Vortex Flux is a pen and paper sci-fi tabletop roleplaying game that recently went online with version 0.01a (alpha), developed by solo-designer Lando Baldur. If you’re thinking that the version number probably means there isn’t much yet to this TTRPG, think again. Vortex Flux is already an immense and complete game, with its core book PDF spanning 350 pages of incredible detail and amazing artwork. And it’s free.
A word of warning here: absolutely wait until your computer has nothing else going on before clicking on the Vortex Flux Core Book link on the game’s website. The file is huge, YUGE even. It’s going to take some time to fully open its webpage. Once open, you can then download the 294 MB product, which took roughly 45 minutes with this writer’s 100 Mbps download connection. Not recommended for mobile devices, for sure.
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But once opened or downloaded, you’ll be presented with a sci-fi TTRPG sourcebook that is both bountiful and beautiful. The book is presented in widescreen format on the webpage, allowing you to see the full breadth and scope of the detailed text and art within. And there is a lot of both. For example, the Index is two screens worth of content, showing the categories of info in the book’s 350 pages, with another as-yet included 25 pages marked “Soon”.
But what is Vortex Flux? According to the sourcebook, “you play the role of an elite squad, stuffed with cyberware on board a spacecraft, that explores a whole solar system with multiple planets and moons.” The game features exploration, discovery, and combat, with simple rules providing guidance for multiple situations and encounters. Character building and customization are done primarily through cyberware, and classes are handled by choosing between various skillsets. Vortex Flux “distances itself from a lot of classical RPG game mechanics, such as having damage dealers, support characters, mages and tanks, or having an attribute based character system, to name a few examples.” Here, every character is considered a “fighter” and “spellcaster”, with additional options available for all to focus on damage, support, crowd control, summonings, and even two-character combos.
Seriously, there is a helluva lot of game in Vortex Flux’s alpha version, and you’ll need to play it to really get into the details. There is even a Vortex Flux – Theme / OST! How many other TTRPG’s have that? As mentioned, the game is free, however, it is also supported by Baldur’s Vortex Flux Patreon, which has zero Patrons as of this writing. Check out Vortex Flux, then show it some love, would ya please?
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