M. Jared Swenson Productions

This blog chronicles my projects, developments, and all things related to tabletop gaming. I will try to avoid rants and reviews. Mostly games I'm developing, and progresses from my campaigns.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Introducing Rogue Space - Star*Drive

 I have mentioned before in this blog my love for the Alternity game system. There's another aspect of it that I love so much, and that is it's original campaign setting: Star*Drive.

When TSR released the Alternity game system back in 1998, they also released a campaign setting book called Star*Drive. At first glance, Star*Drive would appear to be just a regular space opera that gives Alternity players a default scifi starting point. But upon a deeper look into the setting, you see that it's actually very rich, well thought out, and ripe for much adventure and storytelling.

There are many great scifi space settings that stand out to me, ones that have enough depth to hold on their own and be expansive enough. To me those are Warhammer 40,000, Star Wars EU, Star Trek, Mass Effect, and Star*Drive.

And it is perfect for expanding the Dark Frontier. So I made a small set of pocket-mod booklets
that give you plenty of material for making a Star*Drive campaign. Even if you only borrow some elements for your own Rogue Space game, take a look at them. All are in one download.

The first book is called Races and Stellar Nations. This is the beginning character creation book. It outlines the popular alien races and human stellar nations for PCs, as well as an introduction into the Star*Drive setting.
The second book is called Weapons and Technology. And covers just that. Plenty of character creation and gear options. Star*Drive has hi-tech guns, psionics, mutants, cybertech, starships, its got it all.
The third book is The Verge. The frontier in the Star*Drive setting that is ripe for adventure and danger. This just has many different plot and adventure hooks for referees. A referee only book.

The other document just has an expanded character sheet, and blank starship sheets to match some of the new rules featured in the Weapons and Technology booklet above.

Along with the release of these booklets, I will also conduct a weekly feature here on this site. In the spirit of other sites that do weekly features (Mik, I'm looking at you), I will be doing Star*Drive Saturday.

It will cover one aspect each Saturday of Star*Drive, and provide seeds for your own games. Like sample characters, adventures, and technology. Again they will be featured in Rogue Space rules because it is a system that I believe could handle Star*Drive really well, and there is a decent amount of Rogue Space familiarity in my following.


  1. Weekly features are so hot right now, haha. I've just glanced at these but I can tell your attention to detail means they'll be solid. Kudos on breathing some life into one of the better sci-fi settings to come around in a long time too.

    1. Thanks Mik. I agree its a great setting. Even if you have your own setting, there is so much that can be 'borrowed' from Star*Drive to use in your games. I hope i can at least provide some of that.

  2. EXCELLENT! Star Drive was an interesting setting, I just never warmed up to the Alternity rules. I am really excited to see your conversion and can't wait to incorporate this material into my own game! Kick ass!

  3. MJ one note: While not published yet, the cybernetic rules I have in the can for Rogue Transmissions 2 have one stipulation, each cybernetic modification drops your Empathy by 1 point (-1). When you add dermal armor? -1 Empathy. Add cyber arms? -1 Empathy.

    So Cykosis is grafted right into the rules as your reactions from other people become more negative as you become more machine than man. Once at -3 Empathy or lower daily tests are made (TN 5 modified by Empathy) to remain acting human. Failure leads to a day of Cykosis. Three failures and your character is no longer able to act human.

    Also Cybernetic users then lose any psionic abiliites.

    1. That's an interesting rule. I like it. In the regular alternity game, players can get up to maybe 5 pieces of cybergear before they stat losing their humanity, so this rule may be too strict. Im thinking of maybe in Star*Drive, every 2 pieces of cybergear they lose one Empathy, or with certain pieces, like the Fast Chip. I just dont want anyone to start going crazy as soon as they need a prosthetic limb. Also it is possible to have some cybernetics and psionics, because it's common and safe enough. Ill make notes of these though if i do a revision or Star*Drive Saturday.
      Oh, and what did you think of the Mindwalker rules? Alternity had a very loose class system, you had the tech op, the combat spec, etc, but it also had the psionic class. The mindwalker.

  4. Excellent stuff dude! Thank you!

    1. Glad to see another follower. You a fan of the original Star*Drive? I always like hearing from others who played the old game.

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