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FARFLUNG: Sci-Fi Role-Play After Dark
 
$19.95 $11.97
Average Rating:4.5 / 5
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FARFLUNG: Sci-Fi Role-Play After Dark
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FARFLUNG: Sci-Fi Role-Play After Dark
Publisher: Sanguine Productions
by Timothy K. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 10/16/2022 03:15:19

Farflung is for me, one of the most imaginative science fictions games I've seen in a long while. It allows so many different styles of play while using the same consistant base PbtA core mechanics. It has details (and sometimes rules) to cover so many different thing if you want to use them. I play with a group that likes to try different games and this one turned out to be one of our longest played and for me, most interesting campaigns that I've managed as a GM. The breadth of character options and the depth they're capable of create a lot of different potential ways to play without a need for a lot of sub-systems (although every character has moves that differ somewhat the rules for them are stable.)

I highly recommend this game, and I hope to cycle it back into our play time for a new (or even continued) campaign.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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FARFLUNG: Sci-Fi Role-Play After Dark
Publisher: Sanguine Productions
by Scott R. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 06/28/2022 06:15:01

I purchased this in physical form and I did not know prior to this Drive thru did physical copies of books, and was sceptical as I read some reviews sayign the print was not all that great.

I cannot speak for the system yet but I am very impressed witht he quality of the book and there are a few purchases of OOp books that I am now likely to purchase based on this, so if like me, you hate PDF rulebooks, I am very happy with the print quality.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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FARFLUNG: Sci-Fi Role-Play After Dark
Publisher: Sanguine Productions
by Diego M. C. C. D. C. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 02/03/2018 08:16:07

I am going to review some aspect of this game that I like nd find interesting, and some that don’t fit my style of play. This is not a complete - paper quality - layout - page count review.

First, the playbooks are very evocative, firmly grounded in the game’s premises, and very funny. The game talks about what it is to be a person in a very unhuman (transhuman) environment, at the end of time. Here, we lose almost all elements of what makes up the society we know, and the rest in drenched in strangeness and dark comedy.

The book has pretty everything you need to play in this environment, from premade threats, which give us the foundation for some serious customization, to a good list of plot twists, to examples on how to play.

What I don’t like First, if this in your first PbtA game, good luck. Yeah, it has a list of moves, MC moves, new rules on pools, modifiers (+6 ?! Really?!?! Maybe…) and a funny past/future points system; and this is ok. What isn’t clear, is the two or three basic rules on WHEN to make moves, When to make MC moves, and when NOT to make them. If you tell me that the trigger is “when it’s funny”, or so, I feel it’s way too subjective. If you tell me that rules are there to be changed or ignored… I wouldn’t want to find those words on games that aren’t Vampire or AD&DII. The most basic concepts of PbtA are given for granted. If you have read other PbtA games ( Dungeon World, Apocalypse World II, Urban Shadows, for example) you will get it no problem.

The last thing which I find subpar is the section on how to make adventures. It feels too much old school, with a series of hints and best practices on how to make assessments on the fun of the players, the possibility of success, and the like. As before, I don’t think the MC should decide on the length of an adventure, the possibility of failure on a larger scale, or create a list of endings; even if it’s done listening to the players BEFORE it actually happens.

Again, if you are into PbtA, there’s no risk. Otherwise, well, it SEEMS that the MC can change a lot of thing for the benefit of the story. It would have been simpler to use Fronts, Threats or Portents, than resorting to this kind of judgement.

In synthesys, some things need to be more explicit; others will just lead you to a less than satisfying game experience (unfocused, I may say). Unless, as noted, you can make up with your experience with other, similar games.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
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FARFLUNG: Sci-Fi Role-Play After Dark
Publisher: Sanguine Productions
by Paul O. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/24/2017 17:22:08

Thoroughly enjoyed the inventive playbooks and mechanics, but I found the layout confusing and spent a lot of time flipping back and forth trying to find where things are (Scars pool is a good example).
There's not much setting, but the playbooks are definitely worth reading if you're looking for an unconventional sci-fi game.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
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FARFLUNG: Sci-Fi Role-Play After Dark
Publisher: Sanguine Productions
by Pierre S [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/03/2017 17:02:31

