Swords and Spaceships
A Sci-Fi tabletop RPG emphasizing character and gear customization over leveling and looting.
Swords and Spaceships
A Sci-Fi tabletop RPG emphasizing character and gear customization over leveling and looting.
This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by Sun, November 24 2019 7:11 PM UTC +00:00.
Welcome to space, there's plenty of it
Swords and Spaceships is a tabletop role playing game focused on the character and their signature gear.
The purpose of this Kickstarter is to raise money for the art and printing of the core rulebook. We have been working on developing this game for the past year and a half and through multiple playtests and frustrating iterations we have nearly completed the game. The struggle is not in the time to create the game, but instead to enhance and finish.
About The Game
In many tabletop games you cycle through gear like a fresh pair of pants and your level is more important than anything else. In Swords and Spaceships our aim is to allow you to focus in on the character and their own growth in a more natural way than "I gained a level" as well as having your trusty weapon that can be just as unique and iconic as your character. Think about Han without his blaster, The Doctor without his Screwdriver, Star Lord without his Element Guns, etc. The weapon is just as much a part of the character, even in fantasy such as Bilbo and Sting, John Snow and Longclaw, Wynona Earp and Peacemaker, Buffy and her Stake, and so much more. We wanted to keep the spirit of the two being equally important. The way we are able to keep your weapon so special is that we only have a few baseline types of weapons and an extensive mod system that lets you constantly change them and shape them into something from your dreams and fitting to a unique situation.
Aside from your character itself we worked in a design to make vehicles your own, and to split your character in two so that they are capable at both their personal feats as well as perform at their roll onboard a ship. There's a variety of customizable vehicles for you to crew and make your own through customization.
Our World, But Not The Only World
Included in the core rulebook is the world we are developing to be your baseline to run around in! Presenting: the Gale system. In our version of space this is a galaxy without the Sol System, though we do reference it for comparisons sake. Here you will have our hand crafted collection of planets and built in lore. Though we focus in on the one star system there's a great big universe out there for everything to happen in. The world is your playground. You're encouraged to build systems and stories of your own!
Our goal with the Gale System is not to write and force you onto a specific story, but to give you a setting to create your own and to populate any number of ways. A design goal of ours is to give you freedom to decide scale as you will, not to force you to interact with the galaxy at large. Should you want your story to never have a vehicle in it or to ride across the desert in a series of muscle cars, those are options you can take advantage of.
Humans - Your everyday everywhere humans, same as you see here on Earth. Maybe more open minded. A bug-like race did live just one planet away, after all.
Bugs - From the Gale system, same as humans. These two came up knowing each other existed shaping their perception of their place in the universe
AI - Walking, talking, free will robots. This species inherently has the greatest capacity for upgrading through modifications.
Quadrupeds - Adapted beyond their origins of being sapient canines, felines, and ursines this race have become their own beasts, not to say that some don't still look like their ancestors of old.
Crystals - A crystalline species that have carved themselves from home worlds and launched into space, literally only joining civilization when they happen to crash into something. The youngest on the cosmic scene.
No Levels, Unique Growth
In Swords and Spaceships traditional leveling systems are exchanged for buying up Stats and Skills. Stats are general coverage which contain the unique Skills. This is designed to be exemplary of a person and how their inherent factors inform their skills and growth. Skills, such as Shooting, Athletics, Gambling, and many more, are able to grow beyond their Parent Stat though it is more difficult.
You buy and advance these skills directly with the experience you earn each session instead of jumps specifically with levels. This way your character can grow naturally as time progresses and can either bring up all their capabilities with great haste or delay, save points, and get even better at what you're best at. With no maximum amount of experience points you can theoretically level up all 47 Skills and 9 Parent Stats to their maximum score.
Along with the Skills and Stats there are unique abilities called Ultimate Skills. Your character, following the duality of their personal ability and their vehicular ability, can ultimately take one of each. These are capabilities that can help to define your character or create new opportunities you can't otherwise create such as being ambidexteriterous, getting the ability to re-roll once per session, being able to repair objects others could never dream to, and so on.
Modify Your Arsenal
Your weapons, your way. We have six basic gun types that can be modified into something unique for you and unique for each situation. Along side the six modifiable guns are four non-modifiable special guns, seven flavors of explosives, and nine melee weapons including, yes, swords (we know you've been wondering). In the core rules release there is a heavier focus on guns than melee weapons, but we didn't want them left out as they are a big component of choice. They will be further developed and modified with later expansion books.
For our modifiable weaponry (six guns, eight melee weapons) we boast a list of greater than fifty mods for you to match together in unique ways of your choosing to change guns to be your special weapon. Each weapon has a specific number of mods they can support which can be freely changed out between combats.
