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NASA Releases The Lost Universe TTRPG Adventure

Free adventure from the US space agency adds real science to fantasy roleplay

NASA, the American space agency, released a tabletop roleplaying game supplement titled The Lost Universe. The free download includes a 44-page PDF of the adventure, a map of the adventure location Aldastron, and a poster of the cover art.


From the website:

Calling all adventurers!​

It’s time to gather your party and your favorite tabletop role-playing game system.

A dark mystery has settled over the city of Aldastron on the rogue planet of Exlaris. Researchers dedicated to studying the cosmos have disappeared, and the Hubble Space Telescope has vanished from Earth’s timeline. Only an ambitious crew of adventurers can uncover what was lost. Are you up to the challenge?

This adventure is designed for a party of 4-7 level 7-10 characters and is easily adaptable for your preferred tabletop role-playing game (TTRPG) system.

NASA’s first TTRPG adventure invites you to take on a classic villain (while also using and learning science skills!) as you overcome challenges and embark on an exciting quest to unlock more knowledge about our universe. Download your game documents below and get ready to explore Exlaris!

Want to share how your adventure unfolds? Share it with #NASATTRPG on social media.

Despite the very D&D terminology of party levels, the adventure itself is system-agnostic with no stat blocks or other rules beyond a few generic tables. It does involve fantasy elements with half-orcs, tieflings, and elves among the NPCs. As you'd likely expect from a NASA adventure module, there is a lot of real-life science involving research done on the Hubble Space Telescope including red/blue shift, dark matter and dark energy, gravitational lensing, zero point energy, and more.

The official NASA Twitter account listed this as "NASA's first tabletop role-playing campaign" indicating that there may be more supplements coming in the future.

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Darryl Mott

Darryl Mott

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A Title Much Cooler Than Anything on the Old Site
(Some of) our tax dollars at work!
And well spent they were. NASA's goals include educational ones, developing "STEM resources that connect educators, students, parents and caregivers to the inspiring work at NASA.... NASA makes vital investments in a diverse portfolio of learning opportunities and activities designed to reach as many U.S. students as possible – from kindergarten through graduate school. NASA seeks to build the next generation STEM workforce and broaden student participation to increase diversity, equity and inclusion in STEM fields."

I see this as being is high impact for low cost investment. As a tax payer, I am happy to see it and would like to see more of the same.


Well, that was fun
Staff member
If only I had a drop down menu to pick where I could contribute my tax dollars!

I don't have any children. Why pay for anyone else's? NASA, atleast is at work on something I care about: science!
I really don't think you'd like living in a world where children didn't receive education. The existence of doctors and engineers directly benefits you. Just because you don't personally interact directly with one part of society doesn't mean that the rest of the society you depend upon doesn't need that infrastructure to function. Also see roads, emergency services, military, etc.

An interesting approach for PR. Its been a rough decade for them since the budget cuts went in. A lot of supporting contractors have closed their doors here in Texas, and the future isn't looking too bright, no matter how the election goes.

Without someone to compete against, NASA has become an increasingly hard sell.

I'm on a PAC board, and at the recent party convention the NASA team was not even getting to first base. Neither party is really interested; too many other hot-button, high-profile, or heavy-lobby issues in play.

Maybe a grassroots appeal is the smart move. Get young people interested in space again. Build a voter-positive image.

One would think making something with Traveller in mind would be more simpatico, but I can see why they wanted to cast the widest possible net and went with fantasy.
Cepheus, maybe. Standard Traveller comes with a load of baked-in tech assumptions that amount to magic. NASA would love to have maneuver drives that don't really require reaction mass or access to cheap, easy artificial gravity, but I can't see them pretending they're hard science in something they release for the public. They already have enough people still claiming the moon landings were a fraud, etc. without confusing the line between reality and fictional convenience.
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