Star Saga

This entry is part of the PBM List.

Costs: free
Frequency: one per week minimum
URL: [ dead link ]
Type: space roleplaying game
Last-Update: 2008Apr03
Keywords: free, open-ended, www, mixed, space, rpg, abstract


One of the most underrated, unknown classics ever made for the PC, Star Saga: One - Beyond The Boundary is the first in a short-lived series of science fiction adventure/RPG games developed in 1988 and 1989 by Masterplay Publishing. Designed by Andrew Greenberg (creator of Wizardry), Rick Dutton, Walter Freitag, and Michael Massimilla, Star Saga: One is a very innovative and well-written game that combines the best aspects of a pen & paper RPG game, an outstanding plot, and Choose-Your-Own-Adventures books with the complexity of a computer RPG, resulting in an incredibly immersive gaming experience.

The game design is original, to say the least. As well as a computer program (which acts as a "Game Master," i.e. moderator in the game), Star Saga ships with two large fold-out maps, six colored tokens the players could use to move about the map, and thirteen booklets containing 888 passages of text. At the beginning of the game, up to six players choose which character from six "pre-set" characters to play as. You can play the game solo, but it's really not as much fun as playing with other people, because each character has his or her own agenda, and will cross paths in the course of the game. When playing Star Saga, each player moves his or her token on the map, then plots these movements and actions into the Star Saga computer program. In response to the player's movement and actions, the program makes any necessary changes to the character's stats and inventory, calculates any space or personal combat, and directs the player to which text passage should now be read. Reading this passage, the player discovers the results of his or her actions, and if any new special actions are available. In this way, each player progresses through the game, noting new discoveries on the map, battle aliens, trade with other players and in-game NPCs, and uncover a fascinating plot that lies behind the neutral "explore the galaxy" premise.


I'm looking for at least two people that want to play this game. Basically, the program (GM) keeps track of where everyone is and tells you to read a passage from the manual when it's your turn and something happens. I have included the software, manuals and a map kit on the website for anyone to take a look at.


Played the game? You can send me comments to be placed on this page by writing But don't write me attempting to join the game -- write the GM, whose address is above.

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Greg Lindahl