Monday, November 26, 2012

Boldly Reviewing & Riffing Into The Final Frontier Of Star Ships & Spacemen Second Edition

Starships & Spacemen Cover

So I finally got to my email yesterday & took a look at my updates. And there it was a pass code to Drivethru rpg for this beauty. A download & look into a 100 plus page of  familiar Goblinoid style gaming rules later. First I'm off reading the description: 
Boldly explore the galaxy in search of alien civilizations! You take the role of a Military Officer, Technical Officer, Science Officer, or Enlisted Man in the Galactic Confederation. Travel in a starship under your command, on missions of first contact, rescue, exploration, and more in a galaxy full of hostile aliens. Try to maintain the tenuous truce with the militaristic Zangid, and fight the Videni who may look like your Tauran allies, but do not adhere to a philosophy of peace and logic.
Design alien humanoids with either "original series" or "next generation" sensibilities  or blend the two approaches! There are 100 forehead shapes that may be randomly rolled when a new alien race is encountered.
This book contains:
Eight player races
Three main classes, with several subclasses
Rules for spaceships and exploration
many alien creatures
...and more!

The Final Frontie
 Bridge Crew Miniatures
 So for months I've been dragging my FASA Star Trek stuff out for months & torturing the hell out my players/friends with the various suppliments & prepping out ideas, monsters, etc. for the release of this book.  I've looked into both Labyrinth Lord & Mutant Future as possible arrows into campaign away team locations.
 All the while I've been quietly following the progress of this game on the official blogs & reading the forums. Meanwhile I slid into Stars Without Number. I got pretty damn spoiled with that system. But we're talking about two very different styles of play.
That being said this 100 plus page pdf is a great place to start if your looking for a great Star Trek Retroclone. Which is what I'm actually out for & why I backed the project.
 The quality of art is on par with other Goblinoid Game products, the 
The system is very playable, contains a  fully functional set of rules for PCs, star ships and combat, and has lots of classic trappings of old school RPG design, such as randomly generated alien encounters, planets and stellar anomalies floating around to be uncovered. 
If your a fan of 
Trek-styled space opera and rules-lite systems, then this is your ticket to ride. 
Space Trucking Across The Galaxy 

 Reading the whole game makes me want to grab the character sheet that comes with it & start generating NPCs for an encounter. They wrote the game with a weird original/Next Generation feel to it. Its easily doable for both styles of play.  This isn't bare bones space adventure its a fun space ride with a sense of adventure  built right in. Make no mistake though your PC will die very badly should they run afoul of some of the beasties in here. If you've been using Terminal Space for over a year & want to add some Trek style action here's the route to go.
So how's it stack up against the 1st edition? Well the first edition went something like this: 
"Back in 1978 the second sci-fi RPG ever to be published was released by Fantasy Games Unlimited, Starships & Spacemen, by Leonard H. Kanterman. Inspired by many sci-fi influences, Starships & Spacemen trekked new ground. You could play a Tauran with a machine-like, logical mind, and adventure in space hunting for alien treasures on unexplored worlds. You might face the aggressive Videni who resembled Taurans in appearance, but not intentions. Against that backdrop one might reach an uneasy truce with the militant Zangids." 
They're all there in the book & its still the same fun game set against the worlds that 
 Leonard H. Kanterman first wrote down. The game works & here's why   Goblinoid Games
Ten Reasons For Star Ships & Space Men Adventuring
  1. The game is fully compatible with about 98% of the existing retroclone material. This makes adding aliens & monsters a snap. 
  2. Because its a riff on Trek there's that instantly recognizable brand Trek name allowing PCs to be fully integrated into a quick one night stand adventure 
  3. There are at least four or more ways to generate this game into a world spanning mega campaign that could last ten or more years. 
  4. The addition of star ship combat gives the scale of this game an almost epic feel & allows the DM to get the Trek style background of an OD&D sci fi adventure right out there into the minds of the players 
  5. While the players can think that they know what to expect the DM can use that to his advantage & head off in another direction with a campaign. Brand names work both ways, the Star Trek cartoon was a great example of this. Expand the S&S universe & allow it to grow organically as a campaign setting 
  6. Mine the game for bits & pieces that could add colour & Trek atmosphere for already existing OSR campaign worlds like Carcosa, Lamentations of The Flame Princess, & even Stars Without Number 
  7. Because this is an OSR style product the whole thing screams customize me. The game is very user friendly & allows the DM to make it his own. 
  8. This isn't a perfect science fantasy game product & like all products of this nature the system is very generic in some areas just the way I like it. 
  9. The game comes just in time for the long winter gaming nights & with a DM's screen & character sheet with the pdf its great value 
  10. Come on its Star Ships & Space Men Second edition & you can purchase it right over Here


  1. Can you give us a glimpse of how starship combat works?

    I need another sci-fi game system like I need a phaser in the forehead ridge. However at some point I suppose I can call it being an eccentric collector :)

  2. No yet but coming up possibly on Friday of this week. I've got to get into the meat of the space combat coming up in the action this week.
    Welcome to eccentric collectorhood! Science Fiction games are like dope,the first one is easy and the rest just sort of happen. I try to avoid a phaser to the head ridge if possible. Thanks for the great comment & there's more coming up.


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