Space Opera – a new supplement!!

Imagine my surprise when browsing Drivethrurpg and discovered that there was a new release for the venerable Space Opera role playing game. Behold Star Sector Atlas 4: The Galactic People’s Republic.


I had to immediately buy a pdf copy from Drivethrurpg to go alongside the other Space Opera Atlases I have. I hope that one day I can get a hard copy to go on my bookshelf but I might have to settle for a printed and bound pdf.

This Atlas covers the Marxist Galactic People’s Republic and it’s home sector NCG 1039.  It details the background history to the formation of this particular state, from the events of the “Wet Firecracker War” of 2008 and the collapse of the Soviet Union (the USA and allies had invented, with some alien intervention, a nuclear damper – well it is Space Opera) through the machinations of the surviving members of the old regime and their comrades from the Peoples Republic of China and other hold-out socialist states and their decades long plan to export the revolution to someplace else where those pesky Western Alliance and later United World governments wouldn’t follow.  It was nice to see that the original history of the Space Opera universe (written back in the 70s) has been maintained through to this date. Guess we call this an historical divergence. A potted history of the GPR and subsequent wars and a multitude of Five Year Plans takes up the first ten pages. A few pages on the Red Army, Red Space Navy and of course the KGB and some details of life in the GPR for the average comrade follow. The command economy of the GPR results in the expected shortages and inevitable queuing.

Goods for purchase tend to come for sale in areas in a sporadic way
that leads to long lines and lots of waiting. Another joke goes like this;
A man waiting in line in New Moscow gets fed up and declares he is
going to shoot the Chairman. He storms off towards the capital
buildings. Hours later he returns and gets back in line. When asked if
he had shot the Chairman, he said “No, the line was too long.

There are forty one planets detailed in the Atlas. The format is in the traditional Space Opera style. I remember when I got the first Atlas back in the early 1980s how much I liked the information presented compared to the simplified UPP (Universal Planetary Profile) of Traveller. However, rolling up a Space Opera planet was about ten times the work of making a Space Opera Character – which was about fifty times the work of making a Traveller one – you get the picture. But any system that lets you roll Xeno-Acceptance and planetary per capita GDP is still cool.

SOSSA Sample page

Production wise – the supplement is nice and crisp. The horrible typewriter font that was used in the original Space Opera supplements is gone. The interior artwork is totally reminiscent of the older modules from the 80s – with a few exceptions. The Soviet Style Propaganda posters are a nice touch, and would have looked great in colour. The only thing I don’t like is the sector map. It is one component of the module that I thought could have done with some updating.

The Space Opera setting is actually a very good one, if you pick and choose what parts you use. As written is was designed to be Traveller, Lensman, Star Wars and Star Trek all rolled into one, with a sprinkling of every other sci-fi novel written up to the late seventies included.  I am seriously thinking that a Savage Worlds Space Opera would be popular.

SOSSA Sample page1
Join the Space Navy or something.

The Star Atlas series was supposed to include Numbers 1-10 for the official setting and above that number for contributed sectors.

The series so far includes:

I am not sure who this new product will appeal to other than nostalgic role-players in their late 40s and 50s up – the exact demographic I am in.  I am looking forward to the next release and am hoping to see it before another three decades have gone by.



16 thoughts on “Space Opera – a new supplement!!”

  1. Oh! Thanks for reviewing this. Always wanted the Commies atlas 4 more than the Libertarian Wet Dream Atlas 2.

    Who wrote this?


  2. Just to let you know, they have another new Star Sector Atlas out. Star Sector Atlas 7: The Blarads, also by Glenn Price. I don’t know why they skipped number 6, but you can look up number 7 on DriveThru. Enjoy!


  3. Atlas 6 (Hissist) was partially done by Mark Ratner. He has first dibs by contract to finish it. I saw what he has and it looks real good but it is not finished. I’ve lobbied FGU to let me finish it but they asked for Atlas 7 (done), 8 (Rauwoof – next up), 9 (Mekpurr) and 10 (Klackon-Bug-Don’t know yet) before I can go lobby for 6 again. I’ll try to talk Mark into giving me the go ahead to finish it at that time. Maybe I can appeal to him as one veteran to another. Brotherhood of Arms kind of thing. Since worked stopped on it in 1986, I think he is not too attached to it.


  4. Cool, thanks for this. Just picked up a copy of Outworlds. It’s a scan of the original (and even the original seems to have had a few words XXX’ed out in the small print – WTF), and it may not be the greatest setting, but there’s a cheerful inventiveness to it and the worlds all have some adventure seeds (“The Gree are importing glowing blue ink. Why?”). Interestingly, I think several of the worlds got reskinned for an online Stars Without Number game (


  5. Just found this a little while ago.

    Am I the only person in the world who’s actually RUNNING a Space Opera campaign?

    Please tell me I’m not alone……


    1. Hey – good to hear from you. I have not actually played in a SO campaign since the early 80s. Always had a soft spot for it though.


      1. If you’re ever in Auckland, look me up! Trust me, there’s always room at the table for another player.


  6. I have a question for the rest of you old geezers (I can say that because it describes me all too well) Does anyone know who I would need to contact to obtain permission to do write some kinda short novels in the Space Opera Universe?

    I remember never being able to find anyone smart enough to play the game when it came out, so I was left with a game an no players, and based on some of the comments here, I am not alone.

    I decided to begin a book series using elements of the game. I don’t know if it’s needed but I thought I would check. I can easily do a find an replace to change names so nothing would match, but it sure would be nice to operate in an already pseudo established universe.


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