Sunday, May 31, 2015


Damage & Death

Beamrazors and blasters, the ubiquitous weaponry of the setting, lead to especially grisly and traumatic (if not fatal) wounds. The critical hit table that follows should be used in place of the one found in the X-Plorers rulebook (adjust for PHY as normal):

1 or less
Instant Death!
Mortal Wound
3 to 4
Grievous Wound
6 to 7
8 or more
Adrenaline Surge!
*Add PHY adjustment; if damage sustained is from unarmed attacks, treat all results of 5 or less as Incapacitated.

Instant Death! Just what the result says.
Mortal Wound: Character will die in D6 rounds (adjusted for PHY) unless intervention is provided in the form of a psychic talent (for example, resist death or vitality transfer).
Grievous Wound: As Incapacitated, but the character has been permanently maimed and/or scarred and will probably require cybernetic reconstruction to fully recover.
Incapacitated: The character is incapacitated with pain and will fall unconscious (for D6x10 minutes) unless she succeeds at a PHY saving throw. A conscious character can take one action (psychic or otherwise) per round, but all dice rolls are made at a -2 penalty and the only movement possible is very slow crawling.
Beaten: The character knows her luck has run out, but suffers no other ill effects. If wounded again, subsequent critical hit rolls are made at a cumulative -1 penalty.
Adrenaline Surge: As per the X-Plorers rulebook.

Star Knights are taught to revere life and act in its preservation whenever possible, though sometimes the greater preservation of life means ending the life of another (especially when it comes to Shadow Lords and other corrupt psychics). When using a beamrazor, a Star Knight may choose to Grievously Wound an opponent instead of killing it at 0 hit points, usually slicing away an opponent’s weapon hand or arm. If the target is a Shadow Lord roll 1D4 to see how many limbs are severed as dictated by “the will of the Star Force” (on a roll of “4” the Star Knight cannot help but cut the villain in twain, causing Instant Death).

Cybernetic Reconstruction

Cybernetic replacement in KWN is not a matter of improvement, but rather one of expedience: with the ubiquity of cyborgs (see Chapter 2), why take the time to grow a cloned organ for transplant when a borg limb is more cheaply installed (and without the threat of host rejection)? Due to the number and diversity of sentient species, the study of cybernetic installation is much easier to master than the medicine and biology of a million life forms spread across the galaxy; skilled surgeons in the KWN setting are more akin to a mechanic than a family practitioner.

Characters that sustain a Grievous Wound may require reconstruction as part of their healing process; roll on the following table:

1 to 4
Cybernetic reconstruction needed
No cybernetics, but -1 to INT*
No cybernetics, but -1 to AGI*
No cybernetics, but -1 to PHY*
Full miraculous recovery!
*Attribute permanently reduced.

A character requiring cybernetic reconstruction has to put in time in a capable medical facility, either shipboard or planet-side; until she does she cannot recover more than one-half her lost hit points.

Receiving cybernetic replacement diminishes a person’s sense of self, as they become less organic, more machine. For every incident of reconstruction, the character’s PRE score is permanently reduced by one point, reflecting the blow to the psyche. Because of the attribute’s importance, this can be a tremendous loss to a Star Knight or psychic character.

A character can elect to forgo cybernetic reconstruction even when indicated (she still requires a medical facility to fully recover). Doing so means permanently lowering the character’s max HPs by one point per level of experience. In addition, a character will suffer other challenges depending on the nature of the injury (damaged vision, loss of locomotion, missing hand/arm, inability to speak due to a missing jaw, etc.). Such effects will need to be adjudicated by the Referee.

An individual purposefully maimed by beamrazor (see Damage & Death above) always requires cybernetic reconstruction to replace the lost limb(s).

Vehicle Combat

Vehicle combat with atmospheric craft isn’t much different from normal combat: standard vehicles have hit points (not hull points) and AC just like PCs, and if brought to 0 hit points the vehicle ceases to function. All cycles have 10 hit points and AC 12, while cars have 20 hit points and AC 14. The pilot of a vehicle adds any AGI adjustment to AC (to reflect their maneuvering) and psychics may add their psychic defense bonus (PRE) as well. At high speeds, opponents have an additional penalty of -2 to hit a moving vehicle (individuals firing from such a moving vehicle receive the same penalty).

Explorer vehicles are a little less maneuverable and don’t receive AC bonuses from their pilot, but they are fairly sturdy with an AC 16 and 40 hit points.

