[Let’s Study] The Great FATE showdown: Tianxia vs Mindjammer!

Posted: May 14, 2014 by pointyman2000 in Articles, Let's Study, Roleplaying Games
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Hey guys,

Over the past few years I’ve been trying to get a handle on FATE games and I think it’s about time I try my hand at a Let’s Study series on a game that utilizes this popular ruleset. I’m looking to learn more about FATE in general, so I think there’s an opportunity here for everyone to learn something.

That said, we’ll be looking at some recent FATE releases that I can study. With your help, we can narrow it down to a winner!

Here’s what we’ve got:

Mindjammer from Modiphius


Grab your blaster, thoughtcast your orders to the starship sentience, and fire up the planing engines — come and defend the light of humanity’s greatest civilisation as it spreads to the stars!

The ENnie Award-winning transhuman science-fiction RPG setting returns, in a new edition updated and massively expanded for the Fate Core rules. Mindjammer is an action-packed tabletop roleplaying game about heroic adventurers in the galaxy of the far future, filled with virtual realities, sentient starships, realistic aliens, and mysterious worlds. Using the popular and award-winning Fate Core rules, Mindjammer lets you play hardened mercs, cunning traders, steely-nerved pilots, intrigue-filled spies and culture agents, aliens, divergent hominids, artificial life forms, and even sentient starships.

500 pages containing all the rules needed to play, including:

  • Full rules for starships, organisations, and culture operations
  • Detailed character cultures, genotypes, and occupations — play a sentient starship!
  • New and innovative rules for describing planets, star systems, and alien life
  • Deep background material on the New Commonality of Humankind
  • Rules for the Mindscape and virtual worlds
  • Starmaps and planet descriptions, histories and background
  • Hyper-advanced equipment, weaponry, enhancements, starships, and more.

Mindjammer — The Roleplaying Game can be used to play in the New Commonality of Humankind, or as a complete and detailed transhuman space opera rules set for any science-fiction setting.

Tianxia: Blood, Silk & Jade from Vigilance Press


Kung Fu fantasy and epic Wuxia adventure come to life in Tianxia: Blood, Silk & Jade. Created for Fate Core System!

Launched on Kickstarter, Tianxia: Blood, Silk & Jade is now being made available to the world through RPGNow and Drive-Thru RPG! Renowned game designer Jack Norrispresents an all-new adventure setting with Kung Fu rules designed from the ground up for the Fate Core roleplaying game. Beautifully illustrated in full color by Denise Jones, this book presents in detail the wild and dangerous Western province of Jiāngzhōu, a border territory in the greater empire of Shenzhōu. Players take on the role ofWuxia—wandering kung fu masters with skills and abilities that grant them the power to affect the fates of many—who are part of the Jianghu, a select culture of Kung Fu elite whose skills set them apart from other social groups.

Tinaxia: Blood, Silk & Jade is the first of a series of supplements for the Tianxia line. Future books already in the works include the Tianxia Lifepath Generator, which will include an Addendum for using our Kung Fu rules with Fate Accelerated Edition, the Twelve Golden Butchers adventure, and other sourcebooks expanding on different regions of Shenzhōu, opening up new gaming vistas like Chinese mysticism and epic battle scale combat.

Tianxia: Blood, Silk & Jade is designed for Evil Hat Productions’ Fate Core System and requires those rules to play, but the supplemental material is written so that it can be easily used for any role playing system. Your journey through the world of Tianxia begins here: you might be a beggar priest, or the child of the Emperor himself, but it will be your abilities as a Wuxia that shapes your fate… and the fate of everyone you meet.

Both of these books offer compelling settings that are different from the norm. I’m also a fan of Sci-Fi settings (though more of the space opera types like Mass Effect) and Wuxia in general so it’s a win-win for me.

This is going to be a Let’s Study series, so we’ll be tackling everything from the mechanics, the setting, character creation, a sample combat and campaigns that can be run before rounding it up with a review and conclusions of the book.

I’ll keep the poll open until Sunday 9PM, Philippine Time, so vote for your favorite and let all your friends know!

  1. I want to say Tianxia since it is half the pagecount of Mindjammer and probably easier to go through.

    Seriously, Fate is a simple system but games like the Dresden Files RPG are so HUGE. 😐

  2. Dave Rezak says:

    I voted for Tianxia for the reason Miguel mentioned. Fate at it’s core is very simple but it’s fractal/modular nature allows for a swift escalation in complexity. I don’t know if Mindjammer has a simple state you can begin play with but Tianxia is quite straight forward.
    Enjoy whichever you choose!

  3. AsenRG says:

    I voted Tianxia because a Tianxia game with the 36 styles used for Kuntao, Silat and Arnis not only makes sense, but would be fun as well!

  4. I own every incarnation of Fate, and Mindjammer is the best selfcontained Fate game out there now, Dresden Files being a good second with Diaspora on a close third.

  5. digitaljoed says:

    I voted Tianxia, but you do realize you need fate core with it. I have Tianxia and mindjMmer, my favorite current fate core gam is atomic robo. Self contained, very flexible aunt rules. Great game, and all the example are done with panels from the comic

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