With yesterday’s post being about Fantasy Games Unlimited’s variety of cool games, I figured it was perfect time to dig through some FGU games and put together characters for some of them. The first game that came off the shelf was a true classic, Starships & Spacemen, one of the first science fiction RPGs on the market way back in 1978.
The game setting itself is very reminiscent of Star Trek, with the players taking on the roles of the crews of Galactic Confederation starships, in a game universe with analogs of Vulcans, Romulans and Klingons and so on.
The main rule book is pretty hard to read through these days, being entirely typewritten in a single-column format. However, when compared to the later FGU offering of Space Opera, the character creation system here is quick and straight forward.
After a quick read through I decide on making a Rigelian Mercenary – the Rigelians are an engineered human race known for their military skill and work as mercenaries across known space, including on the crews of Galactic Confederation starships.
Stat generation for the 6 main stats is done by rolling 3d6 and then assigning the result to one of the six stats in question. There are also two stats that are generated by rolling a d6 and adding the character’s racial modifier. But first I have to decide on the branch and subclass for Mr Gessek. In this case, Military Branch (since I’m making a mercenary) which requires a high Marksmanship, and the Security Guard subclass (so he’s a good bodyguard type) which requires good Strength and Loyalty. Unfortunately, Rigelians just don’t have a high enough Loyalty base to get the 12 Loyalty required for this subclass. Instead Mr Gessek ends up looking at the Fire Control subclass (requiring 12 Technical and Contact Skill) – but he’s not set on it, he can just go into the military branch without a subclass.
I like the stat generation system overall – the ability to choose where each roll goes, but having to do it before seeing your other rolls gives you a feeling that you have some control over the results, but still takes risks and the character can evolve to be quite different than what you were expecting.
The 3d6 rolls come out as 14, 9, 11, 11, 8 and 14. The 1d6 rolls to be placed between Psionics and Loyalty are a pair of sixes. Wanting a high marksmanship, I skipped the first 14 and put it in Strength, the 9 goes into Intelligence, 11 to Charisma, 11 again to Contact Skill (by this point I’m getting nervous about a good score in Marksmanship), an 8 in Technical skill and finally the saving grace of the second 14 in Marksmanship. Racial modifiers bring the numbers around to those listed in the character sheet below, but definitely nowhere near the requirements for any of the Military branch subclasses, so Mr Gessek is Military, but without a subclass.
Mr Gessek then gets 3 units of equipment – picking a laser rifle, a communicator and a jetpack. Although this can be changed based on the mission parameters. Also, having a Psionic Potential of 3, he gets the psionic talent of Empathy.
Mr “Terror” Gessek
Technical Skill: 7
Contact Skill: 10
Psionic Potential: 3