An upcoming roleplaying game inspired by the likes of Ocean’s Eleven and Firefly lets players pull off heists in outer space.
Called Freelancer’s Guide, the tabletop RPG takes place in the far future wherein mega-corporations rule the galaxy and people are suffering under the weight of exploitation. In the midst of corporate bailouts and endless work, people have had enough and look for ways to get back at the companies taking advantage of the capitalist system. As a group of these rebels, the player party forms a group of highly skilled thieves, planning and executing heists against the corporations that have long oppressed them. The kind of plans players can expect to devise will be along the lines of the heists pulled-off in films such as Ocean’s Eleven and Now You See Me, with characters approaching the action like the protagonists of television series Cowboy Bebop and Firefly.
Every storyline begins with the players taking on a new mission and doing the preparation they need to complete before they can undertake the theft. Preparation in the sci-fi roleplaying game includes meeting with contacts to acquire information or valuable equipment the crew will need for the mission, as well as purchasing any additional gear and even upgrading their spaceship or base, in case they need a quick getaway or somewhere to hunker down should things get hot.
Each mission is divided into several key phases, with the choices being made in the planning phase directly impacting what happens in the execution phase. If the players are able to come up with creative ideas and anticipate what obstacles they may face during the heist, then the actual event of the theft will go smoother. Should players encounter situations where they face resistance or an obstacle they haven’t anticipated, then they will need to perform a skill check.
Freelancer’s Guide uses the C22 gameplay system, which has players using a deck of playing cards to determine the outcome of their actions. Each player has a deck of 22 playing cards, with their starting decks being made up of a selection of numbered cards and two jokers. Whenever a player needs to pass a skill check, the games master draws cards until a joker is drawn, with the cards shown indicating the outcome of a character action. Whilst the red joker is a critical success, the black joker is a critical failure. Throughout Freelancer’s Guide, players will be able to improve their decks by adding in cards that can have beneficial effects and make players better at certain actions.
The player party returns to their base if they successfully complete the heist and escape with their lives, enjoying some much needed downtime before they embark on their next mission.
Freelancer’s Guide was created by Brandon Gutowski and is set to be published by Pagoda Games, the studio responsible for the C22 gameplay system and a oneshot adventure about saving a town from a pirate invasion called Missfortunate Morning.
The Kickstarter campaign for Freelancer’s Guide is set to launch on February 22nd, with pledge amounts and estimated delivery dates yet to be confirmed.