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  1. - Top - End - #31
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    Default Re: Best Space Opera RPG System?

    Quote Originally Posted by rredmond View Post
    There are these two Colonial Troopers (and Colonial Troopers: Knight Hawks) pdfs that look interesting:

    https://www.thomasdenmark.com/night-owl-workshop

    Check the previews (and neato video) to see if it's what you want, I don't know too much about them but they are based on OD&D type rules. They aren't free PDFs but are decent priced if you thought they might work. :D
    --Ron--
    Funny that they use "Knight Hawks" as an expansion just like Star Frontiers...I'm guessing by the cover that it is ship-to-ship combat, which is the same intent as the Star Frontiers expansion. Combined with the link to OD&D, I suspect it is "inspired" by Star Frontiers. Are there any other similarities?

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    Default Re: Best Space Opera RPG System?

    Quote Originally Posted by Digitalelf View Post
    Whenever this gets asked, I always recommend Alternity (the original, not the newer one).

    You can find the free Alternity Fast-Play rules here: https://www.alternityrpg.net/downloads.php
    When I first came into this thread, I was planning to second (or nth) whoever had recommended Star Wars Saga Edition, but I'm going to second this instead-- with the caveat that Alternity needs some house rules to really work.

    PCs need higher ability scores across the board-- by about 2 points (10-11) each
    PCs need more skill points at 1st level and each subsequent level and the effect of INT should be much less pronounced.
    If an untrained skiill check is possible, the penalty needs to be smaller. This is especially true for a right space opera.

    In addition to the core rules, pick up Mindwalking and Beyond FX and Starships. Most of the other supplements are potentially useful depending on your tastes.

    I'm also going to suggest that Barbarians of the Void doesn't really have the starship rules you want, but BoL hacks are generally good for any "heroic action" genre.
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  3. - Top - End - #33
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    Default Re: Best Space Opera RPG System?

    A few answers.

    Run FATE just run FATE and have stunts represent different races and things. And its gets that cinematic quality and durability. And Mindjammer a FATE supplement is all space opera

    Savage Worlds if your players are too mechanically orientated.

    Eclipse Phase if you want to take a different view with it being humans surviving the apocalypse and now using these awesome cool new Stargates to travel the galaxy

    Planet Mercenary is also fairly decent despite my first time playing it was with one of the worst players i have ever met.
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  4. - Top - End - #34
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    Default Re: Best Space Opera RPG System?

    Haven't gotten a chance to try it, but Lasers and Feelings appears playable despite the brevity of its rules

  5. - Top - End - #35
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    Default Re: Best Space Opera RPG System?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bohandas View Post
    Haven't gotten a chance to try it, but Lasers and Feelings appears playable despite the brevity of its rules
    It's entirely functional - but if you're looking for spaceship customization, exploration, and mission based gameplay it's an astoundingly bad fit. It's a system that specializes in character drama, internal character conflicts, etc.
    I would really like to see a game made by Obryn, Kurald Galain, and Knaight from these forums.

    I'm not joking one bit. I would buy the hell out of that.
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  6. - Top - End - #36
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    Default Re: Best Space Opera RPG System?

    Some of these might already have a mention but....

    • Star Wars D6 (or the open D6)
    • Star Frontiers
    • GURPS Space (various splats)
    • Alternity
    • Space 1889
    • Alternity
    • Traveller
    "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."

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  7. - Top - End - #37
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    Default Re: Best Space Opera RPG System?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mutazoia View Post
    Some of these might already have a mention but....

    • Star Wars D6 (or the open D6)
    • Star Frontiers
    • GURPS Space (various splats)
    • Alternity
    • Space 1889
    • Alternity
    • Traveller
    Bias towards Alternity am I sensing?

    (Edit: not meaning to be provoking or anything, it just seemed funny to me that it should appear twice on the list)
    Last edited by MrSandman; 2019-07-29 at 04:39 PM.

  8. - Top - End - #38
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    Default Re: Best Space Opera RPG System?

    Quote Originally Posted by MrSandman View Post
    Bias towards Alternity am I sensing?

    (Edit: not meaning to be provoking or anything, it just seemed funny to me that it should appear twice on the list)
    It's just that good.
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  9. - Top - End - #39
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    Default Re: Best Space Opera RPG System?

    Quote Originally Posted by FaerieGodfather View Post
    It's just that good.
    Still, we should probably suggest an



    Alternitive.

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  10. - Top - End - #40
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    Default Re: Best Space Opera RPG System?

    Quote Originally Posted by Grod_The_Giant View Post
    Still, we should probably suggest an



    Alternitive.
    Yeeaaaaahh!

    LOL... ah Alternity. It's a good choice.

  11. - Top - End - #41
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    Default Re: Best Space Opera RPG System?

