[Deutschsprachige Projektbeschreibung: hier]
In this roleplaying game, you play a Chopper Jockey, a dashing space pilot belonging to a gang. You'll fight bandits and bogeys in daring dogfights, pull off heists against overpowering mega-corps, and talk about it all live on your social media feed. Experience the thrill of stories right in the middle between toxic egoticity and teamwork.
Please note, this game will be available in English and German language. You will be asked after the campaign which language you prefer.
During the Kickstarter campaign, you already unlocked additional nanogames, adventures, playbooks, supplements and many more, which will be added to your pledge reward. And even more stretch goals are within reach.
Stretch Goal Targets
[UNLOCKED] 5750 EU - HOTAS Nano Game by Jon Cole (PDF): A storygame where superfans of the gang's Datanet streams write erotic fanfiction about their favorite Jockey gramstars. Featuring the custom Deck of Sexy Things! This small game doubles as a workshop to consider intimate relationships the group wants to explore in their main Aces of Space campaign.
[UNLOCKED] 6500 EU - Space Food and Feelings Nano Game by Kira Magrann (PDF): In their downtime, pilots eat, drink, hangout, and socialize in their shared kitchen space. This is also where they're most likely to have emotional discussions about what's really going on in their heads after that last mission. A nano game about eating synthetic food and talking about your feelings.
[UNLOCKED] 7250 EU - Brometheus Short Story by Jamie Sullivan (PDF): Jools „Hex“ Preston's search is over. There it is: Brometheus, the legendary concert ship that the band Galaxy of Vectors had to abandon decades ago. But just as Jools is ready to approach this long lost treasure, three ships appear – three choppers, three jockeys under one infamous callsign: Trypsilon.
[UNLOCKED] 8000 EU - Spa Day Scenario by Lena Richter (PDF): Welcome to SPLASH AND SMASH, the biggest, most luxurious Spa in Ame-no-Uzume! Have a day off, enjoy the DubRockBubbleExperience, the Hot Steam Nebula Room, and run into your most snackable rival chapter "by chance" - our camera and sound equipment guarantees a flawless Social Media event! Spa Day provides a new setting description, a rival gang and some ideas to play a fun and steamy story.
[UNLOCKED] 8750 EU - Tuk Fast, Tuk Furious IN SPACE Nano Game by Gerrit Reinighaus (PDF): Gerrit will create an environment for having amazing space races with your pilots. The infamous Tuk Fast Tuk Furious nano game he wrote about tuk tuk racing will be the chassis for the most extravagant space circuits and bro-racing drama you need to have to steer up your follower volume to 210%.
[UNLOCKED] 10000 EU - The Incomplete Atlas of Brosome Places by Frank Reiss (PDF): The Kobeni belt is full of exciting venues. The Incomplete Atlas of Brosome Places details several locations chopper jockeys can visit. Explore the ruins of an old corporate outpost now haunted by a mutation of the reaper virus. Brave a weird and unexplored nebula where physics seem to run wild. Hide out (or make out!) at the home of a queer anarchist’s community tucked away in a gigantic off planet junkyard. These are just some examples, there will be more. Each writeup will contain suitable aspects, characters and plothooks.
[UNLOCKED] 11000 EU - Choose Your Own Adventure by Elea Brandt and Annette Juretzki (PDF or Android/browser app): Is your toxic egoticity too big? Are you unable to play as a team? We have the solution: a solo game!
[12000 EU] - Aces in Space Comic by Sarah Burrini (within AiS book): One to two pages of awesome pew pew space action comic content!
13000 EU - Space Jam: We organize an open online Aces in Space themed nanogame designing event with you, the community.
Community Stretch Goals
[UNLOCKED] 100 Twitter/Facebook-Posts - Printable Sheets: After you pals posted 100 different statements about this project marked with the hashtag #AcesInSpace, we will add a PDF sheets with printable Choppers to each pledge.
[UNLOCKED] 10 Short Fics - VirtuaBro Playbook: Write short fiction on Twitter or Archive of Our Own. Use the hashtags #AcesInSpace AND #AcesInSpaceFiction on Twitter or add your fic directly to the collection "Aces in Space" on AO3. (By posting your fic on Twitter, you agree that we add your story to that collection as well. We mention your Twitter handle and link to your topmost story tweet!) The collection of 10 short fics will unlock the additional playbook "VirtuaBro" by Frank Reiss.
