Who's running/playing in a space campaign these days?

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I yearn to hear of adventure in space. Please regale me with your stories of hijinks and lowdown dirty deals. Have you saved a planet? A system? A species? A goldfish?

Who's doing what to who and what are they getting for it?
 
I have no regular group or game right now, but I've volunteered for a one-shot (as a player) that has been postponed twice on the bounce. If it happens again, I am going to offer to run CT using "Legend of the Sky Raiders". I picked it up in a recent bundle and it looks like a great adventure.
 
I'm playing in a Spelljammer campaign, which is D&D in space and as such combines elves with really strange creatures. It's been fun so far. We had to investigate an infested asteroid, gather giant ice which could provide water for settlers, that kind of thing.

I'd really love to run Free League's Alien game, but most of my group isn't that into scifi role playing. :sad:
 
If I could find the Warm bodies, I would be running Neo Frontiers with a Spacer/ Mars emphasis.
 
I wrote this up as part of a Traveller campaign I ran a few years back. The prior history I used to provide some back history relevant for the characters.
 

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I'm running Spacemaster Privateers right now. I'm not sure it's something I can make last. One of the players had a medium freighter as a background option, it's got a crew of 109. They sold it and bought a decommissioned gunboat which lead to them spending the rest of the session deciding which guns to put on the thing. This lead me to spend 3 hours designing a destroyer and a scout ship. The way quantum drives are set up, I'm not sure a small scout is really feasible. The power and crew requirements for a level 2 drive are prohibative.
 
Ran one a couple years ago where the PCs finished off Athas, gave the mind flayers planet killer weapons, and unleashed a daemon prince and an ancient evil on the universe, all while just trying to rid a salvaged spaceship of vermin. Organized squads with flamethrowers would have worked better but were more money expensive.
 
Currently running Fading Suns using my own Barbarians of Lemuria-powered houserules. The PC group, a House Keddah noble and his allies, just returned to the planet Rampart after locating/visiting an AI-controlled, Second Republic research station located in the upper atmosphere of a gas giant (the "Ruinous Folly" adventure.) With all the relevant data passed along to their Keddah contacts on Rampart and in a bit of hot water with the local Scravers, the group immediately set off for the jumpgate to Pandemonium.
 
My Tuesday game group (all three of us) finally started our space-swashbuckling games using Honor and Intrigue. We met sad, poorly-educated bounty hunters who got a rather pointed reply to their threat. The boss went down after an arc rapier slashed opened a vein in his elbow. Another faced our good friend Brass and was cut down by an arc cutlass, causing the rest to retreat. We then handed over our cargo. Brass found a patient--a labor robot that was really a disguised combat robot of some kind! After activating and realizing he couldn't shut it down, managed to get it to take enough orders to move aboard our ship, the Silent Fortune, to recharge. I'm sure that will come to bite us on the derriere at some point.

Investigating its origin we discovered it was sold to the junk dealer by a friendly rival of my character. When trying to find her to ask about it, learned she'd been arrested! So we took a quick cargo of "sparkling water" (high-end heavily taxed wine actually) to the planet where she was being held, and I bribed my way into the prison so I could "gloat". Truth be told, she now knows that we plan to rescue her and her crew. After all, you can't leave an enemy you like to ill ends, much better to face them with a smile and blade.

My character is a minor clerk turned scoundrel turned pirate dashing free trader. Eldridge "The Silverfox" Stryker (yes he is a silver fox as well.) My compatriot is Peyton "Brass" Garside, a former gladiator, medic, roboticist, and all-around loyal friend.
 
During the pandemic I started a Traveller campaign set in a homebrew universe.

The white dwarf of a cataclysmic binary had become dangerously close to supernova, so nearby systems began searching for a safe haven to evacuate to. The characters were a group of privateers tasked with exploring the Transit Gate Network to find such a place.

Whilst surveying distant star systems for exodus candidate worlds, the crew encountered an abandoned space station with automated defences, a psionic distress call from a hive mind, AI nanoswarms left over from a galactic war, and a megastructure artefact that had been taken over by a malevolent entity.

