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Impulse Drive
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Impulse Drive

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Play a crew of misfits and scoundrels living a life of danger and adventure as they explore space and try to make their ship a home in a technicolor sea of stars. Fight dangerous organizations, investigate unnerving mysteries, and find trouble in a game that rewards you when your characters face their shortcomings. Grow your characters and ship with new gear and abilities as you discover and create the universe together, as a group.

Impulse Drive is a roleplaying game about making a living on the fringe of civilized space, inspired by fiction such as Farscape, Firefly, Mass Effect, Star Wars, and many others. Find some friends, grab a handful of six sided dice, and strap on your spacesuit.

This book includes all the rules you need to have your own space adventures about misfits and spaceships, including eight iconic character archetypes:

  • The Hound, a rogue lawkeeper or bounty hunter.
  • The Infiltrator, a skilled burglar or assassin.
  • The Intellect, an expert scientist, physician, or mechanic.
  • The Mystic, a wise religious figure or member of an ancient order of knights.
  • The Outsider, a truly strange or out-of-place alien.
  • The Scoundrel, a down on their luck con artist or street rat.
  • The Tempest, a volatile hothead with dangerous powers.
  • The Warhorse, a battle-scarred war veteran who has seen everything.

As well as four ship playbooks that help you set the stage for your adventures:

  • The Smuggler, a beat up old freighter with some hidden surprises and a big debt.
  • The Predator, a dangerous mercenary vessel with a dangerous nemesis after them.
  • The Vanguard, a state-of-the-art ship in the employ of a powerful galactic civilization or organisation.
  • The Marauder, a pirate vessel with a bad reputation.

 Customers Who Bought this Title also Purchased
Reviews (2)
Discussions (11)
Customer avatar
Ban B May 16, 2022 5:00 pm UTC
Hi Adrian! I purchased the softcover of this book about a month and a half ago, and haven't heard anything about delivery or received the book. No big deal, but just want to make sure it doesn't fall off the map!
Customer avatar
Ban B May 16, 2022 8:08 pm UTC
Never mind! So sorry I just realized it shipped to the wrong place lol It was quite quick by the way.
Customer avatar
Diego M November 22, 2021 10:55 am UTC
Hi, where can I buy a physical copy of the book?
Customer avatar
Adrian T November 22, 2021 8:42 pm UTC
Hi Diego!

Due to a new issue with the printer, drivethru has required that the files be updated and I order new proofs to bring the print versions back up.

I'm currently waiting for files to be verified by the printer so I can order the proof prints. Hopefully this won't take more than a month, depending on international shipping.

Sorry for the inconvenience.
Customer avatar
Adrian T December 29, 2021 6:58 am UTC
Hi Diego, I'm pleased to say the print versions are available again
Customer avatar
Jon-Pierre G July 03, 2021 10:37 pm UTC
I am so disappointed that I bought the physical copy of this book, and the title art on the spine is upside down. It kills me to see it be the only book in my collection to stand out so awkwardly.
Customer avatar
Marko J April 22, 2021 1:54 pm UTC
Hi, so which version of ID is this, and how is it different from the free preview? Thanks!
Customer avatar
Adrian T April 23, 2021 7:21 am UTC
Thanks for the question!

Both versions have the same text so folks can play together no matter which one they have.

The free version has art and layout by me, while this version has more art from illustrator Claudia Cangini and layout by graphic designer Paolo Bosi, the same as the print version.

Impulse Drive was in development for a long time, and I had it available as pay what you want. I wanted to make sure people who supported me by downloading or paying some money still had access to a current, playable version of the game.

I also wanted to make sure that people who can't afford this pdf have a way to play the game by getting the rules for free.
Customer avatar
Marko J May 11, 2021 7:00 pm UTC
Thanks Adrian!
Customer avatar
Andy G November 27, 2020 10:45 pm UTC
Been playing this a bit and it's very good fun! Just a couple of "rough spots" for feedback:

- The Lucrative Exports/Mercantile loop seems rather redundant. When you take on cargo, the *best* you can get is to get back exactly what you traded away to get the cargo, and the alternative outcomes don't seem that story-interesting, either. I think the main problem is the Mercantile move; maybe change it to give a significant bonus on 10+ and have an outcome related to the cargo in 6-, with just get back the payment on 7-9? Otherwise it's just a way to waste payout...

- Having the Firefight move named the same as a range was confusing. Maybe call it "Rumble!" or just "Fight!" instead?

- Tying first aid and repairs to the Tactical Pack seems a bit restricting. Why not have a "First Aid Kit" and a "Repair Kit" separate from the Tactical pack, and then the TP just gives any mundane item *including* a First Aid or Repair Kit for a...See more
Customer avatar
Bruno C December 30, 2020 3:19 pm UTC
I agree with Lucrative Exports/Mercantile. Did you created the change? Can you share?

About the Tactical Pack I would agree with if you couldn't accomplish that with a Personal Project. It this is annoying a PC, let him make a Personal Project to create the Repair Kit and the Repair Kit.
Customer avatar
Adrian T December 31, 2020 12:34 am UTC
Thanks for the comments Bruno & Andy!

