Farsight RPG from Lightfish Games, is an RPG designed to bring science fiction to the gaming table. The development phase took even more than three years of intense planning.
Being always interested in science fiction, and the fantastic, I went to read the Quickstart released by the creators. I don't pay, besides, I asked them some questions.
Before getting to know the game better, here are some words from the authors and some general information.
The game system of Farsight RPG
The novelty introduced by the authors of Farsight RPG is the system 5E Evolved. This is an adaptation of the rules in Creative Commons (OGL) of the famous 5a Edition of Dungeons & Dragons to science fiction.
La 5E Evolved implements new core mechanics and other major innovations designed to perform at their best in a science fiction-oriented game.
Players will be able to create the heroes they want and forge their destiny thanks to an extremely flexible character development system. The Game Masters, on the other hand, will have at their disposal all the necessary tools to create memorable scenarios for their adventures and campaigns.
Farsight RPG it includes many customizable backgrounds, an absolutely new system of classes and talents, and obviously numerous playable species.
During your adventures, characters will gain fame and riches, will be able to weave connections with interplanetary powers and shady smugglers, or will step on the feet of the wrong people at the risk of ending up in disgrace, or worse.
As for the playable "classes", do not worry, in the questions I asked the authors everything will be presented!
The Settings of Farsight RPG
Farsight RPG it is designed to fit into any sci-fi setting, but its main focus is on the last frontier of science fiction - space exploration. To give you a taste of these frontiers, the Corebook will include an introduction to "Chronicles of the Hem“, A space-opera setting created specifically for Farsight RPG.
Here is a brief introduction:
"[...] As the Known Space is shaken by the tensions between the powers that govern it, remote planets and virgin frontiers await to be explored. Artifacts emerge from ancient times. Forgotten mysteries wait to be revealed and unknown threats snake just beyond the Rim, where knowledge of the cultures of the Orion Arm vanishes into the vastness of uncharted space [...] ”
The team behind the game and its Kickstarter campaign
Farsight RPG, as mentioned, is developed by Lightfish Games, a small creative group founded by Dario Fish e Francis Lucenti. Over the years, the team has expanded to include the contribution of Sergio Gambillara e Riccardo Rumour.
A great boost to the Farsight RPG was also given by the meeting between the team of Lightfish Games and Epic Party Games, another important reality of the Italian play scene, with which a well-established collaboration has been established.
On the artistic side, Farsight RPG can boast the collaboration of numerous artists of great talent. The main contribution as a concept artist and illustrator is however given by Biagio D'Alessandro, Dmitry Kuzin e Kai Ueker.
Meningi workshop, which we already got to know on these pages for his Lovecraft-based gamebooks (Dagon e Carcosa), for Farsight RPG she took care of the campaign strategy, took care of the realization of the video and will sign an adventure.
After this brief introduction, let's ask the authors a few questions!
By reading the manual you understand your desire to create a 5e evolved product without classes in the strict sense of the term, but of modular classes. Would you like to deepen the subject a bit?
The question of classes, and more generally the structure of the characters, was one of the crucial aspects during the development of Farsight RPG. From the beginning, our intent has been to give players as much freedom as possible, both in the creation and, above all, in the development of their characters.
Commonly the games of fantasy matrix base their characters on numerous archetypes that are now well rooted in the common imagination (such as the barbarian, the warrior or the magician). However, science fiction does not underlie the same stereotypes and, in our opinion, using defined archetypes would have limited the possible choices of the players and therefore their imagination.
We therefore decided to create a system that has only three "classes", which however have very little to do with what is usually meant by classes in other games. So much so that, instead of giving them specific names, we called them with three Greek letters: Delta, Sigma, and Psi.
They do not represent any archetypes or stereotypes, but only define three different approaches to gameplay. The Delta is the most "action" approach, the most dynamic and reactive, the Sigma instead bases its effectiveness on versatility and reliability, while finally the Psi relies mainly on the most "supernatural" part of the game, namely the psionic powers.
These three approaches are based on some basic skills that clearly differentiate the game experience, but leave the player full freedom to define the identity of his character based on choices concerning his numerical statistics and above all his talents.
