On distant worlds in the deepest regions of space, unknown creatures await unwitting explorers. Close to home, devious politicians and gangsters lure native wild life to carry out their dirty work while maintaining denyability. On a frontier outpost, primitive life forms walk the uninhabited regions hoping claim the civilized place as their new home. Be prepared no matter where your players go. Be ready with the Creatures of Distant Worlds.

Necro-Soldiers carry out their tasks from beyond the grave. With a computer for a mind and dead heart for a soul, these merciless troops complete their mission with deadly accuracy.

Necro-Soldiers is now available for download to all Subscribers and will be available alone on 25 May 2009.

“Traveller” and the Traveller logo are Trademarks owned by Far Future Enterprises, Inc. and are used with permission. The Traveller Main Rulebook is available from Mongoose Publishing.

Its easy to see why SkyNet is so evil: they want to exterminate humanity. Its easy to see why Romulans are evil: they want to destroy the Federation. The Empire … they want to … put down a rebellion? So they’re as evil as George Washington during the Whiskey Rebellion? They change for form of government. Ok that’s bad, but its not exterminate humanity evil. They destroy a planet with plenty of innocent civilians that also was a hot spot of rebellion. Ok, that’s (recent political figure that authorized torture that shall remain nameless) evil, but not Adolf Hitler evil. But that’s it? One incident that occurred after the Rebellion started?

I was thinking about this is morning and the more I think about it the more I realized that Star Wars doesn’t do a good job of showing why the bad guys are bad. A classic example of “Telling” and not “Showing”, something all authors should avoid. As I work on my setting, I’m making sure that the race generally assumed as the bad guys demonstrate their evil ways repeated instead of just saying “They’re bad because they’re ugly.” Slavery is present, so is mass genocide, underhanded dealings, and a desire to oppress those simply because they can. There are perfectly good reasons for all of this from the point of view of the bad guys as well as reasons to see why they do not see themselves as bad. But they do commit some rather nasty acts nonetheless.

The one thing in this setting that I feel is most important is room for individuals to make a difference. In this setting, a single person can mean the difference between home and hell.

All this week, we’re posting pictures on various places of our upcoming creatures on the web. Yesterday the artwork to necro-soldiers was released. Check out our Tweets from the Future feed to see today’s upcoming creature.

Creature Status

Necro-Soldiers: One more edit pass and and it should be beautiful.
Ice Goliaths: Finished and Uploaded to DriveThruRPG.
Psiscorpions: Try as I might, I was not pleased with this one. Currently is resting on the cutting room floor. Paskrin, the bane of Engineers, will be taking its place.
Spiders: Finished and Uploaded to DriveThruRPG.

Thought for the Day: Felicia Day likes D&D. Do you?

Swimming loose in Traveller games comes the Krakodaran. This creature attacks with its terrible shout and viscious bite. Neither swimmer nor submersible is safe when the Krakodaran comes looking for its next meal.

Creatures of Distant Worlds: Krakodaran is part of the Creatures of Distant Worlds Subscription and is also available for individual sale at DriveThruRPG.com.

“Traveller” and the Traveller logo are Trademarks owned by Far Future Enterprises, Inc. and are used with permission. The Traveller Main Rulebook is available from Mongoose Publishing.

Because Jon Brazer Enterprises appreciates our Subscribers, we’re releasing Creatures of Distant Worlds to them today. They get the first look at these terrible kings of the ocean waves. Scouring the waters for their next meal, they search for a tasty snack like player characters. Now an elect few feed freely before the whole pod swims loose on Monday May 11th.

Krakodarans is apart of the Creatures of Distant Worlds Subscription. Join this Member’s Only group today for exciting Subscriber Benefits.

Before I begin, allow me to state that I am a Born Again Christian. Raised in the Church, accepted Christ as my Lord and Savior on Thursday July 7, 1994 at 11:37pm in Greenboro, SC. Since that day I studied the Bible extensively. I didn’t just read Genesis and flip over to the New Testiment like so many. No, my favorite Bible Character is Elisha, disciple of the prophet Elijiah. (First appeared in the end of 1st Kings but had most of his life detailed in 2nd Kings.) I was at a Rich Mullins concert less than 1 year before he died. I’ve been to Promise Keepers, Billy Graham (in the chorus) and John Guest gatherings. I reignited my faith at Jouney #1 (Wyoming Confrence) in 1999. I’ve been on mission trips and participated in IVCF at a very secular college and served as a living witness to many non-believers there. Now I raise my daughter to love and fear God. I believe in Creation (not that Intelligent Design crap) where the earth was created in 7 (24 hour) days and that Adam and Eve were the first 2 people on earth. I am what many considered to be a Christian’s Christian.

I am also a Gamer. Infact, I enjoy role playing games so much, I started my own Role Playing company.

