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Suggestion - SciFi Co-op


HollyKnight55

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I've read through most of the posts in this area, and I noticed they've slowed down. I hope it will be okay if I suggest something.

A Fantasy world is harder to share, with no ground rules to follow. I think if you said "Dwarves are dwarves, elves are elves, don't go ridiculous, flesh it out" then it could be interesting. The Green, for example, is a great location.

Honestly, though, I think SciFi would be easier. I'd go so far as to say it might be easier for a group to come up with a SciFi game than an individual. LOL

To start, I'd pick up D20 Future or GURPS Space. I don't own the latter, but I'm assuming it's similar to GURPS Fantasy, which gives a fantastic overview of what to think about. First you go through all the listed "things to think about", and come up with a consensus of how things are going to go.

FTL Travel? Stargates? Land gates? Jump engines? One solar system? One planet?

Psychics - yes or no? Common or uncommon?

AI or no?

blah blah

Then all this gets glued together, and the basic premise is agreed upon. I have to be honest and say I'm a fan of the "Empire on decline/fallen" concept.

Then - this is where the real "shared" part comes in - each contributor comes up with their own race! A bit of detail on the home world, physical description and abilities, philosophy, approach to life, etc... With each race coming from a different person, they should have a different (ie alien) feel.

Make it not our solar system, and say "Earth" is long lost. That way different people can have variations of humanity if they like.

Now, how to avoid power mongers? A dozen unstopable warrior races? Super mental power unbalancing type races? They have to apply to be part of some kind of Inter Galactic Council - which means the other contributors are permitted to discuss and vote whether the race should be permitted to enter the game world.

I know judging other people's work might seem harsh, but I'm a firm believer that putting something in just because somebody put work into it would result in mediocrity.

Just a suggestion, short version (have to run). Throw it out, ignore it, maybe use part of it. Whatever. :)

Blessed Be,

)O( Mike )O

http://web.mac.com/boghouse/iWeb

"So much of what I see reminds me of something I read in a book, when shouldn't it be the other way around?"

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Playing a few games of this game with your group should help you come up with some ideas:shock: social science fiction

This is like the ultimate sci-fi setting generator. I know you're asking for a group-think from the forum, but that game should help a lot.

This site is the best if you're looking for hard sci-fi: Atomic Rocket main page

And my input into the project is that there MUST be High Frontier space colonies: Space Settlement

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I probably couldn't take part as writing the Green is taking up a lot of my free time, but I would suggest that instead of individual races people could make up individual worlds or planets similar to Rust's Beneath Alien Waves. That would allow for a bit of individual freedom as well as allowing other people playing BRP sci-fi to visit the world for an adventure or two. It seems like with a few different planets or star systems on the Wiki this could be a valuable resource for gamers who are gallivanting though the final fronter in search of strange new worlds.

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I would suggest that instead of individual races people could make up individual worlds or planets similar to Rust's Beneath Alien Waves. That would allow for a bit of individual freedom as well as allowing other people playing BRP sci-fi to visit the world for an adventure or two.

I agree, I think this would be a better approach than trying to design a com-

mon world.

And it reminds me that I have still not begun to translate my setting into Eng-

lish, and meanwhile it has grown to almost 100 pages ... :o

"Mind like parachute, function only when open."

(Charlie Chan)

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And it reminds me that I have still not begun to translate my setting into Eng-

lish, and meanwhile it has grown to almost 100 pages ...

I have been looking forward to this for some time. All the little hints and teasers sure makes Pharos sound interesting. If this setting ever hit the shelf (in English) I would certainly pick up a copy.

294/420

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I have been looking forward to this for some time. All the little hints and teasers sure makes Pharos sound interesting. If this setting ever hit the shelf (in English) I would certainly pick up a copy.

Thank you very much ! :)

My problem (apart from being lazy ...) is that I only have the time either to

continue to develop the setting while our group is playing it, or to translate

it. :(

While I hoped that the basic setting would one fine day be "complete", with

no more need for any major additions except in its ongoing timeline, the play-

ers have developed a tendency to continually explore new areas of the set-

ting - which in turn forces me to develop and detail these areas.

Ah, well, one day I will finally manage to convince them to stay at home for

a while, doing some intrigues and politics, and then I will have the time to

begin the translation ... ;)

"Mind like parachute, function only when open."

(Charlie Chan)

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I am actually working on a proposal for a hard sci-fi setting for BRP (with the blessing of Chaosium), but won't have anything concrete to post for a while yet. I'll post more when I have more...

:cool:

No need to look further, then! :D

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Dreamscape Design: My Corner of BRP Central ... Mine, All Mine! 

