I spend an inordinate amount of time on fantasy settings and rules when I talk about games. It’s where I started when I was eight and a friend laid hands on a copy of Holmes Basic D&D, and it’s where I’ve done the bulk of my adventuring since. But I’m an advocate for generic systems like GURPS, so it seems a disservice to dwell too long on the fantasy elements when there’s so much more there there.
So, I put it to the G+ community that I had what I thought was a pretty robust list of supplements I’d want to make use of if I were to fire up a Sci Fi campaign akin to Star Wars or Star Trek or the like.
Of course the Basic Set, but also the Space supplement and all of the Spaceships PDFs, Martial Arts and Technical Grappling for robust hand to hand combat rules, Psionic Powers to replace the default rules in the Basic Set, and then an array of Tech books (High, Bio and Ultra Tech)
It was put to me that I didn’t really need High Tech – if the tech level is high enough, you’ve got the sort of slug throwers you need already present in Ultra Tech, so that eliminated some of the bulk. Replacing that, however, was a suggestion to add Powers to round out the advantages rules from Basic, plus a smattering of subject-appropriate Pyramid magazines.
Every one of those books is helpful, and no mistake, but skimming through the Basic Set just now it occurred to me that you don’t need a damned thing more than the Basic Set for 90% of your Sci Fi game. Psionic rules are already there, albeit far more abridged than those in the full supplement. Weapons and armor are present if not wide in selection, they’re far more than sufficient. If there’s a weakness it’s in non-combat gear. The Miscellaneous Equipment section is remarkably light on higher tech level equipment.
So, worst case scenario, you come up with your own gear list, and you abstract space travel into a plot point, and you’re off to the races with nothing more than the Basic Set.