Hello and welcome to the 10th and final part of the Let’s Study Mindjammer series I’ve been churning out for the past two weeks.
Mindjammer is both a complete game, and a universal toolkit for running science fiction games. As a FATE Core game, I feel that Mindjammer delivers the full FATE experience while adding no small amount of additional mechanics to simulate the special cases that matter in sci-fi. While the core mechanic is very simple, the game does run the risk of becoming very complicated very quickly and may take some FATE Core enthusiasts by surprise.
Character creation isn’t as quick as I’d imagined, but that’s offset by the benefits of having a large number of options for your character. The resulting experience resembles that of more mechanics-heavy games that may require a session devoted completely to making characters and hammering out the group.
The main draw of Mindjammer for me however, would be the concepts and ideas presented, all with significantly robust mechanics to follow through. Elements like Transhumanism, cybernetics, diverging evolution, cultural conflict are all heady ideas, but every single one is represented in the rules somehow. Mindjammer doesn’t just drop these concepts on you either, but introduces each one with the care and patience of a schoolteacher, ensuring that any GM who picks up the book and takes the time to study it will have the confidence necessary to run a game in any kind of modern sci-fi setting.
The layout of the book is well done, with proper sidebars and tables to help parse information, and non-distracting layout elements to facilitate easy reading. The artwork is universally good, but I’m afraid no one particular piece of work has stood out as truly breathtaking for me, a shame given the potential of the setting for being really open to high weirdness.
When I started this series, I was wondering just how much detail you could cram into a FATE Core game, and I’m pleasantly surprised by what Mindjammer has done. I would have no hesitation in recommending Mindjammer as a must buy for anyone interested in running a sci-fi game especially given what you get for the price.