Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Baroque Space Opera is now available in print!

Baroque Space Opera is now available in print over at DriveThroughRPG!

The book is available in hardcover and softcover versions. If you have purchased the PDF prior to the print being available, you will receive a code with a discount equivalent to purchasing the PDF and print via email. I just need to figure out how to manage that with the DRTRPG tools provided first.

Happy New Year!

Here are some pictures of the (hefty) physical books:

Friday, December 18, 2015

Baroque Space Opera Print Proofs have arrived!

Today the print proofs for the hardcover and softcover versions of Baroque Space Opera have arrived. They look incredible. I am finally holding my own physical book! The colours all came out amazing in print.

Unfortunately, I immediately noticed I need to make some quick tweaks. A few of the full-page sized images got trimmed with a bit of white at the top of the page in the hardcover (the softcover looks good so far). I did not cover the full bleed area for when a page is trimmed (damn newbie mistake I won't make again). There is also a typo I want to fix that was reported after the proofs went to print. I'm hoping this will be approved by next week, but it may take long because of the holidays. Still, I'd rather not rush and provide the best possible looking book I can. I will also make the background grid patterns on the cover a bit more prominent, they are a bit dark for what I wanted them to look like.

Here's some pictures of the books.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Win a Printed BSO Map Contest with Fate Bundle of Holding +3

I've been fortunate to be asked to participate in the Fate Bundle of Holding +3. Baroque Space Opera is now bundled with many awesome books from Evil Hat. This bundle is the perfect way to get started with Fate.

The Fate Bundle includes:

  • Fate Core and Fate Accelerated
  • Atomic Robo 
  • Baroque Space Opera
  • Unwritten: Adventures in the Ages of MYST
  • Part-Time Gods of Fate
  • Hunters of Alexandria
  • Venture City Stories
  • Behind the Walls
  • Psychedemia
  • Eagle Eyes
  • Gods & Monsters
  • Sails Full of Stars
  • Fate Codex V2 #1-3 (Magpie Games)

But wait, there's more!

I am going to be giving out a printed Baroque Space Opera map in poster size that I got printed to a random lucky person who pays more than the bonus threshold when the bundle ends on Wed, Dec 2nd, 2015.

Get it here: Fate Bundle of Holding +3

Here's the G+ post from Bundle of Holding.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Baroque Space Opera Voidship Sheet

I have created a Voidship (space ship) sheet for Baroque Space Opera to match the style of the character sheet. I have tried to keep it as clean and clutter free as possible. Feel free to post any feedback you may have.

Baroque Space Opera is available at DriveThroughRPG!

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Baroque Space Opera Character Sheet Rev 2

The first iteration of the Baroque Space Opera character sheet was too busy. It tried to be too much, when you really just want to track your character. It looked nice, but was too stylized. This second iteration is a lot cleaner, more focused, and better structured -- I think. Let me know what you think?

Compare it to the previous iteration.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Baroque Space Opera Character Sheet

For the past couple weeks I've been hacking at the Baroque Space Opera character sheet, trying to create something I like. It has been difficult because this is the first time I'm creating a character sheet, and I'm very picky.

The character sheet, a voidship sheet and the Lexicon will be included in the book when the print version goes to print (electronic will be updated as well).

So far, I've come up with this and I'm looking for feedback.

The character sheet tries to be faithful to the setting and contains:

A skill pyramid actually set up like a stepped pyramid, because the Baroqueverse loves pyramids!

Double helix stress tracks and genetic protein-like consequences. Baroque Space Opera deals with themes of genetic manipulation and this I thought was very fitting and neat for tracking stress. There are places outside the helix to write down what the value of each stress box is, if not default. If you don't have a stress box, the circle can be filled in.

The Refresh tracker is an Enso symbol, it symbolizes creativity and also happens to look like the Ouroborous, which symbolizes renewal.

The Fate tracker is a Shen, which symbolizes eternal protection--fitting for Fate points.

The Wealth Boosts tracker is the Chinese symbol for wealth.

The Stunts box is a bit big, but it gives you lots of room to write down your stunt notes, since Baroque Archetype stunts have more details than usual.

There is space for two Beneficial Things to record. They provide some boxes that can be outlined in pen to track Benefit and Trouble aspect usage.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Baroque Space Opera Update #6: Layout Progress

The Baroque Space Opera book layout is coming along quite nicely. Last night I finished off Chapter 6. There are 20 chapters in the book, and the setting material chapters are the longest. I'm very happy with how the book is coming together. Things are falling into place and I think it looks great. I can't wait to get it in print.

