A downloadable game

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Pale Dot is a collaborative storytelling game for 2-5 players about a crew of non-human cosmonauts leaving their planet to explore a strange solar system, finding threads to unravel the unknown along the way. It is fantastical, surreal, and perhaps very unlike humanity’s own ventures in space exploration. Though one thing is universal: leaving home is terrifying, dangerous, humbling, and a catalyst for changing one’s perspective. 

Pale Dot is a GM-less game where players work together to create an alien setting and subsequently envelop it in cosmic mystery, embodying cosmonauts called Dustlings in addition to one of 5 setting elements: 

  • The Cosmic Wilderness (strange creatures and environments)
  • The Wondrous Endeavor (the space program and its tech)
  • The Forgotten Ones (the ancient visitors)
  • The Tides of Uncertainty (the mysterious forces)
  • The Omnipresent Danger (exactly what it sounds like)

During their journey they will be able to travel to 24 different locations within their solar system, each with several prompts for improvisational scenes. Each player will also have to manage the integrity of their cosmonaut and their shared ship while avoiding space's many perils. It's mechanically inspired by Fall of Magic by Ross Cowman and Dream Askew by Avery Alder.

There is an accompanying soundtrack that can be used to set vibes:

https://devindecibel.bandcamp.com/album/pale-dot-ost

(The OST currently only has 3 songs but more are in development and will be released soon.)

The PDF is 26 full color pages with art by Si Sweetman, Gannon Reedy, and Devin Nelson.

Inspirations: Outer Wilds, No Man’s Sky, Annihilation/The Southern Reach Trilogy, Carl Sagan, staring into the night sky and feeling awe and/or existential dread.

StatusReleased
CategoryPhysical game
Rating
Rated 5.0 out of 5 stars
(2 total ratings)
Authordevindecibel
GenreAdventure
TagsAliens, GM-Less, Multiplayer, Sci-fi, Space, Surreal, Tabletop role-playing game
Average sessionA few seconds

Purchase

Buy Now$6.00 USD or more

In order to download this game you must purchase it at or above the minimum price of $6 USD. You will get access to the following files:

Pale Dot 1.0.pdf 4 MB

Comments

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Oh I think I'm in love with this game. I absolutely HAVE to find a chance to play it soon. I had a little trouble keeping track of the gameplay loop on first reading but I think it's presented clearly enough for me to untangle it and explain it to other players. And god, the vibes are stellar.

Thank you so much! If it helps the basic loop is:

1. Intro stuff (collaboratively create the setting, decide on the mission/mission target, choose setting elements, create cosmonauts, create the ship)

2. Launch scene + choose the first cosmic object , provoke the omnipresent danger and expend a ship feature to overcome it.

3. The person in charge of the setting element associated with the first cosmic object gives first impressions and then players set scenes in turn order. Any player can be involved in a scene. Each prompt will have an associated setting element and the person in charge of it can influence the scene with their element to gain a token. At any point a token can be spent to activate its effect. When it feels appropriate, the player in charge of the current scene can provoke the omnipresent danger to acquire a key or resource. The cosmonauts will have to expend a number of traits to overcome the danger.

4. Whenever they feel like it the cosmonauts move to the next cosmic object by provoking the omnipresent danger and expending a ship feature to overcome it. Rinse and repeat at the next cosmic object.

5. When the cosmonauts have a number of keys equal to the mission target, they can choose to start the Mission Complete sequence.

(You are also free to ignore rules at your leisure and just go with vibes)