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Published by legacyboss
Beta Test RPG
Beta Test RPG

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Published by: legacyboss on Mar 07, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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DreadsandsBy: Troy M. CostisickPowered by the G.A.M.E SystemCirca: 700 years after the Great BurnLocation: The city of Haarduune, planet HeartheProtagonists: Citizens on the edge of destruction
What this Game is About:
This game is about changing the world. It’s about fighting for something you believe in andcare about and either saving it or seeing it destroyed. In this game, the characters are not droppedinto a gigantic setting full of places and enemies the players will never face. Every facet of this gameis there to be challenged or supported by the players during play. You want to overthrow the Queen?Go for it. You want to stabilize the social situation of the city? You can. Want to discover thesecrets of the ancient places of the world? That’s totally within your grasp. The setting of this gameis there to get torn apart and rebuilt by the players according to their vision for it. The GM (GameMaster) is liberated to use anything mentioned in the setting section or serve up any NPC to theplayers as a challenge. Regard nothing as sacrosanct in this game. Playing Dreadsands meanschallenging yourself to find something you like or don’t like and making it better. Canon is a deadword here.
What the Characters Do:
Characters in Dreadsands are immediately put into a dangerous situation. The world is dying.Every year the desert planet gets hotter and hotter. Resources are scarce and society is cracked. Theruler of what some think is the last city on the planet is an absolute tyrant. She controls every aspectof life in sprawling metropolis of Haarduune. But perhaps if she wasn’t, society could fall into utterchaos. The planet of Hearthe is a brutal place to live. The people of the city are pulled in twodirections: support the established powers and live a grueling life, or fight to change the stringentsocietal codes no one likes and risk losing everything.
2In this swirling mass of conflict and contention, the player-characters will try to stay alivewhile being suspected by both sides as being a member of the other. Life is not precious inHaarduune. Every soul is seen as another hungry mouth to feed or parched throat to quench. A lifeof violence is the only choice a citizen of the great desert city has. There is no room for apeacemaker.Each character has a special destiny. It is a goal of some kind that will forever change theface of Hearthe, for better or worse. Characters charge towards their destinies chosen by their playersas they try to make their way through the merciless lands of Hearthe.
What the Players Do:
Players in Dreadsands will select a Faction for their character as the very last step of theCharacter Generation process. This Faction will put them in league with the usurpers in the city, pitthem against the forces that would disrupt the normal social order, or place them in a position to playboth sides against each other. Unfortunately, players cannot sit the fence in this game. There is noseeking one’s own fortune in Haarduune. There is only treachery, loyalty, or deceit. Regardless,there is always violence.As you guide your character through the world of Hearthe, you will drive toward yourcharacter’s Destiny. Each night you will put his or her future on the line and advance the story youwant to tell, and you’ll help your friends while they do the same. Sometimes it will mean takingcontrol of the game and adding people, places, and things to the fiction in ways normally reserved forthe GM. Destiny Moments are the key aspects of this game where you are empowered to finally beable to achieve the things you always wanted to in a RPG. Your brutality, your compassion, yourgreatness and your weakness will be on full display.
The Situation
Hearthe is a planet covered in red sand. Fresh water is extremely scarce and the wells thatserve the city are guarded heavily. The city is ruled by a merciless Lich-Queen whose magicalpowers are unrivaled save by her master. Her agents are everywhere and ruthless when they catch a
3traitor. Yet there are many willing to give their lives to overthrow her and to bring justice to theirpeople. The situation inside the city is barbaric. No one is trusted, and freedom is just a dream.Outside the city, the desert is roamed by ravenous creatures of unimaginable cunning andcruelty. The once busy trade routes have fallen silent as the other cities either vanished or wereabandoned. Haarduune is cut off and stands alone against the encroaching sands. Every day couldbe her last. Hope is something only whispered about and never given more than a fleeting thoughtfor fear what little of it is left will shatter into a thousand pieces and be scattered by the scorchingdesert winds.
What You Need in Order to Play
You will need several supplies before you start playing Dreadsands. First, you will needcopies of the character record sheets located at the end of this book. I recommend making morecopies than you think you might need. I have found that it’s always handy to have a few extra lyingaround. Likewise, copies of the NPC Record Sheets will probably be convenient to have. Second,you and your friends will need a fairly large quantity of polyhedral dice. These can be picked up inhobby and game stores. I’ve also found them at teacher stores. I recommend having at least fivefour-sided, six-sided, eight-sided, ten-sided, and twelve-sided dice (d4, d6, d8, d10, and d12).Thanks to modern technology, there are many electronic dice rollers that you could use in lieu of thereal thing. Using a dice roller on your smart phone, tablet computer, or laptop could save you somehandling time as you play. This game does not require the use of maps or miniatures, but if you andyour group find props like these or others useful for inspiration during play, by all means bring themtoo! Finally, I recommend making a copy of the advancement tables for each Trade and Species thatare at the end of this book. Your fellow players may find it easier to reference them as loose sheetsrather than flip through the pages of this book during play.
Before going any further, I want to thank several people who directly and indirectlycontributed to this project. First, I want to thank the following: Andy Kitkowski, David Wendt,James Nostack, Michael O’Sullivan, Judd Karlman, Daniel Solis, Colin Federicks, Aaron Brown,and all the others at Story Games (www.story-games.com) who participated in the brainstormingproject that led to this game. I’d like to thank Ron Edwards for running his Ronnies contest in 2005and 2011. Through these contests I broke many of the design chains that held me back. Jonathan

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