RPG Encyclopedia: S

Saga System
1st ed (1985) G+S Verlag
A German-language universal RPG system. This developed out of a line of universal supplements for any system, which eventually developed its own house system.
Sailor Moon RPG
1st ed by Mark C. MacKinnon (1998) Guardians of Order
A schoolgirl-superhero RPG based on the Japanese animated TV series, which includes a thorough description of the series including characters and background. It uses the "Tri-Stat" system from Big Eyes, Small Mouth, altered only by giving genre-specific traits.
The Map of Hamal ed by Mark Acres, Andria Hayday (1985) Pacesetter
Key to the Inland Sea ed (1985)
A surreal RPG scenario series where the (pre-made) player characters wake up to find they have no memory of who they are or how they came to be there. The published game was originally intended to be in a contest to identify who the PC's are, but folded. PC abilities would slowly be revealed in the published scenarios -- clues as to their identity. The system is a percentile system with a universal action table, a simplified version of the Chill mechanics.
Sangokushi Engi
1st ed (unknown) Koei
A Japanese-language RPG meaning 'Romance of the Three Kingdoms Role-play'. It is set in China during the fall of the Han dynasty, based on the traditional Chinese epic Romance of the Three Kingdoms. The system is based on comparing attribute + skill + 2d6 vs difficulty. Character creation is class-based (Warrior, Spy, Scholar, Merchant, or Heroine), with class modifying attributes and providing certain special abilities.
Santa's Soldiers
1st ed by Bill Kte'pi, Todd Downing, Gavin Downing (2000) Deep7
A light-hearted 28-page mini-RPG about a paramilitary army of well-armed elves who guard Santa and Christmas against the power-hungry Easter Bunny, Halloween's Boogieman, and the insane Anti-Claus -- using ultra-violent techniques so Santa doesn't have to get his hands dirty.
Savage Worlds
1st ed by Shane Lacy Hensley (2003) Pinnacle Entertainment Group
2nd ed by Shane Lacy Hensley (2005) Great White Games
A universal system with a focus on fast resolution. It uses a step-die rules system related to Deadlands. You roll a d4 to d12 (depending on your stat) plus modifiers, and a result over 4 or higher than your opponent's is a success. Combat uses an initiative system using playing cards, where each player draws a number of cards each turn. The basic rules include seven races: humans, elves, dwarves, half-elves, mantids, saurians and Atlanteans. It also includes a short section on Arcane backgrounds and powers.
1st ed by Croc (1993) Siroz
A French-language modern-day fantasy RPG, including Dragons, Faeries, Alchemists, and Technomancers. The characters are part of a group composed of one Dragon creature, and several seemingly normal people, who in fact are of Faerie blood, and drawn to the Dragon's magical abilities. Dragons collect magic, Faerie need it to survive, and in contact with it, regain their former selves. It uses a fairly simple d6-based system. Character creation is point-based.
Scared Stiff: the B-Movie Horror Role-Playing Game
1st ed by Gene Stanley Pritchard, Mike Demetro (2002) Guild Hall Press
A humorous RPG about B-movie Horror films. The PCs (known as "Victims of Circumstance" or VCs) are rated in Flaws rather than attributes, so that rather than Strength and Dexterity they are rated in Weakness, Clumsiness, and Ignorance (Primary) as well as Cowardice, Paranoia and Superstition (Secondary). Action resolution is either dice-using or diceless. Dice rolling is to roll over your modified Flaw rating on 2d6 to succeeed. This is intended as the first of several B-movies backgrounds using the "RPG-13" B-Movie game system.
Schimmen & Schaduwen
1st ed by Foob, Koen De Waele, David Van Dijck, Dirk Vandenheuvel (1989) The Wise Tree
A Dutch-language fantasy RPG: "Shadows & Spectres". The core rules contains the rules, background information, setting, creatures, maps, 80 professions, 9 magic classes, and hundreds of magic spells. It also contains 4 ready-to-play scenarios. There were several adventure supplements released. It is being prepared for release as a free download.
1st ed by Ewan Murray (1998) Lance and Crown Games
A fantasy genre RPG set on an original feudal-era world, Thaythorn, and published on CD-ROM. Thaythorn includes versions of Elf, Dwarf and Goblin races -- as well as the reptilian Cy Kell, the canine Yarinese, and the insectoid Ythari. It uses a simple skill-based system. Action resolution is based on attribute + skill + 2d6 (where sixes open-end) vs difficulty. There are four attributes (Strength, Agility, Intellect, Presence), each of which have two sub-attributes. Character creation is limited point-based.
Second Dawn
1st ed by Art Wiederhold, George J. Herget (1982) Arrose Enterprises
A fantasy genre RPG with elements of sci-fi, inspired by the The Avenger of Thule novel by Art Wiederhold.
The Secret Fire
1st ed by George Strayton (2011) Secret Fire Games
An original game system derived from Dungeons & Dragons, using the Open Game License. The core rules have four classes and four races: cleric, warrior, thief, wizard; and Dwarf, Elf, Human, Halfling. It adds rules for Energy Points, which refresh each day and are used for Special Effects such as pinning an opponent, re-casting a prayer, and inflicting extra damage. In addition, each PC has a descriptive Good trait, Neutral trait, and Evil trait - and regains Energy Points based on expressing these. There are also five wound levels in addition to hit point. Advancement is level-based, with the core rules only covering up to level 10.
The Secret Lives of Gingerbread Men
1st ed by Annie Rush (2004) Wicked Dead Brewing Company
A simple RPG suitable for children as well as adults. The PCs are gingerbread men who become magically animated for the twelve days prior to Christmas, who rush around the home, having adventures, getting in and out of trouble. The setting includes a nasty cat, a helpful but hungry dog, the King of the Rats, the Oracle atop the refrigerator, and the Cookiesmith.
The Secret of Zir'An
1st ed by Jason Armenta, Martin Caplan, Marcus Flores, Aram Gutowski, Chris Hockabout (2005) Paragon Games White Wolf
A pulp fantasy RPG set on an original fantasy world, Zir'An, dominated by magical technology including zeppelins, guns, and so forth. It is in a state similar to the decade preceding WWII. There are powerful beings called Fanes which have started to dominate in the several millenia since the gods disappeared. There is now an uneasy peace between a number of allied nations who work together to keep the Fane dominated Tilerian Hegemony at bay. There are also the independent and mercenary empires in the south, and the Forsaken Lands such as The Periphery, a collection of islands in the far south. It is inhabited by the dwarf-like Dolonorri, the giant primitive Gogachi, the beast-like Neolli, the secretive and immortal Zhalanti, as well as the human Ianers. It uses a simple system which uses attribute + aptitude + 1d10 vs difficulty, where the four-level skills (basic/advanced/expert/elite) can give an automatic success. Character creation is by a point-based lifepath system, which includes various packages representing different nations and factions.
Secrets & Lies: A Hardboiled Detective Game
1st ed by Daniel Bayn (2009) Bayn.org
A modern detective RPG. It uses a dice pool mechanic where the player rolls a number of dice equal to their current stat plus optional "flop dice" representing added difficulty. Any match among the stat dice, or between flop dice and stat dice, indicates failure. A player can remove one or two dice after rolling if the test relates to the characters' defined "means" (character concept) or "motive" (primary drive). A test can either be "soft-boiled" or "hard-boiled" - referring to whether failure is a minor setback or a major problem. Stats to test include the five attributes (Savvy, Moxie, Guts, Nerve, and Mojo) as well as relationships. All stats and relationships start at 2, and are temporarily increased in play ("taking a hit") until they are rolled.
Seeker the Role Playing Game
1st ed by Brian St.Claire-King (2012) Vajra Enterprises
A modern-day magic RPG where the player characters are wandering mystics on the back roads of the rural US. It uses ORC-L, a rules-lite variant of the Organic Rule Components system used in Fates Worse than Death and Tibet the RPG. Each character approaches enlightenment, self-improvement or wisdom in a unique way, and gains unique abilities from it. The core rules includes an introductory adventure, "Weaponized Honeybees".
1st ed by Mark Arsenault, Anthony Bryant (1999) Gold Rush Games
Revised ed (2001) Gold Rush Games
A historical RPG set in 16th century Japan, with careful attention dedicated to historical background and information. It uses the Fuzion system.
1st ed by Todd King, Johnny Bruner (1995) Nova Eth Publications
A fantasy RPG set in a multiverse ("Senzar") with numerous gods and immortals. It uses a variety of dice and mechanics (similar to AD&D). Combat is d20 + offense - defense : 9 or less misses, 20+ is a critical hit. Character creation is class-based with point-bought attributes, advantages, and disadvantages. Spell and combat advancement is level-based (although skill and attribute advancement is independent of this).
1st ed by Bill Coffin (2009) West End Games West End Games Purgatory Publishing
A space opera game set inside a Dyson Sphere made by unknown aliens, and inhabited by colonists from a crumbling human empire. The setting includes elements of cyberpunk, transhumanism, and light mecha as well as bits of fantasy. It uses a variant of the D6 System from West End's Star Wars game, including Fate Point instead of Force Points.
Serenity Roleplaying Game
1st ed by Jamie Chambers (2005) Sovereign Press
A space opera RPG, adapted from the Firefly TV series and Serenity feature film by Joss Whedon. It uses a system adapted from the Sovereign Stone fantasy game. Attributes and skills are rated in a a step die system with twelve ranks: d2, d4, d6, d8, d10, d12, d12+d2, d12+d4, d12+d6, d12+d8, d12+d10, d12+d12. Action resolution is by rolling attribute die plus skill die. Characters have six attributes (Agility, Strength, Vitality, Alertness, Intelligence, Willpower), along with skills and advantages. It also includes a plot point mechanic. Plot Points can be spent before a roll for an extra die (costing 1 per rank), after the roll to raise the total (costing 1 per +1), or to manipulate the story (scaled from 1-3 for convenient coincidence to 11+ for "saving your bacon").
Serial Homicide Unit
1st ed by Michael S. Miller, Kat Miller (2008) Incarnadine Press
A modern-day criminal investigation RPG. The players role-play potential victims of a serial killer at the same time as they play investigators trying to catch the killer. They can create chains of evidence based their role in the investigation. At the end of each turn, if they fail to solve the crime, they must randomly open an envelope with the name of one of the potential victims to determine who is murdered.
