Kalos Mechanism is on the horizon

We haven’t posted in a while, but we aren’t gone. We have been revising, clarifying, and simplifying the third edition rules for Bulletproof Blues, along with our spinoff games, Rough Magic, ZeroSpace, and Bog-Standard Fantasy — aka Kalos Mechanism. We will start playtesting the nearly-final draft soon. If you are interested in playtesting it yourself, let us know! We would love to have your feedback, even if we ignore it. Just post a message or send a DM on our Facebook page.

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ZeroSpace: Ectypes And Echoes

Another snippet from ZeroSpace: Ectypes And Echoes…

Ectypes And Echoes

Ectypes and echoes are copies of an organic being’s consciousness. An ectype is a copy which has been reproduced in organic matter, typically (though not always) placed into a clone of the original person. An echo is a digital copy, typically (though not always) preserved in a virtual reality environment. Although the end result is different, the basic process involved in creating ectypes and echoes is similar: the original being’s brain is scanned, and the neurochemical snapshot is stored as data. The creation of this neurochemical snapshot is a painless process, but it is time consuming and prohibitively expensive. Despite the great cost, some particularly narcissistic individuals have used ectypes to achieve a type of serial immortality, creating copies of themselves to survive their own passing, and leaving their estates to an ectype of themselves in their wills.

In most of civilized space, the legal status of ectypes is the same as that of any other organic being: they may be treated as property on a given world, or not, in much the same way that any other organic being might. The status of echoes is somewhat more variable. On most worlds, echoes are treated similar to androids. The laws pertaining to the creation of ectypes and echoes typically follows the model of laws pertaining to the creation of sentient androids. On worlds where ectypes or echoes are granted the same rights as other sentient creatures, their creation is legally restricted or even prohibited altogether. On worlds where artificial life forms are treated as property, their creation is lightly regulated, if at all.

ZeroSpace fabricators

A random tidbit from ZeroSpace, a work in progress.


A fabricator is a device which manufactures complex objects from component substances. The component substances are typically in liquid or powder form, and must be replenished periodically. General purpose fabricators typically have reservoirs of metal, ceramic, and synthetic polymer dust, while specialized fabricators use substances specific to their application. Medical fabricators, for example, use reservoirs of protein, calcium, phosphorous, nucleotides, and synthetic biomatter. Fabricators are commonplace throughout most of civilized space.

I imagine food fabricators have reservoirs of fat, salt, soylent, and spices.

Grappling with grappling

The single most difficult thing to design in a game, in my experience, is grappling. It sounds simple, doesn’t it? Two people wrestling. It’s literally the world’s oldest sport. But in game after game, it’s ridiculously complicated. The first game I ever worked on, Gatewar, had a full page of tiny print describing it. We did our best with Bulletproof Blues, but I was never really happy with it.

Fortunately, with the new task resolution in 3rd edition of Bulletproof Blues, we were able to drastically simplify grappling.

This is a work in process, obviously: it may be a bit different when the book is published.


A grapple is a special form of close combat attack that does not inflict damage, but instead restrains the target’s limbs and prevents them from moving freely. The attack value (AV) of a grapple is equal to the attacker’s Brawn, and the defense value (DV) of the target is equal to the defender’s Brawn or Agility (whichever is greater).

If the attacker’s roll is greater than the defender’s roll, the defender is restrained. A restrained character is not helpless, but they can’t use normal movement until they break free of the grapple. Attacking a restrained character is easier, and a restrained character’s attacks are easier to avoid: a restrained attacker incurs a penalty die on all attack rolls and defense rolls while restrained.

A grapple is not normally able to inflict damage directly (like a punch), but the attacker may attempt to use leverage to hurt the grappled character.

Breaking Free Of A Grapple

To break free of the grapple, the restrained character must use a task action to roll their Brawn or Agility (whichever is greater) against the attacker’s Brawn. If the restrained character has XXX Telekinesis, they may use their Power for this roll. If the restrained character’s roll is greater than the grappling character’s roll, the restrained character has broken free of the grapple, and they may use their movement action for that turn. Alternately, the grappling character may release the restrained character at any time, without using an action.

Hurting A Grappled Target

If the attacker wishes to exert strength or leverage in an attempt to hurt the restrained character, they must use an action to make another attack roll against the restrained character.

Grapple vs. Grapple

If the grappled character succeeds in a grapple attack against the original attacker, both characters are considered restrained. Neither character can use normal movement until they break free of their opponent’s grapple. Both characters incur a penalty die on all attack rolls and defense rolls while restrained.

Throwing A Grappled Target

If the attacker wishes to throw the grappled character, the distance an attacker may throw the defender is based on the Brawn of the attacker and the mass of the defender. First, look up the mass of the defender in the “Lift” column (rounding to the nearest mass value), and find the corresponding Brawn for that mass. Subtract that from the Brawn of the attacker, and look up that resulting value in the “Throw” column. This is how far the attacker can throw the restrained character.