gladiusdei
 member, 767 posts
Sun 28 Apr 2019
at 00:45
IC- Sci-fi/Space game- freeform or system?
I've wanted to run a sci-fi/space game focusing on space exploration, combat, and storytelling for a while.  But I haven't found a sci-fi game I really liked that well.

The problem is a freeform game would require a lot of development to establish technology and abilities.

would players be interested in a freeform game of this style, or is there a specific system that players would enjoy playing?  I've looked at things like traveller and gurps, but either of those seem very popular.
Arrevanthas
 member, 29 posts
 A Naughty Little Elfie!
 SPANK ME!
Sun 28 Apr 2019
at 00:50
IC- Sci-fi/Space game- freeform or system?
Now that I have some freed up space in my game list, I would totally be down to play something like this. :)

This message was last edited by the user at 14:48, Sun 28 Apr.

CaesarCV
 member, 362 posts
Sun 28 Apr 2019
at 00:54
IC- Sci-fi/Space game- freeform or system?
I'd be pretty interested in a game like that! I'd be perfectly fine with Freeform if you need to.

Hm...if you're looking into systems I might recommend Savage Worlds as far as generic systems go and more specific suggestions below...

Coriolis by Mophidius Entertainment
Stars Without Number
Fragged Empires

Among other things.
OakMaster
 member, 110 posts
 "Choose you this day
 whom ye will serve..."
Sun 28 Apr 2019
at 00:59
IC- Sci-fi/Space game- freeform or system?
Stars Without Number has free+legal+basic and paid+legal+deluxe options...  :)

https://www.drivethrurpg.com/p...Edition-Free-Version
PCO.Spvnky
 member, 393 posts
Sun 28 Apr 2019
at 02:37
IC- Sci-fi/Space game- freeform or system?
Eclipse Phase is an awesome system.  While they are still working on 2nd Ed their beta stuff is great and the equipment lists from 1st Ed are compatible.
Arrevanthas
 member, 30 posts
 A Naughty Little Elfie!
 SPANK ME!
Sun 28 Apr 2019
at 03:04
IC- Sci-fi/Space game- freeform or system?
OMG I had the hardest time trying to learn Eclipse Phase...I really want to like the system. It just confuses me. :p
Bornite
 member, 63 posts
Sun 28 Apr 2019
at 04:27
IC- Sci-fi/Space game- freeform or system?
Gurps Space for starters.  Just go through and check which boxes you want the setting to be and go from there.
StarMaster
 member, 319 posts
Sun 28 Apr 2019
at 05:49
IC- Sci-fi/Space game- freeform or system?
I had the same problem when I started gaming... couldn't find a SF game that I liked. Mostly it was the campaign setting/universe, but some of them had mechanics that I wasn't crazy about. Wound up making up my own SF game. Back in those days, I wasn't experienced enough to take an existing system and adapt it to my own campaign.

I'm older and wiser now, so I can pretty much play any SF game.

Everybody seems to have their favorite SF game, so it's more about you finding a game system that you like. Then you need to decide if it takes place in the 'real' universe or in a fictional universe of your own design.

Remember... you don't have to make it all up right away; you and the players can build it as you go along.
Hendell
 member, 185 posts
Sun 28 Apr 2019
at 06:46
IC- Sci-fi/Space game- freeform or system?
Eclipse phase is an amazing setting.  The system leaves much to be desired.

GURPS is 'the' system if you want to only learn one because it can do anything.

Stars Without Number is a good setting, but an excellent system that can be transplanted into any similar setting.  It lacks the versatile of GURPS for non Sci Fi space settings, but it also lacks the complexity of GURPS or the confusion of the Eclipse Phase setting.
horus
 member, 707 posts
 Wayfarer of the
 Western Wastes
Sun 28 Apr 2019
at 09:19
IC- Sci-fi/Space game- freeform or system?
I'm late to this party, as usual.  I always found Traveller to be a dead simple system at core:  Roll 2d6  to complete a task.   Success on 8+.  Combat is just another form of Task.  No messy levels, but lots of skills which modify success of a task.

