The End of Starblazer Adventures

Cubicle 7 announced yesterday that they didn’t renew the Starblazer license and so Starblazer Adventures and Legends of Anglerre will be off the shelves at the end of the month.

Starblazer Adventures had a lot of issues. While the game screamed Awesomeness! (with capital A and an exclamation mark), it was poorly organized and sometimes very hard to understand. SBA was the first Fate game I actually ran and I had to read both Diaspora and the much better organized LoA before I actually understood how the game was supposed to work. But aside from its problems it still was a pretty cool game.

Just leafing through this tome of a book gave me thousands of ideas, the artwork ripped from the pages of the British Starblazer comics was extremely fun and inspirational. Starblazer Adventures was one of the first attempts to apply the then latest edition of the Fate rules to the space opera genre, and – if you ignore it’s problems – it did the job pretty well. Even with all its shortcomings Starblazer Adventures was an awesome game for its time and Legends of Anglerre showed how a 2nd Edition of Starblazer Adventures could have looked like.

Alas Cubicle 7 didn’t support both games as well as I hoped. The 2nd Edition of Starblazer Adventures (and at least another setting book) have been announced but never were released. For a while it was incredible hard to access materials like character sheets etc. since the Cubicle 7 website has been in a terrible state for far too long. I don’t excactly why they decided not to renew the license in the end, but I still think both Legends of Anglerre and Starblazer Adventures had a lot of promise, and just needed a bit more support and perhaps some more refinement to really shine.

If you haven’t picked up any of those games yet, there’s still chance. Cubicle 7 has put all SBA/LoA products on sale. In addition to that one former SBA setting survived and has recently be reborn as the stand-alone and Fate Core-based Mindjammer Roleplaying Game. So not all is lost!

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.

3 thoughts on “The End of Starblazer Adventures”

  1. I never had any problems with Starblazer Adventures. In fact, while Legends of Anglerre is a crisper implementation of 1D6-1D6 Fate, the layout of SBA is a bit easier to navigate than LoA. I still think SBA’s hands-down the best space opera RPG, Fate or non-Fate.

    I smiled when I started going through the Mindjammer 2e PDF for the first time. It brings back some of the crunch that I really liked in Starblazer Adventures, but melded exceptionally well with the framework provided by Fate Core.

  2. I like how Starblazer Adventures and Legends of Anglerre enabled me to use FATE 3e to run fast-and-loose space opera and heroic fantasy, respectively. Yes, they could have been better organized, but they both gave lots of examples of aspects and stunts to tinker with.

    Game Masters could easily build organizations, vehicles, and worlds with these toolboxes, and role-players could customize their characters and see how their aspects affected our shared narrative.

    I also looked to Diaspora and Bulldogs for better-organized FATE SFRPGs, I look forward to the hardcopy of FATE Core-based Mindjammer 2e.

  3. It makes sense that they dropped their Fate products — the people who did them no longer work at that company. For example, Chris Birch is now at his own company, Modiphius, doing things like Achtung! Cthulhu (which has a Fate edition coming out soon) … and The Mutant Chronicles RPG revival (which I sincerely hope will have a Fate edition). And I think Modiphius is also somewhat related to the new Mindjammer edition (it’s announced on their site, but I don’t know exactly what their role is).

    From reading the “about us” at Cuble 7, only the editors of SBA appear to still be there (Dominic McDowall is the CEO, and Gareth-Mchael Skarka is a line developer).

    Once I knew Chris had moved on to his own company, I gave up on ever seeing a new Fate product from Cubicle 7. Sad, but the writing has been on the wall. I’m rather surprised they didn’t make this announcement sooner.

    My only real sadness/upset is that I have never found a copy of SBA in print, at a non-astronomical price (Amazon has copies that cost well over $100 new, and $65 used). I have LoA, and the LoA companion… and I have SBA and LoA in PDF. Out of this sale, I’m going to go ahead and pick up the PDF of the LoA companion.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.