Sci-fi RPG adventure modules and campaigns
This is a list of pre-written adventures and campaigns for science fiction roleplaying game systems such as Traveller, Mothership, Stars Without Number, and others. It focuses on scenarios set in space, but a few post-apocalyptic and cyberpunk titles also made the cut.
The list was compiled in the same manner as my popular list of OSR modules. It turns out, however, that there is a lot less data on the open web about content for sci-fi games than there is for old-school D&D offshoots; that’s why I consider the resulting selection to be slightly less comprehensive and “authoritative” than its OSR counterpart. Regrettably, the materials for some well-known systems are underrepresented simply because I couldn’t find much discussion about them.
The reasons for relative scarcity of information about sci-fi adventures are manifold and extend far beyond the fact that science fiction as an RPG genre is far less popular than fantasy. For one thing, the landscape of sci-fi tabletop gaming seems to be very fragmented; there is little communication and cross-pollination between communities centered around specific systems. This could be explained by the lack of common baseline setting assumptions shared by different sci-fi games, as well as the difficulty of converting content from one system to another due to the level of technical complexity involved. I also have the impression that very few of the adventures listed here have achieved cult status (either due to their actual excellence or sheer nostalgia) comparable to that of some of the celebrated fantasy modules. I suspect that GMs who enjoy planet-hopping games naturally prefer a more free-form style of play over carefully planned scenarios.
It’s perhaps not surprising that the most frequently recommended adventures in the genre are either open-ended sandboxes (often with random generation elements) or “dungeon crawls in space” set aboard derelict starships and abandoned space stations. More involved and detailed scenarios frequently tend toward railroady “plots,” which attempt to limit the freedom granted to characters by the accessibility of advanced technology and the sheer vastness of outer space.