Pics from the Space Cowboys game

by mshrm

We’re almost to the end of the Supers 1200 game reports, so soon, Throwback Thursdays will turn to the Space Cowboys game. This was a long-running (for us, anyway) game inspired by grungy science fiction like Firefly and Cowboy Bebop. Especially Firefly. The PCs were the crew of the Jupiter Free Trader Cabra Espaco, a 3000 ton cargo hauler propelled by a plasma sail. (I tried to stick reasonably close to something resembling “hard” sci-fi, but I still ended up making the sails more efficient than they ever could be, by a factor of ten or so.) The ship was family-owned, and the PCs were, for the most part, related.

As mentioned before, I created a 3d model of the ship in SketchUp before the game began. I knew I wanted the ship to become a centerpiece of the campaign, a setting to be used over and over again. I also knew I wanted to use spin gravity, which was going to lead to a layout that wouldn’t be easy to describe. Both goals indicated that I should put some effort into the map. The model started as a way to fit everything together, but in the end, I was also able to render images for the players.

Here’s a wide view of the entire ship, as it appeared brand new. The thing that looks like a trash can on spider legs at the very top is the point of attachment for the cables for the plasma sail. The boxy thing behind and to the right is the housing for the solar panel, shown retracted. In between the two and slightly lower, you can see the engine room airlock door and the larger door for the upper cargo deck. The smokestack on the left is the magnetic keel. The lighter spot on the left is one of the secondary airlock doors. At the bottom, you can see the lower cargo deck door.


This is a similar view, a trifle closer, showing some wear-and-tear from over one hundred years in service.


An even closer view of the main airlock and the window into the control deck. There’s a stairway down from the airlock door. That rusty-looking thing is a tool box. You can just see the chairs on the control deck, and the door behind them. When under spin, the living quarters, including the control deck, would revolve to keep their floors perpendicular to the pull of the pseudo-gravity, and you wouldn’t be able to see the chairs. The pilot and co-pilot would operate by instruments only under spin, of course.

The yellow circles are lights. The round thing under the control room window is a sensor pod. You can see a second one on the right. There are several around the perimeter of the ship.


A closer view of the top of the ship. The thing that’s directly under the plasma sail array is a control station for the exterior engineer, who would handle the raising and lowering of the sails from here. On the left, you can see a crane for loading cargo while on a planet. On the right, there’s another exterior tool box, for tools used on the sail cables.


And, finally, this is one of the “inchworm” robots. The ship started off with two, Bo and Luke, and eventually a third, Daisy. They weren’t real autonomous robots, but mostly worked under remote control. In the pictures above, you can see different pipes on the outside of the ship. Similar pipes were in the cargo areas. The inchworms could latch on to these pipes – or the sail cables, when under sail – and roll around them at speed, or they could “inch” along on any surface. They were used for cargo handling and external repairs.