Fading Suns [Fading Suns] News

Huch, gibt's hier keine FS-News, oder hab ich was übersehen?

Na ja, falls nicht, hier die aktuellen FS-News:

RedBrick hat soeben einen Open Call for Writers ausgerufen; es geht darum, ein Stück Text für das neue Projekt "Prisoners & Exiles" zu schreiben - der Sieger wird gedruckt und talentierte Autoren zwangverpf... äh, rekrutiert.
Mehr Infos gibt's hier.
Fading Suns Third Edition will use the soon-to-be-released 4th Edition Dungeons&Dragons rules. \"Dungeons&Dragons has the largest user base of all pen-and-paper roleplaying games, so it makes sense that we should migrate Fading Suns to the new 4th Edition rules\" said S. Miley of RedBrick Limited. When questioned further, Mr Miley explained \"It\'s all about the Forgotten Realms campaign setting. You see, it\'s all very well having those dwarves and humans and -- what do you call those pointy-eared things? Oh yes -- elves running round killing things and casting spells and such. We though it would be a nice touch to introduce some *real* roleplaying into the Realms, so we changed the Fading Suns timeline to fit. The Emperor will have a lot of fun integrating Krynn, or Greyhawk, or whatever it\'s called, into the Hawkwood estates. And the Inquisition will have something to say, no doubt!\" When asked whether it would be good move to tie Fading Suns to the fortunes of the venerable Forgotten Realms, Mr Miley had this to say. \"Well, it\'s not forgotten for nothing! Wait until we release the Symbiot Invasion expansion for the Forgotten Realms! That will sort out the kenders from the tieflings!\" Unsurprisingly, neither Holistic Design nor Wizard of the Coast had any comments to make.

von Dammi

Fading Suns is a science fiction game of heavy combat, vicious politics, weird occultism, alien secrets and artifacts, and unknown and un-mapped worlds. The Shards series is a collection of adventures and encounters, intended as an inexpensive resource for Fading Suns gamemasters.Written by Angus McNicholl, Ruinous Folly was designed for a group of 3 to 6 player characters. In this adventure, the characters explore the secrets of an ancient think machine, following a treasure map into the turbulent atmosphere of the gas giant Gargantua. However, they are not the only ones, and the treasure they find has plans of its own...Available now! Click here for more information!

von Dammi

Fading Suns is a science fiction game of heavy combat, vicious politics, weird occultism, alien secrets and artifacts, and unknown and un-mapped worlds. The Shards series is a collection of adventures and encounters, intended as an inexpensive resource for Fading Suns gamemasters.Written by Thomas Baroli, Dead End was designed for a group of 3 to 5 player characters. In this adventure the characters travel to Kish to attend a religious ceremony, but are soon drawn into an obscure plot of murder and intrigue. As the characters follow the track of an unknown assailant who tried to assassinate Baron Sun Cho Li Halan’s young wife, they are about to discover a disturbing secret far greater than just the identity of a mere criminal.... Available now! Click here for more information!

