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So I hear Paizo's got this new game, Starfinder, up and coming. And I am not sure what to think.
Pathfinder filled a need; I tried 4th Edition D&D, and did not much care for the radical changes after several years of 3.5. Pathfinder was just an extension of the d20 system, and worked well as a generic fantasy game ... that, as splatbook after splatbook and so forth, grew steadily less generic. Still a fine game, although it begins to show signs of splatcreak*, as the sheer amount of rules pile up.
Makes sense they'd want to expand their base of gaming; a one-game company is vulnerable to changes in the market, and D&D has finally gotten its head on straight. Time to seek out new life and civilizations... if only to stay competitive.
But I dunno.
First science fiction RPG I ever played was Traveller, which did an amazing job of distilling the basics down to three little booklets in a box, which seems to be how things were done, then. We had combat, we had spaceships, we had computers, find a ship, find a crew, find a job, keep flying. It worked. (I will not discuss Gamma World or Metamorphosis Alpha; while I enjoyed 'em, these were more postapocalyptic and less space opera, and this is hard enough to keep on track as it is).
Another game, Space Opera, was interesting and fun, although waaaay too in love with its rulesset; as I recall, you could burn a whole gaming session just creating a character. Which I guess was a little better than Traveller, where you could accidentally get killed before your character entered PLAY, but Space Opera's extra crunchy rules were a bit much, even for the times.
I enjoyed Star Frontiers, once TSR finally got off their duffs and designed a neat space opera setting, although I took it kinda personally that they did not include a starship design or purchase system, or for that matter much of any information about space travel other than "buy a ticket." What, Traveller could do it, but you can't? They were up front enough, though, about the fact that they'd be out with a separate boxed set that would include the starship rules... eventually. And they did.
Aaaand that's where we take a sharp left, because Star Frontiers was the last generic science fiction space opera I ever played.
FASA quickly came out with a licensed Star Trek game, set during the TOS era, because that's all we had back then; Next Generation was still years away. Still remember the one adventure we played as Klingon officers, who wound up blowing up the ship due to a complex web of backstabbery... but I digress. Not long after that, they also came out with a licensed Doctor Who game, which preoccupied us for a while, as there were a hell of a lot of VHS tapes to track down to keep up with the setting! It did have the advantage of spreading across all TIME, as well as space... although we took a break when West End Games's Star Wars came out, because to a nerd-child of the seventies, the history of mankind breaks down into pre-SW and post-SW. After all, you never saw any Planet Of The Apes RPGs, did you? Hell, I still have a copy of Leading Edge's Aliens RPG around here somewhere; it was fun, albeit rather sketchy, as it was based entirely on the two movies in the Alien franchise as of 1988... had plenty of information about Weyland-Yutani, the Space Marines, the Aliens... and nearly nothing else...
Which brings us to now. As I said above, Pathfinder filled a need.
But there are a great many licensed science fiction games now. Firefly is still going strong. A new Star Wars game still circulates, albeit unsupported due to licensing. A new Star Trek game is in the works, assuming its maker ever gets it out of playtesting, and the current Doctor Who game still seems to be selling.
Is there a place now for a generic science fiction setting? Will it appeal to people who've never tried Pathfinder? Or does the current market favor established licensed science fiction settings where one can watch a movie or three and get an idea INSTANTLY about the world and how it works?
Opinions? Ideas? Rants?
A while back there was interest in my rendition of the legendary villain Darth Vader.
All too easy.
I'm not trying to go overboard with these charming Grenadier minis in terms of time commitment. Instead, I'm aiming for a clean tabletop look to keep them fast and fun between more involved projects. That said, it is Darth Vader and he was begging for some OSL with his pose. Who am I to disappoint the Dark Lord of the Sith? I speed-painted the OSL and, while it isn't perfect, it was great practice and helped boost my confidence with the technique. of the several pics I took this one really makes that lightsaber shine, so I went with the awkward side shot to highlight the effect. Other than the OSL the challenge was yet more black to paint. I tried to use differences in highlighting to emphasize the different textures for more visual appeal. While typically not too tough to do, the very small size of this miniature relative to what I normally work with made it a challenge. There is at least one other sculpt of Vader from the line, and I actually have another of these, so expect to see more of him.
Yoda on deck, he is!
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