Aetherium: The Roleplaying Game, hardback roleplaying game
“The Aetherium RPG is a tabletop roleplaying game set in a cyberpunk future that offers easy to understand rules that focus on creativity and story.
The material world, known as the Meatspace, has been slowly collapsing for over a hundred years. Poverty is widespread, due in part to resource scarcity. Wars, climate change, greed, and corruption have stood in the way of any meaningful progress. The discovery of the Aetherium, a quasi-digital mindscape, led to a mass exodus of the human consciousness from the Meatspace to this new frontier.
In the Aetherium, scarcity is artificial. Social and economic mobility are again possible, driven by the massive economic engine of this cyber-dimension. The human mind is capable of bending the reality to its desire, given enough skill and desire. Even time passes differently while logged in, allowing people to live hundreds of experienced years as their Meat slowly decays from neglect.
Of course, the shining beacon of hope that the Aetherium represents is all too often only skin deep. The explored and colonized areas are controlled by controlling governments and massive corporations. Despite the digital nature of the world, the neural interface of a person’s rig means that their mind is at risk, making the Aetherium only partially safe.
The Aetherium RPG game system uses a simple d10 dice pool mechanic for most things, where you’re trying to get a number of successes equal to the difficulty of the task. The system begins to open up worlds of possibility in the Programs and Hacking rules.
The entire Aetherial world is made up of Programs, which follow a basic structure and template. Players can take advantage of this to create their own Programs (generally equipment for the players), customizing things to suit their needs.
The Hacking rules allow players to create or modify Programs on the fly, altering the world as they need. This is done through custom d12s (there are easy conversion charts for regular d12s if you don’t have the custom dice) that give a player some, but not total, control over their modifications. Be careful, though, as any Hack is temporary and might disappear before your task is complete.
The book itself is a beautifully laid out 256 pages full of vibrant artwork. It contains all the rules players (and the GM) need to play the game, including two interconnected starting adventures to get players a feel for the world.”