Free Spacer // a sandbox starship tabletop RPG

Created by Christoph Sapinsky

Adventure. Investigation. Science! Your crew hustles to complete jobs in a sector-wide cold war.

Latest Updates from Our Project:

Deadlines, an Update, and Reminders
3 months ago – Tue, Apr 23, 2019 at 02:13:55 AM

Proofreading

Free Spacer is rapidly approaching completion. Alex Roberts is working hard on proofreading text and I can't wait to see what she finds. For additional coverage, we've booked Matthew Seagle as the sudries proofreader to look over all tables, excerpts, and text in the art as they can always use some extra love.

Typo Form Deadline

Thank you all for scouring the book for typos and reporting needed corrections on the form. Which means I get to add a bunch of names to add to the credits as proofers. So if you want to pitch in, get your fixes in soon, I'll be closing the typo form on April 29th.

BackerKit Deadline

With the project coming to an end, I need to finalize all the item counts. I'll be closing the Pre-order Store and locking BackerKit changes on April 29th, then doing the final credit card charges on May 1st. So tell all your friends to come pre-order Free Spacer and make any changes that you want BackerKit. Also, 16 of you have yet to finish their Surveys. I sent you all reminder emails, please finish your Surveys. 

Your PDF

You should have an email from DriveThruRPG to grab your Proofreader PDF. If you grab it, you'll be able to update it to the full version to the final version with ease.

Shipping

I've signed contracts with both fulfillment houses and that all coming together. The only speed bump is that my initial shipping to the UK double what I expected. This increases my base cost for all non-north american shipping. While I won't be asking for any more money from overseas backers, I would appreciate tips from any of you that can afford it.  

The Art

Finally, the colour and greyscale art is nearly complete. The artists have all turned in their illustrations and tracking document is nearly all green. We've even made a pictorial guide for Free Spacer's core mechanics, check it out!

Proofreader Copy Launched!
3 months ago – Sat, Apr 13, 2019 at 03:22:00 PM

Proofreader

As I announced on social media a couple of weeks ago, Alex Roberts designer of Star Crossed and For The Queen has agreed to proofread the book. She is already busy hunting for typos, errors, and problems throughout the text.

Your Help

A couple of weeks ago I said that I'd need all for your help. Here is the call to action--I'd love your help to find all the typos. There is a typo report form link on every page of the PDF, so you can submit any typo that you see. If you submit one, you'll get a Proofer credit in the book. Hurry though, the form will close on April 29th.

Digital Fulfillment

The proofreader version of the game has been sent to every Backer that ordered a PDF and finished their Survey on BackerKit. I sent reminders at the same time to those that haven't finished their Surveys. I am sending out the PDF using DriveThruRPG. I am using DriveThruRPG for a two main reasons. First, it is standard in the community and many of you already have accounts with them. Second, it will allow me to update your PDF, so that you will get the final version with ease. 

PDF

When you check out the book, you'll see that I've finished first layout. You'll also likely notice two things: first that it is in colour, Yes, I'd like to announce that the PDF will be in full colour! While the printed book may be greyscale, the artists and I wanted to share a full colour version of Free Spacer with you. When you read it, you'll also notice a lot of white space and blank spots. The book isn't done. Most of those spaces are waiting for the final art. I can't wait to show you how good it look with the art, but you don't have to wait to see all the art, you can check out this illustration by Lisa Sapinsky.

Art, Revisions, and our latest Progress
4 months ago – Thu, Mar 14, 2019 at 05:18:03 PM

Coming Together

Everything Free Spacer is coming together. We've been updating spreadsheets, sending emails, and having meetings-it's been a busy time here for logistics and that been on top of revisions.

Pre-order Store

You've all been doing great with your BackerKit Surveys, we're at 95% completion. If you haven't done yours yet, please do. We still have the BackerKit Stretch Goal of $3000 CAD above shipping, which will be enough to do full colour printing! 

Please, tell your friends that they can still get onboard through the Pre-order store

Sector Archives

This awesome setting and example book is so close to being done. Kira Magrann has turned in her cyberpunk inspired sector and Johnstone Metzger has turned in his exploration sector. I am finishing up the stretch goal pirate sector inspired by Star Control 2, Commonwealth Saga, Damned Trilogy, Misspent Youth RPG, and Titan A.E. The final sector I need to make is based on Eric Vulgaris' stream game that I'll be refining to be a Bounty Hunter sector in the spirit of Cowboy Bebop and Killjoys.

Proofreading Copy

Karen Twelves is editing my last revision and I am currently talking to proofreaders. For proofreading I need to layout the book and I'd love to share it with you all. In a couple of weeks, I'll send post the Proofreading copy for you all to check out. It won't have art, but it will have all the text. So backers, I'd like your help to find all the typos. For your typo hunting, you'll have a google form to submit for each typo. Also, everyone that submits a proper typo will get a credit. 

Art

Lisa has a spreadsheet showing the art at greater than 50% complete with most of the rest in-process. All the chapter starts and chapter enders are complete, plus we have many of the mid chapter images done too. It's looking gorgeous, but you don't have to take my word for it, check out this illustration by John Love.

