NASA Launches Into the World of Tabletop RPGs with “Apollo 47”

NASA Launches Into the World of Tabletop RPGs with Apollo 47

NASA has taken a giant leap not just for mankind but for tabletop gamers everywhere with the introduction of “Apollo 47,” a unique blend of real-world science and immersive role-playing game (RPG) experience. This game invites players to embark on the 47th mission to the moon, set against the backdrop of an alternate Earth’s history. Here’s what you need to know about this groundbreaking endeavor:

  • Game Structure: “Apollo 47” is built around a one-page core RPG mechanic, supplemented by an extensive, optional technical manual that adds depth and realism to the gameplay.
  • Content Richness: The game is accompanied by a staggering 1,199 pages of detailed NASA technical data and mission specifics, offering an unparalleled level of authenticity.
  • Physical Weight: The printed version of the game manual weighs an impressive seven pounds, embodying the substantial nature of the content within.

Key Highlights:

  • Dive into an alternate history where you’re an astronaut on the moon’s 47th mission.
  • Engage with over 1,200 pages of detailed content, including a one-page RPG and extensive technical manuals.
  • Experience the weight of space exploration with a seven-pound game manual.

NASA Launches Into the World of Tabletop RPGs with Apollo 47

A Universe of Possibilities

“Apollo 47” distinguishes itself not just through its hefty volume but through the depth of engagement it offers players. The core game is designed to be accessible, with a single-page RPG mechanic that simplifies entry into the game’s universe. However, the additional 1,199 pages of “fluff,” primarily consisting of reproductions of NASA manuals and papers related to the Apollo missions, provide a treasure trove of information for those who wish to delve deeper.

Not Just for Gamers

This tabletop RPG is not solely for those who frequent the gaming world. It’s described as an “artifact of game design hubris,” a “super-nerdy technical jargon-fest,” and an “amazing” source for any sci-fi campaign or space opera setting​​. The optional technical manual is a testament to the game’s authenticity and dedication to the space exploration theme, making it a fascinating addition to any collector’s or enthusiast’s library.

Community Reception

The reception from the gaming community has been mixed, with some players expressing disappointment that the PDF version doesn’t include the full technical manual​​. However, many appreciate the game’s commitment to authenticity, noting that while the technical data might not be necessary for gameplay, it greatly enriches the experience for those interested in the minutiae of space exploration.

A Stellar Addition to Tabletop Gaming

NASA’s foray into tabletop RPGs with “Apollo 47” is a bold experiment blending scientific accuracy with imaginative gameplay. It stands as a testament to the enduring fascination with space exploration and the potential for educational content to enrich entertainment experiences. While the game might not cater to every tabletop gamer’s tastes, its unique approach and dedication to authenticity make it a notable addition to the genre.

“Apollo 47” is more than just a game; it’s an immersive experience that brings the complexity and excitement of space exploration to the gaming table. Its blend of simple gameplay mechanics with an extensive database of technical data offers something unique for both casual players and hardcore space enthusiasts. Whether you’re drawn to the idea of navigating the challenges of a lunar mission or simply curious about the details of space travel, “Apollo 47” promises an adventure that’s both educational and entertaining.


About the author


Jamie Davidson

Jamie Davidson is the Marketing Communications Manager for Vast Conference, a meeting solution providing HD-audio, video conferencing with screen sharing, and a mobile app to easily and reliably get work done."