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Chris Spivey to develop Sci-fi RPG game setting for Chaosium

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Sorry no. Had seen the title, so looked it up. Did down load the Quick start rules. My interests in Genetics was sparked back in the 1980's when a group of Dutch Psychologists/Scientists did a study on a family in which anger was inherited. Over the intervening years I have continued to find more interesting information on thought patterns inherited on genes. I like to ask questions and think outside the box. ūüėÄ

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A cybernetic system would be great, but IMO most of those fit better in a cyberpunk style campaign sourcebook.  Why?  Because there is so darn much to go into a SF book.  Heh, I remember when I got the first decent cyberpunk from ICE & Hero, where the first thing you had to do if you went past a cyber eye, ear or other relatively passive organ was to buy a skeletal framework that had to be expanded for the more cyborging a character did.  No more $6M Man grabbing a helicopter and pulling it down to the ground on arm strength alone (besides the other stuff, a helicopter would have snatched the arm right out of his body because his bone & flesh would have failed). 

Would also need some kind of Cybernetic Rejection Syndrome, which was a great way to stop players from simply sticking on more and more metal until they were pretty invulnerable.  Yes, more expensive gear would let you avoid some of the negative effects, but at some point the player became a psychotic NPC for the rest of the group to get away from or put down.

But mainly, a decent ship to ship combat system, maybe an abstract fleet system, several methods of FTL (or staying STL), some aliens, etc.

Even a Solar Romance type (non-FTL, only in the Solar System, sometimes with old school "steampunk" items with races on most of the planets & moons) would work for me.

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I think we need to bear in mind this announcement is for the development of a game for a specific original setting. That means it will only contain rules and resources relevant to that setting and the style of scenarios and campaigns Chris envisions being run in it.

Edited by simonh
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We already have 5 BRP approaches to SciFi: 

- Worlds of Wonder; Chaosium 1982 (Future World booklet)
- Other Suns, Fantasy Games Unlimited 1983
- Ringworld, Chaosium 1984
- Worlds Beyond, Other World Games 1989
- M-Space, Frostbyte 2016

But i would love to have another one in my collection. 

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5 hours ago, AndreJarosch said:

We already have 5 BRP approaches to SciFi: 

- Worlds of Wonder; Chaosium 1982 (Future World booklet)
- Other Suns, Fantasy Games Unlimited 1983
- Ringworld, Chaosium 1984
- Worlds Beyond, Other World Games 1989
- M-Space, Frostbyte 2016

But i would love to have another one in my collection. 

You forgot River of Heaven, D101 Games 2014.

And if you want to include fan material, there is River of Heavens father, Cthulhu Rising, and there is a Traveller 2300 conversion here in the Downloads section.

SDLeary

Edited by SDLeary
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On 9/11/2018 at 3:40 AM, SDLeary said:

And if you want to include fan material, there is River of Heavens father, Cthulhu Rising, and there is a Traveller 2300 conversion here in the Downloads section.

And RQSciFi, on my website.

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It should, out of the box, be able to emulate Star Trek (space opera) and Star Wars (space fantasy), as these are the 2 major genres people think of when they think of "sci-fi".

Later modules could address Aliens (there were only 2 movies. You imagined the rest.),  Firefly, The Expanse, etc. Note these would not be LICENSED BOOKS, just 'generic' takes on the topic (Cthulhu Rising does a pretty good job of being Alienesque all by itself...). I would LOVE a BRP Forbidden Planet-style book, for instance.

 

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Looking forward to this as well! I have found memories of StarFrontiers (for the great alien races and the Space Opera genre) and Traveller (for the Hard SF genre), among others. More recent games such as Mindjammer has a great setting but I don't like Fate Core system it uses. Stars Without Numbers has a great setting also (but is too D&D in space for my taste).

So count me in for a BRP-inspired SF game from Chaosium! Where do I sign? :) 

Edited by drablak

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7 hours ago, Apache6Actual said:

It should, out of the box, be able to emulate Star Trek (space opera) and Star Wars (space fantasy), as these are the 2 major genres people think of when they think of "sci-fi".

That would be pretty tough, Chaosium  doesn't make boxed games anymore.;) Seriously, it would be tough for any game to emulate both of those settings well. As you are talking generic then you might have a chance, but the closer you get to emulating one, the further away you get pulled from the other. 

