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Author Topic: 5E Science Fiction Systems  (Read 1205 times)

S'mon

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« Reply #15 on: September 06, 2019, 06:32:27 PM »
Quote from: GeekyBugle;1102779
So you want space elves, dwarfs, halflings, orcs etc.?

Why?

Also I seem to remember a game just like that, not sure of the name or which rules it used. It was very gonzo tho.


Well if I'm playing D&D in space then I want "D&D in space" - it does not strictly have to have any particular D&D race. Space Orcs I find about the least likely of any, whatever WH40K says. I'd be perfectly happy blasting Fungi From Yuggoth with my Solar Gun and slicing through Triffids with my Laser Sword.
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jhkim

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« Reply #16 on: September 06, 2019, 06:33:53 PM »
Quote from: Aglondir;1102794
Thanks for the link! Based on the brief preview on Drive-thru:

  • Production values and art look great
  • Stand-alone, does not require 5E books to play
  • 8 classes and 9 races (but I don't know what they are)
  • Unique setting element, Crucibles, which contain an element called Sorium, which is an omni-power source
  • Prolonged exposure to Sorium gives you Esper powers (earth, air, fire, water, space time, gravity)

I'm intrigued, even if it looks a bit "softer" than I usually like. I'm guessing the Espers fill a wizard role.
Here's a review from Gnome Stew,

https://gnomestew.com/esper-genesis-review/

Antiquation!

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« Reply #17 on: September 06, 2019, 07:10:53 PM »
While I have no idea what would possess anyone to inflict a 5e scifi game on themselves, there was a very successful kickstarter for a game called "Spaceships & Starwyrms."

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/ladytabletop/spaceships-and-starwyrms-a-5e-sci-fi-game/posts

There is a link to free quickstart rules in the description. It appears core books in PDF form have already been sent to backers. Designed to be highly 5e compatible.

Edit: PDF available on DTRPG. Reviews seem good.

https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/258895/Spaceships-and-Starwyrms-Core-Sourcebook
« Last Edit: September 06, 2019, 07:21:56 PM by Antiquation! »
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Aglondir

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« Reply #18 on: September 06, 2019, 07:48:00 PM »
Quote from: Antiquation!;1102810
While I have no idea what would possess anyone to inflict a 5e scifi game on themselves, there was a very successful kickstarter for a game called "Spaceships & Starwyrms."

Thanks for the link!

What the heck is a Starwyrm, I wonder?

Quote from:  Kickstarter page for S&S
Archetypes for bards, fighters, rogues, paladins, and sorcerers

Probably a dragon. In space.

Quote from:  Kickstarter page for S&S
Clocking in at nearly 400 pages, the Core Sourcebook...

Yikes!
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Antiquation!

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« Reply #19 on: September 06, 2019, 08:09:44 PM »
Quote from: Aglondir;1102816
Thanks for the link!

What the heck is a Starwyrm, I wonder?
No idea! But apparently it's included in the book's bestiary...

Quote from: Aglondir;1102816
Probably a dragon. In space.

Seems likely. Or possibly a purple wyrm in space?
« Last Edit: September 06, 2019, 08:13:26 PM by Antiquation! »
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Mistwell

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« Reply #20 on: September 06, 2019, 10:06:19 PM »
I'd really like them to just make a new Star Frontiers already.

remial

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« Reply #21 on: September 07, 2019, 05:06:49 AM »
I have a copy of Esper Genesis, and yeah, it is based off 5th ed.  It's ok, but it is a bit too, I don't know, focused(?) for my tastes...
yeah it has espers who get kewl powerz, but there are also 3 other power sources as well.  it does shooty ships and FTL, but I want giant robots too.  I want to custom build ships not pick one off a line.  if Stars Without Number were 5th ed instead of OSR, it would be closer to what I want.

I'm looking forward to the revised edition of Ultarmodern 5th ed, which will include things like space ships, mecha, androids, magic, vehicles, and a bunch more.  Still not exactly what I want tho.

Alternity was great, IMO, because it had so many bells and whistles that you could tweek.  I want that. but 5th edition powered.

