I’ve covered a great many role playing games here over the past few years. But I think it’s safe to say that none of them has captured my imagination the way Pelgrane Press’s Ashen Stars has.
A space opera set in a war-ravaged perimeter where civilization retains only the most tenuous hold, players take the roles of licensed mercs who make a living as as freelance law enforcement on a rough-and-tumble frontier called “the Bleed,” where humans and half a dozen alien races peacefully co-exist…. usually. The Mohilar War that very nearly destroyed the governing Combine is over, and the Combine is in no shape to govern the Bleed. Instead it is forced to depend on on loosely-authorized bands like the players to maintain peace, keep a lid on crime, and investigate odd distress signals from strange corners of space.
Pelgrane Press continues to support the game with regular PDF releases, and so far had published two thick adventure compilations in print: The Justice Trade and Dead Rock Seven, both of which were excellent. Later this year they plan to release the first rules supplement, Accretion Disk, packed with new character options, six new playable species, new options abilities (like zero-g martial arts), new weapons, and equipment, new contracts for your players, and twelve new hostile aliens.
An Accretion Disk forms around massive bodies in space. Gravity drags in random objects and debris, spinning them around and bringing them in closer and closer, faster and faster, hotter and hotter, until something explodes.
It holds true for stars and black holes – and for politics and crime, too. And let’s face it –- you’re the ones who are going to be standing in the path of that explosive release. Better get ready.
Accretion Disk: The Ashen Stars Expansion Book includes:
- Sample clues, special spend benefits, and added data on each Investigative ability. Learn how to use Kinetics to escape VR simulations, identify alien interference in pre-contact cultures, and trace viro-augmented criminals with endocrinological profiling.
- More options and tactics for general abilities, including species-specific ones. Master zero-g martial arts, detect weapons as they charge up, and acquire corporate sponsorship for your Laser team to boost your cash flow!
- Take your stations on board ship with options and tactics for each warpside and groundside role, then delve into player-drive Arcs and Drives. Guide your own destiny amid the guttering Ashen Stars.
- Explore new character options with six new playable species.
- Deckplans for every class of ship show you what it’s like on board – and new ship options and bolt-ons open up tactics for ship-board adventures.
- When you hit dirtside, break out any of the dozens of new weapons, equipment items, cyberware or viroware – if you can afford the upkeep!
- Hot Contracts gives a roster of jobs that only a Laser crew can handle. Pick your own challenge hot off the Bleed, and get to work!
- Finally, twelve new hostile aliens ensure that the Bleed stays dark and bloody…
We’ve previously covered the following games from Pelgrane Press:
When the End of the World is a Mercy Killing: Cthulhu Apocalypse for Trail of Cthulhu
Mythos Expeditions for Trail of Cthulhu
Experience the Epic Madness of Eternal Lies for Trail of Cthulhu
June Page XX Available — get the latest Pelgrane Press News
Accretion Disk for Ashen Stars
The Justice Trade for Ashen Stars
Some Mysteries You Don’t Want to Solve: Exploring Dead Rock Seven for Ashen Stars
Out of Space for Trail of Cthulhu
Ashen Stars by Robin D. Laws
The Dying Earth Role Playing Game
Accretion Disk was written by Gareth Ryder-Hanrahan, Kevin Kulp, and Kieran Turley, and will be published in Spring 2015 by Pelgrane Press. It is 192 pages, perfect bound; priced at $26.95. Art is by Jérôme Huguenin and Chris Huth. See more details at the Pelgrane Press website.