Monday, July 14, 2014

Laser Guns and Pirates for the Win!

Flying through space on a galleon and wondering why your cigar smoke won't escape into the nothingness below you isn't a fun way to do Dungeons and Dragons in space, but it's how many of us have been suffering through the game when we dare to leave the confines of our gaming world. 


Why do we allow ourselves to be hamstrung by the idea that we must hold to the conventions of a medieval world even when we're bringing in futuristic technology? Why do we roll our eyes and nudge each other at the very idea of playing a game of Dungeons and Dragons IN SPACE? 

I've dealt with it myself (see This Will End Well Part 1: Bad Ideas and Whispered Threats for more) and every time that I run across it I'm a bit mystified as to why the two concepts should be so alien to one and another. Perhaps this is one of those times when I'm out in the weeds but why is it so easy to accept that a man can conjure up a poisonous gas out of thin air, and that he then unleashes that vile miasma on fictional creatures that defy logic and any semblance of evolution, yet the idea of this same person climbing into a rocket and dashing off to Mars is viewed as a fucking joke? 

I would love to know why we can accept the one and not the other.


  1. Some people can handle both. You familiar with the boxed set Tale of the Comet that came out in the '90s? It was a pretty straightforward sci-fi and fantasy mashup, complete with a crashed spaceship and robots.

  2. Have you played SpellJammer? I never have but the topic of Space D&D is super intriguing.

    1. I've played it and it never felt as cool as the Alternity setting. Don't know why but I'm always bothered by the little things like the floating galleons silently cruising through space.

      A strange hangup on my part all things considered.

  3. I know well Spelljammer, but I never liked it. I'm not against play D&D in space, but I see it more as a parody. I have difficult to transfer the classic fantasy in space, also in literature I cannot remember of any examples of successful, but probably I'm wrong.

    Instead I would have definitely less problems with a steampunk or postmodern setting. Or better yet a Flash Gordon type setting that mixes fantasy and science fiction.

  4. Dragon*Star from fantasy Flight Games. Out of print now, but highly fun, and just what the doctor ordered.

    Here's a little something I wrote for Black gate many moons ago...

    1. Also, I have no hangups about the "space galleon" idea, personally (huge fan of Treasure Planet). In fact, one of my more successful short stories that I self-published on Amazon deals with just that sort of thing.

      [shameless self-promotion]
      [/shameless self-promotion]

  5. Hulks and Horrors is a retro-clone of Basic Dungeons and Dragons, but in space. And, as of a week ago, it's free!


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