Sunday, June 21, 2020

Conflict of Space: A Voidheist Hack (Hack of a Hack)

My friends and I have been playing Edge of the Empire recently. I complained about the game's writing on Twitter, but my buddy running it is a really good GM so I'm still having a really good time. But it got me thinking about the sort of Star Wars game I'd like to run.

Chris McDowall is like, such a super smart guy. I love the way he writes about his game design for Into the Odd and Electric Bastionland. He recently hacked together two games (Blades in the Dark and MOTHERSHIP) to make a sci-fi horror game called Voidheist. When I was reading it, I thought "Damn, this is actually the sci-fi game I want to play."

So I made a hack of the hack. I wrote "Conflict of Space" at the top, so I guess that's its name. It is not a real game. I just renamed and recolored some things.

I did this as an exercise to make myself feel good this week. I didn't have anything else to do with it, so I'm putting it here.


A sci-fi horror game is pretty different from the science fantasy cinema of Star Wars. Why hack this into a Star Wars game?

Well, I thought Voidheist's bones were good would provide a good chassis. Here are big differences I tinkered with:

  • If you strike me down, I shall become more powerful than you can possibly imagine: Voidheist is a game of horror. It's dangerous and deadly. Star Wars heroes get beaten, battered, and left gasping--but only die on their own terms. First, I changed what happened at 6 Harm - players choose to be taken out or to die heroically. Second, I changed the Hull Gauge to the Shields Gauge for star ship combat. You tick down Shields before you start actually blasting out systems and doing damage to the ship. 
  • May the Force be with you: The most interesting part about Star Wars is the space wizards. The Print Gauge was Voidheist's attempt to rationalize the story-game-esque doublethink of Blade's flashback mechanic. It is replaced with The Way Gauge, which lets everybody at the table dabble in having flashes of insight and calling on space-magic. It changes the central fulcrum of the game's bennie system--not doing retroactive prep, not creative item crafting, but asking the GM questions.
  • Made the Kessel Run in less than twelve parsecs: MOTHERSHIP had some dope space ship building rules. I added those back in. Space ship creation is fun and I like to do it. I actually really like the space ship rules I've made here. Not crunchy, not chewy--my sweet spot. 
Anyway, this was just a dumb thing I did this week.