Tiny Frontiers is a roleplaying game based on the Tiny Dungeon ruleset.
We at Gallant Knight Games are huge fans of Tiny Dungeon. It’s easy to learn, quick to play, and loads of fun. On top of all that, it’s super portable! Everything you need to delve a dungeon or explore an ancient kingdom in a single dice bag. We wanted to bring that same experience to the vast expanse of space and the dark corners of the void, so we licensed the Tiny Dungeon ruleset from Smoking Salamander Games to provide you with one of the best experiences in fast-and-fun sci-fi roleplaying: Tiny Frontiers!
Using the rules within our rulebook, you and your friends will be able to explore the unknown reaches of faraway galaxies, topple evil interstellar empires, swash and buckle with vicious space pirates, and battle in colossal mechs above crumbling planets.
Character creation is simple, and the mechanics are even simpler. Everything about your character can fit on a single 3”x5” index card, and all you will need to pull off that daring feat is your luck and three six-sided dice. Pick amongst a handful of character options (each carrying a simple boon), jot down a stat or two, and in a matter of minutes, your group will be disembarking on a journey yet untold, seeking lost artifacts of an ancient alien civilization, stealing secret plans for a weaponized space station, or trying to make due in a galaxy long since drained of its life-giving resources. In the emptiness of space, you will rely on the companionship of your allies to achieve the impossible, to conquer the unconquerable, to give you the strength to push back against that gaping void, and to thrive in a boundless universe.
Tiny Frontiers uses up to three six-sided dice as part of action resolution during the game.
If you roll a "5" or "6" on a die, your check succeeds. Most checks are made with two dice. However, if you are deemed to have "advantage" on a roll, you gain a third dice to roll. If you have disadvantage, you lose a dice (rolling only a single dice).
Characters are made quickly and easily. You pick a race/species, several traits (defining features that give a mechanical bonus), generate your hit points, and work with your fellow players to generate your ship!
There are lot of similarities between Tiny Dungeon and Tiny Frontiers. The core mechanics of the game remain unchanged, but several traits, rules, and all new races have been created to simulate the unique nature of science fiction roleplaying.
We've engineered an uncomplicated and unique ship system to allow all players the opportunity to engage in ship actions and experience maximum science fiction awesomeness.
We've worked to include random planet generation rules, settlement rules, and mecha rules that are all fast, simple and fun to play so you can tell the science fiction story you really want.
But sometimes, as a Game Master, you don't always have that kind of time. That's why we include micro-settings.
Micro-settings are unique, yet small 6-page "example settings" specifically designed to be used as a tool, resource, or spring-board for your own campaigns.
All of the micro-settings come with some story, some fluff, and a single rule that is designed to be unique to that particular micro-setting. These setting-unique rules are in addition to the base rules of the game.
The core book comes with three very different micro-settings, and every thousand dollars we raise over our goal of $5,000 unlocks an additional micro-setting that will be included in the book.
As a cool bonus, at $10,000, we unlock 4 micro-settings for the book! We even have a super awesome bonus $12,000 stretch goal where New York Times bestselling author Dan Wells will contribute a micro-setting.
Below are the first three micro-settings that are already included in Tiny Frontiers. As we explore further, we'll update the list.
Micro-setting #1: "Marlowe Station" by Ben Woerner
Marlowe Station (O'Neill Station 23) was once the destination on Interstellar Route 66. Its combination of a vibrant multicultural community, numerous casinos, entertainers, and the only dry-dock that far out in the Black made it the place every space weary hauler or traveler was always happy to see.
Then the Big Meet happened. Humanity met friendly and advanced extraterrestrial life, but worse, they shared jump gate technology with humanity.
Now Marlowe Station is a crumbling facade of what it once was. The dry-dock is now a massive junkyard, the casinos mostly boarded up, and you, you've seen better days. Whatever it was you did to get assigned to UNCS (United Nations Civil Security) in this stinking mire must have been bad. Now you spend you days sucking vape, drinking synthahol, until the alien with legs up to here walked into your office smelling of trouble and a million credits. Just enough to maybe get you off this stinking rock.
