As some of you might or might not be aware, Little Red Goblin Games have been busily working away at a new campaign setting called Necropunk, using the Pathfinder rules. Here at Nearly Enough Dice we’re lucky enough to get a very rough preview copy of the setting and we are here to give our initial thoughts. (Note: Kickstarter for this is now LIVE! Get on it!)
Sci-fi and Fantasy merged
The basic premise behind Necropunk is Science Fiction and Fantasy blended together in a very complimenting way. They have made Melee weapons worthwhile in a world of Guns and lasers, and while there is no magic in the good old fashion wizard and spell book sense, there are psychic abilities that have the concept of magic behind them. Rather than travelling across continents you will be travelling across galaxies. If you get fantasy, you’ll get the feeling for Necropunk. If you prefer science fiction, then there is plenty of advanced technology to give you that futuristic feeling.
Of course this is not just dwarves and elves in Space, as there are only humans available in this setting. The main reason for that is to keep the strife and issues of this setting purely down to political and social issues, rather than racial issues. This makes the interaction between characters far more interesting, and not because this character is taller than that character.
Horror is the flavour of the day
If the name doesn’t imply it enough to you, this is a horror setting. This is not zombies just jumping around the corner and giving you a fright; the idea of this setting is getting into your head and playing a musical number with your nerves horror.
With it being horror, don’t expect your game to be full on large scale combat bonanza. Expect more your skills and abilities to decide how the day comes out. It even states that “If full on scale combat breaks out – even skill players will not have a good chance of walking out without a few scars”. If your party is used to kicking in the door, taking the loot and killing the monster… they might be in for a few surprises. For those who want a more small scale intense combats with plenty of attempting to talk your way out of it, rather than the fighter leading the way, you will get a kick out of this system.
But don’t walk into this game expecting a grim, dark setting either. The goal stated at the beginning of this campaign setting is to make it clear that it is not aiming to be that. Of course, as a GM and as players you can try and take it down that line, but the campaign itself is aimed to be more pushed towards the idea of a complex world, with difficult and morally testing questions, which force the player to think about their actions, and the consequences of the decisions they make. This isn’t designed to be a blunt hammer that hits your players until they have thought about their actions. With social and political aspects being the core of this setting, the idea is to make the interaction between characters and the world around them matter, and hold a significance.
Races and worlds
The whole idea is that humans have left Earth, and by leaving Earth a transformation began to happen which changed the human race as we know it. It resulted in flesh and bones to suddenly be able to transmit thought. As time and experimentation went on we could, with a simple mental command, make our bones as strong as steel, or be able to lift things ten times the weight of a normal human being. The potential properties of this new power meant that bone was suddenly valuable as more and more uses and purposes were found. Suddenly you could have an arm removed and be able to afford to buy your own property, cremation was no longer desirable and instead just your corpse alone was a valuable inheritance to leave your family.
Of course, like any proper game based in Space, humans spread out amongst the stars. This has resulted in a load of different interesting and exciting options of the human race. Each race gives you a different view to the universe, as well as different characteristics. The different characteristics while important in what kind of archetype you will play, but more interesting is the background. What about the nomads who for generations travelled through the stars in harsh and unbearable conditions, which resulted in a particular life and mentality being formed? What about the ultra-conservative people who believe in the pure human form? The mentality of the characters from their background gets really interesting the further you dive into it, and read on the history of these places.
Combat and skills
In this world where augmented bodies are the norm and the use of bone to improve armour and abilities is rarely even blinked at, suddenly combat gets a little bit muddier. In Pathfinder, a combat round is meant to last six seconds, no matter how long you spend thinking and planning things in your game. They have done an interesting trick in this phase of the campaign setting to represent that. While I can’t really go into the specifics of how this works, I can guarantee you it does make combat suddenly seem faster paced, futuristic and shows why combat can be absolutely deadly
Skills have also changed dramatically too, due to the change on how social interaction works in this campaign setting. None of the changes beyond this will really be shocking or hard to comprehend. All the changes are to fit with the flavour of this campaign setting, and they are all really nicely done from what we have seen.
Being a different setting based in a futuristic setting in space with absolutely no magic, some classes from the base character book will fit so much better than others. Thankfully, rather than being stuck with a slim selection of character classes and a bunch that don’t fit, they also provide a host of new classes within the campaign setting as well. Without giving away too much, I can certainly say they are all rather awesome looking and more than make up for the classes lost.
This was a rough draft we were given so there is obviously missing details and plenty of writing still to be done to fix this book up. I won’t be judging it’s layout or design of the book just yet, but what I can do is judge on the content I have seen so far. What I have seen has me very intrigued and will certainly be keeping an eye on this project! I heartily recommend you back this Kickstarter project ASAP which you can do over here!