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Entry updated 19 May 2017. Tagged: Game.

Role Playing Game (1976). Flying Buffalo. Designed by Ken St. Andre.

Starfaring was the first Role Playing Game to be set in a Space Opera universe. Its milieu includes such iconic features of the subgenre as Faster Than Light travel, intelligent Aliens, hostile Robots, Androids and Psionics; explicit references are made to Anne McCaffrey's The Ship Who Sang (coll of linked stories 1969) and Fred Saberhagen's Berserkers. The tone is broadly comic, illustrated by cartoons of the kind found in contemporary sf Fanzines. While the game's Future History might be seen as conventional, its mechanics are unusual, concentrating on scenarios involving only two players. Typically, one player would become the Gamemaster and create their own version of the galaxy, while the other designed a Starship and its entire crew before adopting all their roles on a mission of exploration. This approach had little influence on the design of later Role Playing Games, however. While Starfaring is of some historical interest, it remains largely unknown, being greatly overshadowed by the slightly later Traveller (1977). [NT]

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