Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Yet Another Retro-Clone Idea: Stellar Quest...

Good Afternoon, All:

As you can see by my review of Starships & Spacemen, I really enjoyed looking at a rules-light class-based approach to a Star Trek-inspired game. I know that Goblinoid Games is going to be creating a Labyrinth Lord-compatible version of the game. I will pick that up myself, but I understand that it is still months away, if they've even begun work on it at the moment. In the meantime, I myself am entertaining the idea of making a retroclone of my own using a blend of Swords & Wizardry and D20 Prime Directive, with heavy influences from Starships & Spacemen. While I doubt it would sell, I think it would be fun to write, and amateur game designers like myself rarely need any other excuse to do something than because it's fun.

What would such a system need? Well, the first steps would be obvious to me: character creation rules. Of course, that means that you'd need an idea of the alien races present in the setting, some basic background and history worked out, and an understanding of the kind of game you're designing for (which should be easy given the Star Trek influence.)

Where would I begin? Obviously, I'd start with Swords & Wizardry, much like what X-Plorers did. I'd separate race from class, and introduce only the basic species (a human, a logic-based psionic species, and a warrior-based species, if nothing else.) For classes, I'd probably go with six, one with each ability score as a prime requisite: Warrior (Str), Explorer (Dex), Savage (Con), Technician (Int), Mystic (Wis) and Noble (Cha). The Mystic would be the only class with access to psionic powers (outside of some minor racial abilities). There would be a minimal skill system, probably based on the same rules-light approach I use in MyD20 Lite. I'd need to detail equipment, combat and the psionics system, and that part would be done. For the Referee's section, I would need to cover character advancement, starships and starship combat, alien environments, and a sci-fi bestiary.

After reviewing D20 Prime Directive, I would also consider following the model set by both it and Starships & Spacemen, and go with classes based on branches: Security (Str), Flight (Dex), Recon (Con), Technical (Int), Medical (Wis) and Command (Cha). Doing this would not mandate a society that required a "Noble" class, for those that sought to avoid it in their own personal campaigns, and helps bring the focus of such a game back on exploratory and paramilitary missions.

What would I call such a game? I'm not sure. All the good names have already been taken, to be honest. I imagine that I'd call it something like Stellar Quest, if I couldn't think of something else to call it.

Okay, time for me to get back to work.



Unknown said...

Hi Flynn,

You expressed an interest in creating a trekish retro-clone game. If you aren't already aware of it, there is a nice forum you should check out at http://oldschooltrek.proboards.com I suspect they would love to hear from you.


Flynn said...

Thanks for the info. I should check that out. :)

With Regards,