The Chronicles of Future Earth Player’s Guide – Out Now!

The Chronicles of Future Earth Player’s Guide – Out Now!

Way back in 2018, I wrote an article for Black Gate about the Kickstarter we were running for my science-fantasy roleplaying game, The Chronicles of Future Earth. Subtitled “Cosmic Fantasy Roleplaying in the Post-Historical Age”, it was a world of long-forgotten ancient technologies, strange mutated monsters, gods, demons, and weird intelligent species fighting against forces of entropy and domination threatening to destroy reality. Using a radical new version of the Fate Core rules system, it was a setting which had inspired me for over twenty years, I’d published a novel in the setting, written RPG adventures and supplements, short stories, and more. Now it was going to be a massive standalone roleplaying game in its own right. I was excited. The Kickstarter funded 225% of its goal. It was going to happen.

Then, my husband was diagnosed with cancer, died, and my life exploded. No warning, fast, brutal. For several years I wandered lost, unable to even read more than a few pages, let alone write. But time and the friendship of good people, the support of the fantasy, SF, and RPG communities, all worked their magic, and slowly I recovered. Last year I published a “superheroic swords and sorcery” RPG called The Lair of the Leopard Empresses. This year, at last, and with an entire new company, Typhon Games, I published the first book in The Chronicles of Future Earth RPG — the Player’s Guide. John and the Black Gate team have very kindly had me back to give you an update on how the far future of planet Earth is looking, almost six years on!


Imagine our Earth, a hundred thousand years from now. The planet is in the grips of an ice age, the sea levels have retreated, and the locus of civilization is now the northern part of the continent once called Africa… In the prehistoric past, humankind achieved transhuman interstellar greatness, then fell into savagery in a terrible cosmic cataclysm, now dimly remembered in the ancient scriptures of the Helemoriad, when the Great Hegemonist, the Power of Universal Domination, wielded the entropic powers of his Reaver God servitors to subjugate an entire universe.

His efforts were stymied by only two things: the alliance of humankind with vast, other-dimensional entities now worshipped as the Gods of the Great Compact; and a promise, made by all intelligent beings, to fossilize their societies in an intense conservatism, and never again undertake the bold experiments which had unleashed the Great Hegemonist from Beyond the Veil.

Today, the Venerable Autocracy of Sakara is the oldest of the Springtide Civilisations. From its capital, Glorious Kados, on the shores of the Ethereal Strait linking the Middle Sea and the perilous Ocean of Tlan, the Avatar Enessi XXI rules over an empire in dire trouble. After fifteen millennia of splendid inertia, the old ways are no longer working. The Autocracy rots from within, corrupt, decadent, complacent; and, at its edges, the Entropic Horde, worshippers of the Reaver Gods, seethe and mutate, ready to tear open humankind’s soft underbelly. It’s a world on the brink of disaster. A world that desperately needs to wake up. A world that doesn’t even know it’s asleep.


The Chronicles of Future Earth is a game set in the tumultuous years at the end of the Fifth Cycliad of Sakara. You play artificers restoring ancient artefacts, legionnaires wielding barely-understood weaponry, sorcerers summoning other-dimensional demons, priests worshipping gods of Time, of the Unification of Opposites, of the Realisation of the Will, incarnating their avatars, exploring their miraculous powers. Or any one of a myriad other occupations.

You’re a human, or one of the genetically divergent jeniri kindreds — the Cousins of Humankind — or even one of the alien esteri, the Not-Humans of Earth, like the violent and chaotic Tung Mai mantis people, or the zoic scientists of the Hsun spider folk, crafting mysterious living artefacts.

This is a game of mysteries, intrigue, desperate dooms, and battles against impossible odds. It’s also a game of relationships; of leading legions, forging new communities, saving whole nations from chaos and collapse.


The Chronicles of Future Earth uses a radical new version of the Fate Core ruleset we’re calling Cosmic Fate. It’s lethal, gritty, and epic. It still has the narrative chops of Fate Core, and the coolness of aspects, plot stress, and more; but it also has a solidly old school feel, with real jeopardy and risk, critical hits and failures, permanent wounds and consequences, and tactical conflicts.

If you liked my previous roleplaying game, Mindjammer — Transhuman Adventure in the Second Age of Space, then you’ll like The Chronicles of Future Earth. It takes the Mindjammer Fate rules a step further. It’s pulpier, with a vibe reminiscent of Clarke Ashton Smith’s Zothique tales, M John Harrison’s The Pastel City, Moorcock’s Stormbringer, Hawkmoon, Wolfe’s Book of the New Sun. If you’re a fan of Glorantha, Tekumel, Jorune, then you’ll feel right at home in the Venerable Autocracy.

One of the defining rules innovations in The Chronicles of Future Earth is what we’re calling relationships. In most roleplaying games, both tabletop and video, the character advancement paradigm is generally linear, and what I’ll call “vertical”; as you play, your character rises up, gains skills, new powers and abilities, and generally becomes individually more awesome.

