BUCKET OF BOLTS is a game of iconic spaceships and their infamous captains for one player.
You can’t have a good space story without an iconic spaceship. Of course, more often than not, the heroes of the story aren’t flying some shiny new cruiser. Those are for the wealthy, the elites—not our lovable scoundrels. No, they fly the bucket of bolts—the outworn, patched-up junker held together with hope, prayers and duct tape.
These ships weren’t always hunks of junk though—they have long and storied histories, and might even have been respectable vessels at some point. We only ever see a slice of that story though, a single captain and their motley crew.
This game flips the perspective.
Bucket of Bolts is a hack of Artefact, my game from last year’s ZineQuest. Instead of creating a magical item, this time you’ll be telling the story of a single spaceship. You’ll create a brand new freighter, fresh off the manufacturing line, and explore its history through each of the people who captain it. Your ship will change as the decades pass – new names, new parts, fresh paint, fresh starts – until your story draws to a close.
You’ll choose your Captains, bringing them to life with names and details, and create stories of their time with your ship using prompts and tables. When you‘re ready to move on, you’ll choose a Fate for your ship. Maybe it’s traded away fairly, but more likely it’s stolen, captured or even wrecked. You might drift for a while as you wait for your next Captain, or the seat might still be warm when a new one takes over. Either way, the galaxy will change around you, and you’ll see it all from the view in the cockpit.
Like the original Artefact, it’s a great way to spend an hour or two; sketching, world-building and storytelling in your own company. It’s also a fantastic way to generate really unique ships for tabletop games like Edge of the Empire, Traveller or Scum & Villainy, with rich backstories, fun details and tonnes of personality.
Beautiful risograph inks, exceedingly premium paper, awesome illustrations and some pretty good words from me.
This is a ‘beak zine’, which is a single sheet of A3 paper folded into an 8-page booklet. The trick is, you can unfold the zine to reveal a full-size A3 reference sheet with all the tables, rules and prompts you’ll need during play — no flicking around required!
The book is riso-printed with Federal Blue and Fluoro Orange inks, which really pop on the pinkish G.F. Smith Extract Shell paper. The zine is die-cut and crisply folded into its booklet form, ready for your perusal.
You’ll also get access to all the digital files for the game, including a soundtrack, an audiobook version of the rules, accessible versions of all files and bonus content to enhance your play experience.
*Audio Files and SHip customisation Files available Via Bits And Mortar