Seven Leagues: A fantasy roleplaying game of Faerie
1st ed by Hieronymous (2002) Malcontent Games
A fairy-tale RPG including modern fantasy from magical realism to gothic urban magick. It uses a simple system, called "Roll 13". Resolution is by rolling 1d12 + attribute + modifiers, where a total of 13 or higher is a success. Character creation is by choosing a player-created descriptive Aspect (such as "a fairy princess" or "a mighty warrior"), and distributing 13 points among the three attributes (each rated 1 to 7): Head (mental), Heart (social/emotional), and Hand (physical). Characters may also have a number of Charms (magical abilities) equal to their lowest attribute, and optional Taboos (i.e. limitations/hindrances which increase their number of Charms).
The Seventh Seal
1st ed by Scott R. Mitchell, Edwyn Kumar, Mark Bruno, Scott Lynch (2002) Creative Illusions
Revised ed (2005) Morrigan Press
A modern-day fantasy RPG based on biblical mythology as presented in the Book of Revelation. Six of the seven seals have been broken, and demons are wandering the Earth in human guise seeking to bring about the final apocalypse. The PC's are Sentinels: mortal guardians of Heaven invested with supernatural powers. They are organized into different celestial orders corresponding to the archangels (Michael, Gabriel, etc.). It uses a dice pool system, where actions are resolved by rolling over a target number on a number of d6's equal to attribute plus skill. Character creation is limited point-based.
SewerSide: Are You Slimy Enough for the Sewers?
1st ed by Ashok Desai (2003) Eldritch Design
n A humorous scifi RPG published in electronic format, where the PCs are hideous mutants banished to the sewers below a modern-day town. The premise is that all ugly people were declared mutants and locked in the sewers, and since radioactive waste was also dumped there, soon there were even more hideous genuine mutants. There are eight strains of mutant: Bloaters (overweight and bloated humanoids), Bugs (insectoid monstrosities), Furries (humanoid animals prized as slaves by kinky folks), Goops (big balls of boneless slime), Hissies (reptilian mutants), Psychos (big-brained mutants with a knack for psychic powers), Skinbags (incredibly skinny mutants whose skin sags around them like some sort of cloak) and Sushi (fish people). There are a large assortment of humorous mutations described. Action resolution is to roll (skill) d10's and take the best, then add attribute. Character creation is either random-roll or selected.
Sexy Deadly
1st ed by Tony Dowler (2009) Planet Thirteen Games
A GMless competitive strategy card game with narrative and role-playing elements, about female super-soldiers who have dedicated their life to killing, espionage, disrupting and protecting conspiracies.
The Shab-al-Hiri Roach
1st ed by Jason Morningstar (2006) Bully Pulpit Games
A darkly comedic horror one-shot role-playing game about an evil Sumerian mind-controlling cockroach preying on the faculty in a small New England university campus in 1919. It uses a GM-less narrational system, where players compete to gain academic Reputation by bidding to winning one of a series of narrated scenes, driven by drawn cards. The winner of the scene is the one who rolls the highest number on the dice. If you are possessed by the Roach, you roll a massive d12. However, if you end the game possessed by the Roach, you lose. To lose it, you have to regurgitate the Roach, by subliming away something you care about, which makes your dice weaker. The game comes with a packet of 40 cards and a rubber cockroach.
Shades of Earth: Earth History with a Twist
1st ed by William Corrie III (2003) HinterWelt Enterprises
An alternate-history RPG with a percentile skill-based system (the "Iridium System"), including a setting in 1938 Europe where secret organizations use magic powers to prepare for the coming war. Character creation includes random-roll attributes (best of 3d20 for each of eleven attributes), followed by choosing one of 23 classes which influence skills.
Shades of Fantasy
1st ed by Steven Bode (1993) IDD Co.
A "High Fantasy" genre RPG, which attempts a medieval feel with monotheistic religion and faerie influences. It includes 15 races including Fey Folk, Devilkin, Kobolds, Penitent Angels, and Changelings. It uses a percentile skill-based system. Character creation is random-roll attributes (modified by race), choice of occupation or occupations, and point-bought skills and advantages. Skills and advantages outside of your occupation cost double.
Shades of Heroes
1st ed by Jason Kirby, Jason Thomas, Dean Meuggenburg, Shiree Nabours, Jon Kawa, Brian Henrikson, Jon Kawa, Jason Thomas, Dean Meuggenburg (1998) Argonaut Game Studios
A fantasy genre RPG.
The Shadow of Yesterday
1st ed by Clinton Nixon (2004) Anvilwerks
Revised ed (2005)
A sword-and-sorcery genre RPG which attempts to meld the standard fantasy role-playing and "hard-charging narrative engine". It is set in a post-apocalyptic fantasy world (known as "Near") where the apocalyptic creation of a moon has ravaged cultures and thrown the fate of the world into question.
1st ed by Bob Charrette, Paul Hume, Tom Dowd (1989) FASA
2nd ed (1992)
3rd ed (1998)
4th ed (2005) FanPro
A fantasy-cyberpunk game, set in a future where magic returns to the Earth, and many people are transformed into elves, dwarves, and trolls. It uses a dice-pool system, rolling d6's equal to stat vs a target number of difficulty.
Shadow, Sword, & Spell
1st ed by Richard Iorio II, James Maliszewski (2010) Rogue Games
A fantasy RPG emulating pulp fantasy writers like Robert E. Howard, L. Sprague de Camp, and Fritz Leiber. It uses the 12° System also used in Colonial Gothic Revised and Thousand Suns. Resolution is by rolling 2d12 under a target number found by adding attribute + skill + modifiers. Character creation is limited point-based, dividing 45 points among 5 attributes (Brawn, Quickness, Toughness, Wits, and Will), creating freeform "Hook" that lets you earn action points if brought up in the game, picking a Background option (Culture and Modifier), and then buying skills.
1st ed by Brian F. Schreurs, Joshua D. Thompson, J.D. Falk (1988) Coltrane Publications
A humorous small-press sci-fi RPG, with 10 races including giant Neptunian Space Bears. It uses a minimalist system.
1st ed by Duane O'Brien (2005) a terrible idea
A humorous horror-parody RPG where the player characters are all zombies, who one day simply woke up dead with a craving for brains. It is played in one of three modes: "Fast Food Zombie Fun", "I Want My Life Back", and "Feeding Frenzy". It uses a simple dice pool system called LAFFS, for "Light, Adaptable, Fast, Flexible." Each character has six stats: Lurch, Flail, Clutch, Brawn, Chuck, and Sense. Resolution is based on rolling a number of d6s equal to stat, where each die over the difficulty is a success. Players can modify their own or others' rolls by spending LAFF points, earned by making the GM laugh. Zombie characters generally lose 1 hit point per day unless they eat human brains. The basic game also includes overviews of 6 agencies and organizations that oppose or aid (!) zombies.
The Shard RPG
1st ed (2008) Shard Studios
A fantasy-genre RPG set on an Eastern-themed world inhabited by anthropomorphic animals, known as Dardünah or the World of the False Dawn. It uses a d6 dice-pool system, where you roll a number of d6s equal to skill minus difficulty, and each die result of a 4, 5, or 6 is a success. It includes a ritual magic system.
Shards of the Stone
1st ed by Jared Nielson, Sean Patrick Fannon (2000) Obsidian Studios
1st ed by Jared Nielson (2001) InterStrike, Inc.
A fantasy-genre RPG using the Fuzion system. The setting is a multiverse where a primordial stone shattered into 25 elements: including Air, Earth, Fire, and Water but also Law, Creativity, and Love. These elements can be physically mined, grown, and so forth from the worlds which resulted from the shattering. There are usual races of elves, dwarves, orcs, ogres, and goblins -- plus winged folk, reptile-men, and beast-men. cf. the official website.
Shattered Dreams
1st ed by Matthew D. Grau, Christopher Dorn, Timothy R. Erickson, Lance P. Johnstone (1994) Apex Publications Inc
A horror RPG set in a dream-world, where Nightmares are evil beings that creep into our minds when our souls are bared and corrupt our beings. The PC's are Dreamwalkers who have powers within the dreamworld. There were 3 supplements/adventure books: "Awake and Alone", "Liquid Dreams", and "Of Sound Mind".
The Shattered Sky
1st ed by Paul Lucas (1997) Propaganda Publishing
A science fantasy RPG set in the shards of a Dyson Sphere which was broken 5000 years ago, with distances measured in "Earths". It includes aliens, centaurs, talking dolphins, and orcs: all created using genotech and "uplift." The magic is ostensibly based on nanotechnology. The system is percentile-based.
1st ed by Ed Stark (1993) West End Games
A cyberpunk space opera game, set in the late 25th century after the accidental discovery of an unexplainable phenomena called the "Shatterzone". Space is controlled by the monolithic Consortium and Fleet, along with various megacorporations. It uses a variant of the Torg system, with modified Drama Deck, and rules for psionics, aliens, and space combat.
Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Dead Duke
1st ed by Chris Engle (2005) Hamster Press
A pregenerated scenario book using the minimalist Engle Matrix Game system. This includes several murder mystery scenarios where the players are Sherlock Holmes and associates. The system has explicit negotiation of arguments and results, but leaves the chances for the negotiated outcomes entirely up to the GM.
Shields of Power
1st ed by McLellend, Jacobsen (1990) Shield Maiden
A fantasy genre RPG. Reviewed in White Wolf #25.
1st ed (unknown) Suzaku Games
A Japanese-language fantasy-genre RPG.
Shock: Social Science Fiction
1st ed by Joshua A.C. Newman (2006) The Glyph Press
1.1 ed (2007)
1.2 ed (2009)
A GM-less sci-fi RPG about the clash of technology upon human society. It has no background, but instead players define a world starting with defining a set of two social or personal concerns (Issues) and two revolutionary developments (Shocks) that are the themes of the game. Character creation sets up player characters (Protagonists), and then player sitting to the right of each Protagonist creates and controls the Antagonist, acting as GM. Protagonists are creates by defining 2 Praxis, 3 Features, 2 Links, and 1 Story Goal. The Praxis are each a pair of two themes such as "buying vs. selling" or "help vs. hurt" rated from 1 to 10. The Features, Links, and Story Goal are numberless, player-defined traits. Resolution always defines two non-mutually intents between Protagonist and Antagonist, trying to succeed by rolling on a chosen Praxis scale. The Protagonist rolls a number of dice equal to the number of applicable Features. These can either be d10s to succeed on their own Praxis scale, or d4s to modify the opponent's roll. For both, if rolling multiple dice the player can choose which to use.
Shock:Human Contact
1st ed by Joshua A.C. Newman (2010) The Glyph Press
A near-future sci-fi RPG about a interstellar contact ship that makes first contact with a lost colony of humans in another star system, a variant of the game Shock: Social Science Fiction. It defines more closely the shocks to be dealt with and the phases of play than the original game. Play begins with life on the contact ship, which takes five years to reach its destination. Second is designing the geography, culture, and language of the colony. The third is first contact, which could use a three person envoy team or could use the entire 100 person contactor.
