Sunday, July 13, 2014

Dawning Star Playtest

Eric Gilbertson's Wolf -species character "Spot"

Last week our Thursday Night Group did a playtest of the chargen rules for the Fate Core reboot of Dawning Star RPG. We participated in the Kickstarter campaign for this game back in the fall, based on having liked the d20 edition of the game. While I never had an opportunity to play or run the d20 version, the game had great art and a very interesting multi-species space opera setting with all the action happening in one solar system.

For the reboot of the game, there are even more species in-system as recent arrivals onboard the evacuation ship Uyti. The playtest chargen package includes a number of those species, which range from the fairly humanoid to the really weird. (Remember the Horta from Star Trek? Here we have a rock eating species that defecates precious minerals.)

It's no accident that many species have been drawn to the Helios system, where Dawning Star is set. An ancient star gate network brings ships here from many different systems. In fact, the system is riddled with alien artifacts, and there is a lively trade in the relics of the Ancients.

Our players decided to tie the Ancients' relics - and in particular, the competitive archaeological and relic hunting ventures resulting from the widespread knowledge that such relics exist - into their two Campaign Issues. The current and impending campaign issues they selected were:
  • We must destroy the secrets of the Ancients for everyone's good.
  • Ancient artifacts coming to life.
The players decided to create a group of radical demilitarizers/armed disarmers or anarcho-luddites who seek out and destroy the Ancients' relics before the PCs contemporaries can use them as weapons. So they hunt for relics in order to destroy them, as well as ambushing others' relic hunting and smuggling operations.

This is a group bound for trouble. A party of space asshole archaeologists including:
  • A Wolf, a Vargyr-like alien species. Eric's character, as depicted above, is also the cook for the group. In one hand, Spot holds a chainsaw; in his other hand, a chocolate chip cookie tray. Eric is a dog guy, what can I say?
  • An Elgie, a lemur-like race that are better with tech than most of the other races. Rachel made a really cute sketch of her character. If she gives me permission, I'll include it in a subsequent post.
  • A Velin named "Fabian", the most pretentious name possible for a member of the humanoid indigenous race on Eos. Bob created Fabian as the "Velin Indiana Jones". He uses his psychic Red Truth affinity to find artifacts and destroy them.
  • Speaker to Anarchists, a Kzinti. Speaker is the muscle of the group, but he also has a great Edge: a working stasis box. I created him to test the new species creation rules in Dawning Star. Since first edition D&D people have been creating Kzinti for their own RPGs. Why stop now?
All-in-all, we had fun creating our characters, who would be very fun to play in a campaign. We would get into a lot of trouble.

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