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Rocket Age - Core Rulebook

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Welcome to the GM's Day sale! From now through March 10th, this title has been marked down by up to 40%! For more values, visit our GM's Day sale page.

Rocket Age won the ENnies Judge's Spotlight Award.

"It's alternate history pulpy retro-sci-fi space opera planetary romance. It's throttled up rocket packs burning radium on the long blast to the farthest reaches of the Solar System. It's hunting thunder lizards in the upland jungles of Venus. It's battling Ancient Martian killing machines piloted by the Deutsche Marskorps across the baking red deserts of Mars. It's exploring the deadly skies of Jupiter under the constant threat of Europan disintegration. It's RAY gun wielding heroes bulls-eyeing mutants in the blasted ruins of Io" - Ken Spencer, Writer and Owner of Why Not Games

Rocket Age is the core rulebook in our new radium-powered game line of interplanetary adventure! Powered by the Vortex System, it's packed to the fins with all the rules, setting information and game ideas to keep you playing throughout your very own rocket age!

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Reviews (6)
Discussions (12)
Customer avatar
Shaun B November 12, 2022 8:36 pm UTC
PURCHASER
I just wanted to drop a quick note of appreciation for the updated file that includes bookmarks! The usability of the PDF is vastly improved, so thank you for that!
Customer avatar
Timothy Peter F September 08, 2022 4:46 am UTC
Would you consider a more affordable paperback edition?
Customer avatar
Eric T July 13, 2022 9:46 pm UTC
PURCHASER
I’ve been reading the Doctor Who Roleplaying Game Second Edition, and I was just curious as to whether there are any plans to update Rocket Age to this new addition. Not strictly necessary; conversion is pretty easy, but I just thought I would inquire. I love, love, love this game and this setting in particular.
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Customer avatar
Kenneth S July 13, 2022 10:22 pm UTC
PUBLISHER
Sadly our Vortex system license does not cover Doctor Who 2e.
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Customer avatar
Eric T July 14, 2022 2:47 am UTC
PURCHASER
OK. Well, thanks for letting me know. Like I said, the conversion isn’t very tricky at all; I was just wondering. Keep up the great work; it is very appreciated!
Customer avatar
kristiaan L March 05, 2020 3:52 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Ok, this is really just a fluff question here; The main planets, Mars and Venus, is the air breathable on these planets in Rocket Age? I havent read anything yet that indicates that any kind of a suit or helmet needs to be worn, although a lot of the pics indicate that on these planets, earthlings are wearing the classic bubble helms.
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Customer avatar
Kenneth S March 05, 2020 5:08 pm UTC
PUBLISHER
Yes, the air on Mars and Venus is breathable and gravity is close enough to Earth's not to matter. However, on Venus one you get below the mist line temperature and pressure start rapidly increasing to lethal levels.
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Customer avatar
kristiaan L March 05, 2020 6:37 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Love it! In "Bring Em Back Alive", I believe all the action takes place in the Ishtar Highlands? so, above the mist?
Sorry, i wont ask more fluff questions :)
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Customer avatar
Kenneth S March 05, 2020 10:09 pm UTC
PUBLISHER
Yes it does.
Customer avatar
kristiaan L March 05, 2020 1:20 pm UTC
PURCHASER
When dealing physical damage to npc's or monsters, is the same process used for damge to pc's? Damage to the npc gets subtracted from its Coordination and Strength, and when both of those 2 attributes are reduced to zero, they are killed?
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Customer avatar
Kenneth S March 05, 2020 1:22 pm UTC
PUBLISHER
Yes, unless the damage can be rationalized as effecting a different attribute for example such as Awareness (blood in the eyes) or Intellect (hit in the head and concussed).
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Customer avatar
kristiaan L March 05, 2020 3:02 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Perfect! Thanks for taking the time to answer. First actual game tonight, running "Bring Em Back Alive"
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Customer avatar
Kenneth S March 05, 2020 3:04 pm UTC
PUBLISHER
Great! If you want to post an after action report to the (Unofficial) Rocket Age Fan FB page or the Why Not Games FB page go right ahead. We would love to hear how it goes.
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Customer avatar
kristiaan L March 05, 2020 3:07 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Deal
Customer avatar
kristiaan L February 24, 2020 5:55 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Just to clarify: On the Ranged Weapon Chart, under the damage rating for each weapon there are three numbers. I just to make sure i have the rules right here. I use one of the three numbers depending on how well of a roll i made? So if I rolled "Fantastic" (9+), i would use the largest of the damage numbers for that particular weapon?
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Customer avatar
Kenneth S February 24, 2020 5:58 pm UTC
PUBLISHER
Yes, the damages are for success/ good/ fantastic results. Save some story points for when the L damage comes out.
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Customer avatar
kristiaan L February 24, 2020 6:36 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Thanks for the response Kenneth
What does the "L" stand for? :0
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Customer avatar
kristiaan L February 24, 2020 6:56 pm UTC
PURCHASER
NM, just realized L is for "Lethal" and yes, good reminder to stock up on story points for that.
Customer avatar
kristiaan L February 06, 2020 3:33 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Will the Vortex rules line continue now that there is a 5e edition? (fingers crossed)
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Customer avatar
Kenneth S February 06, 2020 4:02 pm UTC
PUBLISHER
Yes, we are going forward with all Rocket Age products in both Classic (Vortex) and 5e versions. Look for the Rocket Ranger's Handbook in both systems a few weeks from now.
Reply
Customer avatar
kristiaan L February 06, 2020 5:55 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Awesome!
Customer avatar
kristiaan L February 05, 2020 5:26 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Does the 5e edition have new stuff (other than the rules) like new races, equipment etc.?
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Customer avatar
Kenneth S February 06, 2020 1:44 pm UTC
PUBLISHER
No new species or other major changes. There are some new pieces of equipment such as armor that are critical for a d20 based system. The only changes we made were to adapt to the system. For example, 5e has a core assumption of more supernatural features and ruins exploration, so 5e has a greater focus on psychic powers and ancient ruins.
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Customer avatar
kristiaan L February 06, 2020 2:10 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Thanks for the reply Kenneth. The reason i asked was thjat i saw a bunch of great art on the Facebook page (like the lizard monkey and pics of the Silthuri, Robomen and Ganymedian) that i had not seen in the core Vortex book. This game is an absolute gem! Hoping to see much more of it!
p.s. A GM screen would be an insta-buy from me!
Customer avatar
Tony C August 05, 2019 12:23 am UTC
PURCHASER
I'm about to start running this in a couple of weeks and I was wondering if there is a quick start guide on character creation and basic game mechanics that I can distribute to the players - none of whom have used the Vortex system before, and are unlikely to invest in purchasing the core rulebook before they know whether or not they enjoy the game.
Customer avatar
Paul R August 02, 2019 1:45 am UTC
Lovely to see this game being saved from the neglect Cubicle 7 was subjecting it to.
Customer avatar
Matthew R February 21, 2018 6:42 am UTC
PURCHASER
I was going through the updated files in my RPGNow library (something I haven't done in a while) and I discovered that both this game and the Lost City of the Ancients module were updated last July. I downloaded the latter file and compared it with the original version, but I can't see any difference in content. I haven't downloaded the updated version of the core rulebook yet; before I do I'd like an explanation of why the listed file size has increased by over 50% when the page count is still the same.
Reply
Customer avatar
Kenneth S February 21, 2018 3:21 pm UTC
PUBLISHER
In July Rocket Age was purchased from Cubicle 7 by the creator, Ken Spencer, who is now publishing the game under Why Not Games. We updated the files with our own logos and branding.
Reply
Customer avatar
Matthew R February 21, 2018 5:06 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Thanks for taking the time to respond. I was aware that the publisher had changed, but that doesn't explain why the file size has inflated so much. Is there any difference in the actual content?

