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trechriron
11-15-2009, 02:48 AM
I previously asked about favorite settings. Hidden at the end of that was a question.

What is it about your favorite setting that is expressed in actual play? Or comes about in actual play. Or shows up in actual play. :D

We can talk much about themes, ideas, color, and "awesomeness" of a setting. I am really interested to know what you think your favorite settings bring into the game.

This to me, is where the rubber hits the road.

Eryiedes
11-16-2009, 12:09 AM
Regardless of game system or background....cinematic high realism with a flair for dark humor....especially when inappropriate!
Mostly visible in the depiction of NPC's that revolve around or depend on PC direction for interaction in the expanding narrative.
Most of my players in the past were more hung up on issues of tactical nuance...I found humor made them less tence about aspects of the game they were unfarmiliar with.
But if someone wasn't having fun....I would tweak the session until they were...nothing written in stone....fun is the only rule.
(At least its my only rule)


Peace & Light

Arch Lich Thoth-Amon
11-16-2009, 10:04 AM
Dark fantasy: With WFRP, it's Europe about a 1000 years ago, plus or minus. It's dark, gritty, filled with paranoia, ignorance and chaos-and rightfully so.

Traveller CT or MgT: With Traveller, well, it's about power struggles, reliance on technology, and the unknown. Depending on how close one chooses to venture to the center of the galaxy, the universe changes. Further away, it's kind of like Firefly... lower technology, but the closer you get to the center, the higher the tech level, the Empire, etc.

In both games, i keep the adventuring non-linear. Basically, i run a concept (even this can change...depending) and allow the players to tell me what they wish to do. Sure, i throw them some bones once in a while, but whether or not they retrieve, it's entirely up to them.

Interesting anecdote:

Had a player once that called my game linear. I was shocked, then accused him of not knowing what linear meant. BTW, the rest of the group was shocked at the accusation too. So in the end, i asked him how my game is linear when he had a choice to go in any direction he wanted/do whatever he wanted. He really didn't have an explanation but continued accusing me of being guilty of it.

An argument with the group (other 5 players) began. One guy said "pick any direction YOU want to go in, @$$-&*^%!" His response before walking out: this game is linear for if i choose the forest, i might get killed by beastmen, so that forces me to choose another path.

Jaws dropped at the table. Turns out any direction where their was perceived was risk wasn't an option, so therefore he was forced to make the safest decision. LOL Funny thing is, there is always risk.

Back to question: In both games, it brings a familiarity to the players for they are either playing in our past... well, sort of (alternate history), and in our potential future. I find this kind of familiarity does resonate with the players to the benefit of all in the game and around the table.

Inquisitor Tremayne
11-16-2009, 02:46 PM
Star Wars
Political maneuvering that has galaxy wide repercussions ala Palpatine'Sidious's manipulation of the Senate with lots and lots of tactical action! Mow down lots of storm troopers with fighting the evil Sith. Mixed with plenty of moral ambiguity!

I like pretty much those themes in any setting!

Eryiedes
11-16-2009, 05:01 PM
My favorite space fantasy setting is a hybrid amalgam.

Part Star Frontiers (2E)
Part GURPS Space Atlas Volume One
Part BSG Variant
Incorperating the 12 Races of Man into an underlying plotline that shows them to be a result of an Eorna Eugenics program to ultimately defeat their mortal enemy, the Sathar.....except that the Sathar are in FACT the "good guys" and that the eorna are actually the "villains"

Over the years however...elements of Star Wars....Star Trek...Farscape....Homeworld (One and Two....just not Cataclysm)...Universe....Dune...Battletech and even Traveller have ultimately been incorperated into the setting with one exception.
No jedi or sith exist....except PC's that may or may not have survived the "Zebulon" series.
The Sathar and Eorna are as close to such distinctions as I get.
Kronin however DO exist....they are just not prevalent outside of a purely mercenary capasity at current in the settings timeline and are more often considered as a cautionary tale than a great interstellar species.

Peace & Light

WhiskeyFur
11-26-2009, 02:15 PM
As per setting...

Star Wars - Fantasy in space, soap opera to a degree. It's good for when I don't really want to get serious about the tech of a game because it appeals more to the dramatics and epicness of starship battles and flashing swords. But serious tech? That's where I go to...

Shadowrun - Forget the glitz, forget the glamour, those will get you killed. One wrong mistake will get you slotted faster then a corp track team on a decker. The idea is to get in, get out, all unseen and all the while thumbing your nose at the corp you were hired to run against. This is a heavier amount of tactical thinking for these games, but pulling off a run can be SO sweet... the real fun is when the drek hits the fan and having to change your plans, on the fly in nanosecond time.

InfoStorm
04-27-2010, 05:48 AM
The only Sci-Fi game I ever ran that lasted more than a handful of game sessions were all Alternity (Star*Drive) games. I have multiple campaigns run in that game for 2-5 years. (good gaming group). Still annoyed with Wizards for dumping the game because they wanted the StarWars brand and didn't want competing game systems.

templeorder
04-28-2010, 12:12 AM
My favorite space fantasy setting is a hybrid amalgam.

Part Star Frontiers (2E)
Part GURPS Space Atlas Volume One
Part BSG Variant
Incorperating the 12 Races of Man into an underlying plotline that shows them to be a result of an Eorna Eugenics program to ultimately defeat their mortal enemy, the Sathar.....except that the Sathar are in FACT the "good guys" and that the eorna are actually the "villains"

Over the years however...elements of Star Wars....Star Trek...Farscape....Homeworld (One and Two....just not Cataclysm)...Universe....Dune...Battletech and even Traveller have ultimately been incorperated into the setting with one exception.
No jedi or sith exist....except PC's that may or may not have survived the "Zebulon" series.
The Sathar and Eorna are as close to such distinctions as I get.
Kronin however DO exist....they are just not prevalent outside of a purely mercenary capasity at current in the settings timeline and are more often considered as a cautionary tale than a great interstellar species.

Peace & Light

Now that sounds pretty fantastic.

My group still has an active campaign (about once a year) set in the Zebulons SF universe. We called it Dark Frontiers - it was a little more gritty and there were a lot of mega-corp battles. The Rim Worlds were a place for new opportunity and potential alien civilizations. We through in lots of conspiracy theory based plot arcs and tied it all together with bio-engineering gone wrong. Beautiful

WCRPG Butcher
05-22-2010, 07:15 AM
WING COMMANDER
I've always found Wing Commander to be my personal favorite Space Opera setting. The base setting itself is "World War 2 air combat in SPACE!", which I think touches upon many fantasies of being that ace pilot saving the world with missiles, dogfights, and barrel rolls. The RPG I'm in has been around for a decade, so the political setting really only resembles the original property moderately, by virtue of the GMs creating new plotlines and tangents to keep the players involved and interested, and avoiding retreading old boring ground of "Kill X in system Y, again."

STAR WARS
I like the overall setting, aside from many games that feature Jedi Overdose. Personally, my Star Wars fantasy is the Han Solo fantasy. Being an exceedingly lucky guy escaping danger by the skin of his teeth while being totally self serving. I like the fact the underworld of Star Wars is pretty competitive and dangerous, and that skill, wit, and luck are often the only things that get you out of a tight spot. Additionally, the space fighter pilot fantasy returns, as I never really wanted to be Luke or Vader. I wanted to be Wedge or Green Leader shooting down TIE Fighters and blowing up Star Destroyers.

EVE ONLINE
I have to say, there's something perversely enticing about a universe where everyone subversively tolerates one group and outright hates everyone else. It's a setting that's right on the cutting edge of futuristic cyberpunk that allows so much perversity of human nature, as well as enough genuine mystery to shake a stick at.

Grummore
06-08-2010, 11:42 AM
I've played many Sci-fi RPG. It seems that Sci-fi RPG interest more mature players than younger GM or players.

ooh anyway, I currently play in a Shadowrun game and I am on the edge to start a new sci-fi campaign as GM. I just bought a lots of stuff for a FADING SUNS campaign.

Anybody here ever played?

Arch Lich Thoth-Amon
06-09-2010, 01:54 AM
Never heard of it, but the website information looks promising. Tell us more, Grummore.

Grummore
06-09-2010, 07:29 AM
Never heard of it, but the website information looks promising. Tell us more, Grummore.

Well well well, how can I describe it. I will quote a post from a thread in the official Fading Suns site which explain it quite well:

For the Second edition (revised)
Forum : http://www.redbrick-limited.com/cms/forum/
Site : http://www.redbrick-limited.com/cms/index.php?categoryid=19

For the First edition (and second edition)
Site : http://www.holistic-design.com/introFS.htm

On rpgnow.com
Holistic Design : http://www.rpgnow.com/index.php?cPath=110
Red Brick : http://www.rpgnow.com/index.php?cPath=3889



The setting: The FS setting is really a mash of (nearly) everything concieved in/for SciFi (pluss a few other bits, like the Call of Cthulhu-esque horror bits). Now, that might sound discouraging, making the setting a bit cluttered, but thats really not the case. (I have one player in my regular group who refuse to play FS because of this - he feels the setting is too unfocused or something, although he have never actually played a FS game, only had a short introduction speach about it. That is really a mistake because the game is not cluttered or unfocused at all, it is just a grand and rich setting). Now, to narrow it down one could perhaps describe FS as a Dune meets Star Wars meets the Middle Ages of European history. (You could add other "meets" too, but I'll keep it at that). A summery of the basic setting might look like this:

