Pressure: Industrial Science Fiction Roleplaying, the standalone follow-up to Those Dark Places, is out this month! Read on for our first of three blogs from the author, this week starting with what's new in the game...

When I approached Pressure, I knew that I wanted to do something different from my original game, Those Dark Places, and yet try to keep the mechanical simplicity.

With Those Dark Places, I wanted to create an atmosphere of dread and try to replicate the feeling of a claustrophobic science fiction thriller from the 70s and 80s. With Pressure, I wanted to retain that feeling but open the game up as a complete setting, so it wasn’t a just a mood, it was a universe.

So, you still get that sense of danger and tension and threat, but instead of it just being a starship or a station, you get an explored universe, from the dregs of the HyperCities on Earth to the strip-mined nightmare of the solar system and beyond, as well as the companies and governments that do their best to control and exploit the people that live there. You are no longer limited to one place or just seven crew positions – now PCs can create more detailed characters and travel the universe as they see fit, opening whole new avenues of adventure, exploration, and danger.

An illustration of a futuristic city of skyscrapers belching out smoke, dotted with the tiny silhouettes of flying cars

That’s not to say that there isn’t any focus in the game. In Those Dark Places, the PCs could be part of DUST teams tasked with investigating problems and clearing up corporate messes. In Pressure, PCs can join the military SOS teams – ‘Special Operations Squads’ – and be sent on missions to protect the interests of their employers, armed and armoured to face the dangers that lie in the deep dark.

You might think that having a big gun and thick armour will bend the odds in your favour. Yeah, you can think that if you want.

I also wanted to give the players options. The basic CASE system is still intact, but now there are skills the PCs can learn to flesh out their abilities, allowing for more campaign-style games in which the PCs grow. There’s a starship system that allows you to build and fly your own vessels, as well as a simple vehicle system. Just for good measure I threw in a page of cybernetics, too. Now the players can create more detailed characters and – hopefully – improve them over time.

An illustration of a figure in futuristic armour holding a gun

With an expanded game system (fully compatible with Those Dark Places), new options for ships, new rules for extras, and an entire setting to play in, Pressure retains the tension and darkness of the original game and allows you to go to more places to find it.

And the cherry on top? The brilliant artwork of Nathan J. Anderson will once again grace the pages of my book and bring to life the universe I have imagined.

I’m excited to share the future with you!

Pressure is out 30th November in the UK and 9th January in the US.

Pre-order now.

And check back in here a week today for another blog, all about the game's world-building...

A footer banner with an illustration of a high-tech special forces team alongside the text "YOU HAVE THE TOOLS, THE TRAINING, AND THE RESOURCES TO FACE THESE DANGERS... YOU HOPE."