RandyB

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« Reply #22 on: September 07, 2019, 10:41:36 AM »
Quote from: remial;1102873
I have a copy of Esper Genesis, and yeah, it is based off 5th ed.  It's ok, but it is a bit too, I don't know, focused(?) for my tastes...
yeah it has espers who get kewl powerz, but there are also 3 other power sources as well.  it does shooty ships and FTL, but I want giant robots too.  I want to custom build ships not pick one off a line.  if Stars Without Number were 5th ed instead of OSR, it would be closer to what I want.

I'm looking forward to the revised edition of Ultarmodern 5th ed, which will include things like space ships, mecha, androids, magic, vehicles, and a bunch more.  Still not exactly what I want tho.

Alternity was great, IMO, because it had so many bells and whistles that you could tweek.  I want that. but 5th edition powered.

I backed the Ultramodern5 Redux Kickstarter. Definitely looking forward to it. :)

The challenge of science fiction is the genre and setting. "D&D Fantasy" is a distinct genre, with identifiable common tropes and a broad appeal. The closest thing to such in science fiction is... Star Wars. Warhammer 40K runs a close second, but the lack of film productions keeps it in second place. Star Trek is still out there, but it was never as big as Star Wars. Doctor WhoTFCares? Niche games are niche.

The fact that I could name four distinct settings, each with distinctively different underlying tropes and few to no common tropes, means that there is no baseline common genre upon which to build a science fiction game. And no science fiction game has ever successfully spawned its own genre as successfully as D&D. There is no such common ground.

(And if you want to debate "science fiction" vs. "science fantasy", that conversation is over here.)

Which is why 1. all science fiction RPGs will remain niche as compared to the sales numbers of "D&D fantasy"-based RPGs and 2. WotC will never release as much product for a science fiction RPG as they do for D&D, if they ever publish one at all; and I doubt that they will.

Finally, pay attention to how WotC has managed the product line ever since they bought TSR. They have never strayed far from "D&D Fantasy" if at all; even 4e D&D stayed in the genre while it varied wildly in game mechanics from 3.x and earlier. They are not going to make the mistakes they saw TSR make - too many distinct settings and product lines cannibalizing their own customer base and dispersing sales among too many products.

Opaopajr

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« Reply #23 on: September 07, 2019, 03:14:00 PM »
Quote from: Aglondir;1102790
I'm thinking of "D20 Future done right" more than something like DragonStar (Elves and Dwarves in space.)

Hmm, so a large generalist toolkit. Ok. :cool: That'd be a massive undertaking for a forun topic brainstorm.

I was thinking something more defined, possibly even specific to a particular literature or other media piece. :)

Something tight like perhaps "Blade Runner" the theatrical release, where we explore the nature of humanity amid the time & hormonal pressure of "burn twice as bright for half as long."
  • Only two races (species) would be Humans v. Replicants.
  • Only two classes with Fighter & Rogue.
  • Maybe Archetypes to support a narrowed scope, if it matters (Fighter: space laborer, planet laborer, law enforcer. Rogue: scientist, tech laborer, entertainer.)
  • Then a plethora Backgrounds.
  • AND a ruthlessly ever-present countdown meter of Age. It might be the first time it may ever come to the forefront of a game

Just use the 5e chassis, keep the simplified chargen and familiar D&D shibboleths of HP, AC, et cetera, and get to playing already. And after every session add 3 (or 6) months of life onto every PC's Age. Eventually those who play Replicants face mortality tout de suite. Levelling up still means something, but making your sessions meaningful means more... Could be an awesome RPG experience with the Damocles' Sword of mortality hanging amid a mixed party's fellowship.
:cool:
« Last Edit: September 07, 2019, 03:19:44 PM by Opaopajr »
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GeekyBugle

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« Reply #24 on: September 07, 2019, 04:43:25 PM »
Quote from: S'mon;1102803
Well if I'm playing D&D in space then I want "D&D in space" - it does not strictly have to have any particular D&D race. Space Orcs I find about the least likely of any, whatever WH40K says. I'd be perfectly happy blasting Fungi From Yuggoth with my Solar Gun and slicing through Triffids with my Laser Sword.


Fair enough. I might enjoy that too.
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GeekyBugle

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« Reply #25 on: September 07, 2019, 04:44:10 PM »
Quote from: Mistwell;1102833
I'd really like them to just make a new Star Frontiers already.

