The player characters are freelance pathfinders, salvage hunting teams, and treasure hunters. They wander around the Consortium gate worlds and the frontier systems of the Edge in their voidjammers, exploring wrecked starships, the ruins of ancient alien cultures, and abandoned metacorporation colonies in hopes of finding lost knowledge and riches.
The characters often form small teams crewing a heavily customized spaceships, commonly known as voidjammers. These versatile spaceships are usually outfitted for salvage hunting and exploration missions in remote alien worlds or forgotten colony worlds filled with threats ranging from space pirates to meteor showers and alien phenomena. Typical voidjammers are small or medium sized refitted military crafts, cargo tugs or space exploration vehicles that can be operated with a small crew.
Salvaging an old ship wreck floating in space might sound like a piece of cake, but more often than not it is anything but easy. Still functional sentinel drones, competing salvage crews, savage marauders, and alien predators are just a few examples of the possible threats a rifter crew might encounter.
Most normal ship crews earn their living by trading, smuggling, collecting salvage, bounty hunting or by doing various odd-jobs. Usually this is enough to keep the crew flying, but it does not really make anyone rich. To find anything of real value, you will need to head into the hyperstorm. The rifters are courageous and crazy enough to defy the dangers of the Lost Expanse in the hopes of finding valuable artifacts or knowledge.
The voidjammer crews are not typically after some easy scrap metal that can barely pay for the fuel and upkeep of their voidjammer. They are after more valuable bounties like lost military intel, influential people surviving in cryo-sleep, alien artifacts, restricted nanoforge blueprints, forgotten technology or rare resources like amatium.
Classes and Archetypes
The rifters have different roles that reflect their innate talents or earlier career. There are five distict Rifter Classes and each of them is separated to further specializations, called Archetypes, which provide the characters with skills and special perks that make them stand out from the others. Each of the classes will unlock certain options for the rifter crew’s own voidjammer ship.
- Aristos – Merchants, nobles and envoys
- Mercs – Commandoes, heavy weapon specialists and snipers
- Nanokinetics – Kinetics, nanohackers and symbiotics
- Rifters – Pilots, explorers and rangers
- Rogues – Inflitrators, bounty hunters and smugglers
- Savage – Salvagers, brawlers and nomads
- Sentinels – Cybernetically augmented crusaders
- Techsavants – Engineers and medics
- Voyants – Biomystics, telepaths and clairvoyants
There are certain crew positions that the voidjammer needs to have. The first one is always the pilot and the second one an engineer. The other crew positions are determined by the voidjammer’s type. For example a refitted patrol craft requires a gunner and an exploratory vessel a sensor’s operator.
Each of the crew positions grant the characters a skill package and a perk related to the rifter crew’s own voidjammer.
For example, who else would know better all the nuts and bolts of the ship than the ship’s own engineer? This will give the ship’s engineer an ability to jury-rig the ship and an advantage when repairing the ship or boosting its performance.
- Pilot – Pilots the ship and acts as the navigator for the hyperjumps.
- Engineer – Takes care of the ships technical systems like reactors, shields and life support.
- Captain – Acts as the crew leader and coordinates the actions of the other crew memebers.
- Gunner – Operates the ships weapon systems.
- Comms Officer – Operates the communication and computer systems and sensors of the ship.
- Science Officer – Analyses sensor data and takes care of the labs and medical bay of the ship.
- Security Officer – Handles the internal security of the ship and leads the boarding parties.