Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Watching Farscape, running Fading Suns

I am a proud owner of Fading Suns 1st edition. I remember my friend got that game long time ago but didn't like it that much, so I got it from him. Never actually played it before 2000-ish when I and my girlfriend started it. And I have to say, the game is lots of fun and the campaign was awesome. We still talk about it.

So, as previous post told, AFMBE didn't work out. So, checking out my rpg shelf and lately watching lots of Farscape, we decided to give Fading Suns another shot.

Just created character, and have played it for 15 minutes or so, so cannot tell much about the campaign yet. Still, expectations are high for this one.

I know, that running Fading Suns is told to be a bit complicated. The world and setting are quite rich of detail and a bit complicated in some decree. Still, I decided to approach game with more adventure and episode style play, so campaign set in same location shouldn't be a problem. And hey, I am watching Farscape big time, so there should be lots of inspiration! Inspiration worth of 4 seasons.

I have always thought Fading Suns settings to be somehow a bit like Star Wars. There is different planets with different societies and tech levels. But somehow, I think Farscape could suit that concept a bit better. Or what do you think? Only drawback for Fading Suns is lack of races. There is basically five of them. Human (divided to different orders, houses and guilds), Ur-Ukar and Ur-Obun, Vorex and barbarians. When watching many scifi-series from TV there is always countless numbers of different races. I could easily add my own races to Fading Suns, but I like to play game as it is "ment" to play. Still, there is genetic engineering and symbiots, what can add countless new races. Well, symbiots are bad guys, but genetically manipulated could come in any form and aren't necessary hostile. So, even if there is not many races presented in core rulebook, there is ways to hack many different races into game without breaking it.

Fading Suns rules have been criticized also but I find them ok. Basically you add charasteristic (strength, dexterity etc.) to skill and roll D20 to score below for a success. Victory chart adds a little twist. The more you roll under, the better the result is. And I think critical success is brilliant. If you roll same number as your charasteristic + skill you double the victory chart's result. So, better you are, better critical you can get. Roll 20 is natural botch.
Energy shields are also cool. They have value what damage they can absord. If damage is too low, it doesn't trigger on, and if damage is too high it cannot absord it anymore. For example basic energy shield has value 5-10 what means, it can absord damage between 5-10 but doesn't turn on on damage below 5 or cannot absord higher damage than 10. They also have "hits", what means how many times they can trigger on before their battery is used. I find energy rules quite fun and cool.
There is also "magic powers" so to speak. Divine miracles from religion and psychic powers. I have to admit, it's been quite long time last time I have read the book, so cannot remember those that well. Basically you try to balance with your light and dark side when committing them. Luckily, that is not important information to read at this moment, as those occult powers aren't available for player character.

There is much more in Fading Suns. I don't remember it all, so I must read the book again asap to refresh my memory. I don't care about other's opinions, but in my opinion Fading Suns is cool. One of the best rpg's out there. Propably even in top 5 (if WoD games go into one general position).

Related links (Fading Suns generally from newer editions):

Fading Suns @ wikipedia
Farscape official site
Farscape wikia reviews listing

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