Shooting the Moon
1st ed by Emily Care Boss (2006) Black & Green Games
A GM-less game of romantic rivalry for two or three players, where two rival players compete for the affections of a third. Pitched as a "sequel" to an earlier romantic game, Breaking the Ice.
Shotgun Diaries
1st ed by John Wick (2009) Wicked Dead Brewing Company
A zombie survival horror mini roleplaying game, using an early version of a new "FEAR" system. Character creation is by picking an archetype - such as Fast Survivor, Strong Survivor, etc. Resolution uses a simple dice pool where the players rolls a number of d6s based on their character, plus any dice taken from the shared pool, and a bonus die for every character they are with. If the player rolls a 6 on any die, they narrate what happens. Otherwise, the GM does. There is also a Zombie Clock mechanic, which advances every 10 minutes to increase the zombie threat; and a fear mechanic.
1st ed by Michael Mendoza (2007) 44 Productions
A simple diceless system intended for quick play, easily customized to different settings. It has player-created traits rated from 1 to 3, with 0 being the default. Action resolution is by comparing the higher of trait or modifiers against difficulty or opposing trait. This is modified by spending "Wild Points". The effect of success depends on whether the game is in Narrativist, Gamist, or Simulationist mode. The book is self-published via print-on-demand service Lulu.com.
Sign in Stranger
1st ed by Emily Care Boss (2009) Black & Green Games
A science fiction storytelling game for 2-3 players about first contact of humanity with aliens. The aliens are created during play by the players, by randomly drawing from a set of words submitted by the players at the start of the game.
I Signori Del Caos
1st ed by Giovanna Maselli, Auro Miselli, Franco Tralli (1983) Black-Out
An Italian-language medieval fantasy RPG, and the first Italian RPG. The setting is reminescent of Lone Wolf. The title translates as "The Lords of Chaos".
Silex et Mammouths
1st ed (unknown) unknown
A French-language prehistoric RPG, published by a gaming club in Paris.
Silhouette CORE Rules
1st ed by Marc A. Vézina, Paul Lippincott (2003) Dream Pod 9
A universal system. It uses a dice pool, rolling a number of d6's equal to your skill and taking the highest value (each extra six adds one to the result, so two sixes would have a total of seven). Action resolution is attribute plus the skill total vs difficulty. The margin of success or failure is very important in the Silhouette game; in combat, for instance, damage is multiplied by the margin of success, and illnesses and poisons have increasingly severe effects as the margin of failure increases.
Silver Age Sentinels
1st ed by Stephen Kenson, Mark C. MacKinnon, Jeff Mackintosh, Jesse Scoble (2002) Guardians of Order
A superhero RPG set on an original world setting, where superpowered heroes appeared starting in 1942, when an atomic energy test created "Sentinel". It uses a variant of the Tri-Stat system from Big Eyes, Small Mouth, with three core attributes of Body, Mind, and Soul.
Simian Conquest
1st ed by Marshall Rose, Norman Knight (1978) Avant-Garde Simulations Perspetives
A sci-fi RPG inspired by the Planet of the Apes movie series. PC's can be Apes, native Humans, Mutants or Astronauts. The system concentrates on combat and campaign battles.
Simply Roleplaying
1st ed by Bob Portnell, Guy McLimore (1999) Microtactix Games
A universal RPG system, published in electronic format. It is a skill-based system, rolling 2d10 under skill for action resolution. Characters are limited point-bought, with a random number of attribute points, and skill points which depend on age group. There are also advantages and disadvantages which must be balanced (i.e a 1pt advantage requires a 1pt disadvantages).
1st ed by Pierre Rosenthal (1986) self-published
"La fleur de l'Asiamar" ed (1987)
3rd ed (1988) self-published
4th ed (1989) Casus Belli magazine
5th ed (1994) Casus Belli magazine
A French-language universal RPG system. It is released under an open license allowing anyone to use it for their rulebook. Official games released using Simulacres system include "Aventures Extraordinaires" (by Tristan Lhomme -- Victorian sci-fi), "Capitaine Vaudou" (by J.P. Pecau -- pirates with voodoo magic), "Cyber Age" (by Pierre Rosenthal -- cyberpunk) and "Sang Dragon" (by Pierre Rosenthal -- heroic fantasy). There are also a number of unofficial games, aided by the open license.
Simulacron I
1st ed by Mark Manning (1982) Simulacron I
A small-press universal RPG system. It uses five Basic Statistics and a large set of Abilities (i.e. skills). Stats started at 1 and cost the level squared in experience to increase. Characters start with one Ability, and additional Abilities are gained as the Knowledge stat is increased. Action resolution uses 1d20.
Sine Requie
1st ed by Matteo Cortini, Leonardo Moretti (2003) Rose and Poison
Year XIII ed (2007) Asterion Press
An Italian-language horror RPG set in an alternate history of 1954, where during D-Day in 1944 the dead woke up and started killing and eating the human race. WWII ends with the Germans calling themselves winners after a coup d'etat where Hitler and the other leader are killed. The Fourth Reich covers most of Europe. In Italy, Pope Leone XIII becomes the governor and returns the Inquisition, which bans most technological items. In the USSR, the cities have become iron fortress and half-men/ half-machines are created to work at the orders of ZAR, the main computer. It uses a Tarot-based system, which can be either a storytelling game (using only the Major arcana) or as a traditional RPG (using cards instead of dice).
1st ed by Benjamin Rogers, Ren (2013) Harsh Realities
A universal system using dice-pool resolution, rolling d6s equal to attribute + skill, where every result over the target number (TN) is one success, and every six rolled is five successes. Character generation uses a point-based "priority" system.
six gun assassins
1st ed by Andrew Lucas (2006) Rebel Minis
A miniatures combat and mini-RPG set in the American Wild West. The system is "Place & Play" rules.
Skæbner og Skatte
1st ed (1986) unknown
A Danish-language RPG, whose title translates as "Destinies and Treasures". It comes as a box-set with 3 small booklets (A5 size), dices, and a overhead-pen and coated hexagonal sheet (which was actually the inside of the box). It includes a pulp genre introductory scenario of a white explorer in the jungle, but also supports medieval scenarios.
1st ed by Seth Johnson, Brian Schomburg (2000) Corsair Publishing
A humorous mini-RPG (48-page comic format) where the players play "Costumes" -- superpowered entertainers on the planet Sketch. Character creation is by the player drawing the character, or at least copying bits of clip art (provided with the book). The other players then judge how badass the sketched character looks.
Skuggornas Mästare
1st ed by Gunilla Jonsson, Mikael Petersén (1988) Ragnarök
"Master of the Shadows" -- a Swedish-language modern-day espionage RPG. It uses the same game system found in En Garde. The PC's are agents, crimefighters, or something similar, all having a secret background.
Skull & Bones
1st ed by T.S. Luikart, Gareth-Michael Skarka, Ian Sturrock (2003) Green Ronin Publishing
A swashbuckling RPG set in the golden age of piracy in the Carribean, using a variant of the D20 System from 3rd edition D&D. It adds options to character generation for backgrounds and "fortunes" -- a simple advantage/disadvantage system. There are four new core classes: Buccaneers, Sea Dogs, Shantymen (musicians), Bokors (magicians), and Hougans (magicians). There are also six new prestige classes: three fencers, two sailing (Officers and Warrant Officers), and the Mystic Navigator. It has variant rules for cinematic fighting (adding a parry maneuver), and damage (which is applied first to a character's hit points, and then to their constitution).
Skull and Crossbones
1st ed by Gerald D. Seypura, Anthony LeBoutillier (1980) FGU
A pirate RPG set in the 17th century Caribbean. It includes man-to-man and ship-to-ship combat.
Skymningshem: Andra Imperiet
1st ed by Krister Sundelin, Simon J Berger, Fredrik Ostrozansky (2005) Rävsvans Förlag
A science fiction game that draws inspiration from space opera, wuxia and anime. It uses an improved version of the system in Västmark.
Skyrealms of Jorune
1st ed by Andrew Leker, Miles Teves, Amy Leker (1985) Skyrealms Publishing
2nd ed (1986)
3rd ed (1992) Chessex
A science-fantasy game with a unique setting, a detailed alien world with marooned human colonists. Emphasis is put on the unique races and culture, a mix of humans, human-created sentient animals, and aliens. There is a "magic" of manipulating Isho energy which flows through this world, along with remnant technology. The system is skill-based, changing with editions.
SLA Industries
1st ed by Dave Allsop, Tim Dedopulos, Jared Earle (1993) Nightfall
2nd ed by Dave Allsop, Tim Dedopulos, Jared Earle, Anne Boylan, Morton T. Smith (2000) Hogshead Games
A science fantasy RPG of futuristic urban horror, set in a distant future (the "World of Progress") where an amoral arms corporation ("SLA Industries") has taken over the universe, headed by a power being named "Slayer". PC's work as agents for the company, based on the world-city "Mort". There are 7 races, including users of "The Ebb" -- a magical power that permeates the universe. The system uses 2d10+skill+modifiers to determine success (11+ is a success, 21+ is a notable success). Character creation uses race (1 of 7) and career (1 of 9) templates followed by point allocation. The 2nd edition is largely a reprint of the original with errors corrected, more fiction and art, and a new index.
Sláine: The Role Playing Game of Celtic Heroes
1st ed by Ian Sturrock (2002) Mongoose Publishing
RuneQuest Slaine ed by Aaron Dembski-Bowden (2007) Mongoose Publishing
A fantasy RPG set in Tir Nan Og, a land of ancient Celtic legends mixed with prehistoric fact, an adaptation of the comic book series. The PCs are members of the Tribes of the Earth Goddess, called on to raid or war against rival tribes, quest after ancient treasures, or defend their lands against invading sea-devils. The rules are a variant of the D20 System from 3rd edition D&D, and require the core D&D rules for character creation and combat, as well as many skill and feat descriptions. It uses an alternate magic system where characters pay in "Earth Points" for spells cast, and spells are broken down according to their cost instead of level.
1st ed by Jackson Tegu (2012) self-published
A satirical GM-less mini-RPG where the player characters are all douche-bag hipsters trying to look cool and hook up over a week - Tuesday through Saturday. Each player chooses a playbook at the beginning of the game, but they are all identical: The Hipster. Actions may result in gains like "improve your look", or "change your jam", etc. Published with two other mini-RPGs: Tower of Hats and Superhero.
