A Space Operetta (1993, Ken Brown, and Gordon and Stephanie Olmstead-Dean)

  • By Ken Brown, and Gordon and Stephanie Olmstead-Dean
    • 14 - 30 players
    • 4 hours

A light science fiction game, a semi-serious parody of Star Trek, Star Wars, Battlestar Galactica, Bab 5, Dune, and numerous other classic SF shows or movies. This is a sort of old school game where a serious plot is mated with funny, slightly over the top characters.

There are plots in this game, but they don't really matter. They aren't meant to be resolved, and serve only to frame and drive the dramatic action towards a trite and inevitable successful conclusion, like a Star Trek Episode. Villains die, quasi-criminal rogues make out okay, and good guys win. Some of them may die heroically, that's kind of random. If you care about plot as anything other than a function of pacing...as in care if you win or lose, please steer clear of this game at all costs. In fact, since the game is in the LARPA Gamebank, feel free to just read it in advance. You can probably figure out the couple of kind of puzzle-like secrets, but they never ran well anyway, so maybe that will mean they work. Seriously if you want to know what the game is going to be like, just download it and read the whole thing. That will spoil all the plot elements that we stupidly conceived to be important back in 1993, but that may mean the game actually plays smoothly as a comedy, since in Space Opera you always know roughly how the end is going to come out. Otherwise, just listen to the music, follow the dancing plot ball, come with a sense of humor and you'll do fine.

As an amusing aside, this was the game with the doomed name. It was originally entitled "A Space Operetta" because that was the "light" version of a Space Opera, but that joke was too cerebral for people. Then I went with "Blasters and Bug Eyed Monsters" to try and jazz it up, and everyone assumed it was a short like "All the President's Zombies." I've always thought it was a terribly underpresented property because it's really a very clever little game, so I'm going to resurrect it and see if people like it. If you like solid old- school LARP, you'll probably like this.

See also: http://www.vialarp.org/space_game/index.html