Lando Baldur launched the roleplaying game Vortex Flux this week with version 0.01 [Alpha].
If that doesn’t sound like a very bold version number, Vortex Flux is a big (350 pages) and bold project. I don’t recommend clicking on the download link (PDF) on your mobile.
It’s a large file.
Vortex Flux looks excellent. The book is white on black, enhanced with colour and all 350-pages are in landscape, designed to fit the shape of your desktop monitor.
I’ll put some quick links at the end of the article but if you want to avoid the direct download link then Vortex Flux.com is a good interstitial for you and a resource.
The sci-fi RPG takes some strides towards uniqueness. There are no classes, with cyberware the norm in the galaxy all characters are both fighters and magicians in effect. They can be tough as nails while also pulling off special effects and moves that might as well be magic in other settings.
Do well enough in your Vortex Flux game and the experience point system can take your character up to level 99.
The game is set in a distant solar system that, somehow, has been entirely colonised and no one remembers how. That means there are 5 planets and 20 moons to explore.
Baldur is or has access to, a talented artist and these locations are all expertly illustrated with accompanying text.
There are 5 different species in this urbanised solar system, all of them anthropomorphic. The closest you get to “human” is the ape-like species.
Across these 5 species, each with their own home planet, but also found across the system, there are four different competing divisions.
Vortex Flux, so far, is a game with a focus on combat but you will also likely have access to a spaceship in the game to play. This is a spaceship that will need to be repaired and upgraded, akin to a computer game like Elite, and less like a traditional tabletop experience that handwaves away some of the logistical challenges in maintaining a ship.
Your spaceship will also need a crew, and Vortex Flux gets into the guts of hiring staff as well as training them up.
Along with improving your spaceship and running a character that can hit level 99, Vortex Flux also has systems for upgrading skills as well as the cyberware your characters will have.
With this week’s quiet release, Lando Baldur is feeling out interest in the project. The initial suggestion is that the game will remain free while also enjoying continuous improvements. The question is of pace; if there’s a surge of interest, Lando says they are happy to spend more time on the project.
Vortex Flux is a different RPG to many and experience shows that the further off the beaten track an RPG goes the less of audience it finds. However, it might earn a loyal, hardcore and helpful set of fans. That’s what seems very possible for this sci-fi epic.
There is already a burgeoning community on Reddit which might be the best place to go to ask initial questions. Lando is also posting updates there.
There’s also a Patreon to help pay the bills.
Tier 1 ($1.50 a month) gets access to private channels on the Discord server and the Critter role. Tier 2 ($12), is quite a step up, grants the agent role on Discord and a direct line to Lando for development suggestions. There’s an even higher tier ($46.50) with another vanity title on Discord and the promise you’ll help design and name your own enemy, complete with illustration, for Vortex Flux once a year.
What’s in store for the game next? Well, the whole roadmap is detailed in the download. It’s just a matter of priorities and pace. Scheduled in are some balancing tweaks, along with more cyberware, skills, enemies, equipment, locations, lore and NPCs.
- Download v0.01 of Vortex Flux. (Please comment below if you notice this URL changing)
- The Vortex Flux site.
- Vortex Flux’s Patreon.com.
- Vortex Flux’s Reddit.
Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.