Visual Inspirations

Visual Inspirations

A piece of art jeff fearnow posted last week (?) sent me back down memory lane once again to the Terran Trade Authority meta-series. I used to have Stewart Cowley’s original four books (first in the list here: a thousand years ago but I have no idea where they went off to. Too many moves, bad decisions by Past Paul I guess. If you’re not familiar with these — and if you’re not 40+ yo you might not be — they’re basically big coffee table books filled with gorgeous spaceship concept art, with documentary-style text running throughout as if you were holding some future historical artifact. I love it. It’s marvelous.

I was reminded there was a TTA RPG! Which, to be honest, is on my list of dream projects to do someday (along with a Race for the Galaxy RPG, but the licensing might be a very tough nut to crack). Did anyone ever play it? It’s based on “Omni System,” which I don’t know much or anything about. I guess Talislanta 5e is built on it. Don’t know much about it either.

I may need to start getting more coffee table art books so I can freebase the visual stimulation. The Dark North ( is allegedly coming my way someday; thinking it’d be rad as fuck to somehow distribute an Apocalypse World game setup amongst players who key into, or are assigned, pieces from the collection. Maybe hack Microscope into using the material somehow?

What have some of your favorite visual inspirations been? Looking for ideas and leads.

0 thoughts on “Visual Inspirations”

  1. These occupied a major place in my imaginative landscape as well.

    I know nothing about the TTA RPG itself, but Talislanta 4E (and 5E) are freely available on  4E is fairly straightforward.  It’s not terribly exciting but not awful, light to medium in complexity depending on your criteria for such things, makes heavy use of “archetypes” for character creation, which are sort of halfway between proto-playbooks and pre-gen characters.  It’s not a selling point for me, but its also not a “oh lord, what were they thinking” thing either, that they used that system.

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