[Kickstarter] Elite Dangerous - Now as Tabletop!

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Havard
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[Kickstarter] Elite Dangerous - Now as Tabletop!

Post by Havard » Sat Jan 21, 2017 1:12 pm

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Elite: Dangerous is the modern day incarnation of the seminal space trading game Elite. 30 years after the original game reinvented the way people experienced playing computer games, Elite: Dangerous is ‘The spectacular new multi-player instalment in the seminal open world series of space games that started with Elite’.

Simply put, Elite: Dangerous deserves a role playing game. Not only do the two platforms merge seamlessly together but in the case of Elite: Dangerous it has adopted as one of its core principles the idea of the ‘sandbox’ approach to play. This concept of forging your own path, choosing your own destiny is the foundation on which most role playing games are based and is the key to their success.

This Kickstarter campaign aims to fund the production of a Core Manual and four Supplements to allow any fan of the computer game to continue their adventures with friends in the roleplaying setting. Each of the books will be produced professionally using industry designers, writers, editors, printers and artists, to create a true piece of Elite: Dangerous history. There are a number of Stretch Goals available should the funding goal be exceeded. Details of the various Stretch Goals will be made available throughout the campaign and can be seen below.




The game is a skill based system using a D10 and a skill bonus to exceed difficulty numbers. Each character begins with their own spaceship, just like in the computer game.

Not only can characters improve these ships with upgrades to the weapons and internal systems but, with the right amount of money, players can trade in their ships for larger and more powerful models.

There are three arenas of combat, each with their own set of rules. As well as spaceship combat players can engage in personal combat and do battle in a myriad of surface vehicles.


In Elite: Dangerous RPG each player creates their own character by selecting from a number of different backgrounds. Perhaps your character was an orphan from a corporate world where the unemployed are hunted down by the police – you survived at first on your wits and then with the help of charitable friends who gave you a place to stay and the chance for an education. Perhaps you are an ex-army grunt who’s seen too many wars, or a cheerleader who fell in with the wrong crowd and is now a notorious criminal. Really anything is possible, and each background you pick increases your skills across a number of different areas.

Elite: Dangerous Role Playing Game (EDRPG) is an interactive adventure you share with a group of friends. It is set in a futuristic galaxy in which spaceflight is common, amazing technology is freely available, and danger is everywhere. As a player you will own your own spacecraft and travel to fantastic locations, exploring new worlds, defeating deadly enemies and outwitting powerful opponents who will stop at nothing to destroy you.

One player becomes the Gamesmaster (GM). This is the person who tells the story, plays all the people and villains the players meet and creates the adventure. The same person does not have to be the GM every time, although oddly enough it’s hard to stop once you undertake the role. In Elite: Dangerous RPG the Gamesmaster can be assisted by the Random Generation System (RGS) which creates missions and star systems on the fly.


In the universe of Elite: Dangerous cheap and readily available faster-than-light travel has allowed humanity to explode across the stars, building new colonies, cities, nations and empires. The galaxy is a rich place, filled with a wealth of minerals, water and life bearing planets. The great nations of the Federation, Empire and Alliance grow wealthier every day, and such wealth attracts powerful people who scheme daily to increase their power.

Space travel is common and affordable. The middle classes of the galaxy own spaceships like twentieth-century families own cars. Owning a spaceship grants tremendous freedom – spacecraft owners are courted all across the galaxy by space stations hungry for rare goods and vital supplies. Politics seldom interferes with trade and even very patriotic worlds such as Nanomam are happy to accept goods and services from those who paint the ‘wrong’ flag on the side of their spacecraft.

For those at the bottom of the heap little has changed since the old Earth dark ages. Planet-spanning mega corporations rule unchecked in large parts of the galaxy employing entire nations of people in call centres, factories, tech support hubs or even as humble stockbrokers. On the planet of Zaonce the miserable masses slave for the planet-wide Bank of Zaonce, filling tedious hours buying stocks and shares, selling high and low like robots, receiving none of the gains they make. On revolutionary Eranin the population is expected to perform in weekly parades celebrating their independence from the Federation, even while their leaders ‘redistribute’ the people’s wages into their own back pockets.

