Is The Expanse RPG becoming vaporware?

CapnZapp

Hero
So Kickstarters slip, maybe this is a normal amount, but Green Ronin is supposed to be a grownup company and I expect that they do better communication and better than missing release dates by an entire year.
An entirely average Kickstarter it appears to me. In fact, even if there's no product for another year, the Kickstarter would still not be inordinately catastrophic. Sorry.
 

Mistwell

Hero
I wish people would stop saying this it is not accurate. The ORIGINAL release by Green Ronin in January 2018 stated a full release date of Gencon 2018. They have since changed the press release but retconning their press release does not make it fact. They stated that a limited run of hardcovers would be available at Gencon and that did not come anywhere near to happening.
It is 100% accurate what I said. I am not pulling from a "press release". This is from the Kickstarter itself. It's not alterable. The original text is still there, and that portion is controlled by Kickstarter and has never changed. It says, right in black and white in the kickstarter, exactly what I said for the PDF and print dates - ESTIMATED DELIVERY DATE: November 2018. It says exactly what I said for the print date: ESTIMATED DELIVERY DATE: JANUARY 2019. They're off by only a few months, not a year. All the stuff about Gencon is not in that text at all. That apparently was their hope, but not the commitment of the kickstarter.

FYI. Just checked the PDF of the rules still states coming soon on their website, so anyone that says it is available right now, that is not true.
If you were part of the kickstarter, you were sent an email for download of the PDF.

I think you're confusing two things. I think you think this is a topic about the normal non-kickstarter sale of this product. It's not. This is the kickstarter topic. Those PDFs went out last month. You don't have to believe me - go to the kickstarter page yourself and look.
 
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My point is that they DID say different in their initial press release. I do not really care what they told the Kickstarters directly. I am interested in what they released to everyone.
 

MNblockhead

A Title Much Cooler Than Anything on the Old Site
Question: during the Kickstarter, was there ever any plans for a campaign.

Just yet another ruleset with a light Expanse skin doesn't do it for me.

If I'm going to invest in a new RPG I'm going to do it for the stories. The stories I can purchase as ready-made published campaigns, that is.

(Far too many licensors just write a rulebook, maybe a couple of campaign world supplements, and that's basically it.

Me, I've got a dozen perfectly serviceable rules engines already, and far too many sourcebooks I haven't even read.

What I'm after is quality adventures. Stories that give my players a similar look and feel as reading the source material.)
They made a stretch goal to include an adventure and I received the PDF of it. It is called the Ganymede Insurance Job, a 28-page adventure for a crew of level 1-3 characters.

I have not ran it yet, but found it very well laid out and look forward to running it.

Hopefully there will be additional adventures published but I feel confident that I could create my own adventures without a great deal of work. I bought it for the occasional one-shot and don't plan on running an entire campaign (or "series" as the rule system calls it).
 

MNblockhead

A Title Much Cooler Than Anything on the Old Site
Question for those who have got the PDF. Is it any good?
It is based on the Adventure Game Engine (a/k/a AGE System). I was not familiar with AGE before playing the game but the mechanics are pretty easy to pick up. You roll three six-sided dice, two are the same color, the third is a different color and is the "drama" die. You are trying to meet a target number. Rolling high is better. You add the three dice together, your ability score, and if you are "focused" in that ability, you add 2 more. Some "tests" require focus to attempt them. If the degree of success is important, that the drama die tells you how well (or not) you succeeded (e.g., you succeed on your roll when doing a quick patch up job to your ship, but a drama die of 1 will mean that the repair may not even last the encounter, whereas a 6 makes it good as new).

When two of the dice come up with the same number, you get "stunt points" equal to the value of the drama die. You can spend these on a stunt (there are tables with various types of stunts and costs) but they have to be used on your turn. They disappear at the end of your turn.

All players get "fortune points", getting more as they level up. You can spend FPs to make a die the same value as the number of FPs you spend, with the drama die costing double the amount of FPs. You recover FPs during "interludes" (e.g. downtime).

Death is possible but there are many ways for the DM and players to help avoid it.

