Sasquatch Game Studio is pleased to announce the return of Alternity (TM), a modular science fiction roleplaying game where you create your own future! The game system will launch in 2017 with a 256+ page book.
The game, which shares a name and heritage with a popular RPG from the 1990s, covers such action-packed scenes as starfighter dogfights, zero-G combat, and powered-armor troopers blasting aliens into their constituent atoms. The Alternity rules set is modular, so gamemasters can support the story arcs they create with the specific rules they need. A story of far-future space exploration, for example, will use a capital starship rules module, while a dystopian cyberpunk setting will use a virtual reality/hacking module instead.
Developed with guidance from Alternity’s original designers. Richard Baker and Bill Slavicsek, Alternity features a publicly available Beta Release, now available at DriveThruRPG. Based on feedback from external playtesters, and the outcome of a subsequent Kickstarter campaign (coming in Spring 2017), Sasquatch plans to release the game in the second half of the year.
As Rich Baker put it on an enworld.org response:
…the short answer is that we want to give the Alternity rules an upgrade, so to speak. We’re planning on making use of a core mechanic very similar to the “control die + situation die” approach of the original game, because rolling two polyhedrals at the same time was one of the things you did when you played Alternity. But there’s definitely room for improvement in things like character leveling, encounter building, or damage and health. The “tech” of RPG system design has moved on a bit from 1997 and we’re looking to create a system that captures the spirit and the key table experiences of the original game with an updated approach. So, yeah, we think that “Alternity” is the best name for the game we’re working on.
Let me put it this way: I’m one of the original designers of the Alternity system. And of course I’m proud of what I did back in the day. But I’ve also learned a thing or two over the last twenty years, and I think I can improve upon my earlier work. Plus, a lot of gamers playing now weren’t playing in the late ’90s; I want to bring them an Alternity-like experience that compares well against games that are available today. We’re certainly not disrespecting the old game — that’s why I’m involved, and that’s why Bill Slavicsek is going to lend a hand too.
Sasquatch Game Studio plans a full line of support products, including modules to cover various subgenres of science fiction, ready-to-play adventures, and “Data Download” books that provide more planets, aliens, starships…and bug-eyed monsters to blast.
Who are you guys?
Three game designers comprise Sasquatch Game Studio: Richard Baker, David Noonan, and Stephen Schubert. Collectively they have more than 50 years’ experience in the tabletop RPG industry and design credits in hundreds of great RPG books. Rich was one of the primary designers of the original Alternity back in the 1990s, and all three have been avid SF RPG gamers for almost as long as there have been SF RPGs. Dave still has a well-worn map of the Spinward Marches on his wall, and Steve knows never to make a deal with a dragon!
As a company, Sasquatch Game Studio has created the Primeval Thule fantasy campaign setting for multiple rules systems, Princes of the Apocalypse, and the Ultimate Scheme board game.
Is this a second edition? A reboot? A remake?
None of those things — the 2017 Alternity is its own game, through and through. We draw inspiration and a sense of heritage from the original Alternity, but this is wholly our creation… and yours, as soon as you start playing.
What’s the underlying game system?
Alternity 2017 is a skills-based system. The core mechanic invokes the heritage of the 1990’s Alternity and involves rolling a d20 Control die, and adding or subtracting a Situation Die (a variable die size that increases based upon situational modifiers). You compare the result to your skill score to determine your success. The system also incorporates degrees of success based upon how much you beat your target number.
Do you guys have the necessary rights to make this game?
We do, but it’s worth a bit of explanation about what those rights are. Sasquatch Game Studio has registered the trademark to the Alternity game (the old trademark has been abandoned for many years). Any copyrighted material associated with the 1990s version of the game still belongs to the previous publisher. However, the beauty of making a science fiction roleplaying game is that there’s a natural instinct to create anew rather than look to the past, and we intend to fully indulge that instinct. We have exciting new worlds to share with our new version of the Alternity game.