Mindjammer RPG – Transhuman Science-Fiction Roleplaying
That picture on the right-hand side – by the awesome Jason Juta – is Thaddeus Clay, a culture agent controller from the Security and Cultural Integrity Instrumentality, better known as SCI Force. The ghost images around his head represent his virtual vision – his view into the Mindscape, the vast interstellar shared information storage and communications medium, provided by his Mindscape implant. As a SCI Force controller, Clay isn’t just able to communicate his thoughts to others, to upload and download memories and sensory impressions – known as thoughtcasts – to the Mindscape, but he’s also able to interact directly with other people’s implants, sometimes even reading surface thoughts, making suggestions, and investigating their contacts, actions, and even what enhancements and abilities they have – a phenomenon known as technopsi. He’s wearing a p-suit – a suit of intelligent adaptive weave armour, with a built-in bio-med array and personal sensor suite – with a collar in the shape of the SCI Force insignia.
Clay’s job is simple: to lead a team of culture agents in missions on worlds deep in cultural conflict, whether resisting integration into the Commonality, or threatening the Commonality with dangerous memes and other ideologies. Cultural ops can be as big as changing the mindset of an entire culture, or as small-scale as removing a dangerous despot from power.
Clay is an example of just one sort of character you can play in Mindjammer – The Roleplaying Game. The game provides rules for cultural operations, Mindscape activities, interacting with worlds, cultures, and organisations, and changing the way they think and do business, as violently or as peacefully as you need.
But there’s so much more. Last week I posted the character sheet for Max Proffitt, one of the “New Traders”, the rag-tag bunch of ne’er-do-wells, freelancers, and rogues who ply the spacelanes at the Commonality’s edges, running cultural embargoes and taking advantage of the many commercial opportunities thrown up by the great cultural chaos known as the Rediscovery. Mindjammer provides unique rules for trading campaigns, tailored for the post-scarcity economy of the New Commonality of Humankind and the often violent clash of cultures on its frontier.
The Commonality is a vast place. Commonality Space is some 3000 light years across, with tens of thousands of worlds, whether fledgling settlements, synth-colonies, or Lost Colony worlds settled during the ancient First Age of Space. Conflict is everywhere – sometimes political, filled with intrigue and high-stakes gambits; sometimes military, as worlds violently resist the Commonality’s overtures; sometimes personal, as individuals go beyond what it means to be human, interacting with the Planetary Intelligence, embarking upon post-human evolutionary paths.
The document to your left is a 3-page preview from our upcoming Mindjammer – The Roleplaying Game, available November 2013. It’s from the introduction chapter, and gives you a breakdown of what you can find in this bumper hardback’s 24 chapters. We’ve tried to cater for all your favourite science-fiction campaign styles in the game: you can play explorers beyond the Fringe, searching for new worlds and lost civilisations, identifying and even contacting bizarre alien life forms; cyborgs and transhumans in the byzantine underworlds of the Core Worlds; hardened mercs on the Frontier, fighting for all sides; uplifted animals resisting Venu incursions in the nascent Sentient Alliance; Space Force pilots patrolling the Q-Zone; contact teams, traders, scientists, and more. You can play divergent hominids, augmented humans, synthetics, xenomorph uplifts, even aliens. You can even play sentient starships as characters, and join your away teams in remote avatars. Mindjammer runs the gamut of science-fiction genres, tropes, and styles, from gritty to heroic, space opera to hard SF, light to dark.
Next week, we’ll take a look at some of the things we’ve done in the game with the Fate Core extras rules, beginning with the cultures, genotypes, and character occupations. Let us know what you think – and if you have any questions, fire away!