So I'm working on making some new races - namely, some for a transhuman setting for FrontierSpace I'm working on. Two of them should be easy: animal uplifts and digitized minds, but I'm having trouble figuring out how to do xenos - which are supposed to be severely genetically modified humans, almost alien like.

I'm not sure how to best lump a lot of these traits under one race. Should I do a special ability like the Yar, with each skill benefit being a different adaptation? I was going to do them by the environment they were made for, but I'm a bit stuck

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The Novim character species for the #FrontierSpace roleplaying game, currently still in playtest. Artwork by +Khairul Hisham !


The irony of the Novim is not lost on other species. They were born of genetic engineering and rebelled against their servant status, only to find a new home among the stars where they employ genetic engineering to adapt and survive. This dichotomy is not, however, what it seems. They have learned the lessons of their origin and exodus and have strict rules governing their scientific achievements in bioengineering and will never repeat the mistakes of their ancestors.

Description: Novim are a bipedal species who range in height from 1.2m to about 2.1m tall. They have one more joint in their arms and legs than Humans, and sport a prehensile tail (Ark Redeemer has no tail). They have no nose, only two olfactory slits in their face. Their ears are situated high up on the sides of their heads and have flaps they can close to protect their hearing organs. They have three long fingers and two thumbs (one on each side of the hand), and three long toes on each foot. They have large deep-set eyes with no iris (the entire eyeball is colored in one of seven colors) with the pupil an indistinct blur in the middle. Novim sense of hearing is slightly inferior to Humans, but their sight is vaguely better in bright light (but slightly worse in darkness). They have a very good sense of smell and a more acute sense of taste (they can detect impurities in food and drink fairly easily). Novim speech is melodic with a great degree of pitch. They don’t have hair like humans, but their flesh is of similar consistency and coloration. They can easily learn most alien languages.

Culture: Several millennia ago, the Novim were a genetically engineered slave race laboring for their masters. As their masters embraced more art and scholarly enlightenment, the Novim were given more duties to keep their masters in luxury. Eventually the Novim did everything for them, and they planned their escape.

They built 48 great arks right under their master’s noses, who were too condescending in their power and busy with their own pursuits. The arks disembarked in a mass exodus, filled with slaves who would know freedom. They plotted blind courses into the distance (to prevent their masters from being able to track them) in search of star systems able to support life. Their colony ships, traveling much slower than light, crawled across the stars for generations. The Novim had to deal with much adversity and they developed very different cultures within their arks. When 45 of the ships arrived in this region of space (3 were lost), they found planets to explore and claim as their own. They were free at last.

When they came into contact with other species, they were delighted and refocused all efforts to holding what they had and establishing embassies, commerce, and trade. Behaving in a manner which would honor the sacrifice of their forefathers, the Novim established themselves as a willing partner in a growing interstellar society.

<game mechanics for char gen removed>

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Just wanted to let everyone know that we've selected +Khairul Hisham for our interior illustrator for the FrontierSpace Player's Handbook. He's done great work with us in the past and we expect to continue that success on this and future projects. He's already started giving us some initial designs for our player character species, and they look great! I'll share images here and there as they're finalized/approved. Welcome to the FrontierSpace team, Hisham!

Hi guys,

I'm still getting my BBF Middle Earth game up and running, and have been attempting to give a bit more specific Tolkien flavour to the races by tweaking the stats and offering some regional varieties.

My players aren't really min-maxers, and are more likely to play the character they want rather than the most effective, so I'm not too worried about things being a little imbalanced, but I would like to avoid anything too excessive! This will be my first run at DMing BBF (and my return to DMing after quite some time), so some more experienced viewpoints would be a welcome thing!

By and large, I've kept close to the existing racial options, and have tried to balance any additions with an appropriate removal (and vice versa). I have played a little fast and loose with the Scholar class - while the broad unskilled principle remains, I'm making a couple of exceptions for common trades and social situations.

Speaking of classes, I've removed Cleric, Enchanter and Spellcaster as PC options. While this does represent a big cut, I don't think they fit into Middle Earth. There will be magic, but it'll be rare and powerful.

Right now, I have the following options:

+10 STR
+5 starting BP
+10 to resist poison
Plus one of these backgrounds:
• Iron Hills: +10 to checks pertaining to mining; -5 from STR requirements for armour and weapons
• Lonely Mountain: +10 to checks to haggle or barter

+10 DEX
+10 to hit with longbows and longswords
+10 to resist magic
Plus one of these backgrounds:
• Mirkwood: +10 to checks to climb trees; +5 to hit with longbow (in addition to the base bonus)
• Lothlorien: +15 to checks to hide or sneak in woodland; -5 to social checks vs. non-Elves
• Rivendell: May use the Scholar: Historian aspect unskilled

+10 DEX
Each encounter, re-roll one failed check
+10 to any checks to hide or sneak
Plus one of these backgrounds:
• Harfoot: +5 to checks to hide or sneak in mountains or underground (on top of the base bonus)
• Fallohide: +5 to checks to hide or sneak in woodland (on top of the base bonus)
• Stoor: +5 to checks to hide or sneak in towns and villages (on top of the base bonus)

+10 WIL
One additional description
+10 to all resistance checks (except vs. magic)
Plus one of these backgrounds:
• Dale: +5 to hit with longbow; +5 to check to inspire confidence or loyalty
• Bree: +10 to checks pertaining to a trade; +5 to checks to foster goodwill
• Dunland: +10 to checks involving survival and tracking; -5 to social checks (-10 vs. Men of Rohan)
• Gondor: -5 from STR requirements for armour and weapons
• Laketown: +5 to checks to haggle or barter; +5 to checks to navigate or operate a boat
• Rohan: +10 to checks involving riding or handling horses

* I'm not happy with Gondor - I feel it needs something more...

Thoughts and opinions, both mechanical and thematic would be welcomed!



There is a Kickstarter going on for an espionage game called COLD SHADOWS, and they seem to use the same kind of illustration for the letter L being a gun just like WHITE LIES. This is not a copyright concern, just interesting.

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BareBones Wuxia! Update!

Just finished reading the GM and Player Guide. Holy moly you guys, there is so much material in there! The sheer amount of content you have in these pages is insane. I still have not processed it all as it is so much! Congratulations, I must say the wait was worth it. Now I just need to find a window to actually run it. We will see.

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A recent team of FENRIS troubleshooters boarded the PNAS-217 a day ago. Each team member was in the forward section of the newly built corporate frigate when suddenly the ship rocked. Then it rocked again. Klaxon's sound, red lights flashed, the captain and officers ran towards the bridge. be continued.


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In California. Going to check out Endgame in Oakland if anyone wants to game with me for a bit. 

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