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View Full Version : Space System? What might work for me?



HanaRei
2014-09-21, 04:55 PM
Hello all and thanks for giving this silly little post a view. Lately I've had an urge to do a Space themed game. Its not something I'm usually into, though I do enjoy a little romp around the galaxy. I was curious as to what systems might be a good basis for achieving such a thing? Some basics of what I'm looking for...


Easy to pick up: Primarily meaning something that isn't too difficult to get into. I have experience with primarily Pathfinder/DnD3.5 though I've played some of 4e, a little bit of the Windows System and some very little experience with Fate. The system can become complex, its mostly the idea of being easy for someone new to jump in and understand the basics without being overwhelmed.
Free Resources: Optional point, though one I'd very much prefer. I prefer systems I can at the very least look up and get a preview of before throwing any money down on it. It becomes much better if it has an online source to look things up easily (such as d20pfsrd (http://www.d20pfsrd.com/)) though not all systems have the resources to have that type of database up.
Not so alien?: I'll be frank in saying.... I was never big on aliens and the like. While they aren't going to automatically discredit a system for me (after all they can just not be included) I'd just prefer it not being emphasized greatly. This might just be a mute point (since most systems don't tend to force such things into a game) though its good as reference if an entire system thrives off that type of thing.
Cowboy Beebop Esque?: Sorry for my lack of good comparisons, I'm usually not one for the futuristic genre. Mostly I enjoy the elements of a system that can make space more 'gritty' rather then some clean running world. When space travel is available, naturally ships will age and not everything will be 'glamorous'. Weapons might not all be laser cannons, there might not be devices that magically pop out cooked food of your choice. A setting that basically normalizes space having technology were it makes sense but not making everything crazy just because 'its the future'.


Sorry for the big list, just figure it might help as a guideline to what I'm looking for in some part. Thanks in advance for any who might be able to help me figure out good systems to glance over.

EdokTheTwitch
2014-09-21, 05:10 PM
Well, coming from a purely practical standpoint, and seeing that you have experience with d20, maybe you should try out d20 Future, d20 Future Tech (for gear), and d20 Cyberspace (for even more gear). It's basically the same system as D&D 3.5, but with all the modifications needed to take it to space, like spaceships, powersuits, and mech fighting. However, you would need to read the d20 Modern rulebook first, as it has some differences to D&D, mostly in base/advanced/prestige classes, and a different money system.

And as an added bonus, the game assumes a mostly human-dominated space. Well, except for the alien monsters you get to murder as you partake in your "peacekeeping" :smallbiggrin:

The other alien races are included on the end of the d20 Future book, but they are purely optional for players.

Hope the suggestion helps :)

Edit: Just noticed the Free Resources clause... sorry, no such luck here xD

Mando Knight
2014-09-21, 05:15 PM
There's WEG's D6 Space, the successor to their D6 Star Wars system (essentially, D6 SW with the serial numbers filed off, and I think with a few fixes to avoid things like blaster-proof Wookiees). It's completely free. (http://rpg.drivethrustuff.com/browse.php?keywords=d6+space&x=0&y=0&author=&artist=&pfrom=&pto=)

(Also, it's "moot point" not "mute point")

Lord Torath
2014-09-21, 05:38 PM
Hello all and thanks for giving this silly little post a view. Lately I've had an urge to do a Space themed game. Its not something I'm usually into, though I do enjoy a little romp around the galaxy. I was curious as to what systems might be a good basis for achieving such a thing? Some basics of what I'm looking for...


Easy to pick up: Primarily meaning something that isn't too difficult to get into. I have experience with primarily Pathfinder/DnD3.5 though I've played some of 4e, a little bit of the Windows System and some very little experience with Fate. The system can become complex, its mostly the idea of being easy for someone new to jump in and understand the basics without being overwhelmed.
Free Resources: Optional point, though one I'd very much prefer. I prefer systems I can at the very least look up and get a preview of before throwing any money down on it. It becomes much better if it has an online source to look things up easily (such as d20pfsrd (http://www.d20pfsrd.com/)) though not all systems have the resources to have that type of database up.
Not so alien?: I'll be frank in saying.... I was never big on aliens and the like. While they aren't going to automatically discredit a system for me (after all they can just not be included) I'd just prefer it not being emphasized greatly. This might just be a mute point (since most systems don't tend to force such things into a game) though its good as reference if an entire system thrives off that type of thing.
Cowboy Beebop Esque?: Sorry for my lack of good comparisons, I'm usually not one for the futuristic genre. Mostly I enjoy the elements of a system that can make space more 'gritty' rather then some clean running world. When space travel is available, naturally ships will age and not everything will be 'glamorous'. Weapons might not all be laser cannons, there might not be devices that magically pop out cooked food of your choice. A setting that basically normalizes space having technology were it makes sense but not making everything crazy just because 'its the future'.


Sorry for the big list, just figure it might help as a guideline to what I'm looking for in some part. Thanks in advance for any who might be able to help me figure out good systems to glance over.Well, for the last too points, Serenity RPG (or Firefly RPG - I think they're not the same?) sounds just about perfect. However, I've never played for it (or even more than casually glanced as the rules), and it's not free. You could probably pick up some .pdfs relatively cheaply on something like Drive Thru RPG, though.

Rakaydos
2014-09-21, 05:44 PM
Star Wars: Edge of Empire is another option for high space opera of any flavor- the dice with the funny symbols may look intimidating, but they basically boil every roll down to "Success with extra advantage", "Success, but with lesser/greater complications," "Failure, with lesser or greater benifits" and "Failure, with additional complications."

