Beam Saber: A game about Pilots and their massive War Machines


(Austin Ramsay) #1

Beam Saber is a game about the pilots of powerful machines in a war that dominates every facet of life. They are trying to do their time and part, and get out physically and mentally intact. The organizations that perpetuate The War through all of known space are too incomprehensibly huge to take down. There is no “winning” The War, there is only surviving it. Hopefully you can help others get out too.

This game is best played with 4 or 5 players, with one player filling the role of Game Master, and the other players will be the protagonists of the story.

If you’d like to see Beam Saber in play check out my ongoing campaign: The Cenotaph.

The Beam Saber Quick Start Guide is also available if you want to see, or try, a sample of the rules before buying.

Engage challenges on a titanic scale! Each pilot has a custom vehicle created from the ground up to suit their desires. The base frame can be humanoid, a more traditional vehicle, or something completely bizarre! They can be equipped with holo-projectors, grapnel anchor tools, missiles, and much more. Take advantage of your vehicle’s Quirks (such as Loads of Guns, Exposed Boosters, and Ominous) to more effectively overcome obstacles. Or lean into your machine’s faults for XP! Bombard, Scan, Maneuver, and more to deal with threats.

I’ve been working on Beam Saber since about November 2017, and at this point I think the rules are 90% complete. At this time I’m tweaking things a little here and there, expanding the lore some, and looking where I can streamline the game to be more thematic. Also considering artists and sensitivity readers.


(Lexi) #2

In light of that, what would you consider a realistic end-game goal for a party to aim to accomplish?


(Austin Ramsay) #3

To make a meaningful difference within their power.
Maybe they get a group of people (possibly themselves) out of active war zones. Perhaps they accrue enough power to create their own faction with subordinate squads. Could be that they finally defeat a recurring villain for good. Might be that they cool off the current active battles, or arrange an alliance between two factions.


(Austin Ramsay) #4

Beam Saber V0.41 is now available! Click through for the changelog: https://austin-ramsay.itch.io/beamsaber/devlog/77745/beam-saber-v041-is-live

Beam Saber is also now available on DriveThruRPG: https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/271381/Beam-Saber-Early-Access


(Ampersand) #5

Hey, I’ve played this game and it’s super good! Austin is a very talented designer!


(Austin Ramsay) #6

Tonight at 6pm EST on our twitch channel is the FINALE of Beam Saber: The Cenotaph. Half the squad is in the Sovereignty Engine control room, while the others deal with Lady Elreth. All are beat to hell.
A week or two after the finale we’ll be having a post mortem stream with the current squad plus a previous player will be returning! Send your questions about the campaign, the prep & play, or the development of Beam Saber’s rules to BeamSaberRPG at gmail dot com!
If you miss either the finale or post mortem, or just want to catch up before tonight, you can find the entire campaign on youtube!


(Austin Ramsay) #7

Beam Saber V0.42 is now live, and it has exciting new cover art!
https://austin-ramsay.itch.io/beamsaber/devlog/88106/beam-saber-v042


(Stefan Struck) #8

Wow! Forum won’t let me such a short anwser, so don’t be angry when I say wow, wow, wow! :slight_smile:


(Austin Ramsay) #9

Beam Saber V0.43 is now live! I’ve made a big change! Cash and Savings are out, Drives are in! Everything that Cash used to do has been rolled into Materiel and Personnel. Retirement is now handled by Drives, and they also provide mechanical direction for character arcs while providing a means for characters to affect the world!
https://austin-ramsay.itch.io/beamsaber/devlog/91978/beam-saber-v043


(Austin Ramsay) #10

I’m going to be at FanExpo Toronto on August 23-25 running 4 sessions of Beam Saber. Seats are limited so sign up fast!
https://twitter.com/Notaninn/status/1158897705139286017


(Austin Ramsay) #11

Version 0.44 of Beam Saber is now live! The big change with this version is Claims being rolled into General Squad Upgrades, a reworking of the Regions system, and some better direction for GMs on preparing a campaign.


(Duan Bailey) #12

Hey Austin! Is this based on feedback from playing at FanExpo? How many more iterations do you suspect you’ve got until release?


(Austin Ramsay) #13

FanExpo Toronto hasn’t actually happened yet. This particular set of changes come from the Beam Saber Discord community’s playtest feedback, and is being made in preparation for Fan Expo.
As for how many more iterations, I think this might be the last in terms of rules changes. I’ve got some art that I commissioned on its way, and there might be some editing changes, but the rules are probably done.


(Duan Bailey) #14

D’oh, I misread the dates somehow. I was just curious how much change there’s been in the rules and I probably won’t have time to check it out until after I get back from vacation and the end of the month. Anyhow, I will definitely give it a skim sometime.


(Austin Ramsay) #15

I forgot to mention tha V0.44 now has interior art!


(Drop Dice) #16

Austin do you have a more upto date live play planned? Nothing against the Centopath crew but it seems several changes have happened since it’s start.


(Austin Ramsay) #17

The Cenotaph are indeed out of date. They started with V0.23 (or thereabouts) and end with V0.41 (or V0.42). I would like to do another actual play of Beam Saber, but at the moment it’s not my focus.


(Brett Maack) #18

Perhaps there’s a better place to ask this, but here’s my question anyway:

Does Beam Saber have a specific setting like BitD, S&V and BoB do? I’m curious to know how a FitD system does when it doesn’t have such a specific fictional space to work with.


(Austin Ramsay) #19

There is an included setting, and important setting elements (such as the AR and Proxies), but I am the type of GM who rarely uses default settings for games, so Beam Saber was written in such a way to be mostly setting agnostic. When you choose a patron faction you don’t choose the Jovangellian Empire (unless you are using my setting), you’re choosing to work for an Autocracy. What your Beam Saber world looks like is something that is discussed as part of the Session Zero, a dedicated section in the rules.


(Austin Ramsay) #20

Version 0.45 of Beam Saber is now live! I did a slight rework of the Officer playbook, and it caused some dominoes to fall.