Synthicide: Sharpers in the Dark

Hey folks!

I wanted to start this thread to talk about a project I’m co-designing: Synthicide: Sharpers in the Dark.

A little while ago Dustin DePenning, author of the original Synthicide RPG, was looking for a co-collaborator to redesign Synthicide using the Forged in the Darks rules system. I started working with Dustin a few months ago and we’ve made great progress in making a new version of this science-fiction RPG. Synthicide: Sharpers in Shadows marries the detailed bleak world, desperate consequences, and lethal system of the original with the fiction first system of Blades in the Dark. There’s spaceships, crews, new playbooks, a grim dark galaxy full of murderous robots, a cyborg church, and ruthless space pirates.

Further development of the game will be made possible through Kickstarter. If you’re interested in seeing how Synthicide has evolved, want more grim sci-fi RPGs in the world, or just want to be along for the ride, you can follow us on Kickstarter right now!

I’ll be updating this thread as we release more about the game. Look for a Hacked in the Dark podcast episode coming soon, a quickstart guide, and thoughts about design and Kickstarting the game!

If you have any questions, please let us know!


The Kickstarter for Synthicide: Sharpers in the Dark is now live!

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Assuming your Kickstarter is successful (and I hope it is, I backed it :slightly_smiling_face:): can I ask that you include something which helps folks already familiar with Blades to quickly get an overview of mechanical differences and what they need to look out for?

I really wished for something like that when I went through the Scum and Villainy book which kinda forced me to re-read a lot I already knew just to make sure I didn’t miss any changes.

Does that make sense?

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Hey, thanks for the support! I think some sort of forward for what to expect for fans of Forged in the Dark games, as well as folks who are fans of the original Synthicide, would be a cool idea. At the end of the day it’s up to Dustin, the original author, but I’ll definitely pass it on.

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Our interview on the excellent Hacked in the Dark podcast is live. Listen to it here or wherever good podcasts are provided. We talk a lot about the touchstones of Synthicide, our design goals, what made Synthicide unique, and how we plan to highlight those qualities in the Forged in the Dark system.

One thing I wanted to add to the discussion we had is that I would recommend porting or converting a system to all FitD designers as an interesting design exercise. You don’t have to stare at a blank page, or wrangle the SRD into your chosen genre. A lot of the work is already done: items, world building, resources, etc. and the work comes down to shaping the mechanics, trimming what isn’t needed, and converting what already exists.

I’ve thought a lot about how and why the systems in Blades in the Dark work, and in very different ways than I have before, by converting an existing rules system.

Obviously you don’t want to release something without the permission of the original creator :stuck_out_tongue: . I’m not saying go out there and steal someone else’s ideas for profit, but as an intellectual exercise to better understand game design.

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Synthicide: Sharpers in the Dark has now funded on Kickstarter! Thanks so much for everyone’s support, and I hope we can keep it going to reach some of these stretch goals in the final days!

Also, did you know you can get a free preview of the game right now? It’s true!

There’s a quickstart guide available on DriveThruRPG

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Synthicide: Sharpers in the Dark is now released digitally on DriveThruRPG.

Thanks to everyone for their support to make this project a reality!


Hey Sharpers,

Was DTRPG not enough for you? Tired of the same meals from the same digital platform every day as your cruise through space, hoping for some extra lurans or just one job that doesn’t invovle that damn church?

Well you are in luck! Synthicide: Sharpers in the Dark is no available on my itch store! Check it out!