Next up: Let’s Study Fragged Empire by Design Ministries

Posted: August 25, 2015 by pointyman2000 in fragged empire, Let's Study, Roleplaying Games
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coverAfter taking a few days off from my last post, I’m pleased to announce that the next Let’s Study article will be about a recent release: Fragged Empire by Design Ministries. It’s an interesting far-future RPG where players take on the role of a number of disparate new races born from the experimentation of several older races before you.

Here’s a quick look at the book’s marketing blurb:

“Betrayed by your creators, you are a genetically engineered remnant emerging from the ruin of genocidal war…”

A tabletop RPG setting & rules, set in a far future ‘post, post-apocalyptic’ setting. Your people have survived 100 years of brutal tribalism & savagery and are just now emerging back into space.

Set in the style of Firefly, Millennium Falcon, Alien, Farscape, Blake 7, Mass Effect & Knights of the Old Republic.

I do like the initial idea of this, but seeing a laundry list of inspirations right away does make me a little bit nervous. I’m from the school that wants to see the tone of the setting unfold by itself, rather than be given pop-culture pegs right away. It’s a good practice in design, but I’m not completely sold on the idea of it being used in promotional material.

Moving on, we get a look at some opening text to set the tone of the game, which I have replicated in formatting to try and preserve the author’s intent:

It is over 10,000 years into the future.
Earth is forgotten.
Humanity is dead.
Genetic erosion, brought on by thousands of years of apathy.
You are one of many genetically engineered descendants.
Created by the eugenicist Archons (humanity’s heirs), or the vengeful monster X’ion.
A genocidal war has ravaged the known galaxy.
X’ion won, killing the Archons, destroying their empire, and then abandoning his army to vanish without a trace.
This event threw the galaxy into 100 years of brutal tribalism.
After 100 years, your people have just re-entered space.
No one knows what’s out there.
Four surviving races have banded together.
Not out of a common direction, but out of necessity.
No one knows where this new society is headed.
Each race is struggling for survival.
They need each other.

Again I’m getting this sense that there’s a LOT that is going on with this setting and the author can’t wait to get us involved. But a few tiny flags pop up now and then that make me hesitate. For one, I’m getting this sense of being just a little bit displaced. I don’t have much of an anchor to the world as is, and while Numenera manages to somehow still make it work by retaining Humans as some sort of common ground, Fragged Empire doesn’t quite have this because of the fact that all the races aren’t human but some sort of descendant race.

Here’s hoping that the setting chapters manage to iron things out better. I’ve got high hopes for Fragged Empire, as it’s an entirely new setting, and isn’t just another Star Wars clone.

Tomorrow, we kick off our exploration of this brand new world with a look at the Introductory chapter.

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