Commlink 6

Verfasser: taranion | Datum: 07.10.2022 | Kategorie(n): Commlink

I’ve been working on Genesis for 8 years now. Initially only for Splittermond (a german only RPG), then over time I added more role-playing games, most recently Shadowrun 6. The look has also changed over the years. Under the hood, however, much has remained the same – and that’s not always a good thing. I have therefore decided – with a few years of experience richer – to start again from scratch.

Room for Improvement

Genesis is, after all, an application for several role-playing games, all of which share a common core (called the RPGFramework) that shares character management, printing architecture, and elements of the graphical interface. I would like to add capabilities to this foundation.

Beyond that, there is more or less need for improvement in the role-playing systems. Splittermond and Shadowrun are particularly close to my heart. Splittermond, as the first system I implemented, is the system where I made the most unfavourable decisions. Shadowrun, as the most complex rules system I’ve ever seen, is the most challenging and presents me with the problem with every new rulebook that I haven’t thought big enough in 2019.

General Vision

So what do I want to do differently or additionally? I’ll try to outline where I want to go.

Responsive Application

Genesis currently requires a resolution of at least 1680×1050. This is a given for most desktop users, but those who only have a laptop monitor, for example, often have difficulties – even with HiDPI displays, since the application has to be scaled up there. So I would like to pay more attention to the fact that the application adapts to the screen or window size. This is also important for the next point:

(Also) Support mobile devices

Basically since the early days and increasingly in the last few years, I get requests if Genesis is also available for Android / iOS – I always had to deny it. But the technology has evolved and there is now software that can turn a Java desktop application into a mobile application. That’s still tricky, and in the case of iOS, extra cumbersome again, but theoretically doable. A smartphone or tablet app is thus within reach.

Offline editing with online storage

I’m not one for developing online-only applications, but I do want to take advantage of the possibilities. I’d like to provide cloud storage for the or the follow-on application that can be used to sync characters between different installations. One or the other already does that today by storing the character directory in Google Drive, for example, and that will still work in the future. But an online storage for characters that I run opens up new possibilities in perspective, such as sharing characters with a game master, linking to automatically sync with a VTT, linking to a Discord dice bot, etc.

Shadowrun 6 vision

Functionally, there won’t be that much going on here, as SR6 was already quite well supported and much more under-the-hood improvements are needed. However, I’ve been at it for 1.5 years and have commissioned an illustrator (Andreas ‘AAS’ Schroth) to create illustrations for me for meta variants. Some of them Shadowrun players have already seen in the Shadow Compendium, since Pegasus bought them from me (and I reinvest the money in new ones).


Well, I am not good with estimations. Originally I estimated a workable chargen application based on the core rulebook end of August. Now I expect it more to be Mid/End November. Once that is done, more content will follow. The application already does support some content from other books, but it will take some time to get books fully incorporated. In which order we will add content has been laid out here:

Currently only our supporters at Patreon get the chance to run technology preview versions. Once the application reaches a state that allows creating and editing chars by the core rules, I will publish it as an open Beta. This likely will be December 2022.