Friday, 16 February 2018

Some SF Game Books I Endorse

I just saw the GDW Traveller stuff on Drivethru RPG. As a gamer who had lots of traveller and GDW stuff I thought I would have a look at some of my favorite products you can use in SF gaming and a few other things I recommend. Im impressed they include the licenced traveller FASA gear among the traveller stuff and Journal magazine.

Also a traveller bundle of holding right now with the vampire fleet book.

I am very tempted by the Star Frontiers Hardcovers but no way can i afford anything that fancy. The two star frontiers magazines are amazing. I like solo or one on one play with Star frontiers doing vehicle chases and space battles. Dragon did some great stuff too. Ares Magazine #16 Special had great Gammaworld and Star Frontiers articles I used for years including Psionics and System generation. Frontier Space RPG is pretty nice looking too.

Art is one of the things that sells me on SF games. I don't want a setting as wacky as starwars or as rigid or as high tech as Star Trek (sorry). I like space opera and I am influenced a bit by Anime. I liked the Mekton RPG. I probably use cyberpunk stuff a fair bit too - i like Cyberpunk 2020 and Cyberspace RPGs for ideas but wouldn't play either.

Patreon is affording me some prezzies monthly which has been nice to grab some GURPS gear. Will do a post on AI theme stuff resources too as my Psychon game has me doing lots of research on this.

Ringworld by Chaosium is one of my favorite RPGs ever. Ive enjoyed the Cthulhu SF monographs too. Hellas is pretty interesting too. 2300AD second ed box set is amazing - shame new editions couldn't keep the old art which was some of the best in gaming. The 2300 vehicle and equipment guides are must have for lower tech stuff pre anti gravity. Had great races and Kafer and Pentapods I use in my setting. Dark conspiracy was pretty nice game too with good cyberpunk and horror elements.

40K and Eclipse Phase has lots of good ideas to plunder.

I did like Spaceships and Spacemen and Buck Rogers (interior art let down for me) for a d20/DnD approach and I have several others as PDF. Was pretty easy to build my own system like this.

So a few traveller items I really like...

76 Patrons

I used this to adlib and roll encounters for years. This and RQ3 cities book inspired my whole aproach to gaming and my blog. Lots of random adventures and troublesome stuff for adventurers hard up for cash in space stations.

FASA Skyraiders Series
This trilogy has what I like most In SF gaming - Archaeology. These could be good for Space Cthulhu or Metamorphosis Alpha. The third book had geomorphs for huge space complexes I used again and again. The first few deal with crooks and finding a wreck. The third is a asteroid base with multiple habitats so possibly good  for Metamorphosis Alpha too. The FASA stuff was pretty good and glad to see it here.

Prison Planet
A pretty handy book with lots of uses in games and a good springboard for ideas.

Mostly cool because it features a huge ship and some exploration based adventure

Vampire Fleets- The Virus Sourcebook
This book deals with rogue AI ships some which conquer systems and even fight each other. Its a great way to expand on factions in a SF game and with some robot troops could be interesting. There is a robot book for $2 too.


This was the version I mostly got. The Rebellion sourcebook and COAC I did enjoy but possibly because I'm a aircraft nerd as well. The Rebellion book went through the various factions of the shattered imperium which is interesting and has some good details or vehicles and personal armour.

Several books in the line were not in the GDW lists on drive thru but were frankly superior and denser, more like the better 2300 line. Digest Group Publications did these. Kind of a tragedy what happened to the company and amazing products. Oddly I kept all my digest group megatraveller stuff.

101 Vehicles - just what it sez. I use the 2300 vehicles for pre anti grav and this for post anti grav

World Builders Handbook - great guide for exploration with ship, ship boats, equipment, planet generation with great art.

Alien Vol 1 and 2 - First was Vilani & Vargr then Solmani & Aslan. Dense with content, history and art. Sample robots and vehicles was nice too.
 These two books made Aslan and Vargr more convincing for me.As they never did more I would have liked to have seen say a Zhodani & Hiver Book. Aliens of the Rim a later product might be handy. I use Hivers in my setting. 

The Flaming Eye - a campaign sourcebook, very dense in content great at. I managed to use it in my setting. Lots of system maps and a great asteroid pirate base which I re used many times.

