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“I had the good fortune to get in on a playtest of Last Fleet, and Joshua has delivered a satisfying and crunchy deep dive into the action, emotion, and escalating paranoia that make up the life of a Rag-Tag (space) Fugitive on the run from a mysterious, implacable, existential alien threat. I’m very much looking forward to having it on my tables to put into the eager hands of prospective CAGs, politicians, and shady operators.”
– Jim Crocker, jimlikesgames.com
“From the very first session of Last Fleet, our group felt hunted! The tension that arises from just the premise of the game alone–humanity fleeing an implacable enemy–really fueled not just every action scene, but, especially, the interpersonal scenes as our characters reached out, broke down, let loose, and tried to maintain their humanity at the edge of annihilation.”
-Zach Bain, playtester
“The beauty of Last Fleet is that you’re going to want to put your characters under pressure — the roleplaying that spins out is just so juicy. It’s extremely clever, extremely fun design.”
-Nick Bate, playtester
“Black Armada is part of a new generation of PbtA designers who are tackling new concepts in new genres with new ideas. Last Fleet is aimed at replicating some of my favorite fiction, and I’m excited to see Josh exploring concepts of authority, tension, and political pressure through that lens. I can’t wait to see the finished game!”
-Mark Diaz Truman, Magpie Games
Join the Fleet
The playbooks each represent a particular personality, approach or set of issues you want to explore. There are twelve:
- Aries, a hot-headed character who rushes in where angels fear to tread, and is unafraid to speak their mind.
- Taurus, a tough, selfless and principled character who does what’s needed no matter how much punishment is thrown at them.
- Gemini, a charismatic communicator who pursues their own agenda that might not be completely in line with the fleet’s interests.
- Cancer, an experienced leader who cares deeply for their comrades, but may be a little too willing to overlook their problems.
- Leo, a magnetic individual who people want to follow. Where will they lead them?
- Virgo, a serious professional who prides themselves on being the best, but may put themselves under too much pressure at time.
- Libra, a skilled diplomat and negotiator who may be looked to for leadership.
- Scorpio, a secretive manipulator whose motives are in doubt – including by themselves.
- Sagittarius, a relentlessly curious person who might be an explorer, engineer or spy, or perhaps all three.
- Capricorn, an uncompromising tactician who is willing to take risks to defeat the enemy. Will they take things too far?
- Aquarius, a perceptive investigator who does not shrink from confronting the truth, no matter how painful it might be.
- Pisces, an otherworldly person with strange abilities that allow them to see things others do not.
In addition to your playbook, you can choose a role within the fleet. You can play a military officer, pilot or marine, engineer or scientist, journalist or civilian leader. Each comes with its own special move.
Last Fleet is based on the excellent Powered by the Apocalypse framework pioneered by Apocalypse World. In this case, that means it uses a simple 2d6 based system, with prompts for interesting, dramatic outcomes from every roll; characters are organised into playbooks that provide everything you need on a single piece of paper; and GM advice is codified into clear principles that tell you not just how the mechanics work but how to get the best from the game.
The game’s mechanics push forward the central theme of pressure: pressure on your characters, pressure on the fleet, pressure on humanity. You can win almost any conflict if you’re willing to pay the consequences, by racking up more pressure on your character that ultimately pushes them to Breaking Point. That’s when your character goes off the rails, lashing out at their friends or hurling themselves into certain doom.
The only way to keep the pressure under control is by indulging your vices and risking losing control, or by building relationships that matter with other characters. Neither route is risk-free. When you’re not putting your life on the line, you’re putting your heart on the line.
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