Wednesday, May 5, 2010


So I was trolling around at lunch yesterday and got more curious about the X-Plorers game that Eli at I See Lead People has been making characters.

So who knew it had gotten such good reviews from everyone. Could this be what I was looking for? A SciFi game that is based on ODD or Red Box?

I read the majority of the rules and I would say it seems a good game. The Yahoo group has a bunch of members and a good group of downloads. The rules have been turned over to Brave Halfling Publishing to make a revised edition, so I have big hopes.

Does it do what I want? I don't know yet. It is definately rules lite. which is good for OSR. Some good stuff here, simplicity, skills, character classes, weapon options, space combat. Overall a good set.

But it is missing a few things that would have been nice, like ground vehicles, and a few more weapons and monsters. I did have a few issues. But they are preference really. It goes back to the whole skill system issues with games. I hate the micromanaging of skills in D&D3+. Classes should come with a set of skills that they have regardless. And attribute tests should do the rest. thats why Basic D&D does it right in regards to the thief skills. And thats how it is incorporated here. Character classes have a set of skills the give them a skill roll chance on a d20 to succeed. Scientists for example have medical, computers, psychosocial, and one other I can't remember. The target number gets easier as you level. GReat, just how I like it. Except that every scientist has the same skills at the same level. Every 3rd level scientist is as good at medical as every other. It takes some of the specialization out. So in Star Trek parlence, even though Spock and Bones are both in the Science category, they have very different skills. And that cant be represented here. I don't want a Trek game, but I would like to model a planetary geologist/scientist character who can't do squat about a shotgun blast to the gut. Easy enough to fix, and the author encourages tweaking as a part of the game.

Overall I like it. Is it my holy grail for Sci Fi Space Opera. Probably not, but neither is Star Frontiers or Traveller. Please don't make me write my own.

I would like to see a direct port of B/X or Labrynth Lord (and maybe Advacnced Companion) to a sci fi game. That may be what I do.

Here's the cover of the printout that I made for the free rules. In order to get the free rules, join the X-Plorers Yahoo group.


  1. You have the same problem with the B/X Thief, in regards to all of them having the same skillset... It's tough finding that balance between too many skills/options vs. everyone of the same class is the same, isn't it?

  2. Its a real issue for me. Every theif is the same. I dont want to get bogged down on 3x pick a skill roster either. its a chhllenge to balance them.