Review- MindJammer

MindJammer_CoverThis isn’t directly Mythos related, so it’s not going to be reviewed on the podcast, but a post here isn’t out of the question. This is an RPG published by the prolific Modiphius Entertanment, the creators of the Achtung! Cthulhu line of games. We’ve had Modiphius president Chris Birch on the podcast in episode 29, and I thought it would be fun to see what other kinds of offerings they’re making apart from the Achtung! line. MindJammer is written and edited by Sarah Newton, and is the second edition of the game, originally using the Starblazer Adventures rules. This game is based on Fate Core, and includes all rules you need to play. I’ve not played Fate yet, but this book lays out the rules clear enough that I think it wouldn’t be a steep learning curve. I am reviewing the free PDF available at DriveThru RPG. This is a beta version of the book, but it feels very complete. This setting is very nicely detailed, but finds the balance of enough empty spaces a GM can fill in with their own ideas. Here’s the elevator pitch… It’s a science fiction game set in the far future where players can have characters that range from a normal human citizen of the setting, to cyborgs, explorers, aliens, mutants, uplifted animals (think Rocket Raccoon and you’re not too far off), and exotics like robots, self aware computers and even player character starships. It even has a version of the Metaverse/Grid/Matrix in it where characters could probably have whole campaigns in if you wanted to go that route. This is a whole civilization based on the technology, where minds can be moved to new bodies and AI’s share an equal status with organics. The title of MindJammer refers to the act of hacking into someone’s brain. Now that’s a nasty business indeed. There is a wealth of history and setting info available here. To get to the place where the game happens, a lot of advances in not only technology, but human goals and drives. There is a long history of expansion from Earth that is considered ancient history by the standards of the current era. The art is good, but it feels a little sparse in the book compared to the Achtung! Cthulhu line. I know it’s not really fair to compare one line to another, but being in the same overall company, that does flavor one’s expectations. The art that is included is very evocative and conveys the feel of the setting nicely. There are even several starship deck plans for those of us who have a thing to ships. I am certainly someone who appreciates detailed spacecraft for the PCs to use. This is a very well detailed setting, and while it feels like it has a little bit of the “whole kitchen sink” idea, it doesn’t feel like things are tacked on conspicuously. The different elements do feel like they belong together in this universe. That said, a GM doesn’t need to feel that they are stuck with an overwhelming number of options. It would not be hard to find the elements that the players are attracted to, and focus there, while the others fade to the background. This is a science fiction game that can bring most kinds of play that one could want from the genre. I can envision pulpy space opera, political intrigue, military, exploration, and any number of other focuses and combinations. I intend to use this as an idea reference for future Sci-Fi based gaming. Even if you don’t use the rules as is, it’s a great wealth of ideas to play with. Ms. Newton did a great job with this game. If you’re into science fiction roleplay, this is a good toolbox to play with.]]>

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