Free Spacers investigating an overgrown wreck.
Free Spacers investigating an overgrown wreck.

New Years Progress
7 months ago – Wed, Jan 02, 2019 at 03:18:11 PM

Happy New Year!

The Free Spacer Kickstarter was the highlight of my 2018. I've been working on this game for a long time and it's amazing seeing it nearly out there in the world. This is all possible due to all of your backing, my playtesters, the artists coming on board, and Lisa - whose been helping out since the beginning.

Surveys

The BackerKit is progressing super well. As of the end of the year, over 90% of you have completed your surveys and paid for your shipping. Many of you have also added Add-ons to your pledges. The most popular Add-ons are: 

  • The Sector Archive DriveThruRPG POD Code
  • Generous Tips
  • Softcover Books

Stretch Goal

As you may know, the BackerKit has an exciting stretch goal - Full colour printing! To reach the Stretch Goal, we need to raise $3000 CAD above shipping. Right now, we've raised a little over $1000 over shipping. Making us a 3rd of the way there. So close that we're making all of the art in colour in preparation. While many of the Kickstarter backers have added Add-ons, there have not been a lot of new backers in the BackerKit Pre-order store, but I am still hoping to bring more people in as we get closer to printing.

Please, tell your friends that they can still get onboard through the Pre-order store and we can all get a full colour book.

Sector Archives

The awesome stretch goal designers and I have been working hard on the Sector Archives. They are looking really cool! I have finished the Ptolemy sector, which is used for examples throughout the book and I'm working on the Abraxas Tau sector; this is a human-only setting for the Mercenary flag. Johnstone Metzger's Lost sector has multiple types of humans, very alien aliens, and will be very cool for Exploration crews. Finally, I've have a concept for the Pirate sector that is really going to make it something special.

Editing  

Last night Karen Twelves sent me her edit of the book. I can't wait to get into the revisions. The book feels so close to being done. With proof reading quickly approaching, we decided to hire Kira Magrann as a Sensitivity reader for the parts of the book specifically dealing with gender, sex, and pronouns. I really want the book to be inclusive, the future is for everyone and so is Free Spacer.

Art

Big Art announcement! We're we're bringing Seth Rutledge onboard to do a series of images for the book. In house, Lisa has been putting together all the assets she needs, while we've been developing the look for the book. We've designed chapter starts, all new styles, interior art drafts,and multiple cover concepts. Finally, Lisa has completed a series of "finished" images for the book. Check this one out and tell us what you think!

Incursion by a cloaked Free Spacer
Incursion by a cloaked Free Spacer

Creatures, Launch craft, Shuttles, & Small craft
8 months ago – Tue, Nov 20, 2018 at 01:15:16 AM

Since the Backerkit launched, I've been pretty busy with it, working with Lisa on art direction, doing new layout for the game sheets, and refining the book for the next round of editing.

During this process, I've been working feedback into the the text. This is mostly adding summaries, examples, and clairflying the text, but I have made a couple of changes to the book.

Have a look at the changes and tell me what you think:

Creatures

When I created creature preparation, I made Creatures, like swarms, a stock character - a group character with a difficulty determined by number. The idea was to create a threat that's less significant then Sophonts, but more then swarms. This isn't how it played. Instead swarms and creatures were essentially the same. How did I fix it? I decided to do two things.

  • Make composite characters - basically unnamed significant characters.
  • Make creature composite characters rather then stock characters.

Launch craft

The ship's launch has always been an issue. It was originally inspired by the flycycles in rimworld, the mule in Firefly, the Mass Effect Mako, and the Star Trek shuttlepod. Its gone through many iterations, but there are still some issues with the preview version:

  • Players insist on calling the launch a shuttle, which is confusing.
  • Players never prioritise launch upgrades. 
  • An upgradable launch makes the Contingency type Corvette feel too ordinary. Most vessels don't work like your ship and crew kit.

The Fix. It is a big one. I decided to change how the launch and other vehicles worked because of this. I made the launch just like any shuttle. You can now call it a shuttle. Like nearly every vessel, the launch craft has fixed stats. Or at least the tug does. To enable the flexibility, I made the Launch Bay itself a Module that prints trailers using Supply to provide the Launch craft flexibility.

Shuttles

Due to the changes I made to the launch craft and the lingering oddness between away and space-scale craft, shuttle needed to be changed too. The Fix. Merge vehicles into shuttles. This change makes a single shuttle an away-scale and multi-section vehicle. When in squadrons, shuttles are space-scale stock characters. This fixes the flow between away-scale and space-scale characters. Before there was a redundancy. I also took away the chance for shuttle to have fold drives to assert the usefulness of small-craft and ships.

Small Craft

Finally small craft. I noticed while watching other Gamemasters running the game that there is a hole in the spacecraft selection that system boats don't obviously fill. The Fix. I am changing its presentation and tweaking system boats to be their own type of vessel, small craft. Small craft are very similar to ships, but have a single section. They are simple vessels, small, quick, and common.