I didn’t realize that the core rules were available for free, I had only seen the playtest. They’re missing the world information and some features like the co-op and solo rules which I assume we’ll see when the full book releases.
A couple of pertinent notes:
The crafting system is very bare bones. you have (inorganic) components and (organic) ingredients. Crafting is mostly a downtime activity and different recipes will call for those two things along with various resources of time, energy, sanity etc. This could use some major expansion but I think as a “module” for ICRPG it might have some legs. Overall kind of disappointing as I’d hoped there would be lots of cool interactions with ancient tech, which is mostly covered by abilities.
The main resolution mechanic is kind of clunky- d20 roll over with two thresholds for success and failure with a “success but” in the middle, then at character creation you put points into these thresholds for each of the major ability groupings, and the points reduce the difficulty. This would have been much more intuitive if it was bonuses to your roll result instead of lowering the difficulty but that’s just my preference. Overall I think this would make more sense as ICRPG effort- there would still be the element of choosing risk or safety in building up your character’s rolls.
Overall, I like Drifter but I think I would like the missing stuff better than what’s there. The exploration and downtime stuff is nice in general. It’s very video-gamey so things like abilities and such are sparse out of combat. I’ll continue waiting for the full release but in the meantime I’m going to think about what I could do with some of this. Hopefully @Ezzerharden keeps at it as well!
EDIT: because I’m an idiot I realize that ezzerharden’s primer covers a lot of what’s already in the rules.