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View Poll Results: What about a new sci-fi setting?

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64. You may not vote on this poll
  • IF it's something completely new. Don't need more of the same Thank You.

    10 15.63%
  • I like having SOME of the standard stuff in there, but you need to bring SOMETHING new to the table.

    31 48.44%
  • I don't want or need ANY new sci-fi setting Thank You.

    1 1.56%
  • If I find it interesting, maybe. Otherwise, I don't care.

    22 34.38%
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Thread: What about a new sci-fi setting?

  1. #31
    Arch Lich Thoth-Amon is offline Cursed by the Gods
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    Thoth...must...check...out...Alternity!
    Thoth-Amon, Lord of the Underworld and the Undead
    Once you know what the magician knows, it's not magick. It's a 'tool of Creation'. -Archmagus H.H.
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  2. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by iceage View Post
    I must agree the Alternity setting was a pretty fun universe. There was plenty to do there.

    One of my gripes with Sci-fi setting is the humanoid alien syndrome. Star Trek and Star Wars are both fairly guilty of this.
    The reason is simple. When Gene Roddenberry sent to Central Casting for non Human actors, he got Lassie, Mr. Ed, and Flipper. TV technology was not up to the level of today. CGI wasn't even a term, never mind a technology. So, if you are going to have aliens you have to work with the materials you can get. Ten years later Star Wars didn't have it a whole lot better. Let's cut them a bit of slack.


    Quote Originally Posted by Arch Lich Thoth-Amon View Post
    Thoth...must...check...out...Alternity!
    It's a fairly striaght up Space Opera setting. It has it's own twists.

    Garry AKA --Phoenix-- Rising above the Flames.
    My favorite game console is a table and chairs.
    The Olde Phoenix Inn

  3. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by tesral View Post
    The reason is simple. When Gene Roddenberry sent to Central Casting for non Human actors, he got Lassie, Mr. Ed, and Flipper. TV technology was not up to the level of today. CGI wasn't even a term, never mind a technology. So, if you are going to have aliens you have to work with the materials you can get. Ten years later Star Wars didn't have it a whole lot better. Let's cut them a bit of slack.
    Oh, come now. Doctor Who managed a few non-humanoids using hand-puppets and swirly video effects. And who can forget the Zanti from Outer Limits?

    EDIT: HOW COULD I FOR-GET THE DA-LEKS? THOSE WHO FOR-GET THE DA-LEKS WILL BE EX-TER-MI-NA-TED!
    Last edited by fmitchell; 05-18-2010 at 12:34 PM.
    "On two occasions I have been asked [by members of Parliament], 'Pray, Mr. Babbage, if you put into the machine wrong figures, will the right answers come out?' I am not able rightly to apprehend the kind of confusion of ideas that could provoke such a question."
    - Charles Babbage (1791 - 1871)

  4. #34
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    I think the sci-fi trope that bothers me the most is that typically humans are sub-par when compared to the other life forms in the set universe, their only redeeming feature being their ability to adapt and overcome much like sewer rats. In this case, it's either usually looked upon in a tolerant manner by the galactic community (or hated by what usually the bad-guy species), or it's lauded as the one thing everyone else lacks and can SAVE THE UNIVERSE FROM DESTRUCTION.

    Personally, I'd like to see a sci-fi setting where either humanity is treated like backwater trash by the universe, or humanity turns out to be the most advanced species in the universe and has to deal with a "we're not alone, but we're alone at the top" situation.
    Wing Commander RPG (WCRPG): The Edge of Chaos
    Providing Space Opera and Fuzzball Dogfights Since 1996
    Check us out at: http://www.wcrpg.com
    IRC: irc.starbase31.com Port: 6667 #wcrpg

  5. #35
    Arch Lich Thoth-Amon is offline Cursed by the Gods
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    If you swap out the word "advanced" and replace it with "prevelent," then you just described many of my science fiction stories. In my stories, mankind needs a common foe or enemy, otherwise, mankind will self destruct with corruption. It's in his nature.