    No matter what system you end up using, taking a look at GURPS space is definitely a good use of time. It is a great sourcebook, with lots of good stuff to think about when setting up your universe.

    Since you seem to be interested in some crunch with building/customizing the ship, I don't know that FATE would be a good fit. Gear in any fashion is not its strong point. I have been doing a lot of FATE personally because it is so easy to jump into playing...but it isn't really a game, it is a toolkit to build your own game.

    Alternity probably would get my vote. The feel of old school traveller without the clunky old system.

  12. - Top - End - #42
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    Default Re: Best Space Opera RPG System?

    Nobody mentioned Scum and Villainy yet? Well then. Check out Scum and Villainy - it's really, really good!
    It's an adaptation of the Blades in the Dark system, geared to tell the story of a rag tag of adventures and scoundrel, but in space! It covers politics, exploration, an (optional) Not-The-Force mystic ability, and can be used to run different vibes of games - main inspirations being star wars (obviously), cowboy bebop, firefly, that netflix show about space bounty hunters...all the usual suspects.

    The ship is actually sort of an extra character in the party, and can really be the common thread between different campaigns and adventuring troupes - think of the Millenium Falcon. (If you are familiar with blades in the dark, the ship takes the place of the hideout / your criminal organisation).

    The game expects an improvising / reactive GMing style more like Torchbearer/Mouseguard or any Powered by the Apocalypse game rather than the classic d&d "GM prepares an adventure" style, but it's actually not an hard requirement.

    Also +1 for Stars without number - even if you don't end up using the system, the GMing tools in the "running a sandbox" chapter are fantastic.
    Hector Morris Ashburnum-Whit - Curse of the Crimson Throne - IC / OoC
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  13. - Top - End - #43
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    Default Re: Best Space Opera RPG System?

    Quote Originally Posted by MrSandman View Post
    Bias towards Alternity am I sensing?

    (Edit: not meaning to be provoking or anything, it just seemed funny to me that it should appear twice on the list)
    I got interrupted while typing the list and when I got back to it, I had forgotten I had already added it (and didn't read over what I had already listed lol).
    "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."

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  14. - Top - End - #44
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    Default Re: Best Space Opera RPG System?

    I'm surprised nobody has mentioned Space Opera by Fantasy Games Unlimited. This was a great game and really incorporated the aspects of space opera vs. hard science fiction. If original Traveller was on the hard science end of the spectrum, Space Opera was definitely on the space opera end.

    I don't have the books anymore, but I'm not likely to ever run a science fiction campaign again. I thought it hit a real good tone because I didn't prefer the hard science stuff at the time.

  15. - Top - End - #45
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    Default Re: Best Space Opera RPG System?

    Space Opera is basically super heroes IN SPACE, so Mutants and Masterminds can handle it. I wouldn't suggest it for a more gritty sci-fi experience, but you specifically said Space Opera. Third Edition has basically the entire ruleset for free on the srd, too.
    The name is "tonberrian", even when it begins a sentence. It's magic, I ain't gotta 'splain why.

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  16. - Top - End - #46
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    Default Re: Best Space Opera RPG System?

    Quote Originally Posted by tonberrian View Post
    Space Opera is basically super heroes IN SPACE, so Mutants and Masterminds can handle it. I wouldn't suggest it for a more gritty sci-fi experience, but you specifically said Space Opera. Third Edition has basically the entire ruleset for free on the srd, too.
    I really disagree with this interpretation. I'm not a huge Space Opera fan, but for me SO is defined by the pulp-action feel of the setting and events. Sure, some of the characters might be super-human, but they are generally exceptions, bad guys, or balanced by sub-human characteristics.

    Now, if you're suggesting that super hero stories are melodrama and pulp action, I guess I would agree they are similar...but nothing about how M&M (or any of the other supers games I've played) lends itself to an experience that feels like SO to me.

    - M
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  17. - Top - End - #47
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    Default Re: Best Space Opera RPG System?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mordar View Post
    I really disagree with this interpretation. I'm not a huge Space Opera fan, but for me SO is defined by the pulp-action feel of the setting and events. Sure, some of the characters might be super-human, but they are generally exceptions, bad guys, or balanced by sub-human characteristics.

    Now, if you're suggesting that super hero stories are melodrama and pulp action, I guess I would agree they are similar...but nothing about how M&M (or any of the other supers games I've played) lends itself to an experience that feels like SO to me.

    - M
    If you kept the Power Level around 7, maybe even lower; with maybe a few gadgets that break that level; limit power sources and powers, you could get the feel right. You would be leaving most of the options on the ground, although the gadgets rules would get a good workout. M&M would do a better job than some other generic systems, but would not be my first choice.
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  18. - Top - End - #48
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    Default Re: Best Space Opera RPG System?

