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Flat Black is a setting for science fiction role-playing games. Within that gamut it is specialised for planetary adventure1, which is to say for adventures in the vein of Jack Vance’s Oikumene, Gaean Reach, and Alastor Cluster stories, Poul Anderson’s Polesotechnic League material, Ursula Le Guin’s Hainish cycle…. In the typical campaign or adventure the player characters will be comparatively cosmopolitan people who come with a thing to do to an isolated planet that has a strange, quirky, or even bizarre society and culture. The planet’s social oddities will be at first an enigma and an obstacle to the PCs’ goals: to achieve their objective they will have to engage with the locals, learn about their customs, and figure out how to circumvent or even exploit them.

Parties of PCs in Flat Black may be explorers, adventure journalists, charity workers, spies, clandestine operators, private effectuators, field researchers for Lonely Universe Tourist Guide, antiques dealers, art thieves, corporate troubleshooters, travelling salesfolk, mercenary cadre, revolutionary agitators, or even Imperial agents: whomever they are, where-ever they go, whatever it is their job to do, nothing ever goes smooth.

This page is a site from which to download the latest versions of the background material in PDF and EPUB formats. The rest of the wiki in which it is embedded is incomplete, out of date, and full of weirdly specific minutiae. I don't recommend that you bother with it.

Players’ Introduction to Flat Black (2022 version)

A brief overview of the setting in 10,000 words, including thumbnail sketches of twenty colonies.

Future products

Forty Exotic Worlds
Succinct descriptions of forty worlds in under 2,000 words each. (Coming soon. View a sample, the draft description of Tau Ceti.)
Effectives' Handbook
A guide to the interstellar non-profit sector in Flat Black, for campaigns in which the player characters are clandestine "effectives" working for non-profit organisations, or are investigative journalists etc. (Someday.)
Imperial Servants' Handbook
A description of the Empire, its operations, and life in its service, for campaigns in which the player characters are Imperial law-enforcement officers, aid workers, military personnel, and clandestine operators. (Someday later.)
Kit & Caboodle
A catalogue of products and processes available in Flat Black, with an appropriate emphasis on the kit and equipment of player-character types. (Some day, some day.)

Copyright © 2021 by Brett Evill