Showing Your Skills [Distant Earth]

Technology is vast and exciting in the world of Distant Earth. Still, some people don’t have easy access to it due to their social standing or locale, and others simply don’t trust it. Thus, mechanical locks for doors and containers are still commonly used. And for everything else, there’s hacking.

Lockpicking and Hacking are two common Skills that an adventure-bound explorer, cyber-rogue, or Credit-seeking ne’er-do-well can possess. A character’s Skill set is determined by a collection of dice, that varies based on attributes, gear, and training. An urban systems analyst may roll 4d12 for a Hacking check, while an outland farmer might only roll 1d4. Perhaps this console had a DC of 6-6 (needing two rolls of 6 or higher to succeed.) Our outland farmer would be stumped, but there is a good chance the systems analyst has what it takes to hack his way in.



A desk has a lock with a DC of 4-4-4 (roughly simulating how many tumblers must be bypassed and how elaborate the lock is.)

A petty thief has a Lockpicking Skill set of 4d8s and 1d20.

He has: 2d8s from his natural dexterity modifier, one d8 from his specific training in lockpicking, 1d8 from his special stabilizing gloves, and 1d20 from a high-quality lockpick set that his father passed down to him.

He rolls all five dice. The results are 2, 6, 1, 4, and 13. He successfully unlocks the desk, because he needed to roll a minimum of 4 on three dice.

The same theory applies when trying to bypass the security on a computer system, or deactivate a guard turret. Depending on the difficulty of the Hacking Skill Check, a target set of numbers must be met at a minimum to succeed. It does not matter if you roll seven 1s and one 12 if the DC is 12 to pass, the one 12 makes it a success. Additional dice in your “set” represent your natural abilities, your training, and your special gear, all of which improve your odds of succeeding, but individual dice failures do not count against you.

So You Want To Be A Robot? [Distant Earth]

Well, you can!

Four robot “species” are available from game start in Distant Earth, with varying options for background, appearance, special skills, and RP flavor elements.

The simple but handy Utilibots, the specialized hyper-programmed Silus companions, the sentient synthetic Androids, or the human brain-implanted Immortals all are character creation options at Level 1. Will you spend your time striving to become more human, or enjoy the freedom of having no social and moral expectations? Will you follow the path the engineers laid out for you, or will you learn to master your own programming? The world of Distant Earth awaits your decision.

A Tinker’s Immortality [Distant Earth]

Markus sighed into the night.

The mud from the recent rainfall made the incline of the hill difficult to negotiate, and the shack that he approached was little more than an unimpressive black silhouette against a purple sky. “Really? This trash-heap?” Markus thought to himself with uncertainty. Well, these were the coordinates, and there had been no other signs of civilized life over the last mile or so. His boots clomped in the mud as he reached the top of the hill, and he turned his wrist-torch on high to search for the door. Finding it, he knocked, and waited.

The eyeslot slid open with a rough thud, and the sound of metal scraping metal filled Markus’s ears. Yellow light flooded out through the eyeslot from inside the shack, and a pair of weathered, wary eyes gazed out at him.

“What?” an old voice barked sharply from behind the metal door.

“I’m here on business,” Markus answered. “I heard that you had–”

Flood lights suddenly lit up all around him, illuminating the entrance way in bright white light. The telltale sound of servos firing up preceded a robotic turret fixing its aim at him from above the door, ready to prevent an unwanted visitor from intruding.

“…tech,” Markus finished, staring cautiously at the barrel.

The grizzled eyes studied him warily from behind the slot, searching him up and down. “You Clean?” the old man questioned.

Markus lifted his forearm and pulled his sleeve back, revealing multiple red needle marks on his skin along the vein-line.  “Had my Fix an hour ago,” he promised.

The old eyes studied Markus’s forearm for a moment, and then softened slightly. “Well, you got Creds, right? I don’t deal in salvage or barter.”

Markus lowered his arm and relaxed his stance. “Sir, I’ve got enough Creds to buy us both a new lifetime,” he boasted with a smile, “and if your tech is really what I’ve heard it is, then that’s precisely what I mean to do.”


This is Distant Earth.

Base12 Game System

Base12 Game System PDF.

A free-to-use tabletop game system designed for use with multiple genres and formats.

Base12 uses a full spectrum of dice types and static bonus integers to determine proficiency and outcomes, allowing for a broad range of play styles and settings. Characters are created using a selection of attributes that remain relevant across multiple genres, encompass all conceivable skills and abilities, and allow for the easy integration of existing reference materials into a new game world for a fresher and deeper playing experience.

Use it with your favorite game materials, in your own personal homebrew, or with one of the campaign settings designed with it in mind, such as Shattered Empire or Distant Earth.