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Dust Bowl Galaxy Rulebook

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Dust Bowl Galaxy is a space western game of exploration, outlaws and frontier survival.

It is a rules-light low-prep game where you build your starship out of spare parts, crew it with custom made aliens, and go explore the galaxy one randomly (or not so randomly) generated sector at a time. When you blow something up, you weld the leftovers onto your ship, call them upgrades and keep on truckin'.

You are in a tin can with half a dozen other scoundrels and there is literally nothing outside for light years. You are tumbling through a bitter galaxy that used to have a lot more people. You are going where many others have gone before. The trick is surviving to come back.

You are looking for a new rock for your people to call home. And once you find it, the refugees can leave their overcrowded slums to become settlers so you get rich doing the right thing… just this once.

On an unrelated note, you are totally not pirates. “Not in this port, officer.”

This game requires use of playing cards. You may use a couple regular poker decks (and deface them with sharpies), but it is faster to play it with a set of Dust Bowl Galaxy Cards. There are 237 of them in the set, covering all the ship components, gadgets, alien species and their abilities, as well as planets and stars for random galactic sector creation.

This game also requires six-sided dice. About thirty of them will suffice for the whole group. They do not come bundled with the game, but there are many hobby stores that will happily sell you these in a variety of colors and materials.

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Reviews (1)
Discussions (3)
Customer avatar
Harold O September 26, 2021 2:25 am UTC
My players and I are loving what we've played of the game so far. But we have come up with a few questions that either aren't clear in our reading of the rules, but are implied but not explicit:
Q1: Psionics: how do you determine whether a PC is psionic? Is it a choice? Is it dependent on species (the Fusha are all telepaths, does that mean they've psionics?

Q2: Blueprints and Ship Designs. Under "Extra Large Modules," there is mention of a "ship design," which implies that at some point you may be building a ship to a specification. Up until that point, the only ship design is the captain building the initial ship from the cards that are drawn in the players' starting hands. The crafting section makes a reference to a ship "blueprint," but that appears to just refer to a value: the total number of modules in the ship + whatever module(s) you are trying to craft to add to that ship. But at the end of the rules, the Ship Sheet devotes a large area to a grid for "Blueprint,"...See more
Customer avatar
Ilya B September 26, 2021 3:54 pm UTC
Thank you for the questions. Here's some answers straight from the developer team (i.e. me).

1. Psionics are a choice. Fusha are telepaths through touch-only, so if a Fusha player chooses not to be a telepath, they're stuck with that range, where science-fiction of it works through a symbiotic relationship and contagion. If the Fusha player wants to expand the range of that ability, they must choose to become a psionic and science-fiction becomes science-fantasy. Whether to include psionics at all is a choice by the GM, depending on how hard-boiled you like your science.

2. The ship blueprint is an anachronistic way to record your current ship build, the "blueprint" of it is where you could, with pen and paper, record the names of the cards used in construction, D8, HK, CA, etc. Or you could take a picture of the thing with your phone and call it good. Just don't lose the phone. In the brighter days long gone by, there used to be factories and blueprints and design teams. Nowadays...See more
Customer avatar
Harold O September 26, 2021 6:32 pm UTC
Wonderful; thank you! This clears a LOT up for us, particularly that the reference to "the ship design calls for extra components" is just a euphemism for the captain's imagination wanting more.

The clarification of the shuttle/starfighter construction is stellar! My players will be so delighted when we play again in a few days!
Customer avatar
Ilya B September 26, 2021 7:05 pm UTC
On our official website, there is a discord link you can join if you need to find answers to rules questions faster. The link to the site is on the product page. Would love to have you there for feedback.

I am not allowed (afaik) to post links that don't link to drivethrurpg per website policy.
Customer avatar
Fred R July 12, 2019 1:19 am UTC
The full size preview is of the cards, not the rulebook.
Customer avatar
Ilya B July 14, 2019 12:09 am UTC
The issue is resolved now. Sorry about that.
Customer avatar
Tim O July 10, 2019 3:31 pm UTC
So, Galaxy Trucker: The RPG?
Customer avatar
Ilya B July 10, 2019 8:19 pm UTC
The main inspirations for it are FTL, Expanse series, Firefly and Guardians of the Galaxy.
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File Last Updated:
July 10, 2019
This title was added to our catalog on July 10, 2019.