Tag Archive: noir

Urban Sci-fi

Sci-fi it is again. Most of my friends would rather shoot lasers than crawl around in a dungeon. Fair enough. Our next game will be a “Space Noir.” I thought it would be fairly easy to apply Stolze’s “A Dirty World” to a Sci-fi setting. But my buddy really loves the FATE system. Using “Diaspora” we rolled up some star systems just to get our ideas churning. My friend has also agreed to do some art (which I’ll post about later). In short – our game will take place on a cutthroat space station ruled by eccentrically wealthy crime lords. The station is actually built into a massive asteroid ripe with precious ore. We really can’t decide what game system to utilize, but play-testing will hopefully make the choice obvious.

A ship hasn’t landed on this station for over 35 years. Communication has been broken off station for the past twelve. Only a select few on the station have any idea of what has happened to the suddenly distant space faring community, though rumors abound of a dangerous plague. And while the station is certainly self-sustaining, without trade the station has began to stagnate along with social order. Advanced technology, while present – is extremely rare. Only the most elite members of society (leaders of the various crime cartels) can afford such luxuries. I want to keep firearms mostly limited to a “slug-thrower” category. Therefore lasers are RARE, but also potentially too dangerous to use on a space station even for the wielder. I would assume that the sane would wield laser weapons only as a last resort.

Posed as legitimate business transactions, entire slum districts are sold and traded in a kind of game among the bored and brooding criminal elite. I think this game would really work well with “Stars Without Number,” especially given the fairly recent release of “Polychrome” (a cybernetics sourcebook). You’ll be hearing about more of this soon. P.S. I’m toying with the idea of a lurking but gigantic monster stalking the slums, but steadily working it’s way up the corroded towers.



I’ve moved back to Ma from Ny. Back with my old friends its time to put away the D20’s and try something a little different for a while. I’ve been meaning to run a few sessions of (and review) Greg Stolze’s “A Dirty World” for quite some time now. Stolze utilizes the d10 “one roll engine.” It’s been used in other games, but in “A Dirty World” it’s really impressive.

I want to mention that the game itself reads quickly, which is great for those of us with limited time (so, all of us). Stolze’s writing is concise, which really aids in my understanding of the at times, highly abstract rules. The read seemed to me a perfect length. And yet the real tone of the game came through not just with the limited fluff, but directly through the rules themselves. I wont say too much except to say, the rules seem to perfectly complement the games desired appeal. They are gritty, frantic, and unpredictable.

I’ve been watching a lot of noir films lately and I really got hung up on Graham Greene’s “The Third Man.” I believe the film was filmed in London, which is striking to me because the film feels particularly “noir” as I might define it, and yet it was filmed outside the confines of hollywood where the noir genre really took off (correct me if I’m wrong). But in the few noir films I’ve managed to see, violence is something catastrophic – not simply something to walk away from. I wonder how my friends will deal with this in our upcoming game. Which leads me to my next post…