[UNLOCKED] 10 Wingbros - Michtim Playbook: Post your Aces in Space character on Twitter or Facebook using the hashtags #AcesInSpace AND #nofomo. A character is made of: Callsign, Playbook, Toxicity, Chopper, and Lucky Charm . 10 characters will unlock the additional playbook "Michtim" by Georg Mir.
[UNLOCKED] 30 Songs – Space Music: Turf Rock, Jockey Beat and Brogressive Metal – in space, everyone can hear you rock! Post 30 songs or playlists on social media with the hashag #AcesinSpaceMusic to unlock a space music supplement by Franz Janson. Or dream up your own Jockey songs and reply to Jamie’s tweet.
[PERMANENT] Yolo Guide to the Kobeni Belt: Post a small review about a place in the Kobeni Belt (like in a Michelin guide or a Google/Amazon review) on social media using the Hashtags #AcesInSpaceYolo and #AcesInSpace. The ones best fitting in our setting will be printed in the book (if you agree to it).
[UNLOCKED] 10 Jockey Games - Chopper Quartet: Post 10 contributions to the hashtag #AcesInSpaceGames (Sponsor: Tino) and we will design an 80s Style Chopper Quartet with 28 and make it availalble via BackerKit.
[UNLOCKED] 2 Twitch Online Sessions - Planetary and Intergalactic Calendar of Badass-Events: Jocks, Aces, Gals and Pals like to party all the time – and they have a lot of opportunity in the Kobeni Belt! Like in the annual Brag-Race, which ends with the hyped „Capture the Brag-Game!“ Local plantearian circumformings, the Night oft he Nova with the gigantic Emoticon-Bingo, the colorfull Independence Day of Photonic Beeings and the THS*(Transhumansexual)-Parade with online Qwerking-Campionships. And there are more events and parties, where yo can get free likes and space cookies! Run two or more Aces in Space online sessions on Twitch until the end of the campaign to unlocked this!
[UNLOCKED] 30 Instagram Pictures - Adventure: Take a photo of something you relate to the Aces in Space setting: a part of a Chopper, a free-turf bar, a corp-turf facility, you (alone or with your bros) in Jockey outfit/cosplay, etc. We will put a full adventure scenario for your gang in the book when 30 pictures are posted on Instagram (or Facebook or Twitter) marked with the hashtag #AcesInSpace! And if you allow it, some of your pictures will be featured as an ingame datanet post within the book.
The Future: Earth is uninhabitable. Mankind has fled to the stars, living on far away planets and space stations. The only ruling power left are mega-corps.
In a lawless section of space, called the Kobeni-belt, aberrant pilots roam among the stars. Akin to motorcycle gangs from the past, tattoos and leather jackets are now replaced by cyberware and pressure suits. Space fighters are lovingly called Choppers, Jockeys are their pilots, and Highways now go faster than light: with the help of a drug called Minkowskium everyone can traverse wormholes to cross the vast distances of space.
Yet, unlike the past, today's petty criminals do not shy the limelight. Every daring maneuver, dogfight, and coup is broadcasted live on the datanet, making and breaking the social media celebrities of the future. Good social media publicity isn't something the mega-corps are opposed to, and sometimes, they even endorse it by sponsoring.
This game deals with behavior typically identified as toxic masculinity such as dominance posturing and self-injury. However, the game takes place in a setting that is past racism and heteronormativity.
Dare to fly!
Dogfights, Toxicity, and Social Media
Aces in Space is based on the Fate Core rule system and contains a complete set of rules. You need two to four friends and a set of Fudge dice to play this game. What you don't need necessarily is any other source material or experience in Fate or other RPGs.
We adjusted Fate Core a bit to allow for a unique gaming experience when playing a Chopper Jockey, but we stick to the original rules where possible to allow an easy start for Fate veterans.
