SF3 2

Droids: A Cybernetic Role-Playing Game (1982)

I’m trying to make room for some more science fiction in the ol’ feed. Last month I did Traveller, this week I’m taking a look at a selection of spacey RPGs, starting with Droids: A Cybernetic Role-Playing Game (1982).

What an odd game! For starters, what a wonderful world it was in 1983, when you could just use the word “droid” without paying George Lucas a heap of money (which Motorola did for their Droid phones)(I mean, obviously Lucas wasn’t aware of this small press RPG, but it still makes me chuckle). The idea is that characters are robots trying to survive after humanity is wiped out in an apocalypse. The vast majority of the book is dedicated to character creation and combat, making the GM section on droid societies and adventures feel pretty tacked on. It feels more like the intention here is to offer a stealthy third-party option for Traveller games — the game is the same digest size and the cover aesthetics are similar enough. Speaking of the cover, I also love how ultra minimal it is while still evoking Tron and other examples of 80s tech and videogames.

Droids is another great example of the can-do DIY vibe of the early days of the hobby. These folks wanted to make a game about robots, so they made a game about robots. The rules are pretty sturdy, even! That kind of vibe remains in the industry to this day, and it is one of the very best parts.

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