New Zozer Games SF setting - Hostile - Gritty, near'ish future

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New Zozer Games SF setting - Hostile - Gritty, near'ish future

Postby crazy_cat » Sun Dec 10, 2017 5:51 pm

Looks interesting. Potentially kind of like somebody took all my favourite 'future isn't bright and shiny and positive' SF films and then made a game setting out of them.

On DTRPG - https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/228492/Hostile
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Re: New Zozer Games SF setting - Hostile - Gritty, near'ish future

Postby Sigtrygg » Sun Dec 10, 2017 9:00 pm

Brilliant setting - this needs more publicity.
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Re: New Zozer Games SF setting - Hostile - Gritty, near'ish future

Postby paltrysum » Mon Dec 11, 2017 5:11 am

Sounds like fun. Thanks for posting the link. Gritty sci-fi is my favorite kind.
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Re: New Zozer Games SF setting - Hostile - Gritty, near'ish future

Postby ShawnDriscoll » Mon Dec 11, 2017 7:04 am

Chthonian Stars is my go to for horror in Mongoose. http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/912 ... re-Setting
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Re: New Zozer Games SF setting - Hostile - Gritty, near'ish future

Postby middenface » Mon Dec 11, 2017 5:39 pm

Sigtrygg wrote:
Sun Dec 10, 2017 9:00 pm
Brilliant setting - this needs more publicity.
Well EN World mentioned it, which was nice of them.
Copper seller already!

Spread the word!
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Re: New Zozer Games SF setting - Hostile - Gritty, near'ish future

Postby Mithras » Mon Dec 11, 2017 7:26 pm

It does have illustrations like this,with a big Outland, Alien, Dark Star, Silent Running, Bladerunner vibe:

The Cover
Image

USCS Hercules - Commercial Towing Vessel
Image

Hyperspace relay towers of the Network on Telluride:
Image

A completed character sheet, this guy is a corporate agent, managing affairs Off-World:
Image
Paul Elliott
HOSTILE: A Gritty SF setting inspired by Alien, Outland and Bladerunner - for Cepheus Engine https://www.paulelliottbooks.com/hostile.html
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Re: New Zozer Games SF setting - Hostile - Gritty, near'ish future

Postby G. K. Zhukov » Mon Dec 11, 2017 8:11 pm

Paul, are you planning a print version for this?

Thanks!
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Re: New Zozer Games SF setting - Hostile - Gritty, near'ish future

Postby middenface » Mon Dec 11, 2017 9:46 pm

G. K. Zhukov wrote:
Mon Dec 11, 2017 8:11 pm
Paul, are you planning a print version for this?

Thanks!
He's looking at a week or so - hopefully...
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Re: New Zozer Games SF setting - Hostile - Gritty, near'ish future

Postby G. K. Zhukov » Mon Dec 11, 2017 9:57 pm

middenface wrote:
Mon Dec 11, 2017 9:46 pm
He's looking at a week or so - hopefully...
Thanks, Ian!
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Re: New Zozer Games SF setting - Hostile - Gritty, near'ish future

Postby dragoner » Tue Dec 12, 2017 5:09 pm

Gritty as in realistic?
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Re: New Zozer Games SF setting - Hostile - Gritty, near'ish future

Postby Mithras » Tue Dec 12, 2017 7:18 pm

The worlds and the astronomy are 'realistic', but this is a setting with hyperdrives and gravity compensators (although not grav drives) so its still as realistic as most other SF RPGs.

