Tabletop Thursday – Return to Mars!!!

I was all set to write about a my experiences at the Worldwide D&D Day this past Saturday, but an announcement was made this past Tuesday that has me all excited, so that instead is what I am going to be blogging today.


Savage Space 1889

Pinnacle Entertainment Group and Frank Chadwick are proud to announce Space 1889: Red Sands!* Using the award-winning Savage Worlds system, Pinnacle will release a single Savage Worlds Plot Point Campaign (TM), entitled Space 1889: Red Sands.

Red Sandspits a desperate band of heroes against the Inner Circle of the Brotherhood of Luxor. The Brotherhood, led by the mysterious Kronos, King of the Titans, plots to bring about the end of all worlds. From the mountains of Mars to the swamps of Venus, our intrepid explorers must stop the Brotherhood from plunging the entire solar system into a bloody war to end all wars!

Shane Hensley of Pinnacle said “Space 1889 is one of my all-time favorite settings. Being able to play in Frank’s amazing world is a real treat for all of us.”

Space 1889: Red Sands will be a full-color hardback release. Page count and price is not yet determined. It is expected to release in September of ’09.

Cover by Christophe Swal, Interior art by Richard Clark, written by William Reger, and developed by Tony Lee.

Now, why does this have me all excited?  Well, I just love, LOVE Space:1889.  Back in 1988, a friend of mine gave me the core rule book for S:1889.  I sat down in one weekend, read thorough it, and was instantly hooked.  Even though the game system wasn’t that great, the setting was perfect.  Steampunk before that phrase was coined, it was a more elegant game universe, where the colonial powers of Earth were beginning to leave our beautiful globe and ply the space lanes, looking for conquests for queen and country.  It was full of adventure and intrigue, swashbuckling and derring-do, British soldiers, plucky female adventurers, big game hunters, crackpot inventors, mysterious dead cities on Mars, elegant sky galleons plying the skies, dinosaurs roaming the swamps of Venus, savage High Martians, decadent Canal Martians…it had everything.

And despite the total pulp feel to what I have described above, the S:1888 universe felt REAL.  It felt alive.  It felt as if it really could have happened that way.  Even right down to the core rulebook.  It just felt right.  From the typesetting in the book, to the simple line drawings, to just the correct amount of attention to history, and the right amount of screwing with it, it all came together into a living, breathing universe.

I played a lot of S:1889 back in the day.  We started with the RPG, and went on to both the Temple of the Beastmen and the Sky Galleons of Mars games, and then one day on to Soldier’s Companion, the minis rules for the game.  This was my first go at playing a minis game, and despite the once again clunky rules system, the game stuck with me.  My buddy and I started running games at cons.  We would travel around the Midwest with our cases of Martians and Brits and walkers and steam tanks and sky galleons and steam launches and just play.  We had a ball.  We love this game SO much, we soon started doing work for the company that published it, running demos for them at cons, and getting product in return.  We even went so far as to convince and commission the company that manufactured the minis to produce some of the missing lines of minis for us.

The game, however, was not very successful.  It had a published run of only 3 years, and was pulled from the market.  It was re-published in 2000, but it was strictly a re-printing, there was no new material published for it.  The fans of the game system were happy, but without any new material being published, it was merely a “Yay, it’s back!” sort of thing for me.  I already had everything they published.

So can you see why I’m excited?  I’ve been waiting for something like this for a while…a chance to return to Mars and experience a new view of the red planet.  I’m so excited, I’m going to go out over lunch today and pick up the Savage World rules system so I have that on hand when the source book is published.

Question is…do I want to play in the game, or run it?  Can I convince my buddy to run the game?  Hmmm…


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