Older D&D/AD&D and Other SystemsThe forum for discussions specifically related to the rules and procedures of either any of the older editions of Dungeons & Dragons (1e, 2e, BECMI, OD&D) or any other non-D&D roleplaying rules (Vampire: The Requiem, Dread), including non-fantasy d20 systems (such as Mutants & Masterminds).
I've been thinking for a while that I would like to run an rpg in a sci-fi setting. I've briefly considered a number of options (star wars, rouge trader, ect..) but I'm a bit put off by the fact that most systems seem to be "setting" dependant. I would like to stage events in my own sci-fi world and dont want to get bogged down with things centred around the force or the grim reality of the warhammer 40k universe.
Is there a more generic role playing system which works well for space exploration and adventure?
I would prefer something which is not overly complex in terms of rule set so we can focus more on the roleplaying aspects. My players lack the patience to learn an intricate system. I myself only really have experience with dnd v2, v3, v3.5, v4 and a little pathfinder and have had to cut down the complexity in some of these quite a bit. We are, in general a much more anecdotal and role play focused group, though my plays do like to still roll dice and like the tension associated with dice chucking.
Any help or advice you can offer would be awesome!
d6 Space is available free through Drive-thru RPG. While not tied to Star Wars (we used it to play a hard sci-fi cyberpunk), it is compatible with it.
You might also look at Savage Worlds; I have a thread about converting Mass Effect to it in this section.
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You should check out the free version of Stars Without Number. It's very simple to play, essentially old-school D&D with a skill system similar to Classic Traveller's. Comes with an abundance of material to help the DM set up a sandbox campaign. It does come with a default setting, but it's easy to change to something else.
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If you're looking to focus more on "roleplay" than "rulesplay" then I'll throw in my standard two suggestions of PERPS and RISUS. Both are generic and both are very easy. I would tend to prefer the former for a more serious style and the latter if you'd perfer something more tongue-in-cheek. Either way, though, the rules will in no way interfere with whatever setting you have in mind.
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If your group is used D&D 3.x then it is easy to get everyone going with d20 Future. Many players love it, but the two times I played it left that D&D in Space feel.
SWSE is IMO the best game system WotC has put out. Take out Force users, place into another setting and wola you have a good scifi game going. Caveat, space combat tends to take a very long time with larger ships.
True20 is a generic d20 system without classes which works fine for scifi settings. I liked the system but it is not really supported anymore, though I imagine the books are cheap, and don't recommend it anymore.
Classic Traveller is ... well Classic. The grandaddy of scifi games is still a great choice.
Then there are two great Fate games you may look at: Bulldogs! is wacky Space Opera game that is an absolute blast. When I played it turned into a Spaceballs meets Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, I had an absolute blast. At $10 for the pdf it is a great deal for a great system. Diaspora is a hard scifi game with many similarities to Traveller. They have an online SRD that you can check out.
Perhaps Resolute, Adventurer, and Genius? All you have to do is update the equipment and some of the talents. I was actually considering doing that myself recently.
__________________ "...I worry that modern gaming is gradually shrinking the wide spectrum of gameplay mechanics into a single narrow red bar with "KILL" written on it sideways. Exploration, navigation, puzzles, platforming, all gradually shrinking away until only one thing remains, being taken by the hand from room to room, moving on only when nothing remains alive in each one." - Yhatzee Crosshaw
I recommend traveller (mentioned above). It's a solid system, especially the Mongoose Traveller version, it's generic enough to run most sci fi settings especially with some of the optional rules listed for things like warp drives in place of jump drives and other similar options, and while it has a rich and wonderful default setting I would recommend looking at it the core book is dedicated almost entirely to explaining things like how to use a gun or how to fly and finance a spaceship. Plus, character generation is an adventure in itself (you generate an entire history through a combination of choices and die rolls, with career specific books offering expanded history tables if the core rules don't give enough for you).
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Originally Posted by turkishproverb
I am not getting into a shootout with Golentan. Too many gun-arms.
You could try a FATE game. There are three main options, Bulldogs!, Diaspora, and Starblazer Adventures. Bulldogs! is a game that works well for the space-cowboy, not particularly serious style; Diaspora works better for the group of trained professionals who are competent style, and Starblazer Adventures works for the space opera fantasy style. One could think of them as analogous to Firefly, Space Odyssey 2001, and Star Wars, respectively, though each is fairly broad and fits a variety of settings. They are also all relatively light systems.
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