I'm pissed off. I made a lot of notes about a D&D system science fiction game, even promoted the use of the original TSR Buck Rogers XXVc game that used the AD&D 2nd Edition as a great example of what a D&D-type sci-fi RPG could be. I even messed about with my own version.
Then suddenly Dave 'Grubman' Bezio comes along with 'X-Plorers', the game that asked the question 'What if the fathers of the role playing hobby were more into science fiction than fantasy when they wrote that first set of official rules back in 1974? What if that game was about humans expanding and exploring their universe, instead of delving into deep dungeons to kill monsters to earn treasure?' It was a great game.
Now we have an old-school old-skool D&D inspired game from [S.]ine [N.]omine Publishing, and they've kicked arse on several levels. Here's the blurb:
'Stars Without Number is a retro-inspired science fiction role playing game influenced by the Old School Renaissance. The contents are compatible with most old school clones and are designed to be easily imported to your own favorite gaming system. In addition to a complete pre-made stellar sector, Stars Without Number offers GMs and players the tools to create their own sandbox-style adventures in the far future. * Compatible with most retroclone RPGs * Helps a GM build a sandbox sci-fi game that lets the players leave the plot rails to explore freely * World building resources for creating system-neutral planets and star sectors * 100 adventure seeds and guidelines for integrating them with the worlds you've made * Old-school compatible rules for guns, cyberware, starships, and psionics * Domain rules for experienced characters who want to set up their own colony, psychic academy, mercenary band, or other institution.'
That's brilliant. And the fact that you can download the PDF for FREE is even better! It's what I want to see in a sci-fi game - creativity and an appeal to both current and new gamers. Well done both of these products for putting sci-fi space opera out there and proving that you don't need a convoluted technical system to represent high-tech games. It's good old dungeon bashin' - in spaaaaaace!