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Epic Space Opera and BRP Mecha


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BGB has a stats for a Xenomorph but many other Cthulhu creatures are possibilities - Mi Go and Byakhee being just two examples of space faring creatures from the Mythos.

What did they call that race of cylindrical aliens they found in the Antarctic -- the ones responsible for the shuggoths? I'd be expecting to see them in a Cthulhu Space campaign.

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What did they call that race of cylindrical aliens they found in the Antarctic -- the ones responsible for the shuggoths? I'd be expecting to see them in a Cthulhu Space campaign.

Elder Things.

Calling them that to their faces would probably not be wise. I can see them in space, and as a different race for the PCs to encounter. Not necessarily elementally evil, but different. Different enough to make first contact difficult -- IIRC they cannot speak in the same way humans do, to the point that they might not even recognize the sounds we continually emit as language. Depending on what sorts of technology they use, the inevitable misunderstandings might have dangerous consequences.

Then again, even Mythos aliens might do well to heed the advice of the Doctor: Run. As fast and far as you can. Run and hide, because the monsters are coming.

And I'm loving this talk of Space Ducky-power going on! :)

Imagine the Ducks with a space empire of their own, with dozens of worlds under their big webbed heel....

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You'd have to ignore their curse of flightlessness, supposedly if they get into any machine that flies it will crash.

Bah! That never discouraged Launchpad McQuack. Any landing you can walk away from .... And it guarantees that Duck explorers will have to settle, conquer and dominate. No option to just visit. ;)

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You'd have to ignore their curse of flightlessness, supposedly if they get into any machine that flies it will crash.

Perhaps those ducks who do head for space do not have the curse quite that bad (they can't fly unaided, but an airplane or spaceship will work just fine with a Duck aboard) or, if the curse is persistent even in the low-magic area of the typical SF campaign, they could have access to artifacts that let them do so safely.

Or perhaps the ducks have worked out a means to teleport between planets or have built a series of gate networks (walk -- er, waddle -- through the gate and you're in another world). Which puts Ducks in possession of probably the most advanced technologies in the campaign -- which traditional Duck paranoia will prevent them from willingly sharing.

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Bah! That never discouraged Launchpad McQuack. Any landing you can walk away from .... And it guarantees that Duck explorers will have to settle, conquer and dominate. No option to just visit. ;)

When Donald Duck (re)joined the Navy in the Duck Tales series, he was posted to an unnamed aircraft carrier. He was a common seaman -- er, seaduck -- and intensely disliked by his Captain. Needless to say he was not allowed anywhere near the aircraft. (apparently nobody ever pointed out to the captain that harassing a relative of one of the richest and most powerful moguls in the world was potentially unhealthy -- especially since Donald had apparently done nothing to deserve his enmity).

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One odd observation is whether Michael Moorcock ever wrote anything in his Eternal Champion series that could be remotely described as sci-fi. I haven't read very much of his writing (I find him uncomfortably grim) but having spacefarers as pawns in the Order-Chaos battle could be interesting -- especially if they don't know it until something potentially catastrophic happens.

What would Elemental Chaos (or, for that matter, Elemental Order) do to or with high technology?

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Hawkmoon is SciFi, in that it is set in the far future and has high technology. No space-faring in that, though.

Legends at the End of the Universe is also SciFi, as it is set in the very far future and has ultra-high-technology. However, the SciFi elements are pretty much magical in all but name.

A lot of Moorcock's works have time travel of various kinds. They would, in theory, be regarded as SciFi, I suppose. However, Moorcock is well and truly a Fantasy writer.

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Then again, even Mythos aliens might do well to heed the advice of the Doctor: Run. As fast and far as you can. Run and hide, because the monsters are coming.

Imagine the Ducks with a space empire of their own, with dozens of worlds under their big webbed heel....

Reminds me of a Cordwainer Smith short story where humanity made first contact with an alien species of ducks. Then one of the ambassadors accidentally died in a fire ... and mankind rediscovered orange sauce ...

Frank

"Welcome to the hottest and fastest-growing hobby of, er, 1977." -- The Laundry RPG
 
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What would Elemental Chaos (or, for that matter, Elemental Order) do to or with high technology?

Moorcock wrote a Doctor Who novel a couple of years ago. Doctor Who fans panned it, but from the plot description it sounded he was trying to work the Eternal Champion mythos in. (Which is maybe what went wrong.)

A lot of Moorcock's works have time travel of various kinds. They would, in theory, be regarded as SciFi, I suppose. However, Moorcock is well and truly a Fantasy writer.

Science fiction doesn't need space travel. Charles Stross has argued that starships are just another form of fantasy. What distinguishes science fiction from fantasy is attention to scientific plausibility, although extrapolating how societies and individuals respond to technological change is essential to the "fiction" part. By that measure, Moorcock is definitely a fantasy writer.

Frank

"Welcome to the hottest and fastest-growing hobby of, er, 1977." -- The Laundry RPG
 
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Science fiction doesn't need space travel. Charles Stross has argued that starships are just another form of fantasy. What distinguishes science fiction from fantasy is attention to scientific plausibility, although extrapolating how societies and individuals respond to technological change is essential to the "fiction" part. By that measure, Moorcock is definitely a fantasy writer.

