Everything Jules Verne could have written.
Everything H. G. Wells should have written.
Everything Arthur Conan Doyle thought of, but never published—because it was too fantastic.
Space: 1889 is the new edition of Space: 1889 (Original edition).
It uses the same setting, but the entirely different rules of Ubiquity Roleplaying System.
Note: In addition to the original GDW game in 1988, and this new reimplementation using the Ubiquity Roleplaying System in 2015, there was Space 1889: Red Sands—a rewrite based on the Savage Worlds system in 2010.
From the Core Rulebook Preface
"Welcome to the world amid ether and steam, in a time of progress and journeys to the stars!
It has already been 25 years since Space: 1889 was brought into existence. In 1988, the first American edition of this roleplaying game was published. Numerous products such as tabletop roleplaying games, board games, computer games, audio dramas, e-books, and other products have been since published—proof if it was ever needed of the continuing interest in this unique game setting. The German edition published in 2012 was received with great enthusiasm, and the production of this English edition was realized thanks to the amazing support of fans and gamers!
With this core rulebook, Space: 1889 finally returns, ready to lead players into a world full of adventures, ancient secrets, and technical revolution.
Since 1870, mankind has been able to visit the inner planets of the Solar System by means of ether flyers. He has discovered the ancient civilization of Mars, set foot in the primeval jungles of Venus, and prospected Mercury for the many precious raw materials it offers. Yet there remain many places waiting to be explored, primarily the Asteroid Belt and Luna, the Earth’s moon, but also beyond the Asteroid Belt—if mankind can yet make the technological breakthrough to travel so far from the Sun. The Earth too, is an exciting place. There is adventure to be had under the gas lamps of the streets of London just as much as in the Academy of Sciences in Berlin or at the banks of the Amazon or the Nile.
On Mars, the archaeologist and thief alike explore ancient Martian palaces, but one searches for forgotten knowledge while the other hunts for forgotten treasure. Daring adventurers start anew in the colonies of Venus or in the pioneering stations in the Twilight Zone of Mercury. Inventors have solved the problems of flying between the planets and are now trying to develop the device that will conquer the ice desert of Mercury or the jungles of Venus. Big-game hunters go after Venusian dinosaurs, while the ladies enjoy a cup of tea in a salon cooled by modern technology. While many explorers have turned toward other planets, other bold researchers range across the primeval forests of South America and the icy wastes of the Antarctic.
The world of Space: 1889 is the home of explorers and adventurers as it was told in the novels of Kipling, H. G. Wells, H. R. Haggard, Jules Verne, Arthur Conan Doyle, or films like 20,000 Leagues under the Sea, The Man Who Would Be King, Steamboy, The Lost World, or King Kong.
Space: 1889 is perfectly suited for classic adventure novels and science fiction adventures with a bizarre or nostalgic touch.
The term ‘steampunk’ is often associated with off-the-wall technology before the ages of Diesel and nuclear power. Space: 1889 has as many (or as little) steampunk elements as the stories of Jules Verne. Not all of the technological inventions that appear in this game are steam-powered, but many that are function in ways that are inexplicable or even completely crazy according to our understanding of technology and physics. Ether flyers push forward to alien planets, mole drills bore down into caves in the Earth’s interior, and mechanical men stand ready to do the work of ten men. Everything an inventor wants to invent is possible, be it radiotelephony, an energy weapon, or a time machine.
The laws of physics and nature may be bent or ignored if it makes for a good story. Nevertheless, the world of Space: 1889 has physical rules of its own which should be respected during the game. Occultism might be quite popular in 1889, however, ‘real’ magic or the supernatural are not part of the game. Still, supposedly supernatural events might turn out to be very real phenomena.
The end of the 19th century was a time of colonialism and imperialism, both of which caused many atrocities, but this was also a time when the view of the world was very different and such incidences were perceived very differently by many. Such views are very much part of the historical background for the game, which is why we chose not to make any judgment of any actual or fictional historical crimes. Every gaming group should decide on their own how they are going to deal with colonial crimes and the rights of suppressed minorities as well as how and if they are going to include these subjects into the game. Space: 1889 is a roleplaying game in a more civilized time. Normally, each player will choose a gentleman as his character, bravely defying villains without kicking them while they’re down—and neither would the culprit, even as he lies on the floor swearing that he will return to take his revenge. Even so, this should be done in style, knowing that humankind is at the height of its culture and its work.
Have fun with this rather special journey to the stars!
Würselen, September of 2014"
When entered in September 2012, the title was Space: 1889 (German Ubiquity edition) with the addition of English versions, the name has been changed.