Welcome back to Let’s Study: Mindjammer. Today we’re looking at Constructs, an ever-present element in the setting.
Given the technological advances of the Mindjammer setting, it’s not difficult to imagine that the universe is full of Constructs: manufactured entities that are essentially characters in and of themselves.
A construct can be non-sentient, but the most memorable ones are. Constructs are spaceships, space stations, vehicles and installations that possess their own skills, aspects, stunts and extras, just like a regular character would.
Of course, being something other than “human” constructs have access to their own form of character creation one often involving things of a much larger scale.
The appeal of Constructs is one that is not lost to me. I’ve been a big fan of Mass Effect and one of the more amusing characters in the series is EDI, an Artificial Intelligence that serves as the computer in the main character’s ship. In the 3rd game of the series, she joins you in a Humanoid form, a robot that is remotely controlled by the ship, so seeing that as a potential character option in Mindjammer is definitely a plus for me.
The Construct rules for Mindjammer go through different scales from smaller starships to space stations, and also include various options and equipment. Gun fans will be happy to see all sorts of vehicle weaponry here and the presence of Construct Drones.
In addition to just building them, combat and damage applying to constructs is also tackled, with rules to handle systems damage as Consequences ranging from “Wildly Sparking Consoles” to “Raging Fire on Deck Three”
Constructs add another layer of playable character types and interesting NPCs for people to interact with. It’s a neat idea, and one that I’m glad to see implemented in Mindjammer in such an elegant fashion. I’m a fan of trying to keep things simple, and while Mindjammer is not exactly on the low-complexity side of the FATE spectrum, the mechanics of the game play off one another to make for a cohesive whole, similar to how Fantasy Craft does it with D20.