Ashen Stars

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Out here in the Bleed, you’re the closest thing there is to a higher authority.

You’re Licensed Autonomous Zone Effectuators —”lasers” for short.

You’re the seasoned freelancers that local leaders call whenever a situation is too tough, too baffling, or simply too weird for them to handle. It’s a dirty job, but it pays. And sometimes, you get to make a difference.

Ironicus runs the adventure for dangerous pilot Jackets O'Tarker (Keith Carberry), rookie tech Bentley Rudkin (Phil Kollar), the unmistakably unremarkable Norman Averáge (Nadia), diminutive medic Julius Joestar (Gnome), bloodthirsty bug Ka-Cha (Drakkel), and heartbroken machine Eos (Ikks).

Click here to see the crew's portraits by Cataegory! Also featured on the left.



Ashen Stars follows crews of investigators known as Lasers as they roam a war-torn galaxy. One crew in particular answers a distress beacon in the radiation-blasted wasteland of what was once a great city. Unidentified shipments of medical supplies, malevolent computer code, and silent rooms of death await.

The Lasers of the Benedict now know how the evo station crew was wiped out, but not why-- blind emotion ruled the scene. Malevolence is not necessary to cause harm, and valor can be as misplaced as anger. They follow up on their leads at the unnamed settlements within the city's ruins. Many bumpy introductions aside, the crew draws closer and closer to the source of the psycho-electronic interference that has dogged them since they arrived.

Star Trek, Fringe, The Genius... you know what's a good form of media that is not game-related? TV! Discussion of the usual unrelated entertainment mixed with the usual frantic planning and re-planning.



Special guests Keith Carberry of Run Button and Friends at the Table and Phil Kollar of Polygon join us to discuss a somewhat reversed method of design, genre emulation.

Genres, created as an ends to categorize media, can also be a powerful tool to give your game the feel it needs. The key lies in breaking your favorite genre down into the criteria that define it, then analyzing just what it is about those individual

criteria you like so much. We present our favorite examples and test the theory out on two game sure to be the next big thing: Where's Waldo & Kevin RPG, and Noir Swimmingly.

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