Slasher Flick
1st ed by Cynthia Celeste Miller (2009) Spectrum Game Studios
A horror RPG emulating slasher films, where the players have primary characters as well as secondary characters who are all potential victims of the psycho killer(s). Secondary characters are created by a group process. Characters have four stats (Brawn, Finesse, Brains, and Spirit) that have trinary ratings (Poor, Normal, or Good). Combat (or "kill scenes") uses stat checks to measure loss or gain of survival points. Players can al also gain "genre points" for playing to the conventions of the genre, that can be used later to help.
S/lay W/Me
1st ed by Ron Edwards (2009) Adept Press
A two-player storytelling game of a short sword and sorcery tale involving a monster and a lover. The two players are "You" (who creates and plays the hero) and "I" (who creates and plays a lover and a monster). Character creation is quick - the "You" player reads a ritual statement, then chooses a brief character concept and adds a ten-word description of the Hero's physical appearance. "You" then chooses a general setting from a list of one-line descriptions and a Goal for the Hero. The "I" player then fleshes out the setting, and creates a lover and a monster for the Hero to deal with. "I" also sets a Lover score (the number of times the player can script "Go" events aimed at the lover) and a Monster Score (the number of dice "I" can roll before the "Match" ends).
S.L.U.G.S. (Satanic, Loathable, Unwholesome Game System)
1st ed by Gregory Donner (1994) Donner Party Press
A tongue-in-cheek mini-RPG where the player characters are members of an organization called P.E.A.C.E. (People of Evil Allied for the Corruption of Everything), with the goal of reaching -1000 Karma, at which point they descend into Hell and become a lesser demon. The cover featured a cheerleader with horns and pointy ears with "P.E.A.C.E." written on her sweater. It uses percentile-based system, with mechanics based on rolling under the appropriate attribute to succeed in an action (a Feat). The attributes are Brains, Charm, Combat, Constitution, and Piety. Personality Qualities are the seven deadly sins, also rated as percentiles. If a Personality Trait is 75+, a player has to fail that Trait to avoid indulging whenever possible. Each character gets a Talent, which adds +30 to an appropriate stat when attempting an action.
Small Space
1st ed by Denton R. Elliot (1985) Doc's Games
A sci-fi mini-RPG from the publisher of Dinky Dungeons, published in a 3''x5'' ziplock bag(!). It uses the same system, expanded by skills. The system has binary skills which are bought using points based on your attributes (Physical Points equal to your Physical, Mental Points equal to your Mental). It also adds spaceship generation and combat rules, futuristic weapons, invention rules, alien races, planet generation, and initiative rules.
Smallville Roleplaying Game
1st ed by Cam Banks, Joseph Blomquist, Mary Blomquist, Roberta Olson, Josh Roby, Amanda Valentine (2010) Margaret Weis Productions
A superhero roleplaying game based on the television series, using a non-traditional variant on Margaret Weis Productions' Cortex system called "Cortex Plus". The six core attributes for characters are different personal values: Duty, Glory, Justice, Love, Power, and Truth. Rather than skills, characters have rated Relationships with other PCs as well as significant NPCs. Both Values and Relationships are rated on a step die system from d4 through d12. There is also a system of Plot Points.
Soap: The Game of Soap Opera Mayhem
1st electronic ed by Ferry Bazelmans (2002) Blacklight Publishing
1st print ed by Ferry Bazelmans, W. Jason Peck, Aldo Ghiozzi (2003) Wingnut Games
A storytelling mini-RPG which is played for 60 minutes at a time. Each player takes a character in a soap opera, with five words as traits. There is no GM, but instead there are rules for entering a Scene, adding sentences, and so forth by spending Plot Tokens. Originally published electronically as a 31-page PDF file, then in print as a 24-page illustrated booklet.
Society of Dreamers
1st ed by Matthijs Holter (2010) self-published
A historical fantasy RPG set somewhere in Europe sometime in the 1800s, where player characters are members of a society searching for creatures called mnemosites ("dream eaters"). During a single session, players play out the entire lives of their characters, and the fate of their society. Play is largely freeform, using a set of scribbled notes and a board containing nine fields that an object is moved between. Character creation works by each player writing 8 notes: two each of gender, age, nationality and profession. These are collected into four heaps, from which each player draws one. After that, two scenes for each player are played, dealing with childhood and adolescence to complete the characters. During regular play, players take turns setting new scenes within bounds given by the game board and accompanying notes. The book is self-published through Lulu.com, and detailed on the official website.
Söhne des Lichts
1st ed by Michael Schröder, Tim Wehle (1990) Verlag M. Wehle
"Sons of the Light" -- a German-language medieval fantasy RPG, set on an original world. Besides the usual races it also has centaurs and giants.
1st ed by Keith W. Sears (1994) Heraldic
A universal RPG system which uses logarithmic scales ("levels" similar to DC Heroes AP's) and a simple stat + d10 versus difficulty for resolution. Character creation is point-bought skills, powers, advantages, and disadvantages.
Solar System
1st ed by Clinton R. Nixon (2008) Arkenstone Publishing
An universal system based on the rules from the fantasy RPG, The Shadow of Yesterday.
Solipsist: A Role-Playing Game About Changing Reality
1st ed by David Donachie (2008) Solipsist RPGs BoxNinja
A modern fantasy role-playing game where the player characters are special people who can change reality, called "solipsists". They fight Shadows, creatures who are trying to un-make all of reality. It uses a narrative system where players may declare scenes and background facts, but sometimes at the risk of causing damaging "tears" in reality. Player characters are defined by a Vision, a list of Obsessions, and a list of Limitations.
Sol Levante
1st ed by Eugenio Maria Lauro (1998) Qualitygame
An Italian-language historical RPG set in feudal Japan, part of the "I Giochi del 2000" collection. The title translates as "Rising Sun".
Sombre Cauchemar
1st ed by P. N. Lapointe (unknown) Lapointe
"Dark Nightmare" -- A French-language horror RPG.
A Song of Ice and Fire Roleplaying
1st ed by Robert J. Schwalb (2009) Green Ronin Publishing
A Game of Thrones ed (2012)
A fantasy RPG set in the world of George R.R. Martin's novel series of the same name, set in the region of Westeros in a time shortly before the chaotic events of the series. The player characters are all members of a minor noble house or their retainers. The group first creates stats and features of the house itself, then create characters as members of that house. The rules are the "Chronicle System". Resolution is by rolling a number of d6s equal to attribute plus skill, then keeping and totaling a number of dice equal to attribute.
Sons of Liberty
1st ed by Joshua BishopRoby (2008) Kallisti Press
A game set in a tongue-in-cheek parallel history where the American Revolutionary War is being fought with clockwork powered armor, ornithopters, and two-fisted brawling as well as muskets. It uses a GMless system using playing cards. Each game begins at the secret Grand Lodge of the Americas, where the characters recieve a coded message about British movements. The players draw 5 cards and read their meaning on a series of table as an adventure starter. They then pick from pregenerated characters of Founding Fathers such as George Washington, Alexander Hamilton, and Benjamin Franklin - with one player taking the Tories. Each turn, a player lays down cards from their hand and begins to narrate a scene - limited by the card suit that specifies type of action. Other players can play cards to add to or alter that narrative.
1st ed by "sjb" (1997) Critical Mass
A universal RPG system intended for "futuristic high fantasy", including a psionics system but no background with the basic game. The system uses d10 vs (difficulty minus skill), modified by an attribute bonus from a table. Character creation uses random-roll or point-based attributes, including "caste" of Status, Education, and Experience which determine skill slots.
Sorcerer RPG
1st Electronic ed by Ron Edwards (1998) Adept Press
1st Print ed (2001)
A modern-day magic RPG. The first edition was published electronically (a free 16-page "Apprentice" version is available), while a printed version was later released. The PCs are secret sorcerers who accomplish magic solely by calling and binding demons. Each demon has its own special abilities and goals. It may be bound into a ring or weapon, appear humanlike, or be a parasite to a host. The system is minimalist, using a highest-roll dice pool.
S.O.R.D.: System of Role Development
1st ed by Scott J. Compton (1998) Fractal Dimensions
A universal RPG using a skill-based system, with some skill restrictions from chosen Culture and Profession. Resolution is by rolling d20 under skill. Combat uses a d20 somewhat differently (to-hit depends on attribute, while damage is modified by skill).
Sovereign Stone
1st ed by Don Perrin, Lester Smith (1999) Sovereign Press
2nd ed (2000)
A fantasy-genre game envisioned by Larry Elmore, set in his fantasy world Loerem. It uses a fairly simple skill-based system, rolling an Attribute die (d4 thru d10) plus a Skill die versus difficulty.
So Ya Wanna Be A Rock N' Roll Star!
1st ed by Bill Barton (1991) Bill Barton Games
A humorous look at the music industry. Players get to create rock n' roll musicians, join a band, and work their way through wacky encounters. Features include a band name generator, NPC generation for groupies and others, and several scenarios.
1st ed by Frank Chadwick (1988) GDW
A Victorian sci-fi game, in an alternate history where "ether flyers" allows steam-powered spaceships to colonize desert-like Mars and jungle-laden Venus. An excellent background which draws on a number of Victorian ideals.
Space Delirium
1st ed by P.N. Lapointe (unknown) Lapointe
A French-language space opera RPG.
Spacefarers: Rules for Science Fiction Skirmish Adventures
1st ed by Bryan Ansell, Richard Halliwell, Tony Ackland, Richard Priestly (1981) Games Workshop
A sci-fi miniatures combat system, a predecessor of the Warhammer 40K miniature line.
Space Gothic
1st ed by Gerhard Winkler, Michael Greiss (1993) Fantastische Spiele GdbR
2nd ed (1997)
A German-language sci-fi/horror RPG, set in the year 2245. After a devastating war of megacorporations, Prometheus Technical Industries (PTI) has absolute power over the colonies of the Terran Union. The armed forces of the space navy were displaced into the external colonies and organized along feudal lines with knights. There are strange races, whose existence is denied by the totalitarian government. It uses a complex percentile system. Character creation is class-based, with 20 classes. It uses random-roll attributes and point-bought skills.
Space Infantry
1st ed by Daniel Douglas Hutto, Roger Allen Esnard (1982) D&R Game Design
A spacefaring military sci-fi RPG, where PC's are space cadets in military service.
Space Master
1st ed by Terry Amthor, Kevin Barrett (1986) Iron Crown Enterprises
2nd ed (1988)
A generic sci-fi RPG system, using a variant of the Rolemaster system.
SpaceNinjaCyberCrisis XDO
1st ed by Matt Johnston, John Fleming, Colin Johnston, Eamon Watters, Mark Lamki, Lesley McLarnon (1997) Crucible
A sci-fi pocket RPG set in a crime-ridden world filled with anime and manga conventions, including giant robot warriors, demons, and two alien races. It also includes background for the city of San Metro in 2019, site of an interstellar and interdimensional war. It uses a simple skill-based system that includes cyberware and mecha.