Most of the crew perished on the artefact before the Psion character managed to submerge it into jumpspace and then force it to resurface into the heart of a star.
 
We've got a Star Without Number campaign going. I'm a bit muddled on what's led up to our current situation, waking up from stasis to fend our way through the ruins of several worlds. Now we're somewhere with a lot more going on and a lot more NPCs to chat with.
 
We've got a Star Without Number campaign going. I'm a bit muddled on what's led up to our current situation, waking up from stasis to fend our way through the ruins of several worlds. Now we're somewhere with a lot more going on and a lot more NPCs to chat with.
I feel like the worst player ever in this campaign. Partly because my life has severely cramped my gaming style in the last year and also because I’m not sure I’m in love with this brand of sci-fi?

Muddled is a good description . . . I’m just glad I decided to play a big dumb dipshit ex-space marine so my “I have no idea what’s happening, just tell me who to punch” shtick isn’t immediately exposed for the hackery it is.
 
I feel like the worst player ever in this campaign. Partly because my life has severely cramped my gaming style in the last year and also because I’m not sure I’m in love with this brand of sci-fi?
Same here, to some extent. I've been a bad Player and often just wait till I'm asked to make a roll.
 
I'm supposed to be doing the prep for a series of sci-fi thrillers and capers to run as scratch games by Internet videoconferencing. But my work has ground to a standstill because of illness and distracting circumstances.

The idea is that the PCs will be a team of versatile secret operators troubleshooting extraordinary problems and executing capers, for an interstellar non-government organisation, on a series of exotic human-inhabited planets that have bizarre societies, freakish governments, and dysfunctional economies. I've run a lot of police procedurals, spy thrillers, and even exploration adventure in this genre over 35 years; this time the PCs will not have a government mandate, and I'm aiming for less-grandiose stakes.

The stumbling blocks are that
  • I have to document my house rules for ForeSight;
  • I have to produce a catalogue of kit & equipment for the characteristic tech of my setting — it has drifted away from its baseline in ForeSight;
  • I have to generate a suite of characters for players to choose among
  • I have to figure out and write down the details of the situation in the first adventure I have in mind;
  • I have to produce a colony briefing (like this) for New Fujian, the planet where I will set the first adventure in the series; and
  • The briefing document for my setting is about 10,000 words, which is too much for a one-off scratch game. I might need to write a one-page abstract.
Because there are too many things to do I don't seem to be able to start on any one of them.
 
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I have this campaign I'm running--we play most Saturdays at 12 pm Eastern time for two hours--that started out as classic Traveller during the pandemic but eventually morphed into its own thing:
This game is an open table Roll20-native counter-Traveller. The Imperium? Fallen. Canon? We make it up as we go. Continuity? Nuh uh. Space travel, star maps? Hand-waving. We'll play out fast-paced sci-fi adventures that let our heroes pursue their singular ambitions against a backdrop of alien worlds and strange civilizations. But the core of the game is still Traveller: You're on your own after years of service. The road to the stars is open, and the galaxy beckons--but you've got bills to pay, an ache in your bones from too much hard travelling, and precious few years left to make it all mean something. The game relies on Roll20 for maps, die rolls, and other tabletop stuff and uses Zoom for audio and (optional) video.
What had happened was the players found this artifact that could create a wormhole, and they used it to get away from certain Imperial entanglements in which they'd become embroiled--legal troubles and so forth. I had decided that whenever they used the wormhole, I would change the rules we were using. First they went back in time to the Fall of Earth (using a Fate variant), the event that eventually led to the formation of the Imperium. But they interfered and stopped it, so Earth was never destroyed. That meant, of course, they could never go back to their original space/time because they'd disrupted the timeline. Then they wound up in an alien-filled Andromeda galaxy (using a pbtA game called Farflung). Finally, they wound up at the Big Rip at the end of time (using a variant on Mortal Coil I called Superconducting Supercollider) and managed to figure out how to manipulate the alien space gargoyles there to change the parameters of historical space/time to come back to a new universe, with new rules (Galactic Adventures!).

Until you think about it, it makes total sense. Anyone interested in trying it out, let me know!
 
