Carbyne Jungle has the distinction of being my first Kickstarter in 2019. Not sure anymore what made me check out Kickstarter other than maybe seeing other RPG companies advert theirs on Twitter. Watched the video on the KS page for it and decided to take a chance.
The universe the game is set in is pretty amazing. It’s like no other that I can think of (maybe in the same “area code” of Fading Suns, but decidedly different). It’s part dystopian, part noir, all sci-fi. As of 12/22/2022, the PDF is on sale for $17.99 ($19.99), color hardbound is $50.44 ($69.99), and combo is $50.44 ($89.98). During the Kickstarter, there was an option to choose a color version over black and white, and instead of paying up $10, I got the black and white. Now, the artwork is phenomenal regardless, and the PDF came in color, but wish I had ‘splurged’ originally.
Page one of Chapter one introduces us to a brief history of the Renown Galaxy before giving an introduction of what an RPG is and the basic framework for the game.
8 species are allowed as PC’s for the game. There are humans; dwellers, who are of short stature and tend to live underground; El-Men, of which there are 5 separate species; Faechildren, which bear an uncanny resemblance to elves; hybrids, which are (obviously) of multiple species; kodama, a treefolk variant; the Lo’ans or Konalo’a, an extremely intelligent cephalopod species (octopus person); and renge, a spider people.
There are 4 main power domains, each broken down into 3 archetypes. In the martial domain, you can play as: Corpsperson (medic); Specialist (assassin); or trooper (protector). The primal domain offers: berzerker, mystic, or vachter (guardian). In the quantom domain: aegis (defender), luminary (healer, defender), or savant. Lastly, the tech domain: droid master, nanician, or operator. Each has its unique skills and backgrounds.
Chapter 5 goes into the “society” of the galaxy. So mainly more in world information. Different groups, castes, and others are mentioned here. Also included are corporate affiliations and quantum channeler orders, and many other organizations one can work for or join.
There are “rituals” in the game, which is the Jungle’s version of magic. Like many systems, it is a level based system, so you can gain access to more powerful rituals as time passes.
When talking about running a game, they also give advice on how to run different genres and plots in those genres. Creatures and NPC’s are included as well as is a starter mission.
One last interesting item about the game is there are multiple ways to run the game, with standard or strategic being the more common. There is a third way as well, the Flip and Fight, which is explained in depth in the game. There are also mission decks (their 2nd Kickstarter, which includes 100+ cards and a PDF with three missions for each deck) which would allow a non-GM, or very GM lite, version of the game.