Free Spacer, softback roleplaying game, by Christoph Sapinsky
“Indie Groundbreaker 2020 nominee for Best Rules
Free Spacer // a sandbox starship tabletop RPG
Adventure. Investigation. Science! Your crew hustles to complete jobs in a sector-wide cold war.
Free Spacer is a sandbox science fiction game about a crew of a commissioned starship in a quadrant wide cold war. There is exploration, trade, investigation, space combat, science projects, infiltration, and troubleshooting. We play to find out how the crew gets the job done, the choices they make, the rules they break, and the lengths they will go for their patrons.
Free Spacer is a roleplaying game with distinct features for science fiction roleplaying, inspired by Cowboy Bebop, Dark Matter, Farscape, Firefly, Killjoys, Switchblade Honey, or the works of Heinlein.
True Sci-fi// At its core, the game has a theme of freedom vs. power in a depiction a future far from now, rather than a retro sci-fi. It is contemporary science fiction that leverages the newest space sciences, takes into account biotechnology, and brings the internet to the rim of the quadrant.
Custom Starship// You play the crew of a starship. The ship acts a template for your crew and the type of contracts you take. Together you operate the starship, each taking a ship station.
Sandbox play// Space is big; a vast sandbox of unlimited freedom. Free Spacer provides a series of streamlined and efficient tools to the Gamemaster to prepare locations and characters. These are not just empty places and stat blocks, rather each includes their agenda and faction relationship.
Cold War Phase// The Cold War phase is a faction turn that lets you, the Gamemaster, simulate the faction struggle to control the sector. The phase generates your sector background and gives you prompts to create contracts.
Contract is law// You’re a contractor, you live and die by your contract. Like the law, you may break the terms of your contract, but there is a price. The crew negotiates contracts to earn Residual Value – the value of Cargo, which acts as the in-game experience points.
Procedural Sector// From the Sector and the great societies at the core of civilisation down to settlements and creatures, Free Spacer has tool to procedurally generate everything. Sit down and build out your own detailed setting or just what you need. Every world, system, and factions will be your own, all while emphasising a real sci-fi galaxy.
Free Spacer uses a unique set of core mechanics designed for science fiction. The system is streamlined, but with crunch that emphasises science and technology. The players roll all the dice and have plenty of knobs to turn.
Tasks// Players roll a pool of ten-sided dice, which represent their crewmember’s skills, specialties, and resources. You roll these task dice against a pool of six-sided dice that represents the task’s difficulty.
Resource Management// During play, you have a variety of resources to manage that bestow useful benefits in play. You can spend charge to increase your chance to succeed, trade cargo to earn profit, spend Supply to power gear, and spend Complex Materials to maintain or advance your crewmember, ship, and gear.
Projects// The game has a set of advanced mechanics known as projects. Projects use the core mechanic, but multiple tasks work together to complete them.”