Stellar Space Magazine

Stellar Space Magazine

Featuring The Space Rangers

Setting Notes

Science Fiction Pulps initiated the “Golden Age” of Science Fiction, mostly through the efforts of John W. Campbell (editor of Astounding) and Hugo Gernsback (editor of Amazing Stories). Isaac Asimov, in a discussion of the history of modern (post 1926) science fiction, notes that between the years 1926 and 1938, adventure themes were dominant in the “Sci-Fi” pulps. This is evident in the fact that the original American science fiction hero, Buck Rogers, was first introduced to the public as “Anthony Rogers” in the short story “Armageddon 2419 AD” by Philip Francis Nowlen and published in the August 1928 issue of Amazing Stories. Less than a year later, the story was picked up and turned into a comic strip and Buck Rogers’ fame took off. Imitators quickly followed Buck, the most notable of which was Flash Gordon.

The comics were then turned into movie serials starring Buster Crabbe. The serials gave us the beloved images of bulbous, finned art deco rocketships, rayguns and alien princess femme fatales.

Stellar Space Magazine is a setting dedicated to reliving the adventurous spirit of 1930’s pulp sci-fi.

Pulp Examples

  • Amazing Stories

  • Astounding

  • Buck Rogers and Flash Gordon serials and comics

  • Flash Gordon (1980 movie)

Helpful Clichés

  • Spy

  • Gadgeteer

  • Explorer

  • Bootlegger (Smuggler)

  • Marine

  • Military Veteran

  • Soldier of Fortune/Mercenary

  • Trusty Greasmonkey (Ship’s Engineer)

  • Gambler

  • Bon Vivant/Dilettante/Socialite

Additional Clichés

  • Space Pilot

  • Space Ranger

  • Radio Operator

  • Rocket Scientist

  • Alien Prince/Princess

  • Alien Warrior

  • Robot

Sample Character

Captain Stella “Blaze” Bannister of the Space Rangers

  • Beautiful, But Tough-As-Nails Space Ranger (4)Cliché (3)

  • Cliché (2)

  • Lucky Shots [] [] []

House Rules

Vehicle rules – Compare cliché of pilot with cliché rating of spacecraft. Use whichever dice is higher for rolls. This simulates two things: A good pilot can get the most out of even a bad spacecraft, and a good spacecraft can make an average pilot better.

Creation: Use “Sidekicks and Shieldmates” rules from Risus Companion

Background – The Space Rangers

The year is 2219. It has been 150 years since earth, Luna, Mars and the Asteroid Belt established the United Terran Space Federation. Prior to that time, missions from earth colonized the moon (Luna), Mars and the Belt. With earth, these three make up the Four Member Worlds.

When the first manned mission reached Mars, the crew discovered the remains of a technologically advanced society. After many years of close study of records and relics of the Martian civilization, leading scientists and engineers introduced a “next generation space engine,” capable of traveling the solar system in a matter of hours and minutes, as opposed to weeks and months.

At about the same time as the Mars mission, a mission also traveled to Venus and discovered a race of sentient beings. The Venusians, while friendly to the earthmen, have thus far declined entry into the Federation.

The Space Rangers were formed to be the law enforcement and military force of the Federation. Various moons of Jupiter have been set aside as penal colonies for the Federation, inmates sentenced to hard labor in the mines, digging out solarite ore, which is used to fuel the next generation space engines.