More than most sci-fi settings, The Expanse exists in a still-evolving story-verse ripe for fresh iterations on one of science fiction's most lore-rich, saga-spanning worlds. So it’s no surprise that the hit series of novels-turned TV show is being tapped as the backdrop for a fully-James S. A. Corey-approved role playing game.
Even less surprising may be just how thoroughly the Kickstarter-funded campaign obliterated its initial $30,000 goal in just 24 hours' time. As of this article’s posting, Expanse fans have already pledged more than $185,000 toward Green Ronin Publishing’s project, which only launched on July 24.
The game version of The Expanse wraps the lore of the novels into a traditional tabletop RPG using rules derived from the popular Adventure Game Engine (AGE). The funding campaign ends on August 22, so the sky's the limit in terms of hitting the campaign's stretch goals.
Anyone familiar with either the books or the show will feel right at home in the game world, which the publisher promises will take players “to a far-future solar system where humanity is divided: Martians, Belters, and the people of old Earth struggle for political power and resources, but even older, alien forces are stirring in the universe, and human history is about to take an unexpected new turn.”
With the blessing of Corey (the nom de plume of writers Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck, the two-man team behind the original Expanse novels), the game’s already been written and tested. “At this point it's a matter of adding any extra material unlocked by stretch goals, commissioning the remaining art, and doing the graphic design and layout,” according to the Kickstarter page.
Gaming is in the franchise’s DNA. Abraham and Franck teamed up to create the book series after Franck realized his efforts to build an MMOPRG on the concept were getting too ambitious for just a game. That lineage has now come full circle, says Green Ronin, promising they’ve “worked closely with Ty Franck and Daniel Abraham (together, James S.A. Corey) throughout to ensure we are getting The Expanse right.”
Early adopters have their choice of two versions of the game: the standard edition, as well as a special edition that builds on the base 224-page color hardback by adding a special leatherette cover, as well as a dust jacket featuring the game’s cover art. With the main campaign now funded, future stretch goals include up to six additional campaign adventures beyond what’s packed in with the original game.
For way more information on the project, including a video message from Franck and Abraham themselves, head on over to Kickstarter. As for the TV show, get ready for an all-new Season 4 of The Expanse at its new home on Amazon Video. No premiere date has been announced just yet, but Amazon promised at San Diego Comic-Con that it plans to take the reins off the former SYFY show, now that it’s no longer constrained by cable.