The awesome artist who brought my Baroqueverse concepts to life is Matt Ryan.

Below are two spreads for your viewing pleasure:

If you're interested in Baroque Space Opera, check out the previous posts below:

Introduction to Baroque Space Opera

Baroque Space Opera Concept Art

The Baroque Space Opera Logo 

More Concept Art

The Book Cover

The Baroqueverse Map

Character Archetypes Sneak Peek

Friday, June 5, 2015

Similarities between Jupiter Ascending and Baroque Space Opera

I finally got around to watching Jupiter Ascending. If there was a movie that espouses the look and aesthetic of Baroque Space Opera, then this comes pretty damn close. I loved the background and concepts, but the story was... trivially weak. It reminded me of Guardians of the Galaxy, another story that was incredibly weak. Both plots could be summarized in 2 or less paragraphs. Unfortunately that is the sad state of Hollywood films these days. :/

This entry is not about the plot though. Jupiter Ascending had many similarities with Baroque Space Opera, and that is why it kept my attention through the movie. I was more interested in the intricate scenes than the weak story.

The following is a list of very strong similarities between Jupiter Ascending (JA) and Baroque Space Opera (BSO):

  • In JA, Balem, the main bad guy, has huge lizardmen who are his shock troops. In BSO, the Tyrant has his Dominars: hulking lizardmen who are the shock troopers of the Dominion.
  • Energy shields in JA are directional and behave like normal shields. In BSO, shunt shields deflect energy and are also directional.
  • The spaceships of the elite in JA are majestic and beautiful, as are the ships of the Pharisto rulers.
  • Looks like teleportation drives are used in JA. In BSO, the Loom Drive allows near instant travel between points in space.
  • Genetics is a strong theme in JA, as it is in BSO. The Splicers/Spliced are similar to the Chimeras -- products of the Genesis Adepts in BSO.
  • Immortality is the most sought after thing in JA, as it is in BSO. The Tyrant has control of the gift of immortality, and he uses it as the ultimate carrot.
  • Planets like earth are ruled by the hidden elite in JA. In BSO this is also similar where the Pharistos pose as gods and deceive entire populations in order to keep their servitude.
  • Many myths and legends of earth are the result of the elite intervention in JA; this is also so in BSO on many Dominated Planets.
  • Gravity is just a word in JA, likewise in BSO.
  • Everything is larger than life in JA, as it is in BSO.
  • Wings are a status symbol in JA, as they are in BSO.
All those similarities were quite striking to me while I watched the film. This kept me interested and watching. At the end, I could not tell whether I was disappointed or not because of the above. One thing is certain, I want to watch it again to look at the backgrounds, ships, and elaborate detail everywhere.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Baroque Space Opera Update #5: Sneak Peek

Last night I sent off my final edits of the game mechanics chapters to my editor: +Jeremy Morgan. Tonight's update is partially fuelled by excitement and partially by Woodford Reserve bourbon. Excuse any typos and stuff...

Since the book is written, nearly-done-done, and ready for layout, I want to provide a bit of info about what's in it -- because keeping it to myself and my gaming group is killing me.

I present a couple of the character archetypes that are available in Baroque Space Opera. There are 22 archetypes to base your character on, and you have the option to make up your own thing -- of course.

Genesis Adepts
The Genesis Adepts are the progenitors of the bio-sciences of the Dominion. They were tasked by the first incarnation of the Tyrant, Aristonymus, to breed a caste of humans who are superior in intellect and morality, to rule over humanity shortly after the Tyrantine Dominion was founded. Since then, the Adepts have mastered the mysteries of life, including the secrets of biological immortality. The Genesis Adepts are able to resurrect those who died through cloning. These Revenants lack the memories of their former lives, but they do retain the skills they once possessed. Through this resurrection, five incarnation of the Tyrant have been raised from the dead. The Genesis Adepts have produced many genetic products that are in wide use throughout the Dominion.

