Space Gothic is a German dark sci-fi RPG set in the year 2244, seven years after a devastating corporation war. The TSU (Terran States Union) is the main political power of Terra and its colonies. The PTI corporation, victorious in the war, heavily influences TSU politics and provides the police forces in the TSU.
At the edges of colonized space, satanic cults are spreading. And while aliens do not exist officially, in reality there is a growing threat of fearsome creatures. Adding to that, Shark Investments, the corporation defeated during the war, has gone into hiding and tries to sabotage PTI with terrorist acts.
While the 3rd Edition uses the same dice as the previous editions, many rules have been changed. The dice rolling mechanics are different. Character creation, while still using random roles, has changed. There are some different character attributes. Skills and special abilities have been revamped, etc. It is possible to use old characters and adventures with the new rules, but expect some conversion work to be done. There were some conversion rules in the official Space Gothic Wiki, but it is no longer online.
One notable feature of Space Gothic is the idea of "group conventions". This is a set of rules modifications that the player group selects at the start of the campaign to define the difficulty of play. Seven topics like healing, hit points or luck can be set to one of three difficulty levels to fine tune the gaming experience.
A Space Gothic character is mainly defined by his character class, eight attributes (ranging from 1 to 100), skills (also rated 1 to 100) and special abilities.
Attributes are determined randomly. The character class provides bonus points to attributes. Skills also get a bonus from the character class and from attribute values. During character creation, the player makes several career choices for his character (childhood, youth, social service, occupation) which provide him with learning points. He can spend these points to improve skills.
Attribute and skill checks add d100 to the attribute or skill and must overcome a difficulty value set by the GM.
Characters have two different sets of hit points. "Base hit points" can be lost due to wounds, fatigue, poison, radiation, etc. The "body hit points" are hit location specific points derived from the base hp.
Combat rules for melee and ranged combat exist, mainly based on the skill check system with rules for special situations, critical hits, etc. There are also rules for space ship combat.
Characters earn experience points during their missions. These can be used to increase skills or attributes and may advance the character's military rank (if he has a class with ranks).
Rules for space travel and running space ships exist, but none for ship construction.