5E Sci-Fi versions?

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Re: 5E Sci-Fi versions?

Postby Dread Delgath » Thu Sep 14, 2017 4:52 am

Dread Delgath wrote:I also agree that 5e isn't 'granular' enough for science fiction, and I think that is a good thing. I like my D&D to be less granular and a little more quick - because my medieval fantasy imagination is always in overdrive, and I can always fill in the blanks - and I like my D&D to have plenty of blank space. Sci-fi needs to have more defined niches, as it is SCIENCE FICTION after all. The science needs to be there to back up the fiction. Fantasy never needed science to back up the fiction "because magic". :lol:


:cool: Before I go any farther, I want you to know that I am an affirmed rules minimalist. I am completely fine with any RPG that doesn't have skills, feats, or endless, stackable bonuses; "player agency" is all about the players asking the right questions not rolling Perception every time they ask "what do I see?" nor is it piling on extra abilities every level, and "balanced game" means giving players the chance to retreat - even if they don't take it. ;)

Dragonhelm wrote:Do you think that 5e would be good for science fantasy (i.e. Dragonstar, Starfinder, Star Wars)?


I bought Starfinder last week and I haven't finished giving it a good skim, I like it a lot. It is granular enough to satisfy my sci-fi/fan needs; it has a wide variety of character types via races, classes and themes (not backgrounds like 5e has), and the equipment section is like something out of MegaTraveller, with all the weapons books from all GDW sourcebooks combined, starship combat seems detailed like Traveller, but simple enough to run like Star Frontiers Knight Hawks. The campaign setting focuses on the Golarian Star System - which I like very much, and that is reminiscent of Buck Rogers XXVc. I hope Starfinder does a campaign book on each planet and the major space stations.

Dragonhelm wrote:Personally, I think that 5e would work just fine for sci-fi or science fantasy. It's just a matter of how much detail you want, and whether you're going for realism or for cinematic.


Another plus with Starfinder: I don't have to convert 5e to a sci-fi/fan game. I don't see the appeal for anyone doing it now: just buy Starfinder instead and save yourself the trouble? Maybe I'm the only one who thinks this way and has far too much to do not to have the time to do a proper conversion? :?

Dragonhelm wrote:Also, for the record, I enjoyed the Expanded Psionics Handbook. ;)


I can't say anything about this, since I don't have it, I don't know who did it, and what format is it available in? Did it cost anything? I only ask about the price because I'm a f***ing cheapskate because... Real Life. :oops: :?

About psionics: I have the UA "Mystic" class, along with all the associated disciplines and talents described, and I haven't read much of it yet - but what I have read is a pretty good treatment of what psionics was supposed to be in AD&D1e and AD&D2e, but kept getting farther and farther away from the original design in 0 edition D&D.

I like the philosophy of 5e so far, and that is: "This is the 5e rules. There won't be any more rules added later." Or, at least I think that summarizes WotC's stance when the 3 core books were released, and, to their credit - they have not released any more rules (EDIT: Okay, I think UA psionics might be "new" rules...). They've expanded races, classes, spells, magic items, monsters and feats - and done so without upsetting the rules they already have in place. This is a system with a good, wide, solid base from which to build on.

Is it missing a few things like name-level characters building strongholds and mass combat? Yes, but I can whip out "Wilderness & Underworld Adventures" (0e book 3) and the original Chainmail combat system use those rules. I don't need 5e to do those for me. :cool:

If 5e tackled some sci-fi/fan elements, they'd probably do it best via old adventure modules like "Temple of the Frog", "Expedition to the Barrier Peaks" and "City of the Gods". These are adventures that use the rules without adding major rule components to the set on the whole. Yes, they introduced new equipment, but there are no new rules for energy ranged weapons, space powerz (The Force, mutations, psionics (wait... nevermind... I already admitted that I think UA psionics are "new rules"...) etc.), nor are there new skills or feats, although, if the adventure is going to be a major setting for awhile in the campaign, then some downtime could be used to learn how high tech equipment works. :)
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Re: 5E Sci-Fi versions?

