18th: Favorite SF RPG
I don’t know that I have one.
I’ve used GURPS for my own loose setting many, many years ago. I enjoyed the old FASA Star Trek rpg back in the day. I’ve run a Star Trek game using a homebrew loosely based on Decipher’s Star Trek rpg. My best friend ran a fun Firefly-ish game using his own homebrew. I think I played some original Traveller back in the day. Other than that…???
If I had to run a sci-fi game right now…well, that would depend on the setting. If it was Star Trek, there’s a couple of fan-made systems and hacks out there I’d take a look at again, or I’d use Mutants and Masterminds. The mechanics and the way characters are built captures the pulp feel of classic Star Trek pretty well, albeit in a more cluttered way than I’d prefer. If it was Star Wars… I’d probably look at Fate, the many system hacks out there, or a variant of Lowell Francis’ Action Cards. For something in the Firefly or Traveller vein, just sort of generic trouble-makers in space… I’m so not motivated to run anything like that right now that I can’t get my head around it.
I feel like sci-fi roleplaying game systems tend to get bogged down in the additional mechanics supposedly required by their settings, like starship combat, space fighter-craft combat, various high-tech weapons, etc. I’d rather a system that could come up with a set of mechanics that would apply to every kind of task resolution, rather than tacking on special rules and sub-systems.
I will take this as an opportunity for anyone reading this to educate me: suggest a game system to me that does this. I readily accept my own ignorance here. The only system that I can think of that just off that the bat would probably be able to accomplish this is Fate.
Actually, just writing this has jogged my memory – if I wanted to run an actual, “hard” science-fiction game, I’d take another look at Shock, by Joshua A. C. Newman, so that going to be my pick. I haven’t used it yet, but it’s pretty interesting…