Skip to main content

Solar Blades & Cosmic Spells - Distance and Time

I really like games that are more fluid, cinematic and kind of abstract instead of the more tactical ones. I prefer to leave combat to the imagination of players, instead of constraining it to a battle grid (I will talk about this in a future post, I promise).

Thus, in Solar Blades & Cosmic Spells, I decided to handle distance and time in a more loose and abstract way, giving the Overlord more freedom to frame scenes and how the time passes as the necessity of the game play dictates.

Measuring Distance

During a fast and action packed adventure of Solar Blades & Cosmic Spells, the last thing you would want to do is counting squares, feets, meters or whatever measuring unit you are accustomed to use. That’s why this game opts for an abstract way of handling distances.

There are 5 broad distance categories: close, short, medium, long and distant. Close encompasses everything within a couple of steps away. Short distance would be up to what a person could normally walk in about 10 seconds. Medium would be up to the distance someone could run in the same 10 seconds. Long range would be up to the distance a person could run in a minute. The distant category would then encompass the distance a person could run in 10 minutes.

It’s important to note that these distances are relative to personal scale, but the same principle can be applied to vehicles and spaceships too. You just have to substitute the “person” in those measurements with the appropriate scale standard. So, short distance for starship combat would be up to what a starship could normally cruise in about 10 seconds.

Rescued by the mercenary company, Kaylia now is searching for her starship, so they can help her fix it and get out of that wasteland. Their planetary transport’s sensors have a long range, which means it functions normally of to the distance a planetary ship could cover flying fast in 1 minute, which is pretty far. However, Kaylia’s starship is even further, which would be in the distant range category, so they make a test with a Negative Die.

Measuring Time

As with the measurement of distance, Solar Blades & Cosmic Spells measures time in some abstract units we call rounds and turns.

A round takes as much time as it’s usually needed for a character to take an Action and make a Movement in an action scene or combat. This usually means a round lasts around 10 seconds or so, but that can vary according to the Overlord’s judgment.

On the other hand, a turn usually lasts until a scene is resolved (see Action and Scene Resolution above). Sometimes this involves the resolution of a series of rounds, but other times a whole scene can be resolved in one test and this takes a turn. Most of the time, this means a turn lasts for about 10 minutes. However, the Overlord my judge that a turn may take more time, such as a day, a week or even a month (for when the characters are traveling for a long time, making an extensive research, or something similar).

Reaching the crash site of her starship, Kaylia and the mercenaries start their work on fixing its engine. This will take almost a full day, so the turn to resolve this scene will take the same amount. Once they have it fixed, Kaylia jumps in her cockpit and fires up the engines. But who shows up to make her life more complicated? Kaylia’s Evil Twin Sister! A chase begins and now their actions will be resolved round by round and they fire weapons at each other and Kaylia tries to get away.

If you like what you've just read, check out my books over RPGNow and Lulu.

Popular posts from this blog

Dark Streets & Darker Secrets - Complete Game Text

November was NaGaDeMon (National Game Design Month), and I decided to create an Action Horror RPG using my system (updated with all the modifications of Solar Blades & Cosmic Spells).

Inspired by Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Supernatural, X-Files, The Chilling Tales of Sabrina, Grimm and many more TV Shows, comics and books, I quickly worte Dark Streets & Darker Secrets. It is written in a very direct and simple way, similar to Sharp Swords & Sinister Spells originally was, but with uodated rules and a lot of tools and tables to assist the Referee in creating adventures, NPCs, locations, artifacts, monsters and much more.

The book itself will eventually be release in partnership with Gallant Knight Games, but the text is already written and ready to be used, so I am sharing it here with you all! There is no official character sheet yet. I am working on it. But a simple Index Card will work just as well!

So here it is:…

Download the final text and sheets of Solar Blades & Cosmic Spells

Hello space hobos!

Layout is about to begin and I have a surprise for you guys: The (as of right now) final text PDF of the Solar Blades & Cosmic Spells, together with the Character Sheet and Vehicle’s Sheet!

With those, you can begin your crazy adventures in the Known Universe and try your luck under the cruel gaze of the Galactic Overlords. Try to earn a good amount of credits transporting goods or refugees through the sectors. Or even try to awaken a sleeping Star God to repair some of the damage the wars have brought upon our reality.

So grab your Solar Blade and ready your Cosmic Spells! We are about to go on an adventure!

SB&CS - Complete Text
SB&CS - Character Sheet
SB&CS - Vehicle's Sheet

If you like what you've just read, check out my books over RPGNow and Lulu.

Words of Power - An Alternative Spell System for Old Skull Engine

I am writing the second edition of Sharp Swords & Sinister Spells, my first published game (a sword and sorcery RPG with streamlined rules, modern system with old school spirit) and I wrote an alternative spell system to go with it inspired by many things, including Barbarians of Lemuria, Blades in the Dark and the great articles about Magic Words written by Nick L. S. Whelan on his great blog Papers & Pencils.

Words of Power
The default magic system of Sharp Swords & Sinister Spells is inspired by a series of authors both in literature and in gaming. It assumes practitioners of sorcery dabble with incredible powerful and unstable energies to cast their spells, which they must learn the exact formula to cast. They usually can't devise new spells of modify the spells they know, as true sorcery is not a creation of mortals and these can only mimic this sinister arc with sinister consequences.

This alternative system proposed here changes things a bit. Magic will still b…