So when I see a fellow Christian posting non-sense like this, it bothers me. At college I was surrounded by many different view points and I searched the Bible for a way to reach them. It was the example laid out by Paul that helped me figure out what best to do. In the book of Acts, Paul presented Jesus through their religion. When talking with the slaves of Rome, he presented them with the promise of being God’s freemen. When talking with Jews he used the law. No matter where he went, he lived with them, got to know what they valued and presented Christ through those values and desires. That was the model I lived by.

Unfortunately, the author of the article does not share the same belief (or at least does not practice such a method in the referenced article). For example, the author stated:

In fact, when game defenders claim that the occult and violence oriented games do not include actual incantations, spells, etc., it is just not true. A trip to the local game store will reveal examples like four volumes of specific Wizards Spells and three volumes of Encyclopedia of Magica.

I ask you: Did you look in the books or did you simply judge the books by their covers? The titles and cover art are simply chosen to convey a theme. This is otherwise called “Marketting,” (a non-Satanic practice by which companies make money to stay in business). Had you opened those books, you would have found “spells,” but these spells are as akin to actual magic as a picture of food is to actual food. Eating a picture of food provides no nutritional value and would be harmful to your body’s digestive system (I do not recommend trying that). In the same way, “spells” in role playing games produce no actual magic (if such even exists). Allow me to demonstrate how a typical spell in Dungeons and Dragons works:

Player: I cast Magic Missile at the grimlin.
Game Master: Ok. Role your dice.
Player: *rolls a plastic die that has 4 sides* I got a 2.
Game Master: Ok. You did 2 points of damage.

That’s it. No incantation. No blood sacrifice. No calling upon some dark lord’s name and swearing to serve him for all eternity if he helps the Player to defeat the grimlin. Just a couple of geeks sitting around a table and doing the geek equivilent of poker night.

The author cited examples of people committing murder and or suicide because of role playing games. I find that rather odd considering that when you play a role playing game, you tend to play with the same group of people for prolonged periods of time. Over that time you make friends, build bonds, and care for those at your table. And if someone starts acting weird or on edge or similar, they are there to intervene and help them through whatever is going on.

Additionally, something frequently cited by BADD (Bothered About Dungeons and Dragons, and organization referenced in the article) why role playing games are so bad is because a person gets attached to their character and may kill themself should something bad happen to their character. I’ll ignore the inability to tell fiction from reality argument and move onto anothe argument that is not as frequently covered. The attachment a person feels for their character is similar to the attachment a person could have for a fictional character on TV. Myself, I loved the character Kutner on the popular TV show House. He killed himself recently. Shot himself in the head. Did I do the same? No. I have not heard about a rash of self-inflicted gun shot wounds to head on national media so I appear to not be the only one. Same is true with one of my characters. Over the years, I have had many, many characters die. None caused me to harm myself or others.

In 2 Peter 1:5-11, Peter lays out the path to spiritial growth. In Verse 5 (NIV), He says:

For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge;

He continues on from there, but he hit the part that is relivent here. Knowledge. In the greek, it is a kind of knowledge gained through experience. I urge you, therefore, brother to add to your faith and your goodness by gaining knowledge. I do not simply mean to go on the internet and find information that validates the ideas you already possess. No. Instead I urge you to go to your forementioned game store and ask the person working behind the counter if there is a role playing game that meets at the store itself. Odds are, there is. Ask when it is, letting the person know that you’ve never seen a role playing game actually being played before and would like to watch it. I recommend not going into some tyraid about how they’re Satanic and responsible for a myriad of social problems. Simply watch with an open mind. You do not have to participate, you can simply sit back and watch.

But most importantly, remember these are souls just like you. And God loves them, just like you.

JBE Forums

Jon Brazer Enterprises would like to to cordially invite those interested to check out our new forums. Hosted by phpbb, they can be found at http://www.phpbbplanet.com/jonbrazer.

Today I opened up the Krakodaran after having shelved it for a few days since my last round of edits. I read it over and was quite pleased. Its been uploaded to DriveThruRPG. Necro-Soldiers remains in its 2nd round of edits. I worked a little on the rough draft of Ice Goliaths this morning. And spiders has another round or two of edits to go. All in all, the series is going rather well.

I’m narrowing down my selections for the subscribers preview. The problem is is that I actually have to decide which ideas to do and which I should hold on to for a later point intime. My plan is to hold off on products that are exclusively Sector Nothart at the moment and focus on general setting products. I’ll keep detailing the setting like I am with Creatures, but I’m not going to be working on the setting in the near future.

That does however allow me to focus on a wider range of products, products that commonly fit into any given Referee’s homebrew setting or other settings at large. I’m also looking to release products for Traveller that Traveller has never seen before, but still makes complete sense to be there.

Late last year I wrote a series of Planets for Traveller and submitted them off to Mongoose Publishing for publication. Today, another saw the light of published. Kresdekka I is a prison planet where the hardest of the hard to go to be removed from society. Inside you’ll find 3 patrons, a player handout, and enough plot hooks to keep your players in lock down wanting to find out what comes next.

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