Basically when you take damage, you first subtract toughness (including from armor), then you can spend fortune to further reduce damage, if any damage remains you take injured, or if damage is high enough, wounded, and if any damage still remains the target is "taken out." That just means that they are taken out of the encounter and an appropriate condition applied, which may be "unconscious" but could be dying.

One interesting mechanic is the "churn pool". A churn tracker is available for the DM. There are thirty points in the churn, which is reset at the beginning of each adventure. Basically as good things happen or as players spend fortune points, or make major stunts, the churn counter is increased leading to minor effects, then major effects, and finally epic effects. These are generally setbacks of various kinds.

The system promotes cinematic play. It is not a heavy, crunchy, tactical system.

I have not run it yet, but I played it at a convention and enjoyed it.
 

Bagpuss

Adventurer
I wish people would stop saying this it is not accurate.
No that is accurate, when the Kickstarter launched the PDF release date was Nov 2018 already after Gencon 2018 and the hard copy in January.

The ORIGINAL release by Green Ronin in January 2018 stated a full release date of Gencon 2018.
This is also accurate, but by the time of the Kickstarter when people could actually invest money they had already updated the expected release date to Nov 2018 and Jan 2019.

They have since changed the press release but retconning their press release does not make it fact.
"Retconned" or released updated press releases when they had a more accurate idea of what was involved?

They stated that a limited run of hardcovers would be available at Gencon and that did not come anywhere near to happening.
This is true, but very few projects meet their original deadlines, they made their first announcement when they got the license, probably estimating on how previous projects had run. However perhaps not releasing what exactly was involved, also a very successful kickstarter allows more money to perhaps include more things than they originally planned, which also means more delays.

Not sure why you are so upset about this, if you were a backer then it is only a few months the behind schedule they promised. If you aren't a backer then you've nothing invested, why so bothered?
 

CapnZapp

Hero
I bought it for the occasional one-shot and don't plan on running an entire campaign (or "series" as the rule system calls it).
Seems you belong to the 90%.

Myself, I yearn for the days of yore, when games were made because writers had to publish lavish campaigns dripping with detail: Warhammer's Enemy Within, Call of Cthulhu's Orient Express or Beyond the Mountains of Madness or Masks of Nyarlothep...

Nowadays far too many publishers are only in it for the quick cash grab: the main rulebook that sells the best, then maybe a generic sourcebook, and then getting out before sales drop.

:-(

PS. Sure WotC keeps publishing adventure campaigns for D&D. But man cannot live on D&D alone.
 

CapnZapp

Hero
It is based on the Adventure Game Engine (a/k/a AGE System). I was not familiar with AGE before playing the game but the mechanics are pretty easy to pick up.
The initial game where this rules engine came into being is Dragon Age (the TTRPG adaptation of the CRPG).

Much later the IP specific details were stripped out and a generic Fantasy AGE product was published.

However, with the exception of M&M, and Freeport, Green Ronin is notorious for abandoning properties as soon as the easy initial sales are done.

(It doesn't take a genius to explain why you haven't heard of AGE before - there's simply no support. Of course the engine languishes in obscurity!)
 
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MNblockhead

A Title Much Cooler Than Anything on the Old Site
Seems you belong to the 90%.

Myself, I yearn for the days of yore, when games were made because writers had to publish lavish campaigns dripping with detail: Warhammer's Enemy Within, Call of Cthulhu's Orient Express or Beyond the Mountains of Madness or Masks of Nyarlothep...

Nowadays far too many publishers are only in it for the quick cash grab: the main rulebook that sells the best, then maybe a generic sourcebook, and then getting out before sales drop.

:-(

PS. Sure WotC keeps publishing adventure campaigns for D&D. But man cannot live on D&D alone.
I feel you. I've put down a lot of money on third-party adventure books recently, but they are generally for 5e.

I will say, however, that the new version of Paranoia has been getting a surprising amount of follow up support, including a decent amount of adventure material.

I guess it doesn't bother me too much because I just don't have the time to play through what I currently own and, if I did, I could always go to DTRPG or my FLGS and buy old books. I stepped away from the hobby for a couple decades. There is a *lot* of systems and adventures I missed out on that I could mine.
 