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One of the things I'm thinking about for a sci-fi setting is to have 'replicators'. But they will be different from the Star Trek ones. If you've read or watched any "science behind Star Trek" stuff, then you know the replicators in Star Trek would take an ungodly amount of energy. My replicators would be set up by a star and protected by force fields. Plus, they can't make copies. They can only produce base elements of the Periodic Table from the energy emanating from the sun. Then they ship the raw material to space colonies for manufacture. Thus making any solar system self-sustaining. And any invasion into a solar system would be idealogical (religious or political--by anyone who thinks they know how to live your life better than you do) instead of economical.

As much of a fan I am of High Frontier space colonies, I wonder if groups of people living in enclosed environments wouldn't lead to some very eccentric societies:confused:

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While I think the replicators would be an interesting idea, I would not like to

have anything of that kind in my setting, because it would very much reduce

(if not eliminate entirely) the need for interstellar trade - and with it a clas-

sic science fiction adventure source.

"Mind like parachute, function only when open."

(Charlie Chan)

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Now, how to avoid power mongers? A dozen unstopable warrior races? Super mental power unbalancing type races? They have to apply to be part of some kind of Inter Galactic Council - which means the other contributors are permitted to discuss and vote whether the race should be permitted to enter the game world.

I have a suggestion for an alternative way to solve this problem...

...I would suggest that instead of individual races people could make up individual worlds or planets similar to Rust's Beneath Alien Waves. That would allow for a bit of individual freedom as well as allowing other people playing BRP sci-fi to visit the world for an adventure or two. It seems like with a few different planets or star systems on the Wiki this could be a valuable resource for gamers who are gallivanting though the final fronter in search of strange new worlds.

I agree, I think this would be a better approach than trying to design a common world.

Yes, I also think a "separate worlds"-type approach is best. But I'd go further, and suggest separate Universes.

But with Gates of various forms to allow travel between the Universes.

Authors of each Universe would have total editorial control - so no need to smack-down anyone's creativity, no need for voting or bureaucracy. (Some authors might want more than one world, and some might want unstoppable warrior races, or whatever - and wouldn't things be boring without 'em?). But co-operation between authors would still be possible if they wished, of course.

GMs would have total control of the Gates - so only things thay allowed could pass though them, and only to/from Universes they permitted.

This has been suggested previously and is called the 'Gated Worlds' (as opposed to SharedWorld).

Britain has been infiltrated by soviet agents to the highest levels. They control the BBC, the main political party leaderships, NHS & local council executives, much of the police, most newspapers and the utility companies. Of course the EU is theirs, through-and-through. And they are among us - a pervasive evil, like Stasi.

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While I think the replicators would be an interesting idea, I would not like to

have anything of that kind in my setting, because it would very much reduce

(if not eliminate entirely) the need for interstellar trade - and with it a clas-

sic science fiction adventure source.

True, but remember, our own earth is self-sustaining, and many people on this planet would love to be able to explore the cosmos in a starship. I think the PCs will get into interesting situations just because they feel the need to have to do interstellar travel just for exploration (which I think is very much lacking in modern SF). And a trade of ideas and new technology will always be there regardless if a solar system is self-sustaining or not. This is why I had my replicators not be copy machines. They can only replicate raw material, the expertise and such for new inventions will come from outside of the solar system--or on other colonies. So most solar systems or colonies are not going to want to be too cut off from the outside. There will always be a trade in intellectual property.

Maybe the word 'replicate' is the wrong word to use. It would be more like a mining operation except it's recreating basic elements and their combinations from what's being thrown off from a sun. It would simply be mixing and matching atoms and molecules from solar radiation.

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Maybe the word 'replicate' is the wrong word to use. It would be more like a mining operation except it's recreating basic elements and their combinations from what's being thrown off from a sun. It would simply be mixing and matching atoms and molecules from solar radiation.

Ah, now I understand what you mean, and agree. :)

There is a major weekly science fiction booklet series here in Germany, "Perry

Rhodan" (running for 2000+ weeks now ...), where the Terrans have develo-

ped a kind of nucleosynthesis machine providing them with the basic raw ma-

terials for their industry.

However, there is still a lot of trade in blueprints, finished goods and especial-

ly organic chemicals (which are difficult to synthesize from elements).

"Mind like parachute, function only when open."

(Charlie Chan)

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I've read through most of the posts in this area, and I noticed they've slowed down. I hope it will be okay if I suggest something.

It's always OK to suiggest something, make comments or say whatever you want.

A Fantasy world is harder to share, with no ground rules to follow. I think if you said "Dwarves are dwarves, elves are elves, don't go ridiculous, flesh it out" then it could be interesting. The Green, for example, is a great location.

Possibly, but there are a lot of opinions about what to include, what not to include.

Honestly, though, I think SciFi would be easier. I'd go so far as to say it might be easier for a group to come up with a SciFi game than an individual. LOL

It's certainly easier because there is a lot less work to do.

