The Stillfleet Core Rulebook
The long-awaited new sci-fi TTRPG as heard on Fun City: unique, flexible rules + an unforgettable game universe
Get your spacesuit-gloved hands on the new, unique sci-fi TTRPG you've been waiting for!
Get your spacesuit-gloved hands on the new, unique sci-fi TTRPG you've been waiting for!
Stillfleet is its own timespace paradox: an acid-trip of a good time, built on a foundation of political tension between the Co. and its medieval market-worlds… It’s a rules-light system with hundreds of options for powers. It’s a genre-vaporizing work of science fiction that you can hack apart and make your own.
As heard on the real-play podcast Fun City, the tabletop roleplaying game Stillfleet casts the characters in the roles of employees of the greedy, human-run Worshipful Company of Stillfleeters (the Co., always capitalized) headquartered in an alien space station in the far future—a sea slug of black stone called Spindle, kilometers tall…
Weird and wild character options
Over the æons, many human and alien civilizations have risen and fallen in the void, littering Terra and countless other worlds and world-ships with glittering layers of technological ruins—some useful, some dangerous, all valuable to the Co.’s Archive.
For three hundred years (Terrasol Standard Time), the Co. has amassed a wealth of technological power, and today its anonymous directors effectively govern across its so-called “provinces” a few billion sapients (intelligent beings—primarily different groups of humans and giant cricket-like bugs named wetans). The inhabitants of the worlds beyond Spindle remain locked in unequal trade agreements, benefitting little from the Co.’s “voidmining.”
Bizarre settings across threespace and beyond
Will the player characters—the voidminers—choose to execute their corporate duties in faithful servitude, malinger and build new bases of power among their fellow voidminers on Spindle, ally themselves with resistance movements on the provinces, or even join the anarchistic Honourable Company or non-human-centric Federation of Unhuman Kingdoms?
Stillfleet explores early capitalism in space: voidminer, what will you do to resist the temptation of power? To liberate the provincials? To survive?
Stillfleet is thus both a game about epic space adventure—you can run around and kill acid-spitting xenos and steal biolasers from flying fungi—at the same time that it’s a thought experiment about how to do positive social change when you work for the proverbial Man: get rich or die trying? Kill your masters? Find new tools to dismantle their house?
It’s also a game about the far future that casts most non-player characters in the roles of smallholder farmers, blacksmiths, and so on: the far future is buried in the past of the game world and is only being slowly recovered and weaponized by the Co.
Simple but highly flexible game system
It’s also just a really fun game to play: the system is unique and simple, with a gambling element (boosting grit), and there are infinite worlds and dead alien ships (stillfleets) to explore.
We’ll announce initial stretch goals once we reach out funding goal. Until then, this information is top-secret!
Stretch goals, August 2!
The much-awaited full rules for Stillfleet, professionally designed and illustrated, are bound in one gorgeous hardback book of more than 300 pages! The game rules only take minutes to learn, but the book offers ten classes of Co. voidminer, twenty-two playable sapient species, hundreds of advanced powers + nanotech "blooder" powers + deeply Weird hell science powers, an entire chapter full of strange archaetech (weapons, cooking utensils, nanotech body modifications…), settings on major and minor provinces as well as the floating hulks of dead spaceships, twenty full encounters with dangerous aliens, and more. (Note, shipping on physical products is not included in the reward price. International shipping prices are unfortunately high right now.)
Our second official venture (playable scenario), by Aaron H., features over 60 pages of classic sci-fi wilderness-crawl danger and discovery on the minor province of Radanaar—a desert planet populated by domesticated, yoghurt-producing centipedes and intelligent giant "spiders" (well, that word is close enough)—that has been utterly forgotten by the Co. Will you do the Co.'s bidding and destabilize the fragile ecosystems of Radanaar's great cave complexes? Will you survive the dust cyclones and spider-ambushes? Will you discover the technical secrets of Kildz’s Antenna? Get the Core Rulebook, get this pulp-tastic, politically charged, eco-horror venture, and start playing! (Note, shipping on physical products is not included in the reward price. International shipping prices are unfortunately high right now.)
You can also pick up high-quality Stillfleet merch, including the logo T-shirt and enamel pin. We can’t wait to unlock new designs as stretch goals! (Note, shipping on physical products is not included in the reward price. International shipping prices are unfortunately high right now.)
Our extremely talented Brazilian Portuguese translator is Leonardo Andrade.
Our amazing freelance artists include Aibrahim Zx, Amanda Lee Franck, Gabriela Lopes Tores, Hodag, and Orange Arcana.
Many thanks to Leonardo Andrade and Richard Cross for the marketing support.
Many thanks to Hyperdrive Fleet and Borough Bound for the collaborations.
Many thanks to Will Savino, Jeff Beltran, Vex, Jesse King, Ben Ferber, Ian Derk, and all of our playtesters for the brilliant advice on game design.
And a huge thanks to all of our patrons on Patreon: we could never have developed this game without your support and engagement!
We are indebted to the cast and crew of Fun City Ventures for bringing our game to your audience.
