Saturday, January 9, 2016

White Star in 2016

I said in my previous post that White Star certainly had a banner inaugural year. Since it's release in May Barrel Rider Games has only put out two short-form PDFs for the line. I hope no one takes that as me not having any future interest or love for the game - far from it. If anything I'm more in love with the game than when I released it. 

That fact has mostly to do with the amazing community of gamers and publishers that have sprung up around the White Star. This is exactly what I had hoped would happen when White Star was released. An open source OSR sci-fi game that could be used as a launching pad for all manner of starfaring adventures. From Space Monkeys to Star Sailors, One-Shot Adventures to Expanded Rules, I've watched folks grab this game by its Faster-than-Light Drive and go to the edge of the galaxy and back. 

What has surprised me most is that folks are actually developing some pretty large-scale print-on-demand products. +Jason Paul McCartan's The Graveyard at Lus brings space-based hex crawling to the game, while +Kirt Dankmyer boldy goes on a Five Year Mission. Meanwhile, +Matthew Skail takes readers Between Star & Void with his Star Knight supplement*.

I wanted to highlight these three products because they're all things that I never had any intention of doing myself, and they're all wonderful directions to take a sci-fi RPG campaign. Hex crawling has never been something I'm particularly interested in running or detailing, but Jason does it masterfully and brings a helluva a lot more to the table than simple random encounters on a hex grid. Kirt Dankmyer brings classic sci-fi exploration and diplomacy to White Star and is inspired by a type of sci-fi that never quite grabbed me but still appeals to a massive audience. Matt took the Star Knight and gave them his own energy and feel that's something I never would have thought of. The original inspiration for Star Knights in the White Star core rules is evident, but Matt gave them a kind of cosmic feel akin to classic comics - something I hadn't even considered. I've got print copies of all three en route and am very much looking forward to reading through them in the coming weeks.

I love, love, love it. I love watching this game take on a life of its own. I love watching creators and gamers take it in new and unimagined directions. I love that the game belongs to the community and that the community has embraced that.

So, what's in store at Barrel Rider Games this year for White Star? Well, the White Star Companion will be coming very, very soon. New classes, new aliens, new creatures. Rules for skills and a lifepath system. Random planet generators, random encounter tables. New weapons and armor. Basically a collection of options to use at your gaming table if you so choose.

Several more PDF supplements are planned as well. They'll introduce new classes, new gear, new ships and new options to the game - each focused on the anchoring class.

Also in the earliest stages is a grand gazetteer/mega-adventure inspired by formats found in The Temple of Elemental Evil and other classic OSR modules.

It's going to be a great year and the White Star is burning bright.

*I am credited as a co-author in this book, but my contribution was minimal. A variant class, some Star Sword rules and a ship. Matt was kind enough to give me a byline like he did.


  1. This blasts right into my happy place!

  2. I have to agree. I am enjoying White Star now more that when it came out too.

  3. Looking forward to a lot of this, particularly the skill system.


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