Saturday, August 5, 2017

Meet the Planeteers: Krith Al Marl

"He said nothing as he raised his gauntlet and gunned down every Planeteer on the rocketship."

Out of all of the characters created for Rayguns and Rocketships, Krith Al Marl is the oldest I have ever created. He was a character that I first drew when I was creating an unpublished a science-fiction comic. Sadly, no art from the original comic longer exists.

Krith Al Marl is based on two huge influences from my teenage years. The first was from the Empire Strikes Back sketchbook that I got for my birthday in 1980, There I was re-introduced to the Mandlorean Super-Commando named Boba Fett. 

By that point, I already owned the Kenner mail-away action figure of Boba Fett. I still remember gasping in surprise as my older brother peeled away the sticker on the back of the card, revealing Boba Fett's rocket-launching ability. But learning that Fett's armor also opened up to reveal hidden weapons kickstarted my imagination. I love Boba Fett as seen in the movies, but man-oh-man, he could have been so much cooler if he had just gotten a chance to use that hidden arsenal.

The other huge inspiration was Frank Frazetta's Death Dealer. In the early 80's I was in a D&D fueled frenzy. I bought Robert E. Howard books like they were going out of style. I consumed Ralph Bakshi's Lord of the Rings movie and owned the (now-stupid expensive) Ringwraith action figure (which I sadly no longer own). I adore the visual of a mysterious warrior with burning red eyes. All my geeky teenage passions were combined into to create this mysterious warrior from long-dead planet Byss.

Concept art by Scott Rogers
3D model by Simon Grell
Color guide by Scott Rogers
The centurions of Byss were once the most feared warriors in the galaxy. Known by their distinctive weapon-studded armor, the Byssians were hunted down and exterminated by Mizra Khan’s Imperial Army. Only one Byss Centurion survives – Krith Al Marl – a mysterious figure who now works as a captain for the highest bidder. In the ancient Byssian language, "Krith Al Marl" translates to "The Dragon of  Destruction" There are very few Planeteers that cross this devastating warrior's path and live to tell the tale.
Krith Al Marl's deadliness is reveal in Hidden Weapons: Krith Al Marl may re-roll a ranged or melee combat roll once per turn. The Omni-targeting System housed in his helmet allows him to use the following ability: Once per game, if Krith makes a successful ranged combat attack, he may deal 1 damage to all crew members up to 2 spaces away. You can wipe out an entire crew of enemy Planeteers if you play this ability at the right time! Krith Al Marl might be the deadliest character in the game!

Keep checking back for more great characters from Rayguns and Rocketships!

Monday, May 8, 2017

Meet the Planeteers: Blaze Meridian

"A pretty smile will get you pretty far.
A pretty smile and two neurolizer pistols will get you much further."

Not all of Rayguns and Rocketships' influences are from the 1930's. The mercenary captain Blaze Meridian is inspired by two female heroes from (relatively) more modern science-fiction adventures - the duel-wielding Trinity from the 1999 movie The Matrix and space hero Kimberly from the 1984 arcade game Space Ace. Blaze has Kimmy's pluck and Trinity's "screw-you" attitude!
Concept design by Scott Rogers
Inspirational poses

3D model by Kaleb Rice
Color guide by Scott Rogers
Blaze Meridian is a sass-talking, trench coat wearing bad-ass mercenary captain. She refuses to carry a circuit sword, preferring to duel-wield neurolizer pistols instead. Once an Astro-Ranger, Blaze left the Planeteer faction after an argument with Jesse Novastar. Since then, Blaze has since become a mercenary-for-hire, with the emphasis on mercenary. While an excellent fighter, she has no real loyalty for her crew and will abandon them just as easily as she will lead them to victory.

Blaze is an interesting character. She does not ever perform a melee attack. Her signature move is Duel-Wield: where Blaze can make a ranged combat attack at two adjacent targets for the cost of 1 action token. While an excellent shot, if things go back, Blaze only looks out for herself. Only in it for the Money: reads permanently remove Blaze Meridian from the game to gain 6 action token immediately. No victory points are awarded for removing Blaze Meridian this way. "Should I stay or should I go" is the theme song to play when playing Blaze Meridian!

Stay tuned for more characters from Rayguns and Rocketships!

Meet the Planeteers: Jack Blacktail

"I swear, that Jack Blacktail is the most adorable killer in the galaxy." 

In 1978, a remarkable coincidence occurred. Within months of each other, two ray-gun wielding green anthropomorphic rabbits wearing red and yellow space suits simultaneously appeared in comic books: Bucky O'Hare and Jaxxon in the Marvel Star Wars comic.

I have always been fascinated that such a creative confluence could occur. Both creators (Larry Hama and Roy Thomas) were working in Marvel's New York office at the time and yet both of them claim that neither knew what the others were up to. Either way, these two lovable leporidae were a big influence on my childhood science-fiction tastes. And when I created Rayguns and Rocketships, I knew I had to include another raygun-wielding green rabbit. Thus, Jack Blacktail was born!

Concept design by Scott Rogers
3D model by Kaleb Rice
Color guide by Scott Rogers

Jack Blacktail is a lepine mercenary captain known for his bravado and daring escapes. He often leaps into action before he looks - but his ability with a neurolizer pistol allows him to shoot his way out of danger. His two captain card builds showcase Jack's quickness whether with his neurolizer pistol or his oversized feet. Hop to it: allows Jack to move over obstructing tokens and crew members and they do not count as spaces when moving. Which means blast tokens or blocking enemies are no obstacle for his quick-footed bunny! He's even more deadly with his Doubleshot ability. Once per turn, if Jack Blacktail makes a successful ranged attack, he may follow it up with a second ranged attack as a free action. This quick-shooting Captain can make short work of a crew or blast up the rayguns on an enemy ship in no time. These abilities coupled with his captain's health of 3 makes him a character to be reckoned with!

Stay tuned for more characters from Rayguns and Rocketships!