Uqbar Formerly military, currently militant History Uqbar’s lifeless – for the most part. Some of the planet’s spectacular ravines have been roofed over and pressurised, creating a few habitable zones. The planet’s atmosphere is thin and unbreathable – it’s mostly argon – and lights up with astounding flares and aurorae as radiation from the collapsed […]
Themis Prime Heavily Populated, Bitterly Divided History Many worlds can support life; few allow it to thrive. Themis Prime was one of the rare eden of the Bleed, a world with a biosphere requiring only minor tweaks compatible with most of the major Combine species. Humans, Balla and Tavak all settled on this world, united […]
Goliath Gas giant with many secrets Sullen, mighty Goliath dominates the outer reaches of the Themis System. The gas giant’s many moons are uninhabited apart from a few research, refuelling or prospecting outposts, although there are likely secret weapons dumps left by General Gatar’s forces hidden here too, concealed by the electromagnetic flux. Only Goliath-C […]
The Campaign The key to any Station Duty campaign: layers. Everything – every character, every faction, every location – should have a surface layer that’s immediately obvious, and hidden depths that must be uncovered. These don’t all have to be dark secrets or criminal schemes – it’s fine, say, to have the Lasers discover that […]
Ashen Stars uses the episodic ‘planet-of-the-week’ or ‘case-of-the-week’ approach to adventures – the Lasers get an assignment, show up, solve the mystery, and move on to some other part of the Bleed. It’s Have Starship, Will Travel.In a Station Duty campaign, the Lasers are on permanent assignment to a particularly troubled system or sector, a […]
Play the gritty reboot of your favorite science fiction TV series.
Winner of the 2012 Silver ENnie award for Best Setting, designed by RPG legend Robin D. Laws and powered by the GUMSHOE investigative roleplaying system.
Out here in the Bleed, you’re the closest thing there is to a higher authority. You’re Licensed Autonomous Zone Effectuators —”lasers” for short. You’re the seasoned freelancers that local leaders call whenever a situation is too tough, too baffling, or simply too weird for them to handle. It’s a dirty job, but it pays. And sometimes, you get to make a difference.
In Ashen Stars you take on the role of freelance troubleshooters and law enforcers operating in a remote sector of space called the Bleed. Amid the ashes of a devastating war that ended with a massive retreat by the Combine, you’ll solve mysteries, fix thorny problems, and explore strange corners of space — balancing the promise of a quick buck against the need to maintain a reputation that wins you lucrative contracts, and pays the upkeep on your ship and your cyber- and viroware enhancements.
Play one of seven species:
- The eerily beautiful, nature-loving, emotion-fearing balla
- The cybes, former humans radically altered by cybernetic and genetic science
- The durugh, hunched, furtive ex-enemies of the Combine who can momentarily phase through solid matter.
- The humans, adaptable, resourceful, and numerous.
- The kch-thk, warrior locust people who migrate to new bodies when their old ones are destroyed.
- The armadillo-like tavak, followers of a serene warrior ethic.
- The vas mal, former near-omnisicent energy beings devolved by disaster into misshapen humanoid form.
Ashen Stars includes:
- Extensive, streamlined rules for space combat
- 14 different types of ship
- A rogues gallery of NPC threats and hostile species
- A short adventure to get you started in the Bleed.
by Chris Sellers I recently ran a short campaign of Ashen Stars where the group played crooks instead of Lasers. They were honorable thieves, like the crew of “Firefly,” or maybe the Han Solo we’ll see in Solo. The game was set in a vast Bleed where they also had to dodge a still-powerful Combine. […]
There are a lot of books in the pipeline right now, but none of them are quite cooked yet, so here’s a little bit of whimsy before the cannon of self-promotion is brought to bear on this space. As you know, Bob, Icons are a lovely little mechanic from 13th Age that model the player […]
A column about Roleplaying by Robin D. Laws At the height of the Combine’s prosperity prior to the Mohilar War, recreational drugs had been rendered safe by technology. All manner of pleasurable sensations could be delivered as viral treatments encoded with anti-addictive measures. Physical wear and tear on the body caused by their side effects […]