I'm fucking sick of looking for decent RPG sci-fi systems that don't have magic in them. I want to make a hard sci-fi campaign for my group but every damn system has some kind of magic, however gets repackaged as psionics or some shit. Any recommendations? Better yet, anywhere I can see the rules for these systems?
>>76942122travellerbattletech/mechwarriorGURPs with the supplements you want and without the ones you don't want
>>76942122Fate Diaspora, pretty nifty how the point buy mechanics are scaled from combat all the way to psychohistory. There's always the mainstays of Traveller and Gurps.
>>76942153Holy shit, this is perfect. Thank you so much anon>>76942220>>76942226Thank you to you guys as well - I'll take a look over those systems. I can't believe I forgot about Traveller.I don't get what it is about sci-fi systems nowadays that warrants some kind of magic system in all the mainstream ones. All I can think is that it's some knock-on effect from all the normies getting into RPGs because they know what D&D is and can't imagine anything else
>>76942122Isn't there an Expanse RPG?
>>76943049Knowing franchises it's probably that same 2d20 system that one publisher bolts onto everything.
>>76942790>I don't get what it is about sci-fi systems nowadays that warrants some kind of magic system in all the mainstream ones.It doesn't help that there is a deep subset of the hobby that won't touch anything unless it has 6 core races and a wizard equivalent, because they can't engage in a setting of it's not just disguised standard fantasy. See: Shadowrun. But they aren't the only reason. It's mostly because psychic/psionic powers are an old sci-fi standard that only recently has become completely debunked. People sort of forget that psychic powers were treated as just as realistic as lasers and robots at one point. Hell, the alphabet agencies were studying them pretty seriously. We now know they aren't realistic at all, but sci-fi is still shaking off that old trope. Anything based on a setting from as late as the 90s probably has at least subtle psychics in it.
>>76942122...just don't use the psionics part? Also lol The Expanse is medium scifi at best. Its got a hard pallet for tv though.
>>76943433>The Expanse is medium scifi at bestthe funny thing is that's what the author's intended it to be.They basically set-out to make a setting that goes from "wikipedia-hard" conspira-noir to full-on space opera over the course of the seriesOf course it's easy to miss that with the show, partly because I feel like it suffers from Chinese Whispers from the books when it comes to the realism, and partly because like you say it's probably the hardest space sci-fi on TV that isn't a period piece
>>76943360Amazing the extent to which psionics and HFY are so prevalent because the efforts of one autistic publisher way back when.>>76943579Though I was miffed when I first saw what was going on I've come to appreciate the transition. It'd still be nice to do a more consistently gritty yet not documentary take though.
>>76943360>People sort of forget that psychic powers were treated as just as realistic as lasers and robots at one pointShit, is that why Gundam has Newtypes?
>>76943360You could well argue that psionics are still less magical than FTL travel, given that psionics wouldn't *necessarily* break our fundamental understanding of the universe that much
>>76943360>It's mostly because psychic/psionic powers are an old sci-fi standard that only recently has become completely debunked.Technological telepathy is a thing.
>>76943753It implicitly privileges human consciousness as something special, reviving the "soul" as it were. You're right that FTL is sketchy but you can just throw out causality (or have travel be between similar yet adjacent worlds) to make those equations work.>>76943790It often gets a fair bit spookier than a few implants. Take biotics in mass effect which go from plausible-in-setting gravity manipulation to cross species psychic death sex for reasons.
>>76943790I can't name even one setting besides Mass Effect that expressly has technologically facilitated telepathy. Everyone else just guess "well it's just mind powers, duh"
>>76943920For games or in general? I've seen it in a few scifi properties. Limetown had it.
>>76943859>It implicitly privileges human consciousness as something special, reviving the "soul" as it wereI was thinking super low-level stuff like "turns out humans have a vestigial brain-part that can communicate with other brain-part via uhh... EM waves, but while everyone is broadcasting, only a few people can receive"I wonder how far you could push stuff like that before you start running into explicit mysticism like you say, or having to rely on macguffinium?
>>76943920Rifters had a limited version based on now outdated science (and pretty dubious at the time but wat's the point of fiction without speculation?).
>>76943753People "giving up" on FTL is even more recent than people giving up on psionics. In 10 years you'll see the same thread complaining about trying to find scifi settings without FTL.The history of sci-fi is littered with dreams that were proven impossible. Remember we used to make sci-fi stories about swashbuckling heroes on Venus, because the clouds covering Venus were totally covering up a dense jungle or swamp full of hot alien babes.
>>76944000>>76944016That's one answer to your question actually. Perfectly fine with the right implants of course some day thought-mail might be as pedestrian as speech.
>>76944000All technology may as well be mysticism.
>>76944021FTL won't go anytime soon. Fascinating and ripe with possibility as the solar system is people will want to adventure under all the stars and over all the planets they can imagine, preferably without taking a lifetime to reach another bunch. It's not like hard sf ever dominated the market anyway.
>>76944069>>76944021>being a planetletmove aside gramps, the age of the rock-hopper has just begun!
>>76943049>>76943086There is an expanse rpg, it isnt 2d20, it's a sci-fi version of Green Robin's AGE system. It's a nice book, but characters have discrete levels, which I kind of don't like.
>>76942220>>76942790Traveller does have psionics in the rules and certain parts of the setting, but it is very optional and removing it wouldn't take any effort.
Side topic, what level of psychic do you like/are willing to put up with in your scifi?I really dont mind like, physical contact low level thought reading, basic tk, basic mesmerism. Maybe even really, really limited precognition. Even though that shit *is* magic, it feels more sci fi to me, and it can add a cool wrinkle in the right campaign.