What is Space Opera?

d290649f46986626329e169a1f02c419Fiction, and gaming which is more important for Pulp Culture Museum, has a lot of different flavors to choose from. Whether or not a person accepts the divisions or discussions of quality is a debate for another post. For the sake of the current blog posts on #RPGaMonth, I’d like to focus on science-fiction, and specifically, space opera.

Science-fiction is already a sub-genre of fiction, and Space Opera is a strand of science-fiction. Further dividing the sub-genre creates expectations because of the narrowed focus created by the subdivisions of the genres. As far as table-top gaming is concerned, space opera carries some fairly specific connotations. It could mean Earth, and humanity, but likely these two things are traits of the larger scope of the environment.  Technology is often a feature is as well, as are drama and conflict, but this may or may not mean adventure.

This post is being interjected here not because I don’t think that people have no idea about genres. Rather, I wanted to take time to discuss the relevance of Hunt the Wicked to the larger discussion around genres. As advertised, Hunt the Wicked is Space Opera. It is set in deep space, technology is a feature, and human beings is not the sole species of import in the game. Not all science fiction would necessarily take these things into consideration, or foreground them, but in Space Opera this is exactly what you can expect.

Now, this does not mean Space Opera is fantasy with blaster rifles. Tor Publishing had a great post on the differences between Fantasy and Space Opera. It’s worth a read for anyone wanting deeper discussion in what the sci-fi sub-genre offers. (Further definitions can be found on Wikipedia and the Science Fiction Encyclopedia, and there are are further resources on this should people be interested.)

In Hunt the Wicked, all these things apply. I expect to trekking out deep into space, examining uncharted worlds, encountering new species of life, and loading up a blaster rifle and all kinds of other tech along the way. The game was designed with this in mind, and the vastness of space allows for some very powerful possibilities.

There are three different species of being players can be. The setting is not Earth, but various locations through deep space. Faster than light travel is a component of the game. Hard ethical choices may need to be made in order to move the game along. This is all stated explicitly in the rule book. The game, sets itself well inside its genre.





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