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Is there a D&D “in spaaaace” out there?

Skywalker

Back Off the Buddha!
Validated User
It depends what I want. If it’s about taking D&D characters and putting them in a setting with space opera elements, like Spelljammer, then the original names are good.

If I want to run D&D-like adventures in a space opera setting, like Esper Genesis, then I prefer to reskin D&D elements.
 

EvilSchemer

Well, I never!
Validated User
Dragonstar says that they are elves and dwarves and orcs because the same gods made everyone.
For Dragonstar, I completely agree with this approach. The big difference here is that the humans in the setting I'm considering started from "our" world. They start out conventional sci-fi with starships and Federations and boldy going, then they encounter a world inhabited by ancient nature-loving magic-using people who don't have starships of their own but have a small network of planets linked by star-gates.

My evocative heart says give them sci-fi names. My pragmatist brain says call them what they are.
 

SorcererNinja

Ace Valkryie Pilot
RPGnet Member
Validated User
If you're meaning them to start from Earth or an Earth analogue, why not just call them the classic fantasy names with the justification that when humans first found the fantasy planet they named the species after fantasy tropes? The natives might have special names for themselves in their own languages, but in the common/human tongue just call them elves and dwarves and etc.
 

g33k

Registered User
Validated User
LatinaBunny LatinaBunny --

Some details on the "d20 system" created for D&D3, revised in D&D3.5, and now headlined by Pathfinder...

Crunchy & Mathy? Well... Yes and no. It's just straight addition & subtraction, usually of small numbers (+3, -1, etc). Some people don't call that kind of math "mathy," but some do. However, at higher levels there can be a LOT of those little numbers. You can easily wind up in the +40's or more... And at those levels, it can sometimes be a challenge to remember & apply all those fiddly little modifiers! This is definitely a "Crunchier" element.

Basic combat is roll-high on a d20, adding your various bonuses from magical Bat-Toys & whatnot, and your "Basic Attack Bonus." The BAB goes up +1 per class-level for the fighter-types, less so for other classes, least so for wizards & such. Subtract off however much the GM says for "shooting with a crosswind" or "duelling on ice-rimed stones" or whatever other torment the GM has inflicted on your PCs. Roll to hit the Target's AC (5e simplified all d20's +es and -es into Roll-with-Advantage-Or-Disadvantage-or-neither; the Advantage/Disadvantage rules don't exist in 3.x/PF). Again, more crunch in the prior rules.

The skills-system is more complex, with points per skill instead of blanket "Proficiency" of 5e. Again, more crunch in to older rules; but again, the "math" is simple addition (and mostly up-front at build & at level-up).

Feats are much more of a thing in the earlier iteration of the rules. You get more of them, more-often. Some Feats come in sequences... Must have Feat A to get Feat B, to get Feat C. Others have requirements like "Must be an Arcane Spellcaster" or "Must have a BAB of +4 or higher." As you see Yet Another Crunch Center.

Character-build and character-optimization can be a Thing, sometimes a Really Big Thing. It's not so much that some characters can be built terrible/weak, as that someone who knows the system & how to optimize/exploit it will make a much more powerful character; and in some venues, NOT building that way gets a judge-y, failsauce, "you are a bad player go back to Chutes&Ladders" attitude. All the elements above play into the character optimization -- Classes, Feats, etc. Character-building & optimization is it's own de facto minigame, and many play it to "win."
 

LatinaBunny

Cyberprep Warrior
Validated User
Thanks, G g33k . :) Yeah, the optimizing minigame is what I’m worried about. I’m cool with optimizing, but not I’m (a few members) are not that competitive and some other members of my groups are, lol.

So, I was checking the free Basic Ruels of Esper Genesis, and the premise was fine, the races were fine/ok (I’m not a big alien fan), until I got to the classes.

I’m not fond of the Engineer class replacing my favorite classe, the Cleric class. It gave a mechanical and engineering focus to the class, which is not my thing. I’d rather the Engineer be a separate class that dealt with the engineering than replacing the spiritual/mystical Cleric class.

It says the game is “5e-compatible”, so maybe I can still keep the Cleric class intact?

Edited to add:
I’m going to also take a look for previews/reviews of the other stuff offered here, like Ultramodern and Dark Matter, etc.
 
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Skywalker

Back Off the Buddha!
Validated User
Thanks, G g33k It says the game is “5e-compatible”, so maybe I can still keep the Cleric class intact?
Esper Genesis stays close to 5e, so you can do this mechanically without an issue.

On saying that, EG does reskin all of divine magic to being advanced tech. Paladins are cybernetic warriors and Rangers are tech using bounty hunters, right down to Beastmaster Rangers equivalents being drone users. As such, by reintroducing the Cleric you will also be reintroducing the concept of divine magic and the class will pretty much sit in the exact same place mechanically as advanced tech. As such, this could get a bit messy unless you excise all of the tech based classes, but this will remove a lot of the "in space" flavour.

I think your options are:
1. If you like the mechanical feel of the Cleric, then I would suggest sticking with the Engineer for the reasons stated.
2. If you just want a class with a spiritual/mystical narrative, then you may want to look at the Adept (which is like a psion) or the Cybermancer (which is mechanically similar to a Warlock but the narrative is that it connects to concepts and entity in the equivalent of the internet).
3. If you want both the mechanical feel of a Cleric married with the narrative of the spiritual/mystical, then add the Cleric, with the provisos above.

As an aside, I personally love the Engineer and what EG does to convert divine magic to advanced tech. It replaces what can be said to be the most obvious "D&D medieval fantasy" element with something that conveys a cool Mass Effect space opera vibe, and maintains the mechanical integrity of 5e in doing so.
 

LatinaBunny

Cyberprep Warrior
Validated User
Hmm... I’ll read up on the other classes and think about it.

I’m more of a fantasy fan, so it (EG setting) may not work for my style in the end.
 
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Skywalker

Back Off the Buddha!
Validated User
Cool. EG is a reskin of the D&D system to a space opera. Its still very fantastical (it has many races, monsters, magic, and wondrous tech) but it has removed the obvious D&D elements so that the overall vibe is something closer to Star Wars and Mass Effect.

If you are looking for running a D&D game in space with elves, clerics, and magic items, then Spelljammer or Dragonstar are likely to be a better bet, as that is the explicit aim of those games/settings.
 

LatinaBunny

Cyberprep Warrior
Validated User
Hey, Stars Without Number and a bunch of supplements are on sale through Bundle of Holding, with a percentage of the proceeds going to charity: https://bundleofholding.com/presents/MoreStars
I think I got a few of those, I think, during a sale. :) Are the 1e supplements compatiable with the 2nd edition?

Oooh!!! The Lone Wolf Adventures supplements are tempting as well... (I have the core Lone Wolf.)
 
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