Gritty here means the hard-nosed, hard-working, non-glamorous, industrial and care-worn side of life in the future.
Paul Elliott
HOSTILE: A Gritty SF setting inspired by Alien, Outland and Bladerunner - for Cepheus Engine https://www.paulelliottbooks.com/hostile.html
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Re: New Zozer Games SF setting - Hostile - Gritty, near'ish future

Postby middenface » Sat Dec 16, 2017 8:53 pm

5 Star Review posted on DTRPG

http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product_rev ... _id=228492


Admit it - you watched Alien(s), Outland, Blade Runner, and many other 1970's and early-1980's sci-fi films. You loved them. You've always wanted to run role-playing games in their settings. There was once a relatively obscure Aliens RPG published in 1991. Classic Traveller also comes quite close to Alien(s). However, none of them captures the spirit of these "retro-industrial" hard-line 1970's universe as brilliantly as HOSTILE does.

The entire thing oozes atmosphere. It is clear that the author knows the milieu like the back of his hand and has analyzed it, dissecting it to its most basic elements: a focus on work and working-class heroes; industrialization and an "industrial" look and feel; danger lurking in the many corners of space; anthropocentric milieu; retro-futurism; and a hearty dose of cynicism. It provides a list of several movies inspiring HOSTILE games, from Alien to Elysium.

Also, it lists Red Dwarf as inspiration! And also mentions it again as a source of adventure inspiration! BONUS POINTS!

HOSTILE comes in the form of five PDF files:
  • 1970's-style Classic Traveller-inspired rules. These are almost exclusively combat rules, which supplement the many rules included in HOSTILE. However, ship combat is still absent.
    A PDF with 15 floor plans of various "space colony" locations, from Aliens-style colonial corridors to a warehouse.
    An in-universe starship-trade "Magazine" showcasing the "Hercules"-class tug, which is, in a nutshell, the Nostromo (of Alien fame) with its serial numbers filed off.
    A HOSTILE-specific character sheet, in the shape of an in-universe PERSONNEL Form.
    The HOSTILE book itself.
    After this introduction, there is a 9-page setting overview, out of which 3 pages are setting history, 3 are nation-state and corporate overview, and the rest is mostly art. I love this: short and to the point. History serves the setting. No need for long fluff here. Just the bare bones necessary to provide context to the rest of the book. Excellent game-design choice, in my humble opinion.
After that comes astrography. This is meaty - 54 pages, most of which describe worlds. As in Aliens and 2300AD, HOSTILE organizes space into "arms" of human expansion into the stars. This book focuses on the American Arm. It also divides space into "Zones" - i.e. Traveller-style Subsectors. The book includes six of these, in excellent blue-and-dark maps. Before the worlds, it overviews the standard Cepheus/Traveller world generation rules, with minor modifications. The book details 23 worlds, all "Core" worlds, and then mentions Frontier worlds in a passing, without details. This is a shame - Frontier colonies are a hotbed for adventure.

A major point of divergence from standard Cepheus/Traveller is that of tech levels. HOSTILE combines TL15 in computers, robotics, and ship drives with TL10 in everything else. It also totally lacks cybernetics - remember, this is Blade Runner, not Johnny Mnemonic. Other than a short table on p.38, the book does not mention tech levels. As in Aliens, colonies have similar technology to that of the Core.

After this come the actual setting details - those of the "Big Seven" mega-corporations, the obligatory spacefaring USMC, the United States Space Command (refreshingly a development of the Air Force rather than the navy), starlines, NGOs, mercenaries ("Primate Military Contractors" - PMCs - HOSTILE uses the real-world contemporary term), non-profits, and criminals. Ah, and Antarctica Traffic Control! It also has the equivalent of Bladerunner Replicants, that is renegade psychopathic clones which authorities are trying to hunt down.

As in most third-party Traveller and Cepheus settings, such as Clement Sector and These Stars Are Ours!, HOSTILE has a sizable character generation chapter. This follows standard Cepheus Engine rules, though with 15 new careers such as Corporate Exec (the replacement of a Noble), Marshal (frontier lawman), and Roughneck (space miner). There is also an option to play Alien(s)-style androids. They have several limitations, such as Asimov's rules they are programmed to follow and limited skills, but still - playing an android is cool!

