DEATH IN SPACE RPG, the new RPG from Free League Publishing

DEATH IN SPACE RPG, the new RPG from Free League Publishing


Yesterday the Swedish publishing house Free League Publishing and the Swedish forge of minds Stockholm Kartell, game and art design studio that gave life to the famous role-playing game MÖRK BORG, of an editorial partnership for the publication of the sci-fi RPG DEATH IN SPACE RPG, which will be released in stores on April 26, 2022.

DEATH IN SPACE RPG is an RPG of adventure and uncertain travel in the dark of space, where the void whispers to the unfortunate and imbues the bodies of travelers with strange powers. It is a game in which participants will play the crew of a spacecraft or space station, their only sanctuary in a dangerous universe. It is a game where you will have to survive in an abandoned border system where resources are scarce and competition is fierce.

Players will face power struggles and build reputations for their crew, salvaging and stealing to survive in a ruthless universe. And above all, they will have to do everything possible to get the next job, their life will depend on it.


In DEATH IN SPACE RPG, players play a disorganized group of hard-working explorers and workers hoping for a great result. Their only hope of survival is to accept whatever contract they can find, sometimes having to place their fate in the hands of their enemies.

The default setting is the war-torn Tenebris system, a system of planets and objects that revolve around the star Tenebris, in fact. It is a star system ravaged by wars and conflicts, in which the extraction of precious gems, fueled by greed, has started a conflict that has left the system in pieces.

The basic manual will contain everything you need to get started playing :

Lightweight rules, designed to be easy to use and quick to learn A system to quickly generate player characters and their spaceship or space station More than 60 different modules to customize your spaceship or station space An introduction to the Tenebris system, its main locations and its history A system for repairs, in which spare parts are collected to repair things 20 cosmic mutations representing physical manifestations of vacuum A system for comparison and spacecraft boarding An introductory scenario to kick-start your campaign Over 40 environmentally rich tables and generators

In addition, there is an official soundtrack for the game, available on all major streaming services. The soundtrack consists of 90 minutes of atmospheric music that brings the themes present in the game to life. There is also an online character generator: the DEATH-BBS, which allows you to generate characters for the game in no time, with all the flavor of the main manual and reachable at this link.

Grimdark Space Survival RPG Death in Space Is Ready for Planetfall

Following a successful Kickstarter, the Death In Space tabletop roleplaying game is finally on its way. Free League announced a publishing partnership with Stockholm Kartell, aiming to bring Death in Space to a global audience. The PDF is available to purchase and the full physical game will be sent out in late April.

The world of Death in Space is a gritty future that is less space opera and more space survival. As you and your crew venture into the dark void of the unregulated universe, you have an opportunity to win big or lose everything. This game follows in the footsteps of work like Tuesday Night Games’ Mothership and even Free League’s own Alien RPG. There’s a horror element inherent in the premise that makes the idea of being trapped on a ship feel cosy compared to the unknown that surrounds you.

A lot of the tension in Death in Space will be based on salvaging, stealing, and building up your crew’s reputation within the war-torn Tenebris system. As a group of blue-collar wreckers rather than rebels or a military outfit, the crew is just trying to pull out enough copper to last until their next job. There’s also the added complication of the void that is constantly surrounding you — and, as voids tend to do, is perhaps changing you… mutating you one bad job at a time.

Free League is publishing and distributing this book through its Workshops arm–a sub-label for independently designed games. Death in Space was created by Christian Plogfors and Carl Niblaeus of Stockholm Kartell. Other works by the authors include Into the Jungle (Plogfors) and Through the Gate (Niblaeus), both published by Stockholm Cartel.

I’m a sucker for these kind of trapped-in-an-unending-universe games. I’ve read through and admired Soul Muppet’s retro-futurist space western, Orbital Blues, and I’ve played a couple rounds of Mousehole Presses’ Orbital, which both take on different aspects of a trapped-in-the-future scenario. Death in Space seems to set up the kind of classic space heists and adventures popularised in media like Cowboy Bebop, Space Sweepers, Firefly, and parts of the Riddick universe. (Cited inspirations include films such as Prospect, Outland, 2001: A Space Odyssey, Monsters, Firefly, Arrival, Blade Runner, and Titan AE.)

The core rule book includes lightweight rules and easy character creation in addition to over 60 different modules, making Death in Space a very quick setup. After creating your character and your team’s hub, you’re ready to go. I’m a big fan of accessible game additions, and the online character generator for Death in Space is a perfect example of how to create easy to understand player aids. There’s also a soundtrack, which is, frankly, always a wonderful bit of flavour to add to your gaming table.

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