Sunday, October 30, 2011


I downloaded the free PDF version of the X-Plorers from Grey Area Games.
I know there is an updated boxed set being produced by Brave Halfling Publishing, but I don't have access to that, so I will focus on the free PDF.

The free PDF has no artwork or the bonus material of the pay PDF, but that is fine, because the rules are all I wanted.Reading them was a breeze. The basics of X-Plorers is laid out in 39 pp. The feel is much like OD&D in space. Concepts used are familiar to veteran RPG'ers.. A newbie to roleplaying can pick this game up and run with it easily!

There are four Attributes used for character creation (Agility, Intelligence, Physique & Presence) and a standard "Hit Points" for damage that can be taken before a character dies. Like most D&D-style games, you roll 3d6 for your Attributes and like OD&D, you roll a d6 for initial Hit Points. Combat attack rolls and ability Skill Throws are made with a d20. Armor Class is ascending from a base 10 for a normal, unarmored/defended human being.

There are 4 Character classes you can choose from, taking your Attributes into consideration:
  • Scientist
  • Soldier
  • Scout
  • Technician
So, I grabbed some six-sided dice and rolled up a character:

(AGI) Agilility             12
(INT) Intelligence        15
(PHY) Physique            9
(PRE) Presence            15

(I then rolled for Hit Points and luckily got a 6!)
HP 6

Looking over the stats, I figured this guy would do well as a Scientist. Because of his INT score he will get a +1 bonus modifier to certain things that a Scientist does.

Now, this new character needs a name, so I called him: Dr. Ray Gunn
(yeah, cheesy, but so is the feel of this game, which strives to be very Retro, hailing back to the gaming days of 1974 for its inspiration.)

I rolled 3d6x10 for initial Credits (space money!) and have 110 Cr, which cannot buy much on the equipment list of the free PDF that would interest a Scientist. I decided that I would save my Credits in hopes of acquiring enough later to buy the Scientific Kit, which costs 500Cr. I guess I'll just have to use my Intelligence and Presence in the meantime to get me by ;)

Here is the info on what a Scientist is all about, according to the free rules:

Not too shabby for a simple game.

I can see this being a very fun retro game. "Homebrew" just oozes and calls out to me like a strange alien encountered on a forbidden planet! I can see this being awesome on its own or as a resource to for many styles of play - whether Retro Space, Far Future or for creating "Techno" characters brought into Swords & Planets-style game, etc. From the rules, I do not feel constrained to play any style whatsoever.

There is a lot in this free PDF, from Characters to Space Ships to tips on how to create alien creatures... you should check it out!

I will try this out with some friends. It seems cool enough to purchase when Brave Halfling releases the two printed books that comprise Player and Referee rules (I did not get the special boxed set that was being offered... now I wish I had!)

Click on pic for more info!


EDIT: John at Brave Halfling informed me that there were some boxed sets of X-Plorers left, so I ordered one!  w000t!  I cannot wait to try out the module included with the set.

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