The latter perhaps represent the fulcrum of the "modularity" you were referring to in the question: each talent is a small collection of special abilities which, when selected, define the characters in a much more distinctive way, ultimately building, brick by brick, unique archetypes that are different each time.
One thing I think I understand is that the game will have a setting of its own, did I get it wrong? Can you give us some additional information?
Yes, there will be a space-opera setting, and the various playable species of the manual will obviously be linked to it. But we would like to emphasize that the setting will not be the fundamental part of the game, at least for the Corebook. Farsight RPG is in fact designed to be a good platform to play any kind of science fiction setting.
In any case, we also hope to be able to further expand and deepen the setting we are developing. But this will be seen based on how the Kickstarter campaign goes.
What will be the key topoi of the game? Exploration? Combat? Interplanetary politics?
Based on a system that derives from the now well-known 5E, obviously the combat remains an important and certainly very fun part of the game, but don't think that it is even remotely the most important aspect.
Exploration, interaction with the environment and discovery probably embody the main themes of Farsight, and in this sense we have given a lot of weight both to general mechanics and to specific skills of the characters. But that's not all, because we also have several surprises in store on the interaction front and above all on the narrative.
I am very interested in your Edge cards. Would you like to tell us if you plan to expand the deck in the future or will the Quickstart ones remain?
We were just talking about storytelling, and in fact the Edge Cards pop up! What to say, in Farsight RPG the Edge Cards replace the 5E Inspiration mechanic and are a tool at the service of shared narration and fun at the table.
Basically, these are cards that the GM can give to players as a reward, perhaps to encourage role interpretation or to strengthen a narrative theme. Each of them contains two generic phrases (for example "a mechanism jams" or "a discussion takes a long time, etc.) and, when a player has them available, he can play them at any time and for any purpose but in doing so he will have to choose one of the two phrases and tell the GM and the other players how that phrase affects the situation they are experiencing in the game.
Simplifying, playing an Edge Card is a bit like becoming a Master for a few moments, interacting with the game in a totally narrative way. The coolest thing we noticed while playing Farsight RPG is that, despite being a potentially very “powerful” dynamic in terms of gameplay, players are naturally inclined to use it in fun, ingenious and sometimes surprising ways, contributing to the enjoyment of all.
You mentioned to me, in our previous chat, that there will be a series of tables for the construction of planets and star systems. What will be present inside? The type of star? The habitable planets? Possible encounters? The explanation of the population?
Oh yes, absolutely. This is a part of Farsight RPG that I (Dario) am particularly proud of. This is because I love exploration and, as a Master, I love having tools available to help me create scenarios and maybe even allow me to create them on the spot, in pure sandbox style. Combine this with my scientific background (I'm a planetary geologist) and my inexhaustible passion for astronomy, and you can easily imagine how much care and attention I put into designing this part of the game.
Put simply, it is a series of quick, simple but detailed procedures that allow GMs to create from entire sectors of space to individual star systems to establish the fundamental characteristics of individual planets and even the civilizations that might inhabit them. And you can do it either in an "intentional" way, or by choosing from time to time according to your creative needs, or totally "random" thanks to a series of dice rolls, where however the result of each roll influences in some way the next shot, ensuring good consistency and I would even dare to say sufficient scientific verisimilitude.
In case, have you thought of trying to make a native application for the game, downloadable for mobile or tablet, which can manage everything automatically without rolling the dice?
We have thought about it and we hope that the KS campaign will give us the opportunity to do so. It would be great to have an app that automates the whole process of randomly creating star maps, systems and individual planets in just one click!
Unfortunately, however, we have no one in the team with the necessary skills to do so. We therefore hope to have the resources to entrust the task to someone experienced in the field. Fingers crossed!
Conclusions on Farsight RPG
Su Facebook you can also find the dedicated language group Italian company e English.
Please do not miss the event for designers! Farsight RPG is looking for more designers to add to its team. You can find all the information in this special event.
Honestly I'm very curious to see how the campaign will develop, what the additional milestones will be and above all I can't wait to get my hands on the Corebook!
And who knows that among these goals there may not be some interesting surprises ...