    Quote Originally Posted by lightningcat View Post
    If you kept the Power Level around 7, maybe even lower; with maybe a few gadgets that break that level; limit power sources and powers, you could get the feel right. You would be leaving most of the options on the ground, although the gadgets rules would get a good workout. M&M would do a better job than some other generic systems, but would not be my first choice.
    "If you throw out 90% of the rules and limit choices to next to nothing, this game will be a perfect fit."
    "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."

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

  19. - Top - End - #49
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    Default Re: Best Space Opera RPG System?

    It depends on what sort of game you're running. M&M is great for really gonzo settings, where you have all sorts of wild aliens and cyborgs and gene-mods running around. If your party is going to have, I dunno, a guy with a collective consciousness shared among his dozens of clones, a super-strong alien barbarian, a techie with an improbably advanced suit of power armor, and an elder alien with telepathic powers? Sure, PL 6-8 M&M is a great fit. If not, better to go a different direction.

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    Default Re: Best Space Opera RPG System?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mordar View Post
    I really disagree with this interpretation. I'm not a huge Space Opera fan, but for me SO is defined by the pulp-action feel of the setting and events. Sure, some of the characters might be super-human, but they are generally exceptions, bad guys, or balanced by sub-human characteristics.

    Now, if you're suggesting that super hero stories are melodrama and pulp action, I guess I would agree they are similar...but nothing about how M&M (or any of the other supers games I've played) lends itself to an experience that feels like SO to me.

    - M
    You and I have very different ideas of what makes a space opera tick.
    The name is "tonberrian", even when it begins a sentence. It's magic, I ain't gotta 'splain why.

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  21. - Top - End - #51
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    Default Re: Best Space Opera RPG System?

    Quote Originally Posted by tonberrian View Post
    You and I have very different ideas of what makes a space opera tick.
    Space Opera is easy to define.

    The action is hard and fast, and the science is soft and squishy.

    “In those days spirits were brave, the stakes were high, men were real men, women were real women and small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri were real small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri.”
    "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.

  22. - Top - End - #52
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    Default Re: Best Space Opera RPG System?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mutazoia View Post
    Space Opera is easy to define.

    The action is hard and fast, and the science is soft and squishy.

    “In those days spirits were brave, the stakes were high, men were real men, women were real women and small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri were real small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri.”
    And that is exactly what M&M is good at.
    The name is "tonberrian", even when it begins a sentence. It's magic, I ain't gotta 'splain why.

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  23. - Top - End - #53
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    Default Re: Best Space Opera RPG System?

    I would use Savage Worlds.

    But Stars Without Number gets an honorable mention because its starship combat includes a "crisis" option, where some event can happen rather than taking HP damage. Reminds me a lot of Star Trek.

  24. - Top - End - #54
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    Default Re: Best Space Opera RPG System?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mordar View Post
    I really disagree with this interpretation. I'm not a huge Space Opera fan, but for me SO is defined by the pulp-action feel of the setting and events. Sure, some of the characters might be super-human, but they are generally exceptions, bad guys, or balanced by sub-human characteristics.

    Now, if you're suggesting that super hero stories are melodrama and pulp action, I guess I would agree they are similar...but nothing about how M&M (or any of the other supers games I've played) lends itself to an experience that feels like SO to me.
    I'd agree -- you can have space opera without a single "super power". Star Wars can be done without Jedi, and it's still Star Wars. The Vorkosigan Saga is space opera, and doesn't really have super-powers.
    It is one thing to suspend your disbelief. It is another thing entirely to hang it by the neck until dead.

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  25. - Top - End - #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by Max_Killjoy View Post
    I'd agree -- you can have space opera without a single "super power". Star Wars can be done without Jedi, and it's still Star Wars. The Vorkosigan Saga is space opera, and doesn't really have super-powers.
    Miles' ability to fast-talk BS his way out of anything is basically a superpower. 😁
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    "Is a stack of ten pancakes too many pancakes to give to the party, even if most of them fell on the floor and one or two were stepped on? I wanted to give my party pancakes as a reward but I'm unsure if it's too much. The pancakes are also laced with blowfish poison so the party would have to get an antitoxin before they could eat the ones which weren't pulverized by shoes."

    I don't think anyone would want those pancakes even if you paid them to eat them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mutazoia View Post
    "If you throw out 90% of the rules and limit choices to next to nothing, this game will be a perfect fit."
    That's pretty standard for a toolkit system; not every work is expected to need every tool. M&M is nominally a superhero system, but much like HERO it approaches it by building a whole power based toolkit that can cover the breadth of the genre, and that tends to get a decently sized toolkit on its own. Not quite to the level of a true generic game, but for another larger than life action heavy genre which centers on notable characters doing dramatic things? It'll fit.
    I would really like to see a game made by Obryn, Kurald Galain, and Knaight from these forums.

