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Gamma World
Image courtesy NASA/JPL-Caltech

Science Fiction Games

The writers and players of role playing games largely enjoyed science fiction as much as fantasy. Science fiction also features wondrous worlds and mysterious powers to tinker with. Even without magic (a defining feature of fantasy gaming), science fiction games made do with psychic powers, energy manipulation, and high technology. Traveller, the most well-known science fiction game made do without most of these things, however.

We include science-fantasy games in this category. These are settings that use the features of science fiction—set in our future, high technology, and space travel—but include elements that do not follow scientific laws, such as mutational powers that are, for all intents and purposes, indistinguishable from magic.

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Warriors of Mars

Warriors of Mars (1974)

Not a role playing game, but these miniatures rules for Barsoom have rudimentary RPG rules. A very rare game.

Metamorphosis Alpha

Metamorphosis Alpha (1976)

The first science-fiction RPG, set aboard a lost starship where the mutated survivors of a disaster struggle to survive. A dungeon in space.

Starfaring

Starfaring (1976)

A rarity. A quick, dirty, and rather silly look at galactic exploration. Great cartoons.

Traveller

Traveller (1977)

The science fiction RPG. A big success, with many editions and a complete reprint of the first edition, too.

John Carter

John Carter, Warlord of Mars (1978)

A rare and simple RPG for Barsoom.

Gamma World

Gamma World, 1st edition (1978)

Metamorphosis Alpha comes to Earth. Mutants and mayhem.

Space Opera

Space Opera (1980)

A comprehensive simulation for the space opera genre.

Star Frontiers

Star Frontiers (1982) with Knight Hawks (1983)

Mercenary troubleshooters hop from world to world.

Jorune

Skyrealms of Jorune (1985)

A unique gameworld, most famous for its art. Jorune was a tantalizing and well-detailed setting. The fans, while few, are devoted. Our Jorune Special Collection has a number of interesting items for this world.

Space 1889

Space: 1889 (1988)

The British Empire expands to Mars. A very clever science fiction setting with a stiff upper lip.

MA3cover

Metamorphosis Alpha, 25th Anniversay Edition (2002)

An update of the first science-fiction RPG.

Last revised August 9, 2011.

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