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Lloyd Dupont

Scifi Rambling

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The point or question of this thread is not clearly defined, it's a bit like, please pitch in.
Also sorry if I might be difficult (with contributions), I noticed that I have quite a different approach to some people here. Sometimes it's a matter of different taste (fair enough ;) ) sometimes.. I noticed I have idea which are not conducive to adventure though... but hey I do change my mind (slowly...). 😮

Anyhow, after that preamble, what prompted that post?

As some of you might know, I am working on a scifi setting / adventure / ruleset (will share when I am happy :) )  and I am at the equipment and vehicle list design stage now....
I am trying to be.... "relatively" plausible, though it's a Master of Orion setting and I have a number of space fantasy tech already:  FTL ship all around (arguably plausible alcubierre dive), psionic powers (pure fantasy), and "repulsor fields" (total nonsense tech which enables to reactionless propulsion, which enable landing spaceship in town, also flying cars, forcefield and, why the hell not when use indoor, pseudo antigravity), (arguably plausible using quantum entanglement) ansibles.
So.. mmmmm.. maybe not so realistic after all...

Anyway watching Isaac Arthur talking about hollow rotating asteroid as space habitat. It's a time where ingenuity and science produce some really cool ideas.
But now I am thinking pseudo antigravity as mentionned above kind of throw to the bin all the ingenious beauty of those space habitat.
If I scrap it, I should scrap my repulsor fields too, hence no forcefield, no hoverbike, no landing your spaceship in the city.. losing some fun here... and also witout forcefield bullet become much more of a problem... (arguable this might be desirable for some.. but I happy to have a tech mitigating the deadliness of future weapons..)

So.. I have a tech conundrum, or mmmm, agonising choice? between cool scenic space fantasy tech or cool ingenious real ones?
And also, since I am going to have FTL... maybe the choice is already made? mm...

What I am trying to say.. I am trying to maximise cool space fantasy fun, while also maximising real science ingenuity and I am not sure how to have both sometime...
in that particular case I was thinking space habitat!

I am also still wondering whether spaceship will use the pseudogravity tech outline earlier (which would help doing acrobatic manoeuvre) or they should be the rotating type... 
I know, it's clearly a matter of taste here... but what would be the most science friendly space fantasy kind to your taste here?

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11 hours ago, Lloyd Dupont said:

The point or question of this thread is not clearly defined, it's a bit like, please pitch in.
Also sorry if I might be difficult (with contributions), I noticed that I have quite a different approach to some people here. Sometimes it's a matter of different taste (fair enough ;) ) sometimes.. I noticed I have idea which are not conducive to adventure though... but hey I do change my mind (slowly...). 😮

Anyhow, after that preamble, what prompted that post?

As some of you might know, I am working on a scifi setting / adventure / ruleset (will share when I am happy :) )  and I am at the equipment and vehicle list design stage now....
I am trying to be.... "relatively" plausible, though it's a Master of Orion setting and I have a number of space fantasy tech already:  FTL ship all around (arguably plausible alcubierre dive), psionic powers (pure fantasy), and "repulsor fields" (total nonsense tech which enables to reactionless propulsion, which enable landing spaceship in town, also flying cars, forcefield and, why the hell not when use indoor, pseudo antigravity), (arguably plausible using quantum entanglement) ansibles.
So.. mmmmm.. maybe not so realistic after all...

Anyway watching Isaac Arthur talking about hollow rotating asteroid as space habitat. It's a time where ingenuity and science produce some really cool ideas.
But now I am thinking pseudo antigravity as mentionned above kind of throw to the bin all the ingenious beauty of those space habitat.
If I scrap it, I should scrap my repulsor fields too, hence no forcefield, no hoverbike, no landing your spaceship in the city.. losing some fun here... and also witout forcefield bullet become much more of a problem... (arguable this might be desirable for some.. but I happy to have a tech mitigating the deadliness of future weapons..)

So.. I have a tech conundrum, or mmmm, agonising choice? between cool scenic space fantasy tech or cool ingenious real ones?
And also, since I am going to have FTL... maybe the choice is already made? mm...

What I am trying to say.. I am trying to maximise cool space fantasy fun, while also maximising real science ingenuity and I am not sure how to have both sometime...
in that particular case I was thinking space habitat!

I am also still wondering whether spaceship will use the pseudogravity tech outline earlier (which would help doing acrobatic manoeuvre) or they should be the rotating type... 
I know, it's clearly a matter of taste here... but what would be the most science friendly space fantasy kind to your taste here?

