NEWS: The Core Arc has now been collected in a single omnibus volume, available both in print and as a PDF! Scroll to the bottom of this page too take a look at the inlay!
For ages, the bug-ridden droid Suldokar has walked the land, warning people that a terrible enemy is about to return:
“Call-by-name! Cat planet hull! Something evil returns from the depths of Devnull!”
He insists that shadows from Darkspace will one day ruin the world, the universe and all of existence. Of course, nobody pays much attention. People believe it is just a malfunction, a stack overflow in the seemingly eternal machine.
Years and centuries pass. An empire uses the planet for prison, then collapses. States are formed, then dissolved or conquered and reformed. Galactic mining companies land in the northern hemisphere, colonizing it for its riches until those are depleted. Bit by bit, life becomes harder. Provident emigrants fill the remaining space cruisers to seek new life somewhere else. When the jump gates power down, no new technology is imported, and the old one gets worn. Advanced energy sources become rare and air vehicles and remaining space shuttles become too expensive to use. The city populations dwindle. Frontanium storm shields are raised around the city cores where the wealthy live, to protect them from scavenger gangs and an intensifying Gale. The habitable areas of the planet shrink too, as whole new regions are swallowed by the dark and frosty umberzones. The remaining inhabitants maintain a functional civilization, but it is fragile and prone to conflict, as it is built upon what is left of a once richer world.
Through all of this, the droid rambles on, repeating its warning to anyone who will listen and to many who won’t. Until one day, something ancient stirs, deep within the planet. The maintenance nanites in the atmosphere replenish with an unknown kind. Pre-historic artifacts and holograms awaken. Monoliths in the wilderness start to glow with eldritch glyphs. Shadow cults come out of hiding, heralding the return of their masters. And when the colossi of legend break free of their petrified shells, people finally ask: Has the time come? Has Suldokar been telling the truth all along?
Suldokar’s Wake is a science fiction role-playing game set in the far future of an ancient world. The player characters are capable individuals, drawn into the unfolding events of an alien invasion. This is the hail-of-bullets, solid hologram, sentient storm kind of science fiction, where resources are scarce, high-tech items are old and worn and any hero worth her salt will have at least a few implants to up her chances. It is a broad scope game. You can alternate monster fighting and techno-scavenging with mystery, faction wars and exploration.
This is a periodical release. Much like a comic book or novel series, you start reading #1 and then finish a “story arc” a few issues later. The current arc is simply named “Core” and has four issues:
Issue #1: Æonic Evil Returns gives you a meaty introduction to the setting, but it also provides the principles behind the rules, map and dice conventions and the specific terminology used in the game.
Issue #2: Anatomy of a Zira-Kaan Character is about character generation and teaches you to either adapt a fixed archetype in order to get a new character, or to create a new character entirely from scratch with a type, species and background. It will also contain beginner lists for things like equipment and nanite formulæ.
Issue #3: Rules of Inverted Reality contains the rules that players use which aren’t specific for character types (they are in the previous issue), such as for general actions, nanite formulæ, combat, vehicles, building stuff and many other things.
Issue #4: Depths of Devnull, the final core issue, is about leading the game and creating your own content in the world of Zira-Ka. It contains instructions for how to design adventures, adversaries, places and artifacts. It is massive—as long as the first three issues put together—and also contains a 50 page adventure.
The Core Arc is also available in an omnibus volume. The book is A4 size, 160 pages, cream colored paper. There is a fully bookmarked and hyperlinked digital version of the omnibus at Drivethru RPG.