ETA: After writing the above, I noticed that there are actually two separate downloads available: the original file and the updated version. I went ahead and downloaded the new one, and found that the file size has actually *shrunk* by half, which is greatly appreciated (when you have literally hundreds of PDF files, every little bit adds up, and I'm already pushing the limits of my available backup space). I don't know where the figure of 44.8 MB comes from, though; even together, the two files only add up to 42.7 MB. You might want to correct that.
Customer avatar
David K November 28, 2017 2:25 pm UTC
Good Morning,
I was just wondering what the base mechanic of the game was? Just a quick blurb if you are able or have the time.
Appreciatively,
David
Reply
Customer avatar
Kenneth S November 28, 2017 2:42 pm UTC
PUBLISHER
Rocket Age uses the Vortex system developed by Dave Chapman for the Doctor Who Adventures in Time and Space RPG. The system has been modified to fit a more cinematic and pulpy setting. Basically it is a combination of a classic attribute + skill +2d6 roll vs. a target number with the twist that all results are non-binary (yes but, yes, yes and or no, but, no, and no and as opposed to yes/no systems) and a strong narrative point spending system.
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Product Information
Gold seller
Author(s)
Pages
256
Publisher Stock #
WNG0516 PDF
File Size:
37.75 MB
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File Last Updated:
November 12, 2022
This title was added to our catalog on July 29, 2013.