My awnser would be Star Trek, eventhough I like Star Wars better for fantasy space. Most of the stuff in Star Trek like laser guns and warp drive is based on current scientific theories, yet it also has plenty of "fantasy" elements to it as well like teleporters, psionics, and Q.

Another good example might be Starcraft, with the human faction at least having plausible technology. As for the Protoss and Zerg, that is up to you. Hope this helps. :)

Edited by Old Man Henerson
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Mmmm.. thanks for your input....

Now.. I am sad to report I haven't followed either much! 😕 
But hey I liked the latest Star Trek on Netflix might have a second look., And maybe I could find some starcraft guide hey? Actually I quite like that one :) 

 

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1 hour ago, Lloyd Dupont said:

Mmmm.. thanks for your input....

Now.. I am sad to report I haven't followed either much! 😕 
But hey I liked the latest Star Trek on Netflix might have a second look., And maybe I could find some starcraft guide hey? Actually I quite like that one :) 

 

They are actually giving away the first and second Starcraft games for free now, so you should definitely check them out. I got them a while ago, but recently I have been playing more Star Wars Knights of the old Republic. Starcraft is basicaly Warhammer40k lite with less grimderp chaos gods and more realistic sci-fi with some psychic powers thrown in for good measure.

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I don't see why you shouldn't be able to have your cake and eat it, too.

Keep repulsor fields and antigravity, but make it something that either can't be employed easily (maybe flying cars only work in citys with a big-and-expensive-as-hell antigrav reactor in the center) or is highly controlled (maybe it has a terrible potential when used as a weapon?); so if you can't afford or get your hands on the technology - or a legal license to use it - you might just have to hollow out an asteroid and spin it around. And maybe that's what most people are actually doing!

BTW, if you're interested in the whole asteroid habitat thing, you just have to read Kim Stanley Robinson's novel 2312. It's quite the opposite of space fantasy, but it is still fun, I'd say, and he is really good at making the scientific explanations entertaining!

Edited by Jakob
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Me think I should put a budget on vehicle power and costs.. drive an hoverdrive costing intrinsically more than a wheeled one, and maintaining pseudo grav seriously draining power.. this way it all makes sense...

However, I should also avoid burdening players with trivia! 😮😅🥴

Thanks for reading tip too! :) 

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this looks clunky (those blades! 😮 ) (and btw, following the link, the range is 13 miles...) though nice as well thanks for link (I mean name)! :)

But I was thinking about

speeder_bike1

Edited by Lloyd Dupont

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3 hours ago, g33k said:

Hoverbike?

uhhh... google "Scorpion 3" or "s3 hoverbike" ... and visit the bank for a loan...

 

Banks?  Loans?  Why, we've evolved beyond such things.  The Party, er, Starfleet says so.

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1 hour ago, seneschal said:

Banks?  Loans?  Why, we've evolved beyond such things.  The Party, er, Starfleet says so.

They might be wrong... look either cook or prostitute (depending of the source) is the oldest job known to man, yet it is still here and thriving! 😛 

To be fair, swordsmiths are on a downward spiral though.... 😅

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I think if you're going for the Master of Orion thing then go ahead and indulge those guilty pleasures of fantasy-tech. I like hard SF games, but you have to accept that dealing with physics becomes a big deal - fine if your group likes that sort of thing, but it cuts out a lot of fun options in play because the universe really doesn't like you to have too much fun. Most of us also don't really know that much about the science, so the research can become a chore and you will have the inevitable player who knows more than you about astrophysics and won't let you forget it. 😉

It may simply come down to what you want to be the core of the campaign, the Science, or the Fiction?

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18 hours ago, Lloyd Dupont said:

Me think I should put a budget on vehicle power and costs.. drive an hoverdrive costing intrinsically more than a wheeled one, and maintaining pseudo grav seriously draining power.. this way it all makes sense...

THere could be a couple of other ways to limit ther "Space fantasy" tech. Maybe some substance messes with it, preventing from being useful in some environments., or convesely some substance is required for it to work. For instance maybe the pseudo anti-grav created a magnetic field, but requires a high content of ferrous metal (iron) to push against to give full lift. 

Or you can do like they do with Star Wars. The contra-gravity there works by pushing against an existing gravitation field. Te net result is that it is weak where gravity is weak. 

