Ashen Stars is the newest full-length, stand-alone GUMSHOE product from RPG legend, Robin D. Laws.
They call you lasers. Sometimes you're called scrubbers, regulators, or shinestars. To the lawless denizens of the Bleed, whether they be pirates, gangsters or tyrants, you're known in less flattering terms. According to official Combine terminology, the members of your hard-bitten starship crew are known as Licensed Autonomous Zone Effectuators. You're the seasoned freelancers local leaders call when a situation proves too tough, too baffling, or simply too weird to handle on their own. In the abandoned fringe of inhabited planets known as the Bleed, you're as close to a higher authority as they come.
In this gritty space opera game, the PCs are Lasers, freelance troubleshooters and law enforcers operating in a remote sector called the Bleed. They're needed in the wake of a massive retreat by the Combine, the utopian empire that colonized it. Amid the ashes of a devastating war, the lasers solve mysteries, fix thorny problems, and explore strange corners of space all on a contract basis. They balance the immediate rewards of a quick buck against their need to maintain their reputation, so that they can continue to quickly secure lucrative contracts and pay the upkeep on their ship and their cyber- and viroware enhancements. Featuring seven new and highly detailed playable species -
- The eerily beautiful, nature-loving, emotion-fearing balla
- The cybes, former humans radically altered by cybernetic and genetic science
- The durugh, hunched, furtive ex-enemies of the Combine who can momentarily phase through solid matter.
- The humans, adaptable, resourceful, and numerous. They comprise the majority of a typical laser crew.
- The kch-thk, warrior locust people who migrate to new bodies when their old ones are destroyed.
- The armadillo-like tavak, followers of a serene warrior ethic.
- The vas mal, former near-omnisicent energy beings devolved by disaster into misshapen humanoid form.
Ashen Stars also contains extensive, streamlined rules for space combat, 14 different types of ship, a rogues gallery of NPC threats and hostile species' and a short adventure to get you started in the Bleed. Read feedback from pre-orderers and see sample chapters here.
Playtesters and Preorderers say:
'Nailed it - Just nailed it. I read through this book like it was a good novel. I've never called an RPG rulebook a page turner, but here it is! Great setting, engaging to read, and a smooth and polished system. Robin Laws continues to impress, and after seeing the final layout PDF, I have to say that Pelgrane has outdone themselves with this game. I cannot wait to have the physical thing in my hands (and the hands of my players!)'
'I'm going to big up the Pelgrane Posse."
"I have my PDF and I cannot say just how impressed I am with both the content, style and layout. Yet another beautifully written evolution of Gumshoe with a unique take on the genre, written by one of the best authors in the industry."
"On looks alone it puts products from other bigger companies to shame. I have a sense that I really have got my monies worth (and I haven't got the hardcopy yet) For a small publisher Pelgrane can flex some serious creative muscle."
"The bar hasn't just been raised, it's in a geo-stationary orbit'
'And congratulations on this game - I think it is destined to become a classic - This is the best sci-fi RPG I've ever read.'