#RPGaDay2015: Favourite Sci Fi RPG

 Posted by on August 18, 2015  Filed as: Editorial  Add comments  Topic(s):
Aug 182015

On day 18 of RPGaDay, I’m asked what is my favourite Sci Fi RPG?

RPG-a-day-2015-Twitter-2For this answer I’ll equivocate a little, as Sci Fi is not a genre I play a lot of.

Star Wars wins for the most books I have. I like the universe and try to get around the “overshadowed by the movies” by setting my games in different time periods. But, still that’s not enough to save it for many of my players, so although I have lots of materials for the game, I don’t tend to run it that much. I still only have the Beginner’s Game for the Edge of the Empire, but I like it (particularly since it uses the best part of Warhammer Fantasy Role-play 3rd edition’s rules).

Traveller is my nostalgic favourite. It was my first Sci Fi role-playing game and I spent many hours and days playing it in my youth. I built up entire campaigns, mapped countless starships, created untold numbers of planets and must have tried out almost every permutation of character creation. While I haven’t played it since the 1980s, it maintains a strong place in my heart.

Traveller_BookFinally, 3:16 Carnage Among the Stars is the Sci Fi game that I’ve played the most in recent years and I really like it, so I guess would win as current Favourite.

UnknownPart of the attraction of 3:16 is that characters only have two stats: Fighting and Non-Fighting. That’s pretty ground-breaking in games and is actually pretty accurate in a combat heavy game. Either you’re good at fighting or not fighting, vice versa or about the same in both.

The setting of 3:16 is pretty much any colonial marine fighting alien universe, which covers a wide breadth of modern movies. Its generic nature actually works for it.

Despite (or because of) the simple mechanics, the game works amazingly well. I’ve hacked it a little to incorporate the Apocalypse World Engine style of three types of results, as I tend to do, but that was the only real change I’ve made. We’ve had a blast running multiple one-shots and I look forward to running it again. It’s a great pick-up game since you need next to no prep and despite only two stats, characters are surprisingly deep.  Check it out!

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Justin Schmid

Justin started tabletop gaming in 1983 with Basic D&D (red box) and never looked back. He runs and plays in a wide variety of games, including Savage Worlds, Dungeon World, Trail of Cthulhu and many, many more. He also writes professionally for role-playing games, including writing and creating Night's Edge an Alternate Reality Universe for Cyberpunk 2020. He went on to write eight more adventures and sourcebooks in the Night's Edge line, adding vampires and other supernatural perils to the already dangerous world of Cyberpunk. As a freelance writer, he wrote The Bermuda Triangle for Call of Cthulhu, Shadows of the Mind, and Psi Wars for Conspiracy X and contributed to Last Unicorn's Star Trek RPG, as well as to Cybergeneration sourcebooks, and many other games. When he's not creating imaginary worlds for his daughter, he's running games for his friends and writing new adventures or designing new game systems. He currently lives in Vancouver, B.C., Canada.

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