Tuesday, December 30, 2014

The Stars are slowly dying...

"Fading Suns" by Bill Bridges and Andrew Greenberg
Published and distributed by Holistic Designs
ISBN = 1-888906-18-9  FS 202

Here is one of the more unique and unusual science fiction role playing games I have ever encountered.  In its 312 pages are details of a galactic civilization in decline for one major reason - the suns are slowly dying. 

This book was originally conceived by developers of White Wolf's World of Darkness, and thus has more than a bit of angst.  Psychic powers are called "occult" by the church, and are generally frowned upon on civilized worlds.

There are nine chapters in this volume:
     1) The Universe
     2) Rules
     3) Characters
     4) Traits
     5) Occult
     6) Combat
     7) Technology
     8) Gamemastering
     9) Planets
and a small appendix.

Far into the future, a few major "houses" and several minor "houses" battle over the remnants of the universe.  There are five major houses: the Hawkwood, the Decados, the Hazat, the Li Halan, and the al-Malik.  In addition, a huge church-like group also has its tendrils everywhere.  Also, there is a mercantile guild that has almost a stranglehold on shipping.  This is not to mention the alien races, and the enigmatic Anunnaki.  There are "jump gates" originally created by the Anunnaki that make system-to-system travel possible. 

There is a very small table of contents, and a good index.  There are two pages of additional products for the game, and a character sheet.  There's also a D20 edition, and the newly invigorated FASA has printed a third edition of the Player's Handbook and the Game Masters Guide.  I look for more from FASA for the new third edition of Fading Suns. 

I would like to take this short opportunity to tell you that I use this game for an adaptation of "Dune".  Although I have eliminated the references to the suns going out, the Spice provides just as much, if not more, reasons to use this material.  I believe this game is just about tailor made for "Dune".  If you are looking for a different setting for a sci-fi game, look no further.

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