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Looking for a SciFi game that is not Traveller

Ka_ge2020

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I'm going to tout my favourite game of the moment, EABA v2.01 and in particular the Fires of Heaven setting. Fires of Heaven is a legacy setting from EABA v1.1 but that's not really a barrier for EABA v2 and as always you can just use the original rules. (That might be an impediment to you for the setting--it's a generic rules set with a dedicated setting and rules treatment and some people seem to have a toxic reaction to generic rules.)

As far as I would use the terms, I would say that it fills your desire for medium crunch. The rules are tight and work on some basic fundamental principles that once you wrap your head around them means that you can extrapolate relatively complex situations of all kinds either on the fly or with reference to the "Universal Chart" if you need an absolute number/result. The system itself is (Attr+Skill)d6 and keep the best three against a target number and has an effects-based "power" system that allows you to build gadgets 'n' powers equally.

Making EABA v2 stand out mechanics-wise, for me at least, are the scaling, non-linear combat rounds and some subtle but really quite interesting tid-bits on skill caps by "tech level," and power/gadget balancing ("Gameworld Base" as the game calls it). While the core book is generic, the settings associated with the games are dedicated systems with what sometimes feels like an openness to "make stuff up" rather than refer to canonical rules all the time (this is in part why I went to EABA v2[/í] from GURPS).

Fires of Heaven cool mechanics that spring to mind? Starship design, front and centre. It is awesome on so many levels and nigh-on demands to be hacked into Firefly or Peter F. Hamilton's Confederation or a number of other settings. It's based around the setting premise of scientific plausibility, so if you're wanting to design Spelljamming ships with it you're going to have a little bit more work to do.

As a setting, Fires of Heaven is basically a scifi-oriented space opera set in the "United Worlds," or 14 star systems radiating out from Sol. In some ways it has a similar vibe to 2300AD in terms of the size of the setting and also has exploration front and centre along with the whole core-periphery approach to it. Beyond that there are aliens, psionics, technology... The usual.

All in all, well worth the check. And if Fires of Heaven doesn't work for you, then there is always Aethos.
 

G_K_Zhukov

Registered User
Validated User
I'm going to tout my favourite game of the moment, EABA v2.01 and in particular the Fires of Heaven setting. Fires of Heaven is a legacy setting from EABA v1.1 but that's not really a barrier for EABA v2 and as always you can just use the original rules. (That might be an impediment to you for the setting--it's a generic rules set with a dedicated setting and rules treatment and some people seem to have a toxic reaction to generic rules.)

As far as I would use the terms, I would say that it fills your desire for medium crunch. The rules are tight and work on some basic fundamental principles that once you wrap your head around them means that you can extrapolate relatively complex situations of all kinds either on the fly or with reference to the "Universal Chart" if you need an absolute number/result. The system itself is (Attr+Skill)d6 and keep the best three against a target number and has an effects-based "power" system that allows you to build gadgets 'n' powers equally.

Making EABA v2 stand out mechanics-wise, for me at least, are the scaling, non-linear combat rounds and some subtle but really quite interesting tid-bits on skill caps by "tech level," and power/gadget balancing ("Gameworld Base" as the game calls it). While the core book is generic, the settings associated with the games are dedicated systems with what sometimes feels like an openness to "make stuff up" rather than refer to canonical rules all the time (this is in part why I went to EABA v2[/í] from GURPS).

Fires of Heaven cool mechanics that spring to mind? Starship design, front and centre. It is awesome on so many levels and nigh-on demands to be hacked into Firefly or Peter F. Hamilton's Confederation or a number of other settings. It's based around the setting premise of scientific plausibility, so if you're wanting to design Spelljamming ships with it you're going to have a little bit more work to do.

As a setting, Fires of Heaven is basically a scifi-oriented space opera set in the "United Worlds," or 14 star systems radiating out from Sol. In some ways it has a similar vibe to 2300AD in terms of the size of the setting and also has exploration front and centre along with the whole core-periphery approach to it. Beyond that there are aliens, psionics, technology... The usual.

All in all, well worth the check. And if Fires of Heaven doesn't work for you, then there is always Aethos.


Seconded. EABA is my system of choice, and Fires of Heaven is the standard sci-fi setting for it. Odd, because EABA settings are anything but standard. Check the btrc.net website and check it out for yourselves.
 

Tom B

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I'm not really sure I consider EABA v2.01 to be "rules medium" any longer. I think EABA v1.0 falls into that category...but EABA v2.01 is much fiddlier.
 

Claybor

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Validated User
I'm not really sure I consider EABA v2.01 to be "rules medium" any longer. I think EABA v1.0 falls into that category...but EABA v2.01 is much fiddlier.
I have to agree with Tom here. I am a fan of EABA v.1, but v.2 went a bit to far towards the rules heavy end of the spectrum, and while I really wanted to like it I felt that it was just heavier then I wanted in a game. Just my opinion of course. The settings on the other hand look very interesting and I may grab them at some point.
 

Hyper-Man

Caped Madman!
Validated User
Star Hero for HERO System 6e (most famous for Champions) is another good option worth a look. There is even a version of The Fires of Heaven available for it.

