Help Right this wrong!

jedion357's picture
jedion357
June 24, 2014 - 12:53pm


Classic Elmore and used for a Gamma World cover but man this image screams Star Frontiers to me. It should have been a SF cover IMO. The big vehicle even has red pin stripping like the assault scout!

(Not that there is anything wrong with Gamma World; some of my best friends are mutants.Foot in mouth)

To use this as a "cover" for a SF adventure you would need to:

1. detail the small tanks/tracked vehicles

2. Detail the big tracked vehicle (probably not as hard as you would thing if its going to be a "one off")

3. Detail the snowy world and why their is a seemingly military/mercenary opp in play

4. Write the adventure.

Item #1 is the easiest; Item #3 is the trickiest IMO, Item # 4 should write itself after the other three are done.
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!
Comments:

jedion357's picture
jedion357
June 24, 2014 - 12:57pm
I think we're talking corporate mercenary action here as no serious military is going to use a windshield like that on its tanks. Of couse those tanks look a little light to me; like they could be run over by the Abrams. Perhaps they're just a modified snow vehicle with a gun mount on the top hatch, pressed into service out of expediency.

So the PCs probably need to be on the side that opposes that monstrocity of a tank. I kind of feel like the force depicted should be MerCo or Galactic Task Force and that this should somehow be Alcazzar 2.0 even if its not on Alcazzar. Those are my initial thoughts.
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

jedion357's picture
jedion357
June 24, 2014 - 1:08pm
2nd thought: the land crawler/land yatch/Jawa crawler rip off looks like it was built to deal with the unique features of Alcazzar's planetary rotation and that it, like all other life on the planet migrates around the equator to stay ahead of the ice. Thus its sort of a moving city/base. Were obviously talking post Mission to Alcazzar so just for fun lets say that its 30 years after the original module much like we are now 30 years after the publication of that module.

The 30 year time period sort of accounts for such a monstrocity being built and puts the module and the entry in Zebs guide concerning the corporate war waged on and around the moons of Alcazzar as past events. This image would be closer to or post SW2. The Land Crawler would no longer be shiny new but well used.

Working title would be "Return to Alcazzar" which has a nice ring to it.

the runnabout tanks were strictly snow crawlers but were modify 20+ years ago for an impending corporate conflict and the windshield remains a Achilies Heal.

EDIT: BTW it really has been 30 years since the module was published as the orginial bears the date 1984!
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

Malcadon's picture
Malcadon
June 24, 2014 - 1:38pm
One thing that looks really odd and out of place in that picture is that moon. The Earth's Moon is not that big or close, so that cant be from Earth. And the treads also look out of place. Gamma World like to keep their vehicles off the ground in one way or another (unless they were emulating a Mad Max styled post-apocalypses, and those always looked stupid in GW).

I always felt that pic was more appropriate for Star Frontiers, then Gamma World. The first time I seen that pic online, back in the late '90s, I thought in was for Star Frontiers.

jedion357's picture
jedion357
June 24, 2014 - 1:41pm
Malcadon wrote:

I always felt that pic was more appropriate for Star Frontiers, then Gamma World. The first time I seen that pic online, back in the late '90s, I thought in was for Star Frontiers.


Hear, hear!
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

TerlObar's picture
TerlObar
June 24, 2014 - 4:34pm
The moon's just big because they're using a telephoto lens to take the picture from a distance.  You can easily make the earth's moon look that big in a image.

I've never seen this image before but the first thing I thought of as well was an adventure on Alcazar during the winter season.  And in this case it's the end of winter, early spring.
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jedion357's picture
jedion357
June 24, 2014 - 5:31pm
It was falsely reported that the missing cybernetic/bionic rules from Zebulon's Guide were included in the Gamma World module, Epsilon Cyborgs that this became the cover for. Because of that, i spent a lot of time on ebay trying to get a copy and in the end paid more than I really wanted only to discover that there was nothing of the sort in the module.

there are some benefits to making a Return to Alcazzar

1. the basics of the system/world are kind of worked out in the module

2. the beastiary has a solid start. It could be reviewed and expanded but does not have to be as the cover pic suggests mercenary actions. Though the snow sloth (aggressive carnivore scavenger) could be used for a flavor encounter in the winter snows.

