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Author Topic: Anyone have recommendations on space games?  (Read 1955 times)

Thondor

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Re: Anyone have recommendations on space games?
« Reply #30 on: July 29, 2021, 11:57:47 AM »
I recently added Free Spacer to the CDG Marketplace. It bills itself as a "sand-box starship RPG."
It has an interesting mechanic where when you succeeded more than you need to you can store the excess "energy" in your ship reactor or personal reactor. You spend from your reactor to get bonus dice later.
Ships are very easy to upgrade, as is your "crew-kit", and you can have very different kind of adventures depending on what kind of "flag" your ship is commissioned with such as Bounty Hunter, Courier, Scout, Technician, Mercenary or a few others. (Flags can change through play.)
This is the sort of game you could play for years.
I've been meaning to make a video about it.

I backed the 13th Fleet recently. Which draws heavy inspiration from Jack Campbell's Lost Fleet series. The players are all backstabbing ship Captains returning home from the "nearly victorious battle." The 13th Fleet is known to be full of the most incompetent Captains of the empire. This is the sort of game and engine where you assume you might go through a few captains, and a typical game would probably be 5 sessions or so.
The engine is based on Forged in the Dark.

I'm pretty eager to get both to the table. I'm not aware of a way to get the 13th Fleet.
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zircher

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Re: Anyone have recommendations on space games?
« Reply #31 on: July 29, 2021, 03:34:42 PM »
Starfinder has been mentioned, but if you're really curious, it's on Humble Bundle.  I just picked it up at the five dollar tier to get the core books and some other items.
https://www.humblebundle.com/books/starfinder-paizo-books
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JeffB

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Re: Anyone have recommendations on space games?
« Reply #32 on: July 29, 2021, 04:06:34 PM »
Starfinder has been mentioned, but if you're really curious, it's on Humble Bundle.  I just picked it up at the five dollar tier to get the core books and some other items.
https://www.humblebundle.com/books/starfinder-paizo-books

Wow. Hardcover and the physical BB in that bundle.

And more importantly, a great charity.

Chris24601

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Re: Anyone have recommendations on space games?
« Reply #33 on: July 29, 2021, 07:10:37 PM »
For a more anime space opera feel; Mekton II (specifically w. the Mekton Empire supplement) or Mekton Zeta (has several anime space opera setting books).

For a still anime-ish but harder sci-fi, Jovian Chronicles (using the Silohette System, though the original version written as a supplement for Mekton is also sharp).

zircher

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Re: Anyone have recommendations on space games?
« Reply #34 on: July 29, 2021, 07:39:07 PM »
I'll second Mekton Zeta and Mekton Zeta Plus.  MZ is based on the interlock system used in CP2020, so there is a lot of minable stuff there including things like Guns Guns Guns.  MZ+ is... brutal, but in the best possible way.  The design system can model just about anything.  Heck, I even built BattleTech Mechs with it that actually behaved like BTech mechs in Mekton Zeta.  So, it is the good kind of crunch if you really wanted to design everything from the ground up from space fighters/mecha to capital ships.  Of course, R Talsorian has their own setting if you would prefer to go that way. 

The interlock system is pretty simple; d10 + stat + mods.  I like it much better than the Fuzion system myself.

Just for funzies, here is a MZ Life Path system for generating character back stories if you like the random generated stuff.
https://tangent-zero.com/mz_lifepath.htm
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jeff37923

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Re: Anyone have recommendations on space games?
« Reply #35 on: July 29, 2021, 07:53:53 PM »
For a more anime space opera feel; Mekton II (specifically w. the Mekton Empire supplement) or Mekton Zeta (has several anime space opera setting books).

For a still anime-ish but harder sci-fi, Jovian Chronicles (using the Silohette System, though the original version written as a supplement for Mekton is also sharp).

I third this recommendation.


RandyB

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Re: Anyone have recommendations on space games?
« Reply #36 on: July 29, 2021, 08:04:13 PM »
And another endorsement for Mekton Zeta from me. You can't beat it for space opera.

