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The Expanse RPG - anyone played it yet?

dogstar

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Spoiler: Show
Funny you should say that...
Teehehehehe - I'm on Tiamat's Wrath - and I am absolutely in love with by the series and the show. My wife and brother are both only show people, so when they're talking about 'whats going on' its sometimes very difficult to keep quiet.
 

JonA

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Teehehehehe - I'm on Tiamat's Wrath - and I am absolutely in love with by the series and the show. My wife and brother are both only show people, so when they're talking about 'whats going on' its sometimes very difficult to keep quiet.
Yeah I’m in the same boat. Had a similar issue (along with many millions more I suspect) with Game of Thrones.
 

JonA

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So my copy of the rulebook arrived yesterday and I have had a flick through today.

I’m impressed. The mechanics seem workmanlike but sound and not overly crunchy (a plus point for me and my group). I’ve no experience of the AGE system prior to this but it seems pretty logical and intuitive and should be pretty easy to teach. It also seems very well balanced with the setting (for example based on the presented stats for proto-molecule hybrid it is brutally powerful but isn’t totally unkillable - just extremely resilient to most damage). The designers haven’t had to handwave the lethality of it though within the rules. Likewise Martian power armour is well presented and balanced against that hybrid stats I can actually see a fight in the game like the one between Draper and the hybrid on Io actually playing out as presented in the books/tv show. So I think the application of the rules to the setting has worked remarkably well.

But I will admit I’ve been mainly hoovering up the setting info and I’m very impressed. It is consistent with the books and suitably expansive (pardon the pun). The fact the RPG is more based on the novels than the TV adaptation is a good thing - for example the portraits and stats of the main characters in the series are very much in keeping with the books rather than the show. But there’s enough here for show watchers only to enjoy the game and not feel left behind because they’ve not read the books.

Overall my first impressions are 4/5 and edging more to 5/5 the more I delve in to it deeper. I am glad I purchased it anyway and my initial plan regardless of my view of the mechanics was to use the setting info combined with the Elite: Dangerous RPG system. But I don’t think this will be required. The AGE systems on my cursory read through seems to be more than adequate.
 

J.T.

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There are two rules I like the first is the damage rules example below

expanse has a totally different damage rules than the other AGE games.... No hit points

Instead it's this example from book

Bobbie hits a thug with strike style doing 1d6+str damage say 7

Now you follow these steps

Subtract toughness including armour
Spend fortune points
Take an injury or wound
Any damage remaining takes you out

So 7 damage minus thugs tough / armour reduces it to 5

Thug is a nobody so has no fortune but if he did he could take enough off to take all the damage down to 0

So he's still got 5 damage he desides to take an injury rolling 1d6 for 2 reducing damage to 3 he now decides to take a wound 1d6 for 2 leaving 1 damage at the end he has 1 damage and is taken out

The player now narrates what happened so instead of killing him she could have knocked him unconscious and the wound could have been her breaking some ribs for example etc

So that's the basics what do people think bit more complex than other age rules but I quite like them


And then fortune points:

fortune you start with 15 points but can up it to 20 depending on character when choices.

These points can be used to increase dice rolls so say you roll a 1,3,3 and the last 3 was the drama dice you can spend fortune points up to a Max of 6 so say the target number was 10 you could spend 4 fortune to flip the 1 to a 4 , you spend the amount of fortune equal to the number you want on the dice in this case you succeed and get 3 stunt to spend

Now say you rolled 3,3,1 with the 1 being the drama dice. To alter drama dice you need to spend twice the amount of fortune so I'm this case to raise it to a 4 will cost 8 points but you now succeed with 4 stunts to spend.

And of course you can spend fortune points to reduce damage

regaining fortune happens in interlude periods basically rest times you regain 10+level every 8 hours.

With the approval of the gm you may choose a favoured activity so say if your character is a boiler he might choose research as his favoured activity so when you are doing this you still get the 10+level every 8 hours.

If you decide to do something other than resting or your favoured activity you gain 5+level

So for example the players have just got off world after a hectic fight and chase across the spaceport

You are all low on fortune the th days the space travel is an interlude period

One player tests for 2 8 hours periods and gain 10+level back twice.

One player decided to use her flute to relax her favoured activity then rests for 8 hours she to gains 10+level twice.

The last player decides the engine needs to be maintained not his favoured activity and only gets 5+level in fortune back though he may rest for 8 hours and gain 10+level
 

Molotov

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The Interlude rules are also a neat addition, and net new from Modern AGE. I was hoping to see them make it back to the Modern AGE companion, actually (the Churn mechanic did, renamed as Complications).
 

d(sqrt(-1))

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You start with 15 or 20, you regain some after each encounter, and usually will get them all back over a period of a few days otherwise. They pretty much seem to be the way you avoid being injured, wounded or dead.
 

Sangrolu

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I ran the quickstart for Free RPG Day.

I am starting a weekly game come Thursday. From what I have seen so far, I like Scum & Villainy much better. But two of my players really dig the Expanse and want to play it, so I'm giving it a whirl.

The system is largely task-based, with the stunt system being the real highlight, so I hope to make that my selling point. I think if I run gritty action-horror or action-suspense style, the ability to model haywire combats in a somewhat detailed manner may be a good match.

I worry that the stunt system may a bit much for new players to absorb, so I hope to spend a few sessions just toying with that. Since the Churn mechanism has a bunch of arbitrary triggers, I also worry it will be a hassle to track. That is as far as I'll probably go; I'm not sure the stuff like honorifics or memberships are going to be worth my time.

Gear seems relatively stripped down for a realistic futuristic SF setting like this. I sense I may need to dip into some other games' gear lists.

I am feeling a bit constrained by canon. I think I'm going to have to make a bunch of stuff up that doesn't exist in canon to go beyond what's in the first few novels or seasons. Secret projects by protogen, of by Mars, or whoever.
 

Sangrolu

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I take it there's a cap on fortune points?
Just what the math allows. They do slow it down as you progress, but it still has a bit of a D&Dish ability to absorb damage. (I guess with the difference that fortune can also be used to tweak rolls in addition to absorb damage.)
 
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