From what I've read Chaosium isn't producing generic systems, like BRP,  but rather focusing on setting specific games. That doesn't means they can't  later on be altered, expanded and adapted for other settings. That's is how all of Chaosiums RPGs have come about in the past. They took what they already had and made adjustments to handle a new setting. For now, any game is going to have rules, mechanics and tech suited to one particular setting.

Edited by Atgxtg

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Yeah, trying to be Star Wars and Star Trek AND an interesting and original bespoke setting in the same game system is a terrible idea.

Edited by PhilHibbs

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1 hour ago, PhilHibbs said:

Yeah, trying to be Star Wars and Star Trek AND an interesting and original bespoke setting in the same game system is a terrible idea.

I think it's a great idea, but an unrealistic expectation. Just accomplishing any one of those things would be great, but all of them is probably setting the bar a bit too high. 

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14 hours ago, Apache6Actual said:

It should, out of the box, be able to emulate Star Trek (space opera) and Star Wars (space fantasy), as these are the 2 major genres people think of when they think of "sci-fi".

Later modules could address Aliens (there were only 2 movies. You imagined the rest.),  Firefly, The Expanse, etc. Note these would not be LICENSED BOOKS, just 'generic' takes on the topic (Cthulhu Rising does a pretty good job of being Alienesque all by itself...). I would LOVE a BRP Forbidden Planet-style book, for instance.

 

Star Trek and Star Wars aren't genres, they are specific intellectual properties. The genre in both cases is space opera, although the TV aspect of Star Trek make it more episodic (and generic to an extent - with a different narrative each episode), whereas Star Wars operates on a cinematic, overarching story. 

If you are talking about science fiction genres, then we should consider things like: 

Space Opera - Star Trek, Star Wars, Traveller

Dystopia - 1984, Cyberpunk, Post Apocalyptic, Phillip K. Dick, Black Mirror, etc

Time Travel + Alternative History - including planetary romance, retro-sci-fi, steampunk, Doctor Who, etc

Hard Sci-Fi - 2001: A Space Odyssey, Interstellar, 2300AD, certain takes on Transhumanism, certain types of miltary sci-fi, etc

Edited by TrippyHippy
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On 11/14/2018 at 8:26 PM, TrippyHippy said:

Star Trek and Star Wars aren't genres, they are specific intellectual properties... <SNIP argumrnt>

I disagree with lots of the ways you categorized, but neither of our opinions matter:  nuChaosium has clearly stated that they don't see much market (ant they're the ones with the market data) for generic-y / toolkit-ish BRP.  They intend future BRP games to have the setting and a custom per-setting BRP variant under one cover, as per CoC7e and RQG.

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3 hours ago, g33k said:

I disagree with lots of the ways you categorized, but neither of our opinions matter:  nuChaosium has clearly stated that they don't see much market (ant they're the ones with the market data) for generic-y / toolkit-ish BRP.  They intend future BRP games to have the setting and a custom per-setting BRP variant under one cover, as per CoC7e and RQG.

I wasn't suggesting that Chaosium produce a generic science fiction book, just pointing out that Star Trek and Star Wars were not genres - and then giving examples of different types of science fiction genre. People can argue with the classifications chosen as they wish.

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Just some clarity here: 

  • Chris' project will be an original setting.¬†
  • It will use¬†BRP/RQ rules (we're letting him go a la carte with them and pick what rules options work best). Compatibility with RQ/Call of Cthulhu is not a requirement, and makes little sense given the nature of the setting he's doing.¬†
  • It's still in gestation phase, as Chris is busy with the new edition of Harlem Unbound and finishing another project for us I'm not sure has been announced.¬†
  • We are not announcing anything official until we have a team in place, a full product outline, and some concept art to show.¬†

As soon as there's more solid stuff behind the scenes, we'll start posting info. 

I can tell you it'll be neither Star Wars nor Star Trek in theme and tone. 

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1 minute ago, Jason Durall said:

Just some clarity here: 

  • Chris' project will be an original setting.¬†
  • It will use¬†BRP/RQ rules (we're letting him go a la carte with them and pick what rules options work best). Compatibility with RQ/Call of Cthulhu is not a requirement, and makes little sense given the nature of the setting he's doing.¬†
  • It's still in gestation phase, as Chris is busy with the new edition of Harlem Unbound and finishing another project for us I'm not sure has been announced.¬†
  • We are not announcing anything official until we have a team in place, a full product outline, and some concept art to show.¬†

As soon as there's more solid stuff behind the scenes, we'll start posting info. 