One such gun is the Pocket Flamethrower where you begin with an SMG and to that attach an ability that allows your attacks to catch enemies on fire. Now you can go two ways here. The original Pocket Flamethrower goes way over the top ensures fire by stacking the fire ability into every mod slot for the SMG granting a greater than 50% chance of setting your enemy on fire. With the SMG shooting 3 times per attack you're looking at setting your enemy on fire for sure. Describe how your bullets engulfed in flames that you're now rocking a flamethrower and watch them weep as you melt loot before you! Alternatively you can build the Wand of Fireball (no wand included) where you have a lesser chance of fire, but have added a modification that belches out half your magazine worth of ammo in a single shot so that you're pouring lava over your enemies for massive damage, though catching them on fire is no longer guaranteed.
One of the biggest parts of any sci-fi setting has got to be the ships. Starships, cars, boats, etc. Our answer to how to make these work for you is that your character has a split design in what we call the Personal Stats and the Vehicle Stats. Vehicle Stats are broken down into Piloting, Engineering, Gunnery, and Command. They originally are shaped by your character upon creation, meant to grow separately. Just like with your characters growth as a person underneath their Stats are a variety of Skills that allow your character to take a different path than another.
Vehicles are customizable with variable weapons, major modifications, and slight modifications built into the game. This way though ships may be similar they are still uniquely yours.
In regards to spaceships there are five major classifications of Small Ships, Space Ships ("Normal" sized, in essence), Heavy Ships, Capital Ships, and Space Stations. Within these five major classifications are unique ship types ranging from escape pods to star-fighters to assault carriers to dreadnoughts. Each of these unique ships have their own health and armor listed as well as speeds you can help or hinder depending on which engine you buy and install. A number of generated manufactured ships will be available to you within the rulebook but that are by no means all you can achieve.
With our rules you can take a Blockade Runner class of ship, attach a series of cannons, a second engine, and upgrade it's armor to truly be able to punch above it's weight class and be fast enough to avoid most damage while at the same time you can upgrade the interior of the ship to have a shotgun mounted near the boarding ramp just in case and to include a mess hall for your characters to gather in and a special guest room, for when you have to take the unexpected princess across the galaxy. This is just one small example of what you can build. You could take a Fighter and emphasize speed or build more armor onto it. You could find yourself aboard a larger craft and build it to essentially be a mobile hanger for an entire fleet. We make it so you can build to your hearts content and by working with your game master (or as we call it, your "Overlord") you can continue to grow the list of options for your vessel.
Along with Spaceships we have Cars which also come in their own styles of Motorcycle, Car, Truck, and Heavy Truck. Cars are limited by their passengers they can carry as well as how fast they can go. As they get bigger they get slower but can carry more people, more things, and have more armor.
Boats are distributed between modern and colonial types with their difference between black powder cannons, upgrade-able speeds, and advanced weaponry just being the tip of the iceberg. Include what fits you best!
We're not done here!... We hope. When planning this game there was so much more we wanted to do but honestly didn't have the time or mental capacity to put everything in the core rulebook. We intend to launch expansion books and have four planned already. These are not the expansion names, just what we want to do with them.
- Magic and Anti-Magic: with this expansion we intend to introduce magic to the universe in our own unique way. We've already been working on the early plans for this and have what we believe to be a truly unique approach to it that will also feel familiar with how we display it. Along with adding magic we're adding those who despise it and combat mages in a dual book release.
- Giant Space Kaiju Fights: Look look we know you're sitting there wondering how this is possible. With this expansion we intend to introduce how to do battle against giant monsters deserving of being their own ships. If you love these kind of fights but want to use your gun against them instead of a vehicle.... good luck I guess?
- Fleet command: This is our big vehicles supplement we would like to do that will allow for the command of fleets and large scale encounters. If possible we will find a way to even include army command for your ground game but no promises.
- Western: YEEEEEHAWWWW PARTNER. Yeah. I want to make a western. What about it?
Along with every expansion we intend to be able to grow the base game as well with the intent of introducing minimally one new race, one new modifiable weapon, and we would hope for at least five to ten new mods distributed between body mods, weapon mods, and ship mods. We've bought too many games where your new expansion/content doesn't really help you if you don't specifically want to play in that arena so here's us trying to get you as much as possible.
Where Is Your Money Going?
Kickstarter/BackerKit Fees - 13% - $1131
Art/Production - 47% - $4089
Printing Estimate - 40% - $3480
Truth told we know it's a risk not having a contingency fund, though we do not believe it will be an issue (famous last words, right?). Additionally we would love to spend more on art and production to up the quality. Here's for heading over $8700!
Where Else To Find Us Online
Risks and challenges
Our greatest risk is of delay. We have built most of the game and have playtested it hopefully to a satisfactory degree. We know how to publish as we've done it with a trilogy of books previously so that's not an issue. The purpose of this Kickstarter is to fund art as well as the required graphic design and page layout. We can do limited iterations of the layout and design but we want to provide you with the highest quality possible. The most likely causes of delay are late art deliveries, formatting complications, major errors found in further playtesting, or a longer period of review from DriveThruRPG.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter