“Diaspora: hard science-fiction role-playing with fate” might be the first “sandbox” game that really caught my attention. You might have heard of Diaspora after its Ennie Award, and I will tell you – the game is worth all the talk its been getting. The fate system gives a lot of power to the players, allowing them a significant influence on the narrative when it really counts (by “tagging” NPC’s and the environment with interesting qualities). Personally, I love this.

But what really impresses me about Diaspora is the galaxy creation rules. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a creation system with such depth and possibility. My friends and I spent hours just writing about the places and characters we had created. I’m not the first to say that this is a heck of a lot of fun even if you don’t get around to playing the game.

Even if hard-sci isn’t your thing – Diaspora provides an unparalleled creation toolkit. My friends and I ported the setting we had created in Diaspora into a grognard we wanted to play. Only after playing did I realize how many plot seeds there were. With the setting we had created, we could probably make a campaign to last years and years.

Buy this product if you are even remotely interested in sci-fi. I’ve had the game for a while now, and still – every time I open the book, story ideas practically leap from the page.