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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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So, having read the 'adventure' last night it's... not good. It's essentially a guided tour through the authors' world-building. The world-building itself is... OK... but this is not really an 'adventure'. There are no challenges for the players to overcome in a distinctly D&D-way.

This might work in a much different system. Maybe. If you have a group with a high (REALLY high) tolerance for info dumps.

But hey, it's free(*), so it's got that going for it.

* see previous tax dollars comment... you're welcome (?), non-U.S.Americans

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