Space Opera

The space-opera genre is sometimes called "sword and blaster" for a reason: warriors of the future seem to rely as much on a trusty blade - be it a force sword or a material one - as on ultra-tech firearms. Stories often feature low-tech natives who have their own forms of swordsmanship for these futuristic fencers to contend with. All of this is ideal for a Martial Arts game!

If martial artists use force swords, then they're likely to study Precognitive Parry (p. 62) in order to deflect energy bolts. This puts swordsmanship and marksmanship on an equal footing. Force-Swordsmanship (p. 209) is tailor-made for such games. With sufficient investment in a chi-powered Innate Attack (pp. 45-47), a cinematic fighter can rival guns and missiles even at a distance.

Alternatively, swordsmen might prefer traditional blades, or ultra-tech upgrades such as vibroblades and monomolecu-lar swords. The best-known example of this appears in Frank Herbert's Dune, where force shields can stop swift blows but not a knife pushed slowly through the screen. In such a setting, Dagger Fighting (p. 155) and Combat Wrestling (pp. 204-205) - or even a renamed version of Jujutsu (pp. 166168) - would be de rigueur for a serious martial artist.

Any martial-arts style can work in a space-opera game. The more it relies on weapons amenable to ultra-tech improvements - whips become monowire whips, katanas become vibro-katanas, three-part staffs become flexible stun batons, etc. - the better. Unarmed arts also suit the genre, especially in swashbuckling games where two-fisted heroes fight bug-eyed monsters on any terms possible.

Campaign themes for space-opera games include The Quest (p. 247), with the heroes seeking an elusive forcesword master; War is Hell (p. 248), for soldiers fighting for or against the Galactic Emperor's legions; and Warriors of the Night (pp. 249-250), for ultra-tech ninja using cinematic abilities against aliens. Realism is strictly optional. Any of the lenses under Mad, Crazy Action (pp. 238-239) is appropriate.

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