Postby Dragonhelm » Thu Sep 14, 2017 10:15 pm

Dread Delgath wrote:Another plus with Starfinder: I don't have to convert 5e to a sci-fi/fan game. I don't see the appeal for anyone doing it now: just buy Starfinder instead and save yourself the trouble? Maybe I'm the only one who thinks this way and has far too much to do not to have the time to do a proper conversion? :?


I tend to agree. I'm busy enough these days that I don't have time to reinvent the wheel. It's science fantasy based on the d20 rules. Good enough for me. :)

I can't say anything about this, since I don't have it, I don't know who did it, and what format is it available in? Did it cost anything? I only ask about the price because I'm a f***ing cheapskate because... Real Life. :oops: :?


It was a D&D 3.5 book written by Bruce Cordell. I enjoyed that book and the 3rd party psionic books he did for Malhavoc Press.

Expanded Psionics Handbook

About psionics: I have the UA "Mystic" class, along with all the associated disciplines and talents described, and I haven't read much of it yet - but what I have read is a pretty good treatment of what psionics was supposed to be in AD&D1e and AD&D2e, but kept getting farther and farther away from the original design in 0 edition D&D.


I like the mystic quite a bit too. It's like they rebuilt psionics from the ground up and kept it much more fantasy-like. Not sure how I feel about the wu jen being combined into it.
Last edited by Dragonhelm on Mon Sep 18, 2017 5:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 5E Sci-Fi versions?

Postby timemrick » Fri Sep 15, 2017 1:14 am

Dread Delgath wrote:I like the philosophy of 5e so far, and that is: "This is the 5e rules. There won't be any more rules added later." Or, at least I think that summarizes WotC's stance when the 3 core books were released, and, to their credit - they have not released any more rules (EDIT: Okay, I think UA psionics might be "new" rules...). They've expanded races, classes, spells, magic items, monsters and feats - and done so without upsetting the rules they already have in place. This is a system with a good, wide, solid base from which to build on.

(Emphasis mine.) The UA mystic class is "new rules" in that it is a new base class rather than a subclass, but it doesn't seem to be any more complicated or game-changing than, say, the special rules that warlocks use compared to "traditional" spellcasters.

The gith races in this week's UA have some innate psionic abilities, but they're treated just like other racial spells; in fact, it's exactly the same progression as the tiefling's (a cantrip at 1st level, a spell once a day at 3rd, and a second spell once a day at 5th, all specific to each subrace).

To me, the one thing still needed to "complete" the full range of psionics is some kind of option for wild talents. That would probably be best handled as a feat, but I'm not sure how to extract appropriate options from the mystic rules. On the other hand, with appropriately psychic-flavored spell choices, the Magic Initiate feat would be perfect as written.
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Re: 5E Sci-Fi versions?

Postby enderxenocide0 » Fri Sep 15, 2017 8:06 pm

Dragonhelm wrote:
Dread Delgath wrote:Another plus with Starfinder: I don't have to convert 5e to a sci-fi/fan game. I don't see the appeal for anyone doing it now: just buy Starfinder instead and save yourself the trouble? Maybe I'm the only one who thinks this way and has far too much to do not to have the time to do a proper conversion? :?


I tend to agree. I'm busy enough these days that I don't have time to reinvent the wheel. It's science fantasy based on the d20 rules. Good enough for me. :)

The problem is that 3.X and 5E are almost wildly different in design philosophy. If you play 5E and like the fact there's little to no fiddly math... then Starfinder isn't going to be a fun experience for you. The sytems are intended for different playstyles. If all that matters to you is roll a d20 and there are classes, then that's great. But for others that prefer how 5E handles to how Pathfinder handles, we can't simply pick up Starfinder and be good to go.
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Re: 5E Sci-Fi versions?

Postby Dread Delgath » Sat Sep 16, 2017 2:06 am

enderxenocide0 wrote:The problem is that 3.X and 5E are almost wildly different in design philosophy. If you play 5E and like the fact there's little to no fiddly math... then Starfinder isn't going to be a fun experience for you. The sytems are intended for different playstyles. If all that matters to you is roll a d20 and there are classes, then that's great. But for others that prefer how 5E handles to how Pathfinder handles, we can't simply pick up Starfinder and be good to go.