Micro-setting # 2: "Welcome to the Junk Yard" by Steve Diamond
In the far reaches of space, orbiting a planet on the border of the unknown, is a debris field made up of wreckage from two massive spacefaring races that blew each other into extinction.
Known as the Junk Yard, many of the galaxy’s technological advancements—and some of the galaxy’s largest disasters—have resulted from salvage operations here.
As a result of the devastation (entire space installations have vanished without a trace, and at least one planet has had its entire population killed), the orbiting debris field is policed by the brutal and fanatical Junk Marshals.
Entering the debris field without permission granted by the Galactic Senate—which is impossible to get —is illegal, and trespassers are shot on sight. But with all the potential wealth lurking in the wreckage, being killed seems like a completely worthwhile risk…
After all, who wants to live forever?
Micro-setting #3: "Divided' by Robert Denton
The Empire of the Maat extends throughout the Fermi Galaxy and its united worlds. The people of the Fermi Homeworlds, diverse races and cultures that are far too different to ever truly get along, are united beneath their evenhanded and rational Maat overlords. It has been this way for as long as anyone can remember.
Beyond the planets of this spiraling galaxy float the thin, crumbling remains of ancient extraterrestrial structures. Massive, cagelike, and labyrinthian, they drift in space. Dark, abandoned, and all but forgotten. Long before the coming of the Maat, these ruins played a part in a massive war. The five native peoples of the Fermi Galaxy tried to unite against an external foe, but their differences, vast and many, foiled any attempt at cooperation. Were it not for the arrival of the Maat, their saviors from a distant star, the people of the Fermi would have been conquered.
Since that day, the Maat have ruled the Fermi. For their own good, the Maat and their great technological hivemind, tend to the needs of the people and run their lives. Distant hands guide the governments of the homeworlds. They build inscrutable machines to protect the peoples who cannot do so themselves. For their own good, the Fermi civilizations are kept separate, for they cannot possibly harmonize due to their inescapable differences. It is not perfect. It is not utopia. It is necessary for the good of the Fermi Galaxy and all of its peoples. The wisdom of the Maat is unquestionable. Beneath their guidance, at last all are safe.
But what if none of this were true? After all, there are none left who recall the wars before the Maat arrived. There are no records of the purposes of these floating ancient structures. All history before the Maat arrival is long gone. And no one knows why they are building the strange, inscrutable machines around the perimeter of the Fermi Galaxy’s massive black hole.
What if the Maat are not the Fermi Galaxy’s saviors?
What if, instead, they are their conquerors?
You can find the rest of the settings in the stretch goals below, and we'll update them as they're unlocked!
But, we're only human in the end. For that reason, we didn't want to over complicate things, so we have only three pledge levels. We're keeping it simple with only text stretch goals and no add-ons but the two below.
If you want to get multiple copies (we hope you do), check the Add-On section below, and just follow those instructions! We'll get the specifics of what you wanted at the end of the campaign!
If we hit our funding goal of $5,000, we have several stretch goals planned.
Those will be outlined in this space as they're unlocked, and included in all books for free! No extra cost for any stretch goal.
Micro-setting #4: UNLOCKED! - "Augmented Destiny" by Ryan Schoon
In the far flung future, transhumanism is king.
Anybody who is anybody is augmented to the teeth. Those with the most recognizable or most expensive augmentations are treated like celebrities by the masses. Everyone is hooked into the Global Net twenty-four hours a day, consuming entertainment. The leaders of this dystopian world have banned and destroyed all violent technology, including firearms, missiles, and nuclear weapons under the guise of world peace, but truly, they are motivated by their fear of an uprising.
Those who wish to fight the corruption, fight for life, or simply fight must rely on ancient weapons and the nearly forgotten Wu Xing philosophy. These warriors augment their bodies to align with the five elements of Wu Xing and will fight to prove their worth, with a live audience watching their exploits straight from the Global Net.