I don’t know about you, but that doesn’t really reflect my own experience of “levelling up” in real life. Sure, I’ve learned a lot of stuff, but I’ve forgotten a lot, too; and, to be honest, my own “power” and “scope of action” is perhaps more a function of who I am in my various social networks and personal and professional relationships, than purely a matter of my own individual skillset. As I’ve become more experienced, I’ve probably advanced “horizontally”, increasing the number and scale of the arenas in which I’m capable of acting, just as much as I’ve advanced “vertically”, improving my own skills. Perhaps more so.

The Cosmic Fate rules engine powering The Chronicles of Future Earth provides just this kind of experience system. As you advance, yes, sure, you can improve your own skills and abilities. But you can also develop relationships with other people, and with organisations like temples, guilds, legions, and even whole communities. And, when you do that, you gain the ability to use their skills and abilities, too, and put them on your character sheet.

Yes, that means legions, cities, armies, temples, what-have-you, all have skills and “character sheets” just like player characters. In Fate, this paradigm is called the Fate Fractal, summarized as Everything Can Be A Character. In The Chronicles of Future Earth, when you deepen your relationship with your legion, your community, your temple, you put its abilities on your character sheet, and can use those abilities to get that community to take actions on your behalf. Your character becomes more awesome horizontally as well as vertically; you can wield a sword or deploy magic like a hero, for sure; but you can also command an entire army to lay siege to a city, or a temple to declare a nation anathema. That’s the path to true power in The Chronicles of Future Earth, and the Cosmic Fate rules handle it seamlessly.


These rules innovations go hand in hand with the deep thematic content of the game. As you walk your hero path, yes, you’re trying to save the world. But you’re doing more than that; you’re reorganizing a collapsed and decadent society, reconnecting its separated and disparate parts, and attempting to weave a new reality that will be able to resist this new, latter-day onslaught of the Great Hegemonist and the Reaver Gods in the End Times of the Fifth Cycliad.

That’s where the “Post-Historical” bit comes in. So much time has passed since the cosmic ruin of the Helemoriad, so much stagnation, that history has lost all significance. What does a mere human life matter, compared to the thousands of generations that have gone before, whose footprints you can see all around you? How can you make a difference? Surely it’s hopeless? Surely you shouldn’t even try?

In The Chronicles of Future Earth, your challenge is to overcome this inertia. To save the world not just by hammering the bad guy, but by persuading the good but benighted masses that there is cause for hope — that tomorrow can be different. That yesterday is not the only model for the future. That things can change. That life renews. If nothing else, I’ve learned that over the past few years, over and over again.


This year we’re finally delivering on the Kickstarter and publishing The Chronicles of Future Earth, in three volumes, followed by supplements and adventures. The first volume, the Player’s Guide, came out in March. It’s a gorgeous, full-colour, 384-page hardback and PDF, available right now from DriveThru RPG. It contains all the rules you need to play and create characters, including rules for occupations, cultures, jeniri and esteri kindreds, magic, demons, avatars, mysticism, and more. A GM can use the Player’s Guide to create adventures and adversaries and play right away; but the Chronicler’s Guide, releasing this Fall, is a book specifically for the GM, containing a bestiary, detailed rules for communities, artefacts, dimensions, treasures, and much more.

Finally, the Guide to Future Earth, releasing at the end of this year, will provide deep detail on the Springtide Civilisations, including maps, gazetteers, and descriptions of all twenty of the temples of the Great Compact, and a host of legions, sorcery schools, guilds, and more.
It’s been a wild ride to finally get to this point! We’ve had some great initial reviews, and I for one am hugely excited by what’s to come, including campaign supplements and adventures such as The Korudav Campaign and Wormhollow Vale, to follow on our initial core rules release.

If you’re tempted by The Chronicles of Future Earth, you can check out the 30-page free preview at DriveThru, which gives you the complete basic rules. Also in May we’re releasing an updated version of The Swallower of Souls, the Chronicles of Future Earth quickstart and introductory adventure, playable standalone but also with the Player’s Guide for expanded goodness. It’s free in PDF, and available also in print-on-demand.

There’s also a novel, The Worm Within, full of pulpy goodness, available in digital format and print-on-demand at DriveThru and also Amazon.

Thank you for reading! Come and chat with us in the comments below, or at RPG-dot-net, Facebook, or our Typhon Games discord. We’d love to see you!


“This is now officially my favourite science-fantasy setting.”
– Jakob, DriveThru RPG review

“One of the best, if not the best, role-playing games of the new year.”
– Ypikaye, DriveThru RPG review

“‘Masterpiece’ for a career that already covers star hits like Mindjammer, Legends of Anglerre and Achtung! Cthulhu may be a big claim, but there’s plenty here to back it… It’s the first game I’ve ever unhesitatingly given a 5/5 rating to. It’s that good.”
– Paul Mackintosh, review



Notify of

Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
steve braun

Looks cool, very Tekumel like.


The novel sounds right up my street, has great reviews on Amazon, and consequently is about to be purchased. And while I’m not an RPG player, it’s not unknown for me to peruse gaming volumes which offer interesting settings and artwork. Thanks for the interesting post.

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x