MNblockhead

A Title Much Cooler Than Anything on the Old Site
The initial game where this rules engine came into being is Dragon Age (the TTRPG adaptation of the CRPG).

Much later the IP specific details were stripped out and a generic Fantasy AGE product was published.

However, with the exception of M&M, and Freeport, Green Ronin is notorious for abandoning properties as soon as the easy initial sales are done.

(It doesn't take a genius to explain why you haven't heard of AGE before - there's simply no support. Of course the engine languishes in obscurity!)
I would hope that that the popularity of the books and TV series would make an exception for the Expanse. On the other hand, its strengths are its weaknesses. The Expanse is a science-based scifi setting where both the protagonists and antagonists are almost elusively human. It is not a kitchen sink Fantasy in Space setting like Star Wars, Star Trek, Doctor Who, or Starfinder. But the lack of diversity in settings, species, class options, etc. could lead folks to tire of it quickly. This is an argument for publishing well-written adventures to support it. Give some more options, perhaps create an "expanded universe" setting for the RPG.

On the other hand, even if I only run a mini-campaign or the occasional one shot, it is still a good investment for me. It provides a very different setting supported by a set of easy to learn mechanics that are well suited for the setting.

Even if I only get 16-32 hours of enjoyment out of it (reading the materials and running a couple games), it still ranks low in per-hour entertainment costs.
 

Bagpuss

Adventurer
Question: during the Kickstarter, was there ever any plans for a campaign.
A six part campaign were part of the stretch goals (all met) if you backed $30 or more then you get them as a pdf, it is called Abzu's Bounty campaign (not sure if it will be released along with the rule book or follow later, I suspect later). When they announced it in an update it was "Announcing the First Campaign!" so I'm not sure if that means they have others in mind and in the pipeline.

Backers above $30 are also getting a load of ship deck plans (I think five in all) and a new short story.

I suspect (if they have any sense) they have sourcebooks planned to follow the books, and campaigns to match.
 
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MNblockhead

A Title Much Cooler Than Anything on the Old Site
I got the CrowdOx survey about an hour ago. They're getting ready to ship the physical product.
 

Doc_Klueless

Doors and Corners
Just got notification today (along with tracking number) that my shipment of The Expanse corebook and GM kit have shipped.
 
I received a package today containing a beautiful hard-cover book and an accompanying GM's kit. Very nice. Amazing how fast this KS was fulfilled--thanks GR.

Ship Naked is really on the ball. Up here in beautiful Fredericton New Brunswick Canada.

Anyone else so blessed?

MK
 

Bagpuss

Adventurer
Nothing here yet, but I'm an ocean away.
Yeah the emails have mentioned that the EU and Australian orders will be behind the US ones as they need to go to a fulfilment company in the country first rather than shipping direct.
 

MNblockhead

A Title Much Cooler Than Anything on the Old Site
I'm very happy with the materials overall. I only have two complaints. The first is a minor complaint: a number of typos made it into the final. I would hope Green Ronin would have had better editing. It is not terrible, but more than one or two typos indicates skimping on the proof reading. The second is that I find the organization difficult to follow. You have to flip around a lot. It is nice to have the GM section in the same book as the player section, but having the players and GM sections separated by the many pages of setting information makes it inconvenient to read, look up, and follow the rules. I'm glad for the DM Kit stretch goal. The laminated rule references will make things much easier.

While the modified AGE system is pretty easy to pick up, I found the organization made it hard to follow than it needs to be.

Also, I'm disappointed in the lack of video examples. There are a few live play sessions, but they are hours long and run by people who are just learning the system. Some are working with the early quick-start rules an not the final released versions. I wish the creators would have recorded a series of short videos covering various aspects of the rules, e.g., space combat, social tests, churn rules, etc. These could be 3-10 minutes each and would make it much easier to pick the rules up.

These are minor complaints though, and I'm excited to play the game.

If anyone in the Twin Cities areas would like to get together, I'd be happy to run one-shots for a group of 3 to 6, either at the Fantasy Flight Games Center in Roseville or at a WeWork office in downtown Minneapolis. PM me if you are interested.
 

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