Justus Productions

B-Movie Inspirations: Star Quest 2

B-Movie Inspirations is a series of articles I write where I watch really bad movies and draw RPG inspiration from them.

Welcome once again to B-Movie Inspirations where I go over a very bad movie and pull interesting RPG ideas out of them This month we are looking at Star Quest 2 from 1996 ( also known as Starquest 2 or Mind Breakers), a movie I think was intended to be a sequel to Star Quest but I think its predecessor tried to distance itself by renaming itself Terminal Voyage. I was not entirely sure it was a sequel after reading the description but after watching the trailer, I could see a loose connection. It may have been an idea someone threw together and later thought they could attach to the “Star Quest” franchise even they it probably wasn’t meant to be a franchise.

Up front, this movie has a lot of sexual scenes and not meant for children. This was kind of strange because they first one had none. It was like watching a late-night Showtime movie, and really was unnecessary. But it was the 90s, so what do you expect?

This one opens with the story of Eagle, a routine shuttle mission to Mars in some near future setting. The mission loses contact with Earth and is lost. This was kind of mission laughable in many ways. Of course the shuttle in a dead project, but it was also never intended to go to Mars. It can’t without a landing strip. Anyway, 90s nostalgia aside, the connection to the overall plot is revealed later and can be loosely connected to the first movie. In fact, in the flash of scenes telling this tale are familiar shots in the same hallways in the first movie. You can even catch a glimpse of the original caste.

We then switch to a scene all too familiar – the same ship from the first movie in the same shot as it flies by. Roger Coreman or his SFX crew must of rented out certain scenes to other productions companies or something.

This ship, however, is an alien ship – Omega 4 – being used to transport captures human subjects. Early in the movie we got flashes of alien Gray-looking creatures hovering over a surgical table, and people getting abducted while the Earth calls apart in multiple war scenes. This implies an abduction subplot along with a post-apocalypses subplot.

In the beginning, it is not really clear who is Human and who is alien at first because the aliens apparently can take over human bodies. We are introduced to the human captives first, in couples, which implies they were intentionally coupled up.

Lee the soldier from Roswell Research Labs (Adam Baldwin best known from Firefly) and his wife Susan who is a scientist (Kate Rodger). These two both worked in Roswell Research Labs on hibernation experiments that later connect to the plot of this movie and loosely to the first. It is implied that perhaps the same experiments displayed in the first movie were motivated by more than just a plan to reach out to the stars. Also, Lee has more secrets that he is even telling his wife, including the truth behind the disappeared Mars mission.

What is Roswell Research Labs? Another Area 51, maybe? It was definitely not the same lab as the one at the end of the first movie which looked like either San Francisco or New York City.

The next couple are soldiers from some unknown conflict on Earth – Cpl. Charles Devon (Duane Davis) and Cpl. Kelly (Jolie Jackunas). Kelly doesn’t last long in the movie but I am curious what the thought process was behind the aliens allowing Devon to keep his weapon – a tactical shotgun. It really is the only way everyone is able to escape in the end.

The third couple are Trit (Jerry Trimble) the tough street fighter type with martial arts skills and Jenna (Jeannie Millar) the stripper and seductress. These two are pretty much wildcards and do not play well with others.

The alien crew of the ship is made up of 4 human-disguised aliens and one android that pilots the ship. The first human-disguised alien they encounter is one that is being killed by the Evil-HAL eye weapon. Every room is equipped with an evil eye thing that looks like HAL from 2001: A Space Odyssey. It not only is a camera that watches over all of them but also a weapon that electrocutes the victim to dust. The first we see of this is rather early when an alien crewmember is killed in front of them.

The remainder of the crew are as follows: Father O’Neill (played by the venerable Robert Englund, Freddy Krueger himself), Carrie (Gretchen Palmer), and some uncredited (at least that I can find) bald guy. Father O’Neill present himself as another abducted human and sort of a guide to the ship, implying he had been there longer then the rest. In reality, he is the ship’s leader and commander. His second is Carrie but in reality she is a member of a faction that wants to stop this project, as is the bald guy. More on that later.

