A Monster for Every Season: Summer 2
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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    SolithKnightGuy

    Join Date
    Sep 2009
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    UK

    Default Elite Dangerous TTRPG - opinions?

    Hi all,
    I've been looking for a decent system to run a sandboxy space game in, and was wondering if anyone has experience of running/playing the Elite Dangerous rpg, and if it's any good?

    I've already looked at a couple of alternatives (Traveller, Coriolis, Stars Without Number & Starfinder), so if there any any other suggestions, I'm open to hearing those too.

    Thanks!
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  2. - Top - End - #2
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    PaladinGuy

    Join Date
    Apr 2015

    Default Re: Elite Dangerous TTRPG - opinions?

    If you want everyone in the same ship I think Traveller/Cepheus Engine is just about perfect for Elite, less so if you're going for Elites 1 man crew thing, RAW. Ditto SWN, though an XP system is probably unnecessary, which makes Traveller perfect in my eyes.

    My question would be, how much do you want it to play like Elite? Cause Elite has no out of ship stuff, which is where most RPGs focus, right? So if you wanted something that plays like that, you'll want to really focus on space ship rules and have lightweight rules for everything else. You could look at Transit on drive thru for that, it's written to play as ship AI but you might be able to switch it around to play as a generic pilot.

    If you want to focus on dogfighting it might be worth tinkering with one of the Star Wars games, since that's most likely to have good dogfighting and you can probably get rid of the force pretty easily (at least the ones I'm familiar with you can.)

    I wouldn't run Starfinder unless you really want to kit bash, there's just so many mechanics that don't make sense for Elite to me.
    Last edited by grimsly; 2021-12-05 at 01:10 PM. Reason: Grammar issue

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Ettin in the Playground
    Join Date
    Jun 2015

    Default Re: Elite Dangerous TTRPG - opinions?

    Quote Originally Posted by grimsly View Post
    If you want everyone in the same ship I think Traveller/Cepheus Engine is just about perfect for Elite, less so if you're going for Elites 1 man crew thing, RAW. Ditto SWN, though an XP system is probably unnecessary, which makes Traveller perfect in my eyes.

    My question would be, how much do you want it to play like Elite? Cause Elite has no out of ship stuff, which is where most RPGs focus, right? So if you wanted something that plays like that, you'll want to really focus on space ship rules and have lightweight rules for everything else. You could look at Transit on drive thru for that, it's written to play as ship AI but you might be able to switch it around to play as a generic pilot.

    If you want to focus on dogfighting it might be worth tinkering with one of the Star Wars games, since that's most likely to have good dogfighting and you can probably get rid of the force pretty easily (at least the ones I'm familiar with you can.)

    I wouldn't run Starfinder unless you really want to kit bash, there's just so many mechanics that don't make sense for Elite to me.
    Starfinder is for very specific games and the vast majority of the time if you are not seeking "dnd in space but equipment is even more important" then it is likely you do not want starfinder.

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    Planetar

    Join Date
    May 2009
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    Perth, West Australia
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Elite Dangerous TTRPG - opinions?

    Just in the realm of suggestions, there's also Diaspora which is built off the FATE engine but is a standalone RPG, apparently made by a few frustrated Traveller players. It's meant to be more hard science (so far as you can make anything hard science and still have a spacefaring RPG).

    I can't say I've played the Elite Dangerous TTRPG but looking at the online reviews about the system's mechanics, it looks similar-ish to a standard d20 engine, just with different dice. The numbers you have to get over are a little different, but it looks to have the basic, middle-math (as opposed to heavy-math GURPS or narrative-heavy FATE or Dungeon World systems) system that most stuff coming out of WOTC does.

    The game looks to have plunked on the RPG engine so you can play as a party rather than as single-player, but who knows how good that actually is. It has no class-based system, looks more like totally skill based which allows you a bit more flexibility in the characters you build but (I think) is still going to leave you with the same problem most space-based RPGs have: what does everyone else do while the player with the highest bonus in Starship Piloting is doing his thing? (The easiest answer is to invent minigames for others while the Starship Pilot is Starship Piloting; another is to make skill differentiations more blurry so people without the Starship Gunnery skill can still rely on DEX or whatever to do their thing.)

    It strikes me as basically just a standard RPG engine with the Elite Dangerous IP glued on it, based off the reviews I don't see much in the way of unique mechanics or anything that's meant the capture the 'feel' of playing the computer game. My guess is that there's a lot of "make up your own funs, DM" since as said the computer game has no out-of-cockpit gameplay and literally the entire galaxy is your playground.

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Anonymouswizard's Avatar

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    Oct 2009
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    In my library

    Default Re: Elite Dangerous TTRPG - opinions?

    To widen the suggestions, I've got two.

    Scum &, Villainy is probably the best Firefly/Blake's 7 game you'll find. It's based on Blades in the Dark, so it's gameplay is mainly based around completing jobs rather than anything like space combat and is fairly straightforward. Plus the character classes map perfectly to the cast of Firefly.

    Those Dark Places is a rules-light attempt to do dark, oppressive science fiction with a hint of horror. The rules are simple and easy to grasp, and it takes inspiration from stories like Alien by making spaceships primarily settings rather than vehicles. On the potential downside the book is over 90% flavour rather than setting or rules.
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    How about a Jovian Uplift stuck in a Case morph? it makes so little sense.

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