This combination of cheap space travel, terrible inequality and a laissez faire attitude towards weapon ownership makes the galaxy a dangerous place. Pirates, mercenaries and political agitators often like to fire first and seldom ask questions later. The police have a terrible arrest rate, but an excellent execution record; in space it’s hard to take prisoners and very few people even try. Add to this the many navigational hazards in space, fierce native creatures on unexplored planets, psychotic cyborg’s with faulty behaviour chips, the terrible greed of the intergalactic elite and even the chance of being interdicted by alien spacecraft, you have a dangerous galaxy just waiting to destroy a wandering space pilot.

To survive you’re going to need the best ship, the best equipment, a strong credit account and the skills to back it all up. For in this dangerous galaxy only the elite survive…
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/ed ... aying-game

Any other fans of the Elite & Frontier Video games here?

I am fascinated with the idea of an RPG where each player has his own spaceship...

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Re: [Kickstarter] Elite Dangerous - Now as Tabletop!

Post by Khedrac » Mon Jan 23, 2017 10:53 am

This certainly looks interesting, but I have to wonder about the "each player has his own spaceship" part.

To me Traveler always seemed like the RPG version of Elite - go somewhere new, sell a cargo and pick up a new one (remember, if your ship was a fat trader it came with a mortgage), fight a few things (well have an adventure) then head for the next system.

If each player has their own ship, then how to they interact? That might be fine for a PBP (or bulletin board) game, but for a room of friends trying to play the same game? Unless they always go round together, they really need to be on the same ship.
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Re: [Kickstarter] Elite Dangerous - Now as Tabletop!

Post by Big Mac » Sun Dec 24, 2017 7:45 pm

Khedrac wrote:To me Traveler always seemed like the RPG version of Elite - go somewhere new, sell a cargo and pick up a new one (remember, if your ship was a fat trader it came with a mortgage), fight a few things (well have an adventure) then head for the next system.
I wonder if there are any people playing in the Elite universe, but using Traveller rules. :?
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Re: [Kickstarter] Elite Dangerous - Now as Tabletop!

Post by Havard » Sun Dec 24, 2017 10:28 pm

Big Mac wrote:
Khedrac wrote:To me Traveler always seemed like the RPG version of Elite - go somewhere new, sell a cargo and pick up a new one (remember, if your ship was a fat trader it came with a mortgage), fight a few things (well have an adventure) then head for the next system.
I wonder if there are any people playing in the Elite universe, but using Traveller rules. :?
I think that these settings are pretty similar, at least from a surface level perspective. From what I remember the Elite Universe was pretty bare bones and closely based on the real Milky Way Galaxy. I assume Elite Dangerous has added more detail to the setting though?

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Re: [Kickstarter] Elite Dangerous - Now as Tabletop!

Post by Havard » Sun Dec 24, 2017 10:31 pm

Khedrac wrote:This certainly looks interesting, but I have to wonder about the "each player has his own spaceship" part.

To me Traveler always seemed like the RPG version of Elite - go somewhere new, sell a cargo and pick up a new one (remember, if your ship was a fat trader it came with a mortgage), fight a few things (well have an adventure) then head for the next system.

If each player has their own ship, then how to they interact? That might be fine for a PBP (or bulletin board) game, but for a room of friends trying to play the same game? Unless they always go round together, they really need to be on the same ship.
I forgot to respond to this earlier, but I think the idea of each player having his own ship is interesting. I could see many problems with it, especially the temptation to split the party which would be a nightmare for the GM.

On the other hand, one of my frustrations with many sci fi RPGs is that you end up with the whole party on the same ship and only 2 or three PCs have anything to do on the ship, while the rest stand around feeling useless. Maybe giving everyone their own ship would be a way to solve that problem?

I would really prefer it if they travel together though, fleet style.

-Havard

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Re: [Kickstarter] Elite Dangerous - Now as Tabletop!

Post by Big Mac » Mon Dec 25, 2017 6:12 am

Havard wrote:
Big Mac wrote:
Khedrac wrote:To me Traveler always seemed like the RPG version of Elite - go somewhere new, sell a cargo and pick up a new one (remember, if your ship was a fat trader it came with a mortgage), fight a few things (well have an adventure) then head for the next system.
I wonder if there are any people playing in the Elite universe, but using Traveller rules. :?
I think that these settings are pretty similar, at least from a surface level perspective. From what I remember the Elite Universe was pretty bare bones and closely based on the real Milky Way Galaxy. I assume Elite Dangerous has added more detail to the setting though?
The challange with this sort of approach is that our understanding of the real-universe is always being improved. We have discovered a lot of moons since i grew up and also started to discover exoplanets.