Starship Operators Manual - goes into incredible detail on operating ships in the traveller universe. Great deck plans for a Beowulf trader I used as a player ship and good detail on in system travel.

Other Stuff
Palladium 3 Mechanoids books I loved as a kid, great evil alien race. As I got older the art exited me less. Lots of mechanoid types, robots, construction machines, a mothership the size of Nth america and some base maps. A superhero game could use them. Part of the Rifts setting now I think.

Cthonian Stars, several versions of this game around on i think using mongoose traveller which was pretty complete and I think under the name the Void. One of these publishers which includes fiction I find utterly uninteresting. Has good Mythos in space content and the Ships are fantastic with great deck plans.

Cthulhutech, has great art and love some of the bio mecha and various types of mechs, especialy ones built by non humans. Robotech meets cthulhu a pretty good description. Good mythos ideas anyway.

Cthulhu Rising, chaosium monograph but most is online easily accessible. Gritty SF with the mythos and using COC RPG rules.

Eldrich Skies
is pretty amazing for SF Cthulhu and rich in ideas. I cant summarize it briefly but it does interesting things with the mythos and has some good planets and history. Has a sourcebook and editions with several game systems but I only use three game systems anyway (DnD, BRP, TSR Marvel)

Cyberspace is the ICE cyberpunk RPG. Great setting. Has judge dredd type humour and weirdness and parody missing in other settings despite Robocop and Running man and Max Headroom being pioneers of the genre. The Death Valley Free Prison Sourcebook is freaking one of the best RPG books ever. I plan to re obtain the rulebook and the Chicago books.

GURPSSpace - great DIY SF universe builders book. I have 1st ed so cant comment on more recent versions. (I dont like later versions of the horror book sorry Ken). i have a buch of these coming in soon.

Reign of Steel - i love this book. AIs took over the world. Each AI has different taste and attitudes to humans and life and space travel. Would be a good campaign as is or a good alternate reality for a supers game, or a history for a SF setting. One of my top ten GURPS books.

Cyberpunk/Cyberworld - famous book and the setting book
Cthulhu Punk was a disappointment and added very little to either genre

Alpha Centauri - based on the computer game and a pretty good planet you could drop in various settings even a Cthulu in space game. Great factions on the planet.

Gurps Ogre - giant AI tanks, battlesuits and nuclear munitions for PC

Ultra Tech and Biotech - soooo gooood for tech

Humanx - a great setting about man and bug BFF forever, i just regot after selling in the late 80s(?). Some good aliens and tech.

Uplift - a great setting for uplifted animal races and exotic aliens and variations of tech. Another one I just recently reclaimed.

I have several of the GURPS start trek books I got cheap so might get some more

Autoduel - one of my faves and a big influence on my games. I used this for outside the cities in my cyberpunk games and never looked back. Has some humour too.

Space Atlas vol 1-4, pretty good for a traveller type universe, 
probably will get again

Aliens - pretty interesting, I like the tree men, 
probably will get again

Space Biestry - probably will get again

A few others I would like Transhuman space


  1. I'm not familiar with the Death Valley Free Prison Sourcebook. What's so great about it? I don't have any of them but what don't you like about later editions of the GURPS Horror books? That is, what's better about the earlier editions?

    1. DVFP is a huge fenced off prison - cross between mad max and escape from new york

      they ditched the occupation tables in later editions one of the best things about gurps

      i dont like the way they divided the book and monsters and sub genres up

      1st to 3rd ed are the bet i don't really like current gurps design or priorities or art, i prefer the old monthly setting books

      i guess i also dislike all new editions with full colour to be fair - dnd, coc, gurps - id prefer a text book to a coffee table book

  2. Ever read the Traveller K'kree alien book? Have not read it in yeafrs myself but as I recall they were plausibly alien in anatomy, psychology, and society.

    1. Kree are interesting and the race in the Banks culture novels a bit like them

      I guess most of my aliens are modified humans originally so the real aliens are insectoids or wierd like pentapods and hiver. I like Kafer and their goblinoid slave race and some from the star frontiers races Vrusk, Zuraquaor, Sathar, saurians.

      K'Kree were pretty interesting and jerks so would be usable for me. Larry Niven did wierd aliens too. At least Kzin are not just cat men, the closer you look the stranger they are


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