- "stillfleet drops you into a horrific and hilarious universe, with blessedly understandable game mechanics and plenty of versatility. I am quietly confident no matter what stories you want to tell stillfleet will help you tell them." —the old man.
- "Stillfleet pushes all of my happy buttons. It's anti-capitalist without being dour, it's absurdist and silly but still grounded in the day-to-day, and it's a highly detailed and vibrant world." —sinker.
- "The system is simple and elegant, and the world of Spindle and the Worshipful Company is a great fit for campaigns running the gamut from pulp sci-fi to goofy space adventures to byzantine interstellar politics. My favorite TTRPG by far!" —garbae.
- "Stillfleet is a game where you explore the depths of ship hulks, friendly planets, in a far future where long forgotten science is indistinguishable form magic. It would be very close but distinct enough to Star Trek so that copyright laws would not be triggered. You're free to meet exotic civilizations, deliver packages, earn money, and learn all about how [REDACTED] is both a good thing in that we can't really get an alternative, but also the root of all [REDACTED]. It's a guaranteed good time, and if you [REDACTED] the [REDACTED], then man, you're in for a wild ride!" —Oh_Nanners.
- "As a game system, it allows everyone at the table to be extremely powerful and change the direction of a scene or a story at the drop of a hat… Its die-based stats also Just Work in a way that d20-style stats never quite have—they give you an instant understanding of both who you are and what you're up against. … As a sci-fi setting Stillfleet is highly unique and almost overwhelmingly rich. It's a far-far-far future setting littered with dangerous ancient technology, which acts as a constant reminder of myriad failed civilizations who stood on the ground you're standing on now—and most of whom seem to have eaten themselves alive through various excessive-but-hilarious forms of hypercapitalism. It encourages you to play a weird character and lean into your own alien-ness—anyone from a nanite-drunk vampiric superhuman, to a whisper-quiet motile plant looking to exact revenge on loggers, to a charlatan sentient computer program conning their way to the next score. It has clever twists on classic aliens (the animalistic and terrifying Xenoglades, the shapeshifting subterfugous Solarians) and wild new ideas (the serial-killer-slash-performance-artist Void Elves, the hiveminded crab-fungus mega-scientist Mi-Go)—the world never lacks for threats, villains, and most importantly, foes who make you ponder whether YOU'RE actually the villain." —Ben Ferber.
- "Stillfleet is a triumph that imagines the far far future and the socio-political inter-workings of staying alive. Makes you think about the way you eat, breathe, and bring about change in your provincial space town, on Spindle, and across the universe. It was so easy to learn, too. Stillfleet allowed me to make big swings with my character without keeping tabs on how much I would need to level up. You can already do so much weird, powerful stuff from the first session." —Jenn de la Vega aka Merkis Imeldar.
The Stillfleet system blends narrative impact—some powers just happen, no dice required—with dramatic rolling. This mix of “it just happens” and “roll for it!” makes for dynamic gameplay without the need to consult endless charts or stretch your math skills.
When you do roll, grit is everything. You can gamble on the outcomes of your actions by burning grit to boost your rolls. This lets you set up absolutely epic moments—but remember, you still fail whenever you roll a natural 1.
VOID-CON 2022: live Stillfleet games
And gameplay is not tied to one die. Your base scores—combat, movement, reason, will, and charm—are represented by different types of dice, from the humble d4 to the mighty d12. Some cosmic horrors even possess d20s and d30s…
The basic mechanic of Stillfleet is to roll a single die and try to get a 6 or higher. The type of die you roll depends on what you’re trying to do (which score makes sense). Contested rolls are won by the higher result (or, among many actors, the highest one). Ties go to the initiator of the action unless otherwise stated.
Download the Quickstart to check out nine fully playable pre-generated characters and their powers—including a few examples of the physics-scrambling hell science…
The general cadence of the game goes like this: the PCs agree as a group to take on an official venture with the Co. This involves signing a contract with a refactor, an officer of the Directorate. For example, maybe they are hired to investigate a dead Ancient ship (a “hulk”) or the ruins of a Tephnian colony; or maybe they’re tricked into aiding the seditious Honourable Company; or maybe they are hired to quell a rebellion among farmers on a distant backwater, or to steal a powerful techno-artifact from a void-elf scholar in orbit around Jupiter.
Next, the party tacks out from Spindle (unless the venture is on-Spin). Then lots of wacky/deadly space- hijinks ensue. Perhaps a plot twist or two occurs. Eventually, the survivors return to Spindle to turn in an official report of what happened to their Refactor, sell any archaetech they collected to the Co., collect their pay—and level up. Repeat! Over time, the voidminers should begin to question and then undermine the Co. itself, exploring new ways of relating to the multifarious inhabitants of the void.
Many ventures will touch at some point upon distant Goldilocks worlds: planets long-ago engineered to be habitable by advanced civilizations, but then abandoned. Some of these worlds have been rediscovered in the relatively recent past. The Core Rulebook offers many such settings, with unique xenofauna (“monsters”), archaetech (“ARR-key-tek” or “ARR-kay-tek”—that is, loot), venture hooks, and more.