I yearn to hear of adventure in space. Please regale me with your stories of hijinks and lowdown dirty deals. Have you saved a planet? A system? A species? A goldfish?

Who's doing what to who and what are they getting for it?

Well, the last planet-of-the-week adventure I ran was in an unsuccessful VOIP campaign a year ago. The PCs were a team of "effectives" working for an NGO called "Human Heritage", and they were sent to New Fujian (a planet where people use drugs, designer hormones, and surgery to put themselves through a series of metamorphoses to take up a sequence of social and economic roles as opportunities arise) to investigate the disappearance of Human Heritage's local agent (the "acquisitor") there. I'm not going to spill the beans because I hope to run that investigation for guinea pigs volunteers from the Pub sometime soon.

Before that the same team was sent to Swanmays, on a mission to rescue a painting that was threatened with destruction as pornography. The painting was a copy in oils of "Leda and the Swan in the Woods" by André Lhote, and it was pretty trashy. But it was hand-painted erotic trash from Old Earth, and as no recognised great art had escaped the destruction of Earth (600 years before game date) this Leda passed for an important piece of human heritage. There was a lot of exploitable political stuff going on — Swanmays is governed by a technocratic theocracy that has a cargo-cult-like thing about restoring the supply of goods from Old Earth; the owner of the confiscated collection that the Leda was in was a modernising debunker, but among the more conservative prosecutors and judges there was a possible argument over whether, being from Old Earth, it was sacred, or whether, being indecent it couldn't be from pure Old Earth and must be a blasphemous forger. Also, the acquisitor (local agent for Human Heritage) had painted a copy and had a plan for the PCs to switch her copy for the original and let that be burned (her secret plan was that with the work apparently destroyed she could keep the original). Besides all that, I kind of hoped that the PCs would recognise that the rest of the collection contained artworks that were much better, even though they weren't famous or from Old Earth, and agree with the owner that the whole lot ought not to be burned. But in the end the PCs just faked up some uniforms and paperwork and an evidence van, bluffed their way into the evidence room with bales of junk, sneaked the Leda out and had it across the extraterritoriality line and in the downport before anyone noticed they'd stolen it. Though one PC did also pocket a moulded terracotta Roman oil-lamp with Leda and the swan on it.

Before that I ran a scratch game in which the PCs were free-lance effectives commissioned by the College of Archivists to investigate the disappearance of a rising young fellow of the College on Sparta. Sparta is a planet where women own the land and live in palaces, while men live in vehicles and tents, and would insulted by any suggestion that they owned land or had a permanent abode on land. Men and women don't even talk to each other except about commerce and sex. The players rather thoughtlessly all generated male characters and not even any who could disguise as a woman. And since their missing person was a woman and had being staying as guest in a famous palace, that made things very difficult for them.
 
I yearn to hear of adventure in space. Please regale me with your stories of hijinks and lowdown dirty deals. Have you saved a planet? A system? A species? A goldfish?

Who's doing what to who and what are they getting for it?
I'm pretty sure one of my PCs saved a goldfish.
I wasn't hungry:shade:!
 
Our family Traveller campaign is on hiatus because our children have selfishly decided to go out and have social lives of their own. So I've decided to try to retool the concepts behind the defunct GURPS Space campaign into a better product. Although I'm not 100% sure who I'm going to run it for. I'm trying not to think too hard about that since it drags on my productivity.
 
Well, it's off to a real bad start and I'm probably going to shitcan it before we even really being... but I've been trying to launch my first Sagas of the Cosmic Rangers game for about a month now.
 
Man, it seems like most of this thread is sad trombone noises. :sad:

I'd really like to run, and I'm scratching around the edges of planning either a Mothership hexcrawl or a point-crawl Lancer game.

The latter scares me a bit, because while Lancer's setting is awesome, the rules are about two steps beyond my current crunch level tolerance.

The thing, for both, I'd need to find some kind of online outlet for them (I'd prefer Discord for voice/video played quasi theater of the mind) - and my last two experiences working to find such a group ended in disasters.

So I'm internally hemming and hawing, and trying to screw up the courage to take the plunge again.

