of expedience should receive a -10% penalty on earned XP in a game session, while those who go out of their way to defend the defenseless (to their own cost or detriment) should receive a +10% bonus.

NOTE: True minions of evil, like SHADOW LORDS and soldiers of the KLOANE EMPIRE, can be freely treated with extreme prejudice by all upright Star Knights, as their very existence poses a serious threat to the Galactic Republic by virtue of their twisted beliefs and cruelty.

Some guidelines for “mission XP” in KWN is given in Chapter 5 of this book.

As explained Chapter 1 some PCs will achieve milestones of character development in the course of play, and by doing so earn an automatic “level up.” Milestones represent the dramatic “high point” events that occur in a hero’s career that help shape her self-identity and boost self-confidence: two things measured in part by a character’s level of experience. In general, for an event to be a milestone it should have most (if not all) of the following qualities:
  1. Should be an operation of player choice, rather than dice roll.
  2. Represent a momentous accomplishment or singular event.
  3. Involve danger, suffering, or self-sacrifice to achieve.
  4.  Culminate over multiple game sessions in purposeful fashion.
Below is a list of potential milestones; individual Referees may add to this list as they like:

Advancement: character meets the requirement to advance to the next tier of development. Psychics can earn this milestone twice: once upon reaching the second tier (adept) and once upon reaching the third tier (master).
Coronation: character is granted and accepts responsibility for some great leadership position; this could be accepting a hereditary title or being granted a great generalship or becoming the elected rule of a planet.
Corruption: character becomes psychically corrupted and/or joins the Shadow Lords. For non-psychic characters, this could indicate some sort of substantial betrayal of the Galactic Republic and all that is right and good. Usually, corruption results in the PC becoming an NPC, unless the Referee wants a darker tone to the campaign.
Dream Fulfillment: character fulfills a lifelong dream, usually discussed with the Referee beforehand. This could be to own one’s own starship, or free the slaves on their home planet, or find the character’s long-lost brother, or any number of personal goals.
Great Renown: character accomplishes some heroic task so noteworthy that her name is known and discussed throughout the galaxy.
Marriage: the character consummates a grand romance by becoming permanently joined in wedded bliss with her True Love.
Near Death Experience: the character survives a horrible event that should otherwise have killed her, perhaps requiring extensive cybernetic reconstruction or leaving permanent mental and physical scarring.
Redemption: a corrupted character or villain thought irredeemable “returns to the light,” performing some sort of heroic or self-sacrificing act that forever entrenches her in the ranks of the heroes. Unfortunately, such atonement usually carries a heavy price (including the character’s death).
Vengeance: character achieves some sort of dark revenge long sought for a real or imagined slight. While this seems to echo the Dream Fulfillment milestone, vengeance has a much more negative connotation, can be motivated by events in play (dreams are usually with a character from youth), and often involves the acquisition of corruption points.
Wisdom of Years: character reaches a ripe old age and has matured and gained knowledge in part by out-living her rivals. Old characters suffer a -2 penalty to any PHY or AGI skills and saving throws and subtracts 1 hit point from each Hit Die rolled (minimum 1).

No milestone may be achieved more than once (except as noted with regard to Advancement in tier); a character derives no benefit from being married more than once, for example. No more than one milestone may be earned in a single game session; no character may advance more than one level after a single game session. When a milestone is earned, the character begins the next game session with the exact XP needed to achieve the new level, regardless of the amount of XP previously earned.

Some milestones may carry additional benefits and/or hindrances. A character that achieves the Coronation milestone may have access to additional resources (bonuses to credit checks!) but has additional obligations as well. A character who has achieved Great Renown for acts against the Kloane Empire may get a friendly reaction from loyal members of the Republic but have bounty hunters searching to bring her down.


In intense or combat situations, the KWN “round” is considered to be 10 seconds long, not 3 seconds as stated in the X-Plorers book. Especially with regard to combat, a single “attack” is considered to be a flurry of shots or blows, not just a single strike or shot (except with regard to thrown or archaic weapons). The success or failure of an attack roll determines whether or not damage is inflicted; the damage roll determines the effectiveness of the overall attack attempt.

As per the X-Plorers rules, characters can move their normal movement allowance, plus make one action, in a single round. Usually that action is a single attack (or multiple attacks for soldiers using their specialty weapon). Psychics (including Star Knights like the PCs) can also choose to activate a psychic talent as their action instead of making an attack. Unless stated otherwise in the description, a psychic may not attempt to activate more than one talent in a single round. Some talents can be used as reactions (as described in X-Plorers), and these are noted in their description; any number of reaction-type saving throws can be made in a round.

NOTE: using a beamrazor form in combat (see Chapter 2), does not count as activating a psychic talent or using an action; it’s simply a choice of combat style.

