Play the gritty reboot of your favorite science fiction TV series. Winner of the 2012 Silver ENnie award for Best Setting, designed by RPG legend Robin D. Laws and powered by the GUMSHOE investigative roleplaying system. Out here in the Bleed, you’re the closest thing there is to a higher authority. You’re Licensed Autonomous Zone Effectuators —”lasers” for short. You’re the seasoned freelancers that local leaders call whenever a situation is too tough, too baffling, or simply too weird for them to handle. It’s a dirty job, but it pays. And sometimes, you get to make a difference. In Ashen Stars you take on the role of freelance troubleshooters and law enforcers operating in a remote sector of space called the Bleed. Amid the ashes of a devastating war that ended with a massive retreat by the Combine, you’ll solve mysteries, fix thorny problems, and explore strange corners of space — balancing the promise of a quick buck against the need to maintain a reputation that wins you lucrative contracts, and pays the upkeep on your ship and your cyber- and viroware enhancements. Play one of seven species: The eerily beautiful, nature-loving, emotion-fearing balla The cybes, former humans radically altered by cybernetic and genetic science The durugh, hunched, furtive […]More...
Over on RPGNet, Kafka has picked up The Justice Trade and given it a once-over.
Kafka says “Each of these adventures add more colour and flavour to the Ashen Stars universe with each containing a mystery waiting to jump out and shock the players. This collection is unreservedly recommended for the setting and the Gumshoe system, and even for other SFRPGs (once you master the tropes specific to Ashen Stars).”
Ending with the high praise, “So, if you need inspiration to create your own adventures or are a lazy sod like myself (who would rather steal…I mean adapt) this package of adventures is guaranteed to get the creative juices flowing along with creating a great night guaranteed to thrill and in some cases give your players the willies”, Kafka rates The Justice Trade an excellent 5 for Style and Substance.
You can read the full review here.
A thorough review of Ashen Stars from Matthew Pook.
In fact, in comparison with other Gumshoe System RPGs, Ashen Stars is fundamentally straightforward and unfussy. Were it not for what the RPG does to the genre it is emulating, that is rework it as an investigation game, Ashen Stars would be considered to be a very traditional RPG. Instead it highlights and makes its focus upon the usually ignored investigative nature of the genre, the feature of Ashen Stars and so refreshes the genre.
Jontheman over at TheRPGSite.com has reviewed the new music for Ashen Stars, All We Have Forgotten, by James Semple, Marie-Anne Fischer and Yaiza Varona.
All in all it’s an excellent album with some great music, and it’s suitable not only for Ashen Stars but for any science-fiction game. I can see this music working well for sci-fi horror, cyberpunk or a general exploration game.
You can read the full review here.
Kafka over at RPGNet has written a fantastic review of the Ashen Stars theme music, All We Have forgotten. You can read the full review here.
An excellent audio journey through the fragmented but exciting world of Ashen Stars – in all its glory of a heroic and shiny past where the horrors of the present were banished into the abyss.
There is a fantastic review of the newest Ashen Stars adventure, Tartarus, from kafka over at RPG.Net. He has given 4 for Substance and 5 for Style. You can read the full review here.
The secret is to keep players ignorant, as this adventure is a blatant rip of major Hollywood summer blockbuster. Although, as that film will recess in popular amnesia this adventure will become more significant and the full glory of it can be revealed to unsuspecting players.
A detailed and insightful review of Dead Rock Seven for Ashen Stars by kafka – 9/10.
Dead Rock Seven again demonstrates Pelgrane’s superior skills aptitude with design by creating a truly beautiful product. It brings over some the same similar layout, font and formatting used in the Ashen Stars core book- with but with a small number of modifications. Those slight adjustments are critical as they instantly position the GM to the sequence they need for running each scenario/adventure.
There is a review of Ashen Stars over on Flames Rising by Todd Cash. It’s a positive review giving 4 out of 5 stars.
There are not many sci-fi settings that I like; however, this is a damn good setting. Law populates Ashen Stars with interesting alien races, an excellent back-story, and tons of ideas to get players started.
DieHard Game Fan offers this in-depth review of Ashen Stars from a reviewer who is not keen on the GUMSHOE system’s resource management.
Ashen Stars breaks new ground in that genre with its narrow focus on mysteries and problem solving. GUMSHOE fans and those looking for a new sci-fi setting with an emphasis on drama over technical details will get the most out of this game.
A second review of the Ashen Stars stellar nursery edition (8 out 10 based on pre-release layout) on rpg.net.
Well-designed game in the GUMSHOE line, a bit like Traveller or Serenity (in that you have a PC-owned ship with a PC crew) but rather than flying from port to port trading, the focus is picking up investigation contracts and building up your precious reputation score rather than your wealth.
A review of the Ashen Stars pre-order edition here.
The delight in the setting is that it is constructed from the ground up to suit role-playing, unlike any licensed property would be.
The fact is this perennial problem [spaceship combat] has been solved in Ashen Stars.
That the art released so far looks gorgeous is just icing on the cake.
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