Perfect Classic Traveller/Cepheus Engine "character sheet" if there ever was one! Just add equipment on the back and start chasing star outlaws!

Similar to Outer Veil, HOSTILE provides equipment, complete with in-world brand names. Expect Pulse Rifles and an AK-equivalent. The equipment chapter also discusses technology as a whole in this setting. This is straight 1970's-mid-1980's sci-fi. No cellular phone, no flat or touch screens, no nanotechnology. Video-Phones rule the day, as well as data cards and minidiscs. A great addition is in-universe "medicinal" names for the otherwise dry Traveller drug names; you will find ACE Inhibitor and Dexamphetamine here, not Slow Drug and Combat Drug. There are all sorts of equipment, as well as guns and vehicles. There are no gravitic vehicles in HOSTILE, so vehicles are restricted to pretty realistic ones, from cars to tilt-rotors. This chapter is very long, and has its fair share of "Gun Pr0n".

Oh, and the Referee/GM is called here... The "Manager"!

The next chapter details styles of play and the general milieu, with adventure hooks aplenty. The three recommended play styles are Work - that is, playing corporate troubleshooters solving all sorts of nasty frontier problems; Fight, where the PMCs and the said obligatory space USMC come in; and Explore, which is boldly going where no man has gone before and probably getting eaten by a xenobeast as well. HOSTILE then gives many tips about how to run and describe an Aliens-style setting. This includes visual and auditory ques, as well as the main themes of the game. There is also an excellent discussion of horror gaming, with tips to the budding horror Referee ("Manager"). Including Xenomorphs. And Hyperspace anomalies! HOSTILE mentions Red Dwarf in the latter, which, again, is wonderful. I love that series!

There are also stats for various dangerous xenomorphs, including, as you expect, a Reticulan Parasite, i.e. an Alien (in TSAO!, of course, a "Reticulan Parasite" has another meaning :-) ) and a creature inspired by the one from John Carpenter's The Thing. The next section discusses environmental hazards, including radiation and a realistic depiction of vacuum exposure. Everything is well-detailed and clear: from extreme temperatures to poisonous atmospheres. I think that this chapter will be perfectly useful in other settings as well, as it is, in my opinion, superior to the discussion of these subjects in Mongoose Traveller or the 2D6 Sci-Fi SRD. The only downside is that the chapter only lists the amount of rads a given radiation source causes, but does not list their effects on the human body; this sends the player to browse the Cepheus Engine.

There are belting rules, along with some new equipment, which is very well thought out. The mining rules themselves remind me of Outer Veil - these are OGL, of course, and this pleases me very much.

The next big chunk of HOSTILE is starship construction. This is a major point of divergence from the Cepheus Core. HOSTILE ships are big; as big as those of old Classic Traveller Book 5: High Guard. Up to a million tons! However, maneuver drives are plasma reaction drives. Hyperspace engines require no fuel, but M-Drives require fuel similar to that of a Cepheus Core J-Drive. Thus, you can use ship designs from other 2D6 OGL-compatible products in HOSTILE, including their deck plans, with minimal adjustments.

This is "not"-Alien(s) so while in Hyperspace transit, everyone must hibernate in Hypersleep or suffer horrid effects. Ships still have staterooms for in-system flight, though, and Hypersleep seems much safer than vanilla Traveller Low Berths. There are also shipboard medical facility rules (possibly) inspired by my Outer Veil, but sadly no hydroponics, which would be, in my opinion, highly appropriate to this setting. Finally, the chapter clarifies the Cepheus/2D6 SRD missile rules, which is a boon.

The book provides several ship designs, from tugs and refineries (ahem, Nostromo) to Naval patrol ships - similar to cruisers in MGT terms, I think. There are no deck plans, but there are beautiful renders of some of these ships.

Finally, there are adventure seeds - they are short, but there is a large number of them.

The book ends with some NPC stats - including a very well-known crew with its serial numbers (and names) filed off - and a filled character sheet example.

