The Pitch

The Osmium Universe is one of infinite possibilities, a space fantasy kitchen-sink where every trope is included, from elves and dragons to cyborgs and starships. The goal is to create a setting where the players can do anything, and the GM can throw anything at the players.

The universe is designed so that the tone should match modern pulp. Spielberg. Star Wars and Indiana Jones. Action and adventure, where plucky heroes save the day through a combination of quick wit and strong fists, but occasionally there is also a brief detour into an awkward dinner party or comedic romance.

Inspirations

  • Rifts
  • Kill Six Billion Demons
  • Warhammer 40K (but more, like, the Young Adult Novels in the 40K Universe - more optimistic tone) and Infinity by Corvus Belli
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe / Marvel Cosmic
  • World of Warcraft / DotA
  • Rick and Morty
  • Mass Effect
  • Star Wars

I should note that I don't really see Spelljammer or Starfinder as inspirations for this project, though I think I should acknowledge their existence. Spelljammer was definitely the first "let's do D&D in space" RPG that I can remember, and it's so wonky and fun. Starfinder is... Paizo's thing right now, and they're also doing elves on spaceships, so I would be remiss if I didn't note that they exist.

Premises and Tropes

Elves… in SPAAAAAAAAACE

I've always admired games like Rifts and Warhammer 40K for just saying “Fuck it, we've got elves. And rail guns.” If you're willing to suspend your disbelief to allow for power armor and FTL travel and weird aliens, why not just make the weird aliens ? So, that's what we're doing. Elves in space. All those mythological creatures you've ever heard of? Wandering explorers, petty tyrants, uplift sociologists. When we got to the stars, there were aliens. They were minotaurs and dwarves and liches.

Other Humans

Humans exist on many planets. They far predate humans on Earth. They might have slightly blue skin, or three purple birthmarks on each temple, or a slight skin-fold on the nose, but if they can interbreed, they're called humans. Humans from Earth are called Terrans.

Technology == Magic

I'm going for a Marvel Cinematic Universe / Asgaard approach to technology. What's the difference between an arcane ritualist and a scientist? A labcoat. Magic is technology and it's omnipresent.

Cinematic Awesome Trumps Science

Though consistency is key.

I don't actually care how anything really works, I just care about (a) how it looks, and (b) how predictable it is for you as players. Always assume that any science bullshit reason I give you for something is only 90% true, and the other 10% is magic. It is important to me that you feel confident in the truths I have said: if I tell you something is impermeable to fire, it should be, regardless of future science truths that I find on YouTube. If I tell you something and it turns out not to be true, it should be revealed as a new truth for your characters, not as a “GM fiat” bait-n-switch.


Osmium and Osmium Universe are trademarked (TM) by Parker Harris Emerson. The Osmium Universe is Copyright 2018 Parker Harris Emerson. Genesys and the Narrative Dice System Copyright 2017-2018 Fantasy Flight Games.