The difference between the 2nd and third options are really what drive the system and the narrative.
There's a fan-made character builder with all the options, but you'll need at least one book to know what some of the options men, and for the core rues.
http://community.fantasyflightgames.com/index.php?/topic/89135-another-character-generator/

Mark Hall
2014-09-21, 06:31 PM
There's WEG's D6 Space, the successor to their D6 Star Wars system (essentially, D6 SW with the serial numbers filed off, and I think with a few fixes to avoid things like blaster-proof Wookiees). It's completely free. (http://rpg.drivethrustuff.com/browse.php?keywords=d6+space&x=0&y=0&author=&artist=&pfrom=&pto=)

(Also, it's "moot point" not "mute point")

Mando Knight beat me to it. D6 is a fairly solid system that you can get for free, and pretty easily adapt old Star Wars material to it, or leave it be. There's no particular reason to make it alien-rich... I played a d6 Space game that was set in this Solar System, and worked out a 7' tall human hacker raised in microgravity by moving a couple numbers around. Checks are "roll a bunch of d6 and add them together; one of them is special, and explodes on a 6", and it is VERY easy to improvise based on that.

HanaRei
2014-09-21, 10:06 PM
So many responses! I appreciate it!


**snip**

Even if its not free its still a nice suggestion. I just prefer free, it doesn't mean it has to be. I have heard the d20 system isn't a bad system, though a bit clunky. It


(Also, it's "moot point" not "mute point")
*Shakes Fist in air* Darn you pointing out my grammar slip up!


**Snip**

**Snip**
Alright thanks! I never really tried out a d6 system before and it doesn't seem bad. From what I was reading it looks simple enough. Less mechanical-ie (shh don't you fix the grammar on that too Mando!) when it comes to the basics, though the spaceship element does seem to involve more behind it which isn't bad. ^^


**Snip**
There are a lot of Starwars systems out there. It does sound like Fate being less about numbers and more about varying successes which can be great. DMs do have the ability to do such effects on their own, though typically its not emphasized like systems with it. It does seem like an interesting system from the brief bits I could skim over. ^^

Bulhakov
2014-09-22, 02:54 AM
There is an official Firefly RPG game though I've never played it. (it's relatively easy to find its pdfs floating around online)

I'd say it's hard to get more Cowboy-Bebop-esque than Firefly ;)

Fri
2014-09-22, 07:16 AM
I recently skimmed through an interesting-looking system called Stars Without Number. I didn't fully read it though, so I can't fully recommend it, but I think it might worth a read, because it's free.

1.Easy to pickup. It's based on old school dnd I think, so if you're used to 3.5, I think you can easily use it.

2.Free resource. Last time I checked, it was free.

3.Little to no aliens. There are guide to make alien characters, but by default I think there aren't any aliens. One of the main class is psionic though.

4.Cowboy bebop esque. I'm not sure about this one, but I remember that there are guides to do different tech levels and such, I'm pretty sure you can easily make a cowboy bebop esque setting from the guide.

I'm not sure about this next part, but I kinda remember that this game is a bit more geared into sandbox style gaming though, with a random planet and culture generator and such. I dunno if that's good or bad for you.

But as I said, I just skimmed the book, so I'm kinda throwing this to you to ask about your opinion too if you're interested in reading it later

Mark Hall
2014-09-22, 10:09 AM
Not free, but I'll also toss out Savage Worlds. The mechanics are usually "Roll a die. If you roll a 4 or higher, you succeed. If you roll a higher multiple of 4, you succeed better." In a few cases, the target number is something other than 4.

1337 b4k4
2014-09-22, 11:31 AM
Stars Without Number (http://www.sinenomine-pub.com/) is mechanically D&D in space, and free. If your group is used to D&D, they'll likely find the transition fairly easy.

Another option (though, not currently free, but very cheap) is Traveller (http://www.farfuture.net/). There's a half dozen different editions, but if you pick up the Classic Traveller CD from their site, it's $35 for the core books and a ton of supplements. It's a very late 70's inspired imperial space opera game with plenty of room for high tech and low tech worlds. Key things to possibly get over are computers are 70's style, big, massive and slow (later editions including Mongoose upgrade the computer tech a bit) and space ships are expensive (plan on paying that mortgage over 40 years) and slow (a week +/- to hyperspace jump). Still if you can get into the mindset, definitely interesting.

Edit
--------

I just remembered, there is an SRD of sorts (http://www.travellersrd.com/)for the Mongoose edition of traveller if you wanted to take a look at teh mechanics before jumping in.

hamlet
2014-09-22, 12:17 PM
Stars Without Number (http://www.sinenomine-pub.com/) is mechanically D&D in space, and free. If your group is used to D&D, they'll likely find the transition fairly easy.


Beat me to the punch, there. Very simple, very easy, very good. I heartily recommend it for the "free" aspect and adaptability on a basic level.

If you're willing to invest time and energy and cash into the project, I can double the recommendation for D20Modern/Future. It has very little love on these boards, but I think it's entirely decent for what it sets out to do.

Also also, with a slightly stronger learning curve for those who cut their teeth on D20, Alternity is a great game. Once you get past what, to the d20 mindset, is utterly strange, you realize that it's elegant and awesome and very VERY adaptable. It does pretty much anything you want ever. It's the prototype to D20 Modern, actually.

Logic
2014-09-23, 01:11 PM
If you have any of the D20 modern books, and/or any of the pathfinder books, this (http://www.d20modernpf.com/) bridges the gap (though it is free, the D20 Modern/Future books are not, so it may not be exactly what you need.)

Knaight
2014-09-23, 11:27 PM
GURPS could always work, and GURPS Lite is free. On lighter games, there's Bulldogs and Diaspora, both of which favor less glamorous depictions of space than in some. There are also lighter generic titles - I'm currently GMing a space centered game in Fudge, though that one's a bit hard to get into as a GM.