Voyagers in the Dark
A downloadable game
WHAT IS THIS?
- This is a tabletop roleplaying game where you play the crew of a science vessel on a voyage through the cosmos. Your mission: to visit an unexplored region of space to recover intel and any surviving crew from an Allied vessel in hiding. There’s warp drives, replicators, psionic powers, otherworldly alien species, and powerful beam weapons.
- You and the other players create the commanding officers of the SS Venture—and then act to uphold the United Flotilla’s Directives, while protecting the homeworlds of the Galactic Alliance from danger.
- Game play focuses on missions with momentary action (with occasional flashbacks) and the downtime between missions when you go to warp, repair, recover, and pursue personal interests.
WHAT YOU CAN EXPECT
- A simplified, yet extraordinarily flexible resolution system. To streamline discussion and get to the fun, actions are simply risky (the Universe Player tells you what's at stake), or we don't bother to roll it. And then there are bold actions (for when you are overreaching or suffer a serious disadvantage). Those earn you potential, success or not, so the game does care about that.
- Assymetric gameplay. Everyone is a player. Players all get roles (starting with Universe Player and Commander). Unfilled roles are shared by all players - even the Universe Player. This design is not just FitD, it's also influenced by Agon (aka the Paragon system). Don't use the SRD for this game, in other words. All you need to play is included.
- Dice pools are similarly easy to calculate: roll 1 six-sided die (1d) if your assigned department helps, +1d if your background helps, and +1d if your specialties help. And you can also get up to two more dice (for a total of five): take +1d to the roll if you accept a Compromise or exert effort, and +1d (in the form of an assist die from a fellow CO). EZPZ.
- Deceptively simple character creation. To allow for maximum creative expression, most choices during the process are freeform fill-in-the-blanks (see right).
- Story mechanics that are fiction-driven ("when Iota is consumed..") or player-driven ("when you give a fellow CO a nickname, and it sticks.."): a system for awarding commendations, positive-themed replacement for vice (pastimes), and the freedom to decide what these Allied alien species who serve the United Flotilla are like. You decide how weird these otherworldly creatures are; several species and their homeworlds are named, but their traits are blank.
- COMING SOON: random generators for planets, mutations, colors (for stars, or eyes!), etc. Write-ups featuring mysterious descriptions and evocative suggestions of what might be faced within the encounters with the fleet, the solar collection array, and the enemy's secret base.
This work is inspired by a number of fictional sources, which your potential players might be familiar with:
- The collective works of Gene Roddenberry, et.al., in particular the following TV series and movies.. Star Trek (1966-1969), Star Trek: the Next Generation (1987-1994), Star Trek: Discovery (2017-present). Also Star Trek: the Motion Picture (1975)—yes, the weird one with V’ger.
Plus other early works of science and military fiction like:
- Forbidden Planet (1956),
- The Twilight Zone (1959), and
- Mash (1972).
Also the tabletop RPG Band of Blades (2019).
Number of players: 3-6.
Age of players: 13+.
Length: 2-5 hours per session.
Page Count: 16 (full game). The demo version features 4 pages of handouts you absolutely need to create characters and play. However, the full game is recommended for the best experience - especially GMs planning to run the game. Either way, enjoy!
Included if you purchase:
- Complete rules and inspiring fiction for a long-term campaign or playthrough of the starting situation.
- Access to future versions of this game. Test versions will go to trusted players who reach out on Discord or social media, and paid supporters. All purchasers also get access to all future updates of the PDF version of this game.
- Direct support on how to play from me (until I can't handle the numbers anymore).
In order to download this game you must purchase it at or above the minimum price of $1 USD. You will get access to the following files:
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