A plan for 2019

I am personally more a fan of sci-fi than fantasy genre wise, but do not really get to play or run it much. This shall change in the new year and I am making a list. Currently at 21 games and tendency growing!

I prefer light to medium games over complex and crunchy ones, but I am open to most anything. Can you suggest a game I missed or shed further light on some of them? I own them all but have not yet read each and everyone in great detail and need to get this list shorter as I just don’t have the time to read thousands of pages for games right now due to the little one.

Sci-Fi Game List

This is a list of sci-fi games I want to play or run sooner or later. Better sooner! Plan is to have “Fewshots”.  For every game I want to go through full character creation and at least one full adventure. 2-6 sessions per game played online through Roll20. So Roll20 support or dice mechanics that can easily be done online are a plus. Games are not listed in any particular order right now.

1 Games to Play

1.1 Stars without Number

Old school mechanics core. Fantastic tools for the GM, from universe building, to adventure creation and a “minigame” for  the GM in form of faction turns to simulate a living universe.

1.2 FrontierSpace

Traditional RPG Inspired by Star Frontiers. Uses class as skills in a sleek percentile system. Also has extensive tools of the GM to create their own universe. Extensive Players & Separate GM book.

1.3 Uncharted Worlds

PbtA core but used in a new way. Instead of fixed play books characters are created by combining various careers. Also has a cooperative process for campaign start. More on the heroic side. Factions play a major role in the way campaigns are shaped.

1.4 Mothership

Old School percentile core in a very well designed, sleek and modern package. Zine sized. Think Aliens meets Event Horizon. Deadly and hardcore.

1.5 Alternity

On the list due to legacy. Don`t have it yet but look forward to it.

1.6 Impulse Drive

PbtA core. Classic setup with playbooks. Your crew chooses a ship that has its own playbook and thus shapes the game in a certain way. A smuggling ship game should play differently then a marauder game.   

1.7 Threesixteen 3:16

A game about terran troopers on the edge of space. Characters only have two abilities. Combat and non combat. Looks ultra light with a narrow focus on war, but requires a proper read.

1.8 ERA the Consortium

Crunchy traditional RPG, mechanics remind me of White Wolf mechanics, but not quite the same. Expansive history and deep setting with intriguing alien species. Eras define a certain type of campaign. From the first steps into the larger universe to the high tech dystopian end times.

1.9 Rocket Age

Pulpy RPG, Space Nazis and the like in a pulped up solar system. Simple 2d6 core mechanics. Characters have traits aka Edges/Feats.  There are positive and negative ones. Uses Story points for player influence on the game.

1.10 Save the Universe

All about improvisation and collaboration. The whole group creates the universe together. Core gameplay is based on resistance against an oppressive force in the universe.

1.11 Firefly RPG

The Firefly RPG, based on Cortex Action rules.

1.12 Starguild

Not read it yet but own it. Looks pretty standard fare on first look, though it claims to be Space Noir with mechanics to support that.

1.13 The Void

Solar System based Sci fi with a D6 pool system. Excessive skill list and seems crunchy.

1.14 Tiny Frontiers

Very light D6 based system. Has a lot of different micro settings to quickly get started. Looks nice and easy.

1.15 Where no man has gone before

Microlite20 based Star Trek game. Fabulous!

1.16 Cepheus engine light

The grandchild of traveller. Somewhat streamlined. Tried & Tested mechanical core.

1.17 Unnamed BoL Everywhen Hack

I love BoL and Everywhen. It’s a tad too “heroic” though for what I have in mind but I may be able to whip up something.

1.18 Offworlders

The player characters in Offworlders are the owners of a small starship in a time when humans have spread to many worlds. Together, they explore the universe, completing profitable jobs and overcoming dangers together. The design work looks interesting but the layout makes this one really hard to read.

1.19 Ghost Ship

You were a person but now you’re dead. Fortunately for you, they scanned your brain and installed you in a space ship’s computer. Unfortunately for you, it’s not really your ship. You’re property, software, a commodity. But maybe you can become more than that as you gain memories and maybe some humanity. Providing your memories don’t become irretrievably corrupted. Or just wrong.

1.20 Infinity 2d20

Uses 2D20 from Modiphius similar to Conan when it comes to crunch. Maybe too crunchy even.

1.21 Spacenoir

A Transmission for Technoir set in the Bulldogs! universe.

2 Already Played

2.1 Star Trek 2d20 (Ran)

2.2 Star Wars EoTE, D6 or other (Ran & Played)

2.3 Traveller (Played)

2.4 Anything Savage Worlds (Ran&Played)

2.5 Anything Gurps (Ran&Played)

2.6 Whitestar (Played)

2.7 OpenD6 (Ran&Played)

2.8 MiniSix (Ran&Played)

2.9 Rovers (Played)

2.10 Scum & Villainy (played)

3 Out of Consideration (For now)

3.1 Starfinder (too Crunchy)

3.2 Starships & Spaceman (Not quite my taste)

3.3 Ashen Stars (Not quite my taste)

3.4 EXP  (Not available as PDF. only a website as far as I can tell)

The list on Google Doc will be updated dynamically.

4 thoughts on “A plan for 2019

  1. You really should consider Shadows Over Sol by Tab Creations. A superb game using their SAGA System (card based rather than dice) set in the near future Solar System. It’s been granted the Atomic Rockets Seal of Approval and there are a good number of adventures already written for the game. This really is one of my favourite sci-fi games.

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    1. While I heard good things about the setting what I hear about the rules snuffed out any interest I had. Like combat taking too long and being too deadly for the amount of time character creation takes and players needing to declare actions at the same time without coordination etc. It seems to have issues. And I am not a fan of using cards for resolution but would try it if it’s worth it. Is your experience different? Would love to hear about it in more detail if it is your favourite sci fi game.


  2. Hi Marcus,

    Happy New Year to you and your family!

    I wonder why I don’t find Coriolis on your list. If you like Firefly – and I know you do – then this shouuld be right down your alley. We startet playing it some weeks ago at our Bonn rpg meet ups and I really enjoy it. It somehow manages to mix the Firefly crew feeling with the gritty original Dune tech looks and an Arabian nights background that is not the typical space cowboy theme. You should give it a try.



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