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  • Guntower Mike

PANDORA’S LOG: Stardate 23021104

I love my job.

Very few other jobs I know actually pay you to fly out to exotic places on the other side of the world and be guided around their secret sites by experts in the field. Then – and for me this is the best bit – write a 7,000-word picture essay telling everyone the story of the places you’ve just visited.

It’s a fantastic job and I never tire of doing it. It only has one downside. When it’s full-on, it is completely all-consuming.

And boy, has it been full on! In the past 8 weeks, I have researched, scripted, flown out to film, rescripted and edited an hour-long film which would usually take around 6 months to get to the stage we are currently at, because the Channel needs it delivered by January.

So to say that I have been a tad busy doing the day job would be an understatement.

All of which is a long-winded way of saying ‘sorry for the radio silence’, but I’m back on board the Pandora now and coming out of hypersleep.

Not that we’ve been sleeping on the project in the past couple of months. Far from it.

Bubbling away in the background, I’m still working on a TTS Mod, putting together the Print & Play files and setting up our project page on Gamefound.

More obviously, here’s what we’ve been up to:

This is Cap, the Ship’s Captain. I’m planning to make him a 4th-player stretch goal in our upcoming Print & Play campaign.

He’s a jack-of-all-trades – he even has an Action card that says so – and has the ability to give an extra Action to any other Crewmember. You know that scene in all these films: where the guy who’s supposed to be in charge is on the line to another character, telling them to ‘get outta there!’ Then the line goes dead. That’s Cap.

He’s a really versatile character, and he grants that versatility to the rest of the Crew through his Command Action. The price he pays for that versatility is that he’s very slow. Most of his Action Cards only allow him to Move 1 rather than the Move 2 that other characters get. So he spends a lot of his time getting other players to do things rather than doing them himself – perfect for the Alpha Players among you 😉

But his slowness could be a bit of a problem if he finds himself hunted by this kick-ass rock goddess!

This is the Trophy Hunter, the second of our Big Three Nasties in the core game. Unlike other Nasties, she doesn’t flip a Nasty Action Card to determine what she does. Instead, she follows a priority list which involves her sending out a swarm of Hunter Drones which fly towards the First Target and Lock-On to the first creature they encounter. That creature then becomes the Trophy, which the Huntress will relentlessly pursue until she kills it, taking out anything else which gets in her way as she does so. She has a deadly sniper rifle which can shoot all the way down dark corridors and a set of attack mandibles sprouting from her back which enable her to do 2 simultaneous Attacks against any target in the same room as her. Oh, and her camo-armour renders her immune to ranged weapons and fire, which means that if you want to take her out, you really do have to go toe-to-toe with her.

What makes her really interesting in my opinion is the fact that if you play it right, you can manipulate her into Locking-On to another Nasty, turning her into a temporary ally who keeps the other Nasties out of your hair while you figure out what to do. But get it wrong, and you’ll find an implacable killing machine chasing you through the Ship until you or she is dead!

The third of the Big Three is RNE 5WR2NGR the Military Android. Let’s just say that the Military are a little suspicious about what the Company’s getting up to in its ‘Pandora Program’ and has dispatched this friendly neighbourhood killing machine to Extract its secret project files with Xtreme Prejudice. So whenever RNE ‘Follows Instincts’ it heads straight for the nearest Smoking Gun it can detect, leaving a swathe of blood and bug slime in its wake. Unlike other Nasties, RNE attacks every target in every room it passes through, and keeps on moving regardless. Once it has a Smoking Gun beneath its card, it heads straight for the Bridge leaving the rest of you to fight over which two of you gets to escape in the Cargo Shuttle. Needless to say, anyone trapped on the Bridge with RNE is probably seven shades of toast. Especially since RNE is also immune to fire, and can only be killed permanently by weapons that do damage to Androids. Otherwise, it comes back at full strength in the next Nasty Action Round.

So there you have it. That’s what we’ve been working on over the last couple of months. We’re playtesting these new characters at various conventions in the runup to Christmas. I am literally writing this in the car on the way to Lobstercon at Eastbourne this Saturday, and we’ll be at the Gamers Gaming Getaway in Bromsgrove on the 9th-12th November. So if you’re at either of those events, do come say ‘hi’ and see how the game plays with these guys in the mix.

In the meantime, don’t back into any dark corners.


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