Farflung RPG is a solid addition to the games using the Powered by the Apocalypse rules system. The setting is a generic madcap far-future with a long list of inspirational material given at the back such as The Hitch-Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Guardians of the Galaxy, Barbarella, and many more. Choose from 24 character types representing professions or very oddball entities of the Universe: archivists, career soldiers, energy-beings, shape-shifters, former dark "despicable" commanders of thousands of minions who have fallen on hard times, sentient spaceships and so on. All characters have standard Moves, and each character type has an additional playbook of special Moves befitting its type. If a character type has a mad power, it is balanced by limiting shortfalls in something else. There would be a lot of fun in seeing how character types will complement each other and work together, and even...fall in love? Yes, there are Moves for seduction activity, not to be blatantly sexual but possibly for the SF amusement of having a hard-bitten PC alien fall in love with a NPC gas-cloud and such. The author is getting at something like this with the game's subtitle "Sci-Fi Role-Play After Dark".

Another reviewer went into detail about the game mechanics. I will mention the organization of the book. The hardcopy is a well-manufactured hardcover. One key thing is the introduction which explains the game in 3 perspectives: if you never played an RPG, if you played a computer RPG, or if you have played other tabletop RPGs. This is good to ease beginners into this tabletop game. The Powered by the Apocalypse system gives players a lot of essential information up-front on the character sheet (and in 4 pages of "playbook" for each character type) to try to slot any conceivable action into one of their Moves, which is handled easily with a 2d6 die-roll. A good GM will still be needed to explain things to new players. I'm sure any lapses in rules procedure will be forgivable as long as players have fun with the zany, gonzo nature of the world.

Next are descriptions of the basic characteristics of the character (the 6 "quantum particle" attributes), health, points in time (History-x and Future-x points which are spent back and forth to power certain Moves) and general procedures and dice-rollings of the game. It then lists general Moves common to all players, and then an exposition of the 24 character types and their Moves. Characters can suffer "damage" in 3 types: Doing (physical), Thinking (mental) and Feeling (emotional). Depending on their character type, they have the ability to divert damage of one kind into each of the two other kinds (indicated by filling in an arrow on the health circle which is divided into 3 parts for these 3 types). Then the back half of the book gives a sampling of several types of "opponents", some notes on conducting the game, various optional rules, and the bibliography of sources of inspiration. Optional rules include the X-Card system first proposed by John Stavropoulous, which can veto GM or player actions or plot elements if a player is uncomfortable with something. I personally don't agree with this since it smacks of "snowflakeism" which clashes with RPGs where you might adventurously be called on to storm the beaches at Normandy or something.

All in all, Farflung is a PbtA system tweaked for goofy, zany far-future characters for a light-hearted time, with possibly some elements of romance if desired (which I would tend to X-Card until these are annihilated at the molecular level.)



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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FARFLUNG: Sci-Fi Role-Play After Dark
Publisher: Sanguine Productions
by Colin W. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/02/2017 09:41:09

This review originally appeared at: https://mephitjamesblog.wordpress.com/2017/05/02/farflung-sci-fi-rpg/

I made a really great find on DriveThruRPG the other day and thought other people might be interested. Farflung is an excellent, narrative game that combines elements of FATE Accelerated and Apocalypse World to great effect. Usually when DTRPG recommends things to me I give it a passing glance but this time I was really intrigued by what I saw and so I snatched it up.

The premise of Farflunt is to create an open-ended space opera RPG of epic scale and heroic stories. This is something right up my alley and I think it’s done in a really cool way. I’ll say up front that the layout is a little busy with bright, neon colors and lots of changing fonts. The artwork, byillustrated by Mama Bliss (NSFW) and Matt Howarth, is also a little cartoon-ish and reminiscent of Octopus Pie or PvP rather than the hyper-realistic style of, say, Wayne Reynolds. Normally I like my games clean and simple with art that doesn’t mess with my suspension of disbelief so this wasn’t my favorite opening up the pdf.

If you are also in this boat I recommend you look past that. Once you get down to brass tacks this book is actually laid out very well and there is a surreal, dreamlike quality about the artwork that really complements the book once you start in on it. While it didn’t look like the kind of game I normally love, it has quickly intrigued me and I’ve spent more and more time flipping through it. Just… you know. Fair warning.

The Attributes

Image © Sanguine Productions Ltd. The first quirky thing about Farflung that you will notice flipping through the book is the attributes. There is no Strength or Wisdom here, the attributes in Farflung are based on quarks. You heard me.

They come in pairs (just like quark flavors) which represent a subtle or forward approach to things. Each of these attributes is rated from -3 (terrible) to +3 (awesome) according to your playbook (more on that below).

