I was in my late teens when the Albedo RPG released. Never played the game, and my only awareness of it was from ads in Dragon or some other gaming magazine. I was also unaware of the furry subculture. I figured Albedo was just another roleplaying game with aliens based on anthropomorphic Earth animals.
After all, many sci-fi games had aliens modelled on Terran animals. The Other Suns RPG sapients were bears, dogs, squirrels, etc. Even Traveller had Lions (Aslan) and Wolves (Vargr). Makes sense, as familiar animals are easier for players to role-play than a chartreuse slime or an energy being that feeds on radioactive emissions.
It wasn’t until I began selling RPGs in the 2000s that I learned that Albedo was the first(?) RPG dedicated to Furry fandom. (I’m not going to get into discussing Furries, as I’d have no idea what I’m talking about. For further reading, TVTropes has an even-handed essay on the subculture.)
The Albedo RPG is adapted from Steve Gallacci’s Albedo: Erma Felna EDF furry comic and co-developed by Gallacci and Paul Kidd, veteran RPG author. Kidd runs Kitsune Press, which promotes Albedo and his other works.
Albedo (1st Edition) [BOX SET]
1988 … Paul Kidd (game) & Steve Gallacci (art) … Thoughts & Images 88100
Contents: 4 booklets
The early Albedo RPG materials are collector items today, with corresponding prices. DTRPG has almost all available in inexpensive PDFs (Between $3 – $5 each). The Platinum Catalyst edition of the rules is available at DTRPG in print on demand (POD).
Visit my RPG reference site page for Albedo to see the various editions of the core game, supplements, and journals.
Handwritten Note from the Author
Back in 2011, I sold a set that contained a hand-written note to a prior customer from Steve Gallacci. I kept a scan of the page. Here, Gallacci discusses upcoming releases and miniatures for Albedo, and the troubles that prevented Thoughts & Images from including dice in the box set.
I was surprised at how many gamers responded on social media with their love for the Albedo game.
One wrote (I’m repeating it here with permission):
Interesting game. Like a furry Traveller. Militaristic, hard sf background. Slug throwers instead of ray guns. Resolution is 2d6, roll under, with degrees of success.
Gallacci was a Graphics Specialist in the Air Force, which is why the gear and vehicle designs are so legit. There was a 2nd edition, co-authored with Paul Kidd. And a much later version from Sanguine that used the Ironclaw/Jadeclaw mechanics.
1st and 2nd editions are both very good. The 2nd edition module, “Zho-Chaka” is really one of the better rpg adventures I’ve seen.
The comic is was based can be read for free on the web, it’s very good. https://stevegallacci.com/archive/edf