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

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  • 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. #46
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    I LOVE running sci-fi. Sadly my players like fantasy mostly - which i would rather play in. We have a on-hold Star Frontiers setting based game thats been running for decades. Its hard to get the players involved schedules to mesh... once a year at most... and last year nothing. I love gritty sci-fi - technology, different ethics, alien cultures, space flight, exploration... corporatism... i love it all. I'm really at home because it serves well for really complex, involved plots with lots of intrigue and mystery. The flavor just appeals to me as a GM more than anything else.

    Incarna; Role-Playing Game System
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    Running: 3+ campaigns set in single custom milieu world.

  2. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slipstream View Post
    Anti-gravity systems, allowing people to walk on board vessels without floating around without good explanation, gets on my nerves.
    I started a whole thread related to that whole point. ("Fore-and-aft spaceship design considered silly")
    • Continuous acceleration would provide artificial gravity, but ships would be built like silos, not boats.
    • A rotating section is the most feasible explanation for pseudo-gravity, but I've found only a couple of commercially available ship maps that actually have rotating rings.
    • A small black hole providing energy at the core of a ship would lead naturally to concentric rings or spheres, with feet pointing toward the center (assuming tidal forces wouldn't rip the crew apart).
    • A moon-sized ship would have spherical decks, albeit with a huge area.

    Yet all spaceship deck plans I've seen assume the crew stands perpendicular to the direction of motion, on the same plane ... as if the ship were a set built on a studio backlot.
    "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)

  3. #48
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    Would it mean something to point out that the shuttle had decks laid out like an airplane?

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

  4. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by tesral View Post
    Would it mean something to point out that the shuttle had decks laid out like an airplane?
    The shuttle was designed to move between Earth's surface and orbit. (And it's tiny.) A ship meant to hit atmo would logically have a fore-and-aft design, no matter how inconvenient the layout in zero-g. A better design would orient space engines under the ship when it lands, with separate atmospheric engines; it not only accommodates real gravity, it makes use of forward thrust as pseudo-gravity.

    A ship meant only for deep space and high orbit, like the U. S. S. Enterprise or an Imperial Star Destroyer, might have a spherical, cylindrical, or vertical layout to maximize space or minimize distances between stations. If there were no magic artificial gravity, they would need it. (Engines in line with the center of mass would also be nice.)
    "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)

  5. #50
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    Star Destroyer's have that wedge shape to maximize multiple weapon targeting.

    Just my two cents.
    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.

  6. #51
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    And assuming that artificial gravity is "magical".

    I consider it a non-issue. My Science Fiction has artificial gravity.

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

  7. #52
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    I personally like tweaking technology with magic so I don't have to field protests from physicists. For me it's about the story, not the science. :-D
    Trentin C Bergeron (TreChriron)
    Bard, Dreamer & RPG Enthusiast
    October Northwest

  8. #53
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    Asimov-did I spell that right?- and some other well known sci-fi writers wrote a book about writing science fiction and fantasy, of which I own a copy. Within that book they expressed the following idea:

    After about 50 years into the future of the real world present, you can write about the future with pretty much any technology you want without any explanation, simpy because our rate of tech advancement is now so fast that suspension of disbeleif is not nessessary. Two hundred years ago ships were made of wood, rope, and cloth. One hundred years ago rifles were single fire breach loaders (for the msot part). Fifty years ago nukes were plutonium bombs. Ten years ago my Dad still used the Windows 3.11 based computer. So to assume some highly advanced future tech just exists is not too far fetched.

    I do not subscribe to this theory myself, having watched too much Battlestar Galactica (the re-imagined series.) But its an option.
    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. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by trechriron View Post
    For me it's about the story, not the science. :-D
    I agree. Still, many like to play with the balance between the two. Give just enough science to let the reader/player consciously go "uh huh, yup, on board with that" but allow some play with the story that excites and surprises them.


