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Strange Aliens and Fantastic Planets Abound in M-SPACE and the M-S Companion

M-SPACE works well for heroic and mythic sci-fi games, but can emulate everything from contemporary near-realistic settings to 1940s pulp-inspired heroes. With the M-SPACE Companion, cybernetics and robots become robust character options as well. The game engine used is Mythras Imperative, a d100 (Basic Roleplaying) RPG.

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I received review PDF copies from FrostByte Books to run the included adventure in the M-SPACE Companion, Escape on Mosek Uhn. M-SPACE characters are skill driven roll equal to/under with four levels of results ranging from fumble to critical. Opposed rolls are handled using these four levels and in the case of ties highest roll wins. Complexity comes in combat with hit locations and pages of critical results to choose from. However, the game offers simplified hit points and a pared down list of 11 critical hit options. Finally, PCs can spend Luck Points for rerolls, to reduce a Major Wound, or to get an extra action in combat.

Armed with the 11 critical hit options and one of the provided pre-generated characters, the players were ready to go. Escape on Mosek Uhn has a cybernetics lab in once location and I knew I wanted to have the option to get cybernetics. Good options looked like armour or characteristic enhancement. During the adventure, PCs went with the armour.

I did not get a chance to use the new rules for robots, Q tech (alien artifacts), or life path generation. Combined with vehicle and starship construction, alien life form creation, world building, and circles (organizations) from M-SPACE itself I was impressed with the range of options and tools provided to a GM.

I stumbled a bit in remembering to encourage using Luck Points but once the PCs started using those the adventure flowed well. Tense negotiations flowed out of combat seamlessly and a violent encounter with a forest alien moved easily into a running chase scene.

M-SPACE uses extended conflicts to cover chases, negotiations, and other encounters in which using only a skill roll or two does not make sense. Each side works at making successful use of skills to whittle down a Conflict Pool (usually derived from characterstics) using opposed rolls. This system worked really well and because it uses the existing rules for skills and opposed rolls was easy to use successfully.

Combat turned out to be a great blend of white knuckle danger and thrilling heroics. The lab the PCs explored contained dangerous creatures they had to fight and the mystery of where those creatures came from to unravel. A criminal pirate corporation loomed large over the PCs and armed shoot outs with pirate scum were welcomed. The penultimate confrontation with the pirate captain led to the final conflict with an alien beast. Conflict with the creature forced a running retreat back to the pirate ship so the guns could be turned on the creature. One PC was clinging to its back and as the guns fired he leaped off the beast and into the air, with another PC catching him in an open hatch. Yes, Star Wars was a big inspiration for the dangerous encounters and I consider that a positive.
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We played an exciting adventure. The provided characters were easy to roleplay, had useful and sometimes unique skills, and negotiating and running were equal options to fighting. If I wanted to construct my own setting or emulate an existing one I would have more than enough tools to do so.

With M-SPACE, d100 GMs have a powerful option for sci-fi. And if you’re just looking for a complete toolkit for running sci-fi, you’ve found it in M-SPACE and the M-SPACE Companion. M-SPACE has complete settings too, including Odd Soot, Reflux, and Elevation.
 
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Charles Dunwoody

Charles Dunwoody

TrippyHippy

Adventurer
What does give a complete picture of sales? How do we know CoC has the biggest market in Japan?

And again, the article isn't about sales or even Call of Cthulhu. I was responding to a comment about one sentence in the whole article and I thought that comment was silly and amusing. Of ourse, I shouldn't have responded at all, but it struck me as really funny at the time.
A Chaosium representative stated that Call of Cthulhu’s biggest sales market was Japan on the basicroleplaying.com site.

We get the biggest sense of retail sales, which is the biggest market, from the ICv2 charts. The PDF sales, by comparison, is a much smaller subset of overall sales. I believe that Call of Cthulhu managed to get into the Top 5 at least once since 7E was released, but in the past couple of years, Vampire: The Masquerade 5th Edition charted higher than Call of Cthulhu.

I agree that the article is not about sales, and I also think that Call of Cthulhu has an iconic and important brand in the rpg community as the original horror game. I wouldn’t, however, say that BRP or Call of Cthulhu has cornered the market in horror roleplaying. There are a number of successful titles.

None of this should distract from the review of M-Space, which is an excellent science fiction rules set.
 

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univoxs

That's my dog, Walter
Supporter
How are the roll20 stats calculated? Does someone just firing up a game count for these numbers or to they take into account whether any hours were spent being played? Don't know that it would change the numbers all that much just curious.
 

clarence redd

FrostByte Books
I haven’t used roll20 in a while, so I’m not sure what you refer to.

New characters probably have beginner values, but I assume skill percentages are easy to update manually. That’s the main way M-SPACE and Mythras characters improve, after all. Basic characteristics change more slowly, if at all.

There are rules on veteran skill levels in Mythras Companion, if you need. They work with M-SPACE as well.
 

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