Pressure: Industrial Science Fiction Roleplaying is out next week in the UK! And we have one last blog for you from the author, looking at the game's mechanics...

The base CASE mechanic from Those Dark Places, with four attributes – CHARISMA, AGILITY, STRENGTH and EDUCATION – remains intact in Pressure, with a very slight modification for more variety.

The introduction of skill lists, however, opens up more opportunities for the PC, not only in character design and their role in the group but also in longevity as the character can be improved over time in longer campaigns. You can still play your one-shots as the rules are still as simple and quick as they were, but now you have the option to continue with that character if you like their stats or personality. Now the players can have longer, more involved adventures across the settled stars.

Not only that but the skill list – as well as the ability to suggest and create your own skills – opens up the explored galaxy to the player. Now they’re not restricted to a role suitable for deep space, but can be whatever they want to be in the wider world of Pressure. The corporate-controlled space of the setting can be opened up to all kind of things including exploration, trade, and engineering. Get a ship, get a crew, and go. Or put together a team and hire yourselves out as mercenaries, trouble-shooters, or even a troupe of entertainers. The central focus of the game is the SOS – Special Operations Squads that are part of a military organisation and are used to literally shoot problems – but you don’t have to play it that way. Be a cyber-wired, hard-boiled detective in one of the HyperCities, a jobbing scientist trying to make that one huge discovery, or a con artist jumping from station to station looking for their big score.

An illustration of a woman chasing a man through the streets of a crowded futuristic city

The introduction of a system for starships helps with this too – now you can create a vessel and decide its role, work out its abilities based on its size, and decide what to name it. The system includes a combat and damage system. As each starship is built from scratch and not production plans, you can make your vessel as cool and unique as you want. There are some vessel designs that are built en masse, but where’s the fun in that?

But beneath all this is the mechanic that is the game’s core reason for being – the Pressure rules. These have hardly changed, so rolls are the same as well as the rules, but now – due to the larger galaxy being open to even more terrifying things that your mind might not be able to handle – the chances of cracking under stress have also increased!

An illustration of a figure in a spacesuit floating through the void of space

If you are familiar with Those Dark Places, then Pressure will be second-nature to you. The skill system and the introduction of starships may be new but the rules remain quick and simple and will easily fit into your play style. Plus, even if you prefer to stick with the focus of the original game, these new additions are compatible, so take the setting and whatever new rules you want and add them into Those Dark Places.

I’m excited to see Pressure hit the shelves, and I hope you have fun with it. Well, as much fun as can be had in the dark, dangerous void that is deep space...

Pressure is out next week in UK and 9th January in the US.

Pre-order now.

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