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Majestic Stars for Age

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  • Majestic Stars for Age

    For my latest campaign I adapted the AGE system as a science fiction RPG.

    First the premise of the setting.

    Mankind has reached the stars only to findů Earth

    Birds flying under distant skies, fish swimming unexplored seas, and dinosaurs ruling unknown continents. On a hundred words there are the children of Earth. Children from an Earth of sixty-five million years ago.

    Now man has outgrown his cradle and traveled into the black, wondering who and what scattered the seeds of Earth throughout the cosmos. Mankind is forging a new life among the stars but old fears and conflicts still threaten. The year is 2525 and this is their universe, the Majestic Stars.
    I post about the campaign on my blog which you can read here.

    The Rules

    I made a classless variant. Every level can buy one attribute, one talent/profession, and two "skills". Skills are like focuses except they can bought from +1 to +4. So two skills winds up being the same as a focus which grants +2. I segregated the class abilities into talents and professions.

    I also created a psionic system and replaced magic with psi. I also use the Dragon Age set of attributes due to my players feeling that made more sense. However it easily converted back to FAGE attribute.

    Psionics work via a system of Talents setup similar to FAGE spells. The full three levels of talents grants four psionic disciplines. The psionic talents are augment, control, empathy, healing, and telepathy.

    The disciplines are:


    Sense Emotion
    Dampen Emotion
    Induce Emotion
    Affix Emotion

    Note: This is not magical healing and works by influencing the mind body interface of the target. As a consequence you can't improve the person health beyond half of their maximum. There is a psionic stunt that can overcome this limitation.

    Healing Touch
    Healing Sight

    Sense Thought
    Read Thought
    Send Thoughts
    Hive Minds *allows the psionic to link into a telepathic network of minds.

    There is no cost to Psionic like mana points, however they do suffer from mishaps which can be quite severe. Basically if you roll doubles and fail you look at the stunt dice and then a table to see what mishap befall the guy. They can suffer a seizure and damage, or become unconscious for a long time.

    There of course are Psionic tables.

    I am not comfortable sharing my full rules yet as the whole thing is pretty much a standalone RPG at this point, but here is a link to the psionic rules I am using.

    I will look at the rest of the document and cut out some of the sections that I feel would be appropriate to share.

    Finally I want to say thanks to Dustin Ahonen for sharing his Age of Star Wars was really helpful to my own project. While my own take is more hard sci-fi than the pulp of Star Wars his work along with Wheaton's Titansgrave helped a lot with the rules.

  • #2
    Re: Majestic Stars for Age

    Did you test it already? I ask that because while I did a very simple and to the point conversion of WoD to FAGE, as in keeping focuses as they are, I was actually really considering doing focuses as skills from +0 to +3 (plus possible specialization for +1 to a specific partof a skill) on my own AGE of Darkness games. But if someone is doing that already I would love knowing how it's going in practice. After all one thing is looking at charts on anydice, another completly different thing is having some firsthand experiences

    And please, do share, even if it's a little wild. I believe that if we share lots of our own modular homebrew we can make age similarly homebrew-friendly as SW (unless you plan on releasing it as a standalone when the licensing is here, of course...)
    DiBastet's Homebrew - My own homebrew. Use them, mine them for ideas, change them, as you see fit.
    AGE of Darkness - Converting World of Darkness to Fantasy Age.
    AGE of Wacraft - Playing AGE in Azeroth.

    Age of Homebrew - Links to other homebrew. Feel free to add more.


    • #3
      Re: Majestic Stars for Age

      Hey! Thanks for the shout out on Age of a Star Wars, it needs a ton of edits but peoples' interest in the project is really encouraging.

      Funny enough, I do have some experience with a +1-3 skill system, albeit limited. I was a player in a three session, level 3-5 game where we could spend 2 skill points per level in our respective primary/secondary ability focuses. We could only advance these bonuses once per level, so no dumping into one ability to get a +3.

