Stars in my pocket like grains of sand: Meet the Crew



Pillars of Creation, Credits: NASA, ESA and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)


Stars in my pocket like grains of sand is not only a very cool book by Samuel R. Delany but also the name of my first Warp Shell-campaign. The players are mostly part of my D&D-group where I play a spore druid dwarf. I pitched the idea of a sci-fi campaign as something in the style of West Marches (in hindsight maybe too ambitious :D) and asked the players to come up with their own character concepts and game mechanics. So they did. I have their permission to share them with you. Where applicable I will also share the rules for new bioforms, abilities etc. Without further ado meet:


Elliot Joy: Mechanic and test subject on the run.
Eliott is a female psyker that has been part of a secret “educational” project (codename: Soul Core Anatomy Development, or: SCAD) of the now defunct Academy for Cataloging and Analysing Potentials (ACAP). When a riot broke out at the research facility she realized that she was a prisoner and always had been and took her chance to escape. ACAP is long gone and nobody of any power or social standing will openly admit it ever existed, but its agents are still there, roaming the galaxies, hunting.
Her player and I took the Psyker-bioform from @Sivaar’s list of custom bioforms, which you can find here.

STATS, ABILITIES and BIOFORM-SPECIFIC ABILITIES as found in Sivaar’s list of custom bioforms above.

The Xenomorph: Devour, assimilate, conquer.
The Xenomorph is an apex predator and a genetically enhanced superorganism. Scientists aboard the heavy weight cargo ship AGON created the xenomorph as part of the Prometheus-project and monitored its development daily.
My player asked me if he could play a xenomorph and I was like “Sure? Why not? Yeah, that could work.” His bioform and type are custom made and simply called Xenomorph (bioform) and Apex Predator (type).

STATS: +1 DEX, claws count as WEAPON

ABILITIES: Natural Climber (same as reptoid), Acid Blood (when taking damage all characters in NEAR range must make a DEX check against the TARGET. If they fail they take BASIC damage).

BIOFORM-SPECIFIC ABILITIES: Genetically Enhanced Superorganism (You cannot carry LOOT). You have to feed on your prey to gain bonuses.

Greg: Scary-looking stowaway mechanic with a heart of gold.
Greg is a big sharkoid from one of the many scrap planets in the galaxy. He can probably not remember how his love for repairing and fixing machinery started but when a ship crash landed on his junkyard of a homeworld, he took the chance and snuck on board, secretly helping the mechanics to fix the engines up. Since then he has hopped ships more times then he can remember, stealing defective electrical toothbrushes and returning them working and in mint condition. He wears a massive overall that is stitched together from a dozen geno-sized overalls.
The player wanted to basically play a friendly version of King Shark in space and I liked the idea so much, so we created the bioform Sharkoid.

STATS: +1 DEX, bite does BASIC damage

ABILITIES: Keen Senes (WIS checks are always EASY)


Ixtaluitl Axi: Philosopher of entropy and life, taking life to heal it.
Ixtaluitl Axi is a Yualli being born as one of the 1000 of his kin in the 19th cyle. Yualli are a mysterious people living on the planet Nox Arcana, a planet also inhabited by the Danaai. Yualli have a reputation for being excellent healers but there’s also talk of something strange, something darker. They are said to refuse payment in the usual accepted currencies of the galaxy, instead wanting their services to be paid in vials of blood.
Before my player came up with a name for this custom bioform, I dubbed it space vampire. Now that they are called Yualli (which is Nahuatl for “night” according to my player) I miss the old name a bit. :smiley: This one has some interesting mechanics. We took the bioform Undead from Sivaar’s list and modified it a bit.

STATS: +1 to any STAT, -1 to any STAT

ABILITIES: Photophobia (you are sensitive to UV-rays and have to wear protective clothing otherwise all checks are HARD), Undying (as Undead but D4 instead of D6), Undead Nature (as Undead, but vampiric life forms have to drink blood, see Hemophilia).

BIOFORM-SPECIFIC ABILITIES: Hemophilia (You have to drink blood to keep it together. Your blood ressource die starts at D10. Every day or in dramatically appropriate moments roll a CON ceck against the TARGET (HUNGER check). If you succeed nothing happens. If you fail you have to decrease your blood ressource die by one step; D10 > D8 > D6 > D4 > Blood Frenzy. If your blood ressources are expended the GM takes control of your character until you have fed), Shadow Leap (like BLIP ICME p. 63 but needs a succesful HUNGER check).

Gilbert’s player asked me to not disclose any information on their character because they still want to fine-tune what we came up with. Their build is by far the most complicated of the bunch but we’ll give it a try and see what works and what doesn’t.

So, there’s the crew! I suspect that we will change, discard or replace lots of the stuff we came up with. This is us testing stuff and seeing what’s fun and what’s not. We had our first session yesterday. I’ll ask my players if they are okay with me posting a campaign diary and if they are, I’ll get back to you. Take care, all!

SESSION I: Reptoids and Energy Drinks
SESSION II: Those free-range reptoids are tough
SESSION III: Reptoid Meat and Bullgort Hides
SESSION IV: Alien Artifacts and Yog-Crystals
SESSION V: Underground Research Facility

Campaign Diary I: Stars in my pocket like grains of sand
Campaign Diary IV: Stars in my pocket like grains of sand
Campaign Diary II: Stars in my pocket like grains of sand
Campaign Diary III: Stars in my pocket like grains of sand
Vampires for ICRPG?
Campaign Diary V: Stars in my pocket like grains of sand
Vampires for ICRPG?

This sounds like so much fun!! Thank you for sharing.:grinning:

My campaigns so far: some TPKs, some yet running