Space Adventure RPGs

Yora

Legend
I've been thinking today that for a space setting, factions might actually be more important than planets. Unless it is a setting with only a small number of planets with very distinctive environments, or specifically about the adventures of prospectors regularly fighting hostile environments as their main threat, the various conditions of planets generally don't play a meaningful role in the events that happen.
For example, Tatooine being a desert with two suns doesn't impact anything that happens in Star Wars. Hoth could have been a barren desert instead of a giant ice world and things would have played out exactly the same. Exotic and stunning environments serve hugely important roles as aesthetics, but the specific conditions are typically handwaved.
Another factor is that mapping planets just isn't feasible from a workload perspecrive, and typically character stay within walking distance of where they parked their ship. And even then, you can't really build whole cities for one time use. The same is true for different wildlife on different planets.

In contrast to that, factions are what really defines these settings. Factions are not tied to specific planets, settlements, or buildings. For many factions, they can go to just as many places throughout space as the heroes can, having all kinds of believable business to do there. And characters of these factions have reasons to know about the heroes and recognize them, and also to have any kind of interest in what they are doing. Every city on every planet had thousands of people that players could randomly run into, and almost none of them would have any reason to pay them any attention. They are just complete strangers from other worlds with no connections to local affairs. But eatablished factions are different from that.

It is possible to have run ins with generic local factions, like the police or a minor pirate gang, who have reasons to intercept snd confront the heroes. Both in space and in cities. But largely I think encounters that are not story specific scenes, but the general everyday risk of running into complications, will be much more interesting when they happen with people that have some kind of eatablished context. In heroic fantasy games, something very similar already exists with the various monster species. Running into an oger or a mind flayer does not just signal to the players what the expected combat abilities in a fight would be, but alrady inform a great deal about the creature's personality, likely behaviors, and motivations. A fantast game might have various sub-factions of orcs, but you could still treat generic "orcs" collectively as being a faction as a whole. When a game has two goblin tribes fighting with each other, that's typically seen as some infighting, not as a regular generic war between two completely unrelated groups that happen to be the same species.
That's something you don't get in settings where all NPCs are humans, or effectively humans in all ways that matter. Factions can do a good part of that workload.
 

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aramis erak

Legend
In many space operas, those factions are strongly tied to their coreworld's dominant terrain...
EG: Dune setting
  • Dune's Fremen are hardened by the desert and Shai-hulud...
  • The Sardaukar are hardened by the equally unforgiving Salusa Secondis, and are the might of House Corrino.
  • The Atreidies' rule of Caladan made them adroit at social skills.
  • The Richess of Ix, a world of factories, left them blind to their people's needs... allowing the Tleilaxu a way in....
Traveller's CT & MT Alien modules make extensive use of adaptation and resulting competencies & deficiencies... based upon the "homeworld" (in quotes due to Vargr, Zhodani, and Droyne)
 

Battlemaster

Villager
Battlelords of the 23rd century is an overlooked game from 1990 that has matured while not dumbing down or waking up. The current ed is pretty neatly done and very complete. The system it self is a straight d100 system, the issues usually come with tge amount of modifiers tbst can be applied to each roll, the vast amount of gear you have and the ways that gear interacts with each other.

It's space opera from the 90s wrapped around a hard-core system. But the rules and gear cover a lot of sf situations and it comes with a functional ship/vehicle combat system.

Try out the 7e guide rulebook and see if you might like it.
 

Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
Battlelords of the 23rd century is an overlooked game from 1990 that has matured while not dumbing down or waking up.
(Emphasis mine)

Mod Note:

I sincerely hope you’re not throwing shade at current reactions to problematic depictions within the gaming community. That would not go well for you in the long run.
 

Battlelords of the 23rd century is an overlooked game from 1990 that has matured while not dumbing down or waking up. The current ed is pretty neatly done and very complete. The system it self is a straight d100 system, the issues usually come with tge amount of modifiers tbst can be applied to each roll, the vast amount of gear you have and the ways that gear interacts with each other.

It's space opera from the 90s wrapped around a hard-core system. But the rules and gear cover a lot of sf situations and it comes with a functional ship/vehicle combat system.

Try out the 7e guide rulebook and see if you might like it.
The problem I have with BL is that it isn't supported by Roll20.