Don't assume that I dislike one system and prefer another system because of maths. I'm not too worried about the learning curve. I math well enough to create accurate starships to match volume to 1.5 meter per square deckplans from scratch with original Traveller rules, I think I can handle Pathfinder and most post-THAC0 maths. :lol:

Besides, I've said that I prefer my D&D simpler than my sci-fi/fan, either in this thread or some other. In fact, my D&D doesn't have to have skills or feats at all, and I'm happy as a pig in mud.

But skills & feats, via "career path", or what-have-you for sci-fi/fan? It is a necessity for my gaming needs. This boils down to how I view characters in each genre. Fantasy characters are always archetypes, while sci-fi/fan characters tend to have a better, well-rounded skill set - more jack-of-all-trades vibe to them.

My only gripe about Alternity (how many remember that game system?) was that after all the maths, everyone still needed to roll the same number to hit a target or succeed in any/every skill. :roll: It wasn't granular enough. Might as well been rolling d6's for everything because d6's bounce better than d10's on a superior table surface. :twisted:
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Re: 5E Sci-Fi versions?

Postby RobJN » Sat Sep 16, 2017 9:10 am

Dread Delgath wrote:My only gripe about Alternity (how many remember that game system?) was that after all the maths, everyone still needed to roll the same number to hit a target or succeed in any/every skill. :roll: It wasn't granular enough. Might as well been rolling d6's for everything because d6's bounce better than d10's on a superior table surface. :twisted:

Every RPG could be boiled down to that, d20 system included.

But it isn't the same number for everyone, or if it is, they didn't necessarily get there the same way. You don't get your "to hit" and saving throw numbers off an arbitrarily numbered, pre-made chart. The choices you make in distributing ability scores and skill points directly impact those numbers. Numbers which don't change (much, see Achievements, Chapter 8 of the PHB), and keep the rolls from escalating to ridiculous levels. (C'mon, AC 45? +20 BAB? Really? Why bother rolling?)

And Alternity doesn't even use the d10 :P (except, for, like ONE thing that's not related to the core mechanic). The mechanic itself can be plenty granular, but -- like with any system -- that comes at the expense of speed of play and flow of the scene at the table.

Sure, go ahead and try to hit that guy lying prone (+2), at long range (+1), on a night with no moon (+2), after having taken that rifle round that just broke three ribs and punctured a lung(+2)

Hero: "But, I've got a scope that gives me a -1 step bonus!"
:facepalm:
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Re: 5E Sci-Fi versions?

Postby enderxenocide0 » Sat Sep 16, 2017 1:14 pm

Dread Delgath wrote:
enderxenocide0 wrote:The problem is that 3.X and 5E are almost wildly different in design philosophy. If you play 5E and like the fact there's little to no fiddly math... then Starfinder isn't going to be a fun experience for you. The sytems are intended for different playstyles. If all that matters to you is roll a d20 and there are classes, then that's great. But for others that prefer how 5E handles to how Pathfinder handles, we can't simply pick up Starfinder and be good to go.


Don't assume that I dislike one system and prefer another system because of maths. I'm not too worried about the learning curve. I math well enough to create accurate starships to match volume to 1.5 meter per square deckplans from scratch with original Traveller rules, I think I can handle Pathfinder and most post-THAC0 maths. :lol:

Besides, I've said that I prefer my D&D simpler than my sci-fi/fan, either in this thread or some other. In fact, my D&D doesn't have to have skills or feats at all, and I'm happy as a pig in mud.

But skills & feats, via "career path", or what-have-you for sci-fi/fan? It is a necessity for my gaming needs. This boils down to how I view characters in each genre. Fantasy characters are always archetypes, while sci-fi/fan characters tend to have a better, well-rounded skill set - more jack-of-all-trades vibe to them.

