NASA Launch Their Own RPG

06 March 2024
A NASA designed, space related tabletop roleplaying game adventure has been launched as a free download on its site. Whilst the huge space exploration based company designing a tabletop RPG wasn't on our bingo card, they're certainly in the know about adventures in space, and this foray into the gaming world is a fun one.

The Lost Universe NASA RPG

The Lost Universe is the name of the NASA made tabletop roleplaying game adventure, that it is offering as a free download on its website. The game can be adapted for any system, though appears to lean comfortably into D&D, and presents the setting of Adastron, set on the fictional planet of Exlaris. Whilst Exlaris is similar to Earth, it's actually a place where Science and Magic meet, and the planet itself is a solo wanderer through the cosmos, described as a rogue planet. 

The adventure itself has the premise of missing researchers – those studying the cosmos have recently disappeared, and the Hubble Space Telescope has vanished from Earth's timeline. The only way to uncover both, is to be part of the adventurous and ambitious crew investigating the disappearances. 

It's pitched at a party of 4-7 players, playing characters of levels 7-10. The 44 page booklet offers an adventure across two parts, but which can be completed in a single session lasting around 3-4 hours. And whilst we're keen to avoid spoilers, it's worth noting that you're researchers from earth, going against a dragon – so it's sci-fi meets fantasy. 

Its trailer is below:

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Why have NASA Made an RPG?

It's perfectly understandable that this may just have been a fun idea. Written by Christina Mitchell, who is a video producer by trade, and a team of developers that web design leads, science outreaches, and Hubble Telescope team, it's not as if NASA has hired RPG designers to create something appealing to the roleplayers amongst us. However, the adventure offers a chunk of "accidentally educational" aspects – after all, the best way to learn something is through play. 

The game doesn't explicitly set out to do so, but by removing the Hubble telescope from the timeline, you'll learn about the impact the research has had. There are schematics for the Hubble Telescope included, as well as some of its incredible images, and links to a 360 view of the control centre for added realism. There's information about dark energy, and whilst it blends with magic in the game, it's a deep concept explained in a way that makes sense, and there are links throughout that are optional, but offer more information on the underpinning scientific concepts. 

You can find The Lost Universe for free download here, alongside a map of the city, and a poster. 

Related Article: Love Space? Issue 89 of Tabletop Gaming will be themed across the cosmos! Pick up your copy here 


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