Friday, January 3, 2014

FrontierSpace new plans

One Last Smoke by Blinck
(not artwork from FrontierSpace,
just cool sci-fi art)
DwD responded to an overwhelming response to a discussion on their own forum. BareBones Fantasy laid down the ground work for a simple and elegant d100 system. DwD expanded that foundation with the very recent Covert Ops (this was my in to this system with an invitation to review the preview). The forthcoming series is FrontierSpace which was to further expand the rules over a threshold leaving "light" behind and being a proper crunchy RPG. This plan was unknown enough for the question to be asked (by yours truly, actually)- will it be d00Lite (the same system powering BareBones Fantasy and Covert Ops). When the answer was kind of No, fans unanimously said they'd prefer it to be so, but also have the complexity to add on top if desired. Compatibility was the most desired feature. DwD re-thought their model and this was the reply:
Similar to Covert Ops, we'll release a GM's Manual with FrontierSpace core rulebook. It'll contain a lot of optional rules we'll pull from the core rulebook to help make that core book "lite." Therefore, the initial offering concept will likely be as follows:
FrontierSpace Core Rulebook - basically all you "NEED" though descriptions of technology will be lite. For instance, equipment tables will include a "ground car" or "scout ship" or "maintenance bot" without much more than a couple of stats. It will also include a broad brushstroke setting called "Astra Incognita" (basically a map, a brief history, political divisions, corporate powers, and some tables describing the different worlds depicted by the map).
FrontierSpace GM's Manual - not technically required for game play. This book will have a bunch of extra modular plug-in rules many GMs will want to use to help tell their sci-fi tales. More alien races, optional technologies (such as allowing a player to play a robot or full conversion cyborg), hit location, creating more specific weaponry, subsystems for creating star systems, spaceships, robots, vehicles, and more. It will also consist of some GMing advice and some guidelines on creating different settings with different types of faster-than-light travel.
FrontierSpace: Faces of the Frontier - an archetype-like book of pregenerated illustrated rank 1 NPCs. They can be used as quick PCs for a one-off game or for new players who might not come back, or as quick non-player characters when the GM needs stats quick-like. We did this for Covert Ops and had great deal of positive feedback. We'll do the same thing for FrontierSpace.
FrontierSpace: Sci-Tech - all the science/technology described in the brief tables in the core rulebook will be more fully described here. In case you don't want to be vague and lite with tech. For instance, it might describe more concepts and configuration options for a "ground car" or modifications and detailed stats for a "scout ship" (perhaps even a deck plan) and will give more detail to a "maintenance bot" (such as which types of sensors it has, what modes of transport, etc.). If this book turns out to be too large, we may break it up into smaller books - providing a "Frontier Tech: Equipment," "Frontier Tech: Starships," "Frontier Tech: Vehicles," "Frontier Tech: Robots," and "Frontier Tech: Cybernetics." It all depends on how many pages they end up with and feedback from folks.
Astra Incognita Sourcebook - this might not be in the core product release but might follow. It will provide more detail to the setting while still allowing room for GMs to tell their own stories, similar to how the Keranak Kingdoms book filled in a mid-level of detail for the setting from BareBones Fantasy. In addition to filling in details of most everything presented in the core rulebook, this book will also provide a great amount of detail for one large corporation, one or two star systems, one world, and a handful of movers and shakers. Also, just like we did for Keranak Kingdoms, this book won't have any statistics in it so you can actually use it with any game system with no conversion required.

The future looks bright!

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