Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Introducing Baroque Space Opera

I'd like to introduce Baroque Space Opera, an RPG setting for Fate Core. This project was started exactly a year ago. The writing is mostly done, though it needs quite a bit of editing still, and the art is 75% completed. The setting will be self-published, in PDF format with some sort of print-on-demand available -- eventually. The book will be packed with 25 - 30 full colour illustrations. My gaming group has started playtesting some of the new Fate Core systems included with this setting.

The Baroque Space Opera setting is a mashup of ideas from literature, film, other roleplaying games, with unique ideas thrown in. The primary goal of the setting is to provide gamemasters with unlimited freedom. Baroque is designed to facilitate fast paced action in a fantastic and futuristic setting without any limitations. Anything is possible in Baroque, no matter how grand or world shattering. Setting concepts such as space opera, steampunk, cyberpunk, horror and fantasy are all meshed together to provide a perfect mix of gaming possibilities. Technology just exists, no matter how improbable or magical. Realism takes a back seat to action and adventure. This is Space Opera at its best!

Baroque Space Opera draws inspiration from many varied sources, among them: Dune, Chronicles of Riddick, H.P. Lovecraft, Simon R. Green's Deathstalker series, Scott Westerfield's The Risen Empire, Star Gate, Babylon 5, Lexx, Farscape, Gene Wolfe's Book of the New Sun, Warhammer 40K, the ancient astronaut hypothesis, alternate archaeology and ancient world myths and legends.

Below is a quick summary, likely to go on the back cover of the book, as well as a couple of the illustrations to give you an idea of the look and feel. Baroque is not your usual, run-of-the-mill space opera. It is a unique and strange setting, filled with awesome and crazy stuff to enable your adventures across the void!

Baroque Space Opera

Enter an extravagant realm of strange technology, stranger cultures, exotic locations, and incredible danger. In a distant time, and another place, there exists a universe ruled by the 5th revenant incarnation of the immortal Tyrant. A universe where flesh and blood Aristo gods, given their genetic right to rule, control the destiny of a hundred planets. A universe filled with biological minds which approach the immense intellect of machines, shape-shifting genetic clones who desperately seek individuality, and atomic-scale clockwork mechanicals given sentience. A universe where the Aristos engage in civilized rhetoric, performing a social dance dictated by ancient traditions, whilst employing the abilities of master assassins and house syndicates to wage their feuds.

For 149 millennia, the Tyrantine Dominion has weathered arch-heresy and war with terrible enemies who sought its downfall. The political and cultural stasis has bred deep seated corruption within the convoluted hierarchy of power. Humanity of a hundred planets chokes and laments under the immovable yoke of the Tyrant. The embers of rebellion grow brighter each passing day. The Tyrant extinguishes all opposition with his vast legions of genetically engineered warriors; created through the amalgamation of human and alien genetics.

Enemies within and without plot to bring down the eternal Dominion. Interdimensional invaders lurk beyond space and time, plotting their next incursion. Unfathomable aliens stalk humanity, corrupting and enslaving subjects for strange purposes. Once more, the rebellious machines, betrayers of humanity, threaten to escalate the millennium-old cold war. Meanwhile, the Aristo Houses further their schemes, eyeing the Tyrantine Throne and the golden planet, Baroque, for themselves.

Voidship fleets move into position. The pieces are falling into place. Which side will you choose? Will you enforce the will of the Tyrant to ensure the stoic Dominion stands for another hundred millennia? Or, will you become an Arch Heretic to tear down this suffocating and corrupt regime? The choice is yours. The Baroque universe awaits.