All three present themselves as fellow humans at first. But in truth they are alien hybrids with their own agendas. The group is eventually shown a video presumably produced by the aliens to explain the captives situation. In order to save humanity from itself, these aliens altruistically abducted prime samples from all walks of life to save humanity. More clips of war-torn Earth are shown (probably action scenes from some movie that no one remembers) and interlaced with these scenes is the face of a Gray-like alien.

Gray-like Alien

The plot kind of meanders after this around the conflict between the alien factions and the conflict between the humans. Baldie kills Kelly and this kicks off a who-done-it mystery. You learn that there are two types of aliens on board – for lack of better terms I will call them Loyalists and Rebels. The Loyalists – primarily Father O’Neill – wish not only save humanity but his own race in hopes they could cross breed into an alien-human hybrid that is stable and sustainable. The Rebels’ motivation are not entirely clear, but they are simply against the cross-breeding idea and the existence of this lab ship. Carrie and Baldie (as well as the other alien that was killed early on) are members of this Rebel faction that have secretly infiltrated the ship. Their plan is to covertly kill each human before the breeding experiments can happen.

Meanwhile, we meet the android that pilots the ship when the ship is attacked by lizard aliens in fighters (more scenes stolen from Battle Beyond the Stars.) Who are these aliens? Are they Rebels as well? Or are they an alien race that does not want this Gray-like alien to sustain it’s existence. Either way, there is a extended battle scene with the ship and several fighters that seems to go on a little too long. It did leave you wondering, however, who these fighters were and why did they want to destroy the ship.

This android also protects the bridge and prevents anyone from tampering with it. Not even the human-disguised aliens are allowed to change it’s course. Baldie is killed by the android when he recruits Trit to help him hijack the ship. Devon is killed after being seduced by Carrie and finding out she is an alien hybrid. This all spirals out of control when everyone starts shooting looking for a way off the ship. The Android is sucked out into space after a stray round shatters a porthole. Carrie kills Jenna in a very awkward seen. Trit is killed wrestling with Carrie, a shotgun volley killing them both. The Father is fatally shot and we are left with Lee and Susan alone on the ship. A final message from the aliens is played telling them they are being brought to alien world to begin the human race anew.

The movie overall is just not well put together, even though the story has potential. Between the cheap reused special effects and some of the silly sets, it was just not a good production. The characters are too busy having sex for me to really care about them – maybe less sex and a little more character building would help. When you place this movie together with the predecessor, it does however, create an interesting campaign idea.

This would probably work best in a sci-fi or near-future setting with alien conspiracies prevalent in the setting – a setting like Dark Conspiracy or Dark Matter. Aliens have contacted the governments of Earth to ask them to start prepping people for long hyper-sleep journey to another world the aliens wish the humans to populate. So humans are unwittingly abducted to be trained for this kind of thing – why abducted? I don’t know, because that is what aliens do? The first movie could happen in one scenario while the second movie can happen on board a ship in another situation. The aliens have ulterior motives, however, and there are some that don’t want it to happen. There are also other aliens that oppose the first and want all this to stop as well, even if it means destroying the planet. This opens a wide variety of aliens-among us scenarios that I think would be enjoyable.

As for a one-shot, this would be a simple alien abduction story with some hidden stories to discover behind the alien abductors, their allies and their enemies. Meanwhile, the humans can have their own conflicts, agendas, and secrets.

MACE 2021: Post Con Thanks

From Facebook:

November 16, 2021 – Jeff Smith

Wow, what a weekend. Even with a smaller turnout (estimating 425-450) I had a blast. The energy was there and I think people were excited to be back among friends and playing some games. It felt good to see so many friends and hang out. I hope you had as much fun as I did. I do want to thank some folks for all they did.

First and most importantly, my wife Karen, without her This would not be possible. She is the sane one who handles the business side and keeps me from spending any excess money on more games.

Thanks to Ron for keeping up with OGRe and all the Game Schedules. To all the GMs, we could not do this with out you. I appreciate your willingness to run games for us.

Thank you to the dealers for offering some great stuff this year, to Kim, Patrick, Stephen, Erik plus the kids for running the Grinning Goblin.

Special thanks to James Floyd Kelly , Scotty McFarland, Bill Buchanan and all the Crafters who participated in the Crafting Challenge this year.

To Karen Montgomery, thank you for being willing to take photos and help with the crafting contest. A big thanks to the Hilton for letting us come back and last put not least to all the gamers who braved the weekend. We do this for you. Thank You, Thank You, Thanks to You!

