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MikeV

"Chthonian Stars" now "the Void"

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MikeV

For a bit of background, the press release from March 1st has been reposted here.

 

While developing all new game mechanics and building off the existing material there was something about the title Chthonian Stars that just didn't sit quite right or really express what the setting was about. People were having a difficult time remember it, pronouncing it, or understanding the meaning. The setting is dark, gritty, focussed on investigation and very much set up as a survival horror in space game. With that in mind, we spent some time behind closed doors and when all was said and done a very simple title stuck that we feel captures the feel of the setting. The Void.

 

If CthulhuTech is the over the top action movie version of sci-fi Lovecraft, the Void is what I would refer to as gas lamp in space mixed in with adventurer/explorer in the wilderness where you can/will experience the purest form of isolation from civilization and any hope of rescue if things go wrong.

 

That said, the Void is going to be released in a different format than the Chthonian Stars Mongoose edition.

- All books will be in 6" x 9" format and will be full color, soft cover.

- The core book is 416 pages with an all new layout and page design with additional art and will retail for $29.99.

- There are 6 planned releases for the line however, this can change if more supplementation is requested by fans.

 

The Core Book's basic details:

- Designed to make the game extremely accessible you'll be able to start playing within an hour of purchase if you have a game group that wants to play.

- Easy to learn, yet comprehensive rules designed to simulate rich characters in a survival horror setting.

- A host of familiar Lovecraftian horrors for a sci-fi setting, as well as a host of new and original ones.

- Over a dozen deck plans and ships.

- Detailed setting that takes place a few hundred years in the future.

- 3 ready-to run adventures.

 

All that said I've attached a couple of preview pieces with the cover from the 2nd book in the series entitled "Horrors of the Void" and the 3rd book entitled "Ecological Footprint". In addition you can see the reference screen and a quick preview of some art for one of the ships and it's associated deck plan (not representative of final layout).

 

For more information or to participate in discussion you can reach us (the creative team) on our forums here

 

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Tigger_MK4

Some wonderfully evocative art you have there.

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MikeV

Glad you dig it!:)

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JonHook

Wow. I am so there!

 

I'm intrigued by the promise of a fluid ruleset so a group could be up and playing in no-time flat. I also love the deck plans. I am a huge fan of Ridley Scott's "Alien" movie, and this game seems to be oozing that kind of cool.

 

Yeah, I am so there.

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WiseWolf

Honestly I stayed away from Cthulhu-Tech but this... I am sold. Please keep us updated through this forum. I don't visit any other gaming sites.

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K_Peterson

I'm not too fond of the name change, but I have been looking forward to this rpg for some time.

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MikeV

I'll get the guys developing the game mechanics to chime in. Aside from that, the good news is that the MSRP was misquoted. It's actually $29.99 not $34.99. :)

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tank

Aaaawwww...drool...this looks fawging awsome!

 

Perhaps I'm blind but I did not get what system/mechanics is featured in this product? Doesn't matter, I'll be getting these books to look at the pictures if nothing else. Been waiting for a solid Sci-Fi lovecraftian horror game forever.

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GHill

Looks very pretty, but I'd certainly like to know something about the mechanics.

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MikeV

I've sent a link to the rest of the team to chime in on the mechanics side of things. The first 2 books (The Core and Horrors of the Void) will be released as pdf's with the option of print on demand through One Book Shelf and use the existing Traveller game mechanics. Both books are also undergoing a format revision to incorporate new layout, art (a few added pieces), and it's own system.

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GHill
The first 2 books (The Core and Horrors of the Void) will be released as pdf's with the option of print on demand through One Book Shelf and use the existing Traveller game mechanics.

 

As long as we're talking classic or its variants rather than TNE, I'm cool with that :)

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WiseWolf
Mike V said: and use the existing Traveller game mechanics

 

Is the core book a self-contained system? I wouldn't like to buy a Traveller book to play The Void. Apologies if I am missunderstanding.

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MikeV
Is the core book a self-contained system? I wouldn't like to buy a Traveller book to play The Void. Apologies if I am missunderstanding.

The Void is a self contained setting. Chthonian Stars (it's original release title and format) was originally under Mongoose and was developed to be used with Traveller. 2 different releases.

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JonHook

Ha... I just noticed. I love the Morse Code under each letter in the title of The Void.

 

I wish the Wildfire site was updated to showcase The Void instead of Chthonian Stars. Not that Chthonian Stars is a bad idea, it's just that I don't have the Traveler rules.