With the Lucrative/Mercantile loop, I found during testing that some groups would attempt to circumvent having to do the dangerous work of contracts & fly around trying to ship goods. Having a less lucrative result on Mercantile also pushes the narrative idea that trying to be an honest business is a struggle where the crew will only break even. Crews can still look to loading their cargo hold with goods they loot from ships & locations they go to as part of contracts & later sell through mercantile. That said, if your group wants to focus more on being space merchants, definitely try a more forgiving version of the Move!

As for medkits & repair kits, they actually used to be in earlier versions of the game, but felt a bit redundant to use up a Gear slot on something so specific when the Tactical Pack could do both of these jobs & more. So the medkit & repair kit were removed as a part of streamlining a game with a lot...See more
Customer avatar
Andy G December 31, 2020 11:53 am UTC
Hi, Adrian, and thanks for the response!

For medkits and repair kits I wasn't really thinking of them taking a slot each, just that they would be things that could be taken out of a tactical pack, or out of variants in a similar vein (vehicle modules that hold a few, for example, or a "doctor's bag" that has only medkits but carries 4 or 5).

I understand the point on mercantile; I think it might have been worthwhile a sidebar/explanation box to avoid the "trap choice", though. I have no real problem with players just running cargo; if it got annoying you could push at it with fuses. What I had in mind was just a Mercantile move that read something like:

When you enter a system with the intent to sell goods in your hold, roll +local Disposition. If the cargo is valuable, roll with advantage; if it is contraband, roll with disadvantage:

On a 10+ you make a good profit. If the sale was contraband, take 3 ship payment options. Otherwise take 1...See more
Customer avatar
Andy G December 31, 2020 12:11 pm UTC
Sorry - I missed out that with contraband cargo a 7-9 is treated as a 10+ with normal cargo (one payment option plus either 2 options from 7-9 or an extra payment option and reduce local Disposition by 1). Also, thinking more about the 'lead on a contract you can negotiate with advantage' option, you could probably make that "...or hear about some other form of opportunity". Like some contraband sitting in an abandoned wreck out in the black, for example...

Note that contraband is rolled at Disadvantage; it's potentially lucrative, but it's risky!
Customer avatar
Jason G August 05, 2020 2:13 pm UTC
This is such a great book. While I play 5e, my favorite systems are dungeon world and FATE. I wanted a sci fi "version" of Dungeon World. This is something that I can use to supplement Dungeon World with how it uses advantage and disadvantage. There are things that I can definitely steal from this to use in my other rpg's, which are worth the price of the game itself. This is very well done, and it just reminds me of Killjoys, Guardians of the Galaxy, Firefly, etc. Incredible things can happen here. The system itself also tells you how to hack the game and change how you are using certain concepts. Very happy with my purchase.
Customer avatar
Dominik P May 28, 2020 1:38 pm UTC
The review by Tyler H from June 18th 2019 mentions inconsistencies between the handouts and the rulebook, as well as within the rulebook when referencing some moves. Commenter Lyle K also mentioned discrepancies between this and the quickstart - can anyone confirm if these errors have been fixed since?
Customer avatar
Lyle K April 23, 2020 1:03 pm UTC
Hi Adrian,

Drivethrurpg is showing the book as having been updated yesterday (at time of writing). Do you have a summary of changes at all please?

Also, we noticed that in the main book under the Warhorse Gear it has shotgun listed twice but in the quick start rules it has tactical gear insteaed of the second shotgun. We figure the quickstart is probably the right one, just wanted to let you know.
Customer avatar
Adrian T April 23, 2020 1:19 pm UTC
Sure! The only change is that I uploaded the print & play file for the cards. The content of the handouts & books are exactly the same!

Thank you for the question Lyle!
Customer avatar
Lyle K April 23, 2020 1:28 pm UTC
Ah okay, thanks Adrian.
Customer avatar
Warren S August 08, 2019 7:59 pm UTC
OMG!!! Hardcapy!!! #DROOL!!!!! Buying on next paycheck in two weeks!!!!!
Customer avatar
Me Y August 06, 2019 11:32 am UTC
Is there a list of differences between the final and the preview version?
Customer avatar
Adrian T August 06, 2019 12:56 pm UTC

The text between the two versions is the same, but the layout and art in this version has been supplied by Claudia Cangini & Paolo Bosi respectively. A group can play with a mix of both versions and still have the same information!
Customer avatar
Patrick S July 03, 2019 5:42 am UTC
Do i see some Cowboy Bebop influence there on the cover? :)
Customer avatar
Adrian T July 11, 2019 3:58 am UTC
Absolutely! Bebop was a big influence on the feel of the game.
Customer avatar
Chris D November 29, 2019 3:22 pm UTC
This is why I was so surprised that there's no Bounty Hunter ship playbook; it's a core playbook in this genre. I mean, you could hack it by using the Smuggler playbook and swapping out the Hidden Compartments for a Brig, or something, but that still leaves the ship with a Massive Debt.
Customer avatar
Adrian T November 30, 2019 11:57 am UTC
The Predator ship playbook is probably a good fit for bounty hunters, although if you want that bebop feel, the smuggler ship is a lot more scrappy & underfunded "nod good at being bounty hunters" feeling.
Customer avatar
Patrick S November 30, 2019 12:00 pm UTC
The Corgi just gave it away :D
Customer avatar
Chris D December 03, 2019 3:51 pm UTC
I'm just looking at the other examples of the premise, like Starhunter and Killjoys.
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File Last Updated:
April 23, 2020
This title was added to our catalog on June 11, 2019.