|RPG published by
VCSA and Lulu.com
|Rule System||FATE 3|
|Authors||Tim Dyke, Byron Kerr, C. W. Marshall, Brad Murray|
Diaspora, formerly known as "Spirit of the Far Future," is a game written by some fans of Traveller who wanted a hard-sci-fi game with the narrative mechanics of Spirit of the Century. It uses the FATE System with some minor tweaks. Two things that set it apart from other narrative rpgs is the mini-games that are used for conflict resolution when the game gets sluggish, and the intention to stay the hell away from science-fantasy.
Campaign and Character Generation
The first session, players with the GM collaboratively create the campaign settings before generating characters.
Each player (including the GM) is assigned one or two systems to create. Each system is connected to only a few others. To generate a system, a player rolls 4dF to get a score from -4 to +4 for three stats: Environment, Resources, and Technology. Then the player give the system three Aspects (which can be tagged for anything while in that system), a unique name, and a bit of story.
Then, player characters are created. Each player describes five stages of their player's life: growing up (in one of the systems you designed), starting out (intended career), moment of crisis (something that changed the character, and included the character to your right), sidetracked (your version of the left-player's moment of crisis), and lastly where the character is now. At each stage, give your character two Aspects appropriate to the events, and finally decide what skill ranks the character would have acquired in these adventures.
Personal Combat is the same as in Spirit of the Century. Take swings at people, manuver to put temporary aspects on targets or areas, stunts can give you an edge. Stress and consequences are always physical.
Social Combat is can be used for debates, competing suitors, political rallies, union disputes, and work similar to combat on an abstracted map using different skills, using scandal or wit to put obstaces in place instead of gunfire. Stress and consequences are always composure.
Ship Combat is used in the depths of space. Ships have their own character sheet, with Aspects, Skills, Stunts and even Fate points. Stress tracks are not physical/compsoure/wealth as for humans, but frame/data/heat, for weapons fire, electronic warfare and engine use. A simple combat map that represents position and velocity is used.
Platoon Combat is used for group warfare. Squads have skills and Aspects, and the platoon leader can spent fate points on squads within communication range.
Whenever possible, narrating conflict resolution and dynamic tests are recommended, but when things slow down, the GM can whip out counters and whiteboard a map out to get some risky action going.
Far enough in the future that humans have settled other stars -- the titular "Diaspora" -- and nobody remembers Earth anymore. Faster-than-light travel is possible and instantaneous if you know how (Tech level +2 or above), but only above and below the ecliptic if you travel in far enough away from the system's centre of mass, which takes days if not weeks of travel. Momentum is conserved, you need reaction mass to travel through space, and money makes the worlds go 'round. Nobody knows how to make new connections, or rather, some people do but they're not telling...
Systems of the Diaspora have experienced many golden eras and dark ages, always sequentially. There's something about a certain level of technology where a culture becomes incomprehensible to people not at their level. Just beyond Tech Level +4 seems to be a Human Singularity where people outside the culture think they've all gone mad (like destroying neighbouring systems to harvest mass to build a ringworld, or commit suicide en masse to upload their conciousness into a sublithic computer hive), or they've just vanished without explanation (such as when they decided spacewarp their planet to somewhere with a nicer night sky, or just chuck all their technology in a panic and return to an stone-age pastoral life but erased any records explaining why). This Human Singularity / WTF Event Horizon puts an upper-limit on technology that can be found in the cluster. Aside from the FTL travel between systems (a necessity for the genre), nobody breaks physics.
The authors state that their love of the Traveller RPG inspired them to write the game. Indeed, the physical effort of moving to a jump point before FTL travel, the "first blood" rule where the first stress taken in combat counts for more, and other features are copied from Traveller.
Is it any good?
Since the campaign is created by all the players together in the first session, it's guaranteed that there will be something in the game world for everyone. Unless you're playing with fuckwads that see narrative games as a chance to finally make a Mary Sue.
Plenty of RPG storyfags and "i r serius gamr" types are soaking their panties about this, but maybe that's just because it looks damn good on paper. So far the reviews just have the first session where people build the setting and characters. The playtests read like gold, but it's still too young to see the shitty playtests yet. Maybe some smar/tg/uys will take it for a test drive after Sprit of the Century.