was, arguably, the first sci fi role playing game. It was released in 1976. (The first actual sci fi role playing game was TSR's Metamorphosis: Alpha
, however, TSR's game didn't deal with the grander aspect of space travel/exploration). Starfaring
was written by Ken St. Andre and published by his Flying Buffalo
company. It was an extremely low quality work, consisting of a single booklet, spiral bound, and printed on 8 1/2" x 11" paper. The covers were a heavier pink paper and the cover art featured a lurid drawing of a large-breasted, blaster-toting space vixen
. The cover gave an indication of the game's theme.
Before the Christian right corn-hole
d role playing, getting TSR to remove devils and demons from the Monster Manual
was more typical of role playing in the anything goes era of the '70s. It was a sci fi game about sex and drugs and rock'n' starships. Seriously.
took a rather unique approach to role playing. Instead of generating and playing a single character, in St. Andre's game one generated and played an entire starship and crew. The object of the game was to take your starship on a series of adventures and pay back your government loan
. You need to discover new planets and a fuel source called "star crystals".
Your starship sometimes had encounters with a alien race of Bug Eyed Monster
s called the Slish. When you met the Slish, combat happened. Your crew's ability scores contributed to how well your starship fights. Various medical and recreational drug
s your crew members have stashed aboard could aid your crew in combat. Combat was reminiscent of Flying Buffalo's other RPG mainstay, Tunnels & Trolls
, although first out of the gate, was highly damaged. The game went for too much humor and camp
. The mechanics didn't allow for adventures outside of your starship. And even more crippling the game didn't allow for multiple starships. This ended up meaning it was a two person role playing game. There was a game master player and a ship player.