    Interesting that Wing Commander had an rpg. I didn't know. I've used elements of the movie for years in my Traveller games. If it wasn't D20, I'd be all over the system. As it is, i can only tolerate D20 with dnd, but just barely. I, for one, would love to see a big write-up in said game on its own thread, WCRPG Butcher - hint-hint.
    Thoth-Amon, Lord of the Underworld and the Undead
    Once you know what the magician knows, it's not magick. It's a 'tool of Creation'. -Archmagus H.H.
    The first step to expanding your reality is to discard the tendency to exclude things from possibility. - Meridjet

  6. #36
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    So you want Earth to be the United States of space?

    Eh, why not.
    I am the very model of a nineteenth centíry historian, I have information Lincoln, Polk, Jacksonian. When it comes to US battles I am very full of trivia, From Montezuma to the shores Algeria. Roosevelt I envy for his awesomeness, Coolidge I disdain for his shamefulness. My forte urban and Michiganian, I am the very model of a nineteenth centíry historian.

  7. #37
    Arch Lich Thoth-Amon is offline Cursed by the Gods
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    No United States, no states, no countries, just a one-world government and about 400 years into the future...depending.
    Thoth-Amon, Lord of the Underworld and the Undead
    Once you know what the magician knows, it's not magick. It's a 'tool of Creation'. -Archmagus H.H.
    The first step to expanding your reality is to discard the tendency to exclude things from possibility. - Meridjet

  8. #38
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    I alwas have problems with those stories because humans are just too culturally diverse, stupid, and anti-each other to go for that. If the earth ever unified it would be like B5 or Wing Commander, with a loose Confederation or Alliance.
    I am the very model of a nineteenth centíry historian, I have information Lincoln, Polk, Jacksonian. When it comes to US battles I am very full of trivia, From Montezuma to the shores Algeria. Roosevelt I envy for his awesomeness, Coolidge I disdain for his shamefulness. My forte urban and Michiganian, I am the very model of a nineteenth centíry historian.

  9. #39
    Arch Lich Thoth-Amon is offline Cursed by the Gods
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    It will work as it did for Rome....for a time. Again, remember, i said the planet had a common foe. We are like tribes, only coming together to fight against a common enemy, otherwise, we fight with each other. The common foe is the key that allows for my particular future to even happen.
    Thoth-Amon, Lord of the Underworld and the Undead
    Once you know what the magician knows, it's not magick. It's a 'tool of Creation'. -Archmagus H.H.
    The first step to expanding your reality is to discard the tendency to exclude things from possibility. - Meridjet

  10. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by WCRPG Butcher View Post
    I think the sci-fi trope that bothers me the most is that typically humans are sub-par when compared to the other life forms in the set universe, their only redeeming feature being their ability to adapt and overcome much like sewer rats. In this case, it's either usually looked upon in a tolerant manner by the galactic community (or hated by what usually the bad-guy species), or it's lauded as the one thing everyone else lacks and can SAVE THE UNIVERSE FROM DESTRUCTION.
    I totally agree.

    Personally, I'd like to see a sci-fi setting where either humanity is treated like backwater trash by the universe, or humanity turns out to be the most advanced species in the universe and has to deal with a "we're not alone, but we're alone at the top" situation.
    In Star Wars, humans are the unofficial rulers of the galaxy.

    There was also a book I read when I was younger, which I forgot the name of. Humans were surpassed in technology by the other aliens, but were regarded as the most physically impressive in the galaxy.

  11. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by WCRPG Butcher View Post
    Personally, I'd like to see a sci-fi setting where either humanity is treated like backwater trash by the universe, or humanity turns out to be the most advanced species in the universe and has to deal with a "we're not alone, but we're alone at the top" situation.
    Some novels and series, notably the Foundation trilogy and most of the sword-and-planet genre, assume humans are the only intelligent, or at least interstellar, species in the universe. Sword-and-planet often has an unpleasant "white man's burden" vibe, but I can imagine a smarter version that justifies why alien intelligences might limit themselves to one world.

