Join Tara and her loyal companions Robin and Malo, as they fight against corrupt governments and evil alien invaders in four of their greatest adventures, penciled by the great Gene Fawcette. Also included, published here for the first time ever, is the story of how Tara and her crew first met, as well as all-new rules material for the OGL d20, OpenD6, and ROLF! game systems.
Another little preview item from NUELOW Games' forthcoming Tara: Marauder of the Spacelanes book. OGL d20 and OpenD6 stats for Atom Swords.
Tara gives an alien the business end of her Atomic Sword. Art by Alex Schomburg
The Atom Sword was developed 200 years ago during the Sol Unification War as a sidearm for the officers of the Earth Space Defense Corps, After the ESDC was reorganized as the Star Patrol, the Atomic Sword was abandoned. However, it became a popular PT item at schools that catered to the families of Earth-based militias and paramilitary forces such as the Starport Security and Customs Inspection Beurea. Such weapons, and others like them in civilian hands generally are only capable of delivering nonlethal stun damage. A techician of superior skill with access to the right parts and tools, however, can restore the deadly nature of an Atom Sword. Performing the modification is highly illegal, as is possessing such modified swords. The minimum sentence for either crime is five years hard labor, but since the Atom Sword has become closely associated with the infamous outlaws Captain Robin and Tara, the Earth Senate has made three attempts to up the maximum peanlty for possessing or modifying one to 25 years of hard labor.
The Atom Sword is powered by a tiny fusion battery that causes the blade to be energized with either a lethal or stun charge. The lethality of the weapon can be adjusted with a switch on the hilt. The weapon functions as a melee weapon and a ranged weapon. If used up to six times as a ranged weapon within one hour, the fusion battery is drained and requires 24 hours to recharge. During this period, an Atomic Sword is as lethal as a dull rapier with a round tip.
OGL d20 Statistics
Damage 2d8+2 (Melee, energy damage) or 2d6 (Ranged, energy damage) or 1d4 (Melee, blunt damage)
Range Inrement 20 ft.
Weight 1 kg
Stun Damage/Fort DC 18
Group Exotic/ Characters who don't possess the Exotic Weapon Proficience (Atomic Sword) feat suffer a -4 penalty when wielding an Atomic Sword. Note: Modern Atom Swords are built to only deliver stun damage (or blunt damage when not powered). If a character wants to convert one to deliver lethal damage, specialized tools and parts must be used, together with a Repair skill check (DC25). The conversion takes 1d3 hours to complete. If the skill check fails, the Atomic Sword is rendered permanently inoperable (although its parts could be used to repair another Atomic Sword.)
Character Skill: Melee Weapon, Damage 5D (Melee), 3D (Ranged), 2D+STR (Melee when not powered). Range: 3-10/20/30. Size Medium. Weight 1 kg. Note: Modern Atom Swords are built to only deliver stun damage (or blunt damage when not powered). If a character wants to convert one to deliver lethal damage, specialized tools and parts must be used, together with a Repair skill check with a difficulty target of 20. The conversion takes 1d3 hours to complete. If the skill check fails, the Atomic Sword is rendered permanently inoperable (although its parts could be used to repair another Atomic Sword.)
For the past two years, our release schedule has been dominated by collections of comics that L.L. Hundal and Steve Miller have unearthed from the dusty, forgotten corners of the Golden Age of Comics. Many of them were written, drawn, and published by men and women who,mostly labored in anonymity and faded into obscurity even more total than that which befell their creations. Some died impoverished and alone.
The Hero Initiative is a charity devoted to providing a safety net to comics creators and put an end to the tragic tales of brilliantly creative people ending up in squalor and misery due to health issues. When we were asked to contribute a book to a fundraising bundle being produced by DriveThruComics, we naturally jumped at the chance. We have derived endless pleasure and inspiration (and even a little gas money, through the collections we publish) off the comics from yesteryear that we should do our part to give back to the comic book creators who find themselves in need.
TheWe Love Comic Creators Bundlecontains comics from more than 50 publishers, including Science Sleuths #3 from NUELOW Games. You get over $125 worth of fantastic comics for a donation of $20. It's a fantastic deal and to the benefit of a fantastic charity.
