One of the pleasures of being a member of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America is the privilege of nominating work that you admire for the Nebula Awards. I’ve had a chance to read/watch/play a lot of great SFF this year. Here’s a list of the noteworthy stuff I’ve nominated. I’m really looking …
I’m very excited to let people know that Return to the Stars has been nominated in the Best Setting category for the 2020 Indie Groundbreaker Awards! The Indie Groundbreaker Awards, are designed to shine a spotlight on excellence in the indie game design community. The awards recognize “exciting game designs that push the boundaries in …
As we’re all sensibly distancing, it’s nice to mix up the backgrounds on our video calls. So here’s a free 4K image free for noncommercial use. This illustration of the Convention was drawn by Yog Joshi, who specializes in environment illustrations and background layouts for games. A figure prominently featured with the own full page …
In dark times, games can fill us with joy and hope.
Return to the Stars, a tabletop science fiction role playing game, helps players create their own stories in an optimistic space opera setting.
Return to the Stars is designed to allow the creation of characters that evoke the best elements of geek culture. In the far future hyperspace travel gave easy access to countless worlds, and humanity sorted itself into like-minded communities. One such society was the Convention Authority, founded to celebrate the now classical arts of science fiction, fantasy, and gaming.
One day, without warning, the stellar beacon that illuminated hyperspace went silent rendering galactic travel impossible. The systems of the Convention Authority stayed connected thanks to a replica fleet of early starships. Now, after more than a century of effort, a long-range exploration craft has been built. Its purpose: to return to the stars and reconnect with lost civilizations of humanity.
The players of Return to the Stars are a new generation of geeks — makers, cosplayers, scientists, and pop culture enthusiasts setting out on an adventure of exploration and discovery.
Easy to Learn, Simple to Play
Return to the Stars is powered by the popular Fate Core SRD, an indie game system that helps you tell rich stories without a lot of preparation or calculation.
Return to the Stars comes with an adventure specially designed to teach the core concepts of the game. In playtests at many different conventions, new players have been up and running and having a good time after ten minutes of explanation.
Our goal: if you love anime or games or science fiction or cosplay, and have thought about trying roleplaying games, you can get Return to the Stars, read it, and play.
Cool New Tools
If you already love games powered by Fate, we’ve added some fun new subsystems that you can enjoy in Return, or adapt to your existing games and settings.
Often in fiction a protagonist has a problematic way of interacting with the world. It kinda works for them, but its shadow side takes a cost. Eventually, they learn they need to change and grow. Character arcs are a structured way to spotlight how someone grows past their Trouble.
Competitions are a type of contest in which the drama comes as much from trying to perform at the limits of your ability as it does from overcoming the opposition.
Creative options that players can have fun with between sessions to make the game richer for everyone, getting minor in-game benefits. Equally inspired by the Amber and Pendragon RPGs
Return to the Stars is a game about who people are not about the stuff they carry. Still, loot makes players happy. Props are gear that you can have fun collecting but which are only used a single for a dramatic effect. Like an intriguing prop in a well-made science fiction movie it provides a moment of cool that shakes thing up and advances the story, and then you don’t see it again.
Space Opera Skills and Stunts
Skills tailored to tell science fiction stories—play as a scientist or an academic rather than someone with “lore”. Hack into computer systems, change your genetics on the fly. Skills can be varied with over 100 fun stunts, including many novel templates you can repurpose for other settings.
If you enjoy tales filled with optimism and hope, where players can paint a better future in bold primary colors, then you should prepare to Return to the Stars!