Games on the Table – Part 1: The Expanse

Though the blog has been quiet I have been busy playing games. We have been through a handful of different RPGs, and some campaigns are still running from my temporary Mutant Crawl Classics to the newly started The Expanse. I will in the following posts summarize the games, that I am playing or have been playing.

The Expanse

Using the Adventure Game Engine I find this intriguing. Most sci-fi easily ends up being some sort of science fantasy or space opera (i.e. Star Wars), I find it interesting that The Expanse is relatively hard science fiction with few novums (mostly the Epstein Drive) with a focus on the political and cultural conflicts throughout the solar system (I am up to date on the novels, so I know this will not last with regard to the strict hard sci-fi, but none the less the books have a great focus on life in the future rather than the fantastical).

Why I like the AGE system is due to its stunt mechanism combined with its fortune/hit point system, where you roll 3d6 and add ability and skill focus modifiers in order to reach a certain difficulty. Where the system shines is that when two dice pair up, you get stunt points to buy extra effects, which allows you as a player to manipulate a successful die roll to give the kind of success, that you want or even create effects no one had seen coming advancing the plot or story. The likelihood of getting the right success can be increased by spending fortune points, but they also double as a sort of hit points, as when hit by weapons, you spend points to reduce the damage to 0 or gain the wounded condition. The second wounded condition means the character is dying. In a simple but elegant manner the game has created the rationale for hit points, that D&D never did.

So far it has been fun playing. I look forward to playing more and tinkering with the system.

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