I have had an interest in Science Fiction games for almost as long as I have been in to gaming. I like the idea of space ships and visiting alien worlds, but I have never felt like I could run a solid Sci-Fi game. I have at one point or another had many different games ranging from Star Frontiers, Traveler, Cyberpunk 2020, GURPS High Tech, Diaspora, and Eclipse Phase (I am probably forgetting other sci-fi games that I have owned at one time or another, and I am leaving out the Science Fantasy games like Star Wars). I think that my real issue though was less with science fiction and more to do with hacking and the introduction of cyberspace as a concept that is really needed for any current game.
This is something that I have started thinking about recently as I am re-reading the Eclipse Phase core book1 watching the end of the second season of The Expanse. I think my concerns have always been how to handle the instant or nearly instant access to just about any information that they could ask for. I mean in Eclipse Phase, you can just ask your Muse to look something up, and it can comb the network looking for it2.
The next issue that I have with Sci-Fi, is that my preference is to “Hard Science Fiction”, but I don’t want a lot of rules crunch in my games. I don’t want a hundred little specific skills for every little thing, I don’t particularly want to have to calculate all the details that keep the game grounded in hard science, because while that might be fun for me when I am not gaming, I don’t think that it would be fun during a game. So then I wonder how much information do I need to prepare and of what kind?. Where is the appropriate place to hand wave things away for the play feel that I want, and where do I push the science to the fore.
So these are the thoughts that are going through my head as I read Eclipse Phase, as I look forward to reading The Last Parsec, I look forward to seeing what the new edition of Eclipse Phase has to offer, and I look forward to getting and reading the Savage Worlds Science Fiction Companion.
- I noticed that there was going to be a kickstarter for a new edition of this game soon, and while I love the setting, I would never use the rules. Between this and getting The Last Parsec from the previous The Goon and Fear Agent kickstarters, I decided to re-read the books on this system and possibly work on a conversion to the Savage Worlds rules system. ↩
- A Muse is a partial AI assistant that resides in your head and can gather information or alert you to events on the Mesh (the name for the Internet) that you ask it to. ↩