Space Opera
1st ed by Ed Simbalist, A. Mark Ratner, Phil McGregor (1980) FGU
A semi-generic sci-fi game, intended to simulate several space opera subgenres (i.e. Star Wars, Star Trek, Lensmen, etc.) The system is fairly complex and detailed, but there is a lot of coverage of elements like psionics, worlds, equipment, starships, etc.
Space Quest
1st ed by Paul Hume, George Nyhen (1977) Tyr Gamemakers Ltd
A spacefaring sci-fi RPG. It uses a d30-based system with class-based character creation and level-based advancement. The basic system includes six classes (spacers, warriors, mutates/psionics, technics, or biotechs) and three races. The basic system also includes random star system generation, though based on the erroneous Bode's Law.
1st ed by Tom K. Loney (2007) Peryton Publishing
A retro sci-fi game using the minimalist TAG (Tom's Adventure Gaming) system. Resolution uses 2d6 against a target number of difficulty minus attribute. Character creation includes races of human or android; along with character classes including Spacer, FreeFall Brawler, Scientist, and Psychic. There are eight attributes, each determined by 4d6 (Strength, Constitution, Speed, Dexterity, Intelligence, Luck, Will, and Charisma).
Spaceship Zero: The Sci-Fi Serial Roleplaying Game
1st ed by Toren Atkinson, Warren Banks (2002) Green Ronin Publishing
A 50's style swashbuckling space adventure RPG, based on the cult TV series and the movie from Titan Entertainment. A group of brave test pilots take the world's first "Better-Than-Light" drive ship for a spin around the galaxy. Everything that can go wrong does, leaving the crew stranded in a twisted mirror universe, low on supplies and beset by dangerous aliens who seek their technological secrets. It uses a percentile skill-based system: roll under skill on 1d100, where the roll itself indicates degree of success. In addition, players have a limited number of "zero dice" which can be used to alter rolls. Character creation is limited-point based, using 15 archetypes for ship roles. The archetype limits attributes and skills, which are point-bought, and provides a Specialty Perk: a cinematic powers usable once per session.
1st ed by Greg Porter (1988) BTRC
A cyberpunk RPG, set in a dark urban future ruled by interplanetary corporations. It uses a variant of the Timelords system.
Spawn of Fashan
1st ed by Kirby Lee Davis (1981) Games of Fashan
A small-press fantasy-genre RPG, generally held to be a parody of other RPGs in its pointless complexity and bizarre tables. It is set in the land of "Boosboodle", inhabited by monsters like "makl", "foklom", "finikor", and "rolmtrokl". Over 20 monster names are listed, but only 7 are described. Character creation involves over 50 statistics and numerous randomly-rolled ads and disads.
1st ed by John Stowe (1984) Seventh Scarab
A British historical/fantasy RPG set in ancient Egypt. The system is class-based, including over 50 classes. It also includes a large-scale combat system, and rules for reincarnation and dreaming.
Spirit of the Century
1st ed by Rob Donaghue, Fred Hicks, Leonard Balsera (2006) Evil Hat Productions
A game about 1920s pulp genre heroes. It is set just after the Great War, and the PCs are members of the "Century Club" of adventurers whose elder members are dying off. It uses a variant of the FATE system (Fantastic Adventures in Tabletop Entertainment), known as FATE 3.0. FATE is itself a free variant of the Fudge system, available for download. It adds Aspects and other narrative mechanics to the rules.
1st ed by Thord Daniel Hedengren (2002) Alltid Attack
A Swedish-language horror RPG, in a generic setting.
1st ed by Carmen Bellaire (2004) Palladium Books
A post-apocalyptic science fiction game, set on a world (which may or may not be Earth) where an artificial intelligence named "NEXUS" went rogue and infected humanity with a nanobot plague that turns all metal into killing machines. Humanity survived by developing biotechnology, in particular armored "biosuits" with military capabilities. It uses a variant of the Palladium FRPG system, which is level and class based, with percentile attributes and skills. The basic game covers different classes describing different variants of biosuits and their pilots. Classes include Archangels (with flying biosuits), Biotics (criminals rebuilt as biotech cyborgs), Dreadguard (chivalrous knights), Outriders (bonded to a biotech mount), Packmasters (bonded to a pack of augmented dogs), Roughnecks (infantry troops), Saints (self-sacrificing healers), Scarecrows (augmented but chemically-addicted), Skinjobs (humans with augmented stealth via alien skins), and Technojackers (immune to the nanobot plague due to helpful nanites).
1st ed by Aaron Rosenberg (1998) Clockworks Games
A supernatural espionage RPG, where ghosts are recruited to work as spies! It uses a simple stat+die vs difficulty system, with a twist that sometimes you use d10s for mental/spiritual/ghosty powers and d6s for other rolls. There are also various dangers of "freezing up" one side of your ability (resisted by a "Control Check") -- rolling a 1, say, or perhaps you face the thing that killed you.
1st ed by Patrick Kapera, Kevin Wilson, Scott Gearin (2002) Alderac Entertainment Group
2.0 ed by Alex Flagg, Patrick Kapera, Scott Gearin (2007) Mongoose Publishing
A modern-day superspy game in the genre of James Bond and Mission: Impossible. The rules are a variant of the D20 System from 3rd edition D&D. The core book include complete, self-contained skill and feat listings as well as combat rules, but rely on core rules from standalone D20 System games for a few essentials of character creation and advancement.
Squirrel Attack!
1st ed by William Corrie III (2005) HinterWelt Enterprises
A humorous RPG about squirrels from the magical kingdom of Nuttopia who are on a secret mission to raid the Mortal World in search of nuts ("Operation: Get Mr. Jones' Nuts"). It uses the "Iridium Lite" system, which is a simplified version of the "Iridium" system that originally appeared in Tales of Gaea. Resolution is roll under skill + aptitude + stat on 1d20. Character creation is limited point-based: distribute 60 points to statistics; choose career, skills, and powers. The basic game includes maps of of Nuttopia, Mr. Jones' grove, house and buildings; plus six pre-generated characters with individual goals.
Stalker - The SciFi Roleplaying Game
1st Finnish ed by Ville Vuorela (2008) Burger Games
1st English ed by Ville Vuorela (2012) Burger Games
A post-apocalyptic sci-fi RPG, based on the novel Roadside Picnic by Arkady and Boris Strugatsky. Alien visitation has created numerous Zones dozens of kilometers across, where physical reality has changed and various artifacts are scattered. Teams of Stalkers travel into the Zones to recover artifacts, but they risk being destroyed by anomalies within. It uses a diceless system called the FLOW system. Resolution works by the GM assigning Idea and Roleplay values to the action based on player's description. Both values get a +1 if the character has an applicable ability. The two values are then multiplied, and if the product is higher than the target number, the task succeeds.
Star Ace
1st ed by Mark Acres, Gali Sanchez (1984) Pacesetter
A space opera RPG where humans, bear-men, and cat-men are allied against an oppressive Empire of pig-men and lizard-men. It uses a variant of the Chill rules.
Starblazer Adventures
1st ed by Chris Birch (2008) Cubicle 7 Entertainment Limited
A science fiction game based on the British sci-fi comic series by DC Thompson, published in the 1970's thru early 1990's. It uses a variant of the FATE system (Fantastic Adventures in Tabletop Entertainment) from Spirit of the Century.
Starchildren: Velvet Generation
1st ed by Richard Ranallo, Scott Leaton (2002) XIG Games
A sci-fi RPG set in 2073, in a future where the Ministries of Culture have repressed rock & roll and other possibly violent influences following a catastrophic world world. However, aliens ("Starchildren") arrive in 2071, inspired by the radio transmissions of the prior century. The PCs are humans and starchildren who have gathered as underground rock & roll bands who oppose the ministries. It uses a system based on playing cards. The eight attributes and related skills each have a card rank and an associated suit. The player has a hand of five cards where only the suit played matters. Resolution test is made by comparing a random draw versus the attribute or skill, modified based on the suit of the card played from the player's hand. Character creation is limited point-based, with advantages and disadvantages.
Starcluster Role-Playing Game
1st ed by clash bowley (2002) Flying Mice LLC
A space opera RPG originally published as an electronic download, set in a cluster of stars several hundred years after refugees from Earth first settled there. The first colonists arrived in huge slower-than-light multi-generation spaceships which spread over dozens out of hundreds of worlds. Since arriving, some have discovered anti-gravity and FTL travel, contacted several alien races, and become one of the dominant races. The original edition uses a percentile skill-based system, while later editions use a dice pool system called the StarPool system. In StarPool, resolution is by rolling d20s equal to skill rating, where every die under attribute is counted as a success. Character creation has random-roll attributes and a lifepath mechanic for each year over 10, which generates skills, metaskills, and attribute improvements.
1st ed by Ken St. Andre (1976) Flying Buffalo
A humorous spacefaring sci-fi RPG -- the first ever published. The is a 56-page booklet (8 1/2" by 11"), plastic spiral bound with a cartoon illustration of a woman with a headband and blaster with stars and a spaceship in the background. The interior is also copiously illustrated with cartoons by E. Hogan. While one participant is the "Galaxy Master" (GM), the other players are "Ship Masters" (SMs). Each player designs and plays one starship, including the entire crew. There are three basic scenarios: (1) basic exploration through a Star Gate; (2) race to find a suitable colony world; (3) fighting galactic foes. Ships are constructed by buying features within a monetary budget. Characters are created by random-roll attributes, and may be either human or robot. Humans have (3d6)x10 for Mentality, 3d6 for Psi, 1d6 for Psi Use, 1d6 for Psi Recovery, 3d6 for Physique, and 3d6 for Health. Robots have (3d6)x50 for Mentality, and playing card draw to determine Charge and Efficiency (both rated 0.00 to 1.00). It includes rules for ship combat and space hazards, but no rules for personal combat or action.
Starfleet Voyages
1st ed by Michael Scott (1982) Terra Games
A spacefaring sci-fi RPG, playing members of a space navy similar to Star Trek. The rulebook includes "Landing Party" rules for personal-level roleplaying and "Starflight" rules for ship navigation and combat.
Star Frontiers
1st ed by "TSR Staff" (1982) TSR
2nd ed by Lawrence Schick, David Cook (1983)
A space-opera game, set in an original universe where four allied races (humans, amorphous Dralasite, simian Yazirians, and insectoid Vrusk) are threatened by the evil worm-like Sathar. It uses a percentile skill-based system, where chance is listed separately for each skill (i.e. setting charges is 30%+10*skill, while removing security locks is 70%+10*skill). Character creation is purely random-roll attributes, however: starting characters have no skills. The second edition retitled the original boxed set "Alpha Dawn" and added a "Knight Hawks" boxed set with starship construction and combat rules.
