The player characters are freelance pathfinders, salvage hunting teams, and treasure hunters called rifters. They wander around the Lost Expanse in their voidjammers, exploring wrecked starships, the ruins of ancient alien cultures, and abandoned metacorporation colonies in hopes of finding lost knowledge and riches.
Rifters often form small teams crewing a customized spaceship capable of faster than light travel. These ships, commonly known as voidjammers, 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.
Rifters are not 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.
- Starblazers – Ace, Explorer, Smuggler
- Mercs – Infiltrator, Bounty hunter, Soldier
- Avatars – Genie, Drone rider, Ghost hacker
- Savants – Techie, Scientist, Doc
- Voyants – Biokinetic, Telepath, Clairvoyant
- Nanokinetics– Veiler, Kinetic, Cynapse
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.