Saturday, May 2, 2015

The First 56 - Peeking Into the White Star RPG - You'll Burn Your Eyes Out! (Part I of II)

As I mentioned in last night's post, +James Spahn (writer) and +Jason Paul McCartan (layout / editing) gave me a sneak peek at the first 56 pages of the soon to be released White Star RPG. It's pretty much the first six chapters.

Chapter One is the introduction and the basic attributes. The six ability scores you've known and loved since 1974. Bonuses for high abilities go up to + 2. I like that James bakes an assortment of "House Rule" options right in. The assumption is that GMs are going to tweak the shit out of White Star to make a system that fits the campaign they envision - James just gives some examples.

Chapter Two is all about character classes and races. The four default classes are Aristocrat, Mercenary, Pilot and Star Knight.

     Aristocrats are leaders. You want a class that gets a bodyguard and hanger-ons at a later level? This is the one.

     Mercenaries are your brute force. Heavy armor. Heavy weaponry

     Pilots are... pilots. I love the Jury-Rig skill. It's like temporary HP for a starship. If you don't get things fixed before them temp HP are gone, you could real'y be screwed.

     Star Knights are the lightly armored Paladins of White Star. Their way is simply The Way. They get some mystic power, but those aren't detailed until Chapter 7 :(

     Alien Brutes are your Chewbacca's and Igoo's (Herculoids Cartoon.) A Mercenary in fur ;)

     Alien Mystic - Be not. Act not. Do not. Roll Nat 20 You Do.

     Robots - We all know what robots are. Danger Erik Tenkar! Danger!

Chapter 6 is where the starships reside. Yes, we are talking starship combat (we'll come back to chapters 3, 4 and 5 tonight or  tomorrow morning.)

Starship combat is much like ranged combat between characters. To hit rolls, AC, max range and even hit points. It will feel very familiar even if there are some significant tweaks (Shield Strength comes to mind.) There are 9 ships included in the core rules. My God, what a ripe niche to expand upon.

You can modify your starship with tractor beams, proton missiles, Faster-Than-Light drives and a whole lot more.

White Star is very much a toolbox. Perfectly fine to run as is but so easy to modify and tweak for your own vision.

Chapter Three covers equipment, Four covers playing the game and Five covers personal combat.


  1. I am jealous, and May 4th cannot come fast enough.

  2. Sounds cool though rather Star Warsy...is it easy to take out the mystic stuff? I like my sci fi free of magic/mysticism

    1. Matt,

      Yes. If you don't want that, you can just remove the Gifts and Meditations, and the Star Knight and Alien Mystic Classes, along with a couple of other elements.

    2. Cool. Sounds like a sci fi game I could pick up and run on the fly since my friends already know the D&D stuff.

      Are there cool space ships included?

    3. There's some standard types of ships included as the game is meant to be more of a toolkit, but I believe James is planning on doing more with ships and other extended content.

    4. Matt,

      EVERYTHING in White Star is optional. If you don't like it, toss it out. If you want to tweak it, please do - that's the purpose of the design. I love the whole Psychic Paladin thing, so I put 'em in. If you don't, toss them - I wrote the rules but it's your campaign.

      The space ships are provided as broad templates. From your classic starfighter ala Battlestar Galactica's Viper or Star Wars' X-Wing, to the lumbering warship Dreadnought - each ship is not a specific "make/model," but defined by the purpose of the ship. Modify to your heart's content - there are all kinds of options in there and it's likely there will be a starships book in the future with even more options.

  3. I should also state that some things are still in flux right now, such as page numbers, spacing in tabs and some background elements, and a few other things. We're doing final editing right now and a lot of tweaks are being done to tighten things up. The majority of the publication is done, so now it's just cleaning it all up and making sure it's complete.

    Caffeine is amazing stuff.

  4. How does this contrast with Stars Without Number?

  5. How does this contrast with Stars Without Number?

  6. How does this contrast with Stars Without Number?

  7. I rather like how the alien racial classes are presented as archetypes, rather than as specific named races.



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