Psuedo-Quasi-Intellectual review of Alternity Science Fiction Roleplaying System
Alternity. The final roleplaying system to emerge from TSR (much of the supplementary material was printed under the TSR, a division of WOTC trademark) was crafted from the start to be a classless, skill based science fiction set from the modern era to the far future. With the addition of material in Dragon Magazine the system could actually be pushed back to the 1800s, potentially even as far as the Renaissance era if you tried, and out into horror and b-movie genres. There was even material to convert D&D Characters, monsters and gear to and from the system.
- Darkmatter - Take X-Files, make the heroes work for a non-profit with no governmental sanction and youre looking at the basis of DarkMatter.
- StarDrive - Space Opera in the 26th century, on the newly reopened frontier. This was actually the most supported of all the official settings.
- Gamma World - Poor Gamma World, yet again the red-headed stepchild of the family, the game only ever had the core setting book printed and one Dragon article that I know of printed.
Tying into the levels of success was an innovative die mechanic that took in account difficult of task without changing the target number. Instead of moving the target number around to show different difficulty, a control die was changed. With the goal to roll low and the player always rolling a D20, adding or subtracting dice to the roll was a straightforward idea, supported by a great diagram.