Just recently I was able to pick up a copy of StarCrossed, a game run entirely on the Fate engine. I know this may be blasphemy to some, but to that point I had never encountered a Fate game before. It was so different and unique to me that I truly had no idea to approach it for weeks on end. As I was flipping through the pages, I came across a simple little bit of science that blew me away and opened up a door into what I believe to be one of the most unique science fiction settings on the market right now.
Essentially, in the world of StarCrossed, Humanity had moved beyond the limits of our own atmosphere and discovered alien life! Contrary to our preconceived notions of “little green men,” we find that we have much more in common with these extraterrestrial life forms than we thought. We find that we share a 99% DNA similarity with all but one of the life forms that we have encountered to this point in history, and that begs a very important question. As a race that takes great pride in who we are…who are we? If our DNA is 99% the same as almost every other race in the universe, what sets us a apart? What makes us special? What makes us human?
The Vanity of Humanity (see what I did there?) took another major blow when we discovered that the ancestral home of humanity was not Earth, but some planet among the infinite stars that is lost to us. As creatures that believe we had it all figured out, these two major revelations shook us to our core.
This is a world where we are no longer the content of our universe, but rather a more of dust on a map larger than we could ever have imagined. It is a world that seems like run-of-the-mill sci-fi at first glance, but goes deeper than any other world. It asks the questions that are uncomfortable to answer, but will get you closer to who you are if you do.
This is the world of StarCrossed.
I really enjoy the ideas presented in StarCrossed, both on a personal and thematic level. The idea that Humanity is the center of the universe is an idea that I feel hasn’t been explored enough in modern sci-fi. Usually humanity is the constant, whether or not they are in charge, but in this scenario there may not even be “humanity” in the universe any longer. As a player, I ask myself if I should play as an earthling and try to answer this massive question, or play as another being trying to find their place in the universe. As a GM, I ask myself how I would answer these questions and where I would hide the secrets of humanity and it’s origins. From all angles this game raises intruiging questions and endless answers, which is exactly what you need in a truly great RPG setting.
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Thanks again, and as always…