 

I was thinking about the setting of this game; I was thinking how in space it's nothing but business. None of the other planets or moons have a human habitual atmosphere, so the major reason to be in space would be gas and ore mining. That, and maybe some pure scientific exploration. My head is spinning already thinking about how far humans would have already explored and set up mining facilities, and what areas where yet to be explored.

 

I also wonder how much Asimov can be thrown in for good measure too. What if the human race finally discovered with a hundred precent assurance that there was a planet out there perfect for human colonization, and we were preparing a massive moon-sized ship to take 3 billion colonists there?

 

Man... why are you making me wait for The Void?????

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WiseWolf

Jon, have you read Ken Mcleod Newton's Wake? I prefer The Fall Revolution series, but this book establishes a whole deep space exploration system that will work perfect with the Void. Of course A Deepness in the Sky from Vinge is also a great read for inspiration, detailing how people lives inside a space ship in deep space.

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SunlessNick

Agreed about the art; awesome.

 

Can you tell us anything about the new direction it's set to go in, or is that under a firm NDA? Does it tie in with CthulhuTech at all, or is it completely independent? Will its setting reach beyond this solar system?

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hamster

The setting sounds like a cross between Alien/Event Horizon/Dead Space, so two of my favourite films and one of my favourite games!

 

Sounds like I might have to pick this one up.....

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JonHook
Jon, have you read Ken Mcleod Newton's Wake? I prefer The Fall Revolution series, but this book establishes a whole deep space exploration system that will work perfect with the Void. Of course A Deepness in the Sky from Vinge is also a great read for inspiration, detailing how people lives inside a space ship in deep space.

 

I haven't read Newton's Wake, but I'll check it out as well as A Deepness in the Sky.

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MikeV
Agreed about the art; awesome.

 

Can you tell us anything about the new direction it's set to go in, or is that under a firm NDA? Does it tie in with CthulhuTech at all, or is it completely independent? Will its setting reach beyond this solar system?

 

Apologies for the response delay, we were all away at GAMA this past week. There is no real "new direction". The story line and meat of the setting is the exact same. Think of it as a rebranding and focussing the IP so that it reflects the original intent. There are some changes but they're mostly visual in nature. i.e. The pages were visually redesigned and we're adding in a few pieces of artwork to the core.

 

It is completely independent from CthulhuTech. In comparison to CTech (gonzo) the Void is pure survival horror. The setting doesn't currently reach beyond our solar system as we are just now getting to the point of physical exploration inside the Kuiper Belt. There is plenty going on inside of our solar system to keep a game going for several years. :) One thing we did announce at GAMA is that the game is going to be Creative Commons much like our friends over at Post Human have done with Eclipse Phase.

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Wildfire_Robert

I'll chime in here and give you a bit more data on the game. I'm Robert Glass, one of the designers and the line developer for The Void (formally Chthonian Stars).

 

First, as Mike mentioned there is no tie-in to C-Tech. The Void is a completely independant setting. It draw inspiration from a number of sources including Outland, Event Horizon, Pandorum, Alien and others of a similar vein.

 

Pretty much everything below has been discussed in the past so some of you may be familiar with the setting overview that is below:

 

The game is set in our solar system a bit more than a century and a half from now. Humanity has managed to break away from Earth and spread across the solar system. Colonies range from the mines of Mercury to as far out as the Kuiper Belt. In general it is a pretty good time to be alive. Things are relatively peaceful aside from opportunistic pirates and the occassional corporate clash. Earth has unified for the most part though there are a couple of hold outs and fights between nations are virtually unheard of. While those on Earth would like to think they control the solar system the truth is that the further from Earth one goes the less influence Earth really has even when they have 'offices' in the region.

 

Travel through the solar system, while much faster than what we can do today, can still take a long time. Travel between the innerplanets takes about two weeks no matter where you are going to and from. Travel to the outer planets or the Kuiper can take two or more months. Travelling from one end of the solar system to the other takes roughly 300 days. This is all possible thanks to a type of drive known as the Transit Drive. It enables ships to accelerate rapidly but at the cost of forcing crew and passengers to take refuge in grav couches during the acceleration and deceleration envelopes. Even with the relatively rapid rates of travel there can be a lot of time when a crew is far from help, cruising through space at Transit Speeds and hoping nothing major goes wrong.

