Bethesda Game Studios’ Starfield game seems to be taking a lot of influence from an obscure tabletop game made in the 1970s. While we’ve seen video games take parts from media all the time, Bethesda’s space RPG almost feels like a full adaptation with a different name.
Bethesda director Todd Howard claimed that one of the game’s major influences was an old tabletop RPG called Traveller. Soon after, a Traveller mega fan named pheanox decided to list down some of the RPG’s mechanics on Reddit and how they could end up affecting the final game.
According to pheanox, Traveller puts a high emphasis on skill rather than character class, with skills leveling up the more use you them. This manner of character growth has been a main part of Bethesda’s fantasy RPG series The Elder Scrolls, so it’s no surprise we’ll see it in Starfield.
More relevant is how Traveller lets players build a starship from scratch, as long as they follow the rules, of course. Spaceship customization is set to be a big part of Bethesda’s sci-fi RPG and it’s clear that the tabletop game’s mechanics are being adapted into this video game.
"In Traveller, starships were completely build-able from scratch," pheanox explains. "You could make whatever ship you want, as long as you followed the simple rules laid out. You could have a ship as large or small as you want, with mixed and matched gun emplacements, different fusion plants, computers, drives, etc."
Starfield clearly wears some of its influences on its sleeve and that’s not a bad thing. If all of these elements lead to a fantastic RPG, fans won’t have much to complain about. The game could also end up being Fallout in space but that’s not a bad idea either.
After multiple delays, fans will be able to get their hands on Starfield this year, on September 6. Currently, the game is only confirmed for Xbox Series and PC due to Microsoft’s purchase of Bethesda, though things can always change.