Mirror Men 
Mirror Men are androgynous clones from the original specimen perfected by the Genesis Adepts. They are based on Hroon (an alien race) genetics and are partially human and fungus. The Mirror Men are all shapeshifters, but they all possess the exact same appearance. Each is driven by the need for individuality and they resent the fact that they are treated as inferiors and products. To espouse their individuality, when in their natural form, each wears a Trasmuter-made mask with a unique and groteque visage. Mirror Men are purchased by powerful Deipotents to act as entertainers, artists, stand-ins, and even assassins.


Remnants were created scores of millennia ago by the traitorous Artilects -- artificial intelligences created by the Theors who rebelled against the Tyrant and humanity. They are the original Dominars -- the shock troops of the Dominion. They were hunted down after the Artilect Rebellion by their genetically altered successors. Remnants are more machine than man, and the fear of their subversion by the Artilects continues, even after untold millennia. Some have survived the purges in stasis and now operate with in the Dominion. Many become Remnant Reavers who murder and pillage for spare parts to keep their failing bodies functioning.
Simulacra are the creations of the Transmuters; These atomic-scale clockwork intelligences are constructed over centuries by a Master Transmuter. Each is a work of art and patience. They are mechanical analogue processing engines given a semblance of life -- and each is utterly unique.

The Transmuters are a sect of Theors dedicated to the perfection of the Dust: nano-scale machines capable of incredible and fantastic feats. The Transmuters are the most secretive of the Theor sects, and they alone keep the secrets of Dust. The Transmuters have been instrumental in the development of key technologies within the Dominion. Transmuter sciences are shrouded in tradition, ceremony, and ritual. It is said that through the Dust a Transmuter is able to change the very nature of matter.
The Tech are a fallen civilization that once sided with the rebellious Artilects. Their culture spans over 300 millennia before the founding of the Dominion, but their days are numbered. The Techo Scourge unleashed by the Transmuters on the Artilects and their allies brought an end to the Tect empire. The Tect still hold much knowledge that is beyond Dominion sciences.

The hereditary order of Battlemasters are one of the few human societies that have retained their independence since the rise of the Tyrant. They are master tacticians and warriors without peer. The Battlemasters once saved the Dominion from the Nihilim invaders, but now they are fallen; their order reduced to a fraction of their former glory by the wrath of Typhon, the current Tyrant, for his murder. The Battlematers are still revered as masters of warfare and many travel far and wide seeking to make a name for themselves among the Dominated Planets. Many seek the weapons hidden during Typhon's Pogrom in hopes of restoring their order to its former glory.

You may be interested in also checking out the previous posts about Baroque Space Opera, which provide additional information and art.

Introduction to Baroque Space Opera

Baroque Space Opera Concept Art

The Baroque Space Opera Logo 

More Concept Art

The Book Cover

The Baroqueverse Map

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Baroque Space Opera Update #4: The Baroqueverse Map

The Baroqueverse map shows all of the locations that are detailed in the Baroque Space Opera setting for Fate Core. The book contains a writeup of each location and region, as well as a number of story hooks that you can use to instantly jump into the action. The majority of locations contain Fate Core statistics for various critters, people, and voidships found at each location.

Space travel in the Baroqueverse is possible through the use of great voidships that ply the void between the stars. Voidships of the Baroqueverse come in all shapes and sizes; from the smallest two crew fighters to planetoid sized constructs crewed by thousands of individuals.

Voidships of the Baroqueverse are classified into three categories based on the drive(s) they are equipped with:

Lightpacers: Lightpacers can travel quickly, but cannot exceed the speed of light. This makes them viable for in-system travel, but impractical for interstellar voyages, which would take thousands and tens of thousands of years to reach the nearest systems. Every voidship is equipped with Lightpacer drives.

Lightracers: Lightracers are able to out-race light and are capable of traversing the great gulfs of the void in a matter of days, weeks, and months -- depending on the distance involved. These vessels make rapid jumps through the void and require careful calculations for each jump so that you don't fly right through a star, or bounce too close to a supernova -- that'd end your trip real quick.

Loomships: Loom Drives are the secret science of the Void Weavers sect; these drives are capable of generating a conduit through the fabric of space using a powerful gravitational singularity to connect two points in space -- no matter the distance. These drives permit near-instantaneous travel through the conduit.

The distance rings on the map are the relative distances of planets as measured from Baroque: the central planet and centre of the Tyrant's power. Distance determines the opposition when making Lightracer navigation calculations. Many navigators choose to split the trip into multiple legs, to reduce the difficulty of plotting course, and to make the voidship more difficult to track. Loom Drive navigation difficulty is determined by knowledge of the destination's gravitational anomalies and hazards.