      I was playing a warrior, so I mostly put my skills into weapons, but even then, what I really appreciated about this was the ability to branch out and having a wider variety of choices with how I built my character. I play mostly fighter-types, and usually go with axes because the weapon group comes with a two-handed, one-handed, and ranged option. This time around I chose heavy blades and spears, and I really felt more empowered as a player in some ways as I was more effective with a wider variety of weaponry. I also found this to be true in my secondary abilities, although I missed the big bonus that traditional ability focuses provided and them being able to partially make up for not as heavily investing in a particular ability (especially Communication in my case). FAGE is a system with a lot of "skills" and I felt that doing things this way did a lot to make it a little less daunting when the GM calls for an ability focus that no one has (which now that I think about it, seemed like it happened less often, since we each could spread ourselves out).

      It also made TN 11-13 more viable for longer. A bit meta-gamey but I am on the other side of the screen most of the time. Normally, I have found that players have a fairly easy time with casting spells and hitting monsters at these numbers once they get their open choice of focuses at level 2. I did not calculate the rate of success to failure, but it was definitely less and a little more frustrating for the party mage, but he was also having a rough go of the dice one night. I also found that it did trip up the newer player a bit. One of the things I love about FAGE is that it is really easy to pick up compared to more complicated systems, but by mid-way through the second session, the new player seemed to have a better grasp of how his character worked.

      In short, I played with skills and I liked it. The reason why I did not include it in Age of Star Wars is that I wanted to keep The simplicity of Basic FAGE. As someone who came from Pathfinder though, I appreciated that it re-introduced some of the complexity in character building that I have missed.
      Last edited by Otog; 15th July 2016, 08:40 AM.
      Star Wars: AGE of the Empire: An ever-expanding adaption of the Star Wars universe utilizing the AGE ruleset and compatible with the Fantasy Age Basic Rulebook.

      Expanded Classes Playtest: Adding the Bard, Swashbuckler, and Templar classes. As well as introducing archetypes that gives players different options from the start of play.

      Dustin & A very uncreative name for my blog on my RPG-related creative projects.


      • #4
        Re: Majestic Stars for Age

        As requested here the download for character generation section.


        For random attribute generation, I opted for rolling for the number of points to spend. It worked out better with a point buy system for attributes. Of course you can use the AGE random table but my recommendation is not to mix it with character that buy their attribute with point. It wasn't worth the effort to make the math work out to allow for random roll per characteristic.

        The random amount of starting attribute points is design to be slightly better on average than point-buy but... you run the risk rolling low. No risk no glory.

        The XP chart is different because it what I would use if I stripped the rules of the AGE specific stuff and published with an independent RPG. Feel free to use the XP numbers from Fantasy Age.

        Skill Notes

        For the record my "default" is that any character can do any task only some are better at certain task than others. If any you have read my Majestic Wilderlands supplement for Swords & Wizardry you will know what I mean.

        However that didn't fly with members of my players. To make them happy, I made the rules in the document. The general gist is that if you don't have at least a +0 in a skill/focus you are -2 to the roll.

        But if you don't like that tend just go with the AGE Default and ignore +0 entry on the skill cost chart. With this variant any character and do any of the skills at +0. For 2 points you get it up to +2 the same as taking a focus.

        Every character has 4 points to spend at each level. If you build a character out like a standard AGE character this means you are spending 1 point to raise and attribute, 1 point to get a talent (which include the stuff duplicating the class abilities of standard FAGE), 2 point to get a skill up to +1 or +2 (depending on the skill variant you use).

        This duplicates how AGE character progresses. If you use the variant I outline above the main difference is that instead of picking only one skill and get a +2 bonus in that skill, you can pick two skills and get +1 for each.

        It is important to enforce the rule that you can only spend enough point to raise ONE attribute +1. Otherwise it will break by 5th level. Buying up talents instead of skills doesn't seem to break anything although it makes the character weirdly both competent and incompetent at the same time.

        The list of talents I will post next. Anything I directly copied from the published AGE rules I will just supply the title and where to find it.


