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$1,341
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Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Sat, January 21 2012 6:43 AM UTC +00:00
Felipe S. SilvaBy Felipe S. Silva
First created
Felipe S. SilvaBy Felipe S. Silva
First created
$1,341
pledged of $18,000pledged of $18,000 goal
11
backers
0seconds to go
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Sat, January 21 2012 6:43 AM UTC +00:00

About

Earth is no more, it was made uninhabitable from centuries of nuclear warfare and bio-engineered plagues. Its survivors scattered across space, trying desperately to start anew. This is not how we imagined starting our interstellar age, but these are the cards we were dealt and, if anything, mankind is persistent.

Bitdust is a tabletop roleplaying game about stories in an interstellar future, one in which humanity along with countless other races are able to engage in travel to distant star-systems and far-flung regions of the universe.

In Bitdust, players take the role of extraordinary citizens in a time where space travel, exploration, and gritty survival along nefarious space-ports are commonplace.

Cultures clash, a dark mystery slowly swallows entire settlements, civil wars erupt, and megacorporations gamble with the lives of people in hopes of expanding their profits.

In development for 5 years, Bitdust has evolved through many revisions while in closed playtest and has finally reached its final year of development. And now we need the help of Kickstarter to help us fund this final long push. In exchange, we'll be providing backers with an exclusive pre-release Beta version of Bitdust RPG.

Bitdust RPG Beta

The Beta version of Bitdust will contain the game's basic rules which will be expanded monthly via the Bitdust Design Newsletter and PDFs. These expansions will start in April 2012 and continue until April 2013. They will provide new rules and content adding depth to the game and eventually providing backers with a massive Bitdust archive.

Tell Me More About Bitdust RPG

Bitdust is about exploration, corporate intrigue, and survival. It's about colonialism, science and spirituality, conspiracy and conflict. But beyond this, it's about how humanity will view itself and adapt in the context of a future where they are not in control of everything.

Humanity's population has dwindled and is only now able to rebuild. Survivors of a lost Earth are left in a universe that is even bigger than they could have imagined before and where they are not at the top of the food chain.

Humans and their views are no longer the point on which all of creation revolves around. They are faced with the reality that there are other intelligent races, each with their own tragic faults and gifts, who view the universe very differently and are beyond humanity's ability to command, control, and subdue.

It's a humbling experience.

How will humanity work to make their voice heard when they cannot simply exert their will through force? How will their exposure to alien cultures change their own? What will happen to our beliefs when faced with those of others? Will we see ourselves any differently?

Will humanity succeed in working together with others or we will resort to our old habits of conquest and egocentrism?

Through these questions Bitdust also becomes a game about characters and their intimate struggle with the reality of this possible future.

A Culture of Travel

The idea of travel is something that sparks inspiration and excitement in the hearts of many. At its core it's about having new experiences, exploring the unknown and seeing the unexpected.

Bitdust embraces this concept of travel and incorporates it within its design and setting: traveling from spaceport to spaceport, meeting new and exciting people, going to uncharted places and risking your life alongside strangers.

If life is measured by the amount of worthwhile experiences, travel is an activity that provides us an abundance of it. Bitdust is built on this Culture of Travel and provides Gamemasters with the tools to create experiences.

What about this thing, “Bitdust”?

Bitdust is a fictional element found in nature which is rarely present in a planetary body, impossible to create in a lab, and of universal value due to its consistent rarity across space.

It's become the currency of choice across star systems and always sought-out by Dusters. However, it holds possibly even more importance in its role in developing faster-than-light travel. Bitdust is used to create hyperdrives and wormhole drives which allow Dusters to travel across the universe.

What are "Dusters"?

The term "Duster" is both derogatory and compliment and refers to those individuals who have travelled across the stars.

Those who never leave their homeworld or floating city see travel as a way to pick up bad habits and diseases, to breed irrational sympathies and encourage frivolity.

Regardless, there is always a mark of respect allotted towards Dusters for they have braved the stars and survived dangers most will never face. Their hands have touched Bitdust, the revered universal currency used to purchase goods and services from those who are not of their kind. 

What about the Game Mechanics?

The Bitdust RPG uses an original classless and skill-based system similar to video games like the Fallout series and tabletop games like World of Darkness. Characters increase in ability and skill over time but they are never fully invulnerable or god-like. Any character or creature encountered may pose a threat given the right circumstances.

It uses mainly a d20 (a twenty-sided die) and dice pools of d6 (six-sided dice) for most tasks.

Character attributes, bonuses to dice rolls, total health, and skill points never reach astronomical numbers and instead vary in a small range allowing for easy spontaneous improvisation of stats and situations.

The game emphasizes roleplaying, characters are born under Signs of Destiny which indicate a kind of behavior that if they act on or against, (ex: aiding the less fortunate at great risk) they can earn experience which will further strengthen and develop their character.

Science and Anthropology also play a significant role in the game and alongside combat, characters will perform round-by-round medical procedures, combat pathogens, hack computers, and document alien cultures.

Finally, players will be selecting Talents, unique perks that allow them to use a skill or perform an action in a way they could not do so before like building their own robots or machines, handling explosives, and learning martial arts.

Tell Me About Combat

Combat in Bitdust is gritty but survivable forcing players to seek cover as they shoot at their foes or become skilled in deflecting fire in order to engage in melee combat. Although characters take heavy amounts of damage, most of it is easily recoverable through healing products or over small blocks of time if protective gear is worn.

There are also environmental hazards that factor into combat like explosive barrels, precariously hanging structures, and debris. Players will need to use their environment to their advantage if they wish to survive or it will be used against them.

How About Starship Combat?

Starship combat is another major part of the game system and allows players to transition into specific starship roles such as Engineer, Navigator, Systems Operator, Captain, and Gunner.

