Easter Eggs! Constructing Redwing’s Gambit Part 5 of 5

Finally! I was supposed to write about the easter eggs but I forgot that required me to break the space time continuum and go through the manuscript line by line. So what are Easter Eggs? The simple answer is: the step-by-step process I take to decide how a particular line or passage sounds. Also, certain nuggets I weave in or hide that are revealed either when you’re smart enough to figure it out OR when I tell you. Like today!

Bulldogs! is unique, yes, but this particular setting has lots and lots of aliens which is something I wanted to highlight. In order to avoid an info dump and help ground you, the reader, I thoroughly researched the original d20 Bulldogs! RPG, the FATE system, and other science fiction settings to figure out how I should handle this unique conundrum. Writing about many different aliens in an RPG, after all, is a lot different from handling them in a story.

The goal of this story was to help you get to know the characters and based on the reviews so far? That’s what you got out of it, too. Here are a few “easter eggs” to show you how some elements in Redwing’s Gambit evolved.

“Grrr… Dishonorable wretch…” Marrl forced himself to calm down. The word “dishonorable” was a descriptive nod to Worf from Star Trek in the very beginning. I knew readers familiar with Star Trek might think of Klingons and I felt, with eight alien races to juggle, they could get a picture right away that would then be clearly defined as the lion-headed Rjyllians as the story went on. Bulldogs! has *many* alien races within its universe; I offered you the chance to see six of them and hear about two more.

If the rumors were true, Splish navigated a cruiser through the heart of the Frontier Zone with a broken engine and hardly any fuel. The idea of a rogue pilot’s boasts was courtesy of a larger-than-life reputation. Han Solo. The original Starbuck.

“By the sons of…” Marrl swore in earnest. Alexander Dane’s character in Galaxy Quest always did get pissed off when he had to say this line: “By Grabthar’s hammer… by the Sons of Warvan… you shall be… avenged.” Here Maarl alludes to a mysterious insult. Initially, I thought about making him swear to the court of the High Saldralla, his religious affiliation, but I thought it sounded better if his voice trailed off since I would have had to explain that the Saldralla were lizard men and I was worried I was spending too much time on the setting already. The line would have read: “By the sons of the Saldralla, must I warm every egg?!?!” To Maarl, having to sit on an egg and warm it up would have been a huge insult and one reserved solely for child-bearers.

He would hate to put that in his daily report. The idea of writing daily reports was inspired by the bureaucracy from Babylon 5. I twisted it some and turned the reports into a bureaucratic nightmare. You’ll find out more about that in the short story I’m writing for HAVE BLASTER, WILL TRAVEL.

An antenna poked out of the metallic cat’s mouth, its red tip blinked urgently. I love robots with character! Futurama, Flash Gordon, Buck Rodgers and the 25th Century… And I love cats!

To annoy her boss, she recited the contents of every label she touched out loud. Doctor Dunn never complained; she was too busy work, work, working. I find great humor in an annoying character who’s in space for the first time. Then? DOM DOM DOM… The exaggerated touch was my subconscious acting on more comedic spacefarers. Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. The Jetsons. Etc.

Instead of talking about the former slave trade there or the problems with trade, she focused on the golden necropolis rumored to be buried far beneath the planet’s coarse sands. ‘Course, Talus didn’t know she was lying. The idea of a treasure hunt evolved all on its own, but I should point out I have a fondness for space pirates that flourished courtesy not only of Treasure Planet, but a lot of early pulp back in the day.

Xax couldn’t wait to find out if Talus fixed the hyperdrive. Broken ships? Busted engines? Bad hyperdrives? Farscape, Firefly, Star Wars, Apollo 13. When things go wrong in space — they really go wrong.

By the Flame, he would rather get into a fight with Talus than piss off that cyborg. Well… The word “Flame” was a nod to Lord of the Rings. Many sacred fires in that story and I can’t think of anything more serious than invoking that.

Well, by now you can tell my thought process as I worked through the plot for the novella and its revisions. I sincerely hope you enjoy the novella based on the Bulldogs! RPG and will consider writing a review. 😉

Thanks for reading this series!


Other Parts to this Series



About Redwing’s Gambit: Redwing’s Gambit, the first novella for the Bulldogs! RPG, debuted on Monday, March 26th in digital. This story was written by Monica Valentinelli and will be published by Galileo Games, creator of the Bulldogs! RPG. This RPG was originally published with a d20 system in 2005. It has since been updated and released in a new edition which employs the Fate mechanic in 2011.



Monica Valentinelli is a writer, editor, and game developer. Her portfolio includes stories, games, comics, essays, and pop culture books.

In addition to her own worlds, she has worked on a number of different properties including Firefly, Vampire: the Masquerade, Shadowrun, Hunter: the Vigil, Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn, and Robert E. Howard’s Conan.

Looking for Monica’s books and games that are still in print? Visit Monica Valentinelli on Amazon’s Author Central or a bookstore and game store near you.

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