I was looking for a simple science fiction roleplaying game on DTRPG when I stumbled upon Stellar Adventures. It especially piqued my interest since one of the authors listed in the credits is none other than Jonathan Hicks aka The Farsight Blogger. Only on a second look I realized that Stellar Adventures is actually a game based on Advanced Fighting Fantasy 2nd Edition, a roleplaying game inspired by the Fighting Fantasy game books of old.
Stellar Adventures itself is a 130-paged PDF containing all the rules you need to run games in basically every scifi setting imaginable. The core rules itself are pretty easy and straightforward. Each time the outcome of an action is uncertain you roll 2d6 and compare the result with your SKILL value. Is it lower or equal than your SKILL, you succeed. Otherwise you fail. Characters can learn special skills, that grant bonuses to their SKILL rolls. There are also talents which grant the characters special abilities beyond mere bonuses.
All-in-all characters have four characteristics: SKILL, STAMINA (basically hitpoints), LUCK, PSIONICS or TECH. The latter is only used with robot characters and is a measure of the technology used to construct them. It should be obvious that the mechanics are not as deep as in something like Starfinder, but they are perfectly fine for one-shots, online or convention games, or even short campaigns. What really surprised me, is that Stellar Adventures contains basically everything you might need in a SF game: there’s an extensive equipment list, rules for robots, starships, sector and planet creation, rules for designing your own aliens, mutations, cyberware, and much more. It’s not only a simple SF game but actually a complete toolbox. If you wanted to run a game inspired by Star Trek or Traveller, you should have no problems at all. Heck, the warp drive described in the rules is basically the Traveller Jump Drive with serial numbers filed off.
The layout and artwork of Stellar Adventures is definitely old-school. It looks like something from the early 80s, but luckily it’s better organized and better written than a lot of the games from that era.
So should you get a copy of Stellar Adventures? I’d say yes! Aside from its old-fashioned looks it’s a small gem. The simple rules are perfectly suited for online and convention games and on 130 pages you get a toolbox full of material! If you also own the Advanced Fighting Fantasy rules, you can even combine the two since the mechanics are fully compatible.
Stellar Adventures is digitally available from DriveThruRPG and sets you back $14 or your local equivalent. Print copies are also available from local and online stores.
Stargazer’s World is first and foremost a roleplaying games blog, but that doesn’t mean we can’t cover board or tabletop miniature games from time to time. One game I am very excited about is Modiphius’ Fallout Wasteland Warfare. It’s an exciting Fallout miniature game which can be played cooperatively, competitively and even solo. Since I am a huge fan of the Fallout franchise, I reached out to Modiphius and asked if James Sheahan, designer of the game, was willing to answer a few questions for us. Luckily he agreed. Before delving right into the interview I want to thank James for taking his time to answer my questions!
Stargazer: Thanks again for taking your time and answer our questions. Before we talk about Fallout Wasteland Warfare, let’s talk about you. Who is James Sheahan?
James: My pleasure, Michael. I worked in video games for 10 years and then as a consultant/freelancer game designer for the last 12 years working for games companies, global ad agencies, Google and others. Like most of us, I have played board games, RPGs, wargames and video games since I was young, and I love film and fiction too. I actually didn’t start out in games as a designer, but I worked my work across into design as that was my main passion. I have been very fortunate to have had a very varied experience – some of it, even I can’t quite believe.
Tales From The Loop has been one of my favorite roleplaying games of 2017. Funded in a highly successful Kickstarter campaign it quickly took gamers’ hearts by storm. Amazon even acquired the license to turn it into a TV series. What makes Tales From The Loop special is the artwork by Simon Stålenhag, which combines 1980’s nostalgia with science fiction elements. The protagonists in both his art and the game are kids, which also explains why so many people draw parallels to Netflix’ highly popular series Stranger Things. To learn more about the game, I recommend to check out my review.
Before going into any details I want to thank Free League Publishing for providing me with a complimentary copy for the purpose of this review.
Our Friends the Machines & Other Mysteries is the first supplement for Tales From The Loop. The 107-paged book contains three new mysteries (adventures) for the game, eight short mysteries inspired by popular songs from the 80s, machine blueprints and guidelines on how you can turn your hometown (or any town) into a setting for the game.
As with the core rules every adventure is written with both the Swedish and the US setting in mind. If something differs in the US setting from the default Swedish one, details are given in parenthesis. Usually it’s just the names which are different.
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