Best sci-fi pen & paper RPG you've come across?

I'm looking for suggestions for a pen & paper RPG system (and ideally world) set in a primarily Science Fiction setting.

I've got a lot of experience with World of Darkness games which I like and the standard D&D stuff. Just wondering if anyone out there has found anything interesting they like playing.

Ideally I'm after a fast fun system that is set in a space or high-sci-fi setting.

I've heard that Paranoia is quite good.

so dungeons and dragons, but sci-fi?
does such a thing exist?

Greyfox105:
so dungeons and dragons, but sci-fi?
does such a thing exist?

d20 Future, Star Wars d20, Twilight 2000

eatenbyagrue:

Greyfox105:
so dungeons and dragons, but sci-fi?
does such a thing exist?

d20 Future, Star Wars d20, Twilight 2000

what's with the d20s?
dammit, why is my field of knowledge so limited?!!
Damn You Vader!

rossatdi:
I'm looking for suggestions for a pen & paper RPG system (and ideally world) set in a primarily Science Fiction setting.

I've got a lot of experience with World of Darkness games which I like and the standard D&D stuff. Just wondering if anyone out there has found anything interesting they like playing.

Ideally I'm after a fast fun system that is set in a space or high-sci-fi setting.

Paranoia's fun if you find getting killed... a LOT, ya know, entertaining (and it is).

My favorite would be Shadow Run. It's a fairly simple dice system (d6 only, the better you are, the more d6 you get for a roll), it's got a fun combat system, and a really sweet setting and story.

Serenity's a good one too, but ShadowRun is by far my favorite.

Oh, yeah, and there are the d20 systems, which are fairly easy to smash together to form what you want. (d20 Past, Modern, Future, Apocalypse, etc).

Paranoia sounds hilarious. My group loves back stabbing.

Koeryn:

Oh, yeah, and there are the d20 systems, which are fairly easy to smash together to form what you want. (d20 Past, Modern, Future, Apocalypse, etc).

Get ready to do a lot of work if you want to do something historically accurate though. I had to spend two months researching and writing up charts and tables for World War II-era weapons for a Wolfenstein-esque campaign I was running for my group.

Paranoia would definitely be the best one I've stumbled across. Shadowrun, GURPS and Dark Heresy would be the other ones (and probably more of what you're looking for in standard sci fi) but Paranoia has a unique charm in it, encouraging (and working surprisingly well with, unlike most settings) frivolous character deaths, party backstabbing, and contradictory information.

The classic first challenge in the game is surviving to get to the briefing room without being executed for treason. (It's all right, you start with a six-pack of clones.)

Dark Heresy a WH40K game is pretty good. I condense a lot of the skills though. It's kind of like the D20 but a little more complex. It takes a few sessions to get the swing of it but soon you'll be fighting the mutant, heretic and alien in no time.

I always had a ton of fun playing Rifts! Futuristic dystopian games are just fantastic.

ace_of_something:
Dark Heresy a WH40K game is pretty good. I condense a lot of the skills though. It's kind of like the D20 but a little more complex. It takes a few sessions to get the swing of it but soon you'll be fighting the mutant, heretic and alien in no time.

Heard of this but my history with GW is one of varied tolerance. Half the group loves and half is indifferent to the 40k fluff so leaving that one.

Baby Tea:
I always had a ton of fun playing Rifts! Futuristic dystopian games are just fantastic.

Played Rifts many a year ago. Couldn't gimme a blurb on its settings a style could you?

I remember playing "Hunter: The Reckoning" before it came out on the xbox a while back. I think back before the video game it was called World of Darkness. Not so much Sci as there is the Fi part of it.

I miss that game...

Cyberpunk 2020 is about the closest I've come to sci-fi, if you discount Dark Heresey (the 40K RPG). It's pretty old now but is my fave RPG of all time.

Cyberpunk V3 is much closer to actual sci fi but I couldn't recommend it in any way.

Also the D20 systems, though I never liked them much.

RTG did a Bubblegum Crisis RPG with a few sourcebooks, that's fairly sci fi if you can stomach all the anime illustrations.

The Aliens RPG is pretty hard to get hold of now but it is full on sci fi, very clunky though, based on phoenix command IIRC.

...Duh! how could I forget the big daddy: Traveller http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Traveller_(role-playing_game). It's a bit dated now but there's a new edition in the wings I hear.

rossatdi:

ace_of_something:
Dark Heresy a WH40K game is pretty good. I condense a lot of the skills though. It's kind of like the D20 but a little more complex. It takes a few sessions to get the swing of it but soon you'll be fighting the mutant, heretic and alien in no time.

Heard of this but my history with GW is one of varied tolerance. Half the group loves and half is indifferent to the 40k fluff so leaving that one.

