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Great column


New member
I'm not a sci-fi fan myself but I greatly enjoyed the column. Some comments, though.

One of the reasons why I think sci-fi has a much harder time than fantasy is the fact that there's a strong consensus about the past, something we don't have about the future, and I mean this at two levels: Fantasy is based on the past of our Earth and, well, there's just one past to rely on, while sci-fi, being about the future, there's nothing as clear to look to. Second, in fantasy there's a strong tradition of fictional and non fictional works that serve as reference, from Homer to current fantasy writters, each generation working from the past generations, while there's nothing similar in sci-fi writting. Thus it's much easier to follow a fantasy cannon.

You mentionned several systems that will be very visible but there are more coming that may have spillovers to sci-fi. I'm thinking about the new BRP from Chaosium that is supposed to accomodate sci-fi (working from the great past experience of Ringworld), and about the new generic HeroQuest. I guess that in both cases it will take some time before we see sci-fi games but at least they may address the issues about game system that you mention.

I would love to see you writing a column after Traveller, Robotech and these and other systems come out with your views on the best tools to roleplay sci-fi.


Middle Aged Gamer
RPGnet Member
Validated User
I must admit, I've enjoyed Serenity, and really look forward to the new Travs,T5 from FFE, and even moreso Mongoose. I really like the chargen (with interrelation rules) in the playtest 1 doc.

As to the Trav setting, I may be in the minority regarding canon, but I don't see an issue here. everyone can choose to play in the era they want to, and use or ignore the rest. I think GURPS Trav demonstrates how well this can work (of course they also chose the era I like the most, so I may not be unbiased). Not everything in canon is really that canonical, after all, even in the library data it is made clear thatnot all of the info is reliable.

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