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Best Sci-Fi RPG


os.hybrid
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I tried to add on to an existing topic but it did not want to seem to add my reply.

 

Ok First the Best Sci-Fi RPG is the one the GM makes the most fun out of.

I have seen great GM make fun games out of really bad systems.

And I have seen Bad GM ruin Decent Game systems.

 

That said. It depends on the type of sci-fi...

.....Post Apocalyptic?

.....Dystopian Sci-Fi (cyberpunkish).

.....Sci-Fi / Horror

.....Sci-Fi Mech

.....General Sci-fi

 

Post Apocalyptic..........Would probably be Rifts.

Dystopian................... Shadowrun or Cyber-punk would be most first choices. I highly recommend a hardly heard about game "SLA-Industries"

Sci-Fi Horror...............Probably some adaptation of Chill Horror RPG. Or a game grounded in GURPS

Sci-Fi Mech.................Forget Mech Warrior and Battle Tech. Take on "Heavy Gear" from Drop-Pod 9. Great for miniatures and Mech RPG. http://www.dp9.com/ Much more believable and realistic then Battle tech. But still fun and Fast.

Sc-Fi General...............Battlelords of 23rd century by SSDC, is probably the best overall PRE-MADE compromising Sci-Fi RPG

 

 

However, Over All Choice.......Get a great game system that is highly flexible and allows multiple Genres..... Build as you need. GURPS would be the first one to come to mind for a lot.

But I recommend the "Hero Games" system. Used by the superhero RPG "Champions". A game design way ahead of its time that allows for easy adaptation for any genre, especially if you have an experienced GM that knows how to make it work.

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I've only played three Sci-Fi RPGs. Shadowrun (the one I played most), Robotech (played for about 6 months), and Mechwarrior (only a handful of times). I really enjoyed Shadowrun, though to be honest Cyberpunk fit my imagination of the cyberpunk genre better, but the rest of the group wanted to play Shadowrun. I had fun with it and GM'd for a while. Robotech was fun. The GM could turn a good tale and there were a few cool moments, like crash landing a fan jet on top of the villian du jour's passenger car as he was trying to escape. Mechwarrior, despite my obsession with Battletech at the time just didn't grab me. It seemed like everything was a prelude to a mech battle and rest was just details.

 

Oh, I almost forgot, I once played the Traveller character generation system, but for whatever reason we didn't get as far as actually playing a game. Same with Rifts. I really wanted to play a Glitterboy (yeah, I know, mecha again ::):).

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For general SF, I would usually choose from HERO, GURPS, and Traveller. The game I would choose depends greatly on the exact style and tone of the campaign:

 

If the world contemplated allows for easy travel between star systems and player ownership of ships (planet of the week) I would usually start with some version of Traveller (including TNE, which I actually rather like, even though I started with the little black books). For the fiction of Andre Norton, Poul Anderson, and some of Heinlein, whether the tone is fairly optimistic or pretty grimdark, Traveller is pretty good.

 

For really gritty gaming, where any firefight is likely to cause GBH, death, or financial ruin (CJ Cherryh style fiction), GURPS Space would be my first choice. It handles regular-human-level gaming quite well, but requires that everybody be interested in that style of fiction and gaming.

 

For cinematic gaming, where combat is more likely to result in temporarily disabled protagonists than dismembered or dead protagonists and where the scale of powers can be widely variable (EE "Doc" Smith, for instance), I would start with HERO.

 

FWIW, GURPS and HERO can handle pretty much any power level and tone, but they are each clearly optimized for a style. Other styles require more familiarity and work on the part of the GM.

 

For post-apocalyptic, I'd go with Metamorphosis Alpha/Gamma World if I wanted gonzo, or Aftermath if I wanted gritty. Rifts would not be in the conversation.

 

For cyberpunk, probably Cyberpunk 2020, possibly with Netrunner for runs in cyberspace.

 

For steampunk, the world of Space 1889 crossed with the system of GURPS.

 

I don't do horror or mechs.

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One of the few games I just couldn't stomach was RIFTS. Too much material, too little balance, too durn "out there." I know some who swear by it, but it just didn't work for me.

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Scifi Mecha

Jovian Chronicles (Mekton II expansion)

Heavy Gear

Armored Trooper VOTOMs

 

Mechwarrior, Robotech, & Mekton Zeta always looked interesting.

I don't care for anime, but Mekton Zeta's system is great.

 

Ishil

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FWIW, based on my somewhat limited experience in the SF RPG genre (mostly Fantasy or Superheroes), I would pick the following:

 

Post Apocalyptic - The only one I ever played was Gamma World.

Dystopian - GURPS

Sci-Fi Horror - GURPS

Sci-Fi Mech - Jovian Chronicles by Dream Pod 9

Sc-Fi General - GURPS

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.....Post Apocalyptic?

Gamma World although I'm also partial to PEG's Deadlands Hell on Earth, FGU's Aftermath, Palladium's After the Bomb, and RIFTS (the setting not the engine) holds some appeal.

 

.....Dystopian Sci-Fi (cyberpunkish).

Ray Winniger's Underground hands down. You play a corporate conflict management specialist (mercenary) pumped up with drugs, mutagens, and cybernetics and then discharged into a world that hates you. It's a Viet Nam allegory.

 

.....Sci-Fi / Horror

Fading Suns 2e for Dune meets HP Lovecraft. I hear good things from Eclipse Phase from Catalyst Games.

 

.....Sci-Fi Mech

Heavy Gear, hands down although Mekton Z is also fun. I hear very good things about Cthulhu-Tech.

 

.....General Sci-fi

All time favorite setting/system is WEG's Star Wars Revised. Presently I'm running demos of Starblazer Adventures set in the Star Frontiers universe. I'm also very partial to Blue Planet 2e, WEG's D6 Space, Spacemaster Privateers, Renegade Legion Legionnaire (setting not system), and the aforementioned Fading Suns 2e.

 

>>ReaperWolf

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One of the few games I just couldn't stomach was RIFTS. Too much material, too little balance, too durn "out there." I know some who swear by it, but it just didn't work for me.

I hate the rules, but I love the setting. The art is fantastic for the most part too.
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Star Frontiers!!!

 

I thought that was a great game! I remember getting the box set in Waldenbooks in the 80s, which is where I used to buy all my D&D books and modules. Unfortunately, none of my friends wanted to play it, since we were all mostly into D&D at the time (and Boothill), but the few games I was able to play were fun.

 

I'm going to check my basement now to see if I still have it packed up somewhere! :lol:

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