Mindjammer: The Roleplaying Game -Transhuman Adventure in the Second Age of Space. By Sarah Newton (Twitter @SarahJNewton). Powered by the FATE Core engine.
I was able to pick up Mindjammer in hardcover during the close out sale of a FLGS. I was interested because I had heard (somewhere) that Mindjammer was thought by some to be Traveller at Tech Level 16+. At the time I write this post there is a Kickstarter Campaign underway that includes Traveller Mindjammer as a stretch goal. Given my love of Traveller, I decided to look at this game closer.
The Core Rulebook is 497 pages long…most of it setting and the rules associated with it. Mechanically, Mindjammer is a solid game that shows the awesome potential of the FATE Core engine. Setting-wise, the book is (over)full of adventuring potential. Mindjammer does not try to pigeon-hole the players into a particular theme, style, genre, or trope. The Mindjammer setting describes the New Commonality of Mankind using hyper-technology – especially the Mindscape and FTL travel – to reach out and contact long-lost colonies. I read reviews elsewhere that recommend using the book with a toolbox approach but I personally find that hard since the rules and setting are so closely intertwined that separating out one piece is difficult. I also feel that FATE Core, being a more narrativist approach to RPGs, is a bit of an advanced system for players and GMs to begin with. What this book seemingly lacks is a “putting it all together” example. I have heard some describe the first expansion, Hearts and Minds, to be just that.
As far as the Kickstarter is concerned, I may back it at the PDF MASTER level (~$30). This reward does not include the Hearts and Minds book but I can pick that up for $8.99 this weekend on DriveThruRPG. As much as I am a Traveller RPG fan, I am hesitant given the new Mongoose Traveller 2nd Edition Rules (still in Beta?) which I am less-than-impressed with.