• COMING SOON! -- The Awfully Cheerful Engine on Kickstarter! An action comedy RPG inspired by cheerful tabletop games of the 80s! With a foreword by Sandy 'Ghostbusters' Petersen, and VTT support!
log in or register to remove this ad

 

Space Opera RPG

Stormonu

Legend
Last week, I discovered the existence of the 80’s Space Opera RPG from Fantasy Unlimited - the makers of another game I knew well, Villains & Vigilantes.

Curious about it, I picked up a copy for cheap and have been (unsuccessfully) trying to muddle my way through it. It is a quirky, early game to be sure. Has anyone else here had experience with this game? Apparently, it was one of the ”big three” SF games at the time, between itself, Traveller and Star Frontiers. I’m somewhat surprised I’d never heard of it before, but apparently there are quite a few sourcebooks that go along with the game.
 
Last edited:

log in or register to remove this ad

dragoner

Dying in Chargen
People are still producing sector books for it, and there is also a fan site (they are on my fb friends list). We made characters for it, and played it a long time ago, it is like a lot of 80's games where the rules together were rather clumsy, and one just picked and chose what to use. Basically I remember playing either a transhuman or reptilian H'ssst iirc, because their stats were best.
 

practicalm

Explorer
I ran a game with it in the 80s and it worked okay. It is clunky but a lot of systems were back then. We muddled through.

The sector books are still great for science fiction game ideas.
 

MattW

Explorer
It's a very LONG process to create a character. I used it as a source book for other SF games. Actually... that was the fate of a lot of FGU products. "Aftermath" was a good background for other Post-Apocalypse games
 

R_Chance

Adventurer
We tried it, but it didn't replace Traveller for us. A bit less "science" than Traveller and a lot more "kitchen sink". We had played the Space Marines miniature rules that proceeded it. I think that helped as an entry point into the game / setting.
 

Marc_C

Solo Role Playing
Never heard of this one before today. I'll read up on it. We played a few games of Star Frontiers and Traveller but it didn't stick. We returned to AD&D.
 

Stormonu

Legend
For the interested, looks like you can get the game from here. Looks like they have physical product and PDF versions available to buy.

For those who played the game, any supplements to suggest? Sounds like the sector books might be worth looking at?
 

pemerton

Legend
We had a character-gen session but nothing beyond that. The PC gen rules seemed terribly clunky and unbalanced even back in the early 90s!
 

MattW

Explorer
I have the Space Opera source book "Casino Galactica" . It's been useful in a couple of games: Traveller and Star Wars. You could use it as a good starting point for Space Opera, or any Science Fiction campaign
 


Last week, I discovered the existence of the 80’s Space Opera RPG from Fantasy Unlimited - the makers of another game I knew well, Villains & Vigilantes.

Curious about it, I picked up a copy for cheap and have been (unsuccessfully) trying to muddle my way through it. It is a quirky, early game to be sure. Has anyone else here had experience with this game? Apparently, it was one of the ”big three” SF games at the time, between itself, Traveller and Star Frontiers. I’m somewhat surprised I’d never heard of it before, but apparently there are quite a few sourcebooks that go along with the game.
I've run several one-shots, but never a campaign.
It's a Traveller knockoff in many ways. The scope of the rules is much the same, the nature of Char Gen, the world generation, the kinds of setting... but it tweaks a bunch of things, and is, flatly, not to my tastes, not even in my most munchkin. The fluff in the ship and sector books is decent for the era, but the rules are way too convoluted.
 

R_Chance

Adventurer
I've run several one-shots, but never a campaign.
It's a Traveller knockoff in many ways. The scope of the rules is much the same, the nature of Char Gen, the world generation, the kinds of setting... but it tweaks a bunch of things, and is, flatly, not to my tastes, not even in my most munchkin. The fluff in the ship and sector books is decent for the era, but the rules are way too convoluted.
Like a homebrew Traveller with dice besides the d6.
 


It suffered pretty badly from having no consistently to how skill rolls were resolved, and there's always the aforementioned character generation woes.
 

It suffered pretty badly from having no consistently to how skill rolls were resolved, and there's always the aforementioned character generation woes.
That first element is also like Classic Traveller... each non-weapon skill in CT is a rule unto itself, with a variety of special case rolls.
 

That first element is also like Classic Traveller... each non-weapon skill in CT is a rule unto itself, with a variety of special case rolls.

To a degree, but at least there it was likely to always be a 2D6 roll and the skill was liable to add its bonus directly to that. SO wasn't even that consistent.
 


To a degree, but at least there it was likely to always be a 2D6 roll and the skill was liable to add its bonus directly to that. SO wasn't even that consistent.
Not really - a couple of the adventures are 3 or 4 dice for attribute or less.

Plus, many are no roll at all. Such as putting on Battle Dress. Navigation through Jump Space. Doing the paperwork to get extra passengers. Many of the skills in CT would be d20 feats.

Most GMs ran it as 2d6+skill for everything, but that's not what's in the rulebook.
 

dragoner

Dying in Chargen
A character often only had 3-4 skills (before expanded chargen books) so it was like a pbta playbook or something, pre-indie games, not that difficult to keep track of. Bringing this back around to SO, we did kitchen sink the game with Traveller and Gamma World, it wasn't chargen that turned us off as much as space combat where one only had star-torps, and nova guns.
 

Not really - a couple of the adventures are 3 or 4 dice for attribute or less.

Plus, many are no roll at all. Such as putting on Battle Dress. Navigation through Jump Space. Doing the paperwork to get extra passengers. Many of the skills in CT would be d20 feats.

Most GMs ran it as 2d6+skill for everything, but that's not what's in the rulebook.

Neither are what are in the adventures. It wouldn't be the only game to have skills that aren't routinely actually rolled for anything; Alternity had armor skills that mostly served as offsetting various problems at various ranks.
 

An Advertisement

Advertisement4

Top