I sit here watching Red Dwarf I am thinking about what makes a space ship RPG work.
Red Dwarf's magic is that the ship is a mobile setting.
Some episodes are on the ship, fully contained, like that time Rimmer found a garbage pod.
In others they played pool with planets or pit wax droids of all of the most famous historical figures against one another.
There is room for Random. If I was making a red dwarf RPG I'd consider making a deck based adventure mechanic. Draw some cards then go!
Fifty Two random ideas could be blended into a weekly game.
Now a Star Trek game that would require some more complexity. The setting demands it. Same with BSG or Andromeda; well season one and the first half of season two.
But this game needs less complexity because generally speaking I despise complexity.
But that has to do with remembering countless hours spent learning AD&D rules and trying to max out a level one to three characters.
So simple space ship show.
I think the secret is to avoid having the ship be a character.
If the ship is a character and it dies, so do the players. And lethality is the problem. Two or three bad rolls and TPK.
And not in the Eclipse Phase this is awesome TPK but in the brutal AD&D roll 3d6 six times and choose a class kind of way.
Firefly and Spaceballs has a way to make their ships work.
No guns. Well they had Jam but that's besides the point.
No guns on the ship make it into a RV which is perfect for the game because it gets the players close to their target without actually giving a story option where dice rolls take it all away.
That's all for now. Its 1 am and Red Dwarf is over for this week.
I love that show.