For example, social media interactions from shipping to flame-wars play an important role in this setting. Therefore, we added Likes as a resource reflecting influence, contacts and supplies. In addition, we introduced a character aspect called Toxicity to capture the boastful egos of these kinds of fighter pilots.
To honor tactical yet fast paced dogfight action, we use an abstract conflict system inspired by the Fate setting Tachyon Squadron. For those of you who are more into narrative instead of tactical combat, we provide a super-simple challenge based dogfight approach which is also suitable for playing online.
Of course, you should combine your dogfights with social media. Ask your followers to snipe the stream of your opponent for the critical edge in a space battle! We provide this hint and other hints in a tactics guide, which will help you to survive until you will become an ace pilot!
In Chopper Jockey culture, it is all style over substance. A post-gender and post-racism society is still a very toxic environment. We provide a list of slang terms, so you can capture the Chopper Jockey feeling at your gaming table.
Need some examples?
Ans-Vi: The quantum entangled technique for instantaneous data transfer.
Boots: This is a way to say “very” or “a lot” and it’s added after the verb or adjective. “She’s Fomo boots!”
Bro: A fellow gang member (regardless of their gender).
Ehrenbro: Gang member of honor, also used in “Be an Ehrenbro”: do me a favor.
Fomo (Fear of Making Out): Someone whose sexual orientation or traditional view on love and relationship leaves out a lot of opportunities. Symbolising at the same time the open-mindedness and the rejection of stable relationships within the chopper jockey culture.
Queen: Squadron or flight lead (regardless of gender).
Snack: A way to describe an attractive person (no matter the gender)
Dive into the action by using one out of seven character Playbooks. You may know this approach from Powered by the Apocalypse games, Blades in the Dark, or the Fate game Uprising. Advance your character by earning experience points which are triggered by your Playbook and your character aspects!
The following playbooks are available:
Flypal: Each gang member is a pilot, but only the Flypal is born to fly. They are an expert in flight control, stunt maneuvering, space navigation and highway routing. Pick this Playbook if you want to perform daredevil barrel rolls and crazy loops.
Hot Shot: For the Hotshot, dogfight victories are all what counts. They are an expert for operating small arms, autocannons, as well as targeting missiles and torpedoes. Pick this Playbook if you want to be head and shoulders above the enemy—in space and on the ground.
Commander: Forming a team out of the egos of fighter pilots is like herding cats. But the Commander is up for the job. They are an expert for mission planning, group coordination, and reacting on threats. Pick this playbook if you want to take responsibility for the tactical guidance.
Tinkerer: Bullets, asteroids, crash landings; aside from the deck crew, someone has to take care of the gang’s Choppers. The Deck Tinkerer does this and more. They are an expert for modifications, engines, systems and energy management. Pick this Playbook if you want to pimp your Chopper with state of the art hardware.
Phantom: Sometimes a job requires a subtle approach. The Phantom is the kind of gang member to carry it out. They are an expert for ECM, tracking, and stealth operations. Pick this Playbook if you want to strike from the shadows – hit and run style.
Influencer: Style can be as important as substance. Datanet followers and social media are a viable resource for the gang, and the Influencer is taking care of it. They are an expert for viral content, mission negotiations, and finding gigs on the Datanet. Pick this Playbook if you want to be the face of the gang – looking more for likes than kills.
Pillion: Not all pilots are lone wolfs. Some Choppers run with a crew of two. The Pillion complements their pilot in a symbiotic team. They are a pillion, a co-pilot or gunner, responsible for turrets, sensors, or surveillance. Pick this Playbook if you want to team up with another character and share a Chopper.
Aces in Space is not only about ego and toxicity, it is also about working together as a squadron, gang, and team. Where each individual character uses a Playbook, your whole squadron, their way to deal with missions and their common ground, is defined by the gang type. Choose a gang together:
Entertainers: Others have a job, you have fame. Whatever people call you today, your bills are paid by a sponsor, or maybe many sponsors, and you're slaves to their whims. You Choppers are nimble, with powerful engines and fancy guns, designed more for maneuverability and looks than for any serious military work. Your most priced equipment, however, is a broadband and stable datanet link.
