A new indie tabletop RPG inspired by the lighthearted spacefaring of British sci-fi comedy classics Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and Red Dwarf lets you build your own galaxy, create more than 25 million different playable characters and, most importantly, roll up your own space towel.
Designer Stephen Hans’ Space Aces: Voyages In Infinite Space aims to offer a breezy approach to galactic exploration, running with minimal to no prep as players jump right into a universe that also owes as much to Futurama and Space Balls as it does Star Trek.
Tests are resolved using two dice - a d20 and a d6 - that determine the outcome of an action, along with the potential for an additional ‘snag’ or ‘benefit’ regardless of the main result.
As well as tables for rolling up places and alien beings encountered on planets, varying from Space otter Bandits to Aristocrab Spice Merchants, the rules-light RPG includes guidance for battles out in space, with scuffles assigning players to different stations - engineering, helm, operations and tactical - within their ship.
Those roll tables extend to a vast number of playable character options made up of a career - be it Holostar Celebrity Influencer, Experimental Gastronomer or Deposed AI Overlord - knack, such as being Kinda/Sorta Telepathic, having a Smouldering Intensity or simply being great at solving Sudoku puzzles (or, indeed, being a Hoopy Frood), and their personal quest, from tasting all the foods to proving the universe is flat.
The more than 25 million character combinations possible via the randomised tables combine with your space towel generated from both material - Space Spider Silk, Bugalope Wool and Pibble Fur are all options - and features, whether your preference is for danger-sensing dye, lie-detecting lattice or allowing it to repel lasers.
The galaxy itself is made up of over 60 hex tiles that come together to form systems and constellations with dozens of possible locations, with the option to explore guided by a GM-like referee, in co-op with up to eight players or alone in a solo mode.
“I love space RPGs but there was a serious lack of happy ones out there that you could play with kids and the young at heart,” Hans said. “So I made it my personal goal to bring this into the world and share my love for happy, hopeful sci-fi with everybody.
“It is my sincere desire that it fires imaginations, elicits hearty chuckles and inspires people with the same joy that filled me as I created it.”