The bottom line is that this is a wonderful product. I think that, far more than a setting book, it is a genre toolbox. If you want a gritty, Alienesque near-Terra, near-future setting, this is the book for you. If you want to build your own near-Terra, near-future setting - this book would also be of immense value to you.

Highly recommended!
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Re: New Zozer Games SF setting - Hostile - Gritty, near'ish future

Postby torus » Sat Feb 10, 2018 8:55 am

Is this usable with Mongoose Traveller 2e? I don't know how much Cepheus engine differs.
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Re: New Zozer Games SF setting - Hostile - Gritty, near'ish future

Postby ShawnDriscoll » Sat Feb 10, 2018 10:35 am

torus wrote:
Sat Feb 10, 2018 8:55 am
Is this usable with Mongoose Traveller 2e? I don't know how much Cepheus engine differs.
If you have Traveller already, you don't need Cepheus Engine.
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Re: New Zozer Games SF setting - Hostile - Gritty, near'ish future

Postby middenface » Sat Feb 10, 2018 1:41 pm

I'll attempt to give a relevant answer.

Well both CE and Traveller 2e are based on the Traveller SRD, so they are not hugely dissimilar.
Hostile does contain full ship design rules, unlike 2E. They don't use power use in the design system and have the hull and structure points for damage.
CE does not use Boon/Bane, the character generation system is more like classic traveller.

TO be honest, as Cepheus Engine is freely available, so you could have a look at it. But you should be able to run Hostile under 2e with not too much pain.
Paul might be able to answer it better.

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Re: New Zozer Games SF setting - Hostile - Gritty, near'ish future

Postby ShawnDriscoll » Sat Feb 10, 2018 1:59 pm

If you need CE to play Hostile, then why is Hostile being posted on a Traveller forum? CE is a different game, and is not Traveller. In fact, it's anti-Traveller. And anti-Mongoose.
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Re: New Zozer Games SF setting - Hostile - Gritty, near'ish future

Postby Sigtrygg » Sat Feb 10, 2018 2:11 pm

And yet CE is endorsed by one MWM to the extent that it gets its own section on the CotI forums.

The dangers of OGL and SRDs...
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Re: New Zozer Games SF setting - Hostile - Gritty, near'ish future

Postby torus » Sat Feb 10, 2018 2:19 pm

middenface wrote:
Sat Feb 10, 2018 1:41 pm
I'll attempt to give a relevant answer.

Well both CE and Traveller 2e are based on the Traveller SRD, so they are not hugely dissimilar.
Hostile does contain full ship design rules, unlike 2E. They don't use power use in the design system and have the hull and structure points for damage.
CE does not use Boon/Bane, the character generation system is more like classic traveller.

TO be honest, as Cepheus Engine is freely available, so you could have a look at it. But you should be able to run Hostile under 2e with not too much pain.
Paul might be able to answer it better.
Thanks, that was my impression. I'll have a look at the pdf; just hate using pdfs at the table so hope they do come out with a print version.
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Re: New Zozer Games SF setting - Hostile - Gritty, near'ish future

Postby middenface » Sat Feb 10, 2018 2:21 pm

torus wrote:
Sat Feb 10, 2018 2:19 pm

Thanks, that was my impression. I'll have a look at the pdf; just hate using pdfs at the table so hope they do come out with a print version.
Don't you worry, print version should be ready soon enough.
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Re: New Zozer Games SF setting - Hostile - Gritty, near'ish future

Postby torus » Sat Feb 10, 2018 2:25 pm

ShawnDriscoll wrote:
Sat Feb 10, 2018 1:59 pm
If you need CE to play Hostile, then why is Hostile being posted on a Traveller forum? CE is a different game, and is not Traveller. In fact, it's anti-Traveller. And anti-Mongoose.
I disagree; if CE products are Trav-compatible then that enriches the ecosystem for Mongoose players as well.

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