Among the projects we have in the works is a collection of "Tara" sci-fi adventure stories, retrieved from the pages of Wonder Comics. The book will include an all new "origin story" (as one has never before been published) and RPG character and equipment stats for use with ROLF! and d20 OGL Modern.
By way of a preview, here's the art by Alex "Xela" Schomburg that will appear on the cover (before masthead and text is applied). Tara is shown rescuing her friend Robin... because it's not always the damsel that gets tied up. Also, below are ROLF! stats for Robin and Tara, so you can start using them in your Battle Scenarios even before our comics/rpg hybrid book is out!
Brawn 28, Body 17, Brains 5 Traits: Driver, Too Sexy For My Shirt, Honorable Combat Maneuvers: Basic Attack, Disarm, Dodge, Signature Move, Strike Pose
Important Stuff Worn/Wielded: Space Pirate Boots (Armor AND Leggings, absorbs 1 point of damage). Atomic Sword (Melee AND Ranged Weapon, deals 3 points of damage).
Brawn 25, Body 18, Brains 11 Traits: Driver, Honorable, Nimble Combat Maneuvers: Backflip, Basic Attack, Bitchslap, Disarm, Disembowel, Dodge, Double Strike, Hypnotize, Murderous Mitts, Seduce, The Look
Important Stuff Worn/Wielded: Space Dress (Clothes/Armor, absorbs 1 point of damage). Space Pirate Boots (Armor AND Leggings, absorbs 1 point of damage). Atomic Sword (Melee AND Ranged Weapon, deals 3 points of damage),
President's Day is one of the most confusing Federal holidays on the calendar. Some people will tell you it's in honor of George Washington's birthday. Others will tell you it's in honor of Abraham Lincoln's birthday. Yet others will INSIST that it's in honor of both Washington and Lincoln's birthday. A rare few will tell you tht it's not President's Day but Presidents' Day and that it is there to honor ALL U.S. presidents.
The truth is that it celebrates George Washington's birthday. Period. End of story. There has NEVER been a federal holiday recognizing Lincoln or any president other than Washington. And it's President's Day, not Presidents' Day.
At NUELOW Games, in order to sow confusion, we are taking today to recognize ALL U.S. presidents by spotlighting the various ROLF! titles we've released that feature them as characters you can play. In all cases, click on the links in the titles to be taken the title's listing for further previews.
First up, there's The Associated Shades of Hades ROLF! adaptation. It contains stats for George Washington, but we haven't actually used him in a Battle Scenario. We will have to rectify that situation one of these days.
Dead Presidents, the perfect battle scenario for those who want to honor Lincoln on President's Day. It pits the spirits of two of America's greatest presidents against the nefarious spirits of Adolf Hitler and Kim Jong Il.
We have also released several Battle Scenarios involving the current U.S. President, Barack Obama. He's a Peace Prize Winner who has restored America's reputation in the world. He also stopped the seas from rising! In the Breast Hope for Peace, he teams up with other world leaders to stop a terrorist attack and battle Martians; in Dragon vs. Tiger, he joins with Tiger Woods to stop terrorism on the golf course; and in Super Muslim Bros., we reveal how he saved Egypt from being overrun by mummies.
Who in their right mind would adapt a music video to the OGL d20 game system? No one, which is why Steve Miller of NUELOW Games did just that.
The following two feats were inspired by the video for the great pop tune "Safety Dance" from Men Without Hats. We naturally lay no claim to the song or the video, but the following rules text is presented under the Open Game License and may be reproduced in accordance with it. OGL Safety Dance Feats! Copyright Steve Miller 2015.
OGL SAFETY DANCE FEATS!
By Steve Miller
HALFLING SIDEKICK [Bard] Prerequisite: Bard lv. 3 Benefit: You gain a 1st level halfling bard as your follower. This NPC gains a level for every 2 levels you gain. The GM generates the initial stats (with the halfling having at least two ranks in Perform (dance), Perform (sing) and Perform (string instrument), but the player is otherwise responsible for tracking the character's development. Any rules that exist in the campaign for followers apply to followers in the campaign apply to this character, except as noted above.