Star Hero
1st ed by Paula Woods, Sam Bowne (1989) Hero Games
A generic sci-fi game using the 3rd edition Champions system. The game included the Powers meta-system, which is used for alien biology, technological devices, and . It also includes a hex-based starship combat system. There is only a brief background (describing 10 interstellar societies in 18 pages).
Starleader: Assault
1st ed by Howard Thompson (1982) Metagaming
A space-opera variant of the Fantasy Trip, though only the first module (combat) was published. It was set in the 30th century of the Space Era (SE), depicting humanic expansion to the stars. The boxed set included rules, map, and 42 counters.
Star Patrol
Space Patrol ed by Michael Scott Kurtick, Rockland Russo (1977) Gamescience
1st ed (1980)
2nd ed (1982)
A spacefaring sci-fi RPG, originally a 32-page mini-game called "Space Patrol". The rules use attributes similar to D&D, with a hybrid system with class-like professions as well as 25 skills. Professions include soldier, engineer, scientist, astronaut, trader, rogue, and spy/diplomat. It also includes rules for 32 alien races, psionics, robots, and starships.
1st ed by Phillip McGregor (1999) Phalanx Games Designs
A brief universal RPG, released as a 103-page download in PDF format. There are two sourcebooks for the "Armageddon" setting, in which 20th-21st century military units are thrown 25000 years into the future where there are various fantasy-like creatures and ultra-tech. The system uses rolling 2d6 under skill/stat. There are attributes (including Luck) and a semi-complex tree of skills.
Star Riders
1st ed by Hans Guevin (1993) Ianus Publications
A "wild space opera comedy" RPG, a sequel to R Talsorian's Teenagers from Outer Space game with compatible rules.
Star Rovers
1st ed by Stocken, Hoffman, Hoffman, Hargrave, Huey, Lortz (1981) Archive Miniatures and Game Systems
A spacefaring sci-fi RPG, with a fairly detailed system covering possibilities from zero-gee combat to diseases and their effects. It was released with a set of sci-fi miniature figures. Action resolution is based on rolling sets of d6's with sixes read as zeroes (resulting in a range from 0 to 5). Reviewed in Space Gamer #44.
Starships and Spacemen
1st ed by Leonard H. Kanterman (1978) FGU
A serious-toned military space opera RPG, taglined "Carry Out Missions in the Final Frontier". It focuses on the "Space Fleet Service". The system covers aliens, space combat, and psionic abilities.
Starship Troopers
1st ed by August Hahn (2005) Mongoose Publishing
A military sci-fi RPG based on the nineties computer-animated TV series ("Roughnecks Chronicles"), the 1997 Paul Verhoeven film, and the 1959 Robert A. Heinlein novel. The PCs are troopers in powered armor who are engaged in war with bug-like aliens. This is a standalone game which uses a variant of the D20 System developed for 3rd edition Dungeons & Dragons. Characters are almost all of the "Trooper" class, but may add cross-training classes such as neo-dog handler, marauder driver, and medic. There is also a Special Service Agent class with its own psionics system. There are a number of combat system modifications, including that characters begin with hit points equal to his Constitution and gain exactly three hit points per level.
StarSIEGE: Event Horizon
1st ed by Josh Chewning (2008) Troll Lord Games
A generic sci-fi RPG using a variant of the SIEGE Engine system from the fantasy RPG Castles & Crusades. Resolution is still by rolling 1d20 with a target number of either 12 or 18 depending on whether the task is within the character's skill bundle. In this variant, character creation does not use classes - only attributes, species, skill bundles, and specialties. There are also a generic set of build rules for "Trappings" - which can be anything from guns to diseases to planets. Combat is expanded to allow fights between general entities such as vehicles, starships, or even planets.
Stars Without Number
1st ed by Kevin Crawford (2010) Sine Nomine Publishing
A science fiction RPG set in the year 3200, six centuries after a metadimensional pulse killed all psychics and cut off interstellar travel. Humanity is scattered and just beginning to recover from centuries of isolation. It uses a variant of the early ("old school") Dungeons & Dragons. system, inspired by the "Old School Renaissance" design movement. Character creation is by rolling 3d6 for the six attributes and choosing a class, along with a background package, training package, and homeworld. The three classes are: Warriors, Experts, and Psychics. Skill resolution is by rolling 2d6 + skill + attribute modifier vs. difficulty number. Combat rolls are 1d20 + target's Armor Class + attacker's Combat skill, attribute modifier, and attack bonus. A result of 20 or more is a hit. The core rules include starships and a starship combat system, using the same hit roll and rules for shifting metadimensional phase.
Star Thugs
1st ed by Mark Argyle (2004) GhazPORK Industrial
A tongue-in-cheek sci-fi RPG focused on starship combat, set in "a dangerously jaded galaxy filled with bold adventure and relentless cynicism." Each player creates a complete ship, captain, and crew. Character creation involves selecting four attributes (Engineering, Piloting, Mojo and Thuggery); plus simple skill selection. It has an involved starship combat system, where any number of actions can be taken in a turn, but most systems become "BENT" after one use and cannot be used again that turn. Action resolution is generally 1d12 plus modifiers vs difficulty. For some rolls, if you roll under your attribute you can roll again and add to the total.
Star Trek
1st ed by Christian Moore, Ross Isaacs, Kenneth Hite, Steve Long (2002) Decipher
A science-fiction game based on the televisions series, closely related to the previous Star Trek effort from Last Unicorn Games. It is published in a Player's Guide and Narrator's Guide. It uses the "CODA" system, which is based on attribute + skill + 2d6 vs difficulty. Character creation uses templates and "overlays" for species and profession, along with limited point-based features such as advantages and disadvantages.
Star Trek
1st ed by Guy W. McLimore, Greg Poehlein, David Tepool (1982) FASA
2nd ed by Wm John Wheeler (1983)
An early sci-fi game based on the original TV series. This uses a basic percentile skill-based system. Character creation is random-roll attributes with skill picks (of random adds) based on career path. The combat system uses a complex action point system. It includes world generation but no starship combat.
Star Trek: Adventure Gaming in the Final Frontier
1st ed by Michael Scott (1978) Heritage Models
An early sci-fi game based on the original TV series. It was the first official Star Trek RPG, and produced in conjunction with the official figure line. The core rulbook is staple-bound with only a large purple gas giant and space background on the cover, and no interior illustrations. The rules are split into a "Basic Game" using pre-generated characters from the series, and an "Advanced Game" with full character creation and additional combat rules like random initiative. Characters have six attributes (Strength, Dexterity, Constitution, Charisma, Luck, and Mentality) generated by 3d6 rolls modified by race. There is a "Hand-to-Hand Class" bonus, but no other skills and no experience rules. Melee combat is resolved in a single damage step. The attacker rolls 1d6-6d6 (depending on weapon) plus Strength, Dexterity, and Hand-to-Hand Class modifiers. The defender subtracts 1d6 plus Luck and Hand-to-Hand Class modifiers from this total to determine damage. Ranged combat requires a 1d6 roll under a hit number which depends on range and the attacker's Dexterity. The rules include sheets for bridge crew including Kirk, Spock, McCoy, Uhura, Checkov, Sulu, Chapel, and Scott as well as M'res and Arex from the Star Trek animated series. The advanced rules include descriptions of several alien races including Larry Niven's Kzin, an extensive equipment list, tables for randomly-generated aliens, and two introductory scenarios. There are no starship rules, however, and both scenarios are essentially dungeon crawls complete with monsters, radioactive rocks, and traps.
Star Trek Roleplaying Game
1st ed by Christian Moore, Ross Isaacs, Kenneth Hite, Steve Long (1999) Last Unicorn
The companion game to Star Trek:TNG which covers the original TV series. It uses the same system, with altered background and character templates.
Star Trek: The Next Generation Roleplaying Game
1st ed by Christian Moore, Ross Isaacs, Kenneth Hite, Steve Long (1998) Last Unicorn
A sci-fi game based on the TV series (no relation to the FASA game). It uses a "best roll" dice pool system (the "Icon" system), rolling a number of d6's equal to attribute (1-6), keeping the best and adding skill (1-6) vs difficulty.
Star Wars
1st ed by Greg Costikyan, Greg Gorden, Bill Slavicsek (1987) West End Games
2nd ed by Bill Smith (1992)
Revised and Expanded ed by Bill Smith, Peter Schweighofer, George R. Strayton, Paul Sudlow, Eric S. Trautman, Greg Farshtey (1996)
A sci-fi game set in the universe of the movie series by George Lucas. The later editions are nominally set after the film trilogy, when the New Republic has emerged. However, play during the original film period are also supported. This uses the simple "D6" system: roll d6's equal to attribute + skill and compare total vs difficulty. Character creation is by picking a pre-gen template or limited point-buy.
Star Wars Roleplaying Game
1st ed by Bill Slavisceck, Andy Collins, JD Wiker (2000) Wizards of the Coast
Saga ed by Owen K.C. Stephens, Rodney Thompson (2007) Wizards of the Coast
A sci-fi game set in the universe of the movie series by George Lucas. It uses a variant of the D20 System developed for 3rd edition Dungeons & Dragons. Character creation is based on random-roll attributes along with races and classes as in the original system. However, characters have a Defense Bonus (which adds to Armor Class) as well as a Reputation score which depend on class and level. The damage system has a separate pool of Wound Points (always equal to Constitution) and Vitality Points (which are gained in dice per level). Critical hits and other special damage subtract directly from WP, but otherwise damage comes out of VP first. It also includes a Force Point system, where all characters have Force Points which can be spent for a bonus to die rolls. You gain a force point with each level or from performing an act of dramatic heroism.
Star Wars
Edge of the Empire ed by Jay Little, Chris Gerber, Sam Stewart (2013) Fantasy Flight Games
Age of Rebellion ed (2014) Fantasy Flight Games
A sci-fi game set in the universe of the movie series by George Lucas. It uses a dice pool system based on custom dice, positive and negative. Positive dice (D6, D8, or D12) come from skill, proficiency, and bonuses - and have symbols for success, advantage, and triumph. Negative dice (D6, D8, or D12) come from difficulty and have symbols for failure, threat, and despair. A roll is a success if success results outnumber failure results - but there can be advantages gained even on a failure, and threats with success. Character creation is based on race and career. There are eight races (Human, Wookie, Droid, Trandoshian, Twi'lek, Bothan, Gand and Rodian) and six careers (Bounty Hunter, Colonist, Explorer, Hired Gun, Smuggler, and Technician) - each with three possible specializations.
