Fighting Fantasy Fan
The Fighting Fantasy fansite in which YOU become the hero!
Home » Fighting Fantasy » Starship Traveller

Starship Traveller

YOU become the captain of the FF04-Coverstarship Traveller. And your first day on the job, you fly right into a black hole. Good job.

Fortunately, your iron jaw and stunning good looks save the day. Instead of tidal effects shredding you into your component atoms and then crushing them into a singularity, you wind up in another universe.

Your 400-page mission (cancelled 340 pages in, sadly; like so many short-lived sci-fi series out there) is to seek out the right coordinates and star date, so that flying into another black hole will take you home.


Review and Opinion

The first sci-fi-themed FF, and it tastes a lot like Star Trek! Like a lot of FFs, the key to winning is a specific combination of clues: you’ll find contradictory clues and different clues on each walkthrough, and only one combination is right. In this case, you need a Sector and a Stardate (time-space coordinates) to guess which black hole heads home.

The whole storyline is surprisingly non-linear. You can bypass planets entirely, and in many cases you have multiple routes to a planet even if you skipped it the first time. Exploring is worthwhile, because you need those clues, but it’s also dangerous.

Unlike a lot of other FFs, you’re not alone. Aside from your own heroic space-captain awesomeness, you have your crew: Medical Officer, Science Officer, Engineer, Security, and a few redshirts. The Med and Sci officers help you out of a lot of scrapes by solving your problems, but the redshirts’ extra fists are useful when you’re jumped by a gang of aliens. Combat is pretty rare, only coming up a few times in the whole book, but it’s pretty intense when it’s 3-on-3.

Your spaceship has weapons and shields, and there are different rules for space combat. But there are only 3 places in the whole book with space combat, and it’s entirely avoidable. It’s not at all like Freeway Fighter, where your car sees more fighting than you do. In fact, it’s so rare I wonder why Steve bothered with a second set of rules and stats.

But despite the increased complexity and the helping hands, and the less-linear playthrough… it’s just not satisfying. On a planet, few of your choices have any effect: you’ll usually be shuttled off to gladiatorial combat, or be given a black hole clue that’s wrong, regardless of your choice tree. There’s not a lot of combat, no buffs (well, one single Skill +1 helmet), nor information that would help you bypass danger or help you tell which clues are accurate.

Eventually your crew starts freaking out, and you will be forced to just pick any black hole and fly into it . [spoiler title=’The right combination’ collapse_link=’true’]Terryal-6 and Jolsen-3. Everyone else is wrong.[/spoiler]

All told, this one was a mixed bag: neat new mechanics and a less-linear storyline, but a lot of “nah, skip it” sections and lot of choices that made no difference at all… made for a not-entirely satisfying experience. And despite the obvious Star Trek homage, it wasn’t really campy enough to scratch that itch either.



There are four spots in the book, where a Skill or Luck roll is done backwards: a high Skill and low roll gives you the bad outcome, failing to achieve. This is really silly, and in one case even gets your medical officer killed.

  • Page 223, the poisonous gas, and your MO attempting to find an antidote. A low roll on high Skill, fails and gets her killed.
  • Page 210, having played doctor with the grey guys, a successful Luck roll means your MO is sick.
  • Page 326, as a guest of K’Tait, trying to name-drop and get out of jail. A successful Skill roll means they don’t believe you.
  • Page 34, your Science Officer guessing why you look like a Dar-Vil. A successful Skill roll means that your SO has no ideas, and failure means he has the right idea.

I thought maybe it was something clever, e.g. if you had gotten the good outcome, you miss out on something… but no, just a plain mistake.








Written by Steve Jackson

Illustrated by Peter Andrew Jones


Book 4 in the series


Other Players and Links


Tags to Other Adventures

1983 Fighting Fantasy Peter Andrew Jones Science Fiction Space Steve Jackson

The Comments Section


  • John says:

    Wow this book is a colossal piece of garbage. For the life of me I cant see how anyone would like it. It doesnt even seem like it was finished! Its hard to believe this is from the same guy that gave us the great House of Hell and Citadel of Chaos.

  • alex says:

    so if im playing through this and get to one of the points where the skill checks are backwards, do I have to ive with t or do I take the opposite result?

  • Dru says:

    I dunno, I kind of liked the Star Trek references. But all that time spent rolling up your crew and there’s only 340 entries (341/2/3 don’t count as they are rule sections), plus little chance for ship fighting? KInd of a miss, there.

    • mazemaster says:

      Yeah, the Star Trek feel and ship combat COULD HAVE been awesome, a real game-changer from the swords-and-orcs milieu. And the opportunity as you jump from world to world to explore many different worlds… again COULD have been awesome (Spectral Stalkers comes to mind). But they really didn’t pull it off — they didn’t even write a full 400 pages for it.

      I am glad for the other sci-fi offerings in the series, and I’d love for someone to do more sci-fi themed ones here in the modern era.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

First published March 27, 2015. Last updated January 23, 2024.