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RPG Moments of Awesome 7: SPI’s Universe’s Interstellar Display

16 Jun, 2020


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SPI’s Universe was, as previously mentioned, a foray into science fiction roleplaying. Included in the box, the Interstellar Display, a poster-sized, astronomically accurate (by 1980s standards) map depicting all known stars within 30 light-years of Earth. Unlike Traveller’s star maps, the Interstellar Display took into account that space is three-dimensional, not a paper-map-friendly two dimensions. It was very eye-catching and it makes me sad nobody seems to have ever take a high-resolution scan of the whole thing. The best I have found is this scan of the box set at Wayne’s Books.

Two-dimensional displays of three-dimensional volumes quickly get cumbersome as the volume increases and the number of objects within that volume soars. 30 light years is a reasonable compromise between having enough star systems to be interesting and not having so many as to be unreadably busy. GDW’s 2300 AD opted for 50 light years, encompassing about five times the volume, and their map was pretty crowded.

The Universe map is long out of print but happily Atomic Rockets is happy to fulfill your star map needs.