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Free Spacer


Indie Groundbreaker 2020 nominee for Best Rules

Free Spacer // a sandbox starship tabletop RPG

Adventure. Investigation. Science! Your crew hustles to complete jobs in a sector-wide cold war.

Free Spacer is a sandbox science fiction game about a crew of a commissioned starship in a quadrant wide cold war. There is exploration, trade, investigation, space combat, science projects, infiltration, and troubleshooting. We play to find out how the crew gets the job done, the choices they make, the rules they break, and the lengths they will go for their patrons.


Free Spacer is a roleplaying game with distinct features for science fiction roleplaying, inspired by Cowboy Bebop, Dark Matter, Farscape, Firefly, Killjoys, Switchblade Honey, or the works of Heinlein.

True Sci-fi// At its core, the game has a theme of freedom vs. power in a depiction a future far from now, rather than a retro sci-fi. It is contemporary science fiction that leverages the newest space sciences, takes into account biotechnology, and brings the internet to the rim of the quadrant.  

Custom Starship// You play the crew of a starship. The ship acts a template for your crew and the type of contracts you take. Together you operate the starship, each taking a ship station.

Sandbox play// Space is big; a vast sandbox of unlimited freedom. Free Spacer provides a series of streamlined and efficient tools to the Gamemaster to prepare locations and characters. These are not just empty places and stat blocks, rather each includes their agenda and faction relationship.

Cold War Phase// The Cold War phase is a faction turn that lets you, the Gamemaster, simulate the faction struggle to control the sector. The phase generates your sector background and gives you prompts to create contracts.

Contract is law// You're a contractor, you live and die by your contract. Like the law, you may break the terms of your contract, but there is a price. The crew negotiates contracts to earn Residual Value – the value of Cargo, which acts as the in-game experience points.

Procedural Sector// From the Sector and the great societies at the core of civilisation down to settlements and creatures, Free Spacer has tool to procedurally generate everything. Sit down and build out your own detailed setting or just what you need. Every world, system, and factions will be your own, all while emphasising a real sci-fi galaxy.

Game Mechanics

Free Spacer uses a unique set of core mechanics designed for science fiction. The system is streamlined, but with crunch that emphasises science and technology. The players roll all the dice and have plenty of knobs to turn.

Tasks// Players roll a pool of ten-sided dice, which represent their crewmember’s skills, specialties, and resources. You roll these task dice against a pool of six-sided dice that represents the task's difficulty.

Resource Management// During play, you have a variety of resources to manage that bestow useful benefits in play. You can spend charge to increase your chance to succeed, trade cargo to earn profit, spend Supply to power gear, and spend Complex Materials to maintain or advance your crewmember, ship, and gear.

Projects// The game has a set of advanced mechanics known as projects. Projects use the core mechanic, but multiple tasks work together to complete them.

Current version

Free Spacer successfully kickstarted on September 18, 2018 and this is the release version that backers received as their reward. The release version replaces the Proofreader version. The release version here has a dark grey background, colour text, and full colour art.

Roll20 Sheets

In this time of social distancing and internet gaming. Many tabletop games are happening on virtual tables tops. Free Spacer is all set up for online play through Roll20 with custom automated character sheets.

Just choose the Free Spacer Character Sheet Template when you set up your game and add the setting sheets from the PDF to the table top. As players, your Crew sheets and Contingency type Corvette sheet are all set up and ready to go with interactive ship configuration widget and cargo totals that calculate for you. For the Gamemaster, all your prep sheets are set up to help you run the game as smoothly as you do in your home game.

Salvo Mode// Both the Crew sheet and Contingency type Corvette sheet include Salvo Mode an interactive dice roller that walk you through each roll tracking the Charge and Supply that you spend with each salvo.

Art in this book was produced using Adobe Creative Suite, UnReal3d, Substance Painter, and MODO


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Reviews (2)
Discussions (6)
Customer avatar
John H February 22, 2022 1:24 am UTC
Any chance of a printer friendly version, or an 8-1/2x11 POD version that would be more compatible with my gently matured eyes?
Customer avatar
Christoph S February 22, 2022 5:16 pm UTC
Sorry, I won't be releasing a POD version of the game, but you can purchase the softcover or hardcover versions from IPR. The physical version is a real nice printing and is very readable. You can find them both at:
Customer avatar
Neil S February 10, 2022 5:56 am UTC
Does this have an alien generator
Customer avatar
Christoph S February 10, 2022 6:41 am UTC
Indeed it does! Chapter 5 Game Prep has all sorts of stuff like that. You can find the Species prep system on page 237. It is a 16 step process.
Customer avatar
Neil S February 15, 2022 5:54 am UTC
what other generators does it have
Customer avatar
Christoph S February 15, 2022 5:01 pm UTC
If you check out the full-size preview you can see the TOC with all the contents of the book. The Prep chapter walks you though creating everything you need for the game. All prep in the game is done as a step-by-step process with rollable tables.
1) The Chapter starts with a system for generating your setting's Events, timeline, and the trending themes on page 224.
2) Then on page 229 there is the Sector map generator — a set of star systems that you can jump to, basically your game map.
3) Then your Alien Species generator on page 237
4) Faction creation on 247. Each is a faction that has interests in your Sector. They are each part of one of the three prevalent societies in the quadrant, which leads to complicated relationships. Factions can be things like a navy, pirates, or megacorps. You use them to sim the background of your setting.
5) Forces on page 251. These are secret powers that build up outside the Faction system. They could be like a sleeping alien menace like the...See more
Customer avatar
Neil S August 03, 2021 1:48 am UTC
Customer avatar
Christoph S August 19, 2021 4:33 pm UTC
You can get the physical version of the core book at:
Plus there is a POD version of the Free Spacer Sector Archives here on DriveThruRPG.
Customer avatar
Callahan K July 14, 2021 2:13 am UTC
Hello, I was considering buying this book on IPR but I'm unfortunately very picky about my RPG books. I was wondering if you could tell me whether or not the IPR books have a sewn binding. I know they're in a layflat format, but the binding is my main concern.
Customer avatar
Christoph S July 18, 2021 4:59 am UTC
Awesome. The softcover is very nice with a Gather, sew, glue on cover along spine, but if it is important for you to have the best version of the book get the Hardcover, it has a Gather, sewen binding with square back. It includes the PDF:
Customer avatar
Callahan K July 23, 2021 7:30 pm UTC
Wonderful, thank you so much for the helpful information!
Customer avatar
Brian V February 01, 2021 12:16 am UTC
I'm looking for an invite link to the Discord server for Free Spacer. The invite link on the Kickstarter page has expired, sadly, and I made the mistake of leaving the Discord server in some fit of digital housecleaning.
Customer avatar
Christoph S June 16, 2021 4:53 pm UTC
I wasn't notified of your msg. Here is a link to the Discord: It will work a couple of times.
Customer avatar
September 26, 2019 1:55 am UTC
The new file appears to be the one titled FreeSpacer.pdf, not the one titled Free Spacer.pdf.
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File Last Updated:
September 25, 2019
This title was added to our catalog on April 13, 2019.