[to be continued]

[Kloane War Knights is copyright 2013 by Jonathan Becker and Running Beagle Games. The X-Plorers rpg is copyright 2009, Dave Bezio & Grey Area Games. The X-Plorers trademark is used under the X-Plorers Trademark License]

Thursday, May 28, 2015



The beamrazor is the heart and soul of the Star Knight: a symbol of who they are, a tool for focusing their power, the only defense needed in their travels across the galaxy. The weapon appears to be nothing more than a metallic cylinder 20-40cm in length; however, a touch of a button causes a meter long “blade” of plasma to spring forth from the cylindrical “hilt.” Cunningly kept in place by a magnetic field, the focused energy of a ‘razor is capable of slicing through nearly anything except a similar energy field (though energy resistant materials like starship hulls require time and concentrated effort to cut).

As with any melee weapon, Star Knights add their PHY adjustment to their attack roll with the ‘razor. However, instead of using their PHY modifier to adjust damage, the beamrazor damage roll receives a bonus equal to its wielder’s level of experience (+1 to +10 in other words). Non-psychics add nothing to the damage roll when using a ‘razor.

In addition, Star Knights are trained to use their beam razor for defense, moving the blade with uncanny foresight and speed to block attacks…even ranged attacks like blaster fire. To represent this, Star Knights add their tier rank (+1 to +3) to their Armor Class, though ONLY when wielding an activated beamrazor.

If a melee attacker misses their attack roll against a Star Knight wielding a beamrazor, the Knight may automatically disarm the opponent by destroying the attacker’s weapon; this effect does not apply to opponents using beamrazors or shield blades.

Over centuries of use, the Star Knights have developed a number of different fighting styles (called “forms”) for wielding their ‘razors, and these have been passed down to trainees for generations. Each form embodies a different philosophy of combat, and provides special bonuses when using a beamrazor. A Star Knight begins the game trained in a single ‘razor form, and may choose to learn a new form in place of a psychic talent when advancing in level. Star Knights who have achieved the second tier (Adept) can also choose to “master” any form that is already known, in place of learning a psychic talent.

Star Knights who know more than one form must choose which form to use when entering combat; having so chosen, her tremendous mental focus prevents the Knight from changing forms during the duration of the engagement. Descriptions of the forms and their bonuses follow:

Way of Balance

A defensive form, the Star Knight uses sweeping blows to protect against vital areas, while keeping an opponent busy with the possibility of a counter-blow. The form used by Knights to master two-weapon fighting. When using this form, characters add an additional +1 to their Armor Class when wielding a beamrazor. With mastery, the character suffers no penalty when attacking with two ‘razors at once.

Way of Cunning

The most passive form, the Star Knight concentrates on defense while waiting for his opponent to make a mistake. Created to counter the proliferation of blaster technology throughout the galaxy.  When using this form, characters may add their PRE adjustment to their Armor Class (in addition to tier) when wielding a ‘razor. With mastery, the character is allowed to make an immediate extra attack against an opponent that misses an attack roll. No more than one such bonus attack can be made in a single round of combat.

Way of Finesse

The path of the duelist, the Star Knight uses deft footwork and blade placement to defend and launch lightning ripostes; strong in melee. When using this form, characters may add their INT adjustment to their Armor Class (in addition to tier) when wielding a ‘razor. With mastery, characters are allowed to reroll failed melee attacks with their beamrazor, though never more than one attack roll per combat round.

Way of Speed

The Star Knight uses agility and acrobatic leaps to attack with a flurry of blows. A fast and aggressive ‘razor form. Characters using this form add their AGI adjustment to their attack roll with the beamrazor instead of their PHY adjustment. With mastery, characters are allowed to make a second, bonus attack against any opponent in melee range, provided their first attack of the round was successful and did damage.

Way of Strength

The Star Knight uses brute strength and physicality to relentlessly attack her opponent, driving the foe about with tremendous blows. A brawling ‘razor form. When using this form, characters add their PHY bonus to any damage inflicted on a successful melee attack. With mastery, the Star Knight can make an immediate bonus attack against any opponent who inflicts damage on the character in melee. Regardless of how many attackers inflict melee damage on the character, no more than one free attack is allowed in a round.


A comm-link is a portable two-way communicator, common to the KWN setting, though variable in physical form (it can be a bracelet, headset, or something akin to the size of a cell phone, for example). Comm-links only convey sound, not images, but they can be used for data transfer from one computer to another. They have a fairly long range, including planetary surface to low orbit, but can be blocked by extensive construction or rock formations (for example, they may not be able to transmit across mountains or from underground locations).

Referees should always consider comm-links to be on and in-use unless otherwise noted by players; the comm-link rule allows PCs to keep in constant communication even when separated during a game session (so there’s no reason for PCs not to “know” what is happening to the rest of their team when in different locations). Of course, when captured by enemies, comm-links are usually the first things confiscated after a character’s weapons. All PCs start with a comm-link; buying a new one is credit code A.

[to be continued]

[Kloane War Knights is copyright 2013 by Jonathan Becker and Running Beagle Games. The X-Plorers rpg is copyright 2009, Dave Bezio & Grey Area Games. The X-Plorers trademark is used under the X-Plorers Trademark License]