I second this.
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GeekyBugle

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« Reply #26 on: September 07, 2019, 04:53:50 PM »
Quote from: RandyB;1102909
I backed the Ultramodern5 Redux Kickstarter. Definitely looking forward to it. :)

The challenge of science fiction is the genre and setting. "D&D Fantasy" is a distinct genre, with identifiable common tropes and a broad appeal. The closest thing to such in science fiction is... Star Wars. Warhammer 40K runs a close second, but the lack of film productions keeps it in second place. Star Trek is still out there, but it was never as big as Star Wars. Doctor WhoTFCares? Niche games are niche.

The fact that I could name four distinct settings, each with distinctively different underlying tropes and few to no common tropes, means that there is no baseline common genre upon which to build a science fiction game. And no science fiction game has ever successfully spawned its own genre as successfully as D&D. There is no such common ground.

(And if you want to debate "science fiction" vs. "science fantasy", that conversation is over here.)

Which is why 1. all science fiction RPGs will remain niche as compared to the sales numbers of "D&D fantasy"-based RPGs and 2. WotC will never release as much product for a science fiction RPG as they do for D&D, if they ever publish one at all; and I doubt that they will.

Finally, pay attention to how WotC has managed the product line ever since they bought TSR. They have never strayed far from "D&D Fantasy" if at all; even 4e D&D stayed in the genre while it varied wildly in game mechanics from 3.x and earlier. They are not going to make the mistakes they saw TSR make - too many distinct settings and product lines cannibalizing their own customer base and dispersing sales among too many products.

I kinda agree, but:

I think what makes D&D so dominant it's the play stile more than the setting, as in D&D focuses on a small commando roving the world fighting baddies, while all Sci-Fi games that I know of either focus on ships or try to mix both. As an example of a ship focused we have the more successful Sci-Fi game: Traveller and it's retroclone Cepheus.

When last I played WEG Star Wars our GM focused on a commando of rebels infiltrating Imperial posts, bases, etc. It was fun as fuck.

I might be wrong of course as this is coming from my deeply flawed knowledge of the hobby regarding Sci-Fi games, there are lots I have never read/played.
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GeekyBugle

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« Reply #27 on: September 07, 2019, 05:14:20 PM »
Straight from the publisher, this might be what some are looking for Warband!
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jhkim

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« Reply #28 on: September 08, 2019, 03:13:11 AM »
Quote from: GeekyBugle;1102958
I think what makes D&D so dominant it's the play stile more than the setting, as in D&D focuses on a small commando roving the world fighting baddies, while all Sci-Fi games that I know of either focus on ships or try to mix both. As an example of a ship focused we have the more successful Sci-Fi game: Traveller and it's retroclone Cepheus.
There are plenty of non-spaceship sci-fi games. Cyberpunk, for example, along with Shadowrun. The post-apocalyptic genre used to be more popular, with games like Paranoia, Gamma World, and Twilight 2000, etc. -- but it tends to be seen as dated now. Even futures in space don't need to individual starship-based adventures. I'm fond of the setting for Blue Planet, for example, which is set on a single world. Unfortunately, I've never gotten to do a campaign.

I'd certainly like to see more sci-fi that differs from the generic Star Wars/Star Trek model -- including as a 5E game.

RandyB

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« Reply #29 on: September 08, 2019, 09:32:47 AM »
Quote from: GeekyBugle;1102958
I kinda agree, but:

I think what makes D&D so dominant it's the play stile more than the setting, as in D&D focuses on a small commando roving the world fighting baddies, while all Sci-Fi games that I know of either focus on ships or try to mix both. As an example of a ship focused we have the more successful Sci-Fi game: Traveller and it's retroclone Cepheus.

When last I played WEG Star Wars our GM focused on a commando of rebels infiltrating Imperial posts, bases, etc. It was fun as fuck.

I might be wrong of course as this is coming from my deeply flawed knowledge of the hobby regarding Sci-Fi games, there are lots I have never read/played.

Traveller? Ship-focused? The reputation does not match the RAW for the original Classic Traveller, 1977 edition or 1981 edition.

Well, OK, one of a party of PCs mustering out of the Scouts and getting a scout ship is not uncommon. But the famous "mortgaged free trader" is statistically the single rarest chargen outcome in Classic Traveller (1977 or 1981).