D&D 5E The Call is Out: D&D SciFi Should Be The Next Campaign Setting / Expansion

TheDelphian

Explorer

Gamma world can be done.

And imagine if it was done by professionals!
 

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Urriak Uruk

Gaming is fun, and fun is for everyone
Gamma World would be "safe". It's really not much more than adding psionics and an post apocalyptical setting. Easy, low risk. It would be an evolutionary choice. This could enable something like the settings and worlds from Shanara or even Mad Max.

How dare you suggest Gamma World is SAFE when these guys are strutting around!

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Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
They start with a 'Y.' I want to say Yakuza, but that can't be right.

I always liked the elastic blobby ones. Dralasites? I think that's what they were called.

So, you like Kangaroos? I have just the race for you!!!!!

At least Humma didn't have the Ifshnit problem .... "What did you say?"
 

TheAlkaizer

Game Designer
The problem I have with this is that I don't really want, "Dungeons & Dragons ... IN SPACE!" which I believe is inevitably what would happen. I don't see it as realistic for WOTC to commit to creating a product that doesn't draw upon established D&D tropes and the IP-specific elements. Simultaneously, if the setting is just Space Humans, Space Elves, Space Dwarves, Space Dragons, etc. it's retreading the same old ground and won't really provide any of the actual elements of science fiction that I find appealing.
I both agree and disagree.

I've played Starfinder for a full year before COVID hits. It's very much pathfinder in space. It really is. It's not sci-fi as much as science-fantasy. There's all the same races, some new space races. There's a big overlap in monsters, etc.

However, the different setting does allow the telling of new stories. Having played D&D and fantasy settings for almost 15 years prior, I was overwhelmed by all the new narrative tools, stories and ideas I could put forward. It really unsettled me in a good way.

So I don't think it's entirely retreating to the same old ground. However, you're also right that doing a proper sci-fi game and exploring different themes, fantasies, power dynamics and a different scale could be really good!
 

A few years back Mike Mearls suggested that there could be 5E versions of old games like Gamma World. I know for a fact that if 5E Gamma World were released my players would DEMAND that I run it.
 

S'mon

Legend
I thought this would be about a science-fantasy type hardback setting for D&D. Wizards and Warlocks in SPAAAAACE. An SF RPG is a very different thing.

Personally I'd love a D&D sci-fantasy setting that was nova guns & solar blades, flying cosmic dragons into battle against the Chaos Wizards of the Darkstorm Galaxy.

 

Stormonu

Legend
Don't forget about Star*Drive, too. (And Star Wars d20, if they file the serial numbers off ;) )

I'd like to see the 5E equivalent of d20 modern, I think it would be much better than the 3E/3.5E version, which completely fell apart around 10th level. If they could put together a generic Sci-Fi system that can handle Star Trek, Star Wars, Babylon 5, Starship Troopers, Robotech, Star Blazers (2199), Warhammer 40K, Gamma World, Metamorphosis Alpha, Mass Effect, Star*Drive, Star Frontiers, Planet of the Apes and Dune - that's the type of system we need.
 

Azzy

ᚳᚣᚾᛖᚹᚢᛚᚠ
I could get behind an actual SF game built on the 5e chassis, but not "D&D in Spaaaaaace!" unlike Starfinder (such a disappointment to me).

Then again, I've created a space opera setting the uses a modified version of R. Talsorian's Interlock system, so I'm not worried if WotC doesn't go the distance.
 

Stormonu

Legend
I could get behind an actual SF game built on the 5e chassis, but not "D&D in Spaaaaaace!" unlike Starfinder (such a disappointment to me).

Then again, I've created a space opera setting the uses a modified version of R. Talsorian's Interlock system, so I'm not worried if WotC doesn't go the distance.
Yeah, I bought the core Starfinder thinking it would be a system for generic sci-fi and was a bit bummed that it was "D&D in Spaaaaace!". Not what I was really expecting.

Add me to the list for a good, generic 5E sci-fi system based off of 5E.
 

A few years back Mike Mearls suggested that there could be 5E versions of old games like Gamma World. I know for a fact that if 5E Gamma World were released my players would DEMAND that I run it.


Gamma world can be done.

And imagine if it was done by professionals!

Sort of. Before he got blacklisted and disappeared from social media and his Twitch shows, he had talked about making 5E conversions of both Gamma World and Star Frontiers and had run them at conventions. I have no clue if anyone lurking around here ever got to play in any of those games, but it would be interesting to hear how they went. So yes, a professional already did his own unofficial version.
 


(And Star Wars d20, if they file the serial numbers off ;) )
Speaking of which, there were two things I did not like about that system when we actually played it that I would hope are resolved or avoided in a 5e-based sci-fi system:

1. 5 ft square grids are not helpful for blaster-based combat. When you need to know where peoplke are who are 300 feet away, 5 feet is not a helpful increment. I'd still want something that has the mechanical precision of the grids (ie not too much but enough that I don't need to ask the dm where I can move at the beginning of each turn) while working at longer ranges. The grid's supposed to be optional, so a second option would be nice.

Especially since firefights involve a lot of waiting, aiming, dashing and spotting - rolling all of that into a to-hit roll will make it feel really flat and not very much like a blaster battle.

2. Don't make piloting spaceships an optional skill. You either need everyone to commit to picking a specific set of options, or you have some players weaker in some encounters just so they can have fun options in others. Basically, if you didn't pick the piloting skill and a bunch of piloting feats1, you'd be relegated to just making basic attacks in space battles. But if you did pick those options, you got fewer non-spaceship stuff. Given how 5e didn't fall into this trap too hard with mounted combat I'd expect this to be handled well, but it was a major drag in the game.
 

Stormonu

Legend
Hasbro owns Transformers and GI Joe...

I know! WHY IS THERE NO GI JOE RPG? :mad::mad::mad:

GI Joe screams heroic action vs. mobs of nameless goons leading up to a showdown with named villains. And everyone gets a pet!

MLP Rant time...
And why did they sublet My Little Pony to River Horse instead of doing the game in house. Don't get me wrong, I think the actual RPG is well-designed and I had a blast with the MLP campaign I ran about two years ago, but why that didn't come from in-house is mind-boggling!
 

I know! WHY IS THERE NO GI JOE RPG? :mad::mad::mad:

GI Joe screams heroic action vs. mobs of nameless goons leading up to a showdown with named villains. And everyone gets a pet!

MLP Rant time...
And why did they sublet My Little Pony to River Horse instead of doing the game in house. Don't get me wrong, I think the actual RPG is well-designed and I had a blast with the MLP campaign I ran about two years ago, but why that didn't come from in-house is mind-boggling!

This was reported on here last year, but here is an article about this talking about the game company planning on making a few RPGs based on Hasbro games:


This is from Sept of last year and I cannot find any new info about them, but they should still be getting made.
 


The problem I have with this is that I don't really want, "Dungeons & Dragons ... IN SPACE!" which I believe is inevitably what would happen. I don't see it as realistic for WOTC to commit to creating a product that doesn't draw upon established D&D tropes and the IP-specific elements. Simultaneously, if the setting is just Space Humans, Space Elves, Space Dwarves, Space Dragons, etc. it's retreading the same old ground and won't really provide any of the actual elements of science fiction that I find appealing.
Star Frontiers is NOT D&D in Space. It's a looong way from it. Talk about the exploration and social pillars, they are very strong in the game. Or at least they are much easier to make strong and the adventures often focus on them a whole lot more than they do combat. Plus, the races are (for the time) original, and not elves and dwarves.

Check out the Frontier Explorer. A fanzine that is still active. It should give you some sense of what the game and setting is like; Frontier Explorer
Don't forget about Star*Drive, too. (And Star Wars d20, if they file the serial numbers off ;) )

I'd like to see the 5E equivalent of d20 modern, I think it would be much better than the 3E/3.5E version, which completely fell apart around 10th level. If they could put together a generic Sci-Fi system that can handle Star Trek, Star Wars, Babylon 5, Starship Troopers, Robotech, Star Blazers (2199), Warhammer 40K, Gamma World, Metamorphosis Alpha, Mass Effect, Star*Drive, Star Frontiers, Planet of the Apes and Dune - that's the type of system we need.
I don't think so.

5E hasn't been a success because it has tried to cater to the extremists among us :) (I don't mean that in a bad way, far from it in fact.) but because it has catered to the casual gamer. Easy to pick up. Easy to understand relative to common social tropes and conventions. More 'soap' or social than science or crunch.

A Sci-Fi game should follow in the same vein. Their is no need for it to do everything, it just needs to do itself well. Doing all those types of games would do exactly what caused TSR/WotC problems before, it would split the fan-base. They just need one solid sci-fi system to run in a single setting. Sure, people can run it in a thousand settings (just like D&D), but 99 out of a 100 people are just going to play it in the default setting in the default way. that's the way to have a market success.
 

Samloyal23

Adventurer
The d20 Future book had some great campaign ideas. I would love to see an update of From The Dark Heart Of Space, I never got to play in that setting but I love some horror in my sci-fi. Give me a space ship and a mystic warrior with a tohar shelahl to fight the Horrors From Beyond, and I will be a happy man. The other settings in the book were pretty cool, too. I would not mind hunting bugs in space or hopping dimensions to save reality. That book was a gold mine and I don't think an update would be that hard to swing.
 

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