HERO is not a complicated choice for this type of setting (heroic instead of super-heroic/Champions) as not everything needs to be built with the Powers system. Equipment/gear (that is found or purchased with money) is handled like any other system. Combat can be setup to run much smoother than a full blown Champions game.
 
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Ka_ge2020

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Validated User
I'm not really sure I consider EABA v2.01 to be "rules medium" any longer. I think EABA v1.0 falls into that category...but EABA v2.01 is much fiddlier.
I come to it from GURPS, so that might explain my perspective somewhat (at least from other people's perspective!). With that said, as I've commonly seen FATE mentioned as being "rules medium," and since EABA v2 shares many of the same characteristics--can be a bit odd to start with, has a bit of a learning curve but, once surmounted, everything ties together (reasonably) well--it seems that the category would fit. Of course, I imagine that distances between light, medium, and heavy when it comes to crunch are of sufficient width as to be comparable to the reason for signs when using the Infinite Improbability Drive.

It's not as "heavy" as HERO or GURPS, seems to be in the same realm as FATE (but a little "easier" to understand), BRP (but a little bit harder to wrap your head around) etc. It just has a lot less support.

Crunch definitions are hard, but it fits my bill as medium. That it might be heavier than EABA v1 and beyond your own personal "medium thresholds" is another matter, perhaps?

It's certainly heavier than Amber DRPG, that's for sure. :D
 
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Corum

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Validated User
Ok, I have played many different games over the years and am looking for something new.

I have seen some games like Stars without Numbers and Imperium Chronicles but know nothing about them. There maybe another SciFi game I have not heard that maybe worth looking at. Anyway if you can give me info on these games or another please do so. Please do not give me a name of a game without a reason that it is worth playing. Tell me what you like and problems you have found in the game.

I have played many Scifi games like Star wars, Star Frontiers, traveller, 2300AD, Star Trek over my 30 years of gaming so please do not recommend them. I am looking for a good ruleset with an interesting setting be it a soft or hard scifi. I prefer a rules medium games where there is some detailed rules but not so many that it slows gameflow and the ability to gm on the fly.
River of Heaven should be out soon. It is based on OpenQuest/D100.
 

urlord

Retired User
Hi Folks,

I am setting up a Play by Post campaign using the EABAv2 RPG rules in the Aethos Game world. This will be my first PbP game so I (we) will be learning as we go. It will be slower that table-top but I promise to make it very enjoyable. I would actually love to do this Table-Top, but I travel every week for my job and I am already running one monthly game. So, I thought I would give this a whirl.

A bit about me
My name is Jim (GM Handle = Urlord) and I have been game mastering table-top games since 1977 where I started out with the little "Chainmail", "Eldritch Wizardry" and "Gods, Demi-Gods and Heroes" books. Since then I have GM'd everything from D&D (almost every incarnation), Traveller, Heroes (Champions), RoleMaster, SpaceMaster, Pathfinder, Shadow Run, Torg, Runemaster, GURPS and others. Most of them are packed away in boxes in the basement. About 25 years ago, I did some freelance work for Iron Crown Enterprises (I.C.E.) on the Shadow World series (I'm actually in the credits - Woo Hoo!). For table-top today, I am running a monthly Pathfinder game with typically 6-8 players per session. All in all I think I am a pretty good Game Master - though I am a terrible Player. I just don't see how you Players deal with not knowing what is going on *shivers*.

As for my GM style - I like an open sandbox style with me having a loose outline of the things I want to see accomplished. I toss nuggets out for the players to pick up, but the players deciding what they are doing and how they will do it. Sometimes, the nuggets are the right path, other times they can be red herrings, completely unrelated, or even traps. Ultimately, I have a beginning, middle and ending, but sometimes I don't even know how those are going to play out. Simply stated, I don't lead characters through a pre-written "Module" style of play. Also, when dice rolls are required (Combat, skill checks, etc.) I never fudge rolls. The dice fall as they may and may the odds be ever in your favor.

A bit about the campaign
I'm starting the campaign at the moment Earth's Central Government has decided to go public about Aethos' deceleration. The game will begin in Denver with a Civil Defense Public Broadcast followed by the uncertainty and emergencies that ensue over the next couple of weeks. The adventurers may not have every considered themselves as leaders or heroes, but in the situations that unfold, they will bubble to the top as people that can be trusted to "Get the Job Done". Character creation is unaltered from the Aethos rules and you can be whatever you like within the following guidelines:
  1. Humans only and the Will Attribute cannot be higher than 4.
  2. Characters should be able to get along with others. This campaign will be hard enough without any infighting.
  3. Characters can be from anywhere in Earth, but we are starting in Denver. If not from Denver, have a story about how you ended up there.
  4. I approve all characters before play.
If you are interested in giving my campaign a chance, I have it set up at this URL: http://www.pbpmap.com/pbpforum2/viewforum.php?f=1183

Currently, I only have one player who is still reading the EABAv2 Rules and the Aethos background material. So, he doesn't have a character concept yet.

Thanks for reading and I hope you agree to give this a shot. What can you lose, right?

-Jim
 
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