FTL Travel? Stargates? Land gates? Jump engines? One solar system? One planet?

Psychics - yes or no? Common or uncommon?

AI or no?

blah blah

That sounds easy, doesn't it?

However, you have people who hate SciFantasy and only like hard SciFi, people who don't want aliens, people who want aliens as long as they are completely non-humanoid, people who want faster than light, people who only want current-physics-based science, people who like anything that sounds reasonable and so on.

It's very difficult to get people to agree on all of this.

Then all this gets glued together, and the basic premise is agreed upon. I have to be honest and say I'm a fan of the "Empire on decline/fallen" concept.

SciFantasy, then. So am I, but I also like Asimovish hardish SciFi and think the two could work well together.

Then - this is where the real "shared" part comes in - each contributor comes up with their own race! A bit of detail on the home world, physical description and abilities, philosophy, approach to life, etc... With each race coming from a different person, they should have a different (ie alien) feel.

I'd say Culture rather than just race (I hate using race, species is much better). You could have humans and other kinds of humans such as Asimov's Spacers, Dune's Fremen and Bene Gesserit and Farscape's Peacekeepers for example, all human and all completely different.

I like having alien species as well, perhaps with some different cultures.

Make it not our solar system, and say "Earth" is long lost. That way different people can have variations of humanity if they like.

If you have a Space Empire, or numbers of Space Empires, then you get away with having one planet being too important. Set it way into the future and you get other human planets becoming more important than Earth. What was the book where all the physically/mentally superior people went to space colonies, leaving the dregs left on Earth?

Now, how to avoid power mongers? A dozen unstopable warrior races? Super mental power unbalancing type races? They have to apply to be part of some kind of Inter Galactic Council - which means the other contributors are permitted to discuss and vote whether the race should be permitted to enter the game world.

Power Mongers are never ever a problem, in my opinion. Good powergamers will abuse any setting and any species/culture/tech level so you can't design a setting to stop powergamers.

In any case, so what if someone powergames? Let them have their fun.

Anywa, look at SciFi films and TV Series. Star Trek has Vulcans and Klingons who are physcially superior but have sever cultural problems that stop them from becoming dominant. Star Wars has humans as the dominant species even though there are many physcially or Psionically superior species.

Technology is far more important than species, in my opinion. Give PCs access to alien technology and they will keep the best bits and build up a hodgepodge of technology, becoming superior to all their foes.

I don't like the idea of a Galactic Council rukling on whether a species is allowed in. A powerful species will muscle its way in anyway and a weak species will be exploited by the others.

I know judging other people's work might seem harsh, but I'm a firm believer that putting something in just because somebody put work into it would result in mediocrity.

Mediocity is good, as long as there's a lot of it.

Simon Phipp - Caldmore Chameleon - Wallowing in my elitism since 1982. Many Systems, One Family. Just a fanboy. 

www.soltakss.com/index.html

Jonstown Compendium author. Find my contributions here

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Ah, now I understand what you mean, and agree. :)

There is a major weekly science fiction booklet series here in Germany, "Perry

Rhodan" (running for 2000+ weeks now ...), where the Terrans have develo-

ped a kind of nucleosynthesis machine providing them with the basic raw ma-

terials for their industry.

However, there is still a lot of trade in blueprints, finished goods and especial-

ly organic chemicals (which are difficult to synthesize from elements).

I guess it's true: there is no such thing as a truly original idea:lol: I'll have to see if this Perry Rhodan series is translated into English.

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I'll have to see if this Perry Rhodan series is translated into English.

It once was, for a very short time, but it was no success in the USA, mostly

because of the (for US readers) very unusual format - imagine a small booklet,

about the size of National Geographic, with about 70 pages with only very few

black and white illustrations.

"Mind like parachute, function only when open."

(Charlie Chan)

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One of the things I'm thinking about for a sci-fi setting is to have 'replicators'. But they will be different from the Star Trek ones. If you've read or watched any "science behind Star Trek" stuff, then you know the replicators in Star Trek would take an ungodly amount of energy.

That was a running gag in my group: imagining Picard & Riker doing the budget and realizing they had to justify all the energy expenditures from the holodeck by "exploring a nebula or something". :)

This led us down an interesting path. We concluded that the Federation was consuming mass sums of energy from everywhere, and while the series usually portrays a money-less utopia, we envisioned a more bleak living condition for the poor or less useful members of society.

So while the Federation gallivanted about the galaxy, replicating long extinct caviars and period costumes for hours of entertainment on the holodeck, replicator technology for much of the rest of the population was similar to Neil Stephenson's Diamond Age.

And don't forget Realism Rule # 1 "If you can do it in real life you should be able to do it in BRP". - Simon Phipp

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It once was, for a very short time, but it was no success in the USA, mostly

because of the (for US readers) very unusual format - imagine a small booklet,

about the size of National Geographic, with about 70 pages with only very few

black and white illustrations.

