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Author Topic: Void Empires : 2750  (Read 295 times)

Nerhesi

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Void Empires : 2750
« on: September 30, 2021, 04:04:53 PM »
Good evening all,

I would like to invite you all to critique, play, enjoy, complain and use Void Empires : 2750 - a sci fi space opera style RPG - in which ever way you want!

Like many of you, I got into tabletop roleplaying games many years ago.  After years of GMing and playing many different tabletop RPGs, I found myself play-testing, then contributing and finally even authoring on a couple of major Mongoose Traveller 2e products.  At the conclusion of that positive experience, I realised that despite the amount of sci-fi RPGs out there, I (and my gaming crew) felt that something was missing.  We wanted something that combined many of the tropes, systems and customization we loved from what existed, into one neat system.  Let me give you the top three … intentions / design principles I went for, in no particular order, that I felt I could improve upon from other games:

  • Simple system, deep customization. 5 attributes, 2d6 plus modifiers vs Target for almost everything. However, there are tons of options for customization - from skills to augmentation to craft. So hopefully, you’re not feeling like a redundant role if there are 3 or even 5 other players. Many times I felt a system gave you simplicity at the cost of character/class/role identity and customization. I tried to avoid that.
  • Meaningful options. Whether in sci fi or fantasy, we’ve all seen games with lots of character options where you feel many are sub par. I can say that I’ve put in a lot of effort into creating a wide variety of meaningful choices. These choices extend from skills, equipment, augmentation to psionics, spacecraft choices and so on. Whether it is combat or otherwise, I’ve tried to expand the “meta” so it’s not just “pick x y and z options and everything else is a trap… “. You can play space Gandalf/super psionicist , an ex-life coach with a super human charisma and a new found career in stellar trade, with grizzled veteran ex space marine sniper and it is my hope that they will all have a mechanical impact on the game. The same for space combat, I tried to get many roles involved.
  • Tropes and consistency. So I wanted a lot of tropes from classic space opera - things many of us grew up with. Cybertech, psionics, space ships, shields, fighters, battleships, mechs, Wild West space scifi etc… and yet, avoid the things that made you pause and go hmm? You could call it internal consistency (some call it hard sci fi but some consider hard sci fi as in not too far removed from our current understanding of today’s science)
Direct Link to the PDF:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1d6BAFzjuPZsF70yRMV4j8gEHke4U_DcX/view

Character Generator (WIP):
https://storage.googleapis.com/voidengineers/void/index.html

Discord: Discord - A New Way to Chat with Friends & Communities

Facebook: Void Empires : 2750

Email: void2750@gmail.com

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I welcome all your critique, advice, notes on what you like and what you don't!  Feel free to provide them here or to email me at void2750@gmail.com



Thanks and Enjoy!

RebelSky

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Re: Void Empires : 2750
« Reply #1 on: September 30, 2021, 10:30:19 PM »
Definitely pretty, great art from first glance. Will have to give into it more later for sure.

Aglondir

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Re: Void Empires : 2750
« Reply #2 on: October 01, 2021, 12:08:20 AM »
Hi Nerhesi,

Here are some first impressions. They might not be accurate, since I went through the book very fast. 20 minutes can hardly do justice to 300 pages. Still, some of this might be useful. Before I started reading, I was expecting a Traveller heartbreaker, but there's a lot of D20 DNA in here. And I'm not saying that's a bad thing, D20 has some good bits. Here's a legend to my thoughts: (+) is Good, (=) is Ok, (-) is Not so good, and (?) is Don't understand.

(=) I don't really get the title of the game. Void Empires: 2750. I'm assuming 2750 is the year the game is set in, but I don't get the Void Empires part. Maybe it's in the body of the book. but I went too fast?

(+) Love the cover art.

(-) I would have liked a stronger (or more defined) premise. I understand you're making a toolkit for a variety of sci-fi genres, and I like that you mention that even though it's a toolkit, there are underlying elements that will be an influence (I'm guessing Sanity is one.) However, I think I would have liked it better if those things were brought front and center more.

(+) Appreciate the way you open the game with a "What's in the box" approach. You tell us right up front what you're doing with FTL, FTL Comms, Psionics, Augmentations, etc. And I really like the "Whats not in the box." With the exception of mecha, I like your selections.

(+) Attributes: I like the five you picked, and the icons are cool. STR usually is devalued in sci-fi games due to tech and ranged weapons, and you've smartly combined STR and CON.

(?) But I wonder why you use a 1 to 10 scale, then covert that into -1 to +4 modifiers, when a more elegant solution would be to use the mods only. Is the 1 to 10 scale ever used again?

(+) Skills: I like the number and selection of skills. The trend in game design these days is to have short skills lists, and I'm happy to see you didn't do that.

(+) Core mech: 2d6 is a good choice. I can't stand core mechs that try to be different just to be different.

