Starscape is a space-opera science-fiction (and occasional cosmic horror) game set thousands – or perhaps millions – of years in the future, in a universe that might not be ours. The universe is known to be a simulation, and is assumed to have been created by aliens impossibly more advanced than us and who we can never know, and the simulation was not created for us. It may be a prison for cosmic horrors who cannot die, and we just happen to share the universe with them.
About The Game
- Characters: Character design is complex enough to take an entire session zero, or quick enough to just take a couple of button clicks if you use automation like the Roll20 sheet. Character Design can be an adventure in itself, and you should make as many characters as you like, then pick one to play. Have fun!
- Worlds: This is really about the setting, which is vast and expansive, but also tools are provided so you can generate your own worlds, creatures, sectors, and so forth. This also describes technology in the space opera universe of Starscape.
- Adventure: This is about the game system and combat, as well as how to GM, create scenarios, and so on. The system is a variant of the PAGES system used in Legends Never Die.
These three books cover everything you need to play this space opera game. Other books will be added, like Starships, Aliens, the Federation, and more.
Describing The Game
The posts below tak about specific elements of the game – why things are the way they are. These posts also appear on the blog, but that link will be dominated by Roll20 articles for a while.
- Starscape – Events In A Space Opera GameA brief taster of the game Starscape.
- What Do Characters Do in Starscape?Cosmic Horror vs Pulp Adventure!
- Wild Cards and Being Lucky in StarscapeFictional characters can be lucky, and coincidences work in their favour.
- Events and Interventions in Starscape and Legends Never DieWhat is an Intervention? Pure chaos!
- Traits in StarscapeStarscape is a Skills-based system, but not everything can easily be represented by skills. What else is there?
- Wild Cards – a Narrative Luck system for any gameThe Luck system for Starscape gives players a lot of narrative influence, and is easily used in any gaming system.
Adventures in this setting occur at one of several scales.
- Personal: Most adventures are about things personal to the player-characters. Do they survive this betrayal, do they defeat this megacorporation, do they wheel and deal successfully in this hive of scum and villainy, and so on. Normal sci-fi adventures.
- Sector: Humanity is scattered through many sectors in the galaxy, each a partially isolated bubble. Every now and then a threat emerges that can decide the fate of an entire sector, reveal something significant about the setting, and possibly end a mini-campaign. The actions of the players decide the outcome here.
- Galactic: There are several entities in this setting that can affect the development of the entire galaxy. This doesn’t necessarily mean the galaxy will be destroyed, but what happens in this adventure can have ramifications across the entire galaxy and the player’s future adventures where-ever they take place. The PCs might just be witnesses to unfolding events as they carry out their own adventure, or their own adventure might decide what those ramifications are. A Sector scale adventure that results in the destruction of a sector might turn out to be Galactic-scale, if it has ripple effects spreading outwards as a result.
- Universe: Very rarely, there are adventures which showcase what is happening at the scale of the entire universe, and reveal bigger secrets about the setting. Humanity is a bit player here, a mere spectator on this scene, but the player-characters should always have an impact on whatever they are doing. Maybe they have an adventure of their own to deal with as they witness larger events (then again, the game is sometimes Cosmic Horror).
In my campaign, the players had a Sector-scale adventure once or twice each year, some of which were really Galactic Scale. In the entire 10 year run, there were three Universe-scale adventures – they shouldn’t be common. The rules will describe how to create these.