With the advent of Traveller Plus (which was designed for online play and is free to download), it really is versatile enough to use for almost any science-fictional setting with a little work.
evileeyore
 member, 176 posts
 GURPS GM and Player
Sun 28 Apr 2019
at 14:33
IC- Sci-fi/Space game- freeform or system?
You got a third vote throwing in for GURPS...
Der Rot Konig
 member, 206 posts
 Educated Pirate
Sun 28 Apr 2019
at 15:22
IC- Sci-fi/Space game- freeform or system?
I'm actually running a game just like this, going the free-form route and it does certainly present some problems.  Usually details you need to come up with on the spot.

With that said, I'd rather enjoy being a character in just such a game as well.  Sadly, the only system so far mentioned I'm slightly familiar with is GURPS.
gladiusdei
 member, 768 posts
Sun 28 Apr 2019
at 17:12
IC- Sci-fi/Space game- freeform or system?
I feel like I'd have a really hard time developing a sci-fi setting from the ground up, that would be playable in a game.

I can look into eclipse phase, though it doesn't seem quite galactic enough for what I had in mind, and stars without numbers.  Gurps space may also work, but gurps is so involved and requires so many resources to make a full setting that it is a little off putting.  And I'd still have to basically create my own setting and everything that may be allowed in it.

I guess I need to look over these books a lot more and determine my preference.
evileeyore
 member, 178 posts
 GURPS GM and Player
Sun 28 Apr 2019
at 18:38
Re: IC- Sci-fi/Space game- freeform or system?
gladiusdei:
Gurps space may also work, but gurps is so involved and requires so many resources to make a full setting that it is a little off putting.

90% of it you can just ignore.  A lot of time and trouble can be dealt with via the magic of handwavium.  For intance:  You don;t have to develop ships using GURPS Spaceshipps if you don;t want to, just decide how big they are, how 'fast' they move, etc.

Unless a super detailed space combat sim is what you are after (and having mentioned Freeform, that is certainly not sounding like the case).

quote:
And I'd still have to basically create my own setting and everything that may be allowed in it.

That's always going to be true.  Unless you grab an already created setting and just riff off it.

Which is what I prefer to do... in fact I tend to grab two or more settings and do a mash-up.  My last space game was Dune + Star Wars + Fading Suns.
Bane Root
 member, 318 posts
Sun 28 Apr 2019
at 19:46
Re: IC- Sci-fi/Space game- freeform or system?
If you want a gritty, barebones system, I canít recommend Mothership enough.  Itís also pay what you want on Drivethrurpg I believe...
StarMaster
 member, 321 posts
Sun 28 Apr 2019
at 23:55
Re: IC- Sci-fi/Space game- freeform or system?
Both Eclipse Phase and Mothership are sci-fi horror games. Mechanics are okay, but the campaign setting is not my cup of tea.

Likewise, GURPS is just way too complicated for me these days. Same applies for Space Opera.

It sounds like Stars Without Number is probably the best choice for what you want to run. It has rules for creating your universe.

As an alternative, though, Traveller (any version, really) using Gypsy Knight or Spica Publishing material might give you an alternate campaign setting.
Hunter
 member, 1500 posts
 Captain Oblivious!
 Lurker
Mon 29 Apr 2019
at 01:01
Re: IC- Sci-fi/Space game- freeform or system?
In reply to StarMaster (msg # 16):

You can always change the campaign setting to better suit the game that you want to run.
gladiusdei
 member, 769 posts
Mon 29 Apr 2019
at 02:32
Re: IC- Sci-fi/Space game- freeform or system?
To me, traveler is similar to gurps.  So many books and versions, it's really hard for someone who has never played it to know which ones are needed, which versions go together, and which are most appealing to players.


I will look over traveler, gurps, stars without numbers, and eclipse phase and decide if any of them could fit a game idea, and if I feel comfortable running the system.
Syrris
 member, 447 posts
Mon 29 Apr 2019
at 02:53
Re: IC- Sci-fi/Space game- freeform or system?
  Mongoose Traveler is by far the easiest one to work with and, while 2E is a bit tidier overall, the two editions are similar enough that the material is largely interchangeable.

