FAITH: The Sci-fi RPG Interview

FAITH: The Sci-fi RPG Interview
Burning Games are a new games company and have just hit Kickstarter with their first science fiction RPG FAITH. Regular readers will know I don’t get much chance to play roleplaying games these days but when I saw the fantastic artwork that FAITH was showing I just had to know more so had a nice chat with Carlos from Burning Man about FAITH the game and philosophy.

Before we begin, let’s have some introductions, who are you and do you like games?
We are Burning Games, a UK company founded by four friends from the north of Spain. We have been playing games together since we were kids, and we started designing them shortly after.
Faith, the sci-fi RPG is about to hit Kickstarter, so what is Faith?
Faith is a science fiction RPG that uses cards instead of dice. The powerful Corvo and the might Iz’kal fight a cold war while humanity struggles to survive, dominated by the Corvo in a universe interconnected by wormholes.
Surely an RPG is just a PDF to send to people, why the need for Kickstarter?
In fact, we offer our ruleset and an introduction to the setting as a free pdf download in our website. However, the Faith core set is much more than that. The game uses many cards and components to ease the immersion of the players in the story, putting many illustrations in front of them. Additionally, many of these cards contain relevant information to the game that will keep you away from the rulebook and on character.
FAITH: The Sci-fi RPG character cards

There are a lot of RPGs on the market at the moment, what makes Faith stand out, what makes it unique?
The system is completely unique, allowing characters to “manage their luck”, choosing when to play their low cards and risk failure and when to shine while playing their best cards. The setting is also unique, with new species and a fresh take on Gods as moral compasses.
So how does the card-based system work?
Characters have 6 attributes ranging from 1 to 3 that represent the inherent capabilities of the characters (Mind, Constitution, Dexterity, Faith…) and 12 skills ranging from 0 to 9 that represent the learned abilities (Ballistic, Hacking, Athletic, Initiative…). When they perform an action it has a base value equal to the skill they are using, and they can play up to as many cards as the attribute more closely related to that action. In an opposed action, whoever gets the highest value succeeds and the opponent fails, and unopposed actions succeed with a value of 1 or higher. The cards are always played from each player’s hand of seven cards, so they can choose which cards they want to play to an extent.
Gods as moral compass? Is this a game mechanic or something in the setting?
It is both a game mechanic and part of the setting. Characters can get divine rewards that will allow them to perform extraordinary tasks breaking the laws of physics, but only if they behave following the strict moral code of a God. There are five different gods with different moralities, and characters are free to behave however they want, but it is definitely useful to follow a moral path.

In the setting, the Gods in a constant struggle to control the fate of the universe. However, they are not material beings and they can only affect reality through their believers, thus turning their divine conflicts into full on wars between religions.
FAITH: The Sci-fi RPG characters

You’ve teased us with some amazing artwork for Faith, with hi tech science fiction and crazy aliens, what was the inspiration behind the setting?
The person in charge of designing the look of the species and their gear has been the amazingly talented artist Milan Nikolic. We drew inspiration for the universe of the game from ancient and modern history, as those are topics that fascinate us. And even more importantly, real science. We believe the amazing achievements that are being reached right now are only a sneak peek into the future.

I’m sensing there is some deeper philosophical theme behind Faith, care to elaborate?
We want to encourage players to develop their characters morally. The setting has been designed so players can take part in conflicts between civilisations with very different values, or choose sides in the internal conflicts of each society. We want players to face moral decisions and empathize with their characters on a deep level.
There has obviously been a lot of effort put into the visual side of the game, which is odd for a game that mostly happens in players’ imaginations, was this a conscious decision and do you plan on using the work in other types of games?
Yes it was. Sci-fi RPGs are usually the most difficult to imagine, and since our setting is not another take on an already known universe like Star Wars, we decided to put as much art on the table and in front of the table as we could. We love those beautifully illustrated old school RPGs, but we already know how to play them so the books stay closed in the shelf and we don’t get to see the gorgeous illustrations. We wanted to change that.

We definitely plan on doing this again, especially if the Kickstarter is successful. We already have another RPG on the back-burner using the same system in a different setting, and we also plan on making boardgames in the near future.
FAITH: The Sci-fi RPG snow attack cardFAITH: The Sci-fi RPG whale card

I’m mainly a board game player so you’ve piqued my interest there, are you considering board games using similar mechanics to the RPG or is this something completely different?
It will all come down to how well the system is received, but we have a few ideas to develop a board game using the same card mechanic. We will cross that bridge when we get to it as we see the acceptance of Faith.
If people want to know more about Faith and Burning Games where can they go?
You can learn more about Faith at http://faith.burning-games.com
To stay tuned and receive all the updates you can join our mailing list, follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook and other social media.
To learn more about Burning Games you can visit http://www.burning-games.com

FAITH: The Sci-fi RPG is on Kickstarter now and is looking for £30,000.

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