"Bloodstained Stars" Rocks!

I’m not finished reading it yet, maybe a third of the way through, but I think “Bloodstained Stars” is already affecting my group’s game. I had a rough history worked out about when our planet fell away from the rest of humanity, but now I have details and really cool things like the Church of the Divine Machine to play with! I’m loving the art (of course) and the writing is terrific.

So anyway, I figured I’d start this thread to be a fanboy and say how terrific it is and get others to post what they love about it!

I love Iosef’s constant pathetic whining about getting ransomed.

I love the little historical sidenotes.

I think Syd’s voice for the character is excellent – very nuanced.

Somehow, somewhere I’m going to use the quote “If killing people isn’t a political act, what is?”

I’m also now really interested in asking for a prequel to the Iron Empires series…when psychologists were at the company level and comfort women weren’t on the TE&O.

While there really is no “new” advice in there (all of it is reasonable extrapolation from Machiavelli and Sun Tzu), it is equisitely well written, and really paints the setting large by the very personal tone.

The best pastiche of Machiavelli’s The Prince I’ve ever seen.

And the section on grav vehicles is exactly the type of argument I’ve been making on the traveller boards; more refined than my own, as well.

Beautifully self consistent. Fun read. Done in two sittings.

Glad you liked it! I still don’t have my hard copy, so I’m jealous. Syd’s a genius. I want to see him do more of this sort of thing.


I was impressed by the manuscript, even more so by the final product.

I think Syd did a good job giving just enough info to allow GMs to set off on their own. And Chris’ illustrations also contributed to my understanding. (I now know how warships are designed in the IE - and it makes sense!)

And it too got me thinking about the deeper history of the IE. I have this wild idea that Forged Lords descend from the commanders of Federation Space-Ground Task Forces and Hammer and Anvil Lords from the squadron and battalion commanders!

I will say this about the sketches and illos, and Syd’s text… I see the Traveller roots FAR more strongly now than before.

Just finished the “Terrain of Space” section and the overview of ship types. Gives me interesting ideas on how to setup terrain for a space battle. I love the separation of the four different types of space and the ships best used in them. Very well thought out for good fiction and gameplay possibilities.

But now I also want to firefight across systems waging battles that take days and weeks! Not sure if the Firefight system or the Infection mechanic can really accommodate that, but maybe if we step out of it for a session or something. Any suggestions on that?

Scott- That’s all Firefight color. It doesn’t say how long an Advance or Direct Fire action takes, after all, or how far apart the positions should be.

Up to a point, of course, but the kind of running space battles described in Bloodstained Stars goes well beyond that:

It further says that maneuvers can take up to a few weeks. I’m talking about a strategic conflict spanning multiple systems and many lightyears. That’s what I think doesn’t quite fit in the current system - and not just because of time constraints, but because the game is (rightly) focused on the fate of a single planet. I’m not complaining, mind you, that’s just the kind of big, grand space campaign that Bloodstained Stars has sparked in my imagination.

PS - I got my patch in the mail Friday. Awesome!

Ah! I was thinking in terms of something that would go with a game of BE, not something that would be totally outside it. I know Chris has a draft of some wargame rules for this purpose, but it wouldn’t surprise me if they’re due for some serious revision in light of BSS.

The Vaylen Wars rules are the underpinning of BSS, so there isn’t much that needs reworking in terms of canon. BE is much more narrowly focused.

I’m finished reading it now (actually finished a week ago, I think). Excellent! I like the end that the Baron came to and his thoughts on fighting the Vaylen. To me the planetary invasion section got a little slow, but that’s a minor complaint.

I’m definitely looking forward to using the ideas from this book in our game. At the end of the Infiltration Phase we might switch GMs. If we do, I think I’ll build a Forged Lord that comes in to the game from the core worlds (we’re in the void) and brings the wisdom of the Baron with him!

I just wanted to chime and say that I’ve been following this thread with glee. Thanks for all the positive comments about my and Chris’s and Luke’s work. If people have questions for me as the author of the text, I’m happy to answer them.

Finished it a couple of days ago, and I’m very impressed the way Sydney’s managed to get the the whole Sun Tzu/Clausewitz vibe so well, and the fact that it fits so well with the BE 'verse. It really gets me itching to play BE (not managed to convince anyone yet) and the ideas that it gets percolating in my little mind are great.
Another top job.