Micro-setting #5: UNLOCKED! - "Guardians of Forever" by John Kennedy
The world of Gallinor has been caught in the grips of the war between the Divine Light and the Eternal Shadow for centuries, as both sides struggle to achieve dominance over the other.
The Guardians, an ancient order of protectors of the Light Lands, have been sundered by forces of the great traitor Omega and his legions of Feltroopers. With the Divine Light losing the battle, Guardian Psi, one of the last of the fabled Guardians, has summoned forth Champions of the depths of space to help him in defeat Omega and save Gallinor.
Micro-setting #6: UNLOCKED! - "Pirates of the Rim" by Steve Radabaugh
It was not the governments of Earth that took the Human race to the stars, it was the Corporations. Planets became corporate assets, and settlements owed fealty to their founding CEO. In a time of economic boon and unlimited prosperity, Humans spread out across the galaxy with a new age of Manifest Destiny. However, we spread ourselves too thin.
When the economy crashed, most corps went bankrupt, and the rest merged into a few mega corps. The mega corps pulled back from the rim of the galaxy leaving many settlements unsupported. Scavenging and Piracy became the law of the land on the edge.
In Pirates of the Rim, you can play as a group of Pirates stealing from the corporate transports, and trying to survive on the edge of the galaxy.
Micro-setting #7: UNLOCKED! - "Post Scarcity Blues" by Ryan Schoon
Post Scarcity Blues takes place in a future where technology provides everything everyone can need.
Everything is automated; farming, transportation, factory work, even medical technology. No one needs to work, and there is no need for money or barter as new technologies provide enough food, shelter, clothing, and medicine to support the entire population of the world.
In this new society, a segment of the population has grown bored and entitled and believes a world without work, class, and war takes away what makes us human.
Players will choose to side either with the government and continue living their lives in utopia, or they may decide to join the “revolution” that wishes to return the world back to one of scarcity.
Micro-setting #8: UNLOCKED! - "Our Beautiful Planet" by Robert Denton
Floating fragile in an endless starry sea, the planet Tāne is verdant and teeming. The people of this world know that they do not belong here; they are from elsewhere, this world both a gift and a penance to them. It should not thrive with life, and yet it does. Whatever shelters this world against the cold indifference of space is unknown to its people. Yet they know that Tāne’s diverse and intertwined ecosystems are extremely delicate. Any imbalance would be their undoing. This fragile world is prosperous and beautiful. All that the people could ever need thrives on this teeming orb. It is sustained by the care of its people... and also by the Narda.
Legends say that the first Narda crawled out of the ocean and united the lost races shortly after they fell from the sky. Emblazoning her tenants on to a slab of immortal stone, the Narda established the order by which the people could survive on this verdant jungle world. She gave no word of punishment and forbade no behavior. This was not her place, or so she said. Her only warning was that if her law was disregarded, then Tāne would become a lifeless desert. And none dared to test this.
So it has been for generations.
It is hundreds of years since the first Narda appeared. As one of the Yiruma, noble warriorpoets sworn to protect the Narda line, the player characters must serve its only living descendant: A young girl named Kaya, the sun and moon of planet Tāne. Beloved by her people, sacredly tied to the world, and filled with compassion for every living thing,
Kaya is both Tāne’s spiritual leader and it’s savior. One day, as required by all Narda, she will have to sacrifice herself to sustain this world. Without this, the planet would surely die, as would all of its inhabitants. Kaya’s sworn protectors must ensure she lives to see that day.
Kaya knows that she must make this sacrifice, although she knows not when or how. She knows this is her purpose, to sustain the world. She loves her people so greatly, that when the day comes, she will give her life willingly. The players know this without question.
And yet, as they bond with and serve their beloved princess, they cannot help but notice how often Kaya gazes at the stars, her moonbeam eyes filled with wanderlust and eternal longing...
