Cyberpunk vs Space Opera

This post comes about due to my current tinkering with Blasters and Lasers, which is coming soon in its Zero Edition form. The big design problem, even with me limiting myself to the Space Opera sub-genre, is that space is big and has many choices of elements to include in the game. So to focus myself, I compared Cyberpunk (as seen in my recent Reboot the Future release) and the Space Opera setting that I envision for Blasters and Lasers.


As seen in Reboot the Future

  • Humancentric
  • Cyberware
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Virtual Reality computing
  • Modern Weapons with cyber enhancement
  • No Faster than Light space travel (Deep sleep colonist ships/Space shuttles)
Dan Barker's cover for Reboot the Future
Dan Barker’s cover for Reboot the Future

Sci-fi (Space Opera)

As seen in Blasters and Lasers.

  • Mainly human, but lots of aliens
  • Cutting-edge, almost fantastical, technological equipment,
  • Robots
  • Energy Weapons
  • Warp Drive Space Ships (Large range from single-seat fighters to massive capital ships).
  • Psychic powers.

I must admit I wondered where this came from, and then I remembered I ran a similar exercise while working out what made Swords and Sorcery different from standard Fantasy when I was writing Crypts and Things.

Blasters and Lasers Careers

The ram has touched the wall! I’ve started work on Blasters and Lasers, the zero edition of which is due in July.

The first stage is working out what is different from Skyraiders of the Floating Realms, the fantasy game that uses the same D100 system.

The first and most obvious place to start is the Careers section. Like Skyrealms, I’m using careers as a short punchy way of detailing what skills, equipment and augmentations ( science fiction based special abilities such cyberware and psychic abilities), the characters have picked up before they became professional adventurers.

I’m posting this, it gives an idea of the scope of the game, and what sort of characters you can play.



This career covers both the Space-Fighter Ace and the Captain of a Tramp Merchant vessel.

Skills: Pilot, Engineer, Navigation, Ranged Combat, Trade
Equipment: Laser sidearm, choice of Grav vehicle, Space fighter or Star Ship.
Augmentations: Ship Link (Starship) Link, Blaster Link, Navcom


Gangsters who operate out of the crowded metropolis, shady black-marketeers who lurk in the dark alleys of spaceports, or bands of bandits who prey upon travellers making their way across vast wilderness between settlements on sparsely inhabited worlds.

Skills: Awareness, Deception, Close Combat or Ranged Combat, Influence, Streetwise
Equipment: Blaster rifle, Vibro-knucks, Knife.
Augmentations: Choice of Cyberarm or Cyberleg, News chip, Law Feed.


This career describes both ex-armed planetary forces, trained to operate out of spaceships, or corporate guards who protect corporate operations.

Skills: Close Combat, Ranged Combat, Unarmed Combat, Awareness, Movement
Equipment: Blaster rifle, Combat Armour, Grenades, Combat Knife
Augmentations: Enhanced Body Type, Combat Endorphins, Mercenary Database.

Navy Officer

Part diplomat, part combat-ready soldier, this career covers both the upper ranks of the Imperial Fleet or the member of a command group on a respectable merchant vessel.

Skills: Influence, Ranged Combat, Linguist, Navigation, Pilot.
Equipment: Laser pistol, Vibro Sword, Translator
Augmentations: Customs Database, Body sculpt, Vocal Harmoniser.


Characters from this career may be formal members of the planetary armed forces or a freelancer who made their living from guiding commercial and tourist parties across wild worlds. They may be attached to professional expeditions to map and explore new worlds.

Skills: Awareness, Movement, Influence, Ranged Combat or Close Combat, Wilderness Survival
Equipment: Long Range Sniper Laser Rifle, Hunters Knife.
Augmentations: Farsight Optics, Internal Water-Retainer, Environmental Adapter.


An ancient order who blends hand to hand combat skills with psionics.

Skills: Close Combat, Unarmed Combat, Movement, Psychic
Equipment: Laser Sword, Chi-Crystal, Laser Blaster.
Augmentations: Sensefield, Block Damage, Weapon Enhance.


Individuals with enhanced psychic awareness, who either work solo as detectives and investigator, or who are part of a larger Psychic Organisation.

Skills: Influence, Awareness, Psychic
Equipment: Chi-Crystal, Laser Pistol, Dampening Field.
Augmentations: Mindlink, Empathy, Sensefield.

Blasters and Lasers Zero Edition Funded!

A small note of victory here if you are already following this blog. We successfully funded the Blasters and Lasers Zero Edition as part of the Grogzilla 2 Kickstarter.  So it’s now officially in development. I’ve already got the introductory chapter written, part of which was previewed here.

My rough timescales are June/July for a Zero Edtion of about 60-70 pages. There will be printed copies available from the D101 Games web store. This is the bare bones of the game, and it’s similar in scope to the Skyraiders of the Floating Realms Zero Edtion. Then a full release sometime in 2022.

Blasters and Lasers Zero Edition on Kickstarter ZineQuest

I’m in the last two days of a successful ZineQuest 3 campaign (Kickstarter’s February promotion). Its already funded two zines (Grogzilla #2 and The Duck Crusade) and it is now funding one last zine, a RPG in a zine Blasters and Lasers Zero Edition.

Here’s the cover by jeshields.

Blasters and Lasers (B&L) is a traditional tabletop roleplaying game at its Maximum Gaming Fun. It is a game about characters exploring a far future that should be familiar to anyone who was brought up on a diet of TV and Film science fiction full of travelling the galaxy in a spaceship. The setting of the game, the Fractured Galaxy, is teaming with humans and aliens, opportunities to trade, explore strange worlds and fight for what the characters believe.

D100 Powered

B&L uses the same stripped-down, straightforward D100 variant as Skyraiders of the Floating Realms, a fantasy game of skyships and sky islands, developed for fast and furious campaigns and one-shot convention games. The system is short and concise and does not mess about getting stuck into the action when needed yet fades into the background when not needed. All skills and chances to do things are expressed as percentages, so it is easy for players to understand the risks that their characters are taking.

What this Zero Edition Contains

A fuller version of this game is being developed, but this Zero Edition gets you up and going in the worlds of the Fractured Galaxy, with the following chapters.

1. Characters

Using simple archetypes, players create their alter-egos in the game and learn how to develop their skills and abilities during the game.

2. How to do Things

This chapter deals with the percentile-based skill system that the game uses. Small and compact, it allows both the players and the Referee to quickly resolve whether the characters succeed at what they are attempting when the outcome of their actions is unclear.

3. How to Fight

Be it with blasters, lasers, laser-sabres, or exotic martial arts this chapter explains how combat works in the Fragmented Galaxy.  There will also be a simple system for resolving space ship combat.

4. Augmentations

This chapter deals with the different sources of extraordinary power that characters from the Fragmented Galaxy may have. Such as.

Psychic powers, Cybernetics & Bioware, Alien powers, Signature Technological Items.

5. Factions

The Fragmented Galaxy may not have a unifying Galactic Government, but it has several factions that are vying for control.  This chapter gives a few typical examples and details the benefits that characters may gain by becoming members.

6. Aliens, Pirates, and other Freebooters

A short chapter that explains how to create memorable Aliens and other non-player characters. A few examples are given to get the Referee started with populating worlds.

7. Adventure: Marooned

A non-linear adventure that sees the newly created characters find their way off a small Mining Moon, and into a life of galactic adventure. As well as encounters and events that make up the adventure, there will be a quick review of the % Indexing system that is used to quickly describe planets.