My only gripe about Alternity (how many remember that game system?) was that after all the maths, everyone still needed to roll the same number to hit a target or succeed in any/every skill. :roll: It wasn't granular enough. Might as well been rolling d6's for everything because d6's bounce better than d10's on a superior table surface. :twisted:

No no, you misunderstand. I'm not definitively saying anything about what you, specifically, like or dislike. My "you" is the generic you. What I am directly commenting on was this part of your quote: "I don't see the appeal for anyone doing it now: just buy Starfinder instead and save yourself the trouble?" I'm saying that you, specifically, may not see the appeal for it, but many others prefer 5E's design to 3.X. Math is only one of the reasons I've moved on to 5E. I'm merely indicating why others, myself included, can't simply pick up Starfinder and be happy.
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Re: 5E Sci-Fi versions?

Postby Dread Delgath » Sat Sep 16, 2017 6:21 pm

enderxenocide0 wrote:No no, you misunderstand. I'm not definitively saying anything about what you, specifically, like or dislike. My "you" is the generic you. What I am directly commenting on was this part of your quote: "I don't see the appeal for anyone doing it now: just buy Starfinder instead and save yourself the trouble?" I'm saying that you, specifically, may not see the appeal for it, but many others prefer 5E's design to 3.X. Math is only one of the reasons I've moved on to 5E. I'm merely indicating why others, myself included, can't simply pick up Starfinder and be happy.


:oops: I apologize. I don't mean to put you on the spot like that, and reading my own post back makes me sound indignant at worst, and preachy at best! :oops:

But I get it that math is a reason for some, and it is a mechanical thing. For me specifically I look at rules as what the end result will be in terms of feel & flavor. A broad choice of skills and feats that allows magic-us.... ahem spellcasters to fight in melee with two weapon attacks per round at 5th level is anathema to archetype characters. :shock: (I am exaggerating to show my incredulousness of skills & feats in D&D in general...)

And I've seen vigorous arguments promoting why spellcasters NEED to be great at front rank melee fighting, or there is no reason to play the class at all.

HOWEVER, I see this as a bonus to archetypes and classes in a science fiction setting. It is the absence of archetypes that makes science fiction much more palatable (to me).

RobJN wrote:
Dread Delgath wrote:My only gripe about Alternity (how many remember that game system?) was that after all the maths, everyone still needed to roll the same number to hit a target or succeed in any/every skill. :roll: It wasn't granular enough. Might as well been rolling d6's for everything because d6's bounce better than d10's on a superior table surface. :twisted:

Every RPG could be boiled down to that, d20 system included.

But it isn't the same number for everyone, or if it is, they didn't necessarily get there the same way. You don't get your "to hit" and saving throw numbers off an arbitrarily numbered, pre-made chart. The choices you make in distributing ability scores and skill points directly impact those numbers. Numbers which don't change (much, see Achievements, Chapter 8 of the PHB), and keep the rolls from escalating to ridiculous levels. (C'mon, AC 45? +20 BAB? Really? Why bother rolling?)

And Alternity doesn't even use the d10 :P (except, for, like ONE thing that's not related to the core mechanic). The mechanic itself can be plenty granular, but -- like with any system -- that comes at the expense of speed of play and flow of the scene at the table.

Sure, go ahead and try to hit that guy lying prone (+2), at long range (+1), on a night with no moon (+2), after having taken that rifle round that just broke three ribs and punctured a lung(+2)

Hero: "But, I've got a scope that gives me a -1 step bonus!"
:facepalm:


:lol: Its been nearly 20 years since I played Alternity, and that was in a PBeM game on Yahoogroups! My memory of how the system actually works is very rusty, but one thing that I do remember is that nearly every character I rolled up, from a scale of what... 4 to 16, all of my characters wound up with a "10" in nearly everything - ability scores AND all the skill scores wound up the same too. Yes, they all arrived at those scores because of different reasons, but it really came across as bland when all of your attributes are 10 and all of your skills are what... 4? Is 4 a common number for ALL skills?

Why bother having skills at all? <= ...and that was the question that made me gripe about Alternity.

...and the step dice... (Reminds me of a joke: Q: Is that your ladder? A: Well, its not my real ladder. Its my step-ladder.) B'dum tish! :| ....crickets chirping... :facepalm:

Otherwise, I loved the setting, and I can see me breaking out "The Lighthouse" and other sourcebooks from Alternity to use in Starfinder. :cool:
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Re: 5E Sci-Fi versions?

