The Rules: Introduction   2 comments

FSR2N uses a custom rule set different from that published by Holistic Design. When I first got into Fading Suns, I fell in love with the setting. The scattered cultures of the Known Worlds allow for a variety of scenarios: high-tech arcologies, medieval villages, backward tribes, alien ruins. Overlay all of that with the mythos of a fallen Golden Age (the Second Republic), the metaphysics of a true religion (the Church), creator-myth aliens (the Annunaki) and you have some epic drama available to you. But the rules were never quite there: a jury-rigged mix of White Wolf’s success pools with d20 target numbers.

So I did my own jury-rigging, of course.

Anyone who’s gamed with me knows that my favorite GMing technique is to force a player to choose between two unpleasant options. I wanted a system that would enforce that mechanically. So I decided this would be a system where the GM didn’t roll any dice. When the heroes confronted a challenge, I would announce the difficulty and then back away. Whether the heroes overcame the difficulty or not would be a function of how many resources they were willing to burn. You only win if you want it bad enough.

I also wanted the rules to reflect the theme of the game. Fading Suns is a universe where the stars are literally growing dimmer. This is commonly believed to be a result of humanity turning away from the light of the Creator. The best days of the species are behind them, and the race can hope for nothing better than to salvage the most useful tech of prior epochs. The natural tendency of the world – and of the playable characters – is toward vice, apathy and corruption, unless they make a concerted effort.

I’ll go into further details of how the rules work in future posts. For now I’ll just acknowledge the most obvious thefts:


And I’m sure I’m forgetting some, and I’m sure those guys stole from other designers in turn. More rules stuff coming!

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Posted August 23, 2011 by John Perich in Uncategorized

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2 responses to “The Rules: Introduction

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  1. Your comment about hard choices makes me think you really, really need to run or play Apocalypse World at some point 🙂

    I am excited to hear more about your hack and how it plays. I know basically nothing about Fading Suns but I’m digging the clearly Dune-inspired vibe of the original and the direction you’re taking it.

    I assume Fraley’s playing, yeah? He mentioned your previous FS game as being awesome.

    • Yes, Fraley’s playing. He actually GM’d the last FS game and I played it. Also a blast.

      I want to check out Apocalypse World (and Fiasco, the two indie darlings I keep hearing about) but I’m kind of in an idea glut right now. I’ll gladly play them next chance I get, though!

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