November 15, 2021 – Ron McClung

Still recovering… but thanks for all the kind words, you are well so very welcome for the hard work. I know that I REALLY needed this! Thanks!!

MACE 2021

November 12-14 2021
The Best & Most Organized Carolina Gaming Con
Hilton Charlotte University Place
Charlotte, NC

MACE 2021: LARPtopia Weapons and Wares

To help us celebrate our 25th Anniversary, LARPtopia Weapons and Wares has graciously donated a $5 coupon towards any purchase of $50 or more from the website, www.larptopiaww.com.

The code is MACE2021.

They have some great stuff on there site. I love the Throwing Fish.! So take a look and show them some MACE love.

MACE 2021

November 12-14 2021
The Best & Most Organized Carolina Gaming Con
Hilton Charlotte University Place
Charlotte, NC



Breakfast will be served, but there is only Grab and Go Lunches in the Cafe and a Limited menu for Dinner at the Bar. No room service or upper suite level food at the moment. Lots of places surrounding the hotel though.

The Grinning Goblin will be doing drinks, snacks and pre-packaged foods.

MACE 2021

November 12-14 2021
The Best & Most Organized Carolina Gaming Con
Hilton Charlotte University Place
Charlotte, NC

MACE 2021 Play to Win List

AKA – Also Known AsEndless Games
Animals in EspionageTwin City Games
Big Easy BuskingWeird Giraffe Games
Boss MonsterBrotherwise Games
BrikksStronghold Games
Bristol 1350Facade Games
Burger UpGreenbrier Games
Cabo DeluxeBezier
Call to AdventureBrotherwise Games
Conflicting LegendsIndie Game Studios
CoraliaR&R Games
Court of MiraclesLucky Duck
Cover Your KingdomGrandpa Beck’s Games
Crossed WordsIndie Game Studios
CrystallizedBicycle Games
Darkness Comes RattlingWyrd Games
DarwinningDragon Dawn Productions
Dealt!AMIGO Games
DimensionThames & Kosmos
DizzleStronghold Games
Doctor DoctorIndie Game Studios
Dreams of TomorrowWeird Giraffe Games
Dungeon AcademyThe Op
Emergency BroadcastBicycle Games
Everybody KnowsEndless Games
Front Line: No KomradesAnvil 8 Games
GenotypeGenius Games
Gorilla MarketingRoxley Games
Helios ExpanseGreenbrier Games
Imperial Settlers Roll & WritePortal Games
Jet pack UnicornWyrd Games
King of 12Lucky Duck
Magic MoneyIndie Game Studios
Marvel FunkoverseFunko Games
Meeple Party9th Level Games
MegalandRed Raven Games
Mystic PathsR&R Games
Out of This WorldDevir Games
OverbossBrotherwise Games
Point SaladAEG
RavineStellar Factory
Red RisingStonemaier Games
RoamRed Raven Games
Roswell 51GameWick Games
SaboteurAMIGO Games
Shadow IconsWyrd Games
ShobuSmirk & Dagger Games
SilkDevir Games
Silver DaggerBezier
Skull KingGrandpa Beck’s Games
Smash-Up: MarvelThe Op
Space MoversKnA Games
Steampunk RallyRoxley Games
Super MotherloadRoxley Games
Sysifus Corp. Pegasus Games 
Terraforming Mars: Ares Expansion The Card GameStronghold Games
The DeadliesSmirk & Dagger Games
The Goonies: Never Say DieFunko Games
ThriveAdam’s Apple Games
Tiny Epic DinosaursGamelyn Games
Tiny Epic PiratesGamelyn Games
Trekking The WorldUnderdog Games
TrophiesFacade Games
Truck Off Roll & WriteAdam’s Apple Games
UbongoThames & Kosmos
UnearthBrotherwise Games
VirulenceGenius Games
Whirling WitchcraftAEG
Zombie ChasePlayMonster

Any GM that wishes to run a session and have their name in pot, please contact the .

Play-to-Win games will be in the Glenwaters room.

