|From the game Offworld Trading Company|
The current game I'm running is an M-Space/Mythras game, where the players are colonists, explorers, and security for the last of humanity aboard a giant ark ship. It's been a fun game with a new system for all of us. We're still getting used to how Mythras does things and keeping track of things like special effects, hit location, luck points, and action points. But I feel it's made a much more meaning game with how it does combat. And I really enjoy the more skill based system as opposed to class and levels.
One of the things I like is the way they do spaceships. Everything is bought in modules and most of the actual cosmetic design is left up to the GM and players. I personally made the ships similar to Traveller with a bit of tweaking and math here and there, but kept it lower tech. Like something from Orbital 2100. No fusion drives, no FTL, no artificial gravity. It means travelling to the different planets in the new star system can take a little longer in game, but it gives the players some time for their characters to do their own things. One is building battle droids and researching a fusion drive they found. Another is focused on making their weapons better. And now that their colony is close to up and running, there can be more human interaction for them (since near everyone is in cryo stasis).
The game is a huge kit bash of sci fi rules systems (and one fantasy!). The base is M-Space and Mythras, with more and more from Mythras coming into play as we learn the rules more. For the creation of solar systems and planets, I ended up using Mindjammer and Traveller, with an extended table for creating gas dwarfs, ice giants, and gas giants. Much of that comes from Freelance Traveller's article about gas giants, because so much has changed since Book 6: Scouts was published. Mindjammer has some extended stats for planets, like temperature, gravity, and radius that I honestly like for flavor and world-building.
With the colony coming close to running, I've turned to the OSR for this. Stars Without Number has a supplement called Suns of Gold, which details a cool systems for running colonial holdings. In addition, there is Adventurer, Conqueror, King, which has a very robust set of rules for domain holdings, population growth, armies, and taxes. I've done a bit of massaging between the two and have a system that does the best of both systems. It's a bit simpler than ACKS, but unlike SoG, it has more of the land holdings and resource harvesting to get more raw materials for the colony. The colony starts with 5000 people, and the goal is to hit 100,000 citizens so that it can become self-sustaining. This is more of a side game, played in-between sessions throughout the week. And really, only for those interested in that style of game.
We are very close to beginning that, and I think one of the best things I like about the colonial game is that the players can see real, tangible results in a world with little law and order set up. And I think that's why they've really enjoyed the game so far. It's been a real pleasure.