Sunday, December 2, 2012

Mini Review - Starships & Spacemen (LL / Star Trek Mashup)

Starships & Spacemen is Goblinoid Games' Star Trek / Labyrinth Lord mash-up. In theory S&S is a 2nd edition, it's previous edition having been printed in 1978. The reality is it's a new game, building upon the LL chasis but using the tropes and setting from the original game.

I have some mixed opinions of the game. It's not bad at all, as the LL chasis is a good one to build off of. You could easily gather your own Star Trek type command crew and have them adventuring in no time. Assuming you can get past the typos. They are there and they are many.

The typos aren't a game killer, but they are annoying when they are giving the average C&C rulebook from the early printings a run for the money. I got my softcover copy via the Indiegogo funding. $25 for the print and PDF.

As it currently stands, there is no print on demand copy of the rulebook available on RPGNow - the PDF is $6.45.

Personally, I wouldn't purchase a print version (when they become available) until they clean it up. At least with the PDF version, you get an updated copy if / when they get around to it.

It's a fairly thin set of rules coming in around 94 pages, and 5 pages are wasted on drawings of "Forehead Aliens" (can we say "filler"?)

I want to really like S&S. There is a lot to like but it also feels like there is much missing. Maybe there is a plan to add an "Expanded Missions" sourcebook or the like. The amount of support this gets will certainly effect it's long term worth.

God, I'm really waffling on this. I like it "but" is about the best endorsement I can give it at this time.

From the blurb:        

Boldly explore the galaxy in search of alien civilizations! You take the role of a Military Officer, Technical Officer, Science Officer, or Enlisted Man in the Galactic Confederation. Travel in a starship under your command, on missions of first contact, rescue, exploration, and more in a galaxy full of hostile aliens. Try to maintain the tenuous truce with the militaristic Zangid, and fight the Videni who may look like your Tauran allies, but do not adhere to a philosophy of peace and logic.

Design alien humanoids with either "original series" or "next generation" sensibilites, or blend the two approaches! There are 100 forehead shapes that may be randomly rolled when a new alien race is encountered.

This book contains:

Eight player races

Three main classes, with several subclasses

Rules for spaceships and exploration

many alien creatures

...and more!


  1. I also really want to like this. After your review, I might just limit my purchase to the PDF... or I might wait awhile until it gets cleaned up.

  2. Well, I'm currently all in for the print version even with typos. So far I haven't found that many, but those I have found add to confusion of how the rules are supposed to work.

    I also got the minis (which used to be from Mega-Minis). They go well with those from Space Vixen's from Mars' Rim Aliens line.

    I'm currently working on my first adventure and absorbing all the rules. Next will be making my SM screen inserts. I always have to do that for any game I run.

  3. @Jon - I came very close to supporting at a level that included the minis, but I couldn't justify it when i do my gaming over G+ Hangouts

    The typos / mis-edits / wrong abbreviations is annoying and surprising, considering others works published by Goblinoid Games

  4. I'm a little irked at getting a 90 page book (the rules start on page 4 and end on 94) for $40. Not to mention the typos. Which doesn't affect me, so much, since I usually know what he meant, but at the same time, if someone who had never played an RPG before, well, they'd find the whole product baffling, I think.

    Wish I had gone with just the PDF. Other than the starship rules, I could have whipped up the classes and gear in a couple of hours (they're surprisingly close to Star Trek Online, just because I think that's the only way you can make a class-race-level type RPG out of Star Trek).

  5. I picked this up today. I rather enjoy it to be honest, plan to merge it with Mutant Future. Should be fun.

  6. I really enjoyed S&S2e, despite the typos (I'm pretty sure that I'm the one who started the typo hunt on G+ a few weeks back) and, if I had the time, would really enjoy running this game. As far as the lack of info in the book itself, I felt like I got my $6.45 worth in the pdf and I didn't expect much more info and crunch than I got. Realistically, I look at the paucity of setting info as being filled in by either my imagination or the "sourcebook" that Gene Roddenberry already put on our TVs back in the 60's.

  7. How does it compare to the original? What were the four alien races added (which was one of the level perks)?

  8. My apologies for the typos. I'm not on G+ but if anyone has compiled a list I'd be delighted to use it so I can make the book better down the road.

  9. My book arrived today, will read it over tonite.

  10. I got my books in the mail the other day and am reading them over. I did find some errors but not nearly as much as Adventures Dark & Deep Forgotten Lore (which is also a fun book). So far I like the S&S book but probably because it is organized like Labyrinth Lord and Mutant Future...that I feel at home with it. The book is thin but that should be ok. I have a friend that runs D&D4E and one day we were in a used book store where I found the 1st edition of Villains & Vigilantes. I said, "look, back then you only needed a 40 page book for a complete game".


Tenkar's Tavern is supported by various affiliate programs, including Amazon, RPGNow,
and Humble Bundle as well as Patreon. Your patronage is appreciated and helps keep the
lights on and the taps flowing. Your Humble Bartender, Tenkar

Blogs of Inspiration & Erudition