von Dammi

RedBrick Limited is happy to announce that they have successfully concluded negotiations with the White Wolf Gaming Studio for a license to publish roleplaying products for the Old World of Darkness (also known as oWoD among the fans) formerly published between 1991 and 2003. The revival of this line will bring back updated editions of Vampire: The Masquerade, Werewolf: The Apocalypse, Mage: The Ascension, Wraith: The Oblivion, and Hunter: The Reckoning. The Old World of Darkness resembles the contemporary world, but darker, more devious, more conspiratorial. Humanity is losing hope as it is secretly preyed upon and controlled by supernatural creatures such as vampires, werewolves and wraiths. Prepare for evenings of atmosphere and gloom, and revisit the Old World of Darkness from it\'s beginnings through the Time of Judgement!James Flowers, RedBrick Company Director, said \"At RedBrick we work with game properties that we feel passionate about. The Old World of Darkness is one of these properties and, while we liked the fact that it was destroyed, many fans still long for the good old times. We look forward to bring those back. White Wolf has created a series of exciting games, but removing them also removed a lot of unexplored potential. RedBrick will continue to work closely with White Wolf and Mark Reign•Hagen to ensure continuity with the original vision for the Old World of Darkness.\"Mark Reign•Hagen, who ended his absence and re-joined White Wolf for this venture, said \"We are excited that the Old World of Darkness will be revisited and explored in more detail. Fans of the game have been asking for a revitalization of the old line, and RedBrick\'s community-based approach means that not only will their patience be rewarded, but that the community will actually have a voice in the direction the new line takes.\"James Flowers added, \"At present, we have a lot to do and our immediate focus is making the out-of-print books available in electronic format as eBooks, as well as getting the rulebooks back into print. We will announce more details on what we have planned for the future of the Old World of Darkness in due course.\"More information and official forums can be found at RedBrick\'s old World of Darkness web site.The Old World of Darkness is a Trademark and Copyright of White Wolf Gaming Studio. All Rights Reserved. RedBrick Limited are headquartered in New Zealand, and also publish the popular Earthdawn and Fading Suns roleplaying games under license from FASA Corporation and Holistic Design Inc., respectively. RedBrick\'s company web site is http://www.redbrick-limited.com. White Wolf Gaming Studio are headquartered in Stone Mountain, USA. White Wolf Gaming Studio\'s company web site is http://www.white-wolf.com.

von RedBrick Limited

I talked about attributes last time. This time I want to talk about skills in Fading Suns Third Edition (FS3). In terms of system mechanics, skills still operate as they did in previous editions (FS1/2) and are scaled from 1 to 10. So there are no surprises about how they work.

As a general principle, we wanted characters to feel like heroes, so part of that was to give skills a broad range of expertise. FS2 also had a number of 'non-valued' skills, including 'Archery', 'Spacesuit', and 'Languages'. These did not fit our definition of what a skill was and had to go. In the case of 'archery' that was easily folded into the 'shoot' skill.

For other skills, like Languages and Tech Redemption, the new Skill Synergy mechanic ultimately provided us with a way of dealing with them and making them widely applicable to game use.

Let us first consider languages. What should we do with them? Should we have a single Languages skill with a value? Should we require a character to learn every different language with a rating? Both of these options seemed to be less than satisfactory.

Instead, we combined two concepts together -- that of the Languages and old Lore (People & Places Seen) skills -- and came up with a 'Culture' skill. Much like 'Lore' skills, the Culture skill needed to be specialized. Now this approach might seem a little clunky, but once you factor in the Skill Synergy mechanic you suddenly have a powerful set of social skills.

Example: Lets assume that a character is trying to negotiate to purchase spare parts for the cohort's starship from a techie on Cadavus. We would use the Influence skill, but we also have the Culture (Cadavus) skill, which we can use to get a Synergy bonus. In fact, while on Cadavus, any social activity the character undertakes would get that Synergy bonus, because the character knows the local dialect and some of the local customs and is therefore better able to communicate and persuade the locals to help him.

Though the 'Culture' skill is rarely tested directly, it should not be ignored. Culture skills exist on several levels at a planet, faction, and empire level. Every starting character begins play with a minimum of three Culture skills. If the character has traveled widely, I'd suggest that the player should take more -- they will quickly pay for themselves in most games with even small number of social encounters.

Tech Redemption had a different problem. It was a very narrow-focused skill, which presented an immediate problem for our heroic intentions. So these three skills were rolled into just one skill. But again, the Skill Synergy mechanic helps us out by making specific areas of expertise (Cybernetics, Vau Tech, etc.) available as Lore skills to augment the single Tech Redemption skill and provide some variation in guilders.

Benefits and Afflictions have seen a little work as well. Some have been dropped, some have been added, and some have been reworked. But all of them have been re-pointed! One of the issues I had as a GM was min/maxing. This is when a player sacrifices one area in favor of another (for example, taking a -2 to social in return for a +2 in physical), and these cancel each other out in the Points Buy system.

This is no longer possible. The points costs have been re-calibrated so that, in the above example, you now get fewer points back from taking an affliction and you need to buy the counterbalancing benefit. Its a simple, elegant solution. Min/Maxing now only makes a character weaker. Afflictions should be used to add flavor to a character, not as a means of tipping game balance.

