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Battle Skynet and the machine uprising across time in upcoming The Terminator RPG

Arnold will not be donating his likeness.

The Terminator RPG launched its Kickstarter campaign on March 11th, offering a first look at publisher Nightfall Games’ upcoming roleplaying game, detailing the science fiction dystopia and what will be included inside the sourcebook. It has already surpassed its funding goal and boasts over $40,000 (£28,700) raised at time of writing.

Players take on the role of those resisting the tyrannical rule of Skynet in a timeline where the machine uprising conquered humanity, thanks in no small part to the brutal efficiency of the Terminators. Where and when the adventure takes place is up to the group and its Director, who runs things from behind the screen. We previously outlined the RPG last year but can now detail how it will play and that it will release this December.

Nightfall Games explained on the campaign page that the sourcebook has been “designed as a toolbox” allowing adventures at several distinct points along the Terminator universe’s timeline - and in a variety of locations. Players may create a band of time travellers sent back in an attempt to protect a future leader of the resistance, or they can be regular denizens suddenly confronted with futuristic killing machines hunting them down for crimes they won't commit for decades.

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The Terminator RPG will use the publisher’s S5S game system as its mechanical core. Each player will need six d10 dice, which comprise their one success die and six skill die - hence the name S5S. It rewards players who attempt skills in which they’re proficient, hoping to “succeed big” on checks for a higher degree of success or extra effect.

The system was introduced in SLA Industries 2nd Edition, an urban horror RPG setting Nightfall Games first developed in 1993. The publisher has said the S5S system will be used in several of its future projects, with The Terminator RPG being the first fruit of that promise.

Suiting the post-apocalyptic material, groups will face combat and tense survival situations on the regular. They also conduct investigations and toy around with the flow of time, especially those who travel back to a time before the machines took over. Expect to confront new variants on the classic manhunters - Nightfall already previewed the Pinstripe Terminator model as one possible threat survivors will face along their path to save the world. Familiar human faces have also been teased as NPCs and critical members of the resistance across time.

The hardcover rulebook will be a 192-page, full-colour resource that provides everything players and the Director need to spool up their first sessions. Included pre-written adventures will introduce the major worldbuilding concepts and help those new to the S5S system dip their toes in the water before creating their own campaigns. Those curious about how the full book will read and look can download free quickstart rules from DriveThruRPG.

The Kickstarter campaign for The Terminator RPG runs until April 5th. Both digital and physical copies are expected to ship to backers in December of this year.

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