Mindjammer RPG – At last it’s coming!
After almost a year on the biggest roleplaying game project I’ve ever worked on, it’s coming at last. The Mindjammer 2nd edition roleplaying game, built from the ground up using the brand-new Fate Core engine, is almost here!
It’s amazing to think that it’s now just over 3 years since the first edition Mindjammer (“Starblazer Adventures in the Second Age of Space”) won the Judges Spotlight Award at the 2010 ENnies. The time between then and now has flown – and seen a complete re-think to the Mindjammer game as first we’ve launched Mindjammer Press, and second we’ve re-tooled the whole game to work with the awesome 4th edition Fate Core RPG, published by Evil Hat Productions this year. We’ve gone from an 80,000-word softback supplement for Starblazer Adventures, with artwork from the old Starblazer comics, to a brand new hardback game over twice the size, completely standalone, and the beginning of a brand new line of Mindjammer products.
But now we’re approaching the end of that process. The new roleplaying game, Mindjammer – Transhuman Adventure in the Second Age of Space, is in layout, and we’re gradually approaching launch. We’re expecting the PDF to go on sale in late November, with the hardback to follow. Watch this space…
Over the coming weeks in the build-up to launch I’m going to be blogging about the new game – showcasing artwork, presenting concepts and snippets from the core book, and trying my best to answer questions. Today we’re making a modest start, with the introduction of the new character writeup for Max Proffitt, roguish new trader and hero of 1st edition Mindjammer and the Mindjammer novel.Check out the new character sheet. There’s a lot to note there. First, you’ll be familiar with aspects, skills, and stunts from Fate in general; but look at the two sections Halo and Other Extras. Mindjammer – The Roleplaying Game makes extensive use of Fate Core extras – those additions to characters which can be skills, stunts, aspects, or aggregates of all or some of those, and which represent things external to a character but which nevertheless are parts of a character. At their simplest, extras can be items of equipment – but in Mindjammer we take them a lot further, to have them representing genurgic enhancements, special abilities, vehicles, starships, organisations, cultures, and more. Look at the entry for the Rosemary Princess, Max’s Profit-class new trader starship, which has been impounded by SCI Force since that incident with Doctor Miserius… That’s one of the things we’re doing with extras; in old Mindjammer, you used to need a full “starship sheet” for your starship – in Mindjammer – The Roleplaying Game you can still do that, but you can also have a starship included directly in your character sheet like this, and do all kinds of cool things with it. For example, check out Max’s stunts – Max is a major starship guy, and all of his stunts let him use his own skills in very special ways instead of his starship having to have those skills. Most people with the Ranged Combat skill can just shoot guns; Max, with the “Gunnery” stunt, can use his Ranged Combat skill to attack starships with no penalties for differences in size, representing the fact that he’s the pilot of the Rosemary Princess and also its gunner.
Next, check out the Halo section on Max’s character sheet. Max only has his Mindscape Implant in there, but other characters (think Thaddeus Clay or Jackson Stark) have other abilities, too. Your halo is all those abilities you have because of your access to the Mindscape. That includes things like skill chips, exomemories, technopsi abilities, even remote and virtual enhancements and some genurgic abilities (like Mindscape-fuelled hyperintelligence). Your halo abilities, while being private to you, are to some extent exposed via the Mindscape to unscrupulous hackers, and can be interfered with, damaged, and even stolen by those with special ops implants or black chips. There are lots of other cool things you can do with your halo – it’s where your individual personality begins to touch with the great virtual medium of the Mindscape, and gradually coalesce with the minds and personalities of others. In the new Mindjammer, we’ve made your character’s halo something directly accessible by the rules.
There are other things on this character sheet too – you’ll see some renamed skills, and the presence of a credit stress track for those games where you just have to get into corporacies, organisations, and even interstellar trading. There’s a whole section on what interstellar trading even means in the Commonality of the 17th millennium. Economically speaking, interstellar trading is always difficult to justify in science-fiction – it’s usually vastly more efficient to manufacture something in a star system than transport it between the stars – but we’ve tied the whole concept in with the Mindscape, Rediscovery, the Expansionary Era, embargoes, and an up-to-date take on resources and the nature and make-up of star systems and planets, to provide what we hope will be a compelling new way to run science-fiction trading campaigns if that’s what you want.
Of course, Mindjammer is a complete transhuman science-fiction game, and there are many ways to play. Next week, I’ll take a look at the themes, tropes, and styles of play Mindjammer addresses, and sort of the many different kinds of game it supports. In the meantime, drop me a line below if you have any questions, or come and join us at the Mindjammer Google+ community as we approach the launch of Mindjammer – The Roleplaying Game!
All the best,