Sunday, July 21, 2013

To The Stars! (Ideas for a Back to the Dungeon Sci-Fi Variant)

I have been a contributor to the neo-clone rpg over at Back to the Dungeon! for several different versions of the rules.  Now that Eric seems pretty satisfied with the rules, the focus has shifted to expanding the basic game.  Some of the areas for expansion include both of our campaign settings, variant rules, epic levels, modules, and a host of other topics.  One of my favorite ideas is a compatible science fiction game that uses as many of the base rules as possible with only the changes necessary for the science fiction genre.  Eric and I floated several ideas back and forth during some text messaging - I have expanded on some of them - and the basic ideas are listed below. 

Obviously, strip out the fantasy elements from the BttD RPG and then replace the appropriate sections with science fiction elements.  My goal is a generic sci-fi game that serves a role similar to D&D as a generic fantasy game.

The introduction should start by explain that science fiction was one of the early genres to be featured in role-playing games following the success of D&D and other early fantasy games.  Maybe make a mention or two of other example games such as Traveller or Star Frontiers.

Of course, Humans will be available for play.  *maybe the humans should have no attribute adjustments but the careers might modify the attributes?*  I am thinking that the best option may be to offer only humans in the base rules while alien races will be available in the setting descriptions.  There could also be mutant humans with psionic or other powers and Robot or Android characters.

Attributes & Generation
The original six attributes will most likely be used with the possible exception of replacing Wisdom with Will.  Attribute score generation should include a point distribution method along with the random die method. 

Classes (Careers?)
Some of the classes available for play might include:

Ace, Mercenary, Mystic, Scientist, Smuggler, Soldier

That is just a small list to serve as an example.  There should be many options available in the basic rules while the settings will offer even more.  I think an attempt should be made to have the careers be more fluid and open-ended than classes. 

While Back to the Dungeon has no specific skill rules, To the Stars will need to include them.

GM Stuff
Tables for generating planetary details like atmosphere, political climate, tech levels, religious climate, etc.  A short section on using both games - Back to the Dungeon and To the Stars - together in a crossover.

The Setting
There should be many and each one different in ways.  Each galaxy could be inspired by the basic premise of well known science fiction properties;  use the root idea as the base and then expand in different and original ways.  One galaxy could be based on Star Trek, another on Star Wars, another on BSG, and so on. 

Other Areas
Other topics that should be detailed in the rules include credits, equipment, a simple ship to ship combat system, military service, the different styles or genres of science fiction (50's, space adventure, hard science, etc.), adventure ideas, time travel, travelling to other worlds & dimensions, psionic powers, organizations, and more that I most certainly failed to mention so far.

It's a start...


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