Micro-setting #9: UNLOCKED! - "Western Star" by John Kennedy
Messick was a planet that was once on the space lanes to everywhere, and now is on the decline to nowhere. The Tritonium mines ran dry, and the planet was mostly abandoned, Excepting, for the few prospector towns full of fools who think they can find a new seam of the rare metal. Only the Planetary Marshals Office maintains any real order, but after a deadly civil war, the planet is oftentimes home to those needing a fresh start. But fresh starts always come with baggage.
As if, that weren't enough, strange creatures lurk the Messick Mojave, and it is said that a race of alien conquerors lies buried in the desert somewhere, waiting to awaken and reclaim what is theirs.
Micro-setting #10: UNLOCKED! - "World of Ash" by Steve Diamond
Action? Check. Survival? Check. Horror and Politics? Check, and check (or is that just one “Check?”).
Once there was a time when HZ52179—Char, as it is known—was a planet that no one cared about. All that changed when Flare was discovered.
Each piece of the unique mineral generated enough energy to power a space station for a year, or a standard starship well past its actual shelf-life. No one is quite sure who found the first piece of Flare. Perhaps some dirt-bag, ship thief who had crashed there and made a deal with some local tribe of Ashmen. It hardly matters anymore.
Prospectors—both freelance, and government or privately funded mercs—funnel in, and hope to find their own chunks of Flare in the mines and tunnels that weave like a maze beneath the ash covered surface. Here and there a mining settlement can be found. Even scientific research stations studying the planet and its peoples aren’t unusual. Rumor has it there is a prison, too. A prison run by the Galactic Senate that houses the worst of the worst.
How will you fit in? Or, perhaps the better question, how will you exploit Char and the mineral Flare to your own benefit?
Micro-setting #11: UNLOCKED! - "Deconstructed" by Jon Del Arroz
The Great Deconstruction is the brainchild of Jon Del Arroz. Inspired in parts by Isaac Asimov's Foundation and Timothy Zahn's Thrawn trilogy, it focuses on a setting where great civilizations and empires fall and there are catastrophic consequences to those falls. Super weapons and other technologies have been abandoned by failed mega-corporations, disbanded armies, and shattered empires. A galaxy where whole planets have been left hollow and empty.
Explorers scour the edges of the shattered remains and the ghostly bones of these fallen empires, knowing that finding just one of these treasures could sway the course of galactic history.
Micro-setting #12: LOCKED until $12,000 - by Dan Wells!
Micro-setting #13: UNLOCKED! - "The Pillar" by Liz Chaipraditkul
You can read about "The Pillar" in Update 1!
Micro-setting #14: UNLOCKED! - "Prospectus" by Amy Veeres
You can read about "Prospectus" in Update 2!
Micro-setting #15: Locked until 400 backers - "Carapace" by Laura Montgomery-Hurrell
You can read about "Carapace" in this Update!
- $10 per extra copy of Tiny Frontiers in softcover.
- $5 for each extra set of three custom Tiny Frontiers dice.
- $15 for each hand-made dicebag!
- $2 for each 5x7 GM Screen!
If you're in the US, there's no additional shipping charge for extra copies if your pledge level already includes physical copies!
If you're outside of the US, each additional book increases your shipping by $5 USD (again, if your pledge level includes physical copies).
That's it! Nice and simple, right to the point. Just increase your pledged total by the amount each item you want to get is.
Holdout Blaster Level: You receive PDFs of Tiny Frontiers + character sheets with all unlocked stretch goals included.
Trusty Blaster Level: You get a single soft-cover copy of Tiny Frontiers (estimated at 100 pages when all the stretch goals are unlocked), 3 custom Tiny Frontiers six-sided dice (so you get bragging rights while playing this far-out game), and a copy of the PDFs of Tiny Frontiers + character sheets and any other PDF freebies we get!
Deluxe Blaster Level: This level comes with everything from the Trusty Blaster level, plus you'll receive a black faux leather collector's edition copy of Tiny Frontiers. Currently only 20 of these are being offered!
