Character generation is quick and easy so you can get to gallivanting around the galaxy. Choose from four character types (Scientist, Soldier, Technician and Scout) with a simplified four-attribute skill system. Then outfit your team and prepare to make planetfall!
The rules-light mechanics of the game is very attractive to me as a storyteller and a gamemaster. Science fiction games can be very tricky to run, especially when at least half of the players are engineers, tech junkies, and IT people, as discussions on what does and does not work can bring a story to a grinding halt. X-Plorers makes no attempt to explain the how and why of interstellar travel, aliens or any of the things that causes the more anal of sci-fi fans to bicker over the differences between Hard Science Fiction, Soft Science Fiction, Space Opera, and Science Fantasy.
Set in the year 2,222 AD, Earth's governing body is the United Corporate Nations (UCN), a political engine composed of representatives of thousands of powerful corporations. This pseudo-fascist government promotes Colonial Expansion of outer space as a main drive for society.
Earth itself is covered largely by sprawling cities, factories, spaceports and the corporate offices of the most powerful corporations. The employees of these corporations (the denizens of Earth) live in various levels of comfort, based upon their income and relative status (ie most people are poor).
Mars and Venus have been terraformed, and have been colonized for a couple hundred years. They aren’t nearly as densely populated as Earth, but do boast populations in the billions, and are also the home of many rapidly developing corporations.
Far beyond our solar system lie the Reaches, a densely packed cluster of stars, many with habitable worlds very similar to Earth. Faster than light ships, with matter screens, can make the long journey into space at incredible speeds.
Systems of the Reaches are still being explored by survey teams from the UCN. The UCN is looking for both habitable planets and those ripe for resource exploitation. Of course there are laws and strict (time consuming) procedures covering this exploration.
Some colonies in the Reaches are directly under the control of a single corporation, while some are under the collective control of the UCN. Others are independent, legally claimed and funded by other sources. Systems of government in the colonies vary from UCN appointed corporate executives to self appointed emperors or elected governors. Despite the presence of the UCNP (the UCN Police), the Reaches are a breeding ground for corruption.
HOW DO I FIND THIS WONDERFUL GAME?
Glad you asked! This game is published by the folks over at Brave Halfling Publishing (follow the link below). A free (artless) pdf may be downloaded, but for the full experience, and the support the future of this game, buy a copy.
SPACE MADNESS AND X-PLORERS
The setting of X-Plorers begs to be expanded upon. Int the days ahead I will be developing my own setting ideas for this delightful game here on this blog. There is so much to write, so stay tuned!