    I'm not joking one bit. I would buy the hell out of that.
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    Default Re: Best Space Opera RPG System?

    Quote Originally Posted by Knaight View Post
    That's pretty standard for a toolkit system; not every work is expected to need every tool. M&M is nominally a superhero system, but much like HERO it approaches it by building a whole power based toolkit that can cover the breadth of the genre, and that tends to get a decently sized toolkit on its own. Not quite to the level of a true generic game, but for another larger than life action heavy genre which centers on notable characters doing dramatic things? It'll fit.
    With a generic/toolkit system you have the general mechanics....rules that you are going to use every single time. Will you use all of the skills (for example)? No, but you have the option to use any that you choose. Then you get optional, setting specific rules, that will mostly add fluff, and a few extra rules that are unique to, and required, by said setting.

    Shoehorning a Superhero system into a Space Opera setting, is like buying a 50lb sledge to drive nails. It's not the right tool for the job. Sure...you can do it, with a lot of extra work and effort, but why bother? Use a hammer to drive nails, use a Space Opera Rule Set to play a Space Opera game.
    Last edited by Mutazoia; 2019-09-18 at 09:59 PM.
    "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."

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  28. - Top - End - #58
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    Default Re: Best Space Opera RPG System?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mutazoia View Post
    Shoehorning a Superhero system into a Space Opera setting, is like buying a 50lb sledge to drive nails. It's not the right tool for the job. Sure...you can do it, with a lot of extra work and effort, but why bother? Use a hammer to drive nails, use a Space Opera Rule Set to play a Space Opera game.
    Huh? Space Opera is superheroics. Especially when you have psionics all over the place. (What are psionics if not straight up super powers?) Granted, you don't have Superman or Captain Marvel (though you can), you have tons of Ironmen, Booster Golds, Nebulas, and character types like that. Sure, they don't make their own stuff, but in Space Opera, you don't need to; someone else does. But you still get to be (or can be) an Ironman.

    From the comics side, things like Legion of Superheroes, Green Lantern Corps, and Gardians of the Galaxy are straight up Space Opera with superheroes. From the Space Opera side, Star Wars can perfectly be modeled using a superhero system. That's what Jedi are: superheroes. The old Lensmen is so superhero that it was ripped off to make Green Lantern.

    If you want hard or hard-ish sci-fi, then, no superheroics don't apply. But space opera with squishy super-science? Superheroics not only applies, but is basically the same thing.

  29. - Top - End - #59
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    Default Re: Best Space Opera RPG System?

    Quote Originally Posted by daryen View Post
    Huh? Space Opera is superheroics. Especially when you have psionics all over the place. (What are psionics if not straight up super powers?) Granted, you don't have Superman or Captain Marvel (though you can), you have tons of Ironmen, Booster Golds, Nebulas, and character types like that. Sure, they don't make their own stuff, but in Space Opera, you don't need to; someone else does. But you still get to be (or can be) an Ironman.

    From the comics side, things like Legion of Superheroes, Green Lantern Corps, and Gardians of the Galaxy are straight up Space Opera with superheroes. From the Space Opera side, Star Wars can perfectly be modeled using a superhero system. That's what Jedi are: superheroes. The old Lensmen is so superhero that it was ripped off to make Green Lantern.

    If you want hard or hard-ish sci-fi, then, no superheroics don't apply. But space opera with squishy super-science? Superheroics not only applies, but is basically the same thing.
    Soooooooooooo...... Super Heroes in Space, as opposed to Space Opera.
    "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."

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

  30. - Top - End - #60
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    Default Re: Best Space Opera RPG System?

    Quote Originally Posted by daryen View Post
    Huh? Space Opera is superheroics. Especially when you have psionics all over the place. (What are psionics if not straight up super powers?) Granted, you don't have Superman or Captain Marvel (though you can), you have tons of Ironmen, Booster Golds, Nebulas, and character types like that. Sure, they don't make their own stuff, but in Space Opera, you don't need to; someone else does. But you still get to be (or can be) an Ironman.

    From the comics side, things like Legion of Superheroes, Green Lantern Corps, and Gardians of the Galaxy are straight up Space Opera with superheroes. From the Space Opera side, Star Wars can perfectly be modeled using a superhero system. That's what Jedi are: superheroes. The old Lensmen is so superhero that it was ripped off to make Green Lantern.

    If you want hard or hard-ish sci-fi, then, no superheroics don't apply. But space opera with squishy super-science? Superheroics not only applies, but is basically the same thing.
    Is Star Wars without the Jedi "space opera"?
    It is one thing to suspend your disbelief. It is another thing entirely to hang it by the neck until dead.

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