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SPI's Universe RPG

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  • SPI's Universe RPG

    This excellent SF RPG set in the 24th Century as humans begin to make strides into galactic colonization with the aid of geneticaly engineered psionics which unlock the secret of FTL was bought out of existence when TSR bought SPI in the early '80s. Despite being out of print for over 20 years, however, it has been enjoying a Renaissance on the web as fans have made available the rules for download and gathered to share ideas and even play online. For those who remember Traveler, Universe was less far-future, and way less milataristic in scope, while having a highly realistic skill based system which relied on percentile dice for all resolution of actions.

    You can check out a great site to get hold of PDFs of the rules here:

    *link removed - see new link below*

    There's a great newsgroup for fans here:

    http://games.groups.yahoo.com/group/Universe_RPG/

    I run my own PBeM campaign, The Terran Fringe, which you are welcome to observe as well:

    http://games.groups.yahoo.com/group/theterranfringe/
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  • #2
    Traveller rocked!
    The cat spread its wings and flew high into the air, hovering to keep pace with them as they moved cautiously toward the city. Then, as they climbed over the rubble of what had once been a gateway and began to make their way through piles of weed-grown masonry, the cat flew to the squat building with the yellow dome upon its roof. It flew twice around the dome and then came back to settle on Jhary's shoulder. - The King of the Swords

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    • #3
      I liked Traveller, still do, but I really think that Universe was an improvement on it as SF games go. Of course it didn't get the chance to develop since it's parent company was put under by the competition. In fact TSR seemed to take over SPI in part so that they could discontinue Universe and launch their own lame SF RPG Star Frontiers. That one didn't measure up to either Traveller or Universe in the slightest.
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      • #4
        The free download site I posted for Universe before has disappeared, so here's a thread from RPG.net where I lead you to another:

        http://forum.rpg.net/showthread.php?t=155471
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        • #5
          Traveller was cool, the only odd bit being you could accidentaly kill your PC during character generation before you ever got to see the first adventure.

          Star Frontiers was quirky but still worked if run by an good GM. They took roleplaying alien races to an extreme as you could potentially rp man size amoebic beings and giant kangaroo's, which was wierd. The designer must have been on a special brand of hemp for this one.

          I'd never heard of Universe but I'm going to check out your links Dead Air to redress my ignorance.

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          • #6
            From what you say about the other two games, I'm betting you'll like it, because it really combines some of the best elements of both, plus a bit more. Actually I think Traveller had better starship combat, but a friend of mine from the Universe group is making something similar that allows for more PC interaction. It's really cool to have the internet to make an out of print gem into a living, breathing game.
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            • #7
              I can't believe how many views this thread has had! Cool.
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              • #8
                Glad to see Berry's got the games sections back up and in such a cool new format! I still wonder why this thread has gotten so many views. Must be linked from somewhere else, but even the Universe groups don't have this many members!
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                • #9
                  Well - I was dumb and tried your first link on this page. It crashed Firefox really good! Took close to five minutes to finish. Now I am very glad I got the Session Saver extension. :)

                  Anyhow - those are some cool resources. I'll have to check them out more thoroughly sometime. Myself, I really liked Star Frontiers and Universe sounds very cool. If only I could find people who would want to play. :lol:
                  Yuki says, "Krimson used to be known as Kommando, but he rarely uses that name anymore. Sometimes he appears as Krimson Gray as well. Do not be confused, he still loves cats and bagels."

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                  • #10
                    Well, the newest player in our PBeM group seems to have some reservations, so I'll keep you posted if a spot opens up. The game lends itself quite well to online play, which is interesting since it went out of print in 1981!

                    The way to look at it compared to Star Frontiers, is if StFr were Star Trek the Next Generation, Universe would be Enterprise (though it's slightly lower tech than even that.) This is only an analogy regarding the technology though and in no way draws a connection regarding the quality of those programs.
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