[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]

Saturday, May 30, 2015




As galactic peacekeepers, Star Knights are trained in using their skills to defend others. With an activated beamrazor, a Star Knight can defend a 5m area centered on the Knight; no attacks may pass through the defended area unless the Knight allows it. In other words, if a Star Knight comes between an attacker and its intended target, the attacker must target the Knight instead (the attacker cannot “shoot through” the Star Knight at a softer target).


The space opera genre often resembles a swashbuckling Errol Flynn film, and KWN with its beamrazors and Star Knights is no exception. The following rule modifies the normal “20’s and 1’s” rule found in X-Plorers:

Psychics and all PCs (psychic or not) are never subject to double damage from an attacker’s roll of “20.” However, an attacker that rolls a 20 can choose to disarm an opponent instead of inflicting the normal damage for a successful attack. The target of the attack makes an AGI saving throw; success indicates the weapon flies D8 meters in a random direction (and can thus be recovered), failure indicates the weapon has been destroyed.

Player characters that roll a 1 for an attack roll may choose to fumble away their weapon instead of losing their attacks for the next round of combat. Retrieving and readying a fumbled weapon takes a character’s action for the round, assuming she can move far enough to recover it. Remember: Star Knights receive special bonuses when armed with a beamrazor (as described in Chapter 2) and some psychic talents can only be used with ‘razor in hand, making disarmament particularly dangerous; a Knight who chooses to stumble (losing attacks) will retain her weapon and her associated bonuses.

A psychic with the move small objects talent can retrieve a loose weapon instead of making a normal move AND still take their normal action in around. This is an exception to the rule that activating a psychic talent counts as the character’s “action” for the round.

Multiple Opponents (OPTIONAL RULE)

Compared to the hordes of miscreants that inhabit the galaxy, including the soldiers of the Kloane Empire, the Star Knights are few in number. However, their heroic temperament and mental discipline (not to mention the conceits of the space opera genre) allow them to handle more than their fair share of enemies in combat.

When outnumbered by foes of the same type, the Referee should simply make ONE attack against each defending Star Knight or PC at the opponent’s normal base “to hit” bonus +2 (to represent the bonus received for their numerical advantage). If the attack is launched successfully, the character takes damage as if being hit by a single attack (i.e. a maximum of one damage roll per round from foes of the same type). This serves two purposes: it keeps the pace of the game quick (less dice rolling for the Referee) and it increases the longevity of heroic characters.

Similarly, a Star Knight can reap opponents like wheat when using a beamrazor. Against non-psychic opponents, any damage in excess of an opponent’s hit points can be applied against all foes of similar type within melee range of the Star Knight.

For example: Ben Starjammer is alone and beset by four space pirates. The pirates gain initiative and the Referee makes a single attack roll using the attackers’ normal attack bonus of +1 and adding +2 because they outnumber the Star Knight. The roll is a 12+3= 15 which is not enough to hit Ben’s Armor Class of 16. Ben now wades into his scurvy opponents, ‘razor flashing. He succeeds at his attack roll and rolls a total of 12 for damage (including the bonus for his level). Since the pirates only have five hit points each, this kills two of them and does two point of damage to a third. If the pirates only had 3 hit points apiece, Ben would have cut down all four in a single round.

Two-Fisted Fighting (OPTIONAL RULE)

Some players will want to use two weapons at once (one in each hand). If the character wishes to launch an attack with both weapons in the same round, she suffers a -2 penalty to each attack roll, unless the character would normally be allowed multiple attacks (like a high level soldier). In addition, melee weapons do not receive their normal PHY bonus to damage rolls when fighting two-fisted (though PHY penalties apply). Soldiers gain the advantages of their class specialization OR the two-fisted fighting rule, not both.

Psychic characters using one or two beamrazors in this fashion lose all the advantages for using a form, unless they are masters of (and using) the Way of Balance. Regardless, the Star Knight's damage bonus for level is split between the two weapons (the full bonus is only received when using a single 'razor).

For example: Ben Starjammer has been captured and forced to fight in an arena without his trusty beamrazor. Seeing his opponent is armed with a pair of fighting staves, Ben does the same hoping he’ll be able to land a blow with at least one. The Star Knight makes two attack rolls (each with a -2 penalty) and any successful attack will not receive the psychic’s normal PHY bonus to melee weapon damage. His opponent, on the other hand, is a 6th level soldier specializing in fighting staves; rather than use the two-fisted rule, he rolls two normal attacks (one attack per round plus a bonus attack with his specialty weapon) with normal to hit and damage bonuses. If one of the soldier’s weapons were replaced with a blaster (a weapon in which he has no specialization) he’d have to use the two-fisted fighting rule (thus losing his class bonuses) in order to attack with both weapons in one round.

[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]

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...