Fading Suns, the classic operatic sci-fi RPG is back with a wildly successful Kickstarter thanks to Ulisses Spiele. The stars are calling, will you answer?
For the unfamiliar: Fading Suns was a roleplaying game that blended Dune, the Barsoom Saga, and Dune again to create a rich, hard sci-fi universe rife with noble houses and swords, and other medieval technology. Released in 1996 alongside a computer strategy game, both of which were designed by some of the folks who would also define White Wolf’s signature style, the game quickly became a hit, establishing itself well over the years.
At least until the transition from the OGL to 4th Edition’s Game System License, which moved things away from the same foundations of games like d20 Modern (which a planned suite of Fading Suns supplements were slated to use), and back under WotC’s purview. Fading Suns was adrift for a time, switching from company to company, even passing through FASA’s hands before landing with Ulisses Spiele, who have planned a new edition of the game in both English and German, which is Kickstarting right now. Let’s take a look.
via Ulisses Spiele
Fading Suns: Pax Alexius is a self-described passion-play sci-fi RPG. What does that mean? You can expect noble ambitions, melodramatic speeches, and schemes that lay low the mighty and uplift those who manage to cling tightly to power. If you want something that feels like 40K without all the grimdark, here’s a system to try.
Once the suns shone brightly, beacons in the vast night of space, calling humanity onward. The stars were symbols of humanity’s vast potential, a purpose and destiny revealed in progress, inciting an exodus of unlimited growth to the distant stars. Once people looked to the heavens with ope and longing in their eyes.
Then the suns–and the hope–began to fade.
It is the sixth millennium and history has come to an end. Humanity’s greatest civilization has fallen, leaving ignorance and fear scattered among the ruins of many worlds. A new Dark Age is upon humanity and few believe in renewal and progress anymore.
But not all believe in this destiny. A leader has arisen, an emperor sworn to unite the worlds together again under one banner. To ignite hope once more in people’s hearts.
And that’s where the game opens up. There are three core books being released in this Kickstarter.
- The Universe Book (112 pages) presents the setting for Fading Suns: its history, society, and astro-geography. Herein you will encounter nobles, priests, guilders, aliens, psychics, cyborgs, and more.
- The Character Book (272 pages) presents the game system and player characters for Fading Suns. This book includes character creation rules for all the major factions, as well as technological equipment, starships, psychic powers, and theurgic rites.
- The Gamemaster Book (96 pages) presents people, places, and plots for Fading Suns. Herein are guidelines for creating dramas for the player troupe and how to populate them with all manner of non-player-character allies, rivals, and foils. An example drama is included, as well as a roll-by-roll description of play.
With 15 days to go, they’ve already shot past their initial goal, and have unlocked many stretch rewards like playmats and special dice, you can check the whole thing out below.