This map is near-final.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Baroque Space Opera Update #3: The Cover and Details.

This is a very exciting update, and a major milestone for Baroque Space Opera. Baroque's mechanics are for Fate Core, but the setting can be adapted to your favourite RPG mechanic.  The majority of the book is setting material.

Editing is now 90% complete. I will be receiving the final edits for the new Fate mechanics sections in the next couple of weeks. I am now beginning the book layout. After two years of effort the end is very much in sight now.

What can you expect from Baroque Space Opera?

The Baroqueverse is a different take on space opera that meanders into the weird and fantastic. It is equal part science and fantasy combined together as a cohesive setting that leaves plenty of room for your own creativity. Nothing is impossible in the Baroqueverse; whatever magic you dream up can be hand-waived away as sufficiently advanced technology.

If I had to describe the Baroqueverse in a single sentence, I'd say: if Lexx and The Metabarons went out to snort some Dune spice, their awesome trip through the Stargate led to a baby called Farscape, who discovered the Ancient Astronaut Hypothesis.

...that sounds about right. You can read a bit more about the setting it in a previous blog entry.

Other significant sources of inspiration are (not in any order):
  • Simon R Green's Deathstalker novels
  • Scott Westerfield's Risen Empire novels
  • Gene Wolfe's Book of the New Sun
  • Babylon 5
  • Warhammer 40K
  • Chronicles of Riddick
  • H.P. Lovecraft
  • Fading Suns RPG
  • Alastair Reynold's Revelation Space novels 
  • Pseudo-science
  • Mythologies from all over our ancient world 

The book will be released as a PDF and a 6x9 format print-on-demand book through DriveThruRPG. My current estimated page count is at 500 pages (yikes!).

Baroque Space Opera includes, among other things:
  • The Tyrant's regime and its structure
  • The 13 Pharisto houses and their Syndicates
  • Various factions and societies
  • Technologies of the Baroqueverse
  • 63 unique planets -- filled with story hooks
  • Plenty of adversaries
  • Advice for the GM on stories and themes
  • A new dials for stress boxes
  • A skill list customized for the setting
  • 22 archetypes to base your characters on
  • A psychic powers mechanic
  • A nanotechnology mechanic that is indistinguishable from magic
  • A Wealth mechanic
  • A Beneficial Things mechanic that lets you create any gear, allies, pets, poisons, personal vehicles, and anything else you desire to have a mechanical effect in your game
  • A mechanic for spaceships
  • A mechanic interacting with virtual cyberspace realms

Baroque Space Opera is a setting book and not a complete game, you will need the Fate Core book to play --  that is perfectly fine, because the awesome Fate Core book is Pay What You Want at Evil Hat deserves your money for the awesomeness they produced.
"The Tyrant repays a thousand fold."

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Baroque Space Opera Update #2

Baroque Space Opera is now half edited. The setting material is undergoing a final look-through, but is now finalized. Editing is progressing on 62 locations and story hooks the book will contain, as well as the rules sections of the book. The locations have been seeded with story hooks for the GM and include a great variety of locations, from artificial megastructures to exotic planets to mysterious phenomena.

Just so that the update is not entirely devoid of cool stuff, here is another art concept from Baroque. This is a view from the bridge of a Dominion battlecruiser, and if you look carefully, you will notice people on the bridge. Yes, it's that big! Everything in Baroque is larger than life, including voidships.

The battlecruiser is approaching the planetary Heliocon, a 2km tall structure that serves both as the primary voidport of a planet, as well as the headquarters of the Body of the Tyrant: the religious body that reinforces the Tyrant's divine nature and which also serves as the bureaucracy of the Dominion. The Heliocon is topped by 4 solar masks resembling the one the Tyrant wears. They face the cardinal points and are unmissable on approach to the planet. The Heliocon is a symbol of the Tyrant's rule, and it reminds all about who it is that rules here. The Heliocon is surrounded by an energy field that keeps the clouds at bay, ensuring that the Heliocon is perpetually illuminated by the sun during the day and the stars by night. Each Dominated Planet hosts a Heliocon.

High in orbit, above the Heliocon, orbits a haven: a Dominion space station.

The final image is full colour, and looks amazing. You will have to wait to see it when the book is completed.