Hi. My name is Greg Stolze, this is my web page, and I write books.

Robots and Aliens and Gadgets, Oh My!

I’ve got a new Kickstarter running, and it’s for a book called DIFFERENT TROUBLE, the first supplement for TERMINATION SHOCK.

If you’re already a huge TERMINATION SHOCK fan, I hope this is good news! It’s about 80 pages focusing on playable characters who aren’t human. But it’s more than just “you’re lighter-than-air” or “you have a web-spinner.” I’ve tried hard to dig into what it would mean to evolve without any predators, and therefore no panic instinct. I’ve worked on getting players out of the unexamined assumptions of humankind. (For example, none of the aliens or robots described have genders or defined sexes.) I’ve also tried to encourage depth of culture in these species. It’s not just “the warlike aliens,” it’s “the aliens whose instincts direct violence towards other species and restrain violence against one another, and the different ways their cultures have adapted those imperatives to different climates on their planet.” With robots too, there’s a strong element of “What does it mean to be built for a specific task, but still retain free will?”

(This sounds highbrow, but come on, do you want to cope with the issues of robots that simply cannot do certain actions their players may insistently want to take?)

If you’re not already a TERMINATION SHOCK fan, my hope with this project is to entice you into the fold. We’ve got podcasts!

You can find an assortment of TERMINATION SHOCK actual play podcasts here. It’s a lengthy campaign whose main characters were deliberately designed to be half Han Solo, half Niles Crane. It worked out much better than I’d expected. (Also, the sound quality improves around episode three.)

With the DIFFERENT TROUBLE Kickstarter, we’ve included a lot of that bundle the new book with the original core rule book, so you can not only get the latest supplement, but save on shipping if you want the print versions.

New or old, I hope you check it out. I’ve put a lot of thought into it and think you’ll love the results.