Saturday, November 12, 2011

Kitchen Sink Expeditions: Lightspeed -- Part I

Looking for a Science Fiction setting that is a mix of Star Wars, Star Trek, and other SF properties with a little Anime thrown into the mix? Look no further than the Lightspeed RPG by Christian Conkle.

Background

I first encountered Lightspeed back in the days when Fuzion was a still a thriving RPG system, and the first iterations of the game and setting were available for free on the internet. Even in those days, the intent to create a kitchen sink setting was not only apparent, it was stated as a goal by the author:

"If elements of Lightspeed seem familiar, that is intentional. Lightspeed attempts to be all inclusive, drawing inspiration from many Science Fiction films and novels and putting them together into a coherent whole. The purpose of this is to make Lightspeed as generic as possible, allowing players and gamemasters to set their characters and stories against any backdrop they desire. Within you’ll find elements of Star Trek, Star Wars, Aliens, Bladerunner, XFiles, Predator, Japanese Anime, Cyberpunk fiction, Lovecraftian fiction, and other Science Fiction games."

Broad Strokes

Intent is one thing, but how was the execution? To understand the broad strokes of the setting, it's best to take a look at the map of the Galaxy and how it was broken up -- it gives out the clearest visual idea of the approach taken with the setting.



Major elements of the setting include the Interstellar Federation with the StarForce Officers and the Federation Rangers; the PanSolar Empire ruled by the Emperor; and the remnants of the Old Earth Empires, filled with powerful mega-corporations and nations locked in cold and hot wars.

Next Up: A closer look at the major elements of the setting.

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