Voyage of the BSM Pandora


I learned of Voyage of BSM Pandora from a video by Geek Gamers.

It is a 1981 planet-exploration boardgame published in the Ares magazine, which is freely downloadable.

I have printed the game, using some of the convenient re-designed stuff available on Boardgamegeek.

After playing a first mission (which I lost) I agree the game has merits. In some respects, it is rather complex and I am considering simplifying some details (e.g. Supply Checks), but I am not sure how to do this without risk for the game balance. What I am more seriously thinking of is trying to throw in some RPG elements, for instance, whenever dice are rolled, add a “surprise” D6 and on a roll of 6 make something “special” happen and play a role-game scene instead of computing the action outcome on the basis of the original die roll. Mixing boardgames and role-playing is something I have done extensively in my solo games (in particular with miniature rules and various RPG systems, but I also tried a Valor-and-Victory/Ironsworn mix). With Pandora, it could be the other way round, with the boardgame providing the “strategic framework” and an RPG system guiding the details of some scenes/encounters.

There are other things I could tweak to make the game more “creative”: drawing new maps for some of the planets; making new creatures on the fly on the basis of the wide bestiary of “Pandora”; adding some back-story for at least a subset of the crew members. Years ago I tried something similar with 3:16 Carnage Among the Stars (posts in Italian, I am sorry): I am curious to see if my increased experience in solo gaming (and knowledge of a wider toolbox) would result in a more enjoyable sci-fi campaign…



One thought on “Voyage of the BSM Pandora

  1. Hi,

    I found your blog post as I had rediscovered the Voyage and was wondering if anybody had the same idea of marrying the Voyage framework to RPG mechanics for solo play. Using the RPG mechanics for resolving tasks and combats instead of the Voyage rules.

    I’ve started working on an adaptation to X-plorers RPG and thus far it seems a very good fit even down to the classes and equipment with X-plorers having rules for AI robots, so the Voyage bots can be converted.

    Incidentally, you might be interested in checking out a dedicated site for roleplaying and other related topics at

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