flying mice

Flying Mice LLC

Flying Mice LLC is a company owned and operated by Clash Bowley based in Boston, United States, in the business of creating roleplaying games. Its flagship product is Starcluster, a hard space opera science-fiction setting in a cluster of 117 systems after the Earth's sun had gone supernova.

Products

Flying Mice's first product was StarCluster. StarCluster was released at RPGNow on June 19, 2002. Excluding alternate settings, Starcluster has had over a dozen supplements, which regularly placed Flying Mice in the top 50 publishers and for years held a spot among the top 100 products of all time, and a 2nd edition was released in 2004.

The StarCluster System (which is used in most of its other products) was heavily influenced by BRP, and uses 'lifepath'-based character generation and percentile skill resolution, with all resolution being based on trading points between Chance of Success, Quality of Success, and Initiative.

Sweet Chariot was released on March 4, 2003. It details a Starcluster world with a thick, high-pressure atmosphere with a large amount of argon in it; in fact, below 2000 meters in altitude, the air is toxic. Human settlements are on mountaintops and plateaus, and travel between them is made with steam-powered zeppelins, sailing between nations like old sailing ships above poisonous 'seas' of argon. Although released to critical acclaim, and the author has described it as his favorite game, the game has met only slow and steady sales.

Blood Games was added almost a year later, on April 3, 2004. It is a horror roleplaying game, set in the real world; however, unlike most recent horror roleplaying games, which seek to humanize or justify the monsters, the supernatural beings in Blood Games are just that: monsters. Blood Games is also unusual in that it makes religion a prime role, which is almost a taboo subject for other companies.

F20 was added to the Flying Mice lineup on March 7, 2004. It is the company's first foray into OGL games, with the proceeds of the core rulebook going to the American Cancer Society. When Flying Mice LLC joined with several other game companies in the Better Mousetrap Games consortium, publishing rights to F20 were given to fellow member Chine Games.

On October 19, 2004, Tribes Of Mother Night was added to the catalog of games. Tribes Of Mother Night (or just "Tribes") is a dark fantasy game revolving around the presence of shapeshifter blood in normal characters. Tribes was somewhat inspired by the juxtaposition of heroic fantasy and paranoid fear seen in Ravenloft. Tribes uses the F20 system, and now is part of the Chine Games lineup.

The Book Of Jalan game was released on December 24, 2004, although it is not the first game to have this name. Jalan is a standalone Starcluster setting that is also Clash Bowley's take on 'traditional' fantasy roleplaying games, in that in a system designed for classic hard sci-fi, one also finds 'magic'.

Just days later (December 30, 2004, Flying Mice LLC released Aquavita. Aquavita is game set on an aquatic Dyson sphere 1 AU in diameter, inspired by movies set in the 1980s and pulp fiction written in the 1930s. The original tagline for Aquavita was "One Billion Earths", a reference to the sphere's surface area (rounded off). Aquavita uses the F20 system, and now is part of the Chine Games lineup.

Cold Space was released on September 13, 2005 and is a space opera game set in an alternate cold war-era after antigravity and FTL spacetravel change the world. Several supplements are planned including a Soviet sourcebook. Cold Space is the company's best-selling product, outside the Starcluster line.

FTL Now was released on April 29, 2006, and is the sequel game to Cold Space, set between 1990 and 2006.It focuses on the Interstellar War on Terrorism, ignited when terrorists re-directed a massive Mars-terraforming comet to slam into New York City on September 11, 2001, incinerating Megalopolis - the area between Maine and northern Virginia, triggering massive tsunamis and earthquakes, and setting off the Pacific's Ring of Fire. This plunged the Earth into a 'nuclear winter' of five years duration. All told, some four billion Earth humans were killed. The colonies were left to fend for themselves.

In Harm's Way: A Napoleonic Naval Roleplaying Game was released on August 1, 2006. As the subtitle states, the game is specifically designed for roleplaying in the napoleonic naval wars of the early 19th century. It uses the base StarCluster system, but has several additional genre-specific game mechanics overlain. It's emphasis is on emulating the feel of the 20th and 21st century genre novels by Patrick O'Brian, C. S. Forester, Dewey Lambdin, and many others.

In Harm's Way: Aces In Spades was released on March 29, 2007. The game is specifically designed for roleplaying fighter pilots in World War I. It uses the base StarCluster system, but has several additional genre-specific game mechanics overlain. It's emphasis is on emulating the feel of the many novels and films about WWI fighter pilots, like The Blue Max, Dawn Patrol, Ace of Aces, and others.

Blood Games II was released on June 26, 2007. This game is a complete rework of the earlier Blood Games, with a new dice pool task resolution system, refined magic systems, new Paths, and all new illustrations by the game's authors.

Forward... to Adventure! was released on July 29, 2007. This game is an old-fashioned fantasy romp with several new-style twists, and much random table action.

In Harm's Way: Aces and Angels was released on December 7, 2007. This game is specifically designed for roleplaying fighter pilots in World War II. It uses the base StarCluster system, but has several additional genre-specific game mechanics overlain. It's emphasis is on emulating the feel of the many novels and films about WWII fighter pilots, like The Flying Tigers, Baa Baa Black Sheep, Midway, and others. It is an updating of In Harm's Way: Aces In Spades for the more powerful planes and different nations involved in World War II.

Sweet Chariot 2 was released on January 1, 2008. This game is a complete rework of 2003's Sweet Chariot, with a new dice pool task resolution system, and all new illustrations.

Wild Blue was released on March 31, 2008. This game is specifically designed for roleplaying modern mercenary characters. It uses the base StarCluster system, but has several additional genre-specific game mechanics overlain. It's emphasis is on emulating the feel of the many novels and films about mercenaries. Wild Blue covers jet fighter and strike aircraft, helicopters and gunships, special forces, infantry, armored, and littoral naval combat.

Upcoming roleplaying games by Flying Mice LLC include Glorianna, an ultra-tech neo-Elizabethan planet for StarCluster 2; In Harm's Way:The Scum of the Earth, which looks at Napoleonic land warfare, and In Harm's Way: Pigboat, which examines WWII submarine warfare.

Flying Mice Writers

  • Clash Bowley (owner, designer, writer, artist; Aquavita, StarCluster, Sweet Chariot, Blood Games, StarCluster 2, Cold Space, FTL Now, Tribes of Mother Night, In Harm's Way: A Napoleonic Naval Roleplaying Game, In Harm's Way: Aces In Spades, Blood Games II, In Harm's Way: Aces And Angels, Sweet Chariot 2, In Harm's Way:Wild Blue)
  • Klaxon Bowley -Awesome- (Sweet Chariot, Book of Jalan)
  • Albert Bailey (StarCluster, Sweet Chariot, Book Of Jalan, Cold Space, FTL Now, Sweet Chariot 2)
  • Wesley Fornero (Blood Games, Blood Games II)
  • Tim Kirk (Tribes Of Mother Night)
  • Jason Ludwig (Blood Games)
  • Ryan A. Span (Book Of Jalan, Cold Space, FTL Now)
  • El Zambo -Awesome- (Blood Games, In Harm's Way: A Napoleonic Naval Roleplaying Game, Blood Games II)
  • Shanya Almafeta (Aquavita, F20)
  • John Snead (FTL Now)
  • Daniel Potter (Far Shore for StarCluster 2)
  • The RPG Pundit (Forward... to Adventure!)
  • Michael Scott (In Harm's Way:Wild Blue]

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