Games I’m excited about: Android – Shadow of the Beanstalk

Android: Shadow of the Beanstalk is a new and upcoming setting for FFG’s Genesys Roleplaying Game. Like Realms of Terrinoth it’s based on one of FFG’s preexisting IPs. While RoT was based on the fantasy setting explored in games like Runebound, Descent, or Runewars, this time we’ll get to visit the world of Android, and Android: Netrunner. It’s a near-future science fiction roleplaying game with cyberpunk and transhumanistic elements. And it’s the setting I’ve been waiting for ages now.

nad06_mainA while back they already released a coffee table book called The Worlds of Android, which gave an extensive overview of the setting, but lacked any game rules. I guess you could probably run a game set into the Android universe with the rules in the Genesys corebook alone, but more material is always welcome.

When FFG first announced Genesys many fans were hoping for an Android setting and indeed, one of the included example settings in the final book was in fact Android. The sample settings included in the core rulebook were of course just teasers. So what is the Android setting all about? Let me quote FFG’s product page:

In the not so-distant future, humanity has spread across the solar system, unlocked the frontiers of cyberspace, and created millions of intelligent androids in its own image. At the heart of this progress stands a ladder leading to the riches of the stars—the massive space elevator called the Beanstalk. And at its base sprawls the biggest, meanest, and most exciting city on Earth: New Angeles.

gns04_box_leftThe sourcebook’s 256 pages will include rules on character creation, new equipment and vehicles, game master advice, adversaries, and any information needed to successfully run a game set in New Angeles, the future Earth, or the solar system.

So why am I so excited about this? I love cyberpunk settings. Unfortunately most settings are deeply tied to the 1980s and often have a retro feel to them. This might have a certain charm, but sometimes you are looking for a more modern feel. Android definitely delivers on that front. I am also glad FFG decided to use their Genesys rules for an Android games. It’s easy to learn, simple and fast to run, but it has still enough depth for a long-time campaign.

What are your thoughts on Shadow of the Beanstalk? What other setting teased in the Genesys core rulebook are you excited about? Please share your thoughts below.

Michael Wolf is a German games designer and enthusiast best known for his English language role-playing games blog, Stargazer's World, and for creating the free rules-light medieval fantasy adventure game Warrior, Rogue & Mage. He has also worked as an English translator on the German-language Dungeonslayers role-playing game and was part of its editorial team. In addition to his work on Warrior, Rogue & Mage and Dungeonslayers, he has created several self-published games and also performed layout services and published other independent role-playing games such as A Wanderer's Romance, Badass, and the Wyrm System derivative Resolute, Adventurer & Genius, all released through his imprint Stargazer Games. Professionally, he works as a video technician and information technologies specialist. Stargazer's World was started by Michael in August 2008.

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