Death in Space RPG: interview with Christian Plogfors and Carl Niblaeus, authors

Death in Space RPG: interview with Christian Plogfors and Carl Niblaeus, authors

Death in Space RPG

The release of the sci-fi and apocalyptic RPG Death in Space RPG was a very pleasant novelty in the panorama of OSR products, so much so that it immediately conquered a large slice of players. For this reason, we decided to contact the authors of this lean but profound role-playing game to prepare an interview to get to know more in depth the background that led to the creation of Death in Space RPG.

Announcement so let's wait and see what they answered.

Death in Space RPG, the interview

Hi Christian, hi Carl, nice to meet you and thank you for your time! Please tell us something about yourself, when did you approach the world of role-playing games? And what prompted you to pursue a career as a game author?

Christian: I started playing a Lord of the Rings RPG with a player and a GM when I was ten. I loved making tables and maps for tabletop RPGs. Then I had a long hiatus from RPGs, after getting my 8-bit Nintendo and pursuing the dream of becoming a musician. About twelve years ago we started playing again, and I got that nice magical feeling again from when I was young and I created my own games and tables. It's easy to fall in love with the freedom to write and create your own world to disappear into.| ); }

We know that you too are members of Stockholm Kartell, the game and art design studio that is the basis of other great products such as MÖRK BORG and the future CY_BORG. Let us know more about this editorial reality…

We have just published a rather comprehensive review on Death in Space RPG, but we want to take advantage of the presence of its authors, so, explain to us, what is Death in Space RPG?

Christian & Carl: Death in Space RPG is a science fiction game with light rules, set in a destroyed, war-torn star system. Inspiration comes from gritty science fiction films like Outland and Prospect. The technology is broken and dirty. Nothing is new. And in the background, some people whisper that civilization is at an end and that the universe is ending, slowly contracting into nothingness.

What prompted you to create Death in Space RPG? And what were your main sources of inspiration?

One of the main components of the setting behind the game is the strong sense of impending apocalypse, which pervades every page of the manual. You have associated the cosmological theory of the Big Crunch with it, what pushed you in that direction?

Carl: I've always been fascinated by cosmology and the dynamics of our universe. It's very liberating, though, to take that knowledge and leave the rigors of scientific research and get creative with it in an RPG environment, simply by going where your imagination takes you.

Christian: I am fascinated by how a definitive deadline affects people and what you think is most important when you know there is an end to everything. And what's more definitive than a Big Crunch, apart from death perhaps?

Still talking about the setting, if possible, tell us a little more about the Void (the Void ed.) ...

Christian & Carl: The Void is something we cannot understand. Whispers beyond what you can hear, shadows beyond what you can see. In recent times, it has been affecting people both physically and mentally. The Void is neither bad nor good. It simply "is".

The game system of Death in Space RPG is really very light and simple. Despite this, it still shows a depth that is difficult to find even in RPGs with manuals of hundreds and hundreds of pages. The item recycling and repair system, for example, is extremely light and elegant, which is not so easy to find in other products. What can you tell us about it?

Christian & Carl: We both prefer light, minimalist games. With less attention to the rules, we believe we can play "faster", with more attention to fiction and history. Finding a simple system that still feels deep is very difficult and we have discussed and tested most of the different rules extensively to find mechanics that fit well with the rest of the system and support and introduce the game's setting.

This also applies to the repair system, where our idea is a simple game of collecting and spending resources, which is a bit of a "hindrance", to remind you that repairing broken things is a part important to the setting, but still simple enough not to distract attention from the rest of the game.

What were the biggest challenges you faced in developing Death in Space RPG?

Christian & Carl: Making sure the paper book looked like what we wanted. Knowing when to stop reviewing rules and content, trusting that you are happy with the result and can send it to the press. Coordinating everything related to the Kickstarter campaign.

The names of Pelle Nillson and Johan Nohr, authors of MÖRK BORG, also stand out in the awards. To what extent were they part of the Death in Space RPG development project?

Christian & Carl: Pelle wrote the text for the dissemination of cults and factions in the Tenebris system, which we are really happy to have in the book. Johan added his magic touch to many of the illustrations in the book.

The graphic and artistic side of Death in Space RPG is clean and essential, but absolutely effective in restoring to the reader those sensations of silence, emptiness and solitude that the vastness of the cosmos brings to mind . Talk to us about this aspect, what were the choices behind this development?

Christian & Carl: We wanted something that was cold, dark and empty but with splashes of color. Something that conveys the vastness of space and being alone, with some splashes of color that can be a symbol for you and your crew, alone in a dying world. And we wanted to keep it rigorous, like old computer manuals written on typewriters.

Throughout the book the symbol of the cross recurs constantly, can you tell us about this choice? What does that symbol mean to you?

Christian & Carl: It is inspired by the crosshair that can be seen in some old NASA images and similar technical photos. The crosses represent the bilateral equilibrium of the void and is a symbol of the game.

A very prolific community has grown up around MÖRK BORG, has produced a significant amount of material for the game and has been strongly supported by Stockholm Kartell. Will it be the same for Death in Space RPG? Are you planning to release supplements and zines for this game?

Christian and Carl: We are both extremely impressed with the active MÖRK BORG community and can only hope we can achieve something similar for Death in Space RPG. We created the game as a platform for the things we want to release, and we both plan to get material to press, focusing on things that are useful at the table. Adventure modules, tables to generate content that you can use in your campaign and things like that.

Do you already have new projects in the pipeline? Can you give us some preview information?

Christian & Carl: We have some smaller modules in preparation, in a jungle setting. Rusty cars and engine oil fumes in a sweltering tropical heat, with endless tunnels in the darkness below.

Thanks again guys for your time and your friendliness.

Christian & Carl: Thank you for your interest!

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