A new year is upon us and life is looking good. We are (mostly) established in our new home. James is officially a permanent US resident and has picked his career back up in IT like he never left it. Things have calmed down enough for us to concentrate on our passion... gaming.Awesome benefits to where we live now: we are much closer to our favorite game conventions, Origins and GenCon. We are also closer to DragonCon and we plan to check that out this year as well.One other happy discovery: there is an awesome game store (YottaQuest) just 10 minutes down the road, and they have regular gaming events. We are in Geek Utopia. =)Cheers!Dawn

In Fading Suns Third Edition (FS3) we carried across the Free Form and Lifepath character generation systems from FS1/2, but we also worked on the process so that you have the option to mix-and-match using parts of the Lifepath generator and Points Buy to get the character that you want to play, and be ready to play in a matter of minutes! The Lifepath system takes the character through five steps (upbringing, apprenticeship, early career, and two extra tours). Each of these steps is worth 20 character points out of the character\'s total of 100 points. So you can see it would be easy for a player to take the first three steps, then use his remaining 40 character points to buy whatever attributes, skills, and benefits he desires. The Lifepath system also gives the characters a few unallocated points, so that Lifepath characters can still be customized with benefits. We have widely expanded the Extra Tours section of the Lifepath system, grouping them into general categories: Noble Duties, Church Missions, Guild Work, but also Forbidden Paths, Circumstantial Paths, and Professional Paths. For example, a character who wants to be an agent of the Syneulla or the Kalinthi can simply take that specific path from within the Church Missions extra tours; a character who wants to be a psychic or a cyborg can take the appropriate path from within the Forbidden Extra Tours; a character who wants to have a higher rank can take the high promotion path from within the Circumstantial extra tours. There are a lot of options to play with... and that\'s even before we consider the possibilities of alien characters. To be honest, we haven\'t dealt with aliens in any great detail, in part because of space and in part because Fading Suns is primary a human-centric setting. But we have added a few additional standard options. While the ever popular Obun, Ukari, and Vorox are still there, we have also added the standard option to play Etyri and Gannok. On the face of it, these may not be the obvious choices to add, but the shift of the primary setting to Grail meant that the Etyri needed to be talked about. The Gannok are often overlooked, but are one of the most widely dispersed of the alien races, and live in great numbers on the League Worlds. In fact, based on numbers alone, Gannok deserved to be represented far more than the ever popular Vorox, of which only a tiny minority actually travel the jumproads.

This time round I wanted to talk about the 'occult' aspects of Fading Suns Third Edition (FS3). Vidar has already released some information through his 'Void Transmissions'. We tend to speak on the blogs in terms of the team did this and the team did that. But credit where credit is due, when I handed what I'd written on the Theurgy chapter to Vidar and told him to go for it, I had no idea what I was going to get back. Frankly words cannot describe how happy I was with the text he turned in.

We had been trying to escape the 'wizards guild' appearance of theurgy and I think what we have manage to achieve that. The section on theurgy actually covers a lot more than just theurgy. Theurgy itself does not exist in a vacuum, but is based upon the religious rituals performed by mundane priests, these sacraments are described and should be a must read section for anyone playing a priest even if they are not theurgically inclined.

Theurgy itself is now grouped by Patron Saint rather than by religious order, and each theurge should choose a patron to which they feel personally called. Naturally the patrons we deal within this chapter are those of the Prophet's Disciples but it is my hope that other lesser saints will be revealed in future products. Naturally certain sects tend to venerate some saints over others, the Avesti preferring Saint Maya, or Saint Hombor for example, but there is nothing to stop an Avesti theurge form venerating Saint Amalthea or Saint Paulus. The rites available from each patron reflect the general character of that Saint, Amalthea being healing, and Maya being justice for example.

Theurgy itself has been over hauled, one of the things that struck the team was the shear randomness of ritual effects, and that to us seamed wrong. This is supposed to be a ritual practice for a very deliberate and specific effect.

The way in which rites are performed has been revised allowing most rites to be cast in one of three different modes, as a quick Blessing, a short Prayer or and a lengthy Sermon. This does not change the out come of the successful rite, but only the ease with which it can be called, a Blessing being the fastest but hardest to perform, while Semons take much longer but are the easiest to manifest.

