July 10, 2017: Planet Mercenary
Howard Tayler, the creator of Schlock Mercenary, is now shipping the Planet Mercenary RPG. This was successfully Kickstarted in mid-2015, but if you missed the Kickstarter, you can buy a hardback here or get the PDF here.
The captain is never separated from the Golden Scepter of [Untranslatable], his heavy sniper rifle. Never. There is a hook for it in the head in his quarters and a stand beside his seat at the officer's mess. It slots into the side of his command chair and to the head of his bed. A very few of the crew are allowed to hold it for him at need, and none of them has the slightest idea what an honor that is in Ob'enn culture. His crew speculates, discreetly, about where he puts the Scepter while mating. (The answer is "Within reach.")
[Untranslatable] is not really a word that has no translation. It's simply a single word that encapsulates a rather elaborate string of rude Galstandard West nouns, verbs, adverbs, adjectives, and one propositional [sic] phrase. The Ob'enn use a lot of very specific words, like harf, that take a lot of Galstandard text to express. Harf translates quite precisely to "get in trouble by arrogantly ignoring the words of those smarter or better informed than you just to emphasize that they are your social inferiors." There is a one-word translation for harf in every ancient Ob'enn language known, because Ob'enn are like that. (So are humans, but we never boiled it down to one word.)
Sir is, by the standards of his people, highly liberal and tolerant (he works of his own volition with non-Ob'enn and sometimes takes their advice!), mild and accommodating (most cannot understand why his ears are so big), very geeky, and a bit enthusiastic about weapons of all types. By the standards of most of his crew, he is ultraconservative, sometimes racist, moderately geeky and didactic, and a frothing maniac about weapons. (And remember, his crew are mercenaries, mostly infantry. They are very, very fond of weapons. Sir thinks that as a group they show insufficient interest in the precise and specific details of how they are killing things. He's patiently – for an Ob'enn – trying to bring them along.)
Sir's species look like cute little koala bears. They are very definitely not. But that's how they look. And Sir, who read a lot of science fiction when he was growing up, secretly views ursumari, the uplifted Terran polar bears, as some kind of super-dangerous, future-evolved, scary-fascinating-ogreish Ob'enn. Fortunately, they have ridiculously tiny ears, or he probably would not be emotionally able to command ursumari troops! As is, he gives his ursumari engineer even more slack than her size and bad temper should call for. A 21st-century human would say, "He thinks she's She-Hulk."
All art is copyright by The Tayler Corporation and used by permission.
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