(?) Fate: Choose to ignore a random event and replace it with one you prefer? Need some examples. Can I replace "I got shot in my head" with "Missed me entirely?"

(+) Legendary: Love the +10 bonus once per game if you have rank 5. I might steal that.

(+) Alien races: Original but not too weird. All of them are interesting choices. Love the "tropes" after the names, which tells me instantly what's going on. Space elves! I always get a chuckle when I see the "enlightened, philosophical, ancient race that's smarter, prettier, and just better than humans in every way" race. The racial abilities are fun and varied. Good work here.

(=) Origins and Paths: I like the approach, but I can't help but feel like there should be more (especially Paths.)

(-) Personas: I don't get these. There are only 3: Talent, Expert, and Tragic Hero, and I'm not sure the last fits with the other two, thematically. I feel like you should have designed more or left them out.

(=) Traits: I didn't go through all of these, but I worry about exploitable combos. This can break the game, if you're not careful. In general, I don't like feats that are "skill adders," i.e. Persasive feat adds to the Persuasion skill. I prefer feats to be the stuff that skills and atts don't do.

(+) Psionics: I like the general setup (psi rating and pool) and how Aguments and Psi don't work well together. But I started to fast-forward here.

(+) Advanced & Older Characters: An elegant way to do the Traveller aging bit.

(+) You cannot know everything: Nice bit.

(+) Extended tests: I like what you've done here, with the formulas: Stats (Difficulty, Margin, Frequency.)

(-) Initiative: Declaring lowest to highest, then acting highest to lowest is AWFUL. Tried that with Star Wars d6 2nd Edition. Never doing it again.

(-) Health & Fatigue: This seems too complex. Maybe it works in play, but from a read-through, I'd just use simple HP.

(=) Sanity: Could be fun. I'm not getting the standard "horror/Cthulhu" vibe often associated with Sanity. Looks like you're going for violence causes Sanity loss?

(+) Weapon and armor traits: Very cool.

(+) Med-tech: Great list. Love the drugs.

(+) Bots & Drones: I like the thematic inclusion, which is something I miss in vanilla Traveller.

(+) Augmentation: Same as above.

(-) Warwalkers: Not a fan of mecha, just a personal preference.

(+) Displacement Drive: Interesting. Is this an original creation? I don't think I've seen it before. I like the tactical options and unique situations that it implies (i.e. "bubbles of air.")

(=) Space Combat: Space Combat is probably my least favorite aspect of sci-fi games, so I skipped over most of this section. It looks like you've got four core roles, and they are well thought out, probably an attempt to give everyone something to do.

(+) The Near Quadrant: This looks very cool. I wish you had included the alien name with the polity on the map legend (i.e. Cr’k’t Domains v The Domains.)

(+) Stellar Trade: This looks like a fun mini-game, with placing the dice on the grid.

Conclusion: You've done an amazing amount of work. The subsystems look well-thought out. But I don't think it would drag me away from my Traveller + house rules, which I seldom get to play as it is. Everyone wants to do Star Wars.
« Last Edit: October 01, 2021, 12:14:05 AM by Aglondir »

Nerhesi

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Re: Void Empires : 2750
« Reply #3 on: October 02, 2021, 01:13:38 PM »
Thank you both for your feedback (and your intent to take a deeper look!).

I'll humbly accept the (+) points, and the (=) are valid - they aren't things that have escaped notice.

(-) I would have liked a stronger (or more defined) premise. You're on to something, may add more to this later.

(-) Initiative: Declaring lowest to highest, then acting highest to lowest is AWFUL. Tried that with Star Wars d6 2nd Edition. Never doing it again.  TBH...I know - I just wanted to avoid the flipside of acting first and then having the initiative loser do something, that makes you think... well I wanted to react to that differently!

(-) Health & Fatigue: This seems too complex. Maybe it works in play, but from a read-through, I'd just use simple HP.  This does play out rather simply. In practice, it's basically every FULL 5 points of is 1 health gone. You only take fatigue if your damage is <5 total, or you're being hit by stun weapons.  But it does read a bit of unnecessary complexity.

(-) Warwalkers: Not a fan of mecha, just a personal preference.  Totally understood.  I'm surrounded by people that love them though... granted I want to be clear on this. Mechs, not convertible flying air-mechs or space mechs. These are strictly terrestrial combat between 3-5 meters high "vehicles". This is why I left the vehicles part to the end, I understand it tends to be somewhat behind personal and space combat in the genre (in my experience).

(-) Personas: I don't get these. There are only 3  You hit on something I'm thinking long and hard on. I didnt have them before, and now that I've added them, I may dump them. You'll notice they are not mathematically very different from eachother.  I may just remove them and go to a single "finish your character" choose 3 traits and 15 skill or something generic.  Then I may go back and add more paths... this may reduce complexity while still having rich customization choices.