Started a blog recently that I may update periodically. Main reason was to write down some thoughts on Space Stations as Dungeons.
However, I also wanted to use this as a kick-off for people to talk about Science Fiction and how it does or doesn’t relate to OSR. It seems like the mindset that stems from the OSR play-style allows for Sci-Fi but don’t see as many Sci-Fi games being released.
I’ve been running a Sci Fi campaign for about a year now. I also run one a few years ago that last the same amount of time. I like to alternate and mix it up every now and again. I don’t get too caught up in the “science” aspect of it though - run a very rules light space opera type campaign. All my rules light sci fi stuff is in my game Star Dogs: https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/295403/Star-Dogs--Players-Handbook (let me know if you desperately want a copy and i’ll send you one).
My campaign is very open ended - the first 10 ish sessions were the players hustling to get a ship. From there they’ve sort of become a bunch of pirates/free lance mercenaries. Its a lot like a hex crawl but in space so I made a bunch of generation tools for easily coming up with planets/aliens/npcs etc (they are all here: https://lizardmandiaries.blogspot.com/2020/01/star-dogs-galaxy-sector-creation-kit.html + all the tables are in the star dogs referees handbook). Sci fi is fun!
Great idea for a discussion. I really want to run a sci-fi osr game but my players aren’t interested . I think one obstacle with running Sci-fi OSR games is the OSR reliance on player skill over character skill. Everyone intuitively knows what a rope or some pebbles or a candle is capable of but the introduction of future technology leads to uncertainty occasionally I feel like.
I think what kind of holds back Sci-Fi OSR rule sets is general interest from the around the scene’s player base and the general presence that Sci-Fi TTRPGs have period across the TTRPG community. Not saying there is Zero Interest in Sci-Fi Rulesets, but the ones that are available are usually tied to a long running ruleset (Traveller), something that has come upon the scene recently (Starfinder), or is licensed by a larger group (Star Wars) or an independent work.
Personally, I kind of want to try and develop a Ruleset or at least hash out the basic outline for a Sci-Fi Ruleset in the vain of Spelljammer where it’s a mix between Sci-Fi and Fantasy to help pull players with something familiar.
Yeah. I’m hoping to see more OSR-adjacent Sci-Fi systems start to come about and looking to put some out myself in the near future too.
My initial thought was more focused on Hard Sci-Fi than Science Fantasy. More along the lines of Expanse than Flash Gordon. @Kingroy23 probably has a good point with item lists and familiarity. It’s easier to describe low-tech equipment and have an immediate sense of what to do with it.
That’s a very good point. I’m trying to put together a sci-fi version of my gritty-fantasy hack, and one of the main elements I’m trying to stick with is making sure that every ability and cybernetic is simple, crunchy and easy to explain. The way I see it, you could save a lot of trouble with those SWN items by not using contractions for no reason and actually saying what things are, rather than making them sound sci-fi-ish at the cost of readability.