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Apollo 47 Technical Handbook

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Watermarked PDF
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Apollo 47!  It's here, I've finally done it!  DTRPG is the only place you can buy the print book.  You can also order optional cards, but they are not at all necessary for game play.  Weirdly enough, you can't buy the cards and the book in one order–you have to check out separately on two identical looking but differently named sites.

moonscape


-Charlie Hall, Polygon


-Linda Cordega, Endgadget

"Apollo 47 asks you to sit with boredom and stupidity in a way that boring, stupid games cannot come close to. When you play Apollo 47 there is a constant tension around wanting things to happen - interesting things, dramatic things - and every time they don't the game just gets better. Apollo 47 is easily one of my favorite games, ever."

                                                                   -Jason Morningstar

"Apollo 47 does not play like the majority of other space RPGs, which tend to default to serious and high-stakes conflicts in a sci-fi setting. The Technical Handbook’s single paragraph of lore sums up the game’s tone and situation well: in an alternate-history 1986, moon missions are so regular and routine that they’ve become downright mundane for everyone involved."

-Līber Lūdōrum

"Apollo 47 makes the mundane enveloping. You start playing, and soon you'll have a crowd listening in to the latest issues with the RCU cable. It's a chill vibe of tech-speak improv that just makes my brain buzz pleasantly."

-James Stuart

In a somewhat alternate Earth in a rather different 1987 you will explore the Moon on the 47th Apollo Mission!  The Moon!  Where forty-six other moon missions have gone before.  Forty-six.  That's an awful lot of successful Moon missions.  

And that's the point:  Apollo 47 imagines a future where walking the surface of the Moon is a little bit boring.  You engage in workaday astronaut activities using a simple improvisatory rules set to play in a quiet world of technobabble and the slow progression of science.  If something exciting happens please stop play immediately and go do something else–you are in the wrong game.

This zero-prep game of improvisatory radio chatter can be played through just about any communications medium for any length of time.  Five minutes to spare?  Spend it recalibrating a JLDO unit that's gone out of alignment.  Tighten the tamping line using the three baseline screws.  The blue screen torques the focus to the left, the green screw adjusts the dust pan height.  You should have a yellow-handled size 20 tamping gun and a slot puller in your work bag.  Got them?  Okay, so next...

One astronaut is supported by a team of voices on the radio.  Work, banter, and cause gentle problems for each other.  

I... I just can't explain this game any better than that.

What you get:

You are buying a twelve-hundred page book.  It's 8.5x11 and over seven pounds.  It's just stupid big.  The books pages are distributed roughly this way:

  • 1 page contains the game
  • 9 pages contain advice on how to play the game
  • 13 pages contain useful prompts for operating the game

1177 pages are reproductions of NASA manuals and papers related to the Apollo missions which can, if you need it, provide prompts to spur you on.  Spoiler:  I never use the prompt pages and don't really expect you to do so.  They just aren't necessary for play.

This book is a tremendous folly.  It's ludicrous and bloated and couldn't make me happier.  If you aren't joining me in hearty guffaws at something this THIS then stick with the PDF.  You'll be fine.

NOTE:  The PDF is just the core game, no NASA manuals.  You aren't missing anything, I promise.  

BUYER BEWARE:  So this book is so big it pushes the limits of what the printing company can handle.  This mostly manifests in small ripples along the edge of the page block.  These ripples are imperfections which we just have to live with.  Over time rough usage will hurt a book this big and dumb.  If that bothers you don't buy it.  Otherwise, there's three conditions I'm imposing on your purchase:  1.  Any complaints you have you will take up with DTRPG as it's not my job to worry about the printing issues.  2.  You will quietly accept cosmetic blemishes and issues with your book, should there be any.  3.  Be gentle with the book!  If pages come loose or whatever just stick 'em back in and consider the book a richer object.  I don't think this'll be an issue but some pages did come loose in a test print after VERY rough handling at a con.

the book



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Reviews (2)
Discussions (9)
Customer avatar
Ged T August 01, 2022 11:33 pm UTC
PURCHASER
If you really feel like you need the NASA technical information, go to the NASA technical reports server: https://ntrs.nasa.gov/ Search for apollo familiarization, apollo operations handbook or any specific variation thereof. Gemini, Mercury, Space Shuttle. They're all there. You're just looking for procedures manuals. That's all. It's free. The manual text are just prompts for you to build your chatter on.
Also, the Apollo Lunar Surface Journal https://www.hq.nasa.gov/alsj/main.html has transcripts of every lunar mission. Read this for the actual astronaut chatter you are role-playing. If you can't figure it out after this, then go play something else.
Reply
Customer avatar
tim H August 09, 2022 5:34 am UTC
PUBLISHER
That is good stuff!
Customer avatar
Alexander R May 27, 2022 7:56 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Yeah I'm with several other people here. I'd really prefer if the NASA pages were included in the PDF. I don't want to compile them myself from other sources, I'd like to just... have them.
Customer avatar
Jacob R May 17, 2022 8:55 pm UTC
the "rules" refer (p.4) to "the optional card deck". Is this a real thing, and can it be obtained?
Reply
Customer avatar
May 19, 2022 2:46 pm UTC
PURCHASER
https://www.drivethrucards.com/product/242297/Apollo470p75
Customer avatar
Gottardo Z May 12, 2022 2:06 pm UTC
Easy question: in order to play the game you need the 1177 NASA pages ? It's definitely not clear to me, thanks!
Reply
Customer avatar
May 19, 2022 2:44 pm UTC
PURCHASER
From the description above:

"1177 pages are reproductions of NASA manuals and papers related to the Apollo missions which can, if you need it, provide prompts to spur you on. Spoiler: I never use the prompt pages and don't really expect you to do so. They just aren't necessary for play."
Customer avatar
Shaun G May 07, 2022 11:12 am UTC
PURCHASER
Can't wait for this big honking book to arrive. It'll serve both as entertainment and as self defense in the unlikely case of a home invasion.
Customer avatar
Robert C April 19, 2022 1:54 am UTC
Imma buy this as a present for my stepson as soon as I can. He loves technical manuals and would get a kick out of the premise of this game.
Customer avatar
April 19, 2022 1:47 am UTC
PURCHASER
I would be happy with the extra info in a pdf, but I want the hardback because flipping through the pages when trying to fix something just seems right
Customer avatar
Christopher Quin Q April 18, 2022 11:19 pm UTC
PURCHASER
I don’t understand this. Why does the write up refer to the 1177 pages of technical data, and then the next line says the 1177 pages of NASA data not included?
Reply
Customer avatar
Michael R April 28, 2022 5:27 am UTC
It clearly says they're not included in the PDF. But they are included in the hardcover print copy.
Reply
Customer avatar
Christopher Quin Q May 10, 2022 2:10 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Well, I agree it’s in the fine print. I think we have a difference on how “clearly” this was.
However, it’s a fantastic game and I don’t regret buying it. I’ve been raving about it to my gaming group.
Reply
Customer avatar
Shaun S June 21, 2022 8:57 pm UTC
PURCHASER
I think we may have a difference on the meaning of "fine print", considering it's in the same font size, preceded by a bold NOTE:
Were you expecting all of the information on the first line? I mean seriously, if one page of a product description is a challenge to you, 1177 pages of material would be beyond you anyway. ;)
Reply
Customer avatar
Christopher Quin Q June 22, 2022 10:25 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Ha ha. I guess you have a point
Customer avatar
Jackie K April 18, 2022 8:04 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Not gonna lie I'd deeply appreciate having a seperate PDF of the technical manuals.
Reply
Customer avatar
Daniel M April 18, 2022 9:50 pm UTC
PURCHASER
I was gonna make this exact comment. I want all that dense nerdy nonsense, I just would rather have it electronically.
Reply
Customer avatar
Travis Y April 19, 2022 2:13 am UTC
PURCHASER
may i recommend https://history.nasa.gov/afj/ap15fj/a15docs.html or similar? All of those technical manuals are freely available. :)
Reply
Customer avatar
tim H April 28, 2022 8:41 pm UTC
PUBLISHER
Game maker here: There's a ludicrous gesture to the big book but the big PDF just feels wrong to me. Travis's link is a good one and it gets you more!
Reply
Customer avatar
Koen C May 20, 2022 3:51 pm UTC
PURCHASER
I'm actually disappointed with the lack of all those other pages, the least you (as publisher) could do is put the remark that the PDF only contains the rules at the top of the page and not the second to last note.
Reply
Customer avatar
M P May 21, 2022 5:08 pm UTC
PURCHASER
I'm also actually disappointed - I only just saw the NASA stuff isn't included, after buying the PDF version yesterday. The note saying it isn't included should be at the top of the page, it's kind of buried.

What attracted me to this project was the ludicrousness of the game combined with the ridiculous amount of extra material, to me they feel essential to eachother. With all respect to the designer, but just getting the game rules feels like you're misunderstanding what makes your work interesting to some of your purchasers.
Reply
Customer avatar
Aaron B May 22, 2022 5:46 am UTC
PURCHASER
Perhaps add a page to the PDF with links to the technical manuals in question? In the order they appear in the hardcover. That way you avoid the ridiculous file size, and people who want the manuals can get them easily.
Reply
Customer avatar
M P May 23, 2022 10:33 am UTC
PURCHASER
Still missing the point, I feel..
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Product Information
Platinum seller
Author(s)
Pages
1200
Publisher Stock #
AP47
File Size:
6.41 MB
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File Last Updated:
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