Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Starblazer Adventures by Chris Birch & Stuart Newman with David Donachie & Douglas Nicol

NOTE: Starblazer Adventures was a free review copy provided to Luke Reviews by Cubicle Seven Entertainment.

In an effort to explore deeper into the genre, I took a look at the roleplaying game 3:16: Carnage Amongst the Stars. I wanted to keep that up by taking another look into science fiction roleplaying, with Starblazer Adventures, based on the British space opera comic.

In the future, humans are reaching out into the stars, finding intrigue, exotics, war, and greed. Flying through space, adventure is everywhere in a large universe full of planets, aliens, and dangers.

Starblazer Adventures is a huge book. At first glance, it can seem daunting. But when you dig into it, it is proven otherwise. The first 30 pages give you enough information to start throwing together an adventure to explore the cosmos. So what do the other 700 pages contain? All of the detail that turns this into an incredible setting worth having adventures in. The basic rules are given expansions, more fully fleshed out, but even more importantly the setting comes alive.

Starblazer Adventures isn’t overburdened with a complex rules system, but uses the FATE system seen in games such as Spirit of the Century. The system allows for more storytelling and less number crunching. However, each of the simple items you use to play are given huge amounts of potential and adaptability. Huge chapters detail attributes and skills your character can have, with amazing variety, and plenty of description that gives you an idea of just how far you might push your new traits. Small rules variations are given so you can control not just a player, but a spaceship, or even an entire space-faring system. Hosts of planets, each with detail on a large array of features, coupled with a large assortment of aliens and humans, spaceships, machines, traps and androids, give this one huge play potential.

The beauty of Starblazer Adventures is that with just this one book, you are given enormous information to set up and play. It would take years to play out all of the material contained within. Set up both for those who want to create their own settings and for those who want to use the hundreds provided, this system is perfect for gamers of all types. No supplements are needed, and very little looking up of rules during gameplay. For the price, you will be hard-pressed to find a book that gives you as much quantity and quality. There are very few new systems that are as self-contained yet adaptable as Starblazer Adventures. If you can only get one game book this year, make it this one.


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