Kafka over at RPGNet has written a fantastic review of the Ashen Stars theme music, All We Have forgotten. You can read the full review here.
An excellent audio journey through the fragmented but exciting world of Ashen Stars – in all its glory of a heroic and shiny past where the horrors of the present were banished into the abyss.
All We Have Forgotten has been nominated for a 2013 ENnie Award as Best Aid / Accessory. More on this here. All We Have Forgotten is music for Ashen Stars by James Semple, Marie-Anne Fischer and Yaiza Varona, the talent behind the chilling Eternal Lies Suite. All We Have Forgotten contains 10 original tracks and 4 stings, short bursts of music to mark the end of a scene. The tracks are supplied as MP3s so can be quickly loaded onto any player to add that extra dimension and atmosphere to your game. The music has been designed to be used with Ashen Stars but can, of course, be used with any number of sci-fi games. You can listen to a sample here – Review Highlights Read the reviews to date here. Buy
Robin appears as the guest in this week’s exciting episode of Jennisodes, where, in addition to explaining your dreams to you, he talks Hillfolk, Ashen Stars, Dreamhounds of Paris and more.
There is a fantastic review of the newest Ashen Stars adventure, Tartarus, from kafka over at RPG.Net. He has given 4 for Substance and 5 for Style. You can read the full review here.
The secret is to keep players ignorant, as this adventure is a blatant rip of major Hollywood summer blockbuster. Although, as that film will recess in popular amnesia this adventure will become more significant and the full glory of it can be revealed to unsuspecting players.
A new adventure for Ashen Stars from Robin D Laws.
In this scenario of exploration and confrontation in a devastatingly hostile environment, hard-bitten lasers, who know enough not to touch the gooey stuff or take off their helmets in an untested biosphere, investigate the demise of a survey crew doomed by the above mistakes, and more.
The interstellar corporation Shrawley-Gosha Industries offers a contract for an extraction operation on a notorious Bad Planet called Tartarus. A recent SGI survey mission went awry there, with all hands presumed lost. The company seeks a crew to retrieve DNA samples from the dead team members, to see if they were exposed to an experimental viroware treatment, and, if so, whether it contributed to the mission’s failure. As a secondary objective, the lasers are to gather enough evidence to reconstruct the sequence of events leading to whatever catastrophe destroyed the original team.
To be released as a stand-alone PDF and in a print bundle with Terra Nova.
|Stock #: PELGA05D
||Author: Robin D Laws
||Pages: 27pg PDF
A revolt against a planetary despot disrupts your rescue mission. Do you intervene or stick to the brief? The latest installment of my StoryCraft column for The Ancient Scroll is eminently suitable for Ashen Stars. Check it out.
An Ashen Stars scenario
by Robin D. Laws
Driven crazy by the muddled motivations and blatant idiot plotting of a certain eagerly-awaited SF movie franchise reboot? Exorcise your frustrations by giving your players the chance to do it right. Under contract to the Shrawley-Gosha corporation, hard-bitten interstellar operatives investigate the demise of a survey mission to a devastatingly hostile alien world. Didn’t they know enough not to touch the gooey stuff? Why did they take off their helmets? Can your PCs learn from their mistakes—or are they doomed to repeat them?
A Ripped From the Headlines Scenario Hook for Ashen Stars
In a development that raises the prospect of bespoke organs created with cells extruded through a 3D printer, a patient in a June 2011 procedure received a new windpipe grown specifically for him. 3D scanning technology provided the template for an exact replica of his original windpipe, sculpted from polymer around a glass mold.
In the future timeline of Ashen Stars, the utopian space empire known as the Combine once assiduously policed its ban on sentient-species cloning. Like so much else, this has fallen by the wayside in the frontier region of the Bleed. But so far it’s proven impossible to create true replicas of intelligent beings—you can make a physical copy, and even age it, but you can’t recreate all of the experiences that shape personal identity.
That may have changed, the lasers discover, when they get the terms of their latest contract. Famed inventor Sian Sar hires them to track down her ex-husband, Rog Trainor, who, without her knowledge, used her own scanning technology to make a complete cellular scan of her brain. She believes that he’s printed out a meat version of her brain, and is using it for competitive advantage—putting her genius to work on the same technologies her company is feverishly developing. Their mission: to bring Trainor to justice, and destroy the counterfeit of her brain.
The twist: Trainor has not only grown a replica of his ex-wife’s brain, but installed it in a clone copy of her body. The result is a new person, who shares Sar’s experiences and personality up to a point, but then diverged. She may not want to remain imprisoned and working for Trainor, but she doesn’t want to be murdered, either. Do the lasers fulfill their contract, or accept her claims of full personhood?
A Ripped From the Headlines Scenario Premise for Ashen Stars
As this article reveals, the conversion of mortgages into complex financial instruments did more than provoke the 2008 global financial meltdown. The data-tracking process used to spin fragments of mortgages off into a tradeable derivative—creating a sort of mortgage slurry, if you will—now makes it impossible to determine whether homeowners, banks, investors, or anyone at all really owns certain real-world property. A nebulously owned property can’t be used as collateral, undermining a key value of everyday finance.
Speaking of slicing and dicing, this springboards a scenario that perfectly fits the Ashen Stars setting, where information loss has been one of the prices paid by a former stellar utopia torn at the seams by recent warfare.
Unlike most planets of the Combine, the synthculture planet Trump’s World practiced 20th century capitalism –albeit in idealized, tourist-park form—even before the Mohilar War. Private ownership of property underpinned this historical reenactment economy. Now info-saboteurs have struck at the heart of the system, scrambling the worldwide property database. The PCs are hired to track down the McGuffin on which the entire economy rests—the single accurate copy of the pre-disaster real estate registry. Complicating the mission: plenty of Trump’s World moguls want the database back up—after they get a chance to fiddle with it, just a little…
According to a conspiracy theory both odd and oddly un-sinister, a youthful Barack Obama, as part of a secret CIA program, used to teleport to Mars. Why, the official denials only serve to confirm it!
To rip this from the headlines into an Ashen Stars scenario…
Teleportation technology doesn’t appear in the game setting. It’s a notorious plot-hoser. And in a roleplaying game you never have to leave out an establishing shot of a shuttle for pacing or budgetary reasons.
With this in mind…
A wealthy woman hires the lasers to locate her missing daughter, Rika True. Like many missing persons contracts, the arrangement calls for them to bring to justice anyone responsible for any harm that may have come to her. Rika, they learn, was last seen applying for employment with the utopian Eden Corporation. They find the uncharted company world that serves as its headquarters: a lush paradise that provides Eden settlers with a life of ease and luxury. They discover that Rika won the coveted right to participate in an Eden teleport experiment. The experiment turns out to be a scam to feed willing volunteers to a bi-dimensional predatory entity. The twist: it’s the entity that makes the planet inhabitable. If they destroy it or drive it away, the atmosphere immediately becomes toxic. Should the lasers reveal this to the populace, the residents decide that they’d rather continue the modest sacrifices than abandon their paradise. Do the lasers bring the system crashing down, as their contract demands, risking the lives of thousands?