A Long Fall #
Ancient beyond memory and long assumed unassailable, the Empire’s kiloparsec reach finally exceeded its grasp. In the time of its extended decline comes a reordering. Worlds struggle between themselves to survive the dying convulsions of a geriatric hegemony. Strife brings opportunity and danger.
A collection of rules and procedures for interstellar adventure role-play campaigns. For one referee and any number of players; three to five being a good range.
The referee creates several worlds stocked with opportunities to pursue and dangers to surmount. During play, the referee describes environments and the actions of non-player characters and creatures. The players describe their characters' actions, and the referee adjudicates outcomes. Rules assist this process by injecting unpredictablility or impartiality when desirable.
To play you will need at least two six-sided dice (d6), index cards, and pencils.
Certain rules call for using a 3-sided die (d3). In these cases, roll 1d6. A roll of 1–2 is 1, 3–4 is 2, 5–6 is 3.
Other tables call for using a “d66,” in this case, use 2d6, with one designated as the tens digit and the other as the ones digit. For example, read a roll of 3 and 4 as 34.
Throws & Impact #
When a player character takes a dangerous or uncertain action, their player rolls 2d6. On a total of 8 or higher, the character succeeds. Otherwise, they fail and suffer consequences as determined by the referee. If an action is impossible, or if the PC lacks necessary tools or knowledge, they fail automatically.
If one of a player character’s skills or Characteristics is relevant to the task, they add its rank to the throw.
Sometimes successful throws can have additional effects, measured in Impact. A throw has an Impact equal to the total result minus 7. Impact is used chiefly for damage in combat, but can also be used to represent complex, time-consuming tasks. For example, if a character is attempting to hack into a database during a tense combat situation, the referee might require them to accrue a total of 3 cumulative Impact, rolling once each skirmish round.
Physical Characteristics & Skills #
PCs have two physical Characteristics. Strength is power and endurance. Agility is quickness and coordination.
PCs also have skills in specific areas of expertise. A rank of 1 in a skill is baseline professional knowledge. A rank of 3 is a career’s worth of expertise. Ranks of 4 or higher are exceptional.
For complex technical tasks, a PC will automatically fail if they don’t have the skill at all. For example a PC without any ranks of Medic simply cannot perform brain surgery without killing the patient.
During character creation each player will describe a Career for their character based on their skill groups and specific skills. For example, a player whose character has skills in the Spacer and Soldier groups might decide that the character was an orbital marine.
PCs have a rank in their Career, representing prestige earned and contacts made. During play, a PC may add their Career rank to throws for networking tasks, like locating and requesting help from contacts.
PCs have a resource called Luck. Players track their current and maximum luck. They’ll have 7/9 or 10/10 Luck, for example.
After making a throw, a player may spend 1 point of their Luck to re-roll 1 of the dice, using the new total for the throw. They may keep re-rolling, spending 1 luck each time. If a re-rolled die shows a value of 1, the throw automatically fails. The action goes wrong in the worst possible way, and the PC reduces their maximum Luck to the level of their current Luck.
If a PC’s maximum Luck ever reaches zero, they burn out and retire whenever next makes sense.
PCs regain Luck when they can spend time in safety, either at port or on board the ship. If a PC doesn’t use any Luck for 2 weeks, they regain 1 Luck, up to their current maximum.
Bad things happen to PCs. They might get drunk, or poisoned, or get a broken leg, or a chest wound. These are Conditions. Write Conditions on a PC’s character card with a Severity rating, like “Hand Laceration 3”. Subtract the severity of a PC’s worst Condition to any throw where it would be an impediment. For example, if a PC has the Condition “Leg Wound 2”, they subtract 2 from any throws to run, jump, climb, etc.
PC’s may have multiple Conditions, but they are not cumulative. Only apply the worst one to a throw.
Non-player characters can be described by a single Skill stat, ranked 1 or higher, which they use for all throws that fall under their areas of expertise. The referee may wish to flesh out more important NPCs with a specific list of skills.