Friday, February 7, 2014

Things I am Excited to See in the River of Heaven RPG

I just received a copy of the draft rules for River of Heaven, the new d100 rpg based on Openquest.  I got my copy because I’m a kickstarter backer.  We are not allowed to distribute the document, but we are allowed to talk about what we see.  I glance through the document and was impressed as to how complete the game is now.  There are also many additions that excited me.

Point based and random character creation
It is cool to have options for both.

Not by that name, but there are rules for bio-created humans.

Humans modified by space
This game has transhuman elements, but not to the gonzo extant of Eclipse Phase.  There are rules for humans who grow up in microgravity environments.

Characters can modify themselves in the transhuman sense, but if they do it too much they are post human and become unplayable.

Stats for robots in the book, yeah!

Tons of setting material
I had the assumption that this game would be like Mongoose’s Traveller book; big on rules, brief on setting, with supplements to flesh things out later.  There is a ton of backstory, information on planets, stars, etc. included in the book. I would say that it takes up the majority of the space.

Recommended reading
I always like it when an rpg has an “Appendix N”; a place where you can find works of fiction and nonfiction that can give you inspiration for your game.  This project seems to have two big inspirations, Alastair Reynolds and Frank Herbert.  I hope to see some more recommended reading added to the final edition.

Playable in different eras
I can see using these rules to play many different types of space games, such as a game set in the universe of  Leviathan Wakes, Dune, Stargate, Bladerunner, or an awesome homebrew.

This project is still on Kickstarter.  They have meet their goal and first stretch goal.  There will be tons of art.  The next stretch goal is for color art.  I hope it reaches this, because color art is pretty!  Check it out if you haven’t.