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."