DH is made by fantasy flight a leader in boardgames (they made Arkham Horror!) The game has a leveling tree system so you start with a type of inquisitor like say a gaurdsmen after some levels you can spend your points to be more about small arms or to become more of a sniper or to mix it up and become kind of psychic. It's got a puply feel as you play as inquistors (in the base game) and are doing something akin to detective work and of course slaughter of heretics. The skill system is my big complaint having something like 45+ skills. I found many an online resource for condensing it down to like 20

Well, if we're listing off all the sci fi RPGs... World of Synnibarr. Though it would only be considered "best" if your definition of sci fi required fighting grizzly bear with laser eyes and giant mutant fire clams with Midnight Sunstone Bazookas in the midst of werestorms and very confusing rules.

It's worth gaping speechlessly at, though.

Mezzamine:
I've heard that Paranoia is quite good.

its awesome fun.ive run a game. one scenario.. 8 players.. 6 clones each.. by the end of the adventure one player was left standing with 3 clones left

amazing how quickly it can turn in to a slaughterfest with backstabbing haha

i love cyberpunk 2020 myself but my group was mainly into shadowrun.. played from 1st edition to the start of 3rd.. i liked the system myself interesting mix

sigh i miss tabletop gaming

rossatdi:

Baby Tea:
I always had a ton of fun playing Rifts! Futuristic dystopian games are just fantastic.

Played Rifts many a year ago. Couldn't gimme a blurb on its settings a style could you?

Oh basically the world was nearly destroyed by a bunch of atomic bombs going off, which caused the ley-lines to flair up and magic and mutations started happening all over the place. So it's in the future, you've got mutants, magic, and laser weaponry all over the place. What was once the USA is now mostly (Though not entirely) controlled by the 'Coalition' who hate anything non-human, and the rest of the world is a crap-shoot (I never got into a lot of the world-books, so I can't help too much in that regard).

The game is played with using a D20 and percentile dice to decide most things. Percentile is mostly for skills, and D20s for all things combat (Except for damage, which uses everything from D4s to D6s to D8s and D12s). Players can get rather over powered with equipment pretty quick, though, so it takes a good DM (Or GM) to really ease players into conflicts and the game as a whole.

Fun game though.

Well does one even exist ?? I mean that would be actually pretty cool :) Hey if someone finds one only pm me :D

obliterate:
Well does one even exist ?? I mean that would be actually pretty cool :) Hey if someone finds one only pm me :D

Hey! That's not fair!

rossatdi:

obliterate:
Well does one even exist ?? I mean that would be actually pretty cool :) Hey if someone finds one only pm me :D

Hey! That's not fair!

wait what did I do :D no seriously if there is such a thing it would be totally bad ass

Fading Suns. It has a rich setting, a dedicated community, great diversity and is quite fun.

Greyfox105:
so dungeons and dragons, but sci-fi?
does such a thing exist?

Space Dungeons & Space Dragons.

Play it while drinking your favorite space beverage and eating you favorite space snacks all while in your space parents space basement. Don't forget your space dice.

CorvinBlack:
Fading Suns. It has a rich setting, a dedicated community, great diversity and is quite fun.

Wow, that sounds ideal. Good thought!

obliterate:
Looks like someone came through for us!

Whoooohooooo we found a RPG...party at rossatdi's house :D

obliterate:
Whoooohooooo we found a RPG...party at rossatdi's house :D

I'm afraid Bulgaria is a little far from our normal sessions in Bristol!

SLA Industries.....if u can find it imagine an entire world covered by a city its allways raining its very Blade Runner, Humans are just one of the characters playable, Neon signs, designer drugs, an all powerfull company controlling everything and you trying to get somewhere in the world and be noticed, while the world couldn care less......needless to say its really fun.

Shadowrun and Fading Suns are by far my favorites. It you like WoD games you might like Fading Suns as it was developed by Andrew Greenburg, one of the original White Wolf guys. Starwars D20 is a solid third.

rossatdi:

CorvinBlack:
Fading Suns. It has a rich setting, a dedicated community, great diversity and is quite fun.

Wow, that sounds ideal. Good thought!

obliterate:
Looks like someone came through for us!

Well, have fun then. Mail me if you need any advice.

Mezzamine:
I've heard that Paranoia is quite good.

Paranoia is awesome, IF you like dark comedy sci-fi. Everyone starts with a set amount of clones. The penalty for just about everything is death, and just about everything is illegal. For example, everyone gets a mutant ability when they start and unregistered mutant abilities are illegal and punishable by death. If you register your mutant ability, you gain another unregistered mutant ability (aka you will always have an unregistered mutant ability, which is punishable by death). This is the kind of logic you will be playing under. It is the only RPG I know of where its FAR more fun to be the GM than a player. It is also the only RPG I know of where it is not only common but acceptable to backstab and or intentionally-accidentally kill your groupmates.

If you're looking for less humor and more realism, I used to LOVE the Cyberpunk RPG. It's based mostly off of William Gibson's novels but you can adapt it to any Bladerunner style dystopian world.

Sci-Fi Munchkin!

Well there's a Serenity RPG out there if you're a fan of that. It's not a bad system either if you've got a GM with some imagination.

 

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