        You can get a bit of the flavor of my setting from the races.


        Psionics turned out to be more common than I thought. A bare majority of my players have a bit of psionic although only one plowed most of his points into psionic disciplines. Most are like the medic who picked up the Healing Talent that helped with his vision of the character.

        On further reflection I I like this. Since this is science fiction it makes sense that they would quickly figure how to allow anybody with a little bit of psionic potential to unlock it.


        • #5
          Re: Majestic Stars for Age

          Originally posted by DiBastet View Post
          Did you test it already
          Yes, a handful of session in a campaign, and a couple of one off fight club sessions to test high level combat. With that being said, it is incredibly RAW at this point and will need a lot more playtesting. However I feel the structure is sound and that the work is making the detail right mostly in prerequisites that are required to buy talents and professions.

          Originally posted by DiBastet View Post
          And please, do share, even if it's a little wild. I believe that if we share lots of our own modular homebrew we can make age similarly homebrew-friendly as SW (unless you plan on releasing it as a standalone when the licensing is here, of course...)
          I posted the character gen and will post what i can out of the remaining sections. If Green Ronin starts up a third party publishing program I will still release it. Right now my text is rules only and has little in the way of advice, flavor, etc. So the published version will have more to it than what I am given out now. Beside if I can, I will release all the rules under the OGL anyway and only reserve my setting stuff as product identity.


          • #6
            Re: Majestic Stars for Age

            Here is the Equipment section of my rules. It also includes Wealth and Cybernetics.



            First all and probably the most weird thing about this that there are not much in the way of prices. This is because due to 3D fabricators being a mature and sophisticated technology in the 24th century. So any item that can be fit in a traditional closet or refrigerator sized area can be made at home for a nominal cost.

            As a result most human government have some sort of basic income where everybody entitle to enough money for basic housing, transportation and fabrication supplies. However it is just that basic. If you want anything extra, the money economy still rules.

            More importantly human labor is now at a premium. Any project that has to be done will more than a handful of people will need money. Even with advances in robotics, there are many projects that require dozens of people devoting their time too in order to complete. That is time that people demand money for. And to complicate this people with exceptionally high communication skills can also wind convincing a bunch of people to do a big project.

            Plus style still sells, so while everybody has access to a Chevelot or a Volkwagen, if you want to drive or ride around in a Cadillac, Rolls, or Mercedes then you will have to pay money.

            Also there are some resource limitation still present for example the range of material goods in a new colony, or space on a space station. When that happens the money economy become dominant.

            So it is a bit weird and took some time for my players to get used too but once they realize that basic is that just the basics, then they got comfortable with the setup.

            Some weapons have a accuracy bonus which adds to your roll. They are just that good at hitting the target.


            • #7
              Re: Majestic Stars for Age

              OK here are the listing for talents.


              I had to through my original and replace some text with page references to the Fantasy Age equivalent.

              In the long term this the part that needs the most tweaking at this point. It is critical to the feel of character progression to tweak the rerequistes so that the flow of character development feels right. Unfortunately this can only happen through actual play so it is a long way from being done.

              I included notes on what people took when we playtested high level combat. Basically as it stands, high level combat is deadly but there also a lot of yo-yo in how health levels go up and down. The fight ends when the loser can't heal enough damage fast enough. We rationalized it with the old adage that Health i.e. Hit Points are more than just actual injury and just rolled with it.

              With high attributes, skills, talents, and technology pretty characters were rarely missing. So your armor and how you can be healed was a major factor. Again the feel of combat was OK, not great and can certainly be tweaked but it wasn't bad.

              So this is what I got at this point. As for Starships and World generation, my plan to adapt OGL releases like the Traveller SRD into a system compatble with AGE. However the campaigns I am running on are centered on the Artemis Station so it isn't a priority to get done yet.

              I have a fantasy version of this stuff in a lot rougher shape. In there there are talents that that replicate the progression of class abilities in Dragon/Fantasy Age. I also have the current character level as prerequisite.