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Fading Suns – humanity’s fate in the sixth millennium

Fading Suns – humanity’s fate in the sixth millennium

Monday 30 January 2017
In January 2017 we presented the Fading Suns Bundle, featuring the 2014 Revised Edition of Holistic Design’s far-future science-fiction RPG of humanity’s fate among the darkening stars of the sixth millennium. Humans reached the stars long ago, building a Republic of high technology and universal emancipation — and then squandered it, fought over it, and finally lost it. A new Dark Age has descended on humanity, for the greatest of civilizations has fallen and even the stars die. Now feudal lords rules the Known Worlds, vying for power with fanatic priests and scheming guilds. Nobles, priests, knights — starships, psychics, aliens — lost worlds and ancient artifacts — all these await you in Fading Suns.

Given its feudal galactic empire and dark-age atmosphere, some call the Fading Suns setting “the love-child of Warhammer 40,000 and Dune,” but designers Bill Bridges and Andrew Greenberg cite influences like Gene Wolfe’s Book of the New Sun, Hyperion by Dan Simmons, Asimov’s Foundation stories, Clark Ashton Smith, Doc Smith, and (as Bridges put it) “many readings in religion and metaphysics, especially the work of Jung and Alfred North Whitehead.” It’s a medieval passion play, with the Universal Church of the Celestial Sun (modeled on the historical Byzantine Orthodox Church) immersed in cosmically significant intrigues against the five major Noble Houses and the guilds of the Merchants League. Readers today may be reminded of George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire, though the first edition of Fading Suns (1996) was published the same year as A Game of Thrones.

In its glory days of the 1990s, Bridges and Greenberg published Fading Suns through their own company, Holistic Design. Later they licensed the game to RedBrick Enterprises, then FASA Games. In November 2016 the German gaming company Ulisses Spiele GmbH took over the Fading Suns RPG line. The new company has big plans — starting with this new Bundle of Holding offer, presenting the Fading Suns Revised Edition Player’s and Game Master’s Guides (originally published by FASA Games in 2014 and 2013) and the most useful and best-regarded supplements from across all editions. This bargain-priced collection gives you everything you need for a complete campaign of drama and intrigue across the Known Worlds.

There were four titles in our Starter Collection (retail value $65) presented as DRM-free .PDF ebooks, including the two-volume Fading Suns Revised Edition rulebook (FASA Games, 2014) — comprising the Player’s Guide (retail price $20) and Game Master’s Guide (retail $20) — as well as the setting supplement Worlds of the Realm (retail $13) and Star Crusade (retail $12), a vast campaign in alien space.

Those who paid more than the threshold (average) price also got our entire Bonus Collection with six more titles (worth an additional $58):
  • Lords & Priests (retail $13): One of the most highly regarded Fading Suns supplements, this sourcebook details the Noble Houses and the Universal Church of the Celestial Sun.
  • Merchants of the Jumpweb (retail $10): The third great power center in the Known Worlds, the guilds of the Merchant League.
  • Byzantium Secundus (retail $9): Visit the capital world, where incessant feudal politics threaten to destroy humanity’s empire.
  • Weird Places (retail $6): Seven hotspots in the Known Worlds.
  • Into the Dark (retail $10): Five dramas (adventures) that take Questing Knights into the unknown Dark, nemesis of the Empyrean Light.
  • Star Crusade 2 – Lost Worlds (retail $10): Sixteen new worlds for the Star Crusade campaign in this offer’s Starter Collection.
That’s a US$123 value for a price you couldn’t hope to get from the alien merchants in the Gund Zone at the Istakhr Market. (And why would you go there anyway? The al-Maliks will just try to sell you bootleg weaponry.) Ten percent of each purchase (after gateway fees) was split evenly between the two charities chosen by Fading Suns publisher Ulisses Spiele: Doctors Without Borders and Bärenherz, a local home for terminally ill children in Wiesbaden, Germany.