It looks like they are making a PC game from the series that's going to be translated into English: Perry Rhodan - Home Amazon says it's coming out July 7th and will only be $19.99 USD. And it's a point and click adventure (arrrgh! But the price told me as much, anyway).

Maybe Chaosium should just pick up the license for Perry Rhodan? At least it might go over big in Europe. And will fulfill the need for a BRP space opera game everywhere else.

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Maybe Chaosium should just pick up the license for Perry Rhodan? At least it might go over big in Europe. And will fulfill the need for a BRP space opera game everywhere else.

There is already a rather good Perry Rhodan RPG, although the system is com-

paratively complex. It is a d20, originally published for the German fantasy RPG

"Midgard", decades before D&D used a d20 system:

dorifer.com

However, the Perry Rhodan RPG is no success, not even over here. While the

fans of the series like it because of the many background informations, most

roleplayers obviously find it too difficult to "get into" a background universe

which has developed over more than 40 years, with literally thousands of ra-

ces and a timeline of more than 2,000 years.

"Mind like parachute, function only when open."

(Charlie Chan)

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:focus:

I agree with the OP that a galaxy spanning SciFi game might be easier to share than a single fantasy world. I also think it was the OP's intention to suggest that we could share the process by focusing on individual worlds.

I definitely want to pick up a copy of Shock, for the world/adventure building tools, but not for the game system.

Ok, so I see two ideas. Empire in decline, High Frontier. That's like chocolate in my peanut butter.

Travel?

I really like jump travels. Especially how it was unveiled in Traveler.

Aliens?

Definitely. But not tons.

And don't forget Realism Rule # 1 "If you can do it in real life you should be able to do it in BRP". - Simon Phipp

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:focus:

I definitely want to pick up a copy of Shock, for the world/adventure building tools, but not for the game system.

Then you might be disappointed with Shock, because the system revolves around a grid where people decide which issues are going to drive them and come up with a world based on those issues. There are examples of gameplay from reviews on the Shock homepage (links) that will help you better judge if you still want to buy the game.

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Then you might be disappointed with Shock, because the system revolves around a grid where people decide which issues are going to drive them and come up with a world based on those issues. There are examples of gameplay from reviews on the Shock homepage (links) that will help you better judge if you still want to buy the game.

Actually I don't think I would. Once you have the shocks, and the interaction with those shocks, you now have the basis for an interesting culture on a strange unexplored world, at least in the truest sense of scifi.

And don't forget Realism Rule # 1 "If you can do it in real life you should be able to do it in BRP". - Simon Phipp

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There is already a rather good Perry Rhodan RPG, although the system is com-

paratively complex. It is a d20, originally published for the German fantasy RPG

"Midgard", decades before D&D used a d20 system:

dorifer.com

However, the Perry Rhodan RPG is no success, not even over here. While the

fans of the series like it because of the many background informations, most

roleplayers obviously find it too difficult to "get into" a background universe

which has developed over more than 40 years, with literally thousands of ra-

ces and a timeline of more than 2,000 years.

That's too bad that it didn't do well, as it sounds exactly like the kind of universe that I would like to play in (where anything can happen). At least you'd never run out of aliens to run into. Maybe, if Chaosium did actually get the license for the game, they could have random alien generators (like some SF games have).

But, according to Wikipedia, the series had every theme related to space opera in its series, so I can kind of see how it would be difficult to get into, since it sounds like a generic space opera setting. But I think that could be good, in a way, to have a sort of generic space opera toolkit to pick and choose which themes you want. Especially one that's based on an established series.

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There is a major weekly science fiction booklet series here in Germany, "Perry Rhodan" (running for 2000+ weeks now ...), where the Terrans have developed a kind of nucleosynthesis machine providing them with the basic raw materials for their industry.

Holy Smokes, :eek: I remember there was a whole endcap of those Perry Rhodan novelettes at an old K-mart or something when I was a kid. It was about the time of the first Star Wars Craze. I used to look at the pictures on the front covers and even bought one. I cannot remember the content at all but I think it is still in my classroom with the books I lend out to kids. Those are still coming out? It seemed like there were a hundred books already back then.

Glad to see this part of the forum hopping again. It makes life much more interesting.:P

The Empire in decline sounds like a great idea and can allow for and generate all sorts of fun possibilities: Smaller fragmented "kingdoms" rising up in the power vacuum, systems on the rim that were never under its control, remains of vast city or hive worlds that no longer get the required food shipments and have fallen to barbarism, scientific colonies that were cut off and not affected by the fall, pirates, or even alien invaders in quadrants chopping up the remains.

Could be a little like Azimov's Foundation Empire where people slices off a piece of the pie to develop and fill in details.

294/420

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