Can anyone recommend a good SF pen-and-paper RPG?

Toby Frost

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Can anyone recommend a good science fiction roleplaying game, preferably not one affiliated to a big franchise (ie not Star Wars, Alien etc)?

I'm looking for something that would cover the standard space opera/galactic adventure type stories: space travel, laser guns, psychic powers and all that kind of thing. It would preferably have an easy-to-understand rules system and a pretty generic setting. I'm really looking for the sci-fi equivalent of basis D&D.

Thanks!
 

The Big Peat

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Have a gander at Traveller or maybe Paizo's Starfinder. Traveller has everything you want (plus the greatest character generation system ever) except maybe the psychic powers; Starfinder is based on d20 so should have a bunch of familiarity.
 

HareBrain

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Traveller has everything you want (plus the greatest character generation system ever)
IIRC, you generate a character's entire life story, sometimes including death (in which case you start again).

That aside (assuming it wasn't just my faulty memory), I second Traveller. I don't know how much it has changed in 30 years, but it was great fun, and I think exactly what you're looking for.
 

AllanR

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Traveller as well! Fairly easy to get into, though the game got much more complicated with expansions. There are a few version, Classic, Mega and something else.... Space Opera was good as well for the early era rpg. I've heard good things, though have not played, the GURPS sci-fi and Shadowrun.
 

The Big Peat

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Would gently discourage Shadowrun for these purposes. I love it to pieces, but its Cyberpunk meets D&D with nary a drop of Space Opera in sight - no psionics, no space travel, few lasers and so on. And while you could reskin the magic and vehicle rules and what not, it'd be a pain in the posterior.
 

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