No it doesn't. Technically speaking, Science Fiction stories just need some bit of science that doesn't exist today. In reality the distinction between fantasy and scifi isn't clear. A lot of suff people consider SciFi is actually Fantasy. Back before the space age, a lo of SciFi was dismissed as Fantasy and that goes back to the origins of Science Fiction (Scientific Romances).

Basically, any SciFi story is really a subgenre of Fantasy, as the Science element makes the story a "What If?" scenario.

Chaos stalks my world, but she's a big girl and can take of herself.

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No it doesn't. Technically speaking, Science Fiction stories just need some bit of science that doesn't exist today. In reality the distinction between fantasy and scifi isn't clear. A lot of suff people consider SciFi is actually Fantasy. Back before the space age, a lo of SciFi was dismissed as Fantasy and that goes back to the origins of Science Fiction (Scientific Romances).

Basically, any SciFi story is really a subgenre of Fantasy, as the Science element makes the story a "What If?" scenario.

Ahem. John Carter, Flash Gordon, and Thundarr the Barbarian are waiting for you in the alley out back of the castle, er, I mean space station. ;D

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Ahem. John Carter, Flash Gordon, and Thundarr the Barbarian are waiting for you in the alley out back of the castle, er, I mean space station. ;D

Thats what Death Stars are for.:P

Chaos stalks my world, but she's a big girl and can take of herself.

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Ahem. John Carter, Flash Gordon, and Thundarr the Barbarian are waiting for you in the alley out back of the castle, er, I mean space station. ;D

Thats what Death Stars are for.:P

I wonder whether the "rogue planet" that made the catastrophic fly-by of the Earth (and brought about Thundarr's nightmarish world) was actually a planet, or whether it was actually something like a Death Star instead. Which changes it from an act of capricious nature to one of utter malice -- or perhaps an act intended for some purpose that might not even have had anything to do with the fate of Homo Sapiens.

I also wonder whether anyone was "dropped off", which would explain the presence of things as alien as Moks on the shattered Earth.

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The thing that amazes me about Thundarr's world is not the presence of wizards and mutants but that recognizable 20th century artifacts are liberally sticking out of the ground wherever you go like so many chocolate chunks in a bowl of ice cream -- 2,000 years after the cataclysm.* You'd think that with that much relatively intact gear the humans would be further along in their quest to rebuild civilization.

*According to sources such as the book The World Without Us and the TV show Life After People, wooden structures such as houses would rot away within decades without human maintenance, towering skyscrapers would collapse and rust within 150 to 200 years. These processes would be accelerated by harsh weather, fires, and natural disasters. Metal vehicles such as ocean liners and cars would, of course, decay much faster. Rivers and streams, currently redirected by streets and sewer systems, would return to their old channels, further assisting the collapse of man-made structures. Vegetation would quickly cover roads and turn open spaces such as stadiums into young forests. Forget the glowing deserts and Forbidden Zones seen in countless post-apocalyptic movies. The Chernobyl disaster has demonstrated that plants and wild animals would swiftly take over despite the presence of radiation. The world would look more like Buck Roger's 25th Century (apparently pristine wilderness with ancient toxins invisible or buried underground) than Planet of the Apes.

Plastic items would survive quite well as long as they were buried or otherwise shielded from the sun's ultraviolet rays. Otherwise, they'd break up into plastic sand. Paper, such as newsprint, would also survive as long as it was buried away from oxygen and dampness. Stone buildings and monuments, bronze and ceramic items, would last quite a while. The Great Wall of China, the Hoover Dam, the Pyramids, the Lincoln Memorial, the presidential faces on Mount Rushmore would likely be around for many centuries, assuming the cataclysm or earthquakes didn't wreck them.

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The thing that amazes me about Thundarr's world is not the presence of wizards and mutants but that recognizable 20th century artifacts are liberally sticking out of the ground wherever you go like so many chocolate chunks in a bowl of ice cream -- 2,000 years after the cataclysm.* You'd think that with that much relatively intact gear the humans would be further along in their quest to rebuild civilization.

Or they could be wrapped up in a war of all-against-all, to the point that they no longer care about anything other than themselves and whatever petty ambitions they have.

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Or they could be wrapped up in a war of all-against-all, to the point that they no longer care about anything other than themselves and whatever petty ambitions they have.

Exterminate!

Sounds more like the Dalek/Thal conflict ("Genesis of the Daleks"), with more sides: plasma rifles, then slug-throwers, then crossbows, then thrown rocks. (Then twisted mutants in scaled-down tanks.)

Frank

"Welcome to the hottest and fastest-growing hobby of, er, 1977." -- The Laundry RPG
 
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In Thundarr, though, the human villagers are largely unarmed while the wizards' troops are equipped with a mixture of primitive and high-tech gear. That's why they depend so much on the heroic barbarian and his fabulous sun sword.

Do the villagers think "We're no match for wizards anyway, so we're not even going to try to defend ourselves"?

Kurosawa may have pioneered the unarmed farming village needing outside help trope in Seven Samurai, but he subverted it as well by making his villagers much less helpless than they wanted their "protectors" to believe. They had a large cache of weapons and armor, for example, stolen from previous visitors that they didn't bother to learn to use themselves. Easier to get some skilled, desperate and expendable strangers to do the job for them. In the end the samurai ended up turning the peasants into an army of sorts -- not a very good army, but an army nonetheless. And the villagers' response after four or five of the samurai had died for them? "Thanks. Now go away."

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