 

Known to only a select few, something is approaching our solar system. Even those who know about it are not certain what the object is. What they do know is it is already having an effect on the system. Creatures that no one knew existed has begun to make appearances. For the most part these have been limited to more isolated areas of the solar system but occassionally strange things are reported much closer to home. More disturbing than these nightmarish creatures, however, is Pluto. The small planetoid is the only place in the solar system that man has never managed to settle. Even trying anymore is illegal - too many lives have vanished without a trace. Even unmanned probes disappear when they get near it. As if that were not unsettling enough, the small planetoid has broken its orbit and slowly been accelerating. No one knows where it is headed as its course seems to be ever chaning. The government, of course, has wrapped all this up in a neat, media influenced package with their own non-threatening spin on it to keep the general population from becomming overly alarmed.

 

Players can take on several roles. The game focuses on the players taking on the role of a Warden. Wardens are an elite group of people who have been tasked with investigating the strange occurances and hide them, as best they can, from the general population. Players can also opt to play as a member of one of the many corporations that dominate much of the solar system or independant traders or explorers so there are a variety was types of campaigns the game will support.

 

The new mechanics are being designed to be easy to grasp. I can't go into too much detail but I can say that they are based on a 2d6 system similar to Traveller but with a couple more layers added on to give them a little more flavor and allow players some extra options when they play. Even so, the goal of the game is to allow player and GMs alike to quickly grasp the game and be up and playing quickly. To aid in this there will be a 'teaching adventure' included that will teach the mechanics of the game as players read and/or play through it.

 

I'll follow this post up with additional information in the near future and try to answer any question you guys may have.

 

The form factor of the book has changed. Instead of a traditional 8 1/2 x 11 this will be a pocket-sized 6" x 9" book. The page count will be somewhere over the 400 mark. There were a couple reasons we went this route but the biggest one is one that will benefit customers - the price. The core book (which is still full color, full bleed) will retail at $29.95. Not bad for a core book.

 

Robert Glass

Wildfire LLC

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WiseWolf

Thanks, Robert! This might be my first SF RPG ever.

 

This is all possible thanks to a type of drive known as the Transit Drive. It enables ships to accelerate rapidly but at the cost of forcing crew and passengers to take refuge in grav couches during the acceleration and deceleration envelopes. Even with the relatively rapid rates of travel there can be a lot of time when a crew is far from help, cruising through space at Transit Speeds and hoping nothing major goes wrong.

 

A couple of questions:

 

-If the distance is equal in between the different planets, is this Transit Drive generating some electromagnetic field to generate a worm hole?

 

-These grav couches, are holding the travellers in a cryogenic state?

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Wildfire_Robert

The Transit Drives do not generate wormholes. Instead they enable the ships to reach speeds that are not feasible using a standard drive. They are actually based on a theoretical drive system I read about in a NASA article though I adapted the idea to work for the setting (I'm no propulsion engineer so I dont' expect my science will be perfect). The grav couches protect them from the high Gs generated during the acceleration and deceleration phase. The reason the travel time between the inner planets is always right around two weeks is that the drive cannot fully accelerate the ship. The math happens to work out such that when travelling between the inner planet the acceleration/coasting/deceleartion windows all take roughly two weeks. Basically, it can accelerate to higher speeds when the inner planets are further apart enabling the ship to cross the distance in the same time it takes when the two planets are closer (since it does not have time to reach accelerate to the same speed and still have time to decelerate without overshooting the destination).

 

For the grav couches think along the lines of the liquid-filled tubes the crew slept in on the way to Uranis in the movie Event Horizon. The crewman is basically suspended in a gel that protects his body from the forces associated with Transit Drive acceleration and deceleartion envelopes. While they are asleep they are not in any sort of suspended animation. Rather, they are induced into a near coma state and automatically brought out of it at the end of an acel/decel window.

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WiseWolf
They are actually based on a theoretical drive system I read about in a NASA article though I adapted the idea to work for the setting

If it is the VASIMR I will be very happy indeed.

(I'm no propulsion engineer so I dont' expect my science will be perfect).

And no one expects you to be. I was just curious and both answers satisfy me 100%.

 

Thanks for the reply!

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SunlessNick

Robert and Mike, thankyou for the extra information. Mostly I was asking out of a "does this add anything, since I already have Eclipse Phase" mindset, and the answer seems to be yes.

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MikeV
Robert and Mike, thankyou for the extra information. Mostly I was asking out of a "does this add anything, since I already have Eclipse Phase" mindset, and the answer seems to be yes.

Apples and oranges. :)

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