Sunday, April 21, 2024

Black Star RPG Review (LakeSide Games)

Black Star is the first of two reviews for RPGs from LakeSide games. My goal is to put a really awesome RPG that you may not know about on your radar.

Black Star is a rules-lite sci-fi RPG. There's definitely a bit of a Star Wars vibe to this one, but any cinematic style space opera adventure game would be well served by these rules. The game uses 2d6 for tests. A 9+ is needed for success. You add an ability score to your role. Abilities range from 0-5, but new characters can't have a score greater than 3.

There are 10 abilities that cover pretty much all the standard sci-fi adventure RPG tropes: Blasting, Brawling, Diplomacy, Discipline, Instinct, Intellect, Speed, Strength, Tools, and Transports. This "10 Abilities to rule them all … " approach reminds me of Mike Pondsmith's Dreampark RPG, which is one of my favorite RPGs of all time. It looks great here!

To augment their abilities players have Archetypes which represent job experience from their past to help to focus what the character can do. There are 10 of these as well and players get to choose two of them. The Archetypes are: Diplomat, Expert, Fighter, Heavy, Mystic, Outlaw, Pilot, Scout, Soldier, and Tech. Each Archetype grants players access to a pool of Talents. Talents provide special benefits when taking certain actions.

In addition to Talents based on a character's Archetype, there are Innate Talents that a player can choose. Some of these are quite exotic ("Wings" for example) and would allow players and the GM to create custom alien races.

Resolve is the drive that keeps characters going. It's part hit-points and part hero-points. When a player fails an ability test they can spend a point of Resolve to roll again, or to automatically succeed but with some kind of negative consequence tied to the result. This presents some interesting opportunities for negotiation role-play that really appeals to me.

The rules have examples of futuristic equipment, spaceships, psionic powers, and several adventure ideas. All in all, Black Space is an awesome Sci-Fi RPG for players looking for something that would be easy to get to the table. It's just the kind of concise yet rich RPG system that I'm always on the lookout for.

Join my Facebook Group to discuss this post and anything related to RPG's and geekdom!

No comments:

Post a Comment