Social matters are determined by your bottom and top attributes which respectively indicate a quiet approach and a loud approach (as in the bottom or top of the pecking order). Your ability to reason is split into down (working with your hands) and up (working with your mind). Finally, your general demeanor is described by charm (winning people over) and strange (freaking people out).

“Indicia” of Health

Image © Sanguine Productions Ltd. I have no idea why they chose this term (instead of the actual plural of “index”), but there are three different indices that you can suffer damage to: doing is like hit points, feeling is like social points, and thinking is like sanity. When you’re hit by something you can try to deflect harm from one track to another, but only if the damage you’re taking is indicated in your playbook (again, more later).

When any one index drops to zero you are incapacitated which means you’re out of the game for a bit. The actual result depends on which index: you might be knocked out (doing), reduced to a sobbing mess (feeling), or retreat to a fugue state (thinking). Death is rare in this game so it’s up to your group when someone actually dies.

Points in Time

Image © Sanguine Productions Ltd. Now we arrive at quirk number two. In order to power special abilities (moves) there are two pools of points to spend. Future represents amazing, nature-bending abilities that defy explanation. History represents contacts, wealth, or training that you’ve already done in the past. They’re weird names but they make sense as the two halves of characters’ moves in this epic game: you can either bank on cool new stuff or plan for eventualities.

You spend points when a move tells you to ante it, and the individual move will tell you what happens after that (you might lose it, get it back, or move it someplace else). Sometimes these future and history points end up in other pools such as eternal or battered which ties up your points from being used for other moves.

Connections

Image © Sanguine Productions Ltd. Your character comes with a handful of connections as well which give you some ability to customize the character outside of the playbook you choose.

Your connection to other players’ characters allows you to give them inspiration while your connection to NPCs allows you to give them orders. Your connection to knowledge allows you to reveal new stuff as does your connection to gear. Lastly, your connection to organizations lets you order things too like requisitioning stuff or calling for a special mission.

Connections are measured by ratings that start at 1 and go up from there. You get these from your playbook but you also can gain increases during play. You can lose points too, though, and if a connection drops to zero then you lose the connection (the person stops talking to you, the gear breaks or is lost, the group blacklists you, etc).

Taking Action

Image © Sanguine Productions Ltd. There’s a great introduction to taking actions here that can apply to all RPGs (putting things like dominating the table into focus and explaining why sometimes you roll and other times you don’t worry about it) but I’ll skip that for now. You don’t roll against a target number in this system; like FATE you roll 2d6 and see what the sum is. You can achieve nothing (6 or lower), get a weak success (7-9), get a strong success (10-12), or a grand success (13+).

To this roll, of course, you add your modifier (which might be negative) based on your attributes and connections, and there might also be situational penalties to make it harder. The GM might also require a minimum level of success to achieve what you want, such as saying that the security system is top of the line so you have to get at least a strong success.

There are moves in all the playbooks but there is also a list of Common Moves that everyone can do. Assault (based on Strange) is your standard attack action and Schmooze (based on Charm) is your standard social roll. There isn’t really a defense roll (to keep your secrets or avoid being hit) you just have to modify the other person’s roll. Avoid (based on Bottom) is stealthing around, Block (based on Top) is taking a hit for someone, Lore (based on Down) is knowledge checks, Reveal (based on your a connection and requiring Future points) pulls out the perfect item, and Scope (based on Up) is insight and perception rolled together.

Image © Sanguine Productions Ltd. In addition there are Support Moves which allow you to help out others. Inspiration (based on a connection) can boost another player character’s roll after the fact, Prepare (based on whatever makes sense) lets you buff someone’s roll before they try it, and Order (based on your connection and requiring you move a Future point to History) let’s you direct your NPC companions or allies around.

One really cool thing is that there are tactical mechanics with all of these rolls, affecting subsequent and preceding rolls. For example, when you use Assault and you get a strong success then you get +3 to Assault if you do that next. Likewise, when you Scope a situation or person you ask a question of the GM and then gain +1 to your next action if it’s based on the answer.

Playbooks There is just so much in these playbooks that I can’t shoehorn it into a review with the rest of the book. That means you can look forward to next time! Check out Farflung if this review strikes your fancy and if you get itthere will still be something for you next time since you can focus on my analysis of each playbook. Let me know in the comments if you have further questions about the game or if you already have Farflung and want to share admiration, criticism, or confusion!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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