Inside the Stars are Fire
12 months ago
– Mon, Aug 06, 2018 at 08:14:12 PM
Curious to know more about what The Stars are Fire will contain? Read on!
We’re really excited about this 160-page book of sci-fi goodness that will cover running and playing in science fiction RPGs. Broadly speaking, The Stars are Fire will provide rules and stats for aliens, robots, starships, high-tech gear, otherworldly hazards, and much more. It will also include an entire campaign setting built using the guidelines in Your Best Game Ever.
We’re really interested in steering the new setting more toward the hard sci-fi end of things, but with a sprinkling of more fantastical tidbits in the mix to keep your players on their toes. Our setting is not too far in the future, where humanity has reached out into the Solar System: a supermassive O’Neill colony, with bases on the Moon, Mars, colonies in hollowed-out asteroids, huge bases on the moons of Jupiter and Saturn, floating cities hanging in the clouds of Venus, and more. Even more amazing, multi-planetary corporations—like Xiao-Keller (XK) and Astra Industries—make colossal investments into a brand-new domain of physics, producing a top-secret propulsion system allowing humans to found nearby interstellar colonies.
That’s when the Moon colonies discover millions of miles of tunnels crisscrossing the Moon's core beneath the regolith. Artificial tunnels. OLD tunnels. But the news never reaches Earth. The discovery of the tunnels coincides with the Earth going completely dark and quiet. No one in the solar system knows why...
But before we take that any further, I have a couple questions that we’re still exploring, and I’m interested in your take.
Hard, Fantastical, and Soft Sci-Fi
The first question I’m curious about is how hard you like your sci-fi? “Hard” sci-fi usually means an emphasis on scientific accuracy and engineering, or at least a very strong nod to it.
For instance, on the hard end of the sci-fi “realistic” spectrum, humans are stuck traveling at speeds no greater than the classic rocket equation allows. So even moving between planets in our own solar system would take months or years, even with really advanced plasma engines.
On the fantastical end of the sci-fi spectrum, humans might move by beaming themselves instantaneously around the solar system, or step through wormhole gates to find themselves in another solar system. Of course, there’s a lot of room for interpretation in the middle. Can it still be hard science fiction if it’s pre-supposed that all the matter in the solar system has been converted into a habitable ring around the star with a radius roughly equal to the distance that the Earth orbits the sun? Maybe, if all the underlying math is at least plausible.
I happen to think that good sci-fi should also contain soft elements. Lots of people say that “soft” sci-fi is the opposite of hard sci-fi, because soft sci-fi focuses on character and weird societies rather than science and engineering. I don’t know, to me, the amount of focus given to character development in a speculative society sounds like its own entirely different spectrum.
Or maybe all this talk of spectrums is the wrong way to go. I mean, why not create a setting that contains speculative societies of the future using hard science fiction-derived technology, but with the opportunity to develop or find technology far in advance of their own understanding?
It could be a thing. What’s your take?
Rules vs. Setting
My second question has to do with the percentage of rules/advice to new setting material that will appear in The Stars Are Fire. This book is going to contain tools you can use to craft all kinds of different sci-fi settings as well as a fully realized sci-fi setting. It’s a bit too early to nail down that exact ratio right now, but it’s something worth considering. And in fact, it’s a question I posed in the comments section of Your Best Game Ever a few days ago. And many of you already responded!
Whatever the specific ratio turns out to be, we’re committed to producing a meaty section for both. This will satisfy your needs for more tools and serve as an astonishing setting from which you can immediately launch a Cypher System sci-fi adventure or two.
So, will you come with us out into the void, which isn’t as lonely as they say? Because out there, the stars are fire.
Callisto 6 from Geek & Sundry!
12 months ago
– Mon, Aug 06, 2018 at 12:17:50 AM
Thanks to you, we have unlocked Stay Alive!, a horror-themed sourcebook and setting, and last week we unlocked The Stars Are Fire, a science-fiction-themed book. Things are moving fast and there’s still more to come! But speaking of science fiction and the Cypher System, Geek & Sundry just announced that their live play web series, Shield of Tomorrow, is ending and a new show, Callisto 6, is taking its place.
The show will have the same cast and the same GM (Eric Campbell, who also happens to also be one of the consulting experts on Your Best Game Ever). However, it will utilize a brand new cyberpunk/sci-fi/superhero setting built by Eric Campbell and Sam de Leve for the Cypher System. Monte’s been consulting with them to help pull things together and we’re really excited about the show. You can bet we’ll be there watching and we think all Cypher System fans should check it out. If Shield of Tomorrow is any indication, this will be a great show, with a fun cast and a great GM.
Existing Shield of Tomorrow and Callisto 6 fans might consider getting their hands on the Cypher System Rulebook to see how the game works, and run games of your own. The I Want It Now! level gets you the rules as soon as the campaign closes to dive right in. And it gets you the new rulebook when that releases, as well as a copy of Your Best Game Ever, of course.
