I just ran a quick one-shot of Golgotha, the sci-fi tomb raiding RPG by Greg Saunders. It’s a fascinating little setting. I’ve made a fillable character sheet for it.
Players are teams of Scavengers who travel beyond Human Space to seek out the Golgotha – mysterious alien ruins from long-dead civilizations. There, they brave robot guardians, deadly countermeasures, and other scavengers to recover strange lost technologies. They trade these artifacts to the Overseers, a mysterious alien race, in return for genetic enhancements that gradually make the characters more powerful.
Golgotha uses the same system as the Black Hack, a fantasy OSR system. Characters have levels, hit points, and classes just as in D&D style games. They also have the standard (STR,DEX, CON, WIS, INT, CHA) attributes.
Most actions are resolved with attribute tests; Players need to roll a D20 and get below what ever stat they’re testing. For example, to hit someone with a gun, the player needs to roll below their DEX score. To avoid being hit in melee, the player needs to roll below their STR score. Attribute tests also take the place of saving throws.
All rolls are made by the players. Players can have talents (essentially skills) that increase the chance of succeeding at certain rolls.
Things I liked
- Leveling up a character is the result of the genetic modifications that the Overseers provide when players successfully complete a mission. There’s a chance they get a mutation (cosmetic only) when this happens.
- It uses the same armor rules as the second edition of the Black Hack. Not everyone likes them, but I’m a fan. All armor has a Armor Value(AV). The players can spend an AV point to avoid a successful blow. After the battle, the player can roll a D6 to see if the armor can be repaired to restore the AV points.
- Weapons are broken down by size (small,medium,assault,heavy), and do damage according to the character’s class. To give the weapons a bit more personality, there’s a random table to generate a custom name for each weapon. For example, one of my players ended up with a Quintess Proton Gun and a Selicore Projectile Microgun.
- The amount of detail given about the setting is exactly the right amount – Enough to be interesting, and provide plot hooks, but not so much extraneous detail as to be stifling. There’s plenty of room to customize the setting.
- There are tables to randomly generate Golgothas, the guardians within, and the Artifacts the players might be tasked to find.
- Twelve sample Golgotha are provided, each with descriptions, quirks, guardians and countermeasures, and other encounters. There are a lot of fun ideas packed into these short settings.
- No index
- The provided Golgotha are packed with a lot of detail, but aren’t really fleshed out as full adventures. Less experienced GMs might have some trouble running them.
- There was one page of the core book with a character sheet, but no separate PDF sheet is available. I’ve remedied that below.
A Character Sheet
There doesn’t seem to be a separate PDF character sheet available for Golgotha. I’ve taken the sample one from the book, made it a separate PDF, and cleaned it up a bit. I’ve also made it fillable, and added automatic calculations for the talent levels. You can also import an image directly into the portrait box. This is another of my ever-growing list of character sheets.