MACE 2021

November 12-14 2021
The Best & Most Organized Carolina Gaming Con
Hilton Charlotte University Place
Charlotte, NC

MACE 2021: Gaming Preregistration will Close Temporarily

Due to various changes to our lives and complications there in, we are going to change the way we do things this year and close game preregistration for a week before the con while we work on all the printing material. We will reopen either the night before the con or the day of the con.

So it will close this Friday, November 5 and reopen in the 11 or the 12th, depending on how things go with printing and set up.

MACE 2021

November 12-14 2021
The Best & Most Organized Carolina Gaming Con
Hilton Charlotte University Place
Charlotte, NC

MACE 2021 Play to Win Games

Once again we have games for our traditional Play to Win game room.  Play a round of these games and have your name put in the pot.  Drawings will be announced on site, Sunday afternoon.  

Any GM that wishes to run a session and have their name in pot, please contact the .

Play-to-Win games will be in the Glenwaters room.

MACE 2021

November 12-14 2021
The Best & Most Organized Carolina Gaming Con
Hilton Charlotte University Place
Charlotte, NC

B-Movie Inspirations: Star Quest

B-Movie Inspirations is a series of articles I write where I watch really bad movies and draw RPG inspiration from them.

Welcome back to another edition of B-Movie Inspirations. This time we are covering another sci-fi classic found on Tubi called Star Quest (also known as Terminal Voyage, 1995). I am pretty sure I have seen this movie on a Blockbuster shelf at one time but passed it up because of the cheesy name. The cover was unremarkable, the tag line was generic, I could not just make myself pay to see it. But now with the wonders of streaming some movies for free, I was able to watch it. I was not surprised that the movie over all was predictable and relatively cheesy but it also makes for an interesting idea for an RPG.

The movie opens to a very familiar scene of people waking up in sleep pods on a ship in space. The ship right away looks familiar and after some research, found that it was re-used model shots from Battle Beyond the Stars. Aboard the ship are seven multi-national crewmembers – Commander Hollis (Gregory McKinney) the American XO, Lt. Jammad the Arabian Officer (Alan Rachins), Becker the Brit and Government Mediator (Emma Sams), Reese the American Tough Guy (Steve Bauer), Zinovitz the Russian Engineer (Brenda Bakke), Granier the French Scientist and Botanist (Cliff De Young), and Han the Asian Doctor (Ming-Na Wen).

The group had been asleep a long time in route to some far off planet – 100 years it is later said. Much more of that is revealed later in a cliched background – Earth is headed to environmental disaster and they decide to send a sleeper ship to travel 200 light years to another possible replacement planet – Tryon. The group awakens from this sleep to find their captain dead – a mysterious pod malfunction. This puts Hollins in charge and Jammad second in command. Jammad is not well liked and this does cause some grumblings among the crew.

The movie proceeds like the plot of 10 Little Indians, but for only seven. First suspicion is thrown around about the captain dying, then the commander is found hanging from the ceiling from apparent suicide. This brings in new information as people read through the reports that the commander was browsing before his death – Earth is dead, after a big nuclear war.

This brings up an interesting point that I had to watch twice to catch. This crew was in hyper-sleep for a long period of time – 100 years or so. So to make sure their loved ones see them again, the loved ones are also in hibernation on Earth until they see each other again – perhaps as part of a second sleeper ship. In a sleeper ship situation, I think it would be more prudent to send the first mission full of unconnected people to avoid this kind of thing but that’s just me.

So the crew assumes all the hibernating family members are dead and all is lost. Humanity’s fate is left in their hands. Of course, the implication is that the commander found this all out and broke under the pressure. Following this, Jammad takes over with everyone suspecting him in the death of the commander. More individuals stories are told either through events on board or events in the holodeck-like VR rig they have on the ship. Han is a drug addict upset she left her husband and kids back on Earth. Zinovitz is an paranoid and angry Russian with a tragic past. Reese has a underground background that involved car chases with authorities but it is never elaborated on.

The next victim to mysteriously die is Jammad, connected to the VR. The plot thickens as Becker takes over command out of the blue. This creates further tension as most don’t trust the government agent. The four hatch a plan to take Backer into custody and take over the ship. This leads to the most predicable part of the movie.

