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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    SurvivorX's Avatar

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    Default Sci-Fi System Recommendations?

    So, for my groups' sci-fi campaign, we've been running D20 Modern/Future for a while but as we go on, it just feels clunkier and clunkier - we get the feeling that WotC didn't playtest or polish it nearly as much as some of their other games. We're looking to replace it with a good, high-quality roleplaying system suitable for sci-fi settings - hopefully one that's compatible with Roll20, so we can play online since several of us have moved away and want to continue playing with the group. We've tried homebrewing a system a couple times but it's just too time-consuming to go that route.

    Any recommendations? We don't even mind dropping a little money on it, as long as it's a well-made system.

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Titan in the Playground
     
    golentan's Avatar

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    Default Re: Sci-Fi System Recommendations?

    Quote Originally Posted by SurvivorX View Post
    So, for my groups' sci-fi campaign, we've been running D20 Modern/Future for a while but as we go on, it just feels clunkier and clunkier - we get the feeling that WotC didn't playtest or polish it nearly as much as some of their other games. We're looking to replace it with a good, high-quality roleplaying system suitable for sci-fi settings - hopefully one that's compatible with Roll20, so we can play online since several of us have moved away and want to continue playing with the group. We've tried homebrewing a system a couple times but it's just too time-consuming to go that route.

    Any recommendations? We don't even mind dropping a little money on it, as long as it's a well-made system.
    Are you looking for something more down to earth, more space opera-y, science fantasy, hard sci fi, what?

    My favorites far and away in order are: Traveller (mongoose edition) which is good for planet hopping fun in a wide variety of playstyles and lends itself well to classic sci fi in the vein of Heinlein or Niven. Eclipse Phase which has the benefit of being free and is a sort of transhuman horror story (though in my experience the horror drops out fairly neatly) involving body swapping, brain backups, designer organisms, and a postapocalyptic solar system. And Shadowrun which is... cyberpunk with magic, really, you go up against corrupt corporate execs armed with your hacker, your cyborg warrior, and your mage.
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    My motto: Repensum Est Canicula.

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    I am not getting into a shootout with Golentan. Too many gun-arms.
    Leiningen will win, even if he must lose in the attempt.

    Credit to Astrella for the new party avatar.

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    SurvivorX's Avatar

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    Default Re: Sci-Fi System Recommendations?

    Quote Originally Posted by golentan View Post
    Are you looking for something more down to earth, more space opera-y, science fantasy, hard sci fi, what?
    We tend towards themes like exploring frontier planets and alien archaeology, while also exploring how real-world science applies to RP situations. Kinda like what you mentioned with Heinlein and Niven. Maybe the occasional bit of Darkover-esque part-science/part-paranormal fun.

  4. - Top - End - #4
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    golentan's Avatar

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    Default Re: Sci-Fi System Recommendations?

    Quote Originally Posted by SurvivorX View Post
    We tend towards themes like exploring frontier planets and alien archaeology, while also exploring how real-world science applies to RP situations. Kinda like what you mentioned with Heinlein and Niven. Maybe the occasional bit of Darkover-esque part-science/part-paranormal fun.
    Definitely take a look at Mongoose Traveller. Sounds like you might like playing a scout service game, where you're basically crammed into a small ship with great sensors and told "go survey things." Retired scouts are also fun, they're given a mothballed scout ship and told "keep it working, you may be called back if we need you, go have fun, okay?"

    The technology is fairly realistic, with the exception of Psionic stuff (which is very rare and doesn't need to be included at all) there's a robust system for creating new planets, organisms, etc to encounter.

    It's not especially balanced (I joke the balance point is "everyone dies to machinegun fire") with chargen being directed randomness and more experienced characters potentially having a massive edge, but everyone can contribute to a team and there are no useless skills.
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    My motto: Repensum Est Canicula.

    Quote Originally Posted by turkishproverb View Post
    I am not getting into a shootout with Golentan. Too many gun-arms.
    Leiningen will win, even if he must lose in the attempt.

    Credit to Astrella for the new party avatar.

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    Troll in the Playground
     
    BardGuy

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    Default Re: Sci-Fi System Recommendations?

    I have not used D6 Space and don't know how it stacks up to D6 Star Wars, but I've heard that a lot of it is outright cross-compatible. If it's much like D6 Star Wars, I'd recommend trying that.

    For that matter, drop Force powers from (the now out-of-print) WEG D6 Star Wars (WEG=West End Games, not the current Star Wars system from Fantasy Flight, which I have zero experience with or knowledge of) and change the names, and it's a fantastic and versatile system for (soft) sci-fi.
    Last edited by JAL_1138; 2016-05-13 at 02:40 PM.
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    - If it's something mortals were not meant to know, I've already found six different ways to blow myself and/or someone else up with it.
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    I use blue text for silliness and/or sarcasm. Do not take anything I say in blue text seriously, except for this sentence and the one preceding it.

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: Sci-Fi System Recommendations?

    Not that it'll come to a surprise to anyone but...


    *shameless GURPS plug*
    Quote Originally Posted by Kid Jake View Post
    Kill a PC's father? Well that's just the cost of doing business.
    Steal a PC's boots? Now it's personal.
    Please take everything I say with a grain of salt. Unless we're arguing about alignment. In which case, you're wrong.

    Former EMPIRE2! Player: Imperator of the Nihoni Dominion
    Former EMPIRE3! Player: Suzerain of the Phnīx Estates
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    My Awesome Campaign Setting

    A god among men by the name of Molten designed my avatar.

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    Titan in the Playground
     
    PaladinGuy

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    Default Re: Sci-Fi System Recommendations?

    Quote Originally Posted by JAL_1138 View Post
    For that matter, drop Force powers from (the now out-of-print) WEG D6 Star Wars (WEG=West End Games, not the current Star Wars system from Fantasy Flight, which I have zero experience with or knowledge of) and change the names, and it's a fantastic and versatile system for (soft) sci-fi.
    All the Star Wars systems can be used for space opera style sci-fi, if you file off the serial numbers (i.e. The Force becomes generic "psychic powers", etc.). Of the systems, Saga is mechanically close to d20 Modern/Future, but a bit more refined.

  8. - Top - End - #8
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: Sci-Fi System Recommendations?

    Well...off the top of my head (barring those already mentioned):

    Star Frontiers
    The Ring World RPG
    The Dune RPG
    Stars Without Number
    The various Star Trek systems
    The Buck Rodgers RPG
    "Sleeping late might not be a virtue, but it sure aint no vice. The old saw about the early bird and the worm just goes to show that the worm should have stayed in bed."

    - L. Long

    I think, therefore I get really, really annoyed at people who won't.

  9. - Top - End - #9
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    DruidGuy

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    Default Re: Sci-Fi System Recommendations?

    I once played in a Pathfinder group that just for fun and giggles shifted from fantasy into sci-fi, using the "technology guide" campaign-setting.
    never had so much fun. I'm not sure if you could actually play a sci-fi campaign this way, but shooting masses of undead monsters to dust with laser rifles, is probably the best fun you can have - so I needed to mention it

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