RPG project completed, world caffeine shortage averted

My name is Bennie Martinali, and I have been working on an RPG book for the past several months.

This project started off as a homebrew campaign that has been running for well over a year now. Initially I wrote a miniature reference document for my players, but as I added more and more content to it and rebalanced some of the rules, I decided to expand it into a commercial product. Whether or not this proves to be a wise business decision remains to be seen, but it was definitely a labor of love.

The first draft was completed in early September, but has been undergoing constant change since then. The intent is to produce a printable version if there is demand.


Between Chains and Starlight – by Bennie Martinali
Game System
The rules in this book are written to be compatible with The Pathfinder Roleplaying Game and similar systems. The book’s contents are intended to be modular. The rules for starships and vehicles are written to be usable separate from the setting, and the ‘creatures’ can be inserted into any compatible campaign.

Magic and technology combine in a dark scifi setting. Against a backdrop of evil empires dominating known space, characters fight cyber-slavery, spaceborne undead, or merely to survive. This book delves into a setting with both fantasy and science fiction elements. The primary villains are intended to be toe-curlingly evil, though not unbeatable. Class struggle is an important theme, and the implications of advanced technology on socioeconomic inequality are a factor shaping the setting and left open for exploration by GMs looking to continue their adventures further. In this setting it is assumed that, on the tactical level, magic will trump technology by virtue of not being limited by the known laws of physics. Strategically, technology will trump magic through mass production and brute force. In this universe, technology and magic can interact; they are not polar opposites by any means.

The setting contains extremely dark elements, especially an evil empire, which dominates the setting as an ever-present, extremely vile and ruthless antagonist. There are more light-hearted elements, usually regarding the interactions between magic and technology. Short vignettes provide snapshots of the setting from characters’ point of view.

For Characters
Optional rules are presented where the number of Feats and Skills required for the effective use of technology is drastically reduced. This is to allow characters a degree of flexibility as they need to balance both their traditional fantasy abilities and their use of technology. Equipment lists for technology-based armor, tools, and weaponry are included. The technology can be considered futuristic, but not particularly advanced by modern science fiction standards. The equipment lists are kept to a minimum, uniqueness of item function being required to warrant distinct entries. (GMs can create further enhancements and add additional generic items as they see fit.) The use of technology-related skills is heavily expanded, and rules are included for the construction of both regular and enchantable personal items, ships, and vehicles. The technology skills are also a key factor in the new ship and vehicle combat rules. 18 new technology-related spells are included.

Creatures, especially the Cyborg Slaves and Living Machines, are a key aspect of the book and setting. Enemies for personal combat are written to be compatible with The Pathfinder Roleplaying Game and similar systems. New creatures include 10 cyborg types (not including variants), 10 types of Living Machines (a new creature type), and space-dwelling undead, including spaceborne vampire creatures and skeletal ship crews. Challenge ratings of creatures go from 1 to 24, the majority of them falling between 3 and 10.

Starships and Vehicles
Starship and vehicle logistics, operation, and combat are heavily modified from existing Open Game Content to allow more intuitive ship customization, a wider range of roles for characters, combat between ships and vehicles, and boarding actions during battles. Aside from faction-specific ships, the starship and vehicle rules are universal, customizable, and can be used separately from the setting.

Four missions are included, three short, one more lengthy. The missions are geared for groups of characters between level 6 and 9. Requirements vary between missions, but in general characters will need proficiency with technology, spellcasters, and wilderness/wasteland survival skills. They take place at specific points in the setting and include sixteen color maps and one grayscale map. Twelve of the maps are for combat, five are overland maps, and there is one additional color overland map and one color star system map. The missions include vehicle and ship combat though personal combat remains the focus. There are also lists of random encounters with groups of enemies, with short descriptions of enemy goals and methods. It should be noted that the maps included in the missions are not always intended to be played as traditional ‘dungeons’ where the enemies remain in their rooms until the adventuring party finds them. Where possible, the enemies are described with at least a basic plan or course of action, including things like ambushing, retreating, and counter-attacking. The intent is for the maps to be used in a more dynamic manner; as combat areas than static mazes to be cleared. In some of the missions, player characters may start off with a map of the area, or with a sensor array that allows them to scan an area ahead of time – in these cases exploration itself is not a factor, the focus being reaching an objective. Encounters are usually not set to occur at a specific location, nor with specific numbers of enemies; the intent is to allow combat scenarios to develop slightly more organically.

Interior art includes 35 color illustrations, 18 color maps, and 1 greyscale map

Pages in ebook: 228. Breakdown:
2 cover pages (front, back)
2 blank pages (after front cover, before back cover)
1 credits page
1 OGL page
1 ‘About This Book’ page
1 page listing OGC used
220 content pages

Preview pictures: All content is © Benjamin Martinali


This page is an excerpt from the description of a sample continent on a ‘traditional’ fantasy world, which is one of the two ‘factions’ the game focusses on. This world is not actually united – a hastily and desperately organized joint military defends the planet from invasion, but its countries remain at odds planetside.


This page is from the ‘creatures’ chapter. This particular ‘creature’ is a cybernetic security system that patrols corridors of starships and stations.


The last sample page is part of the description of a new template. If it is possible to connect a nervous system to a machine, that allows for more uses than merely augmenting creatures with technology. In this case, the technology can be used as an intermediary between two different organic components; a human brain and a dragon body.

Questions, comments, all feedback is appreciated


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