3. We have a start on the history and only need to extrapolate from there for a 30 year period. Best to leave Rhiana as a system with 25 years of uneasy peace because of the settlement of the corporate wars here didn't really solve anything to anyone's satisfaction.

4. From that one image i've isolated 2 different small ground vehicles, 1 air vehicle and the mamoth crawler- which means detialing 4 new vehicles though I would go with detailing 3 vehicles and treating the beast as a adventure location not so much a vehicle.

5. Plus the cover pic is just killer
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

Shadow Shack's picture
Shadow Shack
June 24, 2014 - 9:49pm
Either that's a really big tank in the foreground or really small trees...either way the one in the background is enourmous with tracks taller than the trees in its path. I don't imagine it's well suited for softer terrain that can't handle such immense weight.
I'm not overly fond of Zeb's Guide...nor do I have any qualms stating why. Tongue out

My SF website

jedion357's picture
jedion357
June 25, 2014 - 4:20am
If you pull a copy off this off Larry Elmore's site you can see in the wind shield of the foreground tank that there is two occupants sitting side by side. From that it really looks like the tank is about the size of a large car.

The extra wide treads on the mamoth are for displacing wt. over a broader area and the fact that is depicted in winter suggests that they tend to keep it on frozen ground.

Studying the picture though it looks like the mamoth has in the range of 9 horizontal deck, a plethora of weapons, a conning tower, a "ten forward" area with the orange dome, a snow plow for glacier sized snow drifts, a landing platform, and no doubt the small tank deploy from the back. it really would be a slow moving city.

I'm trying to come up with "What does XODS II mean on the side of the mamoth?"

Any adventure involving this thing would almost have to allow the PCs to visit it otherwise the players will feel short changed if you use this as a cover and they dont get to explore it or fight it.

The big question will be, "Is the faction the PCs work for the owner/controllers of the mamoth or is it under the control of the opposition?"
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

jedion357's picture
jedion357
June 25, 2014 - 4:38am
The nature of the beast with the rotaion of Alcazzar is that you're not really going to get permanent residents. Sure some corporate compounds were built but the long hard winter has lead to a lot of attrition in personnel who up and quick, get cabin feavor and go crazy or demand a transfer.

Thus you're not going to get a growing population that petitions for membership in the Council of Worlds. and thus Alcazzar will remain a corporate system dominated by the mega corps operating here.

The mega corp operating the mamoth as a moving city/ ore processor will have a dominate influence and position. Other mega corps (1 or 2) will have outpost on the moons. and perhaps a another has the concession to mine the asteroid field or the two mega corps on the moons are their because one has the concession to mine and prospec the moons and the other has the concession to mine and prospect the asteroid field. This gives us a situation where 3 mega corps more or less have their own spere of operation and tend to ignore each other even if they would like to push one or more of the others out.
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

jedion357's picture
jedion357
June 25, 2014 - 4:43am
Perhaps there is an militant ecological cadre at work here. The mamoth has super broad treads and a ship's bow and would still have forward movement even in the mud flat but the scar it leaves on the environment is massive.

The ecological group is championing the cause of the local primitive sapients and wants the XODS shut down or at least halted such that it becomes a stationary city. Naturally the company will resist this.
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

Ascent's picture
Ascent
June 25, 2014 - 6:14am
Judging by the shape of its forward section, I would gues that it is designed to split glaciers. Judging by the width of its treads, I would guess they are about 50' to 60' wide. With front and back treads, it has the power to plow through just about anything but 30' bolders. The thing is a land carrier. Judging by its relationship to the trees in front of it, I would say it is aobut 260' tall to its antenna and almost half a mile long. The clouds indicate that it is causing its own high pressure system.