However, since Callisto 6 is a sci-fi setting, fans will want to get The Stars Are Fire as well, and the best value there would be the I Want It All and I Want It Now! backer level, which gets you the rules when the Kickstarter closes, the new rulebook, Your Best Game Ever and Your Best Game Ever Deluxe, The Stars Are Fire, Stay Alive!, and very likely a lot more, as there’s still a lot of this campaign left to unlock new books and other cool stuff.
Stay tuned tomorrow for an update from Bruce R. Cordell that gives more details about The Stars are Fire!
Stay Alive! is Alive!
12 months ago
– Sun, Aug 05, 2018 at 06:22:43 PM
We can all stay alive now! We’ve unlocked the latest goal, and it’s a horror-themed book—yeah, you guessed it by now—titled Stay Alive! This 160-page intense hardcover book will cover running and playing a horror game. It will provide rules and stats for zombies, vampires, tentacled horrors, elder gods, insanity, fear, and much more. It will also include an entire campaign setting built using the guidelines in Your Best Game Ever. Ever wanted to really instill some fear into your friends (in a good way)? This book will be for you. The lead designer will be Sean K Reynolds.
This book will be added for free to the I Want it All! pledge level and above, and is available as an add-on. And if you’re a horror game superfan you might want to take a look at the Early Playtest Access add-on or the I Want It All and I Want My Say! to get to see it early and even provide feedback.
And can I take a moment to point you at the I Want it All! pledge level? Because at this point, this backer level is a really good deal—and look how much of the campaign is left. It’s just going to get better and better from here. Every book, every upgrade, everything else we unlock in this campaign (and we have some cool surprises in mind)… you will get it all.
So what’s next, you ask? We thought we’d go in a different direction. Remember those Best Game Ever videos linked in the last update? We’d love to do more. But they take a lot of time to prepare and film. If we reach $190,000, we’ll pledge to do them regularly every two weeks (barring holidays and whatnot). What’s more, each installment will come with a pdf of an outline, key points, and show notes that you’ll all get for free. The whole thing will be free to all of you.
Thank you for your support. Hope you’re next game is your best game ever!
~Monte (and the whole MCG crew)
Upgrade to Your Best Game Ever Unlocked!
12 months ago
– Thu, Aug 02, 2018 at 12:48:27 AM
Every version of Your Best Game Ever, both deluxe and standard, PDF and print, just got even better! Bigger, more beautiful, and funnier!
And gaming pals, we have a great goal in mind next. But I’m not going to tell you what it is. What? Am I a jerk? Well, yes, probably. But instead, I’m just going to show you a mock-up of the cover art. It’s gorgeous, and you can guess what it might be. (And if you’re guessing it’s a whole new book, you’re on the right track.)
How can you find out what this is? Unlock it! We have to reach $175,000 to do so. We’ll have to keep sharing the details of this campaign far and wide to get there. Maybe even stop by a few game-related discussion forums or reddits? I bet there’s a Facebook group or fifty that would be interested to hear about this campaign. And if we do manage to unlock this goal we will… well, you’ll see…
Deluxe Version of Your Best Game Ever Unlocked!
12 months ago
– Tue, Jul 31, 2018 at 10:31:26 PM
Yes! Now we get to have a gorgeous leatherbound version of Your Best Game Ever. It’s going to be amazing! We are going to make this a book that every roleplayer will shelve proudly next to their favorite game, no matter what that game may be. Like a badge of honor, it will complement your collection and show the world that you love RPGs.
As we mentioned before, this is added FREE to every backer level at I Want it All! and above! You can also add it on for $80. Or, if you're backing at a level that gets you just the regular version, you can upgrade to the deluxe for an additional $35.
Best yet–if we hit the stretch goal to upgrade Your Best Game Ever with more pages, more art, and comics, that will be for both versions (in print and PDF).
As a reminder, the next stretch goal makes Your Best Game Ever:
• Bigger! More pages with more advice, suggestions, and material. Your Best Game ever will grow to 224 pages.
• More beautiful! We’ll add some beautiful new art to go along with the text—have we mentioned that we want this to be a book so gorgeous you’ll be proud to display it prominently?
• Funnier! We’ll gather together some great cartoonists including John Kovalic (Dork Tower), Vickie Lee (Dungeons and Doggos), Aviv Or (Up to Four Players), Brian Patterson (d20 Monkey), Len Peralta (Geek-a-Week), Alina Pete (Weregeek), and Stan! (Bolt and Quiver) and we’ll have them create some game-themed cartoons to bring extra fun and levity to the book.
We're getting close to this goal of $150,000! Let's get there so we share what else we'd like to make. Spread the word!
~Monte (and the whole MCG team)