Postby RobJN » Sat Sep 16, 2017 6:59 pm

Dread Delgath wrote: :lol: Its been nearly 20 years since I played Alternity, and that was in a PBeM game on Yahoogroups! My memory of how the system actually works is very rusty, but one thing that I do remember is that nearly every character I rolled up, from a scale of what... 4 to 16, all of my characters wound up with a "10" in nearly everything - ability scores AND all the skill scores wound up the same too. Yes, they all arrived at those scores because of different reasons, but it really came across as bland when all of your attributes are 10 and all of your skills are what... 4? Is 4 a common number for ALL skills?

Why bother having skills at all? <= ...and that was the question that made me gripe about Alternity.

When all of your stats are 10s and you buy three ranks of a few skills, yeah, it's going to be bland. But most of the careers have a minimum of 11 in at least one stat.... But I digress!

I'm running a play by post powered by Alternity over at the Comeback Inn, and the players' scores are all over the place. One guy is a beast in hand-to-hand combat... but a 16 STR with four ranks of Melee- power martial arts will do that for ya ;)

...and the step dice... (Reminds me of a joke: Q: Is that your ladder? A: Well, its not my real ladder. Its my step-ladder.) B'dum tish! :| ....crickets chirping... :facepalm:

Step dice I like. Ladder jokes? Not so much.... :P
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Re: 5E Sci-Fi versions?

Postby willpell » Thu Sep 21, 2017 7:18 pm

enderxenocide0 wrote:Math is only one of the reasons I've moved on to 5E.


Rrrr? is curious
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Re: 5E Sci-Fi versions?

Postby Dragonhelm » Mon Sep 25, 2017 4:55 am

enderxenocide0 wrote: The problem is that 3.X and 5E are almost wildly different in design philosophy. If you play 5E and like the fact there's little to no fiddly math... then Starfinder isn't going to be a fun experience for you. The sytems are intended for different playstyles. If all that matters to you is roll a d20 and there are classes, then that's great. But for others that prefer how 5E handles to how Pathfinder handles, we can't simply pick up Starfinder and be good to go.


Hrm, good point. That's something to think about.
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Re: 5E Sci-Fi versions?

Postby Dread Delgath » Mon Sep 25, 2017 6:52 am

I just found Infinite Future 2.0 on DrivethruRPG:

In 2011 Avalon Games released the first of many genre expansions for the Pathfinder RPG. Infinite Future took the Pathfinder system and rules and applied it to the Sci-Fi genre, allowing game masters and players to explore all the different possible game available within the Sci-Fi setting.

Now in 2017 Avalon has updated this great sci-fi system to include the 5e D&D rules.

Infinite Futures was always meant to be a living system, which would grow in scope, adding more to the genre and allowing players and game masters more and more possible opportunities to explore their favorite games.

With this in mind Avalon Games is happy to release Infinite Future 2.0 for 5e D&D

Now you can explore the wilds of space and battle alien threats, all with the great 5e D&D game engine.


I've downloaded it, but have not looked at it yet!
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Re: 5E Sci-Fi versions?

Postby shesheyan » Mon Sep 25, 2017 1:33 pm

Dread Delgath wrote:I just found Infinite Future 2.0 on DrivethruRPG:

In 2011 Avalon Games released the first of many genre expansions for the Pathfinder RPG. Infinite Future took the Pathfinder system and rules and applied it to the Sci-Fi genre, allowing game masters and players to explore all the different possible game available within the Sci-Fi setting.
Now in 2017 Avalon has updated this great sci-fi system to include the 5e D&D rules.
Infinite Futures was always meant to be a living system, which would grow in scope, adding more to the genre and allowing players and game masters more and more possible opportunities to explore their favorite games.
With this in mind Avalon Games is happy to release Infinite Future 2.0 for 5e D&D
Now you can explore the wilds of space and battle alien threats, all with the great 5e D&D game engine.


I've downloaded it, but have not looked at it yet!


WOW! let us know what you think of it.
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