  I can't speak for or against the other systems listed, but I'd add Star Trek Adventures by Modiphius to the list. While it defaults to the Trek setting, it wouldn't be too difficult to reskin it for other space opera-ish settings, and the core systems are very easy to work with.
horus
 member, 710 posts
 Wayfarer of the
 Western Wastes
Mon 29 Apr 2019
at 07:37
Re: IC- Sci-fi/Space game- freeform or system?
gladiusdei:
To me, traveler is similar to gurps.  So many books and versions, it's really hard for someone who has never played it to know which ones are needed, which versions go together, and which are most appealing to players.


I will look over traveler, gurps, stars without numbers, and eclipse phase and decide if any of them could fit a game idea, and if I feel comfortable running the system.


Traveller books are out there, all right, but most all of them except Traveller d20 use the same basic task mechanic I outlined earlier.  That mechanic stayed the same all the way through MegaTraveller, at least.

If you prefer something more generous, look at d6 Epic games like those set in the Honorverse.  (Full Disclosure: I was on the playtest team and contributed proofreading and procedural material to these games.  Didn't make 'em any less fun!)
gladiusdei
 member, 770 posts
Mon 29 Apr 2019
at 22:27
Re: IC- Sci-fi/Space game- freeform or system?
Looking at the systems I can find so far, I may lean more toward Savage Worlds, possibly using a modified version of their High Space setting.  It seems simple enough to get into and run without my players being far more knowledgeable about the rules than I am, and is the type of sci-fi I was after.  Things like Fragged Empire and Coriolis look interesting but are not the type of sci-fi I was looking for.  And I'd rather avoid the D&D based games, I don't have much success with them on rpol.

Does savage worlds have an audience on rpol interested in that sort of thing?
Surgere
 member, 41 posts
 Rise
Mon 29 Apr 2019
at 22:30
Re: IC- Sci-fi/Space game- freeform or system?
If using savage worlds count me very interested
Hendell
 member, 187 posts
Mon 29 Apr 2019
at 23:12
Re: IC- Sci-fi/Space game- freeform or system?
Savage worlds always has an audience.  Would you be focusing on the core Sci Fi material, or would specific sci fi settings also be an option?
gladiusdei
 member, 771 posts
Mon 29 Apr 2019
at 23:18
Re: IC- Sci-fi/Space game- freeform or system?
I'm still looking through them.  right now High Space seems to have the feel I'm after, but I'd probably alter it a bit.  But if I find one I like better, I'll pick it.
gladiusdei
 member, 772 posts
Tue 30 Apr 2019
at 01:06
Re: IC- Sci-fi/Space game- freeform or system?
or maybe last parsec.
Wh1stl3r
 member, 34 posts
Tue 30 Apr 2019
at 01:49
Re: IC- Sci-fi/Space game- freeform or system?
I'm a bit partial to Starfinder if you'd want to run that.
Bane Root
 member, 320 posts
Tue 30 Apr 2019
at 12:16
Re: IC- Sci-fi/Space game- freeform or system?
StarMaster:
It sounds like Stars Without Number is probably the best choice for what you want to run. It has rules for creating your universe.


Stars Without Number is also great.
Isida KepTukari
 member, 267 posts
 Elegant! Arrogant! Smart!
Wed 1 May 2019
at 01:00
Re: IC- Sci-fi/Space game- freeform or system?
Cypher System is also a good, versatile system for any sort of game, and quick to learn.
gladiusdei
 member, 773 posts
Wed 1 May 2019
at 01:03
Re: IC- Sci-fi/Space game- freeform or system?
I am leaning pretty heavily toward Savage Worlds using the setting last parsec.
CaesarCV
 member, 363 posts
Wed 1 May 2019
at 01:12
Re: IC- Sci-fi/Space game- freeform or system?
The last parsec seems pretty cool from what I've seen, and Savage Worlds is a nice system.