- There are some 40 (I think it was) central worlds which "civilized" humanity occupies, and these are known as The Known Worlds (or less frequently The Empire or Alexius' Empire). This vast realm is run by three major factions, the aristocracy, the clergy and the League of Guilds, all of them answering to the Emperor Alexius.
- At the borders the Known Worlds stands the howling hords from the uncivlized space, clawing at the doors to the tranquil Empire... if you by the propaganda that is. The Known Worlds borders two "barbarian" human civilizations (one is a Viking analogue and the other a Ottoman/Saraceen analogue), an alien civilization much more powerful than humanity (these is a Chineese-of-the-Middle-Ages analogue), and then there are a third alien species of bodymorphing maneating critters (if you think of them as a mix between Alien, Tyranids and the thing from The Thing, you won't be far off). Inside the Known Worlds rage the usuall mix of intrigues, power-grabbing, corruption, unethical scientific experiments, battles, explotation of the meak, scheeming and the like, which one would expect from a human civilization.
- In the hearts of man lies the seeds of corruption, against which the Universal Church of the Celestial Sun are comitted to fight. There are several herecies that threatens the souls of men, ranging from devil worship to alien worship to worship of false gods [ <-- propaganda]. There are all kinds of unhealthy believes and philosophies out there to corrupt the fragiile minds of the Church's flock, including technophiles, xenophiles, republicans and even democrates (God forbid they every manage to challenge the perfect political system which the current feudalism supplies). And last but not least, there is magic in the world, one kind employed by the priests (that is for the most part, although there are unholy alternatives out there), and one kind which seem to manifest spontaniously in random people (Psychic powers).

In the FS setting there is very little black & white, and an awfull lot of grey...

About the system: It is simple, although not very fast. It is not awfully intuitive, but at the same time it is diverse enough to offer much joy game-mechanics wise. To be honest, the game mechanics is not the strength of this game, although it is very playable and fast. (You will very likelly end up tweaking the system if you're used to doing that). That said, the forthcoming FS 3rd edition should clean up the system a lot, so the mechanics will improve in time.

About books: Buy the core book. You'll find everything you need there. The setting is so rich that it takes some time digesting it all, so I would recomend you start with only the core book, play a few games with that one, and then decide what to buy next. The books I most often en up using during play (appart from the core book) are:
- Lords and Priests (as mentioned before, this is a compilation of the two books Lords of the Known Worlds and Priests of the Celestial Sun, and details the aristocracy and church factions and sub-factions.
- Worlds of the Realm (this is a compilation of several earlier books or booklets detailing various Known World planets. This book is invaluable).
- Player's Compendium (now, this is only really neccessary if you plan to have PC aliens in your group, as the book details most of the sentinent alien player races in the game - as well as loads of other stuff that you don't technically need right away)
- Children of the Gods and Vorox (as with the Player Compendium, these books detail the remaining three player races, and is only neccessary if you plan to have alien PCs in your group - which you do not need to, as there are countless different and diverse human roles to explore in the setting, so aliens can wait).

Sumary: Buy the core book and play a few games with that. Then buy whatever you feel interests you, with the books above being my suggestions. However, by the time you've bought 2 or 3 books, you'll probably be hooked, and desire to buy them all anyway :wink:

Published scenarios/campaigns: There are some of those out there, a collection of scenarios called Into The Dark, and for the most part these are all interesting and helps define/introduce the setting. There is a three-part campaign called The War in the Heavens, of which only two parts have been published, and the third part is not likely to be published anytime soon (read: most likely never). And, as Darthgus suggested, you can go and buy (downloade) two single scenarios off of DriveThru, both of which are good and interesting, a good place to start. Like Darthgus, I too would recomend A Road So Dark before Kraken's Loom, as the former is more basic FS, while the latter delve deeper into the setting and go off and explore a fringe element of the FS world more suited for a group already familiar with the setting.

On compatibility: Apart from minor game mechanics things that does not really matter, all the books are compatible. As for as the setting goes, I do not know of any inconsistancies between various books and editions. What the 3rd edition will do for the game is still a mystery to most of us, but I believe the game will still be more or less seamlessly compatible with previous editions.



Well now, I've been going on for some time and I shall soon stop, but let me just give you one additional sales pitch for Fading Suns - and that is Red Brick and the community. Red Brick is a very open and friendly bunch who keep close contact with the fans and community. They listen and share with the community, and they are really friendly. The same goes for the community. I have hung around in several RPG communities over the years, but this one is different. It feels like a large bunch of buddies and firends, and although people disagre and argue here as everywhere else, it is always friendly and interesting discussions. There are no primadonnas here, neither among the staff or the fans, and we all get along very well - right people? :D

Angelman (sometimes known as Vidar in the real world)

As of now, I have not started my campaign yet. I am still reading the books. I have a very busy end of year at school (been teacher) and owner of a stable with 25 horses that sometime slow me with my reading...! :eek: :biggrin:

I'd be really happy to answer more question and you can go to the Fading Suns forum at RedBrick for more information as well!

Grummore.