  10. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by tesral View Post
    And assuming that artificial gravity is "magical".
    Honestly I'm bored with the Standard Science Fiction Setting. It's a product of live-action budget constraints and lazy writing. By going back to "hard science fiction", I'm trying to make a science fiction interesting, and find different freedoms within different constraints. Besides, fighting in micro-g would be cool.

    But, getting back to the topic, I'd love to see a setting based on Big Ideas that SF thrives on. An indie game, Shock: Social Science Fiction, took a stab at it, but it's really only good for one-shots and improv gaming. Even some of the past Big Ideas are getting a little overused. Blurring lines between man and machine? Transhuman Space, Eclipse Phase, every cyberpunk game of the 1990s. Genetic manipulation? Transhuman Space again. Shiny dystopias? Paranoia, Ex Machina. Retro-futures? Space 1889, Forgotten Futures.

    Show me something new, at least in RPGs. (But feel free to raid any books or graphic novels you like.)
    "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)

  11. #56
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    "Meaningless! Meaningless!" says the Teacher. "Utterly meaningless! Everything is meaningless. What does man gain from all his labor at which he toils under the sun? Generations come and generations go, but the earth remains forever. The sun rises and the sun sets, and hurries back to where it rises. The wind blows to the south and turns to the north; round and round it goes, ever returning on its course. All streams flow into the sea, yet the sea is never full. To the place the streams come from, there they return again. All things are wearisome, more than one can say. The eye never has enough of seeing, nor the ear its fill of hearing. What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun. -- Ecclesiastes 1, 2-9

    I don't know what to tell you. You find one and then we will both have a new one.

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

  12. #57
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    Eclipse Phase is tickling my sci-fi yearnings. It is mostly hard science. :-D

    I am learning to enjoy harder sci-fi and get past my aversion to zero-g, micro-gravity stuff.
    Trentin C Bergeron (TreChriron)
    Bard, Dreamer & RPG Enthusiast
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  13. #58
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    Not again...

    Quote Originally Posted by trechriron View Post
    Serenity/Fire Fly universe is a huge solar system with piles of terraformed planets and moons.

    I guess my inquiry was more in the -

    What would you like to see in a setting?

    AND What are you tired of seeing in sci-fi settings?

    Can we get away from 2-D maps with easily defined borders?

    Not that colorful maps aren't needed, but an inclusion of the Z-axis would be really helpful for determining the actual distance between stars. This is assuming that gates and wormholes are not in use.
    In a true (3D) representation, two systems may be visibly neighbors but in actuality may be separated by a distance greater than the length of the map. For those of us who muck about in hyper, jump, and the algorithms of AU distances, this is the most maddening part of most SF games.

    For those interested Traveler 2300 had a decent star map and included both the XYZ co-ordinates AND the math formula for determining the true distance.

  14. #59
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    3D maps area great idea. Harder in execution. 2D paper doesn't display them well. Computers are great for that aspect. I don't really blame older games for the shortcomings of the media they had to use.

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

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    Selfish of me to suggest, but it is completely different to what has so far been mentioned-

    Faction Paradox.

    Time paradoxes as a regular game mechanic - the web of time/time vortex as a sentient loa, the travelling in time and space as ritual, sentient life having destiny/fate DNA called biodata (ie an inherent connection to the web of time)

    It's borderline fantasy - but then it is a variation of Doctor Who

    PCs would be Faction members - a bunch of anarchic rebels who occasionally vandalise linear time just to annoy the Time Lords, viewed as a fascist dictatorship of order-fanatics. Suppliers of weapons to The Enemy - an unknown force that is currently winning in the war against the Time Lords.

    Various "War time powers" who choose either Time Lord or Enemy sides, or the middle ground of the Faction - including Post Humanity, the Celestis (conceptual entities similar to the Celestial Toymaker), the Osiran Court, etc...

    Now DWAITAS (Doctor Who: Adventures in Time and Space) is kinda capable of this - but in an opposite way. It is pro-order and pro-linear time. I'd like to see an inspired approach to handling the rebels of time.
    "This is my timey wimey detector. Goes ding when there's stuff."

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