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Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Role Playing Adventures in the "Alien Bones" Universe Part 1 (Tiny Frontiers Edition)

 
The Alien Bones graphic novel by Doc Wyatt and Chris Grine, released on October 2, 2019 and published by 1First Publishing, is a fun tale of "dim dark" adventure that introduces readers to a universe filled with alien dinosaurs, space pirates, intergalactic navies, and an existential threat called "The End." The universe is a wonderful mashup of Warhammer 40k, Doctor Who, Indiana Jones, Arthur Conan Doyle's The Lost World, Lost in Space, Scooby Doo, Philip Jose Farmer's Riverworld series, and a host of other inspirations. All of this makes it a perfect inspiration for role playing game sessions.

The first volume, and let's hope it's the first of many, focuses on the character of Liam Mycroft. Young Liam is the 10 year old son of a Xeno-paleontologist who has accompanied his father on a variety of digs where his father studies the bones of "alien dinosaurs." During one of these digs, Liam's father disappears without a trace, leaving young Liam alone. It is here that Liam's adventure begins. Joined by his friends Dianna Varlou and Rosa Ortega, as well as his trusty robot bodyguard Standard-5 ("Stan"), Liam embarks on a quest to find his father and in doing so discovers the secret of an existential threat that could destroy all life in the universe.

I interviewed Doc Wyatt on my Geekerati Media podcast and he has given me permission to generate role playing game statistics for several of the characters.



While I am tempted to describe the universe in detail, I am instead recommending that you purchase the book on Amazon (or at your friendly local comic book store) and providing gaming statistics for the main cast, as well as the statistics for one of the threats the young protagonists face.  (I'm also tempted to do stats for Warhammer Adventures: Attack of the Necron, a similarly dim dark story with delightful young protagonists).

Today, I'll be providing statistics for the excellent and simple Tiny Frontiers role playing game. Tiny Frontiers is a perfect system for novice and experienced gamers, making it a perfect fit for the first set of statistics for your gaming pleasure. In later posts, I'll provide statistics for the Savage Worlds, Star Frontiers, and Aliens & Asteroids role playing systems. I might even provide stats for The Expanse and Warhammer 40k role playing games, as both have elements that work well in the Alien Bones universe, but those systems are slightly more complex and Alien Bones was written for ages 4 to 444 and I wanted to have systems that younger gamers could jump right into.

Without further ado, here are the main characters of Alien Bones with statistics for Tiny Frontiers.

Liam Mycroft

Liam Mycroft is a 10 year old who is already on his way to becoming a Xenopaleontologist. His has great expertise regarding dinosaurs on all planets as well as knowledge of the ecosystems that produce these wonderful creatures.


Dianna Varlou

Dianna Varlou is Liam's best friend and steadfast companion. She is visiting Liam when his father disappears. She is the daughter of a respected Thermodynamicist, but her areas of expertise seem to lean more toward robotics and weapon design. She's kind of the team's MacGyver. When the team is faced with a new threat, she is the one who is able to weaponize Portal Crystals.

 

Rosa Ortega

Rosa Ortega is the class clown in Liam and Dianna's Holoclassroom on the Scholastic Network. While she doesn't seem to take things very seriously, she is a skilled computer hacker. She has an extraordinary amount of courage, which she clearly inherited from her parents who are both Generals in a Space Fleet stationed at Charon Base on the edge of explored space. Rosa has two sets of statistics. The first represents her as she is portrayed in the first half of Alien Bones, when she participates in the adventure only because she hacked a holoprojector. The second represents her as she is on a regular basis.


Standard-5 ("Stan")

Standard-5 is Liam's robot bodyguard or "Minder-bot/Nanny." Stan has many advanced skills that help him to protect Liam from a variety of dangers. Stan often seems over-protective of Liam, but can be convinced to allow Liam to take necessary risks. This can happen due to the use of an "Adventure Button" that Liam and Dianna installed*, or due to necessity.


The End

There are two main antagonists in Alien Bones. The first is the space pirate Captain Scarbones, but the long term threat is something known as "The End." It would be a bit of a spoiler to reveal exactly what The End is/are, but they are a foe on the scale of Tyrannids/Necrons in Warhammer 40k or the Sathar in Star Frontiers. They seek the destruction of all life and an end to the universe. Below are statistics for one of their drones. If you want to see what they look like, you need to buy Alien Bones. Chris Grines did a masterful job of illustrating an existential threat in a way that conveys the horror of the threat to adults while still being extremely kid-friendly.

I really enjoyed reading Alien Bones, and will be reviewing it later this week or early next week, and think it is a rich setting that I hope the author and artist will continue to explore.

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