Gallant Knight Games is a new game company, and Tiny Frontiers RPG is our first game. Tiny Frontiers has been in development since the end of 2014, and we're pumped to bring it out to the public.
GKG (because typing that full name repeatedly is a chore), currently consists of Alan Bahr as the principal designer/creative, his lovely wife Erin as the force behind the throne (seriously, she's why stuff gets done), and a variety of talented freelancers and creatives.
Who is contributing to Tiny Frontiers?
Alan Bahr is a game designer best known for Planet Mercenary: The Roleplaying Game, based on the space opera webcomic Schlock Mercenary. He's the design lead on Tiny Frontiers, and the owner/operator of Gallant Knight Games. He's an avid fan of Noir films, Arthurian mythos, smooth jazz, clever roleplaying games, and his amazing wife.
You can reach him via email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or find him on his personal website at alanbahr.net
Thomas Keene is a software developer with nerdy hobbies. He wrote the Pathfinder supplement Spheres of Power with Drop Dead Studios, and has also written a few hundred pages of fanmade tabletop homebrew for IPs such as Super Mario and Legend of Zelda. He is currently working with Armature Studio on their next action adventure video game title, ReCore.
Ben Woerner, by day, is a mild-mannered husband, father, and marketing manager for his family’s business. By night he’s a game designer. Having run games for over a quarter century he finally began to design them. His first solo project was writing, designing, kickstarting, and publishing World of Dew, a samurai noir RPG and the stretch goal companion book, The Sound of Water. He's written for Call of Catthulhu, Blood & Honor, The Baby Bestiary vol.'s 1 &2, and several other publications. He's the lead developer for Pirate Nations, the first expansion for the Kickstarter record breaker RPG 7th Sea Second Edition and hopes to work on more of those in the future between designing more of his own games like Historia Animalium, Red Dust, and something about magical kung-fu kids. He’s a big fan of mitigated success and aspects in game design. He is an even bigger fan of his dancing daughter, his gruff, adorable, little man, and the loveliest of all women, his wife, Emily.
You can reach him at email@example.com if you would like to contact him about past or current projects.
Steve Diamond is the author of the YA Paranormal Thriller/Horror novel, RESIDUE. He is also the editor of the Horror anthology, SHARED NIGHTMARES. His short fiction was nominated for the Hugo Award in 2015. Steve writes for Ragnarok, Baen, Privateer Press, and numerous small publications. He founded and runs the review site, Elitist Book Reviews, which was nominated for the Hugo Award in 2013, 2014 & 2015.
You can find his books on Amazon and reach out to him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
Robert Denton - Known to some by the moniker “Spooky,” Robert Denton III was a member of the Legend of the Five Rings Story Team from 2011 to 2016 beneath Alderac Entertainment Group Inc. He wrote sixty official published fictions for the Legend of the Five Rings franchise and contributed sections to ten Legend of the Five Rings Roleplaying Game books. Among his contributions in the L5R Franchise, he is perhaps best known for his fictions “Kanshi,” “The First Lesson,” and the “Sins of the Father” series, his annual L5R Halloween fictions, and the “Iron Rokugan” alternate setting appearing in Imperial Histories 2.
Robert continues to be an aspiring speculative fiction writer and creator of roleplaying games. He lives in the New River Valley of Virginia with his extremely understanding wife and considerably lessunderstanding cats. You can follow him on Twitter at @ohnospooky.
Ryan Schoon is the co-creator and lead writer for Edara: A Steampunk Renaissance. He also co-wrote Apocalypse Prevention, Inc and has contributed to many other role playing projects, including Chill and Dragon Age. This is not Ryan's first foray into sci-fi, as he is one of the writers for the tabletop RPG Fragged Empire. Ryan spends much of his free time gaming and hanging out with his wife and dog in their home city of Indianapolis.
