The fantasy tabletop role-playing game was first, but sci-fi tabletop RPGs soon followed.
Now, there is a host of science fiction RPGs to choose from. And they span from cyberpunk to transhuman and from near future to far future.
I collected a short of list of the best sci-fi tabletop RPGs, check them out.
Stars Without Number
Stars Without Number is a compelling sandbox RPG crafted in the OSR style. It is built off of basic D&D but adds a unique skill system.
The setting, character options, and equipment are rich and detailed. It sports generation systems for corporations, star sectors, and spaceships.
It is perfect for hacking and adding your own creations into. I created custom backgrounds and training packages.
It is certainly of the best sci-fi tabletop RPGs you can play. The link provided here is the free version of Star Without Number. However, there is an expanded core version that is not free and a new second edition that will be released soon.
Traveller is the granddaddy of science fiction role-playing games. There are many editions and tons of supplements that allow almost any kind of sci-fi campaign you can dream up.
Traveller became infamous due to the fact that characters could die during creation. Later editions removed this, but I’ve always wanted to try it.
You can read the rules in the Traveller SRD.
Coriolis is described as “Arabian Nights in Space.”
Imagine Firefly, but instead of a Western influence, there is an Eastern influence.
I am still reading the rules, but the game uses a dice pool system that seems fun, fast, and easy to learn.
The quickstart PDF is free. It is worth picking up for the art alone. Trust me, the art will blow you away.
Savage Worlds Science Fiction Companion
The popular Savage Worlds RPG system offers exciting and fast-moving play.
The Science Fiction Companion gives you everything you need to run an epic campaign out among the stars. Races, gadgets, gear, ships and more are all here.
Even More Sci-Fi Tabletop RPGs
- N.E.W. – The Science Fiction Role-Playing Game
- Eclipse Phase
- Shadowrun: Anarchy
- Nova Praxis [Augmented PDF] [Fate]
- The Void Core PDF
- HardNova 2 Revised & Expanded
- The Dying Earth RPG
- Orbital 2100
To The Stars
If you find the planet earth restrictive, then leave it or alter it. Take any one of these sci-fi tabletop RPGs and explore what it means to be human, hack the matrix, rob an ancient tomb, or simply enjoy the freedom of the ‘verse.
The universe is at your fingertips.