Preparing for Starblazer Adventures

My current gaming dry spell is about to end next Tuesday evening. A few RPG pub meeting regulars have asked me to run a game for them and I offered to run a SF game for them. Initially I planned to give Traveller a try but more recently I decided to run a FATE-based game.

So Starblazer Adventures it is! Over the last few days I have been leafing through the massive 629-paged book, rereading several rules, checking out the included settings for inspiration and thought about an introductory adventure. But then I realized that I was approaching this all wrong.

Before coming up with my own ideas about a setting, adventures etc. I should talk with my players about it. Starblazer Adventures has a chapter about Collaborative Campaign Creation that provides players and GMs with some simple tools to create whole campaign settings from scratch collaboratively. So what I will do is talk with my players about how FATE works first. Then I’ll ask them what kind of SF game they prefer. This directly leads us to the collaborative campaign creation.

When he have the campaign background more or less nailed down, we can start with character creation. The player characters’ Aspects will further help me to flesh out the campaign setting later and come up with the kind of adventures they really want to participate in.

Between our character/campaign creation session and the first real play session I plan to turn the basic campaign map created using the method described in the SBA rulebook into a pretty starmap using Cosmographer 3.

By the way, FATE will also be the big topic for our next RPG pub meeting. Hopefully I can share the love with my fellow German gamers!

Michael Wolf is a German games designer and enthusiast best known for his English language role-playing games blog, Stargazer's World, and for creating the free rules-light medieval fantasy adventure game Warrior, Rogue & Mage. He has also worked as an English translator on the German-language Dungeonslayers role-playing game and was part of its editorial team. In addition to his work on Warrior, Rogue & Mage and Dungeonslayers, he has created several self-published games and also performed layout services and published other independent role-playing games such as A Wanderer's Romance, Badass, and the Wyrm System derivative Resolute, Adventurer & Genius, all released through his imprint Stargazer Games. Professionally, he works as a video technician and information technologies specialist. Stargazer's World was started by Michael in August 2008.

10 thoughts on “Preparing for Starblazer Adventures”

  1. Sounds interesting. Personally I have no idea about Fate yet but a lot of people seem to like it. It is still on my list of material to read and sounds like an interesting ruleset. What is of more immediate concern though: Whats with all the SF games starting up all over the place? I feel like I read about them everywhere I go right now. Must be something in the air.

  2. I would also recommend taking a look at the Diaspora RPG ( It is Fate-based and heavily inspired by Traveller. They have an excellent SRD, though some of the helpful graphics are missing. I’ve also written about my Diaspora campaign at

    That said, I have Diaspora, Starblazers, and Bulldogs! RPGs; Each of which are Fate-based SciFi games. Starblazers has lots of things going on, and the charts that they have are excellent and worth the price of entry.

    1. I own all of these books (I even backed the Bulldogs! Kickstarter), but I chose SBA mainly because of its toolbox character. I can just pick and choose what I want to use. Bulldogs! and Diaspora are both great but more focused.
      Thanks for the link to your campaign notes. I’ll definitely check them out!

  3. I agree that it’s nice to run space opera as a change of pace from fantasy or horror. Don’t let the sheer volume of “Starblazer Adventures” intimidate you or your role-players! The “How do I…?” cheat sheets and index are pretty good, even if the skills and stunts aren’t as clearly organized as in later FATE books, such as “Legends of Anglerre” or “Dresden Files” — which are also worth looking at.

    My favorite aspects of “SBA” (pun intended) include scaling organizations and ships, player participation in defining the setting and scenes, and stats that are easy for Game Masters to keep track of! My groups really enjoy trading Fate points.

    I’ve borrowed freely and easily from other FATE science fiction books, including the “Traveller”-like “Diaspora,” transhuman “Mindjammer Adventures,” and more pulpy “Limitless Horizons” and “Bulldogs.” The storyteller’s screen is also worth getting, and a revised edition is supposedly in the works (two books, making it easier for players to acquire just one without the big investment).

    1. Thanks for the advice, GeneD5. I actually just ordered the Storyteller’s Screen just minutes ago. Hopefully it will arrive before Tuesday, so that I can put it to good use!

  4. Being a huge fan of SOTC and DFRPG, I have thought about this game for a while. I am wonderong how fate holds up with this game. I have a few people in my group that are hard core sci-fi fans, and it would be nice to play something other than fantasy for a while. So, I am interested in how this plays out for you and your sessions.

    1. Welcome back, my friend! Alas we had to reschedule the game, BUT I was able to recruit two more players and we settled on a setting. I actually just finished a post that will go live tomorrow about that subject. So we haven’t played SBA yet, but I have five excited players and some campaign preparation to do!

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