Habitual Gamer

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Re: Anyone have recommendations on space games?
« Reply #37 on: July 30, 2021, 01:42:07 PM »
Depends on what you want, but I liked:

Fading Suns - think a modge-podged medieval Europe in space.  It suffers some from trying to be too close a mapping of medieval Europe ("here's the Space Vikings, and here's the Space Muslims, and here's the Space Catholic Church"), and it wants to be a game with a strong religious presence but never defines what that religion does and doesn't believe in, it wallows in 90's era White Wolf stereotypes at times (fitting since it has some of the same writers... and it dabbles with wanting a more operatic "good vs bad" vibe at times, before recanting), and the system kinda' blows.  But it's also one of those great settings that allows for dang near anything you'd want to add to it while providing a perfectly solid setting without making GMs add stuff, there's a whole secondary game devoted to miniature space ship battles in the setting that is portable into the RPG (it even has detailed ship maps if you can find them (good luck!)), and it manages to riff off of Dune and Warhammer 40,000 while still feeling like its own critter.

Rogue Trader - the RPG by FFG.  You and the other players are the command crew of a city-sized space ship in the Warhammer 40k universe.  Mechanically it's as big and ugly as the ship you'll command, but the W40k universe is another setting that allows for a wide range of stuff.  And the default campaign is "go out and exploit the galaxy in the name of the Emperor and personal profit.  Here's a small army and your city buster of a starship."  Star Trek this aint.  There's also other games covering said small army, super soldiers better than said said army, the holy Inquisitors who root out enemies of the empire, and a whole game line devoted to one of said enemies (you want to play demon worshippers from Hell in outer space?  Black Crusade has you covered.).  The books are riddled with editing errors, the mechanics are cumbersome, and still you can only try to pry these books out of my cold dead hands.

Rifts Phase World - Palladium was doing OSR gaming before OSR was cool.  Palladium still isn't cool though.  But Phase World kind of is.  Set on a multi-dimensional nexus point that also doubles as the nexus for three galaxies (because one galaxy is clearly too small for Rifts players!), this game has marketplaces run by evil cosmic gods, super hero space knights flying around at FTL speeds, ancient aliens bending reality, deal with the United Worlds of Warlock (you want fleets of dwarven spaceships?  Because this is how you get fleets of dwarven space ships!), and lots and lots more!  Plus, it's compatible with all the other dozens of Rifts books out there (more or less).  So unleash your inner munchkin, laugh at the incomplete ruleset for character creation in the main Rifts rulebook (you'll need it to use Phase World), and then realize it's all straight faced and serious.  Mostly. 

Blue Planet (and Polaris) - Because you don't want a whole galaxy so much as a detailed alien ocean-themed world.  I'll admit it, I only got this because I wanted a ocean-world to use in the above games, and was looking for something to read.    Polaris is... basically the same thing, but more technologically advanced and with different mysteries.  It also is set on the ocean floor, whereas Blue Planet is set on the ocean's surface and near shore.  Also, there's systems if you care.  I didn't.  A good choice set if you're looking for some harder sci-fi though, or something you could port into another setting with minimal to no effort.

Fragged Empires - In the far future, humanity is dead and the galaxy is populated by the races it created to take its place.  They try to play with each other, but... it's hard.  Especially since some of them are genocidal machines, while others are just plain hungry all the time.  I like this one just for the ideas it generates, as the system itself tries to do a lot of admirable stuff, but in the most oddly worded and haughty presentation I've seen since the 90's.  Still, it's a fun read and walks a good line between soft and hard sci-fi I'd say.

Marchand

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Re: Anyone have recommendations on space games?
« Reply #38 on: July 30, 2021, 11:20:15 PM »
Don't think anyone has yet mentioned 2300AD. Available in 2 main flavours: original GDW version from the 80s (2 editions technically but they are very similar) and a Mongoose update that runs off Mongoose Traveller 1e. (There was also a d20 version, inevitably called 2320AD, but that is long OOP.)

The setting is 300 years after a nuclear war (the one in GDW's Twilight: 2000). Humanity has recovered and begun to explore space, but society is basically similar to today - there aren't many cyborgs clanking around, and nation states are the main actors. The original focus of the game was the offworld colonies, where there is an Outland/Aliens kind of vibe. Later on they shoehorned in a cyberpunk take on Earth.

The big appeal to me is the aliens, which in my view are some of the most interesting in any SF, let alone RPGs. They follow the old rule of "show me something that can think as well as a man, but differently". For most of them, there is some key to their behaviour that creates a puzzle for the players to solve.