Any computer game that extrapolates from the real-universe is going to have to add in stuff that does not really exist. And inevitably new information is going to come along and conflict with canon. So do you retcon in the "truth" or stick with the canon? :?
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Re: [Kickstarter] Elite Dangerous - Now as Tabletop!

Post by Havard » Mon Dec 25, 2017 8:27 pm

Big Mac wrote: The challange with this sort of approach is that our understanding of the real-universe is always being improved. We have discovered a lot of moons since i grew up and also started to discover exoplanets.

Any computer game that extrapolates from the real-universe is going to have to add in stuff that does not really exist. And inevitably new information is going to come along and conflict with canon. So do you retcon in the "truth" or stick with the canon? :?
That is a good point. I think updating the galaxy would not really change the setting of Elite in any significant way. The most important thing to me was always that the galaxy map held the same solar systems as our world. As I recall the solar systems contained planets etc based on a logarithm system, but I dont think changing the number of planets or properties of planets would change all that much. Elite I only contained a single planet and space station on them which didn't matter than much since it was only in the sequel that you could actually land on planets.

Doing a bit of reading up Elite II: Frontier also included some ficitonal star systems such as such as Altair, Antares, Betelgeuse and Polaris. I recall a hacked version of the game also included a star named Frogstar added by the hacker group.

The Frontier Elite II game takes place in the year 3200. There are two major factions in the galaxy: The "Federation", based in the Sol system, and the "Empire", based in the Achenar system. These two factions are bitter enemies, but at the time of the game they have established a tense cease-fire, akin to the Cold War.

The Sol system was pretty detailed and as I recall there was a space station there called MIR, which is pretty funny although it is onbviously a different station than the old Soviet one with the same name.

The original game takes place a few generations earlier than Frontier, but featured the Thargoid insectoid alien race. AFAIK these did not appear in the sequel. Not sure if that meant that Commander Jameson drove them away?

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Re: [Kickstarter] Elite Dangerous - Now as Tabletop!

Post by Ashtagon » Tue Dec 26, 2017 3:02 pm

I used to be a major fan of the Elite series of games.

Elite came out in the early 80s, and features eight "galaxies", each full of randomly generated stars in a rectangular and 2D space. Each star system contained exactly one planet, no real-world stars were present, and the starting star system was called Lave. Although not explicitly stated, I estimate it was set around 3100 AD. Each planet had either "Dodec" or "Coriolis" space stations, with no option to land on planets. There were a small number of special missions on reaching Competent or higher in the elite ratings. These apparently varied a bit depending on which machine the game was programmed for.

Elite II: Frontier was the first to feature the Milky Way Galaxy, wth many real-world (real-universe?) stars present. Star systems now featured fully-developed solar systems, with space stations (in many differet designs). It was set in 3200 AD. Thargoids and fuel scoops were notably absent. Other new features included landing on planets, "petty" missions (delivering messages, delivering passengers), mining (prohibitively hard), and the ability to buy a variety of different ships (previously, only the Cobra Mk III was a playable ship). This game also introduced the Federation and the Empire (based on Sol and Achenar respectively), as well as keeping Lave and its surrounding systems as part of the galaxy (dubbed the Old Expanses iirc).

Elite III: First encounters was set in 3250 AD, and used the same galaxy as in Elite II, except for some political changes. The Alliance was a new political entity, and some aspects of the procedutrally-generated galaxy were cleaned up (removing the duplicate galaxies if you zoomed out really really far, and removing some nominally-hcolonised planets every 65000 light years from earth). The late game featured a mission sequence which unlocked a plot story. [spoiler]The missions explained away what happened to the Thargoids and why they weren't around any more.[/spoiler] This edition was notorious for being really buggy, to the point of being unplayable in the initially-released version.

Fun fact: I have an email from one of the original programmers somewhere granting me permission to make an RPG based off the original Elite. I never went anywhere with it, because the fanbase would have expected something that made use of the developments in II and II, which I lacked permissions for.
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