Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Too Many Space RPGs Spoil The Party

My gaming group and I have an issue. Well, we have many issues, including a guy who liked to make a character, wait and see what the cool powers in the game were that everyone else was using, and then make a new character combining as many of those powers as possible. But today, we're going to focus on a pretty clear one--too damn many space/sci-fi RPGs to play.

Seriously. We come from divergent gaming backgrounds, and I've been privileged enough to know some of the best sci-fi/space gaming writers out there, and so we really, really cannot make up our mind as to what sci-fi or space RPG to play next. As an illustration of this issue, I submit to you our most recent "short list" of candidates (with links, and in no particular order):

Thousand Suns

D6 Space
Cold Space
Starblazer Adventures
Starcluster 2
HardNova 2
Classic Traveller
Mongoose Traveller
Traveller T20
StarSIEGE: Event Horizon
Rifts: Phase World

No one knows when this horrible deadlock will end, or what the result will be. But there is the sense that so long as the game allows for some form of Far Trader, all will be well.

Any thoughts on what your choice would be?


Rob Lang said...

I'd recommend Coldspace or Starcluster, as they are very much complete games. Sci Fi needs lots of resources to go with it. Choice of ships, cars, weapons and so on. Starcluster has that.

Classic Traveller feels very 70s, which can be a bit jarring for the internet generation. Your players might prefer that, though!

clash bowley said...

Whoa! You have every one of my favorite space games there, Zach! There are half a dozen games there I would run at the drop of a hat! Neb, HN ][, Icar, Lightspeed, etc. are all awesome games, each with its own flavor. I usually make my decision based on that flavor rather than anything else.


wyattsalazar said...

Oh ho! What a nice list of games. I should check some of these out.

szilard said...

What are your thoughts on Hellas?

Doctor Checkmate said...

Slipstream (Savage Worlds)
Dark Heresy
Star Wars

...Or are these all too pulpy to be "Space" games? That makes sense to me, but I couldn't resist adding fuel to the fire.

You might even be able to find some more d20/d20 Modern options kicking around the proverbial bargain bins.

Fading Suns

Doctor Checkmate said...

And darn it! Star Frontiers!

Want my opinion, this is a great problem to have.

Zachary The First said...

@ Rob: We're pretty much down with CT. There are a few antiquated bits the players don't like, but by and large, it just seems to work--even the risk of dying during chargen!

@clash: I know, clash, I know! The problem is so many of the various premises and flavors sounds so cool!

@ dr checkmate: Better than too few space games, right?

Actually Star Frontiers was never huge on anyone in my group's radar, for whatever reason.

@szilard: Hellas? Beautiful book, love the system (d6), but I worry its a little gimmicky.

szilard said...


I saw the book at GenCon - and my former roommate did a lot of the art - it is gorgeous... and odd. I was curious about the system, though...

noisms said...

2300 AD for the win!

I've never played it and only recently found out about it, but I have to say it looks fantastic.

Olman Feelyus said...

It really is an embarrassment of riches. And we're starting to have this in all genres, fantasy obviously, but now horror and even westerns are busting at the seams with cool new games.

At least you have a focus on what kind of campaign you'd like to run. I just see a vast-as-space range of awesome sci-fi settings I'd like to run or play in.

I'm leaning towards Starblazer Adventures because I want to see if they made FATE 3.0 a little more "normal" and accessible and I love the idea of the scalable systems for designing empires, ships, planets, etc.