a turn-based strategy RPG by Ryan Hackel

In 1998, having shelved Dungeons & Dragons, I created this experiment of a game. The idea was to have each character role-play a starship that they get to customize, launch in the service of a planet or freelance, and adventure in a random 2-D space environment. The result is something like a paper-and-pencil version of the computer game Homeworlds, with a GM monitoring the maps, NPC ships and fog of war. However, instead of commanding one ship, many games ended up with each player controlling a particular homeworld, colonizing other planets for resources, and amassing fleets to conquer other homeworlds with. I didn't think much of Starships, until I got an email out of the blue by Dan Starcevich, a student at my former high school. Dan had managed to acquire from an upperclassmen some old handbooks from an early draft of starships. My experiment was still being played at Northridge four years after my graduation! This gave me the impetus to update the handbooks, re-balance the homeworlds, and create some player aids. Enjoy! If you enjoy Starships, please give me your feedback.

To all my friends and colleagues who have helped with the design of Starships, given me constructive feedback, spent hours in playtesting with me, or just enjoyed playing my game, I owe you a hearty Thank You!

Got a question? Contact me!

Last Updated: 29 December 2009

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