Skip to main content

Tomorrow's Sky

Let me begin by saying thank you to all of you who have taken the time to read the posts prior to this one about Drier Deserts, Hotter Suns, as well as all of you who have taken the time to read the early version of the game. So before I get into rambling, I would like to announce that DD/HS is now available to all on, I'm so very excited to get this game onto people's tables. So please, reach out if you haven't already if you have any thoughts on the game.


This is part 3 of a series detailing Drier Deserts, Hotter Suns, a space western rpg. Click here for part 2

This game has gone through a lot. Having always been a fan of Star Wars and Sci-fi in general, I've always yearned for a RPG system about flying fast spaceships. I'm sure there are many, but during my brief anime phase in high-school, Cowboy Bebop become the catylist that finally convinced me, an already new TRPG fan, to write a Space Western RPG.

That went about as well as you could have imagined, and my first version of the game, once called "Tomorrow's Sky", was little more than a D&D clone with some extra spacefaring skills attached. Later, another version of the game inspired by my budding love for everything GURPS was a generic system, where levelling up meant buying dice into your skill's dice pool. This turned out to be a terrible idea of messy DCs and a lackluster combat system.

These early versions have a shared design DNA with today's version. Luck granted by the referee, a "Toughness" score to survive in space with, ship sizes and systems. All ideas I deemed good enough to include in the latest version.

At multiple points in the past number of years I have picked things up and looked at it from different angles, taking notes on whatever fitting media I was consuming to incorporate ideas from it. While I wasn't working on it constantly, the game went through a number of small revisions and attempted re-writes.

It wasn't until I started heavily reading RPG books, and in particular OSR inspired systems, did I start making any notable progress. The "less is more" philosophy of ruling over rules inspired a simple freedom that I begin to peruse. A couple of key innovations (practical ship roles rather than derived "skills" is a major one) later and I begin to get a framework I could work with.

That was about 2 years ago.

The game still needs work. I have a number of planned additions that I'm excited to write and implement. The current play-test version contains a very sparse referee section, so more of that and an official adventure or supplement should keep me busy for at least another while. But as of now I'm happy with where things are at.

Even happier am I that now feels like the perfect time for a game like this to exist. Pending a global pandemic, there seems a real acceptance of smaller games as well as a real need for something rules light and sci-fi. So I'm truly happy to be able to put out the culmination of years of work.


If for some reason you aren't sure what this has all been about, or need some extra selling-to, here is a rundown:

Drier Deserts, Hotter Suns contains very little setting info and is designed to be a neutral space western framework, with gunslinging space piloting action. The game is lightly asymetrical, with one player taking the role of a "Captain". It is suited best to open-world play and doesn't hold back from killing off characters. Progress is made through upgrading your scrappy little space-ship, which you might find yourself running around to repair as you blast your opponents into the vacuum of space. Combat on the ground is light and closer on the spectrum to a wargame than full fledged tactical rpg combat. You are failures trying to make it in hostile space. Space is the Driest Desert. Burning up to death in a tin can bathed in the light of a hotter sun than you've ever known is a risk that you must be willing to take.

So go on, die in space.


  1. This is really interesting! What is the mechanical effect of hard vs. soft armor?


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Space Cowboys

Around 2012, when I first became deeply interested in roleplaying games, I had a deep and unfaltering urge to write one. My GM experience was limited but I had played enough that I felt confident in my ability to produce a fully fledged book. Years later, I realized I was a touch misguided back then. Today I am on my fourth (that I can count) prototype of the game I started working on all those years ago. Only after absorbing as much rules and game content as I could, DMing and writing adventures as much as I could, have I managed to put together something that I am confident in. The Game, currently titled “Drier Deserts, Hotter Suns”, is a love letter to the space western genre. The design has hopefully been refined to make players feel like they are a part of the action. In the coming weeks I will give some insights on the game as well as some of the rules I feel contribute to my design philosophies. I will also hopefully detail the failed prototypes and timeline of the project, up

Cowboy Design

With the Space Western being such a diverse genre, writing rules has proved to be difficult and it has taken years of revisions and lessons learnt to get to a solid place. Through that, a set of design principles have emerged to help guide the formation of the current rule set. In this post, I'll go over some of those concepts and also reveal some of the mechanics that these concepts have informed. This is part 2 of a series detailing Drier Deserts, Hotter Suns, a space western rpg. Click here for part 1 DD/HS is now out on! Go download it here Modularity , The rules should be light enough and not bound together so tightly that tearing things out or adding them screws the game. Systems should be loose while the game remains cohesive. This means that hopefully you can fit the rules to your style of play or world. There are no rules for alien species as player characters, but it should be easy enough to add that to your game. Meanwhile, removing the swordplay rules