Return to the Stars

Festive Ninja’s first game is Return to Stars an optimistic “New Space Opera” game, in the indie narrative RPG tradition.  You can get the free quickstart edition on DriveThruRPG  and  learn more about the game.


RuneQuest Roleplaying in Glorantha: First Impressions

RuneQuest was one of the important early RPGs that ensured roleplaying would be a hobby, not a singular game system. RuneQuest combined Steve Perrin’s innovation in game mechanics with Greg Stafford’s remarkable world of Glorantha, which deepened heroic fantasy with serious attention to a broad variety of world cultures and which took mythology seriously. Its …

The Convention Authority

Before the loss of the Mars Beacon, which ended galaxy spanning travel for over a century, the Convention Authority was an association of societies that celebrated and preserved speculative popular culture of the 20th and 21st centuries: fantasy, science fiction, and gaming. In the first age of galactic travel, it was a popular tourist destination, …

Return to the Stars: Science Fiction Roleplaying Game

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.

A free quickstart version of the game is available on DriveThruRPG!

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.

ship_bridge (1)

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.

Return to the Stars is powered by simple narrative mechanics that focus on action and scientific exploration. Social interactions are role played, not rolled as contests using dice. But social skills can provide context for the conversation characters have in game, and players can gain future advantages by choosing to employ unique social concession options.

Science fiction stories work best when people understand the worlds the characters inhabit.  You can delve deeper into the setting of Return to the Stars by reading “news headlines from the 27th century” on twitter @ninja_festive  These headlines go out every day, so you can learn more about this universe in bite sized chucks on social media. Short and suggestive, they illuminate the themes of the game and make good story prompts for a game master. Players can mash up the setting’s headline tweets with their own content to create campaign specific news feeds or campaign logs. There is even an option rule that gives you benefits for responding to galactic news “in character”.

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!​

About Festive Ninja
Festive Ninja is based in Somerville, MA. We create innovative role playing games that make is easy for you to tell amazing stories. Return to the Stars, our tabletop science fiction role playing game, will be released in 2018