NASA Really Made Its Own Tabletop RPG for You to Play


NASA still has plenty of cool projects afoot in the real world—did you hear about that asteroid-redirecting test? Or those space-friendly cameras?—but it’s also trying to stir imaginations in fantastically creative ways, too. Enter The Lost Universe, the agency’s first-ever tabletop roleplaying game.

Its first what now? Yes, a TTRPG crafted at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, with a gameplay instructional booklet currently available for free download here (plus a Tolkien-esque map); it’s for 4-7 level 7-10 characters, and is touted as being compatible which whichever game system you prefer for gathering parties and venturing forth. Here’s the pitch: “A dark mystery has settled over the city of Aldastron on the rogue planet of Exlaris. Researchers dedicated to studying the cosmos have disappeared, and the Hubble Space Telescope has vanished from Earth’s timeline. Only an ambitious crew of adventurers can uncover what was lost. Are you up to the challenge?”

There’s an educational element lurking here—“take on a classic villain (while also using and learning science skills!) as you overcome challenges and embark on an exciting quest to unlock more knowledge about our universe”—which feels both obvious as well as something that cleverly exploits the Venn diagram encompassing “TTRPG fans” and “science lovers.” Which is to say, a lot of folks!

NASA shared a video for added excitement, which you can see below. Will you be blasting off to The Lost Universe?

Welcome to The Lost Universe: NASA’s First Tabletop Role-playing Game

Want more io9 news? Check out when to expect the latest Marvel, Star Wars, and Star Trek releases, what’s next for the DC Universe on film and TV, and everything you need to know about the future of Doctor Who.


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