Mercenaries: Your specialty is extermination. Whether you blow things up planetside, or attack larger targets like space stations and capital ships. Rarely, your clients ask for more subtlety, to bring back a missing person that needs a bit of convincing, or an item whose current owner is reluctant to part with it. Your Choppers do not fuzz around either. Heavily armored, with massive auto-cannons, and excellent sensors when it comes to locking onto targets.
Smugglers: Some call it a legit business, others prefer names like dealers and blockade runners. In truth, the fringe of space isn’t very profitable, so your crew is mostly looking to do odd jobs and small thefts for your customers. Your Choppers are equipped to get places they're not supposed to and carry things they shouldn’t. False ship papers, fake transponder, and hidden cargo spaces are more important to you than fancy maneuverability.
Spectres: Some of you still have a conscience, and with a rebel yell, you fight the system. Others work as hired assassins or data snatchers. But all of you know how to be ghosts, striking from the vast emptiness of space and hiding in the bowels of their space stations. Your choppers are invisible to sensors and unremarkable to the eye, with enough processing power to hack any datanet feed you find.
This book provides not only gang types, but lots of story hooks for each of them. In addition, we give you famous NPC Chopper gangs, infamous intergalactic Corporations, and various groups living between the stars such as AI top aces and space pirates.
Warm-up Nano Games
A short, physical activity to kick-start a gaming session helps to get the creative juices flowing. That's why we collected a few setting-appropriate warm-up ideas for this RPG. They take a few minutes only, and help to get into the right mindset at the start of each session. This book will come (among others) with an Arm Wrestling game, a Cockpit Trashtalk game, and with warm-ups where you pick your Jockey's Callsign and where you Design-Your-Own-Chopper on paper or with some bricks. You can define the looks of your Chopper Jockey using the Top Model game, or Bring Your Lucky Charm as an physical object to the session. Its always a good start to introduce your character with a social media Intro Post. After the session, you can re-evaluate the relationship to your fellow Jockeys in a Post Credit Scene.
When you pledge at any level, you will get instant access to the Catalpult Starter Set. Have a look at Kickstarter update #1 of this campaign soon after launch.
The Starter Set allows to quickly dive into Aces in Space as long as you already know a bit of Fate. It contains all necessary information to create a Chopper Jockey: seven different playbooks, four gang types, information on Character Aspects, a list of Skills and Chopper modification Stunts, basic dogfight rules and - for the special Jockey feeling - a slang term guide.
There are several rewards available for you to chose from. See the single pledge rewards for details and in the following for a short overview:
Wingpal: Get the game's PDF for little money. This is our social pledge tier.
Chopper Jockey: The regular game PDF. Around 200 pages of toxic fun.
Wingqueen: Get the PDF and the hardcover of the game. Format: A5. Nifty black and white with one tint color (cyan).
Road Captain: Get five hardcover copies and five PDFs. For retailers or Jockey gangs.
Chopper Ace: Our deluxe package. Get hardcover and PDF, and in addition: four brick-based miniature Choppers to build by yourself, an 80s style poster, and 24 pokerchips with the AiS logo which can be used as Fate point.
Fan Fiction Material: Get all rewards from the Chopper Ace level and we will "ship" you with one of the Playbooks in Social-Media-Posts within the book!
Jockey Legend: All rewards from the Chopper Ace level - and we will work with you to design one out of three legendary NPCs which will enter the book as renowned Chopper Jockeys of the Kobeni Belt!
Gang President: Again, all rewards from the Chopper Ace level. In addition, one of the game designers will host an online (or con session if doable) session of Aces in Space for you and up to three of your friends!
Gramstar: In addition to all rewards from the Chopper Ace level, Ben Maier will draw an A6 picture of your as a Chopper Jockey (compare the images of Harald, Christian, and Judith in this Kickstarter) based on a photo which will also appear as an ingame post within the book.
Aces of Spades: All in one. Get all the rewards!
Shipping fees will be calculated and collected after the campaign using the BackerKit software and are NOT included in your Kickstarter pledge. The estimated shipping fees are as follows:
- Hardcover within the EU: 5 EU
- Hardcover worldwide: 9 EU
- Road Captain or Deluxe Package within the EU: 9 EU
- Road Captain or Deluxe Package Worldwide: 16 EU
Please note that there could be additional taxes and customs fees depending on your home country and that shipping fees may change according to the political situation (Brexit, ...).