THE SAFETY DANCE [Bard] Prerequisite: Bard lv. 8, Perform (dance) 6 ranks, perform (sing) 6 ranks, ability to cast the Irresistible Dance spell Benefit: You cast Irresistible Dance. For each following round, a number of characters equal to your Charisma bonus within 30 ft and line of sight. of the initial target must roll Will save at a -4 penalty. Each character who fails the saving throw also begins to dance. You can choose to lead dancing characters in a procession of dancers if you choose--they will follow you, mimicking your dance move for as long as the Irresistible Dance effect lasts. Special: The maximum duration of the effect on all dancing characters is 2d4+2 rounds from the point Irresistible Dance is cast. If you stop leading the dancers, they continue to dance in place until the duration is over. If any one of them is attacked or injured while dancing, all dancers receive individual Will saves. Those who succeed stop dancing and can act normally.
If you're coming to the NUELOW Games blog, we assume you love us... that you really, really love us! (And don't say you're just here because of a false Google hit. Don't shatter our illusions!)
We're offering a lucky few of our most loyal fans a Valentine's Day deal on two of our most romantic releases! The links below are good for the first seven people who use them. They allow you to get downloads of the respective comics/rpg hybrid books for half off the usual price ($0.99 each).
NUELOW Valentine's Day Special: Romantic tales from the minds and pens of Joe Kubert, Steve Ditko, Alex Toth, Samm Schwartz, Dan DeCarlo, and more! Also includes an all-new Battle Scenario where six great lovers must duke it out after being trapped in a maze by Cupid.
NUELOW Summer Special: Fun and romance in the sun, as Kathy tries to keep boyfriend's attention; Corliss tries to score with a hunky lifeguard and grease the wheels of romance for a librarian; and Candy tries to improve a friend's love-life by helping her lose weight. The book is rounded out by Kathy's return in another ROLF! battle scenario in which a romantic rendezvous in a scenic graveyard ends up pitting her against a necromancer and his ghostly minions.
As mentioned above, the discounts available through those links are good only for the first SEVEN of our most beloved fans who get copies of the books. After thatm they links will stop working. So...don't hesitate. Just admit you love us and that you'll be our Valentine.
In addition to those limited offers, we're also offering the Romantic ROLF! bundle. It contains seven of our most heartwarming ROLF! battle scenarios, as well as the collection of Kathy comics by Frank Frazetta & Ralph Mayo (which also includes a ROLF! scenario by Hundal & Miller. We also threw in ROLF!: The Rollplaying Game of Big Dumb Fighters for those who as of yet haven't checked out the best rollplaying game ever published. When getting these books bundled together , you'll save 50% off the cost of getting them separately. This bundle will be available through Monday, 2/16, and you can check it out by clicking here. (BTW, the ROLF! battle scenario in the Summer Special book was inspired by the cover of the Kathy book. Yet that's not where we published it, because... well. we wouldn't be NUELOW Games if we had.
Thank you all for being loyal readers and players of our whacky releases. We love you all, whether you get lucky with our discount links or not!
We're putting the final touches on a Valentine's Day Special... with the cover and the actual title of the thing being the as-of-yet unresolved issues. (It's not like it's anything important....)
Meanwhile, here's Cupid as he appears in the ROLF! battle scenario included in the book (along with the non-core rules used to create him).
Brawn: 10; Body: 14; Brains: 4 Traits: Agent of the Divine, Dead-Eye, Wings Combat Maneuvers: Basic Attack, Dodge, Fly, Spelling (Arrow of Love) Important Stuff Worn/Wielded: Bow (Medium Ranged Weapon, deals 2 points of damage).
NEW TRAITS Agent of the Divine: The player may re-roll a number of failed ATT checks for this character per battle equal to his or her Brain ATT. The character with this trait always takes 2 points less damage, no matter what the source (minimum 0 points). Dead-Eye: When rolling an ATT check with a ranged weapon, the result is reduced by 4. Wings: The character has wings and is able to fly under his or her own power. (A character must have the Agent of the Divine or Mutant trait to have this one.)
