I’ve recently finished reading two very different systems dealing with the science fiction genre. The first was Harp SF, a…
I’ve recently finished reading two very different systems dealing with the science fiction genre. The first was Harp SF, a very dense, very simulationist game. I’ll be reviewing that one, soon. The other was the Savage Worlds Science Fiction Companion and, as you might guess if you know Savage Worlds, it was far less dense and far more focused on having fun than on getting every detail right. As happens often with Savage Worlds, I was left with a mild feeling of incompleteness when I finished the book yet also felt like I’d been given exactly the right amount of information and rules.
If you’ve read any of the three previous Savage World’s Companions, the format of this one will be very familiar. It starts with player character information, including ways to create player character races and a few races that are appropriate to the sci-fi genre using those rules. One of the most interesting of these examples is the insect aliens, who have both the mute and outsiders hindrances built into them. This combination seems rife for roleplaying opportunities for someone playing one in a mixed group. Another interesting choice are the Deaders which are sentient space zombies using the classic sci fi genre trope of space slugs controlling humanoid corpses. There is also a short section of both edges and hindrances specific both to the genre and to the rules presented later in the book.
Also for the benefit of the players is a pretty extensive list of high tech equipment with everything from stealth suits to cyber decks. The largest portion by far is the weapons section. Rules for almost any high tech weapon a person could want from vibro blades to rail guns is included and, just as large as the personal weapon section is the vehicle based weapons. Exactly how these can be used is unclear at first but becomes important later in the book.