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  • Foreign Element Scifi RPG: Need Playtesters

    Hey there,

    I've been working on a scifi game, Foreign Element, for a while now. Here's my quick blurb:

    What is Foreign Element?
    At its core, it's a roleplaying game simulating some of those great and not-so-great science fiction action movies of the 80s-90s-and on. Particular favorites of mine? Screamers, Alien, Soldier, Total Recall, etc.. Think furious action, blasted remote science fiction landscapes, corporate and government power at odds, and so on. Heroes range from normal guys to mercenaries and other agents, sent out as teams to explore remote planets that have gone silent after a mysterious event called the Great Blackout. There is not one coherent reason behind the event. On one planet, the heroes might battle malfunctioning robots. On another, it might be alien creatures. And yet another, it might be renegade colonists. It's kind of up to the GM, or it can just be crazy wild insane action. All the while the heroes are doing this, they are living up to their own motivations, which might require them to break orders, backstab each other, or do sordid things for the powers that be.

    With all that said, I am looking for playtesters and also gamers (like you) to look over bits of it and see what you like, what's clear, and what's not.

    It has a bit of a non-traditional approach. Would your group play it? Does the mechanic appear both simple and flexible enough for the kinds of play it is geared to? Is there something that looks just plain broken?

    I'd appreciate any feedback, and let me know if I can look at anything you are working on too.
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Foreign Element Scifi RPG: Need Playtesters started by MysticAges View original post
    Comments 5 Comments
    1. RannXerox's Avatar
      RannXerox -
      Not enough story to tell if I would play the game. For me the story is everything in a game. Heck I played Rifts for years even though it has a terrible system but the story was so compelling. Your setting sounds similar to Man Hunter which had a Total Recall or Blade Runner feel to it.

      As far as the gaming system, since you are looking at a very small scope of people playing the game, I would suggest picking an open source gaming system like d20 or one you like better then requiring people to learn your new system. Focus on story and let others worry about the nuts and bolts.

      JMHO - Rann
    1. MysticAges's Avatar
      MysticAges -
      Thanks for your humble opinion, Rann.

      The download is just looking at the system right now - the story bits are in the other sections. Maybe I wasn't clear in the description about that. I'm hoping it will perk enough people to find some folks willing to test out the system and see if it flows with what I am trying to do.

      I appreciate D20 and have looked at using a more popular game systems... but never could find the feel that I was shooting for. So I hope the system is easy enough for someone to learn who may not necessarily be interested in learning a new system. It should be pretty quick, although I still have some ideas to flesh it out a little bit further.

      And I've never seen Man Hunter, so that is something to check out.

      Thanks again for your feedback! I'll post a link to some pages from the setting chapter to see if that gives you more of a feel for the story.
    1. ronpyatt's Avatar
      ronpyatt -
      I love the Scene mechanic, and Deadlines have plot splatter all over them. Lot's of story possibilities. This is a game I'd enjoy playing.

      If I read this correctly, the rolling, as long as there's even numbered sides, could be done with any die types, mixing d6's with d8's, d20's, etc..

      Is this normal human focused or will there be other species / modified humans available as player characters?
    1. J-Hazen's Avatar
      J-Hazen -
      Interesting game, the mechanics are simple and fast. It is definitely worth persuing. To address some of the questions you asked.

      Would my group play it? I could see us playing this, we play a wide variety of games and this could easily fit into the group.

      Does the mechanic appear both simple and flexible enough for the kinds of play it is geared to? The mechanics are definitely simple to grasp and work well. Is it suitable to the kind of play its geared too, well you dont state a type of play, you state settings and will it fill those roles? Yes, I can see this easily representing action movie styles of settings. That being said, the system (from what I have seen so far) fills the beer and chips type of play. Its a fast setting, with characters that look like thy could be represented on 3x5 cards and could be picked up as a fastyplay game just about anywhere.

      Is there something that looks just plain broken? Nothing off the top of my head that I saw looked outright broken.

      Thoughts: First on an existing mechanic (the equip pool), I would have players define where those dice are going before heading out on a mission. The party has x dice of resources to requisition equip, where are you putting it. The scavenger rule should be open to get bonus dice, not just to replenish the die pool.

      Second, the downside to the system is that it is a simplistic system (not that that is bad) but you may find some players wanting more detail, so I would recommend sticking to the fastplay route and not give in to heavy mechanics. On this, the mechanics are simlar to those in the cortex system so you might want to see if there is something you can do to seperate them just a bit more.

      Feel free to contact me with any questions etc.
    1. MysticAges's Avatar
      MysticAges -
      Thanks for the feedback! Been swamped lately, so I will be tossing up some more previews in the coming weeks.

      I do have a draft of the cover here:

      Great art by DeDe Putra.

      Right now, no, I don't have plans to add non-human characters... though it will be easy to add. Within the setting timeline as is, humans have not encountered intelligent life forms, although they are one of the possible solutions to why the universe has gone terribly wrong.

      I don't have tons of experience with the Cortex System. I do have Serenity lying around here somewhere though. I'll look into it.