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Fading Suns Designer Diary — December 2018

Happy Lux Splendor to you all!

December 25th, by the reckoning of the Holy Terra calendar, is the celebration of the Radiance of Light — Lux Splendor. On one level, it is a time of sadness, for it is the death-day of the Prophet Zebulon. Hence, this most bright of holidays retains an undercurrent of mournfulness for all we have lost. But it is also the day that the Prophet’s sacrifice cleansed and consecrated the jumproutes against the Dark, making them safe for travel.

Celebrants light candles, fires, lamps, and turn on all electric lighting, to remind everyone of the blinding grace delivered to all beings by the Pancreator. Each is expected to give presents, symbolizing the reflection of the Empyrean’s grace from one soul to another, Universe without end.

It is believed that this date’s coincidence with an ancient Urth festival is evidence of divine synchrony, not a convenience of the Church’s manufacture.

Each year, the Patriarch delivers a Lux Splendor address. This year, as perhaps the beginning of a new tradition, the Empress Freya has chosen to deliver her own address, as a means to unite her Vuldrok family and her new subjects in the Known Worlds. We present the Town Criers guild report below. The speech was delivered from the terrace of the Imperial Palace on Byzantium Secundus. During her speech, the misty rain turned to crystalline snow. (A sign of grace to some; a sign to others that the Emperor’s technicians have developed fine control over the planet’s ancient weather machines.)

5018 Lux Splendor Address from Empress Freya Hawkwood (née Eldridsdottir)

Greetings, my new friends. I am pleased to be able to speak with you today. As you know, I was not raised with the sermons of the Prophet and his Disciples on my lips. My spiritual milk was instead the deeds of my ancestors and the spirits of the worlds they walked upon. I am new to the Prophet’s grace, but Pancreator willing, I hope to prove my courage to you all. No darkness shall stand between me and the true teachings of the faith. Let my axe banish all resistance!

My people seem so distant from you, strange of ways, dress, and word. And yet, if you walk with our ancestors far, far back into their time, you will find that we were once kindred, citizens of a single commonwealth, thanes of the Republic. And before that, our grand-kin trod the same soil of Holy Terra.

Our estrangement is an illusion of time. As we come to see this more clearly, so will our kinship grow and our oathbonds become stronger.

I am proud to light the Lux Splendor beacon, a torch that once yearly shoots forth into the night, spreading light and fellowship — and burning the cold hearts of all who serve the Dark!

[Empress Freya then activated the laser tower, which sent forth a pulse of energy from planetside into the void. The year’s luck will be measured by the astronomical distance over which the beam maintains coherence. The audience cheered and performed the traditional toast to the Emperor — and, this year, to his family.]

Core Book Excerpt:

As our Lux Splendor gift to you, we present this excerpt from the Fading Suns 4th Edition core book. Each chapter has its own patron saint. The Introduction belongs to the Prophet. (Taken from The Pilgrim’s Path: H0w to Read the Omega Gospels by Charioteer Captain Zelina Hamid-Sandor.)

Patron: Zebulon the Prophet

Hail Zebulon, greatest of us all. Pilgrim, it is to the Prophet that we pray when the Dark grows deepest and all hope is lost. Like a lamp in the night, he shows us the way back into the Light.

None have seen the Light as did Zebulon, who removed from our eyes the blindfold that the Dark had placed upon us during our long, hard trials from the dirt to the stars. “In 2723, the Prophet saw the Holy Flame.” On that far-flung world, now lost to us, he saw in full the Pancreator’s radiance, and it shone ever forth from the Pancreator’s brow.

Humans on their cradle world of Holy Terra had known glimpses of this Light, dimly seen in visions in elder ages. Only now, only through Zebulon’s eyes, was it revealed in full glory: the primal star that burns at the center of all existence, the pole around which all the galaxies orbit.

We walk in the Prophet’s footsteps on the trail he blazed through the stellar spaces, traveling along the routes he sanctified with his death, seeking, ever seeking, for some spark of that original Light that he did witness: the Flame Eternal.

Pray for Zebulon’s return, that he might bring forth the Light and reignite the stars forever and ever, Universe without end.

Bill Bridges, Product Line Manager

Fading Suns Designer Diary — November 2018 

Halloween has come and gone, but the chills aren’t over yet. This month we’re talking about something truly scary, something that causes every faithful Church inquisitor to tremble: we’re talking about… technology! The horror! The horror! 


Fading Suns Designer Diary — August 2018

The Great Leveling

It’s a short diary this month, slotted between Gen Con and Dragon Con (come see me there!) — which makes it a good time to address the method of character progression (or advancement, or experience, or whatever you want to call it) in the new Fading Suns core rulebook.


Ulisses North America at Gen Con 2018

It’s almost time for Gen Con, and we’re getting ready for the crowds!

We’re just over a week away from the biggest show of the year, and we’re tremendously excited to show you all the things we have planned!


Fading Suns Designer Diary – July 2018

Lucky tyrants — the perquisites of power! Ruthless power to do and say whatever pleases them.

— Sophocles, Antigone

In last month’s diary we talked about the callings, the professions you follow in Fading Suns. This time, we reveal the perquisites of office that those callings give you, otherwise known as perks.


Fading Suns Designer Diary – June 2018

It’s a Living

Previously, we’ve talked about class — noble, priest, merchant (and there’s also yeoman) — and faction — houses, sects, guilds. This time, let’s talk calling, a character’s profession, the things they actually do for their faction.


Fading Suns Designer Diary – May 2018

The Times They are a Changin’

For this month’s diary, let’s talk about some of the changes the Known Worlds have seen since we last visited them.


Fading Suns Designer Diary – April 2018

Last month we talked about “social combat,” what we call the influence system.

One of the effects of influence is to impose a state onto a character. This is a mental or social condition that affects the character’s behavior and perhaps even their thoughts, attitudes, and beliefs. They’re most often temporary — fleeting, even. But some can last long enough that therapy might be required to resolve them.

I thought we’d reveal a bit more about those states for this month’s diary. Please realize that this system is still a work in progress. There’s a lot more detail than we reveal here, but it would be tedious at this stage to talk in too much depth about victory-point costs and other such specific rules.


Fading Suns Designer Diary — March 2018

This month, I thought I’d be sociable and discuss social “combat”.

Fading Suns 4th Edition will have rules for using mental and social coercion and persuasion to win friends and influence Vorox. Or something like that.

Below is a brief sketch. We’re still working on the full system, so please realize that this sneak peek is provisional; there are still many details to come.


Fading Suns Designer Diary – February 2018

Note: This month’s Town Crier’s Guild report is available now on DriveThruRPG!

In this edition of our designer diaries, we ask the immortal question once asked by my favorite rock band: “Who are you?”