Wednesday, May 18, 2011

New d6 Game: Astral Empires -- the RPG

I'm semi-aware of Astral Empires as a brand. I've seen the various products in my search for maps and ships and science fiction-based wargames. But the following title and description caught me off-guard over the weekend, and I'm tempted to grab it because of the low price point ($9.99 at the time of this writing):
Once in the ancient past (okay, the 1980s and early 1990s) there was an RPG that set the standard for cinematic science fiction gaming.  Many gamers got their start with this system only to see it fade away somewhat in recent years.  Now in the year 2011, OpenD6 returns to the stage to bring Astral Empires: The Roleplaying Game to life! 
Astral Empires: The Roleplaying Game combines an exciting new universe with the respected and established game system that once brought roleplaying to “a galaxy far, far away”.  In the deep, dark of space adventure lives again!  Included in this book are rules for the basic elements of the game, designing characters, combat, and background information about the Astral Empires galaxy during the 10,000 AD era.  Also available from Port Nova Media are the Galaxy Master's Guide and Technology Guide.
This tells me that they're basically going after the 'space opera' market that was once dominated by the science fantasy intellectual property juggernaut that was, and is, Star Wars -- at least as far as the old d6 game market is concerned.

I'm intrigued because I was one of those early adopters who picked up (and still have) the Star Wars RPG and Star Wars Sourcebook from the olden days and am a big fan.

Character creation was a breeze, the combat and skill resolutions were fast, and really fit the genre of the movies being emulated. I'm curious to see what they've done with it in this setting.

As for the setting itself, it seems massive, but I'm a bit confused as some of the wargames focus on 'humanity is alone for now' while others have multiple ship-building alien races (which may seem somewhat... familiar when you read about them) in the related wargaming releases. But I think they might do better if they shared a bit more about their setting in the write-up.

Granted, it may already have a following from those familiar with Kevin Monk's universe, but for other segments of the market, it may help to share a bit more.

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That's my side of things. Let me know what you think, my friend.

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