Steve Radabaugh, first of his name, is a High School Computer Science Teacher in Rural Wyoming. He is also a freelance app developer, technology consultant, and game designer. He founded SPQR Soft LLC in 2012 to explore the convergence of technology with tabletop gaming. In addition to developing apps and websites for the private and public sector, his app store releases include Fate Core Folio and Dungeon Marauders. He has written for the Fate Codex and World of Dew. Steve lives, works, and plays games in Worland, WY with his wife, two kids, and two dogs.
John D. Kennedy is an author and game developer living in Indianapolis, IN with his sidekicks Cokie the puggle and Flot the cat. After receiving his degrees in History, Writing, and English from Purdue University, he began his career in RPGs where he specializes in mechanics and content creation. In addition to working for companies such as Onyx Path and Modiphius Entertainment he has worked on other Kickstarted games such as Ninja Crusade 2E, World of Dew, and the Baby Bestiary.
Jon Del Arroz is best known for his work on the lore for the Doomtown: Reloaded expandable card game, the webcomic Flying Sparks and being the Dean Martin of the science fiction convention scene. He hails from the East San Francisco Bay Area along with his wife and two boys. His debut novel, a tie-in to the popular card game Star Realms is set to release in summer of 2016.
You can reach him directly at email@example.com.
Liz Chaipraditkul is a game developer and writer who lives in the Netherlands. She is the owner and founder Angry Hamster Publishing, a table top role play company. She is also the lead developer of the Heroes & Villains book for 7th Sea by John Wick Presents, and has written for companies such as Khepera Publishing and Third Eye Games. Last year Liz's first solo game, WITCH: Fate Souls, was successfully funded on Kickstarter. When not in her own imaginary world Liz keeps busy with crafting and walking her dog.
You can find out more about her games here: angryhamsterpublishing.com and follow her on Twitter @angryhamsterrpg
Amy Veeres is a game designer and science fiction author. She has has also worked with Onyx Path Publishing, Catalyst Game Labs, and is currently collaborating with notable indie publishers like Yaruki Zero and Gallant Knight Games, but that second one's a bit obvious.
Her usual schtick is blending comedy with genre staples and real-life experiences, which means she writes a lot about nerds that are in over their head. She lives in Philadelphia, where in addition to reading RPGs and books about cults for "research," she plays entirely too many video games. No, even more than you're thinking. More than that. I don't think you get just how many "too many" is.
SPECIAL STRETCH GOAL GUEST - Dan Wells
We hate shipping costs. But the Postal Service loves 'em, and they love charging them. In order to keep to our rule of "simple", we've elected charged a flat international shipping rate based on an average of costs to ship around the world.
As always, we'll ship it the fastest way possible within that budgeted amount. If we end up having to go over the budgeted cost for your particular country, congrats! You got a shipping discount, and GKG will subsidize that cost.
You can always reach out to us via the message feature in Kickstarter if there are any issues.
The book will be 5.5 x 8.5 in dimensions. If we unlock all the stretch goals, the book will be over 100 pages. Without, it'll be closer to 40.
The custom dice are being made by Chessex and are Borealis Sky Blue/White
Risks and challenges
This is Gallant Knight Games' first project. However, the lead on this project, Alan Bahr, was involved as a principal on the Planet Mercneary RPG, and has been involved in other projects.
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 in draft form immediately after the Kickstarter funds and closes. The only text we're waiting on is the "micro-settings", and as we depend on the backers to determine what needs to be written, those will come throughout and after the Kickstarter.
Q: What if the complexity of the project overwhelms GKG?
A: We only have three pledge level 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 increases, and we've set a finite limit of page count.
Q: What about delays in art?
A: We've already began to contract out the art, and some of the art is already here. Isn't it great? We're really happy with our artists. If there's a delay on the art, we have back-up artists we've already done test runs and are ready to work with.
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 Alan, or another writer on the project, we've identified our backups, and our team is spread all over the Unitd States. 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) will step up.
- (28 days)