Arcane Game Lore

Notes for tonight's game: TPK!!!

Old School Review: Casino Galactica from the Space Opera RPG

I’ve considered running a major resort space station as a location for a sci fi adventure for some time now. Interestingly, my local community just voted down a proposition to allow a casino to be built within its borders and I came across this old old school¬† RPG setting book at the same time.

Space Opera is a Traveller like RPG from the early 80′s published by Fantasy Games Unlimited. Surprisingly, FGU is still operating and PDF copies can be purchased on their site:¬†

Casino Galactica is a detailed area on one planet within the Space Opera setting but can be ported into almost any science fiction setting. Its maps detail approximately 10 km squared of terrain. Those maps are clean and lacking grid lines.

In many ways this document reminds me of the Basic D&D module Keep on the Borderlands. Its area map felt like the map of the keep and the detailed resort maps felt like the maps of the Caves of Chaos. Casino Galactica does a better job conveying the atmosphere of the locale then the D&D module with advice on using the NPCs, details on the local sports season, encounter tables for areas of the resort with night and day listings.

It is lavish in detailing NPCs – 29 of them with stats, 30 if you count the captain of the local sports team who is only mentioned by name. Of these NPCs 17 are staff and 12 are notable guests and many of the descriptions suggest plot hooks. There is also a table of organization for resort staff. About 10 of the most significant NPCs have character portraits which is nice- all the art is black and white line art which was standard in 1981 but there seems to be a generous amount of it in the book.

Its advice on gambling is rather thin but the information on betting on the local sports team is invaluable as it will add flavor to the campaign. Players can bet on the team as the book makers odds are provided and game masters have a percentile roll to determine if the team actually won that match. There is a local annual race event designed for space ships that seems tailor made for the player characters to become involved in and a subliminal imagery device that reads like a plot hook.

Lastly there is five scenarios fleshed out with 4-5 paragraphs of details and a 6th scenario listing 6 two line plot hook descriptions.

Casino Galactica is an excellent tool for a game master running a resort location in a sci fi or even modern setting. With a few changes of name it could be dropped into any game. It will require some work on the part of a game master to work up actual adventures yet there is enough here to support running a game by the seat of one’s pants. I give it an overall rating of Jedi-ON (as opposed to off)!


Categorised as: General

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