Debtrunner (second draft)

DR_cover_19_SMALLSo here’s another unfinished game I’ve been working on. This is the second playtest draft of Debtrunner, a science fiction rpg about a small group of operators driving their starship around in the slowly-recovering ruins of an interstellar, post-capitalist command economy empire. They work in the nascent private sector, made possible by a lack of FTL communications, the precarious nature of space-based civilization, and rampant political factionism. So, it’s basically a mash-up of Apocalypse World and Traveller, set in the Dune universe, kind of.

What sets Debtrunner apart from other space opera Apocalypse World hacks is pretty simple: it’s inspired by the random sector generation rules and the speculative trading rules in the three original Traveller booklets. You can still use these rules for covert missions and spaceship battles, but trading is the default activity. Oppressive political entities are more important than transhumanist ideas, and there are no aliens or robots whatsoever. Adventuring takes a back seat to class struggle.

The first version got some playtesting, so I revised it based on that, and this is the result. It’s not done by any means, and it wouldn’t be too hard to play except you have to generate a sector map first, which can be rather time-consuming. Anyway, it’s here if you want it.

DEBTRUNNER PDF IS HERE

Note: The basic rules are pretty similar to Evil of the Stars, and intentionally so. I still have to update the rules in Black Seas of Infinity so they match, but I haven’t done that yet. I should probably just stick to one game at a time, but it’s hard, y’know…

Edit: I made a character sheet for the ship, because the hit location aspect of it is actually pretty important. It’s more functional than pretty, though, don’t get too excited.

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3 Responses to “Debtrunner (second draft)”

  1. Hey Johnstone, are you still working on this? Looks pretty good!

    • Thanks! This one’s a hard nut to crack, so it’s kind of on the back burner for now. I’ve done some significant revisions but not enough, and I also have a whole gang of other things I need to get finished before I can get back to it.

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