 

18 hours ago, Lloyd Dupont said:

However, I should also avoid burdening players with trivia! 😮😅🥴

 

Mostly. A little trivial counts as flavor text, and sometimes can even be a clue to some problem in an adventure. 

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Plenty of good idea here.. I particularly like your idea of hoverbike / vehicle to only work in purpose build area! :)

one thing I should add , for it might lead to good suggestion.... is that due to high damage of scifi weapon I feel like I need to include forceshield tech... (like the Energy Armor from the BGB) plus.. it's properly ultra scifi....And this "repulsor field science" I created explain it all: forcefield, hoverbike, pseudoantigravity...

But my ideal scifi-science-fantasy.. would mayeb some hoverbike in special environment like Atgxtg suggested, energy armor, for survival reason plus it's super cool, maybe no antigravity... it's no big deal, zero cost involve narratively, and make space a more alien frontier... 

Mm.. I feel like I might be cutting hair here.. mmm.....
Though there is something cool to imagine a principle and exploit it as much as possible, it's what we human do!

Edited by Lloyd Dupont

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1 hour ago, Lloyd Dupont said:

Plenty of good idea here.. I particularly like your idea of hoverbike / vehicle to only work in purpose build area! :)

one thing I should add , for it might lead to good suggestion.... is that due to high damage of scifi weapon I feel like I need to include forceshield tech... (like the Energy Armor from the BGB) plus.. it's properly ultra scifi....And this "repulsor field science" I created explain it all: forcefield, hoverbike, pseudoantigravity...

Maybe not. The thing is with weapon damage is that there is a bit of a disconnect between reality and gaming. In real life, lethality is somewhat hard to guage, as there are so many factors that apply. For example, with modern firearms, shot placement is far more important that bullet weight or caliber, yet most RPGs tend to focus on the round or weapon rather than the skill of the marksman.  In the real world the differences between one firearm and the next isn't so obvious. A bullet with twice the mass, or muzzle energy, or both of another bullet isn't two or four of even eight times more lethal than the first. 

In RPG game terms, though, everything is spelled out clearly in black and white. Weapon #1 does 1D8, weapon #2 does 1D10, so weapon #2 does more damage. Factor in things like hit points, and gamers quickly learn to think that weapon #2 is better than weapon #1 because in game terms it is significantly so, as it does 1 more point of damage on average. 

Now what I'm getting at here is that most modern firearms are quite lethal enough, and SCiFI weapon don't necessarily have to do more damage to be effective. An energy weapon that did the same damage as a slug thrower, but had better range, accuracy, or capacity would still be a significant upgrade. So if you don't need to include force shield tech, if you can keep the damages down.

Oh, and if you want to really keep the weapons tech under control, remember that the more high tech something is, the more that can go wrong. Imagine if some high tech society could generate a EM field and that it messed up most electronics. The military would have to use "obsolete" tech, as mechanical stuff would be reliable in a EM field.  

 

My suggestion is figure out what you want the setting to be like, then reverse engineer the reasons why it would have worked out that way. 

 

, . 

 

 

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Quote

 Imagine if some high tech society could generate a EM field and that it messed up most electronics. The military would have to use "obsolete" tech, as mechanical stuff would be reliable in a EM field.  

Again, Minovsky particles. They are the answer to everything. 

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1 hour ago, RosenMcStern said:

Again, Minovsky particles. They are the answer to everything. 

Yeah, when you want them to be. It's really an old SciFi and gaming trope. If the story would be ruined by something readily available in the setting, then come up with an in setting reason why it won't work. It's why there can be wield ionic fields in the atmosphere that mess up the transport in Star Trek, or why there were strange restrictions to prevent high level spells like Wish from working on old D&D modules. 

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I quite like your suggestion so far Atgxtg! :)

Also I realised, worrying about "degrees of realism" when the thing is clearly not realistic to start with is.. unproductive to say the least... 😅
(A better word is, perhaps, arbitrary, hence no such thing as "thinking" it)

Nevertheless I have some cool new ideas to think of now! :)

Edited by Lloyd Dupont

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6 hours ago, Lloyd Dupont said:

I quite like your suggestion so far Atgxtg! :)

Glad you like it. 

6 hours ago, Lloyd Dupont said:

Also I realised, worrying about "degrees of realism" when the thing is clearly not realistic to start with is.. unproductive to say the least... 😅
(A better word is, perhaps, arbitrary, hence no such thing as "thinking" it)

Well there is realism and there is believably. You don't want it so far fetched that they players can't swallow it.

