Science Fiction Gaming

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.

  1. 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. 
  2. 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. 

Author: Hours without Sleep

I am a professional software tester, who has an interest in programming, computers, role-playing games, history, and reading in general. This is my third attempt at keeping a blog, and I am going to try putting all of my thoughts in one place, and see how it goes.

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