Science Actions in Romance of the Seven Worlds

As the economic game models a feudal past, so the science game imitates the retro futurism of the 1930s. In the empire, only the Guilds have much in the way science training and lab equipment – just enough to fulfill their charter duties. The number of real scientists in the empire can be counted on the fingers of one hand.

The general process for this minigame is that players acquire Science project cards, decide what project to research, acquire science dice (d6), and then roll science dice to progress the chosen project towards completion. Science actions can be undertaken only by characters that have a Science rating of +1 or more.

Science Project Cards

At the start of the game, the number of project cards will be quite limited. As some projects are completed, new project options will be unlocked. The following sources exist for Science project cards:

SourceAcquisition Method
DiscoveryCompleting some science projects will unlock new science projects.
ExplorationIf you explore a world, you may discover a Science project.
Imperial ArchivesThe Librarian Guild can draw Science project cards as a build action.
Imperial MinisterCan potentially use a Ministry of Conscription action to acquire Science dice.
Terran ScientistCan give anyone the Scientific Method project card.
TradePlayers are free to trade a Science project card to one other player once they have completed the project.

Some examples of Science Project cards (these are draft). Red text indicates a penalty or side effect that players need to remember. Most of the science projects involve pure science, warfare, economics, and superweapons.

Science Dice

Science dice can be kept in reserve, traded with other players, or used on researching science projects. You can acquire one science dice from the following sources:

SourceNumber of Dice
Science RatingOne die per point of science rating your character has.
Science ProjectsSome completed Science projects grant bonus science dice.
Imperial MinisterGovernment power use can create some science dice.
Science ActionThe Science build actions can build sets of three science dice.
Science ConferenceAny character with a science rating can grant you a bonus die by visiting your world and sitting down for a one-minute conversation about science.

Rolling the Science Dice

You can progress research on any, all, or none of your science projects. You can only roll science dice for each project once per World Phase. Each project card has six progress squares, numbered from 1-6. A die can only be placed in an empty square, with a number matching the number rolled on the dice. Extra dice with the same number are wasted research. Keep the project card and dice on your world table.

After rolling Science dice, you can spend a Zing token to either:

  • Reroll three science dice of your choice; or
  • Change the number rolled on one science die to a number of your choice.

Note: Your projects are public knowledge once you put a science die on them.

Completing Science Projects

When all six progress squares are filled, the project is completed. Inform Control of your accomplishment, and to get any unlocked project cards. Make notes on any bonuses you now have, and you can now trade the project card to another player for them to use.

Creating Your Own Science Project

Open projects can be found in the game, which allow you to create your own science project. You will need to discuss your ideas with Control. Anything that is too much of an “I Win” project without serious penalties or side effects will likely to be rejected. Creating a last minute invention to counter someone else’s super weapon is, however, very genre appropriate.

4 thoughts on “Science Actions in Romance of the Seven Worlds

  1. Tony Quirke May 6, 2021 / 4:40 pm

    You state “you can now trade the project card to another player for them to use.”

    To clarify – this means you can trade the *completed* science project to someone so they can use the *power* it confers – e.g.research Radiation Warfare, trade it off to one of the nobles to boost their combat capabilites, yes?

    You do *not* mean that you can trade off the project card so someone else can research using it all over again, yes?

    I would suggest a big red “COMPLETED!” stamp placed on the card with a satisfying thump, and the wording changed to indicate “the holder of this card when completed” rather than “you” or “your”, to avoid confusion. There’s nothing like waving a stack of cards with big red letters around to gain respect.

    This also implies you need duplicates of cards – once Lord Perci of House Vow unleases his Radiation Weapons, everyone else is going to see that they are possible and want to research their own. it also allows you to run an interesting economic twist – *everyone* would be able to research Radiation Weapons once someone completes it, but only one person gets to complete the Octopus Warriors of Doom from Planet Brenna card (and thus threaten their opponents with tentacly madness).

    I’d also suggest considering trades for *uncompleted* projects, maybe limiting this to only being possible during scientific conferences.

    • texarkana23 May 6, 2021 / 5:27 pm

      I mean that they can trade off the project so someone else can research it all over again. The entire alien empire has less scientists in it than the principality of Monaco, and only one computer, so replicating science is hard. This is a deliberate design decision on my part to avoid inflation and allowing everyone to access all possible branches of the tech tree.

      Duplicate cards is relatively easy, just printing duplicates. I am looking at having around 24 projects, and I would expect each science player to complete about 5-6 during the game – possibly more if they can get hold of a lot of ZING!

      I’ll need to give the science players a play mat for recording their completed projects, and some pre-printed summaries of how they work.

      • Tony Quirke May 6, 2021 / 6:59 pm

        “I mean that they can trade off the project so someone else can research it all over again. ”

        Then the effects of things like Radiation Weapons or other combat enhancements are greatly diluted because only the scientist has their effect applied, and I would assume they’re not also great military leaders (or, indeed, spending much time fighting).

  2. texarkana23 May 6, 2021 / 8:29 pm

    Nearly all of the characters with science training are Guild leaders and have combat forces. Augmentation from science is how they can compete with the knights of the nobles.

    I will have a longer think about how sharing powers from project results between characters might work. Its supposed to be a game of emergent factions, so having tech as one reason for a faction to gel together is not so bad.

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