NEW COMBAT MANUEVERS Fly: Upon making a successful Body ATT check, the character can move from melee to ranged combat distance immediately. The character can then choose to use another Combat Maneuver. (Characters must have the Wings Trait in order to use Fly.) ATT Body
NEW SPELLING Arrow of Love: While wielding a bow, the character makes a Brawn check. If it is successful, the target is struck by a magic arrow that causes him or her to fall in love with the character nearest to him or her. (The target immediately stops fighting, and tries to use the Strike Pose and Seduce Combat Maneuvers on the target, if he or she has them. If the object of the target's love attacks him or her for two rounds, the effect of this Spelling wears off.)
Although NUELOW Games has never been what even the most generous observers would describe as successful, we continue to hope we'll have a hit some day. Because, in the immortal words of Adam Ant there's always room at the top (and because we've got 18th century brains in 21st century heads)!
"Room at the Top," both the song and video, has been a favorite of the NUELOW Games crew (Steve Miller & L.L. Hundal for newcomers out there) for 25 years now. In fact, we've been big fans of Adam Ant since we were kids. (And if you ask us, any decent, pure-hearted Child of the '80s shares that love!)
Our hands-down favorite Adam Ant song and video remains "Puss 'n Boots," the lead track from Adam Ant's second solo album Strip, A great song with a really fun video. If you ever run into Hundal, ask her to do the "Puss in Boot Dance." She had it down perfectly in 1983... and it's been reported that she can do it to this very day. (However, when I asked her to do it, all she did was make a face at me.)
And, of course, there's "Stand and Deliver." It was perhaps Adam Ant's greatest hit, and it's cool in every way. Like "Room at the Top," it's also a song that speaks to the spirit that animates many of NUELOW Games' products, especially those bearing the ROLF! masthead.
Another song that thematically captures the spirit of NUELOW is "Friend or Foe." The refrain of this song could easily be the NUELOW Games slogan. It could even be my personal creed: "I want those who get to know me/To become my admirers or my enemies."
And here's the Ant Man himself, as viewed through the lens of ROLF! ADAM ANT (Male)
Brawn 19, Body 17, Brains 6 Traits: Improv Master, Nimble Combat Maneuvers: Basic Attack, Dance Move, Dodge, Seduce, Strike Pose, Yodel
Important Stuff Worn/Wielded: Microphone Stand (Large Melee Weapon, deals 3 points of damage).
Just to bring the post full circle, here's the extended dance version of "Room at the Top." It's Music to Play ROLF! By!
(By the way, Adam Ant and his representatives do not endorse NUELOW Games in any way, shape, or form. We, however, endorse Adam Ant in a major way!)
From the years 1947 through 1955, an uncertain number of violent criminals, rapists, racketeers, and gangsters were murdered by means of having their throats crushed and necks broken. Most of the victims were from Boston or New York City. The police and other law enforcement officials were generally uninterested in pursuing what few clues that existed regarding this killer's identity, given that the victims were those they considered among the most loathsome citizens of the cities they were charged with protecting.
"Sure--I would take this guy down if I come across him in the act," Homicide Detective Steve Harrison of Boston's River Street Precinct said in 1947, "but I'm not going out of my way for it."
There are at least 92 confirmed victims of this killer, but information I have shows that the count could be as high as 182. It's hard to determine an exact number, because of the disinterest the police at the time had in these cases, and because at least two different mob hit men imitated this killer from 1953 to 1954 -- until one of them himself was targeted and slain by the real serial murderer on Halloween of 1954. The other imitator turned himself into the police for protection.
There were never any suspects in the murders, but detectives in both Boston and New York believed the killer was male due to the brute strength required to break someone's neck with bare hands--which is how this killer dispatched victims. However, numerous reports from New York underworld figures and criminals claimed their stalker was a raven-haired, statuesque woman who hid deadly metal hands in a muff. Subsequently, they referred to her The Muff... although they stated that she called to herself as the Iron Lady. The police at the time dismissed these stories as efforts to smear dead rivals, because of their theory that the killer had to be male.
It's been 60 years since the last victim of this mysterious killer had been claimed. What few people who have cared about this case believe that the serial killer must met a violent end or perhaps been incarcerated... because no one that brutal stops killing.
However, I recently came into a surprise inheritance. You may have read about the passing of philanthropist Doris Parker in 2011. I confess that I did not--not enough comic book, games, or movie tie-ins in her life for it to be on my radar--so it was a surprise when Regina Cox of the law firm Pleasant, Vice & Cox told me that I was named in Parker's will.