    The "humans are the dummies of the universe" assumption, on the other hand, gets really old really fast: Space 1999, Close Encounters, Contact, etc.

    One game universe I'm still working on has only three interstellar civilizations: the Elders, the Machines, and humanity. Because FTL was unknown until recently, humans are by far the least stable of the three civilizations, due to their short lifespans (relative to interstellar distances): at one point in history, all humans were clients of the Elders. On the other hand, the Elders are ill-suited to planetary surfaces (or indeed any environment but their gigantic ships), so it was a fruitful symbiosis. With the coming of FTL, developed in part by all three species, the Elders are fading away. (The Machines, of course, adapt themselves to every environment, but care more about airless high-metal rocks than squishy biomes.)
    "On two occasions I have been asked [by members of Parliament], 'Pray, Mr. Babbage, if you put into the machine wrong figures, will the right answers come out?' I am not able rightly to apprehend the kind of confusion of ideas that could provoke such a question."
    - Charles Babbage (1791 - 1871)

  12. #42
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    One thing to remember. SF regardless of the genre is more about the people that are writing it than it is about any future it supposedly represents. The bowl cannot contain the bowl.

    Garry AKA --Phoenix-- Rising above the Flames.
    My favorite game console is a table and chairs.
    The Olde Phoenix Inn

  13. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arch Lich Thoth-Amon View Post
    Interesting that Wing Commander had an rpg. I didn't know. I've used elements of the movie for years in my Traveller games. If it wasn't D20, I'd be all over the system. As it is, i can only tolerate D20 with dnd, but just barely. I, for one, would love to see a big write-up in said game on its own thread, WCRPG Butcher - hint-hint.
    Well, I wouldn't say it's strictly a d20 system, we just use some d20 mechanics cobbled together with a few other custom mechanics that work with ours, so saying it's "d20" means it's the closest thing that PnP RPG players can grasp. I would certainly say our flight combat, the traditional cornerstone of the Wing Commander universe, is most decidedly it's own system.

    And I do have a campaign invitation thread, as I figured that posting what would be a similar thread in a different section (like the sci-fi section) would be frowned upon. I'll see if I can come up with a subject thread that can allow me to further explain the WCRPG in an appropriate section, but not be hinged on self promotion.

    Anyway, back to the topic at hand, I'll admit to liking Star Wars' take on the role of humans. The Empire being the Humans-Only Club and the Rebels being the ragtag assortment of everyone and everything.

    Another Sci-Fi trope I suppose I don't like is that military technology gets so advanced that it resembles Apple products, in the sense that everything is sleek and aesthetically pleasing, and function at near infallible rate despite the dizzying complexity of the devices. Private industry devices such as these are fine, it comes with the market, they're supposed to be the sexy-sleek no-expense-spared brands of the universe. However, military equipment (aside from redundant last-generation ceremonial equipment) almost always tend to be mass-produced lowest-bidder units intended to be brutally effective and deploy-able by idiots. It's why claymore mines used today have etched into its face "FRONT TOWARDS ENEMY". As former military myself, I don't think of military equipment as super-expensive high-technology lovingly made by craftsmen and artisans, it's more like very spartan cheap surplus units made on a factory conveyor. The only time the price jumps to private industry levels is when you get to things that aren't supposed to be on an open market, like tanks and space fighters.
    Wing Commander RPG (WCRPG): The Edge of Chaos
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  14. #44
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    I am really appreciative of the recent responses. This stuff is very helpful! :-D More! More! More!! :-D
    Trentin C Bergeron (TreChriron)
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    Anti-gravity systems, allowing people to walk on board vessels without floating around without good explanation, gets on my nerves. I want to address this in a story sometime. Maybe work it into a minor, but important plot point.


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