Thursday, 7 July 2016

Starport Scum. The big talk

Alright, so Starport Scum is one of the two big releases planned in July (The other being Allied Storm) and as we get closer, I wanted to talk about it a bit, both for those of you who picked up the beta and those who did not.

This will be in the style of a Q&A format, since its easier and it lets you use some of the questions I've been emailed.

Who are the people behind the game?
My self and my good friend Matthew Sparkes.
He created the core mechanics, I refined them and the creative bits are shared between the two of us.
You're stuck with my writing though :)

What is the scale of the game?
5-15 guys per side, with 10 being a typical upper limit. Think games like Necromunda or Inquisitor.

What is the style of the game?
"Narrative character-driven conflict-simulation".
Impressed yet?

Joking aside, it's written to be played much in the style of games like Laserburn or Inquisitor, where the story is the most important part and your games are linked together in an RPG-style campaign.

It's aimed at being played with a Game Master setting up a scenario for a recurring group of characters, though it is also well suited for the solo-gamers that populate much of the bloggo-sphere.
If you like creating stories behind your games, we got you covered.

Campaign rules?
Yes. They'll be a bit on the more open-ended side.
More akin to Inquisitor than Necromunda, to use a GW analogy.

The goal is to give you a little bit of structure without forcing you down any particular path.

Points systems? 
Negative. It was considered briefly and if we do an expansion, I'll see what I can do, but I decided it would detract from the nature of the game.
The thing is, the traits that build your characters are interesting because they are extensions of your characters story and personality.
Boiling them down into a +7 point upgrade seems to miss the point a little.

Failing that, if we hit 300 copies sold, I'll write one. Deal?

What is the deal with the build system? 
Okay, so one of the clever side bits is the build system.
Essentially guns, equipment and character traits can be "built" using a lego-style build system.
You basically pick words to key together and it will produce anything from an alien that can climb on walls to a stealth cloak.

It's a way for players who like to invent their own ideas but want a bit of structure to the process.
It also makes it very easy for a Game Master to populate a world.

Do I have to do that?
Naw, not at all.
If you prefer to just get the game set up, its as simple as writing two or three words on an index card.

Need a hardened bounty hunter? He's HEARTLESS, has QUICK REACTIONS and a STEADY HAND.

Is this set in the Fringe-verse?
Not really.
The aliens included in the book (which was in the beta) were taken from there, because they are my default scifi setting.

That also gives an anchoring point if you want to move between, say, Clash on the Fringe and Starport Scum.

What format will the rules be in? 
PDF as always. Page count probably around 60 pages.
Some original art but relatively limited to be print-friendly.

Is this replacing "Five Parsecs?" 
No, it is not.
Five Parsecs is getting an update in the fall (and changing a little bit, based on feedback), but I don't want to talk too much about that.

Give me a one-liner that tells me whether I should buy the rules
"Ever wanted a Laserburn style campaign but with less dice rolling?"