What Do Characters Do in Starscape?

Starscape is looks like a traditional lifepath and skills-based science fiction game. Characters have skills which describe their abilities, and young and old characters might adventure together.

There is no niche protection, as such. It’s an interesting concept for some games, but locking down the ability to repair a space drive or discover the contents of a computer file to a single character is not always a good idea – it could end a science fiction adventure prematurely. IIn this game it is assumed that computers help characters try whatever they want, and their skills include that effect. Anyone can attenpt almost anything.

And yet, our heroes are just people. They might be alien people or robotic people, and are very capable people who pull off cinematic achievements, but they are still just people and can only do what people do.

The adventures they get into reflect that. If dealing with a corrupt sector chief, they can expose and remove him (or maybe blackmail him). But if an ancient evil has been awoken in strange alien ruins and the entire sector is going to be devoured, the adventure is not about having a drag out brawl with the alien menace – it’s about how to escape the sector, and maybe rescue people along the way. (Or there might be a way to stop that evil awakening, or put it back to sleep.)

Starscape at its heart is a science adventure game, where the players play cinematic heroes who get into fun adventures and generally be larger-than-life adventurers and heroes. But it’s also occasionally a cosmic horror game, where the heroes recognise that they – and maybe all of humanity – are entirely out of their depth in an uncaring universe.

There is no contradiction here.

The stakes of an adventure should always be very visible. Players know what their characters are fighting for.

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