If you want to have a look on a short (German) Aces in Space game facilitated by Judith, you can have a look on this Twitch online session recording.
See our other work as reference:
- Shardland [English]: www.shardland.com
- Scherbenland [German]: www.scherbenland.com
- Eis&Dampf [German]: www.eis-und-dampf.de
- 3W6 [mostly German, but some episodes in English]: https://www.3w6-podcast.com
- Genderswapped [mostly German, one episode in English]: https://genderswapped-podcast.podigee.io
The idea of this project is in our heads for some time now, but it came together in the current shape in 2019, at Tres Volcanes Con in Guatemala, where the two "Vögte" met Harald for the first time in person at a boots extraordinary event for a round of zero-G bro tetherball between three volcanoes.
Christian Vogt (he/him): As co-author to his wife Judith, Christian is writing award-winning SFF novels and RPGs since 2012. His love for Battlestar Galactica, Star Wars and Fate made him initiate this project. He has a PhD in physics and uses this as cover for his daylight identity. Follow him on Twitter @eisunddampf!
Harald Eckmüller (he/him): Harald is co-host of the storygame-focused 3W6 Podcast, and organizer of the yearly 3W6 Con. He is a lifelong player/MC of anything remotely looking like an RPG, has worked on RPG translations for various publishers, and is an avid audiobook listener of any sci-fi genre. As a designer by trade, he is hell bent on delivering a beautiful game. His Twitter handle is @heckmueller.
Judith Vogt (she, they): Judith is a writer of novels, novel translations, RPGs and short stories - some of them together with her husband Christian. She loves all things Star Wars, and prefers cyberpunk, weird hopepunk utopias and space operas over hard SF. Her favorite science fiction authors are Kameron Hurley, N.K. Jemisin, and Becky Chambers. Find Judith on Twitter (@judithcvogt) or listen to hers and Lena's (see below) "Genderswapped Podcast"!
Tim Knoche (he/him): Rarely seen without a pen in hand, Tim is an illustrator with one leg in traditional and one in digital media. He enjoys combining his love for storytelling and art by putting a hint of a greater narrative into his works.
Ben Maier (he/him): Ben is a bicultural, queer concept artist and illustrator. He is mostly known for his work for Magic the Gathering and The Dark Eye.
Hannah Möllmann (she/her): After cutting short illustration work she focused on her kids and university. But everyone needs escapism - especially a self-proclaimed illustrious escapist like her. So she will always be ready to draw some maps for unique projects like "Aces in Space".
Chris Schlicht (she/her): Born in Frankfurt / Main, 1968, married and mother of two daughters. Architect and illustrator.
Mia Steingräber (she/her): Mia is a freelancing illustrator, loves working in fantasy and RPG, but is nowadays foremost illustrating children's books. She is a three times winner of the German Fantasy Award as Best Graphic Artist and is co-publisher of the steampunk pulp magazine "Die Grüne Fee" together with Judith&Christian Vogt and her husband Tobias Rafael Junge.
Stretch Goal Authors
Jon Cole (he/him): As a sex educator and larp practitioner, Jon Cole works to quell FOMO in the hearts of gamers everywhere. When he's not eating ice cream or blues dancing, catch him running and writing games that are outlawed on corp-turf.
Kira Magrann (she/they): Kira is a tabletop roleplaying game designer, queer nonbinary cyborg, and snake friend living in Columbus, Ohio. She is known best for her most recent games A Cozy Den (about lesbisnakes in winter time) and Something Is Wrong Here (an uncanny emotional love letter to David Lynch's work). Kira has a Patreon where she designs experimental games. Follow her on Twitter @kiranansi
James Sullivan (he/him): James was born in West Point (Highlands, NY) in1974 and grew up in Germany. He made his degree (Magister Artium) in English Studies, German Studies and General Linguistics at the University of Cologne. At first he wrote fantasy novels, most notably Die Elfen (with Bernhard Hennen, translated as The Elven) and Nuramon (not yet translated) which both made the German bestseller list. Later he also turned to science fiction novels (Chrysaor, Die Granden von Pandaros, and most recently Die Stadt der Symbionten). You can find James on Twitter, under the German handle @fantasyautor
Lena Richter (she/her): Lena is a writer, translator and occasional game designer, mostly focused on discussing the topics of diversity and representation in TTRPG. Together with Judith Vogt she hosts the Genderswapped Podcast, a feminist RPG discussion podcast. Find her on Twitter @Catrinity
Gerrit Reininghaus (he/him): Gerrit lives in Germany after two years in Guatemala. He has written RPGs for Gauntlet Codex, #RollInclusive and others and is dedicated to create games specifically catered for online and social media spaces.