My dreams of riches ended quickly, however. Parker had left virtually all her property and wealth to the Parker Foundation started by her niece Penelope Parker (whom I have written about in Kismet & Penny Parker). The one exception were her diaries. Those were left to me, with the note, "For Mr. Steve Miller. I think he is the best person to tell the world the truth about me."
The truth about Ms. Doris Parker is not one the world is going to believe. At least not if it comes from someone like me--a guy who makes things up for a living and who posts wild rants on a regular basis to the internet. I think she must have had a twisted sense of humor, but I am flattered that she must have been reading my posts, The truth that her diaries contained was the answers to a mystery more than six decades old. That serial killer who was active between 1947 and 1955 was not a man. It was a woman. It was Doris Parker.
Parker gained her great strength from a pair of mechanical gloves. She targeted her victims on a mad quest to avenge her father. She stopped killing after she became pregnant and decided that she now had a life other than her own to be held accountable for. (When I say she "stopped killing," I mean she stopped killing personally. Her vast fortune paid for numerous assassinations of notorious criminals and murderers across the globe. If you think of some high profile dirtbag who died under mysterious circumstances, chances are he or she was dispatched by killers in Parker's employ. In fact, Yasser Arafat was the final hit she ordered.)
I'm not going to comment on who her daughter (and grandchildren) are, since they are themselves not aware of the connection. Parker may have felt responsible for the life that she brought into this world, but her diary also indicates that she felt she would be an unfit mother, due to what she described as a "soul-numbing, icy rage that is always just below a very thin cover." Her daughter was placed with one of the few people who had figured out that Parker was a serial murdering vigilante--and was raised by them, apart from Parker. She kept track of her child and grandchildren--even secretly funded scholarships for them--but rarely made contact with the adopted family over the years.
I am running a risk making this post. By stating in public that Doris Parker was not only a serial killer but also responsible for commissioning dozens of assassinations over the years, I could be incurring the wrath of the wealthy Parker family. I could also make myself a target for law enforcement from a dozen different countries. Or terrorists and criminals. All sorts of people have reason to want access to Parker's diaries.
Well, I am not very bright when it comes to my own safety--if I was, I wouldn't be running a series on Shades of Grey titled Mohammed Mondays. I am further going to protect myself by releasing selections from the diaries in a forthcoming book simply titled Iron Lady. It will also feature comic book adaptations of several of Doris Parker's kills. This book is complete and already scheduled for release through RPGNow, DriveThruComics, DriveThruRPG, and DriveThruFiction. The content of that book will demonstrate how explosive the diaries are--at least to those who are "in the know."
I may not be bright, but I'm not crazy. I am placing the diaries in the safe keeping of Pleasent, Vice & Cox. All questions about them can be directed there. Also, if anything were to happen to me, I have left instructions that copies of the diaries are to be sent simultaneously to the FBI, CIA, Interpol, BBC, ABC News, FOX News, al-Jazeera, and Glenn Beck.
However, ultimately, I don't think anyone will take any of this seriously. That's why Parker left them to me. How could anyone take ANYTHING I say seriously? Especially since I'm ending this post with a portrait of Doris Parker by Dan Zolnerowich, who together with Bernard Sachs drew the comics for Iron Lady. Not to mention the fact that I'm providing ROLF! game stats for Parker. Would anyone do this if he was worth taking seriously? (Of course not. But I have been known to give ROLF! stats to inappropriate real-life people in the past, as demonstrated in The Breast Hope for Peace and Super Muslim Bros.)
The Muff/Iron Lady (Female) Aka: Doris Parker
Brawn 21, Body 17, Brains 7 Traits: Coldhearted, Dour (Item Based Superpower: When wearing mechanical "Executioner Gloves," all unarmed melee damage dealt is doubled) Combat Maneuvers: Basic Attack, Castrate, Disarm, Murderous Mitts, The Look Important Stuff Worn/Wielded: Slinky Evening Gown (Clothes, barely covers nakedness). Executioner Gloves (Small Melee Weapon and Clothes, doubles all unarmed damage dealt. Cannot be disarmed, but can be taken off by Parker at will, or removed if she is unconscious).