I have been shanghaied into running a sci-fi game over text-only chat. The setting is Star Trek, and as such will involve a fair bit of space combat. I have a bit of limitations to work against/with;

  • The game will take place without any visual aids, so any system has to be describable easily with just text. (I am willing to give up realism of space combat for ease of play.) Emphasis on describable — visuals made out of text are not an option, for accessibility reasons.
  • The players have a strong preference to describing their character's actions at their individual shipboard posts, rather than abstracting their character stats into an overall bonus for ship combat (they want to feel effective)
  • I would prefer a system that is more restrictive to the types of actions that can be taken, as opposed to fully free-form (again, for ease of play)
  • As this will be taking place in the run up to the Dominion War, the types of ship combat the system should model are either dogfighting or a “19th century sail” command-bridge metaphor ... or both.

I am not satisfied with the Decipher Star Trek system, but would give it a second look if there is a strong argument on how this could work in my restrictions. I am more than willing to accept games that are not sci-fi focused, as long as its use in sci-fi can be easily explained.