A Luchador’s Guide to Action and Adventure

At first glance, even at second glance, the world of Luchador: Way of the Mask looks a lot like our world. People go about the drudgery of their day-to-day lives, politicians lie to cover up their indiscretions, and there’s never anything good on TV. However, there are differences. Unscrupulous businessmen stoop to actual strong-arm tactics (rather than courtroom strong-arm tactics) to take over family owned shops. Mad scientists conduct bizarre experiments in remote laboratories. Masked armies rise from the criminal underworld to carry out convoluted schemes to overthrow world governments. Supernatural forces lurk in the shadows awaiting the unwary to fall under their spell. Throughout it all, the hopes of the common man hang on those masked masters of the mat, the luchadors.

The core concept of the game is that luchadors are the heroes of the modern world. Where others chase the empty promise of greed or struggle to survive the endless grind, the luchador fights on as a champion of honor and glory. Only those with no fear can afford to stand fast against the forces of evil. Only they are worthy of being called heroes.

The tone of Luchador: Way of the Mask is light-hearted but not comedic. It is not an easy thing to maintain. The vibe of the game is somewhere between 70’s action films and 80’s television series. It’s a world where government agents must turn to an unaffiliated martial arts master to infiltrate a madman’s island stronghold during a fighting tournament to uncover his plans, and nobody thinks it odd. Look to Bond films, A-team episodes, Kung-Fu, and the like for inspiration. Obviously, the classic El Santo movies are the best place to start. The luchadors are the ones that stand between the strangeness and the safety of normal life.

Don the Mask and Dive into Danger!
Luchador: Way of the Mask


The Hunt Begins…

Currently Spartacus Publishing is pursuing the development of a card game entitled Near Space. This game is set in a hard sci-fi universe focusing on exploration and combat. The vast majority of cards will focus on spacescapes, planetscapes, and other cosmic phenomenon.

We have been strongly influenced by the styles of John Berkey, Bob Eggleton, and Vincent DiFate. Thus we are looking for pieces that are evocative of these creators. Strong high contrast images with an inherent drama are preferred. Make sure that no matter where you draw your inspiration from that it is your work you are submitting. Using images from the NASA/JPL Galleries is fine but please make a note of accreditation if you do so.

We are looking for 60-80 individual pieces. Finished pieces should be full-color and formatted for a final print of 66 x 88 millimeters portrait layout. Final pieces should be delivered as a minimum 300dpi TIF.

Though the cards will likely be printed with a black border bright and eye-catching art is preferred. Our focus is on newly discovered colony worlds, gas giants, starbases, asteroid fields, and minefields. We will also need a variety of cards depicting various events and encounters that will be detailed as we progress with select artists.

Interested artists should submit rough drafts for approval. Be prepared to take a minimum of art direction before the piece is accepted. You will retain ownership and copyright of the physical piece. We are purchasing the rights for two printings; once in this initial release and again in a possible future compilation. We can offer $30 for each piece we use and will include a copy of the finished product. (You will be allowed to purchase additional copies of the game at wholesale price, 50% of SRP.)  Your payment will be made within 10 days of final draft approval with finished work delivered no more than 20 days after receipt. Payment can be made via Paypal or physical check. If your art is used on the packaging, or any subsequent merchandise, we will negotiate additional fees. Incidental use of the work in marketing or advertising will not be compensated.

If you are looking around for additional inspiration I would recommend the works of Frank Kelly Freas, Marcin Jakubowski, or Stephen Hickman.  Including ships and other technological elements is encouraged and we will be providing a description of the two main races, Terrans and Alpha Centaurians, and other races upon request.

Contact information:
Casey Clark
3906 Grace Ellen Drive
Columbia, MO 65202-1739

Lil’ dice, Big dice, and a New Color…

Lil’ Dice
As I noted earlier Near Space is a game that was designed to use every dice you may have in a game of strategic and tactical conflict. However, we have encountered an issue with d1, d2, and d3s. The bonuses and penalties based on color are +/- 1-2. Events and Sector Advantages may bump this an additional +/- 2-3. This means that the risk-reward ratio of these small dice are incredibly skewed. You are nearly guaranteed a certain result in a fight and even if you lose a a ship a couple of points in the Graveyard is minimal.

As I go back into another revision d1s are being removed from the game. They are not dice; there is no random chance attached to them. Right now d3s are safe as I consider them a fairly traditional die. The d2 is on the chopping block with the axe being swung. We will continue to playtest this and may bring the Kickstarter backers on board during the campaign for a quick poll.

Big Dice
We were also discussing the fate of the Dreadnought. We have allowed d20s since players love the idea of fielding the Death Star but the modifiers (except for green ships) were mooted by the ship size. During a demo/play-test session at the International Table-Top Game Day a new participant tried the game for the first time. A devoted Magic player, he was just expermenting with different games. As soon as he wrapped his head around Near Space as a wargame he had a handle on playing. He quickly questioned why anyone would ever build anything larger than a Gunship. The powers of the Battleship and Destroyer and the ships interaction with the gamestate made him realize their utility. He just as quickly pointed that this logic does not hold for a Dreadnought and it should never be built. Its inability to move in response to an opponent, maintenance, and risk of a bad roll vs a smaller ship makes it a bad investment. I agreed with him and pointed out that people love fielding the Death Star even if it is not smart…

A New Color
Though I had some issues with Protospiel Milwaukee we did get one piece of great feedback about Pink dice. Up to now Pink has not been a recognized color in Near Space. It is hard to judge between Red and Pink, it is  ahue not a color, etc. The trouble is some dice are Pink. They are not Red/Mauve/Purple/etc; they are Pink. Like obscenity, I can’t define it but I know it when I see it.
To that end I introduce a new color for Near Space…
Survivor: Pink: Veterans of war and untold tribulations often band together where their indomitable will sees them to victory against impossible odds. Whenever the ship attacks or defends and rolls a one, it may roll again and add the resulting numbers together. Should this subsequent roll also be a one it is not rolled again.