An obvious campaign focus is the war against the hostile alien Kafers. Another possibility is discovery/exploratory - there was a scenario about coming across mysterious alien tech at a mining outpost, and a campaign book about a long-distance exploratory mission. There is scope for tech-thriller stuff like corporate or international espionage, or fighting a transhumanist terrorist group.
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HappyDaze

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Re: Anyone have recommendations on space games?
« Reply #39 on: July 30, 2021, 11:56:29 PM »
I just saw a mention of Fading Suns and also noticed that a 4e of that has just been released on pdf through Drivethru. Anyone given it a lookout yet? I'd really like to hear about the game itself, not the politics of its writer(s) and/or the company putting it out.

Reckall

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Re: Anyone have recommendations on space games?
« Reply #40 on: July 31, 2021, 10:39:14 AM »
I'm surprised that no one mentioned "Coriolis: the Third Horizon". It combines hard sci-fi with pulp, "Blade Runner", "Dune", "The Thousands and One Nights in Space" and a splash of maybe cosmic horror (proof that you can do it yourself without aping Lovecraft). I kickstarted it and love the setting.

I never played it, toh. I know of at least a group that doesn't like the system, so they use the setting but run it with "Stars Without Numbers".

Googling "Coriolis Artwork" is the best way to get an idea about the setting.









You can even plug-in the "Alien" RPG, since it shares a very similar system (fan art is already at work...)

For every idiot who denounces Ayn Rand as "intellectualism" there is an excellent DM who creates a "Bioshock" adventure.

Habitual Gamer

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Re: Anyone have recommendations on space games?
« Reply #41 on: August 02, 2021, 12:57:50 PM »
I just saw a mention of Fading Suns and also noticed that a 4e of that has just been released on pdf through Drivethru. Anyone given it a lookout yet? I'd really like to hear about the game itself, not the politics of its writer(s) and/or the company putting it out.

I'm curious too.

Ulisses Spiele did a 2ed of Torg, and... it was a case of two steps forward and two steps back.  It seemed like for every good thing they did, they either ignored some element that defined 1ed or else outright borked another part.

Habitual Gamer

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Re: Anyone have recommendations on space games?
« Reply #42 on: August 02, 2021, 12:59:58 PM »
I'm surprised that no one mentioned "Coriolis: the Third Horizon".

I think it's -too- weird for most folks.  Personally, every time I look at it I thought "everything it can do, I can do with Fading Suns and more".

ScytheSong

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Re: Anyone have recommendations on space games?
« Reply #43 on: August 02, 2021, 01:40:19 PM »
It depends on what you mean by "Space Games" -- I love Teenagers from Outer Space and played the heck out of it back in the day, but it's more Spaceman Spiff than Star Wars.

SpaceMaster from ICE is very crunchy, but my friends and I in college had a blast with the tech design rules, and it could be fun.

And, of course, the best terribly written science fiction game of all time is SkyRealms of Jorune.

palaeomerus

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Re: Anyone have recommendations on space games?
« Reply #44 on: August 02, 2021, 06:16:34 PM »
I'm surprised that no one mentioned "Coriolis: the Third Horizon".

I think it's -too- weird for most folks.  Personally, every time I look at it I thought "everything it can do, I can do with Fading Suns and more".

I have Coriolis and bought it mostly because it was from the Free League people and I loved Forbidden Lands Hex Crawl thing and Mutant Year Zero which brings Mutant back to the table since it wandered off into the far future to become Mutant Chronicles and forgot about it's After the Bomb/Gamma World -early origins.

It has some psi and magic stuff in it but mainly it seems to be Firefly only it is built on a Mediterranean muslim dominated future societal background (or maybe it's more of a Future Byzantiuum after the Turks took over?) instead of Chinese + cowboy settlers and it has lots of big advanced factions instead of BIG GOV vs. little bitties  vs. Tortuga Pirates vs. Psychopathic Hyper-Comanche cannibal raider hordes on the outskirts. Also it seems to have a lot of the Dune vibe to it with big halls and robes and hoods and self improvement academies and sci-fi body horror espionage and everyone carries personal fighting knives.

I only have the main book and I skimmed it.

My Shatterzone classic, Hard Nova II, Worlds Beyond order came in.  I am still looking into suggestions.

I already have the Mekton Z family and Jovian Chronicles D20 and Silhouette Core version, with the Lightning Strike 1 & 2 tactical games, and their Core Command game which they left kind of hanging when DP9 dropped out of games for a little while.  I also ordered a game called Golgotha and another called River of Heaven and they should be a week or two out?
« Last Edit: August 02, 2021, 06:21:53 PM by palaeomerus »
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