Perhaps Emma Samms played her too stiff but I figured out that she was an android from the start. Her motivation to kill the crew was not quite clear but it was generally clichéd – all humans are flawed. There is a short fight between the four remaining crew and the obviously superior android. However, they are able to disable her and take her apart, interrogating her head while her other parts lay strewn about. However they did not plan on her remotely controlling her arm while they interrogated her, which in turn triggered the ship’s self destruct.

Realizing the escape pod can only take two – what kind of planning is that!? – Han already in a drugged-out stupor and Granier volunteer to stay behind. Nothing in the plot gave you the idea that these two would decide to stay (except maybe the drug use in Han) but that seemed out of the blue. If they wanted them to die, they could have died in the fight with the android. Zinovitz and Reese enter the escape pod only to reveal the final twist that was sort of predictable in out own way but still surprising the movie went there.

It turns out they never left the planet and were in a simulation the entire time. The ship was a fabrication with a bunker that appeared to be deep below the surface.

Love the classic DOS UI

Obviously the simulation went on too long as people died. The couple finds their way out and find out quickly why people did not stop the simulation in time to save lives – the world in fact was destroyed by Nuclear War.

For production value, the movie overall is pretty poor but not as bad as some. They reused special effects from other movies – namely Battle Beyond the Stars – and the sets were mediocre at best. At least it appeared somewhat like a space ship in places. They had a conference room, the sleeper pod room, a control room and some hallways. It wasn’t bad but they did appear to clearly made of wood. Typical low-budget 90s direct to video movie. The story was clichéd and mostly predictable but worth at least a casual watch to get some ideas. Alone, I don’t think I would have written about this movie but since there was a sequel that (unintentionally) added some depth to it, I decided to write about it.

This is a fairly straight forward RPG one-shot. People wake up from a long hibernation – it could be a magically induced hibernation in a fantasy setting, on board a sailing vessel in strange waters or another dimensional plane. You could even take it a step further and do like what they did in Dark Matter, where the crew has no memory of who they are.

The 10 Little Indians are a tough thing to attempt but can be done if you let players play more than one character. When one dies, they can take over another. Give each character a motivation, agenda and secret and let the players role play the entire story. The GM doesn’t really have to do much with a good group except interrupt occasionally to murder one of them.

The murderer could be the wolf in sheep’s clothing type story they presented here or something more. One can establish conflicts between the nations represented here and perhaps one sent an agent on a suicide mission. Or a radical terrorist group infiltrated the group to prevent finding a new world for humanity. The possibilities are endless.

MACE 2021: RPG Special Event – Con Premier of Battle For Oz: Pirates

Dan Smith of Pirate Press will be hosting his new Battle for Oz: Pirates – premier new setting for Savage Worlds SWADE Edition.

Battle for Oz: Pirates is an updated setting book for the popular Battle for Oz setting. The setting is in final layout and will soon be available in PDF and print through Drivethrurpg.com.

This is the first time this new setting will be run at a convention, run by the artist and writer for the setting.

About Savage Worlds

Savage Worlds is a generic role-playing game and miniatures wargame written by Shane Lacy Hensley and published by Pinnacle Entertainment Group. The game emphasizes speed of play and reduced preparation over realism or detail. The game received the 2003 Origin Gamers’ Choice Award for best role-playing game.

MACE 2021

November 12-14 2021
The Best & Most Organized Carolina Gaming Con
Hilton Charlotte University Place
Charlotte, NC


MACE 2021 Cornerstone RPG Event: Savage Saturday Night

MACE 2021 is proud once again to host Savage Saturday Night, a variety of Savage World settings Saturday Night! This event presents Savage Worlds in a variety of different settings, some run by a number of professional game writers.  In the past, these have included Clint Black (PEG), Charles White (Fabled Environments), and Dan Smith (Battle for Oz) just to name a few.  THIS IS SAVAGE SATURDAY NIGHT, a regular tradition at MACE.

See games with the tag SSN on OGRe.  You must be registered for MACE 2021 to participate.

About Savage Worlds

Savage Worlds is a generic role-playing game and miniatures wargame written by Shane Lacy Hensley and published by Pinnacle Entertainment Group. The game emphasizes speed of play and reduced preparation over realism or detail. The game received the 2003 Origin Gamers’ Choice Award for best role-playing game.

MACE 2021

November 12-14 2021
The Best & Most Organized Carolina Gaming Con
Hilton Charlotte University Place
Charlotte, NC