Roleplaying games

Starships and Spacemen

Originally released by Fantasy Games Unlimited in 1978, Starships and Spacemen was one of the earliest RPGs released.  Around 2010 Goblinoid Games purchased the game and re-released it intact.  More recently they have released an all-new second edition, bringing the rules and style in closer alignment to Labyrinth Lord and Mutant Future.

Like all of their other releases the layout and artwork in S&S is very good.  It’s easy to read and follow along, with artwork and tables providing breaks in the text.  As a “traditional” rules-set this isn’t a large volume, so it’s not too hard to learn the rules and read the entire thing.

One of the oddities of S&S is that there is a Combat skill, and like the other skills you need to roll below the number to successfully hit.  That’s right, unlike all other games using a D20-based attack S&S uses a descending-based attack system.  Why Goblinoid Games decided to use this for this one game while Labyrinth Lord and Mutant Future proudly follow the classic D&D games I don’t know.

Is it a big deal?  In the long run, perhaps not, but it’s still something that encourages me to use Fate or D6 for a sci-fi genre game.  While I happily stick to Labyrinth Lord for an old-school style of fantasy gaming, for me I just think it isn’t the best choice for any other genre or style.  I have really enjoyed re-reading the WEG Star Wars RPG, and Fate is slowly starting to click.  I think it’s fun to learn a new rules system (up to a point!) for a different kind of game, and you never know what you may end up finding as the best fit for your game!