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As I gushed in another thread, I'm going to be at PAX East on the weekend of the 26th with Luke Crane and John Tornotlukin at the Compleat Strategist booth, demoing our games and, when possible, rocking out.
The original Human Contact book was a modest success for me, with more orders than I had books, but not that many books printed. I wanted to make more, but that was a special thing I did for Dreamation. PAX is a big fun experiment for me, but Dreamation is sort of home. I wanted it to have a special thing.
So I made a new thing. This edition is called Alone. It's about what happens when the Academy does a "covert ops" kind of insertion, rather than everyone rolling down the space elevator and waving like big damn heroes that are going to save the world.
There's a reason that the starship crew doesn't want to do that. There's a war, or perhaps a xenophobic regime. So they need to do things real quiet-like.
On the one hand, you take three Academics, put them in a tiny, high-G landing craft, and drop them onto the planet (a two-month process) as the starship whizzes by, silent as it can, at a fifth the speed of light. Those three guys land and infiltrate the society: gaining trust, sharing technologies, manipulating politics, starting religions. They're probably looking forward to everyone coming back.
On the other hand, there are still a hundred or so Academics on the starship. Because they took the long route, they can't get back here for seven to eight years in addition to their 2.5 year trip. Much of that time will be spent almost a light year away. That's a lot of lag time. That's a lot of time for a hundred people to be locked in a building together, incommunicado, with nothing but year-old missives from the envoy team to entertain them.
Those envoys had better do a good job. Cuz that crew is going to want to get off that ship so bad.
I'm taking pre-orders this time to help me pay for my trip. There's some new setting material here, some new rules, and new illustrations. I'll be publishing a summary of the Dreamation edition's rules so Alone readers can get up to speed, but I won't be fully republishing that material until the complete, stand-alone version of the game is done in a year or so.
If you can't make it to Pax East (which promises to be a lot of fun) but you'd like a copy anyway, PayPal $10 plus $4 s&h in the US, or $6 s&h elsewhere, to firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll get your copy out just as soon as I can, probably within the week after PAX.
(As before, I reserve the right to change the cover illustration at my whim!)