Star Wreck Roleplaying Game
1st ed by Mike Pohjola (2006) Energia Productions
A humorous science fiction game, adapted from the Finnish Star Trek parody film of the same name. The PCs are members of the P-republic, an advanced society of "radical godless commie feminist liberal pinkos". It uses a simple system where you roll 2d6 and try to get higher than your Inability score -- which is one of Stupidity, Obliviousness, Clumsiness, Repulsiveness, and Weakness. There are four classes: Incompetent Idiot, Annoying Nerd, Psychotic Loud-Mouth, and Frustrated Grouch. Your class grants you from 0 to 2 special talents.
Steal Away Jordan
1st ed by Julia B. Ellingboe (2007) Stone Baby Games
A historical tabletop RPG about characters who are slaves in the 19th century U.S. -- inspired by slave narratives like Margaret Walker's Jubilee, Toni Morrison's Beloved, and Octavia Butler's Kindred. It uses a d6 dice pool system where a character's primary stat is a general pool, called Worth, that is rated based on the character's market value. There is also a Death die (d6) rolled during any violent conflicts, where a result of 1 means that the character dies.
Stella Inquisitorus
1st ed by Croc (1993) Siroz / Ideojeux
A French-language science fantasy RPG. It is set in a distant future where after Armageddon has occured, technology has regressed, and a ruthless Catholic Church rules everything (even the angels!).
1st ed by Eoin Connolly, Rob Brennan, Eric Nolan (1994) Wasteland
A universal RPG system. It uses random-roll attributes (advising GM latitude in allowing rerolls) and point-bought skills (number of skill points based on attributes: INT+EDU+10). Action resolution is basic roll d20 under skill: difficulty is a +- modifier, but time spent is a multiplier to skill (x1/2 or x2). Success is normal or critical. The combat system is simple and geared towards realism, and features "panic" rules.
La Storia Ancestrale
1st ed by Giuliano Bezzi, Andrea Trapani (1995) Hobby & Work
An Italian-language fantasy RPG inspired by a story published by the same editor as a collection of issues sold in Italian newspaperkiosks. The title translates as "The Ancestral Story".
1st ed by Ken St. Andre, Steve Perrin (1981) Chaosium
2nd ed (1985) Chaosium
3rd ed (1987)
4th ed by Ken St. Andre, Steve Perrin, John B. Monroe (1990)
5th ed (2001)
A dark fantasy role-playing game set in the world of Michael Moorcock's Young Kingdoms series. It uses a variant of the Basic Roleplaying system. The Elric! game is really another edition of this game between 4th and 5th editions.
1st ed by Matthew Gaston (1996) Magus Creative Games
A simple universal mini-system. Characters have 15 to 20 freeform word traits such as "Sorceror" and "Quick". For action resolution, each trait that applies to the action adds one die to the dice pool. You roll that number of d10, and each die that is greater than the task difficulty is one success.
Story Cards
1st ed by Carl Klutzke (2008) Dogtown Games
A universal RPG that uses specialized deck of cards inspired by astronomical constellations. There are 60 cards, numbered 1 through 12 in five suits (Strength, Intellect, Dexterity, Will, and Essence). The rules use a tarot-like reading to prompt ideas for characters and adventures. Besides the random reading, character stats are open point-based, dividing 8, 10, 12, or 20 points (based on the chosen power level) among the 4 attributes as well as skills and powers. Resolution is by drawing a number of cards from the deck equal to appropriate attribute, where each card drawn that is of the Essence suit or the suit of the attribute used is a success. Skill adds a number of automatic successes equal to skill level.
Story Engine
1st ed by Christian Aldridge (1999) Hubris
A universal RPG system, which is a dice pool system which has no numerical stats. Instead, the size of the pool depends on the number of textual "descriptors" (like "strong") the character has that apply. Success is determined by the number of odd numbers rolls ("Odds") vs the difficulty.
1st ed by Andrea "Anderson" Gualano, Giuseppe "Mitsuhashi" Lanzi (1999) self-published
An Italian-language universal RPG. It uses a flexible and fast rule system, using d20 for all rolls. It was started as an online project, and much later was collected in one volume. The basic manual has several "classic", "serious" and "humorous" settings.
Strands of Fate
1st ed by Mike McConnell (2010) Void Stars Games
A universal RPG using a variant of the FATE system (Fantastic Adventures in Tabletop Entertainment) from Spirit of the Century.
Strange Frontiers
1st ed by Mark Hanson (1999) New World Games
A futuristic "Wild West" RPG. It is set in the year 2119 on a mystically-charged planet called Tarrath on the other side of the black hole Cygnus X1. The Earth government has tried to isolate the planet from technology, but their efforts are only partially successful. The system includes 11 races, 13 professions, 83 skills, and 144 spells.
Street Fighter: The Storytelling Game
1st ed by Bill Bridges, Phil Brucato, Brian Campbell, Sean Lang, Mike Tinney, Stephan Wieck (1994) White Wolf
A martial-arts RPG based on the video game, using a variant of the Storyteller system.
Střepy snů
1st ed by Matouš Ježek (2010) Midnight Theatre
A universal system, whose title translates as "shards of dreams". It focuses on cinematic storytelling aspects of gaming, with mechanics inspired by film techniques.
StrikeForce: 2136
1st ed by Lee Kamberos (2007) RolePlayersInk
A dark future science fiction RPG, set in the year 2136 where the U.N. and corporations have fostered a society aimed at creating ultimate opponents and warriors through an adversarial system. It uses a percentile skill system where every skill and attribute roll is an opposed roll, where you subtract a percentile roll from modified skill level to determine the effectiveness (EF) of the attempt. The EF is compared to an opposed roll to see if they succeed. This may be modified by a related skill roll ("tweaking") or spending a limited number of luck points. Characters are created by a random-roll class-based system. The player rolls for the race of the character, where the races are different genetically engineered versions of humanity. Primary attributes are then generated with dice rolls based on the race. The player then rolls education level based on a chart, and chooses a profession from 5 options: Special Tactics Officer (STO), Corporate Spy (C-Spy), Nano-Tech, Med-Tech and Psi-Tech. Skills are then bought with points based on education level and profession. There are two types of skills: main skills (worth 5 points per level) and sub-skills, which are multipliers of the main skill total. It also has a personality system where characters have defined "passions" that trigger possible disillusionment with the social order (i.e. "A civilian is about to be killed - do I save them and lose the plans?"). Triggered attitude checks may make the character more disillusioned with the system, making it harder go up ranks and get new technology but granting an experience bonus. Besides the game system book, the core game also has a Tech Manual (covering various equipment) and The Defense Zone Manual (GM's guide).
1st ed by Ryan Dunlavey, Steve Ellis, Jamal Igle, Carson Jones, Stew Noack, Lauren Rabinowitz, Fred Van Lente (1997) Unstoppable Productions
2nd ed (1999) Evil Twin Comics
A parody superhero RPG, published as a 32-page comic book (with an abridged rulebook available on the web). Characters are "third-rate heroes" with less than spectacular powers like "Induce Vietnam Flashbacks" (randomly rolled from a list of 48 powers). The basic game mechanic is either toss a coin (you call it, you succeed) or rock-paper-scissors. Damage has 5 levels, but you can gain them back by playing "Truth or Dare". cf. the official website.
Sufficiently Advanced
1st ed by Colin Fredericks (2008) Valent Games
A science fiction RPG where the player characters are agents of the extra-governmental Patent Office, travelling to civilizations throughout the universe to enforces intellectual property rights. It is an open secret that the office run by transcendental artificial intelligences spread throughout time, who are trying to save humanity to ease their loneliness. Character creation is by rating four player-chosen core values (rated 0-10) representing what they believe in, and also Capabilities (rated 1-10) representing the five kinds of technology built into their bodies (rated 1-10): Biotech, Cognitech, Metatech, Nanotech, and Stringtech. Higher ratings in Capabilities result in greater complications and fewer levels in the story-level abilities -- the six Themes: Plot Immunity, Intrigue, Empathy, Magnetism, Comprehension, and Romance. The player spends from 5 to 9 levels among the Themes. The player also spends points up to two times (Biotech plus Cognitech) among professions (i.e. broad skills). Resolution is by multiplying Capability and a 1d10 roll, and also Profession and a 1d10 roll, taking the higher result. A relevant Core Value adds +1 or +2 to the roll. Players may spend one Twist per session to activate a Theme, with an effect depending on the Theme type and level. More Twists can be gained by taking Complications.
Sulle sponde del Nilo
1st ed by Andrea Angiolino, Pier Giorgio Paglia, Stefano Pischedda (1995) City Council of Rome
2nd ed (1998) Kaos magazine #53
An Italian-language historical RPG set in ancient Egypt. The title translates as "On the Nile river banks". It uses a simple set of rules, similar to Mediterraneo and Orlando Furioso. Most of the space is devoted to the adventure, "Il papiro trafugato" ("The stolen papyrus"). The first edition was part of the booklet "L'Egitto in biblioteca", freely distributed to teachers and librarians. The second edition was published in Kaos magazine #53, March 1998.
Summerland: A role-playing game of desolation and redemption within the Sea of Leaves
1st ed by Greg Saunders (2009) Fire Ruby Designs
Revised and Expanded ed (2010) Fire Ruby Designs
A post-apocalyptic sci-fi RPG in a future where a vast forest has suddenly imposed itself over human civilization (known as "The Event"), and eighty percent of humanity has gone into the forest never to return (known as "The Call"). The player characters are rare "drifters" who can resist the Call and function deep in the forest due to traumatic events that have happened to them. It uses an original system. Character creation is limited point-bought, spending 20 points among the four attributes (Body, Finesse, Mind, Empathy) along with specifying five freeform descriptive "tags". Resolution is by rolling under attribute plus two tags on a number of dice depending on difficulty, from 2d6 (easy) to 5d6 (near impossible). It has additional mechanics for Trauma and Stress, which are stats the both start at 5 but reduce over time when invoked. Trauma lets the character resist the Call but keeps them from being part of normal society. When reduced to zero, the character can reintegrate into society. Stress meaures how close the character is to breaking.
Sun and Storm
1st ed by D. Pilurs (1992) Storm Press
A dark fantasy RPG (with some sci-fi elements), where characters are struggling to survive in a world plagued with monsters. The world was once a techno-magical paradise until a StormWyrm devastated it. The cosmology has that evil Storm dragons fight with good Sun dragons. The PC races are warlike Kehessek, magical Requessek, Hadiborean, and mixed-race individuals. The system is skill-based with profession packages.
