Monday 3 November 2014

The Kicker: Era: The Consortium

I'm currently on a space opera kick, what with still being on the high that was Guardians of the Galaxy, looking forward to the new Star Wars and putting pen to paper with my own USR Galaxy. So when I saw Era: The Consortium on Kickstarter I was all over that like a rash. A space rash.

The premise is simple enough. The game follows a colony ship that has taken off from Earth in search of a new place to live and colonise. Taranis becomes that world. Play is set around characters living on Taranis, exploring nearby space and discovering new aliens.

Yeah, that's nice enough, but the thing that really sells Era is the fact that the players can begin at a point in the game's 500 year history. Talk about an expansive universe. The creators promise "high-tech "dungeon crawls" to raid corporate facilities, all-out wars in which the existence of your species is threatened, to exploration of new worlds".

Here's an example of a time period the Kickstarter page gives:

It is 447CE. The Resistance have prevented an atrocity by the Big Seven, and the Big Seven have been forced to accept an alien into their midst, becoming the Big Eight. The Resistance are hunted, hated and feared due to the propaganda spread by the Consortium, and the Consortium have finally realised the Resistance is a genuine threat. With the companies which make up the Consortium turning against each other, it is a dangerous time to live.

As a loyal employee of one of the Big Seven, you have been called together with others from other companies, and given an operation: track down and destroy a Resistance unit. But does your company want this to succeed? Perhaps this particular unit is embarrassing one of their business rivals, and they'd secretly like to see it go on, so you're secretly charged with sabotaging the mission - without any of the other operatives knowing, of course!

Or perhaps you're a Resistance member in deep cover, wanting to make sure the mission fails and, while all those around you are punished for failing, you will slip off back to your associates.

Maybe you're just a loyal member of the Consortium who wants everything to turn out well for all the companies... but are you sure your teammates feel the same?

The mechanics are nice and streamlined, using pools of d10s to determine success. Your attributes and skills each have a score that equate to a number of d10s. Add them up, roll them and count your successes - not unlike other successful games like World of Darkness.

From the looks of the Kickstarter page, the art examples look beautiful. I mean, look at this:

Even more ambitious is the fact that Shades of Vengeance, the creator of Era, are also producing a comic book to accompany the rules, bringing the story and the universe to life.

Honestly, Era: The Consortium looks pretty incredible. It has already met its funding goal two-fold but stretch goals promise new supplements and other goodies, so if you like the look of the game you can fund it here.

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