BSE is a role-playing game in a developing universe. Players start as newly graduated starship captains from some space academy, and start with a small but all-round spaceship. One can chose to align oneself to one of the player-run affiliations that seek to reach their various goals. There are both human and alien affiliations, with the alien ones usually being a complete race, including feline canine and avian races. In contrast, the human ones tend to be a specialist subsection of humanity: traders, navies, intelligence agencies, pirates and many more! Players can chose to engage in trade, combat, piracy, smuggling, colonisation, exploration, diplomacy and/or research.
It is possible to play multiple positions, ships, ground parties (can be armies, exploration groups or whatever), colonies or political positions. BSE is a game that grows with its players and known space becomes bigger and bigger. Turns can consist of standard orders, or of "Special Actions" which are hand moderated, allowing you to attempt anything your imagination can come up with!
(From the 1990's): I have played BSE since it started in Europe and have felt most of its sides, good and bad. First of all, I do not recomend this game to those who want every printout in itself to be exiting. It is what goes on behind everything that keeps me going, the politics and otherwise development. The main advantage with BSE is that things are not set once and for all and that there is great freedom in what one wishes to do. Nothing is impossible because the game does not allow for it, but of course, if you try the craziest thing, you must be prepared to die trying... BSE is in short the game for those who enjoy science fiction and extended player interaction. -- Kjetil Friden <firstname.lastname@example.org> (player, aka IMP Colonial Director, Lady Iztaca) (1996Sep25)
(From the 2002): I'm a relative newcomer to BSE, having only played for about three years, but 99% of the above opinion is still valid, especially the player interaction. The in-game history is immensely rich, but not something to be afraid of. You can make your mark within the game, as I believe I have! I currently play the Tyrant of a race of 6 foot tall cats, the Felini. As well as issuing orders for my own ships and colonies, I have the responsibility for co-ordinating all the players within the affiliation, and of course the diplomacy and interaction of the ruler of a race trying to survive and thrive alongside many more. To give some flavour of the background of the game, I've included the URL of the Felini homepage. This is not intended as a recruitment plug (although all are welcome!), but to give some idea of how important roleplay is within the game. KJC are in the process of a complete rewrite of the game, which will remove many (hopefully all!) of the inconsistencies within the game, but the history will live on. This means that we don't lose what makes BSE one of the classic space opera PBMs, but will play within what will be in effect a new game if you merely look at lines of code. -- Dan Reed <email@example.com> (player, aka Mrrshan, Tyrant of the Felini) (2002Jan11)
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