What is Aliens & Asteroids?
Aliens & Asteroids is a tabletop roleplaying game with a streamlined mechanic, fast character creation, and easy ways to ratchet up the dramatic tension of every encounter. The rules are focused on allowing you to tell exciting stories around alien encounters, abductions, combats, and horrors, inspired by science-fiction films like Aliens and Starship Troopers, computer games like X-COM: UFO Defense, and television shows like Babylon-5 and The Expanse.
Aliens & Asteroids is written to evoke the terror of being on a spaceship in the middle of nowhere being stalked by creatures only wanting to survive and thrive. Maybe you’re a tasty morsel. Maybe you’re a warm body for hosting the next generation of horrors. But it’s definitely going to come down to you or them.
The setting is a future of hope, wonder, expansion, and profit as humankind stretches beyond the cramped borders of our solar system and branches out to other nearby star systems. The Dominion has but two goals: gather power and gather wealth. To that end, they employ billions of men, women, and robots across multiple star systems to do their bidding. And sometimes those minions get into trouble.
That’s where you come in as members of the Dominion Space Forces (DSF). The “suits” who run the Dominion call you soldiers but you know you’re really expendable space marines, sent out to protect their assets across the universe.
Are there aliens? Yes! We’ve come into contact with a number of alien species so far, including the Grey Men, the Skaali, and the Gollus. We are far from alone in the greater universe. Some want us for spare parts. Some just want us to leave them alone. But some almost certainly want us all dead.
And out there, somewhere waiting in the void, is the Dread: an alien species determined to wipe out life where they find it. Unfortunately for us, the Dominion presents a tasty buffet of worlds to choose from these days and Earth would just be the icing on the cake.
Aliens & Asteroids includes the following in the core game:
- Rules for playing as space marines in an outfit sent out to save people and resources from destruction.
- Rules for one referee and a group of players.
- A chapter on creating missions with objectives that affect your space marines.
- Chapters on the universe, human interests, and the aliens who also live there.
- And much more! Expansions and stretch goals will allow you to tell stories of UFO invasions, alien infestations, and saving humankind from its ultimate destruction!
The core book is written and in editing/revisions! What we add to it is dependent on you, our awesome fans and backers!
The game will be illustrated by an amazing group of artists, rendering weapons, aliens, and spaceships to help you leverage artwork in your own campaigns as you explore the galaxy!
How does Aliens & Asteroids play?
The game utilizes a new system known as Inverse20, which offers a fast resolution mechanic that can be adapted quickly at the table to meet the needs of nearly anything you encounter.
It’s a little different than what you’re probably used to as far as mechanics, but the basic concept is simple: Roll a d20 to get a number equal to or less than a Target Number (TN) which is determined by your stat. Roll a 1 or the TN, that’s a Critical Success (even on impossible tasks). If you roll a 20, that’s a Critical Fail and has various consequences.
Depending on the task and your character’s abilities, the roll may be at an Advantage (roll 2d20 and take the lower number) or a Disadvantage (roll 2d20 and take the higher number). Succeed or fail, you then deal with the consequences.
That’s really it for mechanics!
What's character creation like?
Character creation is easy and happens in a few steps:
1. Origin: Where are they from? Where were they raised? Where have they lived their lives before joining the ranks of the Space Marines?
2. Attributes: How capable are they in certain broad categories of activities? Roll a couple of dice each for Accuracy, Athletics, Awareness, Education, Morale, Presence, and Toughness.
3. Childhood Trait: What is the main skill or interest they learned while growing up?
4. Career Path: What career have they chosen to pursue in the Space Marines? Commander? Medic? Scientist? Space Marine? Technician? And what traits are they pursuing in that path?
5. Finishing Touches: What standard equipment were they issued when their training at the academy was finished and what have they purchased for themselves?
And you're done!
But what is the Dread?
"The Dread" is a concept in two parts. First, it represents a malevolent alien species intent on draining the life from inhabited worlds. And second, it represents a mechanic that can be used to ramp up the tension between a squad of space marines and the enemies they face across the table.
Each adventure is given a “Dread Rating,” which grants the Referee and PCs an initial pool of Dread and Glory to pull from. So if an adventure is rated for 2 Dread, the Referee has 2 Dread Points and the PCs have 2 Glory Points. These points can be used to affect the game in many ways and they ebb and flow during each game session.
