In 1931 Einstein, Tesla, and Ray Armstrong rode the first rocket ship to Mars, where they discovered strange and wondrous alien peoples. The nations of Earth race to send expeditions, embassies, and invading armies across the Solar System. On far-off worlds they discover all manner of alien life, from the stratified caste system of the Martians to the primitive, ape-like Venusians, from the degenerate Ioites and plant-like Ganymedians to the scheming Europans. These planets teeming with life — and danger — are the settings of Rocket Age.
In this cinematic game of planetary romance in the style of Burroughs, Brackett, and Flash Gordon, characters might be archaeologists on Mars, scientists exploring Venus, small time merchants running between the planets, or even members of the elite Rocket Rangers blasting off from one hot spot to another. There are 13 playable intelligent species and sub-species in the Rocket Age core rulebook, with more introduced in Heroes of the Solar System. The sort of game you play is up to you.
Rocket Age is powered by the Vortex System — the same rules that drive Doctor Who: Adventures in Time and Space. It’s a quick and easy system using D6s that encourages fast talking and high adventure. The system is simple enough to pick up in moments: Roll two dice, add them to a skill + stat, and compare the total to a difficulty number. The more you beat it by, the better you did. Throw in Story Points, which allow you to cheat death, introduce your own story elements, create technological gizmos, and grab hold of the adventure with both hands, and the Rocket Age system really encourages the high-stakes pulp action befitting the genre. As before, this revived collection presented almost the entire Rocket Age line, including the Venus and Mars sourcebooks, the Trail of the Scorpion serial, and many smaller episodes (adventures). That’s everything you need for planet-roaming adventure in the far future of 1931.
There were five titles in our Starter Collection (retail value $44):
- Rocket Age core rulebook (retail price $20): Your launchpad to a Solar System of interplanetary adventure. Includes the free introductory adventure Lost City of the Ancients.
- Heroes of the Solar System (retail $15): The Rocket Age player’s guide, with loads of new sophont races, organizations, and options. Beware the Robomen!
- Two short, ready-to-play “episodes” (adventures) in the near and far Solar System: Mind Dunes of the Moon (retail $3) and No Good Deed (retail $3).
- Rocket Racers (retail $3): The heroes go incognito to guard ships racing across the inner Solar System.
- Blood Red Mars (retail $18): The Red Planet location sourcebook, with new locations, enemies, creatures, and a complete adventure.
- Lure of Venus (retail $16.50): The steamy jungles hide mysteries and dangers beneath their thick canopies, from ancient cities to deadly flora and fauna.
- Trail of the Scorpion (retail $15): A thrilling, Solar System-spanning six-episode serial that pits the heroes against the mysterious Red Scorpion crime syndicate.
- Adventures on Mars and Venus (total retail $9): Three short episodes in the inner Solar System — Warlord of the Gravitic Portal (Mars), A Prince’s Ransom (Mars), and Bring ‘Em Back Alive (Venus).
- The Asteroid Belt (retail $3: A location gazeteer about hard-bitten miners.