FOLDSPACE will be utilizing the Traveller™ game system. I chose Traveller because it was a new system to all of us and because it is to sci-fi roleplaying what Dungeons and Dragons™ is to fantasy. We are working off the version put out by Mongoose Publishing. The new 5th edition came out after we started learning the system and, considering the amount of support for both systems, it seemed more prudent to continue using Mongoose. FOLDSPACE will be a bit more on-rails than I usually run campaigns for two reasons: firstly, because we are all new to this system I don’t want things spiralling out of control, and secondly because I want to keep the story moving for the sake of entertainment. I have of course taken the usual liberties with the system which are as follows:
Character creation follows the normal process with two big exceptions:
1. At this point in time, humanity has yet to encounter any other sentient beings. All characters should be human, but may have different traits based on planet of origin (see the system guide above in Setting).
2. Human mental abilities are still developing, so Psionics are unused in FOLDSPACE.
Fate points are a game mechanic of my own which I incorporate into many of my campaigns. All players start a campaign with one fate point, and more may be earned through various means. This usually entails good role playing (other DMs will know what I’m talking about here: those moments where you feel proud with the choices your players make in regards to their characters or the story), completing main story events or bribing me with Thai food.
A player may burn a fate point at any time to twist reality in their favor. This might be something as small as re-rolling a failed check, or as large as escaping almost certain death. To put it in movie terms: remember in Back To The Future when Marty McFly is trying to start the Delorean, and the engine won’t turn over? When he hits his head on the steering wheel and the car starts? THAT’S burning a fate point.
In game terms, say Johnny Redshirt is chasing Bob Badguy through a jungle. Bob Badguy goes over a rope bridge spanning a rather large crevice and cuts the bridge down. Johnny Redshirt decides to try and jump across to continue the chase, but fails the jump check, falling to his death. Johnny’s player burns a fate point and, instead of falling, barely manages to make it to the other side. But now he’s holding on to the other edge by the whites of his knuckles and Bob Badguy is stomping on his hands.
Ultimately, the end result of burning a fate point is up to the storyteller/DM/game master, but it should be enough to keep the story going with appropriately dramatic consequences. Burning three fate points in a row is the stuff of legendary or fantastical story endings.