The number of points in each pool can change due to events that occur during a session, such as a Natural 1 or a Natural 20 rolled by a player. And both Referees and players can use these points to change the situation when it needs it. The Referee can increase the number of enemies with reinforcements, give enemies extra actions, and even change the initiative order to ratchet up the pressure. But the players can use their points as well - before and during a session - to reset the balance of power, granting an extra action, make an attack "go critical," or heal a PC during a crucial moment.
With Dread points, the Game Master can add an extra dramatic edge on both sides of the table to really ratchet up the tension and terror!
Who are we?
Brian “Fitz” Fitzpatrick is the main force behind Moebius Adventures, carrying on a legacy born when the company began in the 1990s. He's been keeping ideas alive, exploring the use of random tables, and enjoying creating adventures and extras for Mazes & Perils in the last couple of years. Now he's taking on the galaxy with Aliens & Asteroids!
Alan Bahr is the head honcho behind Gallant Knight Games and a game designer best known for Planet Mercenary: The Roleplaying Game, based on the space opera webcomic Schlock Mercenary, and the TinyD6 line of games. He’s the design lead on Tiny Frontiers, Cold Shadows, and many other projects. He’s an avid film buff, loves smooth jazz, clever roleplaying games, and his amazing wife.
Peter Saga has been published in Gygax Magazine and specializes in black and white old school style line art in the fantasy, superhero, and science fiction genres. His art has found its way into quite a few Moebius Adventures products in recent years. He has a degree in Graphic Design Applied Sciences and resides in Nashville, Tennessee with his wife.
Jason “Banditt” Adams has been part of the look and feel of Moebius Adventures since he did the cover for the Moebius Adventures Core Rules book in 2007. He's been exploring the outer rim for Aliens & Asteroids for a few months now, pondering cool alien art the whole time!
Eric Bloat resides in Louisville, KY with his wife Jaime and their two teenagers Chaz and Kristen. Owner of Bloat Games, a small independent game publishing company and author of SURVIVE THIS!! Zombies!, Dark Places & Demogorgons, The Vigilante Hack, and A City Full of Sinners. In his free time, he posts videos on his YouTube account, Eric from Bloat Games, where he rambles on about his love of roleplaying games and all things nerdy.
Elizabeth Chaipraditkul is a game developer and writer who lives in the Netherlands. She is the owner and founder of Angry Hamster Publishing, a tabletop role play company. She is also the lead developer of the Crescent Empire book for 7th Sea by John Wick Presents, and has written for companies such as Khepera Publishing and Third Eye Games. When not in her own imaginary world Liz keeps busy with crafting and walking her dog. You can find out more about her games at angryhamsterpublishing.com and follow her on Twitter @angryhamsterrpg.
Wendelyn Reischl is a freelance writer/game developer and a lifelong gamer with a deep love of role playing. She made her debut in the gaming industry in 2016 developing [NM 156] and contributing to Heaven’s Collapse each from Post World Games. Wendy has played in thousands of games and runs a plethora of indie RPGs and thematic board games. Her real life character class is Face due to a nearly superhuman ability to network, her relentless drive to plan and host events, years of public speaking training, and ability to harness vast groups of people and wield them towards a desired outcome. Wendy has been a force in the Colorado gaming community for a decade as the public leader of the Denver RPG meetup and for the past year as the Vice President of Gamers Giving Inc. a charity organization that hosts table top gaming events. Her goal is to expand, uplift and unite the gaming community. Wendy lives in Denver, Colorado with her husband Brian, their cat Zuul, and often a houseful of gamers.
Chris Kentlea is the owner/operator of Ennead Games. Has been playing games and adding to his library of RPG-related books for more time than he cares to admit. Is ruled over by a small black cat and never has enough dice when he needs them. You can find out more about Ennead at their website enneadgames.com and on twitter @EnneadGames.
Mari Murdock is a freelance writer who specializes in gaming fiction, genre fiction, and academic writing. She has worked with various game companies since 2014, including Alderac Entertainment Group and Fantasy Flight Games, writing fiction for projects such as The Legend of the Five Rings. Besides freelance work, her current projects include studying toward a master’s degree and working on writing comic books with her husband. When Mari is not studying, writing, or gaming, she loves watching film adaptations of books, throwing costume parties for all occasions, and pretending her beagle can understand English.
