Head into space with your tabletop gaming! This week on TTRP Corner we investigate roleplaying tabletop games in the science fiction genre!

Let us head away from the high fantasy of Dungeons and Dragons and move into a new genre that takes on new themes and tropes. Science fiction allows you to take the average perception of the world and make it bigger. You aren’t just roaming the high seas; you are traveling in space! Check out my personal picks for Space-Traveling RPGs!

CORIOLIS

Publisher: Free League Publishing

What I like about Coriolis is its setting. Described as “Arabian Nights in Space”, it introduced a tapestry of different cultures in space. It takes place in a star system called “The Third Horizon” and is ravaged by conflicts and war. The PC’s will crew a space ship and travel amongst these places. I think having such an established setting allows to tell a more structured story. Especially if you piss off the wrong faction of people.

The system uses a handful of D6 equal to an attribute + skill and sometimes certain gear. You get a success when you roll a 6 and generally you just need one 6 for a success. This makes gameplay fairly quick. You can quickly see your result without having too much complicated math after the roll. It gives you that “critical” hit feeling consistently. Overall, this is quite enjoyable system and the gameplay is quick.

You can check out the free quickstart guide here!

STARFINDER
 

Publisher: Paizo 

The best part about Starfinder is that Paizo creates so much content for this game monthly. Look at the publishing list that Paizo puts out, and you will see tons and tons of supplements and adventures being created. On top of that, the rules are cheap to buy as a PDF. If you love games like D&D or Pathfinder, Starfinder is the closet equivalent. You can even find the SRD online in many places. Because Paizo is a larger company, we get a lot of content within the system. Including a ton of alien species and classes, space ship mechanics, and many monsters to throw at your party.

Everything is a 1d20+a modifier to get your result plus damage dice to enact on your enemies!

Check out Starfinder here!

STAR FRONTIERS
 

Publisher: Tactical Studies Rules, Inc.

Star Frontier was published from Tactical Studies Rules, who’s primary product was the great Dungeons of Dragons. It would later be turned into D20 Future/D20 Modern. The game focuses on four races as they explore the unknown.

I really enjoy systems that focus on spending experience points to get more abilities. Star Frontiers is a percentile diced system that focused on spending experience to increase your own skill area which was Military, Technological, or Biosocial. So right off the bat, I really enjoy the mechanics and game design. The world itself focused on exploring something called the “Frontier Sector” where the Gamemaster can design whatever they want to put there. I really focused on the unknown and gave us that “exploration” feel that we loved from games like Dungeons and Dragons.

STARS WITHOUT NUMBERS
 

Publisher: Sine Nomine Publishing 

I haven’t had a chance to play this game but what I read has been incredibly cool. What I like about it is the number of tools given to the GM to create content for space travel. This way you can have the resources to create a strong sandbox experience. In fact, the rules encourage you to not actively prepare and just to let the game exist and force on the collaborative storytelling.

The game features a d20 system to hit and allows the players to choose between expert, psychic, or warrior. Then you pick a background that gives you some skills that reflect your choice. After that they get a training package which feels like a subclass or an archetype in your main class. It feels like you are going to create a unique character despite it seemingly like your class choices are limited.

Check out the free guide here.

CONCLUSION

There are a handful of other good systems out there. A lot of them take big fandoms and put them into tabletop form. I usually don’t like to play in worlds that start off as a TV show, game, or a movie and therefore did not make my list. But hopefully I was able to provide some games for you to try out!


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About Author

Christopher Rondeau is a storyteller based in Pittsburgh. Finding himself with little work, he ended up creating a job as a Game Master full time on the internet. Chris spends most of his days reading everything he can, writing bad fiction, and watching old Digimon cartoons with his daughter. Sometimes you can find him Dungeon Mastering a podcast or streaming on twitch. Recently, he has completed his Master's degree with a focus on collaborative storytelling. Find out more at https://rondeaucreator.com

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