Each of these positions bolsters unique tasks that involve more than just a die roll and use the layout of the ship to keep shorthand track of where damage is taken and what parts of the ship begin to fail throughout the Starship Combat encounter.

Rules for boarding enemy ships also exist and such actions seamlessly happen side-by-side with Starship Combat.

Tell Me More About Beyond The Dice

Beyond The Dice is basically the idea that a player gets to do something else besides rolling dice to determine whether or not a character action was successful. It's suppose to challenge players in a different way and reward them for something other than just a good die roll.

Almost every time, a Beyond The Dice activity's difficulty is adjusted by how well skilled the player's character is at the activity in question. This way, it's not completely on the player to succeed. The task is indeed easier if their character is skilled at it.

Some Beyond The Dice activities are Hacking, Persuasion, and Gaining Combat Advantage. They take the shape of quick puzzles or games of bluff and logic.

Types of Adventure

There are many kinds of stories that can be told in Bitdust and one is only limited by their imagination. Players can be traders, mercenaries, or cargo holders. Or maybe they're explorers charting new territories for governments or corporations.

Adventures could even take place entirely planet-side and be about colonists trying to forge a new life.

Players could even stand for a cause as freedom fighters, military personnel, or activists. Maybe they play doctors and nurses entering dangerous worlds to help those left to waste or engineers sent to build structures in far distant places.

What kinds of Playable-Races Will Bitdust Have?

The final core rulebook will have 14 playable races including Humans.

Each race was carefully constructed from their origin to their rise as a civilization. Their history, culture, and environment shaped their adaptations and the racial abilities available for players to pick from.

Each race has a few common racial abilities which all people of that race share and a few distinct racial abilities of which a person only has one. This allows for more diversity as player characters of the same race might each have different unique racial abilities.

There are 6 human-like races that share a common ancestry and 8 extremely alien races to pick from. This should give players who want to stay close to human a range of choices while still allowing those who want to go alien a broad spectrum that goes from aquatic species to physically inept but powerfully telekinetic gelatinous beings.

Here Are Some of Them:

Humans

Innovative and charismatic species with a keen ability to learn new things but divided as a people as how to start anew.

Treskos

Inquisitive and very likable, they are often the social glue that binds a diverse crew that would otherwise not get along but ironically cannot work well together amongst themselves.

Martians

Once wise and uniquely pacifist, after thousands of years of slavery the Martians have grown to be incredibly strong but belligerent and impulsive in their struggle for liberation and territory. At their worst, they can easily become extremists.

Loth

The Loth, better known as the Dames and Clydes, are a cold and calculating race of telepathic people. Their dark history forced them to divorce themselves of empathy and trust. They live for themselves and the mutual success of their corporations in a culture of deceit and betrayal.

Halash

A relatively young species in their stone-age, the Halash were involuntarily elevated to interstellar culture by economic interests who wished to exploit their planet. Their naiveté leads them to be easily exploited but their primitive biology also allows them to easily survive in the harshest of conditions.

Sulti

A spider-like people with a tight knit sense of community, the Sulti share few of their secrets with outsiders but seem to always have their hands in every affair. Their numbers are few so they fill their ranks with robotic assistants and android laborers.

Gagalix

A nearly helpless gelatinous species whose very success depended solely on communal telekinetic efforts. They are now for the first time experiencing life as individuals because of technology and this change in culture has violently divided this once singular people.

Navali

Born to a savage planet with towering beasts and merciless conditions, the Navali nearly worship the idea of natural selection and are their own worst enemies. Worse still, their sense of imagination stretches as far as their poison sting tails as it was deemed useless and was intentionally, almost entirely rooted out from their species.

Brincapeh

Abundant in number almost to absurdity and seen as hopelessly spiritual, the Brincapeh are often interpreted as an obstacle to interstellar expansion and a very powerful obstacle indeed. They view each planetary body as having a life force or spirit that industrialization must respect and grow around of, even at great financial cost. This had lead to constant conflicts with other cultures who reject their values.

Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $20 or more About $20

    Get listed as an "Original Duster" on all releases of the Bitdust RPG Core Rules. Receive in PDF both the pre-release Bitdust RPG Beta and the Bitdust Intro Setting Guide.

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    Pledge $60 or more About $60

    Above + Bitdust RPG Beta in print + Exclusive access to the Bitdust Design Newsletter with major monthly Rules and Content Expansions for the game from April 2012 to April 2013.

    Also, you'll get to participate in votes and activities that will decide the direction of major events in the game's setting. Please Add 10$ for shipping outside the U.S.

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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $120 or more About $120

    Above + Bitdust Builder's Club "Recruit" (work alongside us to create a world or settlement for an existing race which will become a prominent Duster stop and will be featured & illustrated in the final version of the game). You will be credited for your participation and featured as a "Bitdust Builder" on all releases of the game's core rules. + An autographed and numbered edition of Bitdust RPG Beta instead of the regular print version. Please Add 10$ for shipping outside the U.S.

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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $300 or more About $300

    Above + a second autographed and numbered print version of Bitdust RPG Beta + a limited print version of Bitdust RPG Beta with a different cover illustration that has your name inscribed somewhere within the image by the cover artist. + Bitdust Builder's Club "Chief" (work alongside us to design a prominent NPC to be illustrated and featured in the final release of the game).

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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    Above + free Lifetime Pre-Release PDFs of all Bitdust products + Bitdust Builder's Club "Master" (Work alongside us to create one of the final 3 core playable races of Bitdust to be featured in the game's final release. This is the perfect way to make a permanent contribution to the game that will be expanded and written about in subsequent Bitdust products.)

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Funding period

- (45 days)