Dianna Gunn is a freelance writer by day and a fantasy author by night. Her work has appeared in Tiny Frontiers: Mecha and Monsters and Tiny Dungeon:2e. Her first book, Keeper of the Dawn, was released in April 2017 fhrough The Book Smugglers Publishing. She also blogs about writing, mental health, and creativity at http://www.thedabbler.ca.
Our stretch goals revolve around expanding the universe of wonder and horror! We'll be adding new pages to the book, detailing aliens, organizations, locations, and so much more.
- $3000: Game funded!
- $4000: Grey Base: Ebickyl Asteroid -- A new adventure extending the adventure in the book as your heroes explore an apparently abandoned asteroid base of the Greys in an attempt to learn more about their plans for human prisoners.
- $5000: Elevator on Mimas -- Continuing the saga of the Grey Men threat, the heroes are sent to a distant moon of Saturn and must survive an unexpected challenge.
- $6000: Venusian Diplomacy -- A potential overture from the reclusive, war-like Skaali opens up and the heroes are asked to protect a diplomatic envoy. What could possibly go wrong?
- $7000: Mystery on BANCE-3 -- On their way to assignments in the next system, the heroes stumble upon a mystery involving a dead human, a strange android, and a corporation that is not what it seems.
- $8000: A Colony in Ruins -- A mining colony on the edge of the Trappist-1 system sends a distress signal and then fall silent. The heroes must investigate and save whoever they can from a new threat.
- $9000: Quest for the Solar Chaser by Eric Bloat! An adventure on the edge of the Stellar Graveyard introducing a new form of the Dread as your heroes seek to discover the fate and possibly rescue the crew of a missing Excursori ship.
- $10000: Art, art, art! At this level, we ask Jeremy and the gang at Outland Entertainment to crank out more amazing art for the main Aliens & Asteroids book, exploring the Dread in all its gory glory!
As we surpass our funding goal, we'll be unveiling stretch goals from industry veterans such as Elizabeth Chaipraditkul, Wendelyn Reischl, and Chris Kentlea. At that time we'll reveal what they'll be contributing to the game!
After $10,000 we're smart enough to realize that this is a first Kickstarter and we don't want to bite off more than we can chew. We'll be stopping with defined stretch goals at that point. However, we'll be making sure you get the best product, and we don't intend to stop improving what we are delivering just because all the stretch goals are unlocked!
Risks and challenges
Q: Can Moebius Adventures handle this project?
A: Though this is Fitz's first Kickstarter, he's got the backing of Alan Bahr, who has managed quite a few successful Kickstarters such as Tiny Frontiers, Cold Shadows, and others. Alan's track record of on time fulfillment is one of the reasons Fitz chose Alan and Gallant Knight Games to help out with this project.
Q: What if the text isn't finished?
A: The draft text of all the rules is 100% done and will be made available for backers after the Kickstarter funds and closes (generally we wait until we have the funds, and we've done a close edit). The only text we're waiting on will be the stretch goals and as we depend on the backers to determine what needs to be written, those will come throughout and after the Kickstarter. However, everyone we're working with is a professional and we have no concerns.
Q: What if the complexity of the project overwhelms Moebius Adventures?
A: We have straight forward pledge levels to make it easy to manage, and we've budgeted our stretch goals up to our cap. In order to keep the project manageable for our small team, we've elected to minimize our stretch goals to text or art increases.
Q: What about delays in art?
A: We have most of the art in hand already and have a great relationship with our artists. If anything comes up, we'll leverage the amazing team at Outland Entertainment to help us out!
Q: What about shipping?
A: Shipping will be handled via USPS and shipping charges will be around $5 USD for physical, $12 USD for International. These are only estimates and shipping will be handled in BackerKit after the funding is complete.
Q: Increase in shipping costs?
A: Shipping costs constantly rise, and while we've projected them to the best of our abilities, there's not a lot we can do if they change. However, due to the limitations on the size of our product, we're confident this won't be an issue.
Q: What if something happens to the principals?
A: If something were to happen to Fitz, or another writer on the project, we've identified our backups, and our team is spread all over. It'd take a really big asteroid, zombie apocalypse or alien invasion to wipe us all out. The files and plans have been communicated to the whole team, and a new project lead (who has been identified and has exceptional experience) will step up.
- (30 days)