Astraterra – An adventure RPG for all ages
Astraterra is a pen & paper role-playing game of wondrous adventures for all ages. The game is set in an amazing fantasy world with steampunk and science fiction elements.
What makes Astraterra exceptional is that it’s designed for all ages. The background and game mechanics are designed together with children so that they offer challenge and entertainment for kids and adults alike. The children taking part in the design really got involved in creating the setting, equipment, creatures and even the game mechanics — they did’t just playtest the game.
A D6-Based Game system
The game system is simple to use and understand even by beginners. At its core it’s a dice pool game mechanic using regular six-sided dice. You roll dice equal to your Ability and any bonus dice. Each dice that turn out 4 or more is a ”success”. Sixes can be rerolled for extra successes. If you get more successes than your challenging dice roll, you succeed in what you were trying.
As the foundation of the game system is designed together with children, consistency and simplicity are key components of the system. The system is still versatile enough to handle many different situations and different gradients of success and failure if necessary.
An essential part of the system is that it encourages the players to use their imagination and come up with solutions that fit their own characters’ style.
The World of Astraterra
The world of Astraterra is built on the remains of a great ringworld that once revolved around the sun. After the cataclysmic events in the distant past, the civilization was rebuilt and now the civilized people of Astraterra have re-discovered steam power and electricity.
Besides these new wonders of technology and science, some ancient and magic-like tech-treasures still exist. One example of the tech-treasures are the teleports, which can be used for instantaneous travel anywhere in Astraterra. The teleports have been silent for a millenia, and just recently a way to restart them was discovered.
But there is a problem: as the ringworld broke into pieces and the teleports lost their connection to one another, there is no way of knowing what lies on the other side of a teleportal. Most of the teleports are still inactive and bold explorers are needed to activate them again and connect them with all the other re-activated teleports.
Conveniently, the player characters happen to be bold and adventurous enough to become teleport explorers.
The player characters are treasure hunters and adventurers who have taken the challenge to explore the teleport routes built by the Ancestors ages ago. The players can make up their own explorer from two main components: species and role. There are four major civilized species in Astraterra: Humans, Cavens, Chimeras and Solars.
- Humans are the most widespread species in Astraterra. They are considered to be very tough and resourceful folk.
- Cavens are short and stocky creatures with strong limbs. They somewhat resemble turtles without the shell. Cavens live in underground cities and are excellent craftsmen.
- Chimeras are the most varied species of Astraterra. Actually Chimeras are a whole range of different human-animal hybrid species. Chimeras have very keen senses of smell and hearing.
- Solars are a proud humanoid species who live in wandering fleets. Solars have a very slender build with fairy-like features and they have wings.
In addition to their species each player gets to choose a role for their hero from four different choices:
- Daredevils are the bold scouts and pathfinders of the expeditions.
- Doctors are the learned scientists and investigators contributing to the expedition with their intellect and vast knowledge.
- Starknights are the protectors of the expeditions. Starknights are wandering peacekeepers trained in the arts of combat and diplomacy.
- Mechanics take care of the expeditions’ equipment, and understand the Ancestor machines and devices better than others.
Now Available in Finnish — Coming in English in 2015
Astraterra is designed by Miska Fredman and published by Ironspine, an independent Finnish RPG label. Since its founding in 2006, Ironspine has released three other RPGs books before Astraterra.
Astraterra was funded with crowdfunding in the summer 2014 collecting over 200% of the goal. Because of the successful funding, Astraterra is now available in Finnish as a hardcover book with 176 full color pages. The English translation is now in progress and will be published during 2015.
Since its release, Astraterra has received a lot of attention in the Finnish and international media. Astraterra was featured in Spiegel.de in October 2014.
Download summary in English here (pdf): Astraterra-summary-Dec2014