Otherwise, it has a lot of potential.
 

Battlemaster

Villager
Well, to be honest, and because I am absolutely DONE with being bullied and intimidated by extremists on both sides of the social spectrum, yes, I am 'throwing shade' at the extremists who have forced some game companies to stop having 'evil' races in games like goblins, mind flayers, beholders, etc because some hypersensitive types stupidly feel that the concept of evil races in fantasy games supports or endorses racism against human beings in real life. Likewise I'm DEE OH EN EE with with people who demand that refferences to slavery in fantasy games be eliminated due to a frankly idiotic claim that js somehow endorses support for slavery of real human beings in the real world.

Also, I no longer respect people who go into hysterical paroxysms of apoplectic outrage whenever someone uses a 'he' or 'she' instead of they.

I am a progressive egalitarian who believes in equal rights and opportunity. I am not a fringe extremist.

So, yes, I'm 'throwing shade' at what is known as 'woke. I do not apologize for it and I do find BL23Cs lack of 'woke' to be an appealing trait.

If things won't go well for me here because I refuse to be intimidated into bowing to what I see as near fanatical extremism and vicious intolerance of the tiniest lack of utter submission to a view that becomes more unreasonable abd even insane by the day, then by all means, let things not go well for me here.


I am sick and tired of the rabidly intolerant on both sides of tge aisle.
 


dragoner

solisrpg.com
Woke being "aware of racial prejudice" as described by a black woman in the gaming scene. When push comes to shove, the racists should remember that when they get shoved out the airlock, they started with the pushing.
 

Battlemaster

Villager
What's P, L and U have to do with the extreme fringe left today? The zeitgeist of the woke today is ''YOU WILL SPEAK AS WE DEMAND YOU SPEAK! YOU WILL EXPRESS THE VIEWS WE TELL YOU TO EXPRESS! YOU WILL AGREE WITH US 100 PERCENT ON ALL ISSUED OR WE WILL ATTACK YOU, EXCLUDE YOU, HARASS YOU, PERSECUTE AND SILENCE YOU BY ANY MEANS WE CAN! ''
 

Battlemaster

Villager
Woke is about utter intolerance of any disagreement no matter how tiny and harmless. On a woke site I used a generic 'him' instead of 'them' abd was attacked for it. When I told my attacker I would not let him her it bully me into his hers it's style of soeech I was banned.

I was also banned from a site because i refuse to refer to a known individual as 'they'. They is a plural or a generic. I will not use they to refer to an individual.

I read 1984, I remeber how 'newspeak' worked.
 

dragoner

solisrpg.com
Being part of a mixed race marriage, I know things are not equal, where I can meet threats with 100kg of Slavic fury, my wife, a small dark woman, simply can't. She looks to me for help.
 


Battlemaster

Villager
"Bye, Felicia..."
Thanks, yora. You just proved exactly what I'm talking about. I can agree with the woke like maybe 90% or so. But that's not enough for them. Anything less that 100% utter submission to their views no matter how extreme is treated as blasphemy, heresy and some sort of assault on them that must be silenced.

Yeah, I'm not 'woke' and never will be, but I agree with most woke positions to a large degree. Lgbtq rights? Yep. I have a bi relative. Letting genetic males compete in femals sports? Nope. Genetic males have physical advantages over genetic females in most sports, that's just physical reality no amount of screaming ''BIGOT!' at people who acknowledge it can change.

So hey if I get banned here I don't care. I've been banned for being too far left on right-wing fascist sites and for being too far right on fascist left sites. It just shows how completely polarized into two extremes the western world is becoming.
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
Woke is about utter intolerance of any disagreement no matter how tiny and harmless. On a woke site I used a generic 'him' instead of 'them' abd was attacked for it. When I told my attacker I would not let him her it bully me into his hers it's style of soeech I was banned.

I was also banned from a site because i refuse to refer to a known individual as 'they'. They is a plural or a generic. I will not use they to refer to an individual.

I read 1984, I remeber how 'newspeak' worked.
Oh good god. You literally joined three days ago and you've forgotten the rules you agreed to already? (1) I'd see a doctor. Amnesia is a serious issue. (2) You're out of this thread.
 


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