Frank Reiss (he/him): Frank doesn‘t like opera - except when they‘re set in space! Which in fact is one of his favourite destinations of escapism and so he is very excited to contribute to Aces in Space. He makes a living as a psychotherapist for children and adolescents while being one of the editors of Roll Inclusive and writing contributions to different roleplaying games.
Georg Adalwulf Mir (he/they): Georg designed and published Michtim: Fluffy Adventures and wrote a master thesis on Creating a Pen & Paper Storytelling Game. He‘s a non-binary queer carebear person that lives with bipolar type 2 and makes his living as User Experience Professional. Also he talks intersectional social justice and game design on his Twitter @GeorgMir
Franz Janson (he/him): Franz (Callsign: Melodrum) has been writing for German RPG publishers for most of the last decade. He co-developed the RPG "Splittermond". Imaginative setting descriptions, bizarre details and more or less well hidden (pop)cultural references are his jam. In another life, he is musicologist and teacher for music and maths. He is a percussionist for 30 years now.
Sarah Burrini (she/her): Sarah is a freelance illustrator and cartoonist living in Cologne, Germany. She published “Silly & Cone” in German MAD magazine, several short comics for anthologies and worked as an animator on German children’s shows like “Die Sendung mit der Maus” (The Show with the Mouse). She draws and writes the monthly comic for the children’s magazine “Benni”. Her comics are published regularly on http://sarahburrini.com/ where international readers can find a link to the English version.
Annette Juretzki (she/her): Annette was born in Poland and grew up in Northern Germany. She is her computer's most passionate frenemy and whenever she is not cursing her hardware, she curses her dice during tabletop role-playing games. Annette studied religious studies and writes fantasy and science fiction as well as RPG texts. Find her on Twitter @A_Juretzki
Elea Brandt (she/her): Elea, Callsign Mad Queen, is fantasy fan for life and RPG nerd. Her weapons are multi-sided dice, a latex spoon, and a sexy discussion style. When she's not roleplaying, she is writing her own fantasy worlds and chatting in the podcast "Nerdiger Trashtalk" (@nerd_trashtalk) about geeky topics, books, diversity and much more. Twitter: @eleabrandt
Aşkın-Hayat Doğan (he, him): Aşkın is diversity trainer, translator (German-Turkish), sensitivity reader and writer of RPGs and short stories. Mainly the guy for fantasy, he also loves Battlestar Galactica and Star Trek. He is one of the editors of Roll Inclusive and you can find him on Twitter: @AskDoan1
Risks and challenges
Judith and Christian are writing TTRPG content since 2012 on a regular basis. Every month, we publish games and stories for our Patreon.
We already developed two successful RPGs based on Fate (Shardland, Eis&Dampf) and were heavily involved in two successful crowdfunding campaigns (Eis und Dampf short story anthology, Roll Inclusive)
Harald is collaborating with developers from all over the world and is hosting a successful Podcast network (3W6).
The risk of the project is small. The writing is nearly done and most of the artwork already exists. The main risks are unexpected events like accidents and sicknesses, which cannot be planned beforehand.
However, even in these cases, we are well connected to other RPG authors which may step in.
There is no company involved in the project, so, there is no corresponding risk of bankruptcy.
We are positive to finish the project in time, will answer upcoming questions and will inform the backers on a regular basis.
Delays are unlikely and we will work to catch up with highest priority. Should a delay occur nevertheless, we will inform the backers immediately.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)