As to the window of the forward tank, why does it have to be made of glass? Why not some high density polymer or other transparent substance that is as strong as steel? It's the future. We have no idea what kind of new transparent substances will be created.
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Shadow Shack's picture
Shadow Shack
June 25, 2014 - 8:49am
Ascent wrote:
I would say it is aobut 260' tall to its antenna and almost half a mile long. 

Which certainly explains the relative size of trees in its path. I doubt any environmentalists are onboard, they'd have a fit at how efficiently this leviathan crushes anything in its path. Wink

But that brings up another question...assuming those dimensions, the height (or diameter in KH speak) puts it at hull size 17 and the length puts it well past HS:20 --- how in the hell does it get transported to the surface? How many ships does it take to transfer any modular sections of it, and how many of those said pieces are small enough to be transported from orbit? Homegrown is really the only option here, and without the benefit of a weightless vacuum (SCC) it would take an unlimited budget and time to build.

By comparison, the HMS Titanic was the equivalent of HS:11 in length/8 in width...this thing is easily three Titanics in length.
I'm not overly fond of Zeb's Guide...nor do I have any qualms stating why. Tongue out

My SF website

jedion357's picture
jedion357
June 25, 2014 - 4:36pm
@ Ascent I quite agree about the glass issue- its polished transparent federanium no doubt.

@ Shadowshack: it would have been transported in pieces and assembled in place. It probably should have made the list of engineering wonders in the Frontier.

This would be a the metaphorical equivelent of a megacorp whipping out its johnson so that it could be measured in front of the rest of the galaxy. The megacorp that despite the possible intervention of space fleet and a forced settlement of hostilities in Alcazzar managed to get the planet assigned to itself in the settlement and the other two mega corp competitors frozen out on the moons and in the asteroid belt.

they effectively won the prior corporate war and are now rubbing it in that they are in control of Alcazzar.

As to any impractiblity of this vehicle; Its an Elmore Painting in the grand tradition of Star Frontiers and since SF was cancelled by She that will not be named the painting got shunted to a Gamma World product. Not to piss in Gamma World's Wheaties or anything but to me its a tragedy that this happened. Its simply awesome SF artwork and deserves to be honored as such so I feel like we collectively should do something about it.
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

Shadow Shack's picture
Shadow Shack
June 25, 2014 - 10:01pm
jedion357 wrote:
it would have been transported in pieces and assembled in place. It probably should have made the list of engineering wonders in the Frontier.

It would be the financial wonder of the Frontier then. It's a HS:20+ object, how many freighters would it take to transport that? Further more how many HS:2 shuttles would it take to get the multitudes of pieces from orbit to the surface? Whoever invented it would never live to see the day it worked at its destination...
I'm not overly fond of Zeb's Guide...nor do I have any qualms stating why. Tongue out

My SF website

iggy's picture
iggy
June 29, 2014 - 9:10am
There has to be some long valley or canyon formation that circumnavigates the globe that this thing follows because it is to big to crest mountain peaks without breaking in half or smashing down on the other side crashing the passengers and all cargo about. 
-iggy

rattraveller's picture
rattraveller
June 29, 2014 - 10:33am
Here goes. This vehicle was not transported anywhere, it was built on planet. The Frontier worlds are vastly underpopulated when compared to Earth with populations in the hundreds of millions at best. (Roughly based on the size of spacefleet and calculations done in other posts) This means there are vast areas are not yet fully explored or utilized. Even on Earth today there are places this vehicle could find a use.

Thinking this planet is Gran Quivera and there are four possible versions of this land liner:

Military: it is a headquarters/logistical vehicle (like the SHIELD air carriers in Avengers/Captain America) Also gives real meaning to the term Landfleet.

Resource Processor: seeks out ores and/or petroleum and then sets up to retrieve and process what it collects.

New Town establishing vehicle: You want to set up a new town out somewhere in the virgin wilderness, well here is the vehicle to get your first few hundred new residents and their prefabricated housing and community buildings to their new home.

Mobile shopping mall/mail package carrier: So you live in a small mining community hundreds of kilometers from anywhere. How do you get those items you need when it is to far for PGC drones to deliver? This vehicle brings everything from needles to explorers to 10,000 watt generators to cupcakes baked fresh daily. (Some are even rumored to have personal massage parlors and trivid theaters on board)
Sounds like a great job but where did you say we had to go?

Ascent's picture
Ascent
June 29, 2014 - 12:41pm
4 tanks, 3 VTOL fighters and at least 11 turrets (7 visible in the image), 2 FF weapons (1 visible in the image) and 1 heavy cannon. I'm going to take a wild stab in the dark and guess this just might be military during a very hostile time in the planet's history. To me, trying to enforce a claim on a planet sharing a hostile enemy threat would seem likely in this image.

I would think at most this vehicle is modular, brought in in 4 easy pieces. Though it may very well be brought in with a single launcher equipped with several unilateral landing thrusters reserved for ensuring high value properties. Sure, it may be expensive in the short term, but in the long term, the investment may be well worth it. Also, it is not likely destroyed easily short of a nuclear attack, so it has longevity and can therefore be re-used.

It likely has a huge fuel requirement, so it is likely nuclear. But it also has fuel requirement for its other vehicles and crew, so no doubt it eats up trees, vegetation, stones and boulders as it goes and simultaneously processes ore and food supplements, which appears to be likely due to the jagged edge at the bottom of the nose slope. But I seriously doubt it processes enough to sell offworld.

The planet is apparently inhabited by a primative bird-like humanoid species, judging by the bones in the image.
View my profile for a list of articles I have written, am writing, will write.
"It's yo' mama!" —Wicket W. Warrick, Star Wars Ep. VI: Return of the Jedi
"That guy's wise." —Logray, Star Wars Ep.VI: Return of the Jedi
Do You Wanna Date My Avatar? - Felicia Day (The Guild)

jedion357's picture
jedion357
July 1, 2014 - 4:51pm
@ Rattraveller & Ascent; ok I was sort wedded to it being built by a corporation but lets say its a Landfleet vehcile?

Why? Because given enough money the military will want to play with really big guns. Or it was an over compensation for dealing with the sathar swarm?

Nuclear reactor- that would make sense. It would easily recharge the parabatteries for all the parasite vehicles. The VTOL vehcile might not be powered by a parabattery though.
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

iggy's picture
iggy
July 1, 2014 - 7:56pm
This vehicle realy looks and feels like it is ment to get into the water at times.  I can see this on a world with many inland seas or oceans broaken up by many continents.  The tracks are a great way to drive across something like Panama or the Suez, some skinny region seperating two great bodies of water.  Not much is open on the lower side of the ship like a water line would dictate, and there is a large hole (maybe too large) where an anchor traditionally goes.
-iggy

Malcadon's picture
Malcadon
July 1, 2014 - 11:24pm
It kinda reminds of the landships seen in an old anime called Xabungle.

rattraveller's picture
rattraveller
July 2, 2014 - 8:10am
That "anchor hole" looks like a torpedo launch tube to me.
Sounds like a great job but where did you say we had to go?

iggy's picture
iggy
July 2, 2014 - 11:49am
Could be.  Both suggest the vehicle gets in the water. 
-iggy

Ascent's picture
Ascent
July 2, 2014 - 6:32pm
It's a FF weapon, likely for destoying boulders and glaciers and whatever other obstacle or enemy might be in the way. You can see the muzzle when you view the larger image. The groove is pointed forward, not down, so it's definitely not an anchor.
View my profile for a list of articles I have written, am writing, will write.
"It's yo' mama!" —Wicket W. Warrick, Star Wars Ep. VI: Return of the Jedi
"That guy's wise." —Logray, Star Wars Ep.VI: Return of the Jedi
Do You Wanna Date My Avatar? - Felicia Day (The Guild)

Shadow Shack's picture
Shadow Shack
July 2, 2014 - 6:42pm
So where is this larger image that keeps getting referenced?
I'm not overly fond of Zeb's Guide...nor do I have any qualms stating why. Tongue out

My SF website

Ascent's picture
Ascent
July 2, 2014 - 8:36pm
Right-click the image and choose "Show image in new frame" or "...in new window".
View my profile for a list of articles I have written, am writing, will write.
"It's yo' mama!" —Wicket W. Warrick, Star Wars Ep. VI: Return of the Jedi
"That guy's wise." —Logray, Star Wars Ep.VI: Return of the Jedi
Do You Wanna Date My Avatar? - Felicia Day (The Guild)

iggy's picture
iggy
July 2, 2014 - 10:03pm
I went to Elmore's site and grabbed a large version there.  Looking at blow ups of the origonal I see the gun and the keel of the bow is jagged and kept higher than I would suspect for a ship.  This realy lends to the glacier breaker line of thought.  Blast at the glacier, then plow through it with the underside designed to break up the snow and ice.  Likely there are grinders and such below to get rid of matierial and shoot it out of the way like a snow blower.  Possibly the holes seen above and behind the treads are these thrower ports.

I wonder if the section on the side under the red letters XODS IV is a large door that drops down as a ramp?

Also looking at the front section it appears like there is a accordian section doing accros the top to the main section of the ship.  I think this bow and it's treads are a seperate section that can pivot up, down, left, and right to steer the ship and allow it to climb better.
-iggy

Malcadon's picture
Malcadon
July 3, 2014 - 1:26am
Here it is from a different prospective (from a scanned copy of GW 4th ed.):


Ascent's picture
Ascent
July 3, 2014 - 5:11am
I agree. The vents are probably blowers for debris, and the accordian section is for moving up slopes. That is definitely a door in the side; likely the means by which the tanks got out. It looks like there are several rows of jagged points below the nose, so it may also be useful for securing purchase and minimizing contact with hard surfaces.

With the larger image on Elmore's site, it looks like a bay of some sort sticking out near the back below the rear blower. Is that a yellow tarp?

Note the shape of the sections over the treads. It seems to me that the treads can raise up to ride along sloped surfaces to the right and left, allowing it to pass through very narrow valleys.

The thing has many windows next to the big door. I count at least 10 levels. Likely around 13 or 14.

What I thought was a bird-like humanoid skeleton is actually just a warthog-like skull surrounded by bones.
View my profile for a list of articles I have written, am writing, will write.
"It's yo' mama!" —Wicket W. Warrick, Star Wars Ep. VI: Return of the Jedi
"That guy's wise." —Logray, Star Wars Ep.VI: Return of the Jedi
Do You Wanna Date My Avatar? - Felicia Day (The Guild)

Shadow Shack's picture
Shadow Shack
July 3, 2014 - 4:18pm
That "tank" in theforeground looks more like an explorer. I've belted out a few renditions of track mobile explorers for my game, take away the turret and this is similar to some that I've rendered.

I'm not overly fond of Zeb's Guide...nor do I have any qualms stating why. Tongue out

My SF website

Karxan's picture
Karxan
July 22, 2014 - 5:23pm
I own that module and the cover image does not go with the actual story very well. It is supposed to be a mobile base but the maps inside are cylindrical and don't go with the image or the story. This could very well have fitted SF. I have always liked the cover even if it did not fit the game.

Could this vehicle make one complete route around the planet and then use that same track to continue to circumvent the planet with less trouble? It could be some type of science research station. They would have guns for protection due to how corporate wars are. I know if I had something that big and expensive I would protect it. It would be a great platform for colonizing a planet. 
As rattraveller stated, "A New Town establishing vehicle". 
It could be the primary manufacturing and science center and as it passes each town it can get orders, make the equipment and fly it back to the town shortly after finishing, or just preorder and drop it off as it passes. This way the megacorp can save on having to build more than one science/manufacturing area as it establishes small towns around the globe. In the future when the colony has grown the mobile city can stop and establish its own place.