I can tell you it'll be neither Star Wars nor Star Trek in theme and tone.¬†ÔĽŅ

Thanks for the info. I am interested - mainly because of the writer at this stage. Is there any information of what broad science fiction it will be - space opera, or otherwise?

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Star Trek is basically space opera. Being Star Trek essentially copied Forbidden Planet and other pulp serials of the 30's and 40's. Flash Gorden and Buck Rogers instantly spring to mind. 

Star Wars is space fantasy. Wizards, magic swords, knights.....with spaceships instead of horses.

Both spawned numerous imitators, mostly from Italy.     At this point both are basically genre examples, as pretty much EVERY new "science-fiction" show/movie gets compared to them.

Other genre examples are Bladerunner (cyberpunk), Halloween (slasher killer flick), and every Godzilla movie ever made (giant atomic monster movie). Firefly came to epitomize the Space Western.

Traveller was inspired by Star Wars and grew into something else.

 

Given you (Mr. Durall) just said it won't be either of the 2 largest 'SF' genres, I'm hoping its not going to be so specialized that it won't have an audience....

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19 minutes ago, Apache6Actual said:

I'm hoping its not going to be so specialized that it won't have an audience....

Considering that Chaosium grew from a setting that was at least that specialized (Glorantha), yet grew a sizable audience in spite of it, I'd say they should go for it. If it end up being really good, it will find an audience.

 

On 11/17/2018 at 6:04 AM, Jason Durall said:

Just some clarity here: 

  • It will use¬†BRP/RQ rules (we're letting him go a la carte with them and pick what rules options work best). Compatibility with RQ/Call of Cthulhu is not a requirement, and makes little sense given the nature of the setting he's doing.¬†

That is one of the things that I really like about nuChaosium. Rather than just shutting down the older rulesets and making everything use RQG as the base, you're letting people pick and choose what they think will work best for their setting. That is very much in the mold of The Chaosium (70s-90s). My hat's off to you guys for that.

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3 hours ago, Apache6Actual said:

Traveller was inspired by Star Wars and grew into something else.ÔĽŅ

Traveller was largely written and in playtesting when Star Wars came out. Marc Miller and Loren Wiseman went to see Star Wars during development and did conclude that you could do Star Wars with Traveller, but Star Wars didn't inspire it. If it did, it would have had blasters and light sabres instead of revolvers and blades, and fighters and capital ships instead of pinnaces and free traders.

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It did have fighters and capital ships; the Kinunir was meant to be a capital ship (at least before Book 5: High Guard came out...…). And there were blasters (laser pistols) once Book 4 showed up, and where do you think the Psionic rules came from? And why did the Imperium view them as illegal?  And the Imperium, in the very first books/adventures, was very much inspired by a certain Empire in a galaxy far, far away.

IIRC COTI (Citizens of the Imperium) even had write-ups for a certain farm boy and an Imperial Lord with psi powers, replete with black battle dress.

As for laser swords....or light sabers.....I suppose Miller didn't want to seem TOO derivative. Or attract the attention of the dreaded Lawyer-beasts.

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14 hours ago, Apache6Actual said:

It did have fighters and capital ships; the Kinunir was meant to be a capital ship (at least before Book 5: High Guard came out...…).

Very small capital ship, compared to Star Wars.

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And there were blasters (laser pistols) once Book 4 showed up, and where do you think the Psionic rules came from? And why did the Imperium view them as illegal?  And the Imperium, in the very first books/adventures, was very much inspired by a certain Empire in a galaxy far, far away.

Lasers and Pstions were staples of SciFi long before Star Wars. Psionics were probably viewed as illegal to prevent every PC from being tested. In fact Traveller was somewhat unusual for SCiFi for having slugthrowers and blades as the primary weapons.

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IIRC COTI (Citizens of the Imperium) even had write-ups for a certain farm boy and an Imperial Lord with psi powers, replete with black battle dress.

Yup, but that doesn't mean anything. I beleive they did a Captain Kirk writeup someplace, too. . 

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As for laser swords....or light sabers.....I suppose Miller didn't want to seem TOO derivative. