What Science Fiction Games are being played these days?

Thondor

Explorer
Star Frontiers is a pretty good game, and you can still find copies on eBay and at various second-hand places. While most of the material was recycled into D20 Future, I find the original rules to be more suitable for that type of game.

You can get the .pdf's for free over at Star Frontiersman (under 'Digitally Remastered'). They also have ongoing support in the form of a quarterly webzine (up to issue 12) that's looking to go bi-monthly.
I actually don't know that much about the Star Frontiers (besides that its 'Old School') so I'll leave my commentary on it for others more familiar with the works.

I was going to mention Lightspeed, but their website has mysteriously vanished and its apparently been bought up by someone else. They used to have a free sample game download called Instant Lightspeed. It uses the Fuzion engine.
It kinda has a quadrant of the galaxy for everything. The Interstellar Federation, evil Pan Solar Empire, Old Earth Empires and the Frontier. Game Geeks gives a pretty good review [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ayFpXu82a2k"]here[/ame].
Like I said though I'm really not sure of the state of the support, and I havn't ran the mechanics. The piece of the setting that I have read seems pretty sweet though. Gives a good framework for almost any kind of Sci-fi game, particularly those with FTL travel;).
 

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Kobold Stew

Last Guy in the Airlock
Supporter
A few people have mentioned Diaspora and Starblazer Adventures. Let me add my (biased) voice to them: the Fate system flows really well in play, and depending on what your priorities are, I think that they can provide the feel that you and your players want.

Most discussions of the game focus on the distinction between hard sf and space opera, and that's fair enough -- with the dice mechanic in SA there are more extreme rolls, etc., and the premise is more fantastical than Diaspora -- but both games are self-contained and in different ways offer complimentary packages.

Rather than think hard v. space opera, perhaps a more useful distinction for you and your players would be to what extent you as ref are prepared to devolve control of setting. SA comes with a lot of setting material (not forced on you, but presented); Diaspora makes the creation of the setting a central part of the first session, along with character generation. We find this very rich, but it does mean ceding some GM authority.

The result with character generation though is very rich. Everyone ends up with exactly the skill set that they choose (great for optimizers), but mechanically there are firm limits and all characters are (mechanically) equal.

Some of that you can see in Paka's Story Hour, which he links to.

Hope this helps! I do think one of these two games is likely to work with the guidelines you have provided.

KS
 

Punnuendo

First Post
I'm a big fan of Burning Empires by Luke Crane based on the Burning Wheel system that was also modified for Mouse Guard. The setting book Jihad for the base Burning Wheel system is also pretty much Dune with the serial numbers loosely filed off and is pretty rad as well.
 

I was going to mention Lightspeed, but their website has mysteriously vanished and its apparently been bought up by someone else. They used to have a free sample game download called Instant Lightspeed. It uses the Fuzion engine.
It kinda has a quadrant of the galaxy for everything. The Interstellar Federation, evil Pan Solar Empire, Old Earth Empires and the Frontier.


Like I said though I'm really not sure of the state of the support, and I havn't ran the mechanics. The piece of the setting that I have read seems pretty sweet though. Gives a good framework for almost any kind of Sci-fi game, particularly those with FTL travel;).
It's been bought by Comstar Games and they are preparing a release of Lightspeed using Savage Worlds.
AFAIR, Lightspeed versions using Traveller, d6 and BRP have also been mentioned. But Savage Worlds is in the works.
 

Knightfall

World of Kulan DM
Ignoring foolishness to the contrary Alternity is a sweet sweet game and surprisingly easy to pick up second hand.

Funny enough one of my players was begging me to run a new game yesterday.
I have to whole-heartedly agree. Alternity is a great SciFi roleplaying game. I'd love to play in an Alternity game but in my area, hardly anyone considers it as a viable option. Too hard to get books, not new enough, etc.
 

dmccoy1693

Adventurer
Publisher
The only SF RPGs that I've witnessed anyone playing with my own two little peepers for the past year is Traveller and SW SAGA. I've seen Traveller get used for just about everything from Starship Troopers to something like Enemy Mine. I'd still like to see a Galaxy Quest game, but I haven't yet.
 


Thondor

Explorer
I should mention that I played Serenity at Fanexpo this past August. I'm sure that there were some other sci-fi games being run but I'm not sure what they were.

I do enjoy the cortex system and the serenity settings is a lot of fun. (I got to use a grenade !)
 

The Green Adam

First Post
I'd still like to see a Galaxy Quest game, but I haven't yet.

I actually created a homebrew Galaxy Quest game years ago and it went over really well with my old group. It was hilarious while still giving us a solid jolt of Sci-Fi adventure. I think there are some notes or details about it on my blog but I forget. :eek:

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