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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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Results 91 to 105 of 110

Thread: What about a new sci-fi setting?

  1. #91
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    Prefer not to see ads?
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    I've been kind of leaning towards the pulp sci-fi/atomic punk type stuff. Hard Sci-Fi and Space Opera are starting to get kind of old and stale. I think I want something that you don't have to take too seriously.

    I would love to see someone come up with a Space Fantasy setting that uses no technology and all magic. Want a jump gate? Cast a teleport or dimensional portal spell (or have the jump gate as a magic item that casts the spell). Want a computer screen? Cast an illusion spell, or have a magic item that does it for you. Want the ship to go? Use a helm from Spelljammer, but as a magic item. Ray gun? Nope, magic want shaped like a pistol... and it shoots magic missile... or fireball... or lightning bolt.
    Last edited by shadowmane; 01-13-2012 at 12:19 PM.

  2. #92
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    Spelljammer is 90% there. It's is all special effects. You could do Star Trek, just dress Scotty in wizard robes and declare it is all magic. (Star Trek is a fantasy) Kirk in a fur jock strap and Uhurua in less.
    Last edited by tesral; 01-16-2012 at 03:31 AM.

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  3. #93
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    Heh. And the nacelles have to be so far apart because the elemental in each one goes homicidal if it detects another living thing. Spock (or Data) is a golem created by an elf.

    Ya know...it might be interesting to see if you could design the Enterprise using D&D rules...

  4. #94
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    Straight up? I doubt it. Could you noodle it out to work in D&D? Yes. You just have to be old school enough to bend the rules into pretzels when required.

    Step one, take a page from Roddenberry. The technology, magic in this case, does not need to be explained. He made a big point of this in the Original writer's guide. Cops do not explain their service guns. Our characters do not explain phasers. Now, you have to figure out the mechanics for the game, but it is not necessary to tie yourself in knots explain the why of how it works. The helmsman mutters "Ignash in gobay" and the ship moves, done. Scotty makes a technowizard roll and the ship's speed improves for 1d4 hours. Insert magicobabble to suit yourself. The one real hard and fast rule is be consistent. IF X does Y now, it always does Y.

    I know people that will not do a thing unless you can find it in a book by Lizards. Poor locked up people.

    Garry AKA --Phoenix-- Rising above the Flames.
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  5. #95
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    Quote Originally Posted by tesral View Post
    Straight up? I doubt it. Could you noodle it out to work in D&D? Yes. You just have to be old school enough to bend the rules into pretzels when required.

    Step one, take a page from Roddenberry. The technology, magic in this case, does not need to be explained. He made a big point of this in the Original writer's guide. Cops do not explain their service guns. Our characters do not explain phasers. Now, you have to figure out the mechanics for the game, but it is not necessary to tie yourself in knots explain the why of how it works. The helmsman mutters "Ignash in gobay" and the ship moves, done. Scotty makes a technowizard roll and the ship's speed improves for 1d4 hours. Insert magicobabble to suit yourself. The one real hard and fast rule is be consistent. IF X does Y now, it always does Y.

    I know people that will not do a thing unless you can find it in a book by Lizards. Poor locked up people.
    You're missing the point. It's easy to point at a black box and say "Magic done it"; "Powerful mystical forces make it go." The challenge here is to see how much of the functions of the Enterprise can be described using actual rules. I'd suggest 3.x because I believe it has the most variety in powers and a certain amount of cheesy goodness for when you need to move faster than light. Eberron is even more useful with Artificers and rules for interesting magic items.
    I'll start: The phasers appear to be wands that fire sleep/scorching ray/disintegrate, depending on the setting.
    The impulse engines could be done as ganged long-flight spells. LOTS of "Glowing blocks of flight". OR could be a horde of bound air elementals. Which might also be useful for life support.

  6. #96
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    I was thinking of something much more simple. "Phasers" would be embued magic items that fire a massive magic missile, or a massive fireball. The ship's engine would also be a very powerful magic item. The engineering alone of these magic items would take high level artificiers just to build them. They would have multiple spells, and one would have to have the ability to use magic items of this time just to make them work. However, "phaser pistols" would be a simple magic wand shaped like a pistol, with multiple charges and a recharge rate. The ship's computer would be a magic item with the power to store and retrieve data, with an illusion spell to cast it onto a surface, or into the air as a "hologram". No elementals, just magic.

  7. #97
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    I said you need to work out the mechanics. But you cannot be afraid to invent things as required.
    Last edited by tesral; 01-19-2012 at 03:31 AM.