Super! - Il Gioco di ruolo dei supereroi
1st ed by Chris Rutkowsky (2008) Inspired Device
An Italian-language adaptation of the superhero RPG BASH! Basic Action Super Heroes, written by Chris Rutkowsky in 2004.
Superbabes: The Fem Force RPG
1st ed by Marc Schezzini, Cameron Verkaik (1992) Tri-City Games
A light-hearted superhero RPG in the world of Americomics' Femforce comic, playing well-endowed spandex-clad superheroines. It has a "Bimbo Point" mechanic which lets PC's do anything once (or maybe twice) a game -- even violate the rules, but they accrue debt points when they do. Each game session the GM rolls vs accumulated debt. If the roll is made, a bad subplot (i.e. tabloid story, IRS investigation) happens to the PC and the debt is wiped clean.
The Supercrew
1st ed by Tobias Radesäter (2007) self-published
A English-language RPG (produced in Sweden) in the form of a 28-page comic book. The players play a version of themselves with super powers. Character creation is by rolling three times on a table to determine three abilities. One ability is Rank 3, powerful but only useable once or twice per session. One ability is Rank 2, your primary power. One ability is Rank 1, weak that causes you trouble but earns you hero points if you use it. Resolution is by rolling d6s equal to your ability rank, where each 4, 5 or 6 counts as a success. This is modified by tricks and the Anecdote Bonus. The book is self-published through Lulu.com.
1st ed by Jay Hartlove, Aimee Karklyn (1980) DAG Productions
2nd ed by Jay Hartlove, Aimee Hartlove (1982)
A generic superhero RPG, supposedly based on a variant of Superhero 2044. Character creation is point-bought. It had two supplements: a collection of adventures titled "Reactor" and a sourcebook titled "Heroes of Poseidon".
Superhero 2044
1st ed by Donald Saxman (1977) Gamescience
The first superhero RPG. It had rules inspired by D&D, with vague rules for character construction and resolution of superpower useage. Players allocated time management (i.e. hours spent patrolling, etc.) which determined a superhero's overall effectiveness in stopping crime.
Supernatural Role Playing Game
1st ed by Jamie Chambers (2009) Margaret Weis Productions
A modern-day horror RPG adapted from the American television series "Supernatural." It uses a step-die system adapted from the Sovereign Stone and the Serenity RPG.
1st ed (1983) Judges Guild
A superhero RPG system.
Super Squadron
1st ed by Joseph Italiano (1984) Adventure Simulations
An Australian generic superhero RPG, similar to Villians and Vigilantes. The game was a boxed set with two books: the main rulebook (56 pages), and the adventure book with ten introductory scenarios (24 pages). Two supplements were released for it: "The Tome" (with assorted new powers, spells, NPCs, and scenarios) and "Super Science" (with detailed science and technology).
1st ed by Rick Register, R. Vance Buck, Allen D. Eldridge (1982) Task Force Games
A boxed, chit/counter-based tactical combat game set in New York City involving randomized super villains against DAGGER agents, police, and the national guard. The set includes advanced rules for role-playing.
2nd ed by Steve Perrin (1983) Chaosium
A superhero RPG. The "first edition" was one of three parts of the World of Wonder universal RPG. It was later expanded and released on its own. It uses a variant of the "Basic Role-playing" percentile system.
1st ed by Tomas Härenstam (2012) Fria Ligan
A Swedish-language fantasy game based on the fantasy novel series by Erik Granström, in a merchant empire ("Tracoria") among four main islands in a fictional renaissance world. The title translates as "Winter of Brimstone". The world is animistic with living clouds, mountains and winds along with dragons and other mythical beasts.
Svenil Rollspelet
1st ed by Daniel Lenneér (2000) Svenil Games
A humorous Swedish-language RPG where you play anti-heroes and ordinary people in a cartoony version of the modern world.
1st ed by J.J. Prince (2006) Prince of Darkness Games
A broad generic fantasy game that uses Tarot cards for task resolution. Character creation is open point-based, with players spending 100 character points on stats (Physique, Agility, Psyche); Traits (such as Might, Markmanship or Magick); player-defined Skills; Perks (such as guild membership, contacts, etc.); and Talents (including magical one). Action resolution is by drawing a number of cards equal to the appropriate trait, and taking the highest. The GM draws cards either based on task difficulty (1 to 10) or based on NPC stat. Each failure on a player's part adds a grievance, and if grievances are greater than the Essence stat, the character is effectively out of the scene. Flair can be gained by good descriptions, and creates a pool of points which can be spent to hold onto a high card for later use, or move the game to a chosen scene. Also, some Major Arcana have special effects -- such as the Death card allowing the player to kill a faltering NPC, which is otherwise tricky to do.
1st ed by Jim Dietz (1998) Jolly Roger
A swashbuckling action RPG. It's system is mixed step-die (d6 to d20 for attribute) plus dice pool (1d6 per skill) vs difficulty. Combat is a special case of 1d20 vs 1d20 based on cross-referencing each opponent's fencing manuever. Character creation is a simple limited-point-buy system.
Swashbucklers of the 7 Skies
1st ed by Chad Underkoffler (2009) Evil Hat Productions
A game of pulp adventure set on an original world, a giant dome of floating cloud-islands divided into seven skies which define the seasons. There are also six major cloud-island kingdoms, whose people travel by skyships (built of floating bluewood), cloudships, and gliders. There are pirates and musket-wielding swashbucklers, of course - as well as magical and religious powers. It uses a variant of the Prose Descriptive Qualities (PDQ) system, called PDQ# ("PDQ Sharp"). It includes the usual 2d6 + stat versus difficulty, as well as a duelling system where opponents divide 3d6 among attack, defense, or other action. This is modified by techniques and spending of Style Dice - which may give an addition die that is not kept (i.e. take thee best 2 out of N dice) or give a flat bonus. Character creation is limited point-based, choosing a number of stats ("Fortes").
Sweet Agatha
1st ed by Kevin Allen Jr. (2008) Kevin Allen Jr Design
A cooperative storytelling game for two players, that incorporates elements of traditional fiction in the form of thirty pages of notes, pictures, and codes regarding the disappearance of the character of Agatha. There are 67 clues included, but the solution to the mystery is decided by the players over the course of ten scenes.
Sweet Dreams: The Storytelling Game of Romance, Espionage and Horror in High School
1st ed by Allan Dotson, David Richards (2005) May Contain Monkeys
A game set in a version of the modern world where due to the Dreaming, everything imaginable is real -- including unicorns, dragons, fairies, ghosts, vampires, werewolves, angels, demons, magic spells and potions, and super-powers. However, most people block it out with adolescence. The PCs are the Chosen -- supernatural students who have re-learned the truth they knew in pre-adolescence.
The Swing
1st ed by Keith Taylor (2003) 93 Games Studio
A modern-day shifting-reality RPG, set in the modern world which is in the process of being transformed by mystical processes keyed to the will of a number of enlightened beings -- including the PCs. The beings are divided into three camps: Naturists, Mechanists, and Neutrals. It uses a dice pool system where you total a number of dice for attribute, add skill, and compare that to the Difficulty of the task. There is an extensive combat system that focuses on realism. Character creation is random-roll attributes and a random-roll lifepath determining occupation and skills.
1st ed by Arnold Hendrick, Dennis Sustare (1982) Heritage Models
2nd ed (1985) FGU
A fantasy-genre RPG without a specific setting, but emphasizing an authentic medieval feel. Characters did not track money, but rather were allowed any equipment which was allowed to their social status: which ranged from slave at 1 to royalty with 20 or more. The rules are skill-based, with characters choosing broad "spheres" to concentrate in (such as combat, magic, etc.). The magic system is noteworthy in its use of "nodes" which are collected to power spells: either of the 7 elements (fire, metal, crystal, water, wood, wind, light/darkness), or the 4 spiritual humors (vitriolic, phlegmatic, choleric, melancholy).
Swords & Glory
Volume 1, 1st ed ed by M.A.R. Barker (1983) Gamescience
Volume 2, 1st ed ed by M.A.R. Barker (1983) Gamescience
Volume 1, 2nd ed ed by M.A.R. Barker (1987) Different Worlds Publications
This was an incomplete RPG set on the unique alien world called "Tekumel" -- previously the setting of the Empire of the Petal Throne (1975) game. Originally published by Gamescience, Volume 1 was a boxed set with one 136 page book of background information and one full-colour mapsheet with four maps. Volume 2 was a boxed set with 240 page book, two pamphlets (12 and 16 pages), an 8 page character sheet, and two 20-sided dice. It was an incomplete rules system which covered character generation, spells, and basic game mechanics. Volume 3 was never published, though Volume 1 was republished as two smaller books by Different Worlds Publications. There are two other games set in this world that were published later: Gardisayal (1995) and Tekumel (2005).
Swords & Wizardry
1st ed by Matthew J. Finch (2009) Mythmere Games
A close imitation of the original 1974 D&D game by Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson, created using the Wizards of the Coast Open Gaming License.
Swords of the Middle Kingdoms
1st ed by John R. Phythyon, Matt Harrop, Allan T. Grohe, Jr. (1999) Event Horizon Productions
A fantasy martial-arts RPG, based on period-piece Chinese martial-art films, set in a fictitious China during the Manchu occupation. It uses the "Cinemaction" system from Hong Kong Action Theatre!: stat+specialty+d20 vs difficulty. There is also magic based on the I Ching.
Sword's Path: Glory
1st ed by Barry Nakazano, David McKenzie (1983) Leading Edge
A medieval RPG with an extremely detailed and realistic combat system. It uses a time scale of 1/12th of a second, with about 130 hit location charts split into cutting, slashing, and crushing blows.
Sword World RPG (ソード・ワールドRPG)
1st ed by Yasuda Hitoshi (1989) Group SNE
A popular Japanese-language traditional fantasy RPG. A supplement series by Ryo Mizuno was published for adapting the anime series "Record of Lodoss War" to the system.
Systems Failure
1st ed by Bill Coffin (1999) Palladium Books
A satirical post-apocalyptic game set 10 years after the Y2K problem released alien "Bugs" from another dimension. The Bugs can travel at the speed of light through electrical and phone lines, and have all but taken over the world with humans as their slaves. The Bug larvae can live in the human brain and control the body, allowing Bugs to move into the wilderness where no power lines lie. The PCs are survivalist freedom fighters in the wilderness who are fighting back using older technology. It uses a variant of the Palladium FRPG system, which is level and class based, with percentile attributes and skills.

John H. Kim <jhkim@darkshire.net>
Last modified: Thu Apr 14 22:02:47 2016