Thursday, January 16, 2014

The Verdict on the new Rogue Space...

This review is a bit more of an update to my original review of Rogue Space found here, as this is really a new edition. The underlying system is the same, but things have been refined and sections have been cleared up and added to. Essentially, much of what I state in that review stands for this one except where I note the differences in this review.

First off, I picked up the pdf version of the book. I plan on picking up the print edition at some point in the future, though. Minus cover, the new version weighs in at 114 pages, versus 64 in the V2 version. Right off, there's almost double the material in this new version of the game. Looking at the contents, there are a lot of new sections that didn't appear in the previous revisions of the game. There are many more (Option) sections to the contents, which really pushes CR Brandon's ideal of Rogue Space being a toolbox for GM's to make of it what they want; which is something that I really like in my sci-fi rules.

Compared to previous versions of the game, the dice system, character generation, and combat are generally the same (roll 2d6 +/- modifiers vs a Target Number; roll equal to or higher than the number succeeds). However, in the Character Generation chapter, we start seeing where CR Brandon's work in refining the system comes into play. Characters still use FASER for their stats, and generate characters in the same manner. In earlier versions, alien races were allowed, and one was presented, but that was it for examples. This time around, we get 4 fully fleshed out alien species complete with descriptions not only about appearance, but on their politics, views towards humans, and hints on using them in your own games. This is a common theme throughout the rules: more examples, more ideas, more options, just more of everything all around.

Some of the new things (beyond 3 new alien species), are optional rules for generating character backgrounds and personalities, Cybernetics rules (a very welcome addition to the rules), Magic & Spells, and rules for Trading/bartering. Armor now has a base damage reduction based on its type, but the original rules of rolling for the amount of damage deflected/absorbed by armor are still included as an optional rule.

The section on Non-Player Aliens is much as it was before, which is a little disappointing. I would have liked to seen a few more examples, but what is there gives a pretty good idea for how to handle alien creatures and a good array of special abilities.

My main, and really only, gripe with the original rules were the rather incomplete-feeling rules for Starship creation. The new version is much clearer, with lots of options for creating a starship without feeling like you need to be an engineer to generate it. Well done.

All and all, this new edition is simply meatier than before without losing any of that rules-light feel that drew me to the system in the first place. This edition is really vying hard to be my go-to sci-fi game. It already was my go-to for when I was short on time and just needed something to run on the fly, but I could see myself really running this for a longer stretch of time. If you're looking for a great rules-light sci-fi toolkit, you can't go wrong with Rogue Space!


Fenway5 said...

I very much appreciate your critique and honest look at the expanded Rogue Space. Thanks for your kind words and support!

Giles Kiser said...

Thank you for putting together a great game. I just trying my best to drive business to you.

Fenway5 said...

Thanks Giles I certainly appreciate it, and I am really happy to see people play and enjoy it! (Besides myself and our wee game group!)

Brutorz Bill said...

Nice review! Looking forward to my print copy arriving in the next few days.

Giles Kiser said...

Very cool. I'll be interested in seeing what you think, Bill.

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