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  8. #98
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    Quote Originally Posted by ashewyntr View Post
    You're missing the point.
    i don't think he missed the point. rather, his point was somewhat different from yours.

    in theme with the current thought experiment, and assuming you are sticking with official wotc material only (3.x), spelljamming helms (yes, there are official 3e versions of them if you know where to look for the rules) and elemental binding might be good options for movement.

    in star trek, both the shield tech and the warp tech were based off of recovered alien tech, rather than invented. as such, one might have to do some inventing, just like tesral suggested. perhaps an artifact, of which lesser copies can be made, might also be appropriate for large scale speed and movement.

    a computer could be composed of library spaces (stronghold builders guidebook) miniaturized with a scrying device to magnify and search the libraries in question. it should also contain many blanks combined with a ghost page power and/or auto-quill in order to write or dictate logs and such. scry can also provide the scanners and various viewing screens. others might be made using silent image. greater telekinesis platforms provide the turbolifts. beds of healing or restoration for sickbay (both from stronghold builders guidebook)

    if you don't mind being super cheesy and rules questionable, you could postulate locate city bombs as photon torpedoes.
    nijineko the gm: AG16, CoS. nijineko the player: AtG, RttToH; . The Journal of Tala'elowar Kiyiik! .
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  9. #99
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    Shields could also be done as Shield spells alongside Elemental Resistance and Elemental Protection. Items with recharge times in rounds could refresh each shield area as it's worn away.
    Your computer seems more akin to a ship's library, whereas a Computer/scanner might be a divination device.
    The transporters are a simple (9th level!) Teleportation Circle.
    I'm afraid I'm not familiar with Stronghold Builder's Guidebook, but it does sound interesting.
    I wonder if it'd be worth approximating the Warp Drive by using Shadow travel? You'd be kinda-here, kinda-there, and moving faster than normal travel.

  10. #100
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    well, the computer always was used as a library, except for the times when it wasn't. ;D and even a library can be used as a calculator which was one of the other major things it was used for in star trek... except for when it wasn't. which was usually then a plot device of some kind.
    nijineko the gm: AG16, CoS. nijineko the player: AtG, RttToH; . The Journal of Tala'elowar Kiyiik! .
    CrystalBallLite: the best dice roller on the planet! . nijineko the archivist: the 3.x archive

  11. #101
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    TOS it was either a calculator or a Library. TNG and latter they used the computer more the way we use the computer, but then they were starting to understand what the computer was for.
    Last edited by tesral; 01-23-2012 at 08:00 AM.

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  12. #102
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    In the 60's, all they had to go off of was the computers of their time. Great bulky things that didn't do as much as the one sitting here on my desk. But we can go even further, specially with the scrying idea, and have the information put right into the character's head.

  13. #103
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    "Ah! God! We're all gonna die! Oh. Wait. Never mind. We dodged that meteorite. Sorry. Sorry. Carry on."

  14. #104
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    Quote Originally Posted by shadowmane View Post
    In the 60's, all they had to go off of was the computers of their time. Great bulky things that didn't do as much as the one sitting here on my desk. But we can go even further, specially with the scrying idea, and have the information put right into the character's head.
    Yep, I was there. I remember, anytime the utilities screwed up your bill it was "The computer made a mistake" The bill was a punch card, do not fold spindle or mutilate! "Earn a career as a punch key operator!" screamed late night TV. Ayup. Big Iron computers for which I have no fondness.

    I've said before and will doubtless say many more times. Science fiction, written or filmed tells you more about the time in which it was written than it does about the future. Star Trek by sheer volume of work alone says a great deal if you are willing to pull aside the curtain and look.

    Trek is a fond setting, but an old one. We are looking for something new in terms of an RPG. Frankly I've found that as an RPG setting Star trek is not great for group play. The hierarchy of Starfleet puts someone in command. I've had fun to ten years in a play by E-mail with a single friend. But the more you add the worse it gets.

    RPG setting. Allow a different approach here. Instead of blue skying ideas, lets look for something that is fresh, and lends itself to group play. Not every great SF setting does, even if the setting is itself great.

    Why does D&D work, or Hero for that matter. What is it about the Heroic Fantasy and the Super Hero genres led themselves to enduring role-play?

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  15. #105
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    I think one of the problems with scifi RPGs is the reverence for technology that permeates the genre. It makes it hard to resist the temptation to solve all problems from the Engineering bay.

    The other common problem I've seen is the obvious benefits of modern technology and economics. In a fantasy game, you can accept, probably with reluctance, that you cannot use that powerful magic item because you are not yet ready for it. It would burn out your mind, refuse to work, take you over, etc. So you have to "gain more experience and power" before you can wield it. And so you apply level and (at least in D&D) value limits on treasure. Superhero games aren't based around technology; they're based around cool things you can do. Since it's obvious that Powerman isn't going to be worried about your M16, we're actually going to give you a boost and explain how your gun is actually an Uber-Gun that will make him sweat. Superhero games are generally balanced around the powers, not the toys.

    Unfortunately, in scifi (technically, any culture from Modern forward), we now have access to mass production, financial markets, and supply and demand. The cost of an item is not based on its power, but on how hard it is to create, and how many of them are desired. No one is going to believe that your .38 special should cost a multiple of your iPhone, despite the relative combat power of the little gun. Carry it forward, and you have nano-assemblers, replicators, etc, and manufacture of whatever is, if you will, ruinously cheap. Combine that model with someone who builds a character to have money, or make money, or steal money, and they can then go out and buy the bestest, most powerful custom firearm/powered armor/spaceship on the market. Modern+ breaks loot-based RPGs.

    Once the power dynamic is broken, it's hard to stay excited about adventuring. "More treasure? Nah, thanks. I already bought a planetoid with the investments from the last haul."

    A Scifi game needs a story-based design, where the rules complement telling the story, instead of adventuring - which, I might add, in our civilization we call murder, robbery, desecration, and grave-robbing.

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