Hubris is the dark side of theurgy, a swelling of sinful pride in ones power. Though this is now governed by the 'attribute pool' system it should be very familiar to everyone who has played FS2.

The final icing on the cake is the inclusion of Theurgical Operations. These are long winded and complex magical rites, that will often take years of preparation to complete or become the focus of an epic. They represent the seeking of higher truths in the universe, and should be considered a game or quest device. Certainly it is unlikely that a player character will be able perform any one of these operations at character creation, but will likely have to quest long and hard to discover both the specifics of the rite and learn all its individual components. These are arcane experiments to which a theurge can dedicate himself and can result in the strange and bizarre such as the creation of life in the form of a Homunculus, or other weird effects. Of course many would denounce such a practice as blasphemy and hubris made manifest.

Last time I spoke about Theurgy, this time I want to reflect upon the new look of the Psychism chapter. In many ways the development of the Psi part of Fading Suns Third Edition (FS3) flowed in the opposite direction to that of Theurgy. Where Theurgy became more stable and dependable, Psi has become more fickle and unpredictable. Many of the Psi paths have been narrowed down, back to the core of what that ability is about.

The way in which characters purchase Psi abilities has completely changed; no longer do characters have to purchase individual 'levels' within a psychic path. Instead, each path has become a psychic skill, with a number of effects described for it. In fact, skills are graduated into Latent, Operant, and Prime categories, and some even feature the potential for Zodiac level training. Each of these graduations opens up specific abilities to the psychic when he obtains the necessary level of skill.

A latent level effect is one that is always operating and usually provides a small goal bonus to a particular skill. For example, psychics with latent level abilities in Omen gain a goal bonus when gambling to represent their intuitive insight. A latent psychic with Bedlam gains a bonus when fighting unarmed as a natural extension of their talent.

Operant levels are the bread and butter of psi abilities, while prime abilities are much rarer and more powerful again. Zodiac abilities are limited to those few psychics who have trained to use a focus ring aboard a starship, and as such are very rare. They are presented here more out of a measure of completeness than any indication that player characters should strive to obtain them.

The Urge pool represents the dark side of the psyche and should be familiar to those with experience of previous editions of the game, though this now utilizes the 'attribute pool' mechanic.

I have already covered the two major occult abilities (psi and theurgy) that appeared in previous editions of the game. Today I'm to reveal two new ones! These are 'Cybernetics' and 'Misfits' (the Changed). After much deliberation it became apparent that previous implementations of these areas of the rules had been unsatisfactory, and that redesigning then as occult abilities seemed the most appropriate way to integrate them into the game and the world view of the inhabitants of the Phoenix Empire.

Both cybernetic implants and changed gifts work in much the same way and like the other occult abilities come with their own dark side. The real difference between these two areas is that cybernetics are intended as a way for a character to improve on existing capabilities (like having a strength booster), while the changed gifts give a character the opportunity to develop completely new capabilities (like being able to breath a toxic atmosphere).

I just want to be clear at this point that all Misfits are Changed, but not all Changed are Misfits. Misfits are a particular type of 'mutable' changed that alone can develop new mutations over time by exposure to industrial pollutants, awakening an untapped genetic legacy and such. The Changed represents a much broader class of individuals with stable genetic modifications. Players have the option to play these 'stable' Changed (Grimsons, Clones etc) by purchasing the Changed benefit from the Benefits & Afflictions chapter.

The cyber chapter includes a quick and very simple modular construction system for implants. This is very much simplified over the FS2 construction system. When building an implant, just pick what you want it to do and pay the points cost for it. Simple!

Oh but then there is the dark side of cyber to consider. As with theurgy and psi this uses an 'attribute pool' to chart the accumulation of 'Glitch'. This starts with minor problems like a nervous tick, or an implant suddenly acting under its own will, and works up towards full blown cyber possession.

The Misfits (Changed) on the other hand have to contend with 'Stigma', as they gain new gifts, so those gifts bring about obvious physiological changes. The effects of stigma begin with social ostracism and end with an Akira style degeneration, though the types of gifts that changed has will govern the appearance of his stigmas.

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