 

Also, there is the fact that what ever science players are aware of will come back to haunt you if you contradict it. For instance, in one campaign I was playing in the GM has a river flow from the ocean to the mountains. Most of the players didn't have a problem with it, but two of us, being quite conscious of gravity and how water tends to flow downhill, actually took it to mean something significant. It wasn't, but water flowing uphill seemed like a clue. 

6 hours ago, Lloyd Dupont said:

Nevertheless I have some cool new ideas to think of now! :)

And that helps. All that fancy tech can help to flesh out the game world too. I once set up a game based on the idea of using an airship and filling it with air. I did a little research and it looked like such a ship could fly on a Mars-like world. So I created one, put rare gems on it, and set up domed, pressuring colonies, that used carbon-fiber airships and devices that extracted oxygen and carbon from the carbon dioxide atmosphere. I think the science and math mostly worked out.It did help flesh out the setting and technology involved, as the tech that was used was derived from what was needed to make the airships practical and functional. Since everybody needed air, everyone/play had small air compressors that no only provided air to breath, but also proved to be a easy portable way to pressurize high power airguns. It made the setting something other than a generic colony world. 

 

 

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On 6/30/2020 at 7:48 PM, Jakob said:

I don't see why you shouldn't be able to have your cake and eat it, too.

Keep repulsor fields and antigravity, but make it something that either can't be employed easily (maybe flying cars only work in citys with a big-and-expensive-as-hell antigrav reactor in the center) or is highly controlled (maybe it has a terrible potential when used as a weapon?); so if you can't afford or get your hands on the technology - or a legal license to use it - you might just have to hollow out an asteroid and spin it around. And maybe that's what most people are actually doing!

BTW, if you're interested in the whole asteroid habitat thing, you just have to read Kim Stanley Robinson's novel 2312. It's quite the opposite of space fantasy, but it is still fun, I'd say, and he is really good at making the scientific explanations entertaining!

Abolsutely agree.

Take a leaf out of Herbert's books. He wanted the denouement to be hand-to-hand combat between heroes which could not have happened logically if The Guild had space superiority and energy weapons. So he found a combination of technologies which made the use of energy weapons from space a non-starter.

If I read this right you want anti-grav cars in urban centres and you want rotating habitats which don't make sense if artificial gravity is a thing.

Maybe anti-grav/repulsorlift/gravitic-reaction only works against the kind of big, stable gravity well that forms around/due to a planet? So the habitats don't make a big enough dip in space-time for the fields to work against?

And maybe those fields ONLY work AGAINST gravity wells? Thus artificial gravity just can't be done.

Or maybe the anti-grav cars aren't anti-grav they're maglev and the habitats just don't have a strong enough magnetosphere to push against?

Unfortunately that might mean no anti-grav cars IN the habitats.

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On 7/1/2020 at 6:15 AM, Vile Traveller said:

I think if you're going for the Master of Orion thing then go ahead and indulge those guilty pleasures of fantasy-tech...

I think Mr. Traveller has really gone to the crux of the matter here.  I'll just add a quick sharpening of his already fine point, if I may:   MOO was already fantasy-tech; that is your source material!  You cannot have an MOO game -- neither in overall feel/flavor, nor in the details -- if you really embrace the "hard" sci-fi.

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I did agree....
If not explicitly enough, let me do it here!.. :)

Doing my tech and equipment summary list now.. might post for review this weekend (still missing drugs and explosives)
While it's a matter of taste there a few things that should be obvious no-no or yes-yes.... 

The one thing quite debatable on my list so far is that I gave each item a tech level (from 3 to 21,or perhaps should I say 12 to 21, since 9 represent nowadays) and me think... does it really matter? I am planning on some mini rule though, to use various tech level as inspiration for trade between planet though...

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Mmm... right now I am hit by a cognitive dissonance....

On one hand, when you play MoO, you send your scout ship all around, you want to find and colonise planets. When I listen to Isaac Arthur, I want to build space habitats!

But, on the other hand, when I reflect on the real world, no government is paying for Mars colonisation, too expansive, no return on investment. And also almost want to go. Fair enough, why would you goon this god forsaken planet month away from anything, with nothing friendly to life?! 😮 

Why does it hit me?
I try to summarily describe various planet biome and reason for colonisation....

I can imagine asteroid belt being interesting.. more than that... why colonise a planet hostile to life in the vague hope of eventual return on investment in.. 1000 years?! 😮
And who would volunteer anyway?! 😮 🥴

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