My last successful Sci-Fi game was a rollicking, if short lived, FFG Star Wars campaign centered around a group of just-before-they-took-the-trials Jedi and how they survived after Order 66. It was thematically the magnificent seven with Jedi. The PCs found an out on the rim planet to live on for a few years (all prelude material), made friends, and when an Empire backed corporation came to transform the agrarian world into a strip mine for the Imperial war machine, the PCs had to try to keep the corporation and the Empire at bay.

The PCs opted, fairly quickly, to fully reveal themselves as Jedi to kick arse and take names. That move and the Empire's response forced them to flee their newfound home, but they'd already damaged the corporation enough that it wouldn't be able to easily tear the planet apart. So we ended the run with the PCs in their ship fleeing from Imperial hunters hot on their trail.

That group is no longer gaming (sadly), so we'll never get back to that game to see what happened. :blah:
 
I would like to be running an Alien/Blade Runner/Soldier universe game, but no takers so far. I have managed to get my regular group to agree to let me teach them something other than 5E, though, so that's good.
 
I’ve been running the Mercy of the Icons campaign for Coriolis, and just finished Book 2 about 3 weeks ago.

We’ve run it like a TV series with between 10-12 ‘episodes’ (= adventures) per season. Looking at the plot synopsis it’s been 31 ‘episodes’ (probably around 40 sessions) so far with Book 2 being the end of Season 3. Season 1 had the PCs exploring the Third Horizon and doing random jobs before moving into the main epic campaign arc in Season 2. I ran Season 3 earlier this year, with the events picking up a few months after the previous season with the PCs doing odd jobs again, before being drawn into the Book 2 events which ended in a dramatic fashion.

Book 3 just arrived in hard copy and we’ll pick it up again when I finish an Out of the Ashes fantasy game (which is deliberately designed to run a relatively short campaign arc) in a couple of months.

We’ve been enjoying it, but the published campaign is a bit rail-roady in places so needs the GM to work a bit to preserve player agency.
 
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I'm sorry, OP is looking for the Good News.

I am going to run this shit eventually, I'm going to publish this shit eventually. Sagas of the Cosmic Rangers is a... well, I'm characterizing it as a Space Opera, Space Fantasy, Space Western all'italiana: a love letter to '70s Italian cinema and Japanese scifi and fantasy (anime and games) of the 80s and 90s. It's heavily inspired by Phantasy Star, Spelljammer, and Star Wars: Visions.

Characters are assumed to be irregular-slash-freelance law enforcement agents of the Galactic Empire, charged with maintaining a semblance of the Empress' order on far-flung colony worlds. Play focuses mostly on a single star system-- generated by the table before play-- with a single railway connection back to the more civilized star systems Back East. The Galactic Empire is based on an awkward juxtaposition of late feudalism, early colonialism, and Space Age utopianism with multiple, in-fighting social institutions. (I'm trying to get moral ambiguity by asking "what if all the factions were the Good Guy faction in a cynical universe?".)

The aliens are all based on classical D&D races/monsters with skiffy/modern D&D twists, the magic systems are all classic fantasy RPG standards, and the technology is anachronism stew: hi-tech ceramic swords and laser pistols, the hyperspace railway, self-aware robots with (early) 90s computer tech.

I'll probably try to stir up some interest around here when I've got the system in a playable state.
 
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Man, it seems like most of this thread is sad trombone noises. :sad:
That group is no longer gaming (sadly), so we'll never get back to that game to see what happened. :blah:
And you had to join the concert :cry:
I'd really like to run, and I'm scratching around the edges of planning either a Mothership hexcrawl or a point-crawl Lancer game.
I've never thought of running hexcrawl in space. For some reason i feel like it doesn't fit the theme of exploring a vast empty space. Are there big differences between running a hexcrawl in a fantasy setting and hexrawl in space? What is the size of a single hex?
 
And you had to join the concert :cry:

I've never thought of running hexcrawl in space. For some reason i feel like it doesn't fit the theme of exploring a vast empty space. Are there big differences between running a hexcrawl in a fantasy setting and hexrawl in space? What is the size of a single hex?
Doesn't that depend on the speed of a ship and density of habitable planets?
 
Ran one a couple years ago where the PCs finished off Athas, gave the mind flayers planet killer weapons, and unleashed a daemon prince and an ancient evil on the universe, all while just trying to rid a salvaged spaceship of vermin. Organized squads with flamethrowers would have worked better but were more money expensive.
Fly ship into orbit, get all crew into space suits, open all doors, wait half an hour, close her up and repressurize. That'll deal with all the mundane vermin.

Note that for my players this would take about two hours of arguing over details and planning, for something that could be planned and resolved in a couple of minutes.
 
I've never thought of running hexcrawl in space.

Classic Traveller implicitly offered it as a campaign schema, which players referred to as “the scout game”. Space was a planar grid of one-parsec hexes, one in two or one in three hexes had a star in it, and the star system generation procedure was simple and clean enough that a GM could grind out a "sub-sector" of eighty hexes in pretty short order ahead of a session (or write a BASIC program to do it), and the PCs could boldly go where no-one had gone before.
 
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Man, it seems like most of this thread is sad trombone noises. :sad:
Space is just a dungeon with no air.

Until planetfall, when you drop into fantasy that's labeled science. Like, uh, cyberspace?

Or quantumania?

I would happily play in a space game, but I haven't found one in really intrigued with.

Ooh. Nibiru. Definitely interested.
 
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And you had to join the concert :cry:

I've never thought of running hexcrawl in space. For some reason i feel like it doesn't fit the theme of exploring a vast empty space. Are there big differences between running a hexcrawl in a fantasy setting and hexrawl in space? What is the size of a single hex?
giphy.gif


A hexcrawl in space is as Agemegos Agemegos described, typically.

It's possible to have it be multi-faceted too, where there's travel between locations in space, each hex is a parsec say, and then on those locations, to have a terrestrial hex crawl.

I think what I like about sci-fi hexcrawls is the same thing I like about age of sail games - the PCs can often have their own ship as a base of operations, and it provides a story behind the PCs traveling to a wide variety of environs.

And, at a high enough level of abstraction, there's not much difference between sci-fi and fantasy. They do a lot of the same kinds of things, just with different trappings.
 
Classic Traveller implicitly offered it as a campaign schema, which players referred to as “the scout game”. Space was a planar grid of one-parsec hexes, one in two or one in three hexes had a star in it, and the star system generation procedure was simple and clean enough that a GM could grind out a "sub-sector" of eighty hexes in pretty short order ahead of a session (or write a BASIC program to do it), and the PCs could boldly go where no-one had gone before.

Thanks for the info guys. This actually sounds interesting, I will think about using it.:thumbsup:
 
The one thing that is most nebulous and undefined in Science Fiction settings always is “Sensors” or “Scanners”.

If you want to play in the Television or Movie genre, it‘s simple, the sensors say whatever the Metacurrency Spender of the Moment says it does. :tongue:

Otherwise you should have *some* idea of their window of capability. It can be total horseshit even to grade school science, but it needs to be consistent.

If the game is about Exploration, the characters have to be able to make informed decisions about exploring, somehow.
 
Thanks for the info guys. This actually sounds interesting, I will think about using it.:thumbsup:
giphy.gif


A hexcrawl in space is as Agemegos Agemegos described, typically.

It's possible to have it be multi-faceted too, where there's travel between locations in space, each hex is a parsec say, and then on those locations, to have a terrestrial hex crawl.

I think what I like about sci-fi hexcrawls is the same thing I like about age of sail games - the PCs can often have their own ship as a base of operations, and it provides a story behind the PCs traveling to a wide variety of environs.

And, at a high enough level of abstraction, there's not much difference between sci-fi and fantasy. They do a lot of the same kinds of things, just with different trappings.
Someone say sci-fi hexcrawl? https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/412987/Makaras-Sea just fire up the ship, jump in system, roll up a random world and deal with the consequences, planet of the week like TOS. For use with the Cepheus Engine SRD https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/186894/Cepheus-Engine-System-Reference-Document

Mmm hexes ...


file.php
 
giphy.gif


A hexcrawl in space is as Agemegos Agemegos described, typically.

It's possible to have it be multi-faceted too, where there's travel between locations in space, each hex is a parsec say, and then on those locations, to have a terrestrial hex crawl.

I think what I like about sci-fi hexcrawls is the same thing I like about age of sail games - the PCs can often have their own ship as a base of operations, and it provides a story behind the PCs traveling to a wide variety of environs.

And, at a high enough level of abstraction, there's not much difference between sci-fi and fantasy. They do a lot of the same kinds of things, just with different trappings.
But space is 3d. You need to run it as a rhombododecahedcrawl.
 
And, at a high enough level of abstraction, there's not much difference between sci-fi and fantasy. They do a lot of the same kinds of things, just with different trappings.
At one point I found myself wondering what a "bunch of Joes on a free trader" campaign would look like in a fantasy setting. The players are all crew on a small trading ship making its way from port to port on a large coastline/sea, trading cargoes as they go, dealing with (or becoming) pirates, having one-shot adventures in each port that may or may not be part of a larger storyline, etc. It sounds pretty cool to me, but for the life of me I could find no resource for fantasy/medieval trading rules, and I didn't feel like rolling my own.
 
Fly ship into orbit, get all crew into space suits, open all doors, wait half an hour, close her up and repressurize. That'll deal with all the mundane vermin.

Note that for my players this would take about two hours of arguing over details and planning, for something that could be planned and resolved in a couple of minutes.
When I say "vermin" there were more like weaponized d&d shadows crossed with swarms of bats. Fly, quasi-incorporeal (mundane impact/rending immune), ignore armor, drain life force, swarms of minions, and on killing stuff transformed the victim's soul into another swarm or two of them. They were infesting an ancient derelict 2km long "landing craft" from a precursor species.

But they dissolved in sunlight and weren't any more resistant to energy weapons than regular little brown bats. So naturally instead of gearing up their crew, organizing covering & suppressing fire & kill zones, clearing the ship, and repairing it until they could fly back to civilization they decided to... tow it unshielded through the WH40k warp to Athas, dump it in the desert abiut 50km from one of the dust seas, and "lure them all out". Then they flew their big shiny metal shuttle over all the major cities. Of Athas. During the day. Where all the sorcerer-kings and everyone could see them.

One pc was a necro who could have just raised a bunch of zombies & armed them with laser guns or flamers. They could have bought war-bots. Half decent work great against basically mindless critters. Nope. Drop the "kill a planet" magi-bio-weapons on a planet was their plan. Then they later basically just gave some to the mind flayers.

Edit: ha! Found the old game log at
 
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At one point I found myself wondering what a "bunch of Joes on a free trader" campaign would look like in a fantasy setting. The players are all crew on a small trading ship making its way from port to port on a large coastline/sea, trading cargoes as they go, dealing with (or becoming) pirates, having one-shot adventures in each port that may or may not be part of a larger storyline, etc. It sounds pretty cool to me, but for the life of me I could find no resource for fantasy/medieval trading rules, and I didn't feel like rolling my own.
It seems like a strong concept. After all, the foundations of modern fantasy include the seven voyages of Sinbad (in The Thousand Nights and a Night). It ought to be easy to re-skin a set of sci-fi trading rules, though decent rules for the seasonality, uncertainties, and asymmetries of sailing would be more of a challenge. I think the major obstacle might be filling the hexes. You would want either a big map with dozens of quirky exotic fantasy lands and islands like what Odysseus encountered and Herodotus described (all unknown to the character-players), or else a random generator of fantasy lands and islands. Such a generator would also be useful for Odyssean or Conanesque wanderings, explorations, and so on.

The archipelago of generator is, I think, a lot more important than the trading rules. A complaint that some players had (and others were able to ignore, of course) about trader games in Traveller was that the crushing burden of mortgages on the ships, combined with the fact that ships only made money while they were en route, meant that PCs were strongly motivated not to have adventures on exotic planets. So there is a powerful reason to handwave the finances anyway. Of course the sailing-ship alternative allows you to plausibly set all the adventures during those times when the ship is waiting in port for a fair wind, careening, waiting for the caravans to bring produce from the interior, etc.
 
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