69 votes
Accepted

Which Article Helped Get Rid of Technobabble in RPGs?

"Causality and Choice in RPGs, Part 1: Getting rid of the {TECH}" on The 20' By 20' Room blog by Neel Krishnaswami It was a bit challenging to find this ...
V2Blast's user avatar
  • 49.9k
47 votes
Accepted

How can I avoid railroading in a sci-fi campaign?

They're really not that different... ...because you left out an important adjective: abandoned. Often, those "fantasy" adventure locations you cited - a crypt, a prison, a cave system, a ...
T.J.L.'s user avatar
  • 48.6k
31 votes

How to do Spaceship Combat in D&D 5e

I cannot recommend this course of action. There are myriad games out there already that are purpose-built for handling space combat, with varying degrees of speed, realism, and cinematic style. D&...
Darth Pseudonym's user avatar
19 votes

What was this role playing game from the 70s or 80s?

Possibly Star Ace. While I cannot hit all of your bullets, there was a game called Star Ace, published by Pacesetter Games from 1984 to 1986. There was combat and experience points, and human was a ...
ruffdove's user avatar
  • 6,139
16 votes

How to do Spaceship Combat in D&D 5e

Don't use rules to resolve ship-to-ship combat Instead of running ship-to-ship combat by using rules to directly resolve the outcomes, run it as a narrative event. Have players completing tasks on ...
Jack Aidley's user avatar
  • 4,639
15 votes

How can I avoid railroading in a sci-fi campaign?

Not all dungeons have walls. A dungeon is really an encounter graph with connections between them. Encounter graphs can be generated without any walls. You can start an encounter graph with a goal ...
Yakk's user avatar
  • 15.3k
15 votes

How to do Spaceship Combat in D&D 5e

The naval combat from Ghosts of Saltmarsh can be adapted to space ships. I've had similar aspirations as you - D&D in space sounds like fun. Having enjoyed the ship-to-ship combat featured in ...
Thomas Markov's user avatar
15 votes
Accepted

Best Traveller version for Star Trek

First, to recap: Including out-of-print versions, the following versions of Traveller exist: “Classic” Traveller - this is the original version published in 1977 and updated in 1981, under the name ...
Jeff Zeitlin's user avatar
  • 1,124
15 votes

How can I make weapons of the same playstyle (reliable/risky) in my dice pool system (Feedback Loop) feel distinct mechanically?

Let me start by noting something that you probably already know, but which probably still bears repeating: "having lots of mechanically different weapon options" is not your end goal. "...
Ilmari Karonen's user avatar
13 votes

How can I avoid railroading in a sci-fi campaign?

Human(oid)s will be human(oid)s When in a scifi setting, what is new and innovative to us, is ordinary to the characters. People tend to iterate and adjust ordinary stuff. Your problem is not that ...
DonFusili's user avatar
  • 1,440
12 votes

How to Reduce Anthropomorphism When Roleplaying Uplifts?

First of all, have a critical re-read of whatever game system you're using. There is the possibility that either: It is deliberately telling your players to anthropomorphise. If it's packed full of ...
DrBob's user avatar
  • 2,418
10 votes
Accepted

Best way to build a sentient swarmbot in GURPS 4e?

You're correct that the first step is Shapeshifting. Any time a GURPS character has a normal form, but sometimes becomes a second, distinct form, you use the Shapeshifting (Alternate Form) advantage. ...
DuckTapeAl's user avatar
  • 48.6k
10 votes

How to solve a player feeling like their socially-focused PC isn't useful?

I just played a game in a similar situation. We were running a Stargate-themed game and I was the team doctor. We spent three to four game sessions in non-stop combat situations where our four ...
Miranda Graves's user avatar
9 votes
Accepted

GURPS supplement for Poul Anderson's "High Crusade"?

I'm pretty sure that there was never an official GURPS supplement for it. Steve Jackson Games' web page listing everything they've ever published has no obvious mention of it. There is a GURPS ...
John Dallman's user avatar
8 votes
Accepted

How to solve a player feeling like their socially-focused PC isn't useful?

There are really two problems here: the player/character isn't suitable for some scenes, and some scenes aren't well-suited to one of your PC's. You need to meet in the middle. (I think all sci-fi ...
SirTechSpec's user avatar
  • 16.3k
8 votes

How can I avoid railroading in a sci-fi campaign?

Secondary objectives and incomplete information The first thing to remember is that you can technically do exactly the same in sci-fi as you can do in fantasy. Why not put the tomb of a long dead race ...
Dinomaster's user avatar
  • 3,627
8 votes

How do I technobabble without sounding like technobabble?

There is no shame in describing some aspects of a scene at a slightly higher level of abstraction than other aspects. This is not a matter of replacing specific jargon (flux capacitors) with generic ...
Novak's user avatar
  • 43.3k
8 votes

What effects would nuclear weapons have in Traveller space combat?

The High Guard book covers this as far as MGT-2 mechanics go. Spinal mount meson and particle weapons are on pg. 28, nuclear missiles are on pg. 30, and nuclear torpedoes on pg. 32 Meson screens and ...
Linnorm's user avatar
  • 146
8 votes

How can I make weapons of the same playstyle (reliable/risky) in my dice pool system (Feedback Loop) feel distinct mechanically?

Use the dropped dice to add spice When they roll the 4d6, they use the 3 or 2 highest to determine their success, but what about the rest? The 1 or 2 dropped dice count for something too! Here are a ...
Mathaddict's user avatar
  • 1,847
7 votes

How can I avoid railroading in a sci-fi campaign?

I agree with and second everything T.J.L. said - in particular, the importance of providing a "Why". However, while he emphasizes the significance of abandoned places (which I second), I think you can ...
TimothyAWiseman's user avatar
6 votes
Accepted

Is there a concise description of what 'special' damage is?

If you look at the table (5.6), you'll see in the last column 'Damage type' that they have no entry, just a dash; the flamer is the exception, it has damage type 'Fire'. Compare this to the 'Modern ...
Glorfindel's user avatar
  • 2,047
6 votes
Accepted

What effects would nuclear weapons have in Traveller space combat?

I don’t recall seeing any specific rules for nuclear explosions in space combat in Traveller, but Traveller promotes the “hard space opera” meme, suggesting that in the absense of ...
Jeff Zeitlin's user avatar
  • 1,124
6 votes

How can I avoid railroading in a sci-fi campaign?

PC and NPC desires can create dynamic interactions I think these answers provide a lot of benefit to making things more dynamic but I wanted to approach this from a PC/NPC dynamic. The dungeon map can ...
GuidingOlive's user avatar
  • 2,800
6 votes

How to do Spaceship Combat in D&D 5e

Use 5e Vehicle Rules DMG page 119 has a Vehicles table with example vehicles, their speeds, AC, HP, Damage Threshold, and capacity (Crew, Passengers, Cargo). While these are not spaceship stats, they ...
ValhallaGH's user avatar
  • 12.2k
5 votes

How to solve a player feeling like their socially-focused PC isn't useful?

If the game really is switching from a role-playing game to a ship-to-ship combat game for long stretches, there's no surprise the diplomat feels useless. Some folks reviewing sci-fi shows will talk ...
Tim Grant's user avatar
  • 25.9k
4 votes

How to ensure that players don't forget they're always in a microgravity environment

Use Indirect Reminders For Yourself Obviously we can't advise you to 'just remember things better' - you can't simply will yourself directly do that. But as a GM, surely you have some procedures that ...
vicky_molokh- unsilence Monica's user avatar
4 votes

What Cannot be Nanofabricated From CHON?

On page 179 of Transhuman, in the section describing feedstock used for nanofabrication, it says: "Modern equipment relies on material from across the periodic table." This suggests that standard ...
Blckknght's user avatar
  • 8,302
4 votes
Accepted

How do fighter ships in the Dark Matter supplement communicate with each other?

When I posed this question on Mage Hand Press's Discord channel, I received the following responses from the game developers: "damn, I think that's an error on our part I don't think we put in any ...
SeeDerekEngineer's user avatar
4 votes

How to do Spaceship Combat in D&D 5e

SW5e has some ship combat stuff. It's a Star Wars RPG system based on 5e SRD material. So if you want your ship combat to be anything like how space ships work in Star Wars, this might be the system ...
Peter Cordes's user avatar
  • 3,009

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