I put out a general call to see if anyone had any questions for me about Pressure and TTRPGs in general, and here are the first four.
From Joseph Wolf
Are Pressure and Dark Places in the same setting?
They are – Those Dark Places was more of a concept with a focus on crewmembers and a vague background to give the setting a bit of depth, but Pressure is much more filled out, has a complete campaign setting and even a history up to the year 2345. This will hopefully spark ideas and adventure seeds for GMs to take advantage of, and really sets the mood.
What's the game content focus in Pressure vs. Dark Places?
Those Dark Places was focused on the small ships with small crews out in the middle of nowhere, blue-collar workers just trying to get by and deal with the problems and terrors they faced. I was trying to capture that sense of helplessness in the far reaches of the cosmos to help heighten the tension, so the players would have to rely on their own wits to survive.
Pressure is the reverse of that – the game’s focus may be on SOS teams, special military squads sent out to deal with these problems, but the players can now create any kind of PC they want and play the game as they see fit. They can still play crew members in the middle of nowhere or play the Pressure’s default game which is the SOS squads, but they can also play any kind of person doing any kind of job in any part of the explored galaxy. Want to play a detective in a HyperCity on Earth, Blade Runner style? No problem. Want to add some cybernetics and get a bit Ghost in the Shell? There’s rules for that. Want to be the one good cop on a bad mining station? Go for it. Want to jump from space station to space station as a jobbing crewman, or an entertainer, or a reporter trying to uncover the latest corporate scandal? Absolutely. With the new skill system that enables character progression and longer campaigns, as well as the ability to create your own skills to suit your PC concept, the sky is no longer the limit.
From Jason Riffle
Are there any supplements planned for Pressure aside from Reports/Adventures?
There are – it’s my intention to create some follow-up material in 2024 that goes into more detail about certain factions and corporations in the setting, some focus on starships and stations (everyone likes a good deckplan, after all) and even some expansions and/or rules options that groups might want to take on board to suit their table. I’m already getting some great feedback on how some gamers are interpreting the rules and - as I’m a great believer in games not being played RAW but modified to suit individual tables – I’m hoping that these groups will share their preferences, house rules and modifications.
Will Those Dark Places continue to receive support? Since the rules appear largely interchangeable, this may be a distinction without a difference.
All future material will be using the rules introduced in Pressure, but as the basic rules are exactly the same they will all be compatible with Those Dark Places. If, for any reason, the differences don't allow that I will incluide seperate entries for both games.
This game seems like a great fit for convention play. Does your personal imprint or Osprey Games have convention support for GM's?
There’s nothing available that’s focused on convention play, but this is a great idea and may be worth visiting before the conventions begin next year.
What projects are you working on that you can tease?
I can’t tease much, but I’m continuing to support my successful Deep Space RPG, I’m in the process of completing an adventure for a huge license which you’ll find out about in the next few weeks, and I’m building a whole new game for a client which we’ll see by March next year. That’s all I can say!
If you could write the official RPG for any existing IP what would it be?
Right now, there’s only one I’d write with a passion; Robin of Sherwood, the HTV show from the 1980s. I’ve already approached the license holders for it and they have decided not to proceed with a tabletop game as it’s not part of their plans for the IP, so we won’t see one any time soon. Which is a shame because I’ve pretty much written it!
If ‘Those Dark Places’ was your Alien and ‘Pressure’ your Aliens, what can we expect from your Alien 3? (Obviously there’s nothing after that, since they rightly stopped the Alien franchise after 3 films….)
I’ve been giving that some thought and, considering that the entire universe is now opened up as a setting in the Pressure rulebook, I’m not sure where else I can take the concept that you can’t already do with the options I’ve already given.
Saying that, there is a hint that players can reach something called ‘Elite status’ once they’ve maxed out all of their skills, and that this leads to a career in something beyond the realms of both Those Dark Places and Pressure. I think I know what I want to do with that concept, but it will probably require a whole new approach to the game and an entire new game system. We’ll see!
How can new players be best brought into the TTRPG hobby without it being by D&D?
Honestly, I think D&D is probably the only way that many new players get into the hobby, and while that’s a shame for many smaller games I don’t think it’s a terrible thing. We can’t get away from D&D being the juggernaut that it is so the best we can do is to make sure that new gamers see us jumping up and down behind the stack of D&D media, and that they see us waving our games for their attention. If we write it, they will come.
Would you have gone back for Jones?
God, no. I love my cat but let’s be honest…
From Jim Stryker
Why are Con and Ranged Specialist skills? It seems counter-intuitive.
Specialist skills require training or some kind of experience to use, and I felt that you would need training with a gun in this universe considering they’re coil weapons so need to be handled differently. To be honest, if you put any gun in my hand right now I wouldn’t have the slightest idea what to do with it other than what the movies have shown me, I’d need training.
If you were to try and intentionally con someone successfully then you must have had some experience or honed that skill to be effectively dishonest or misleading. Con artists spend a time perfecting that skill to be convincing and it’s not something that comes naturally to everyone.
Saying that, I played a game of Pressure recently in which I dropped the need for specialisations and everyone had access to the skills, rolling their basic attribute if they didn’t have any skill points spent. It was a great game and gave it a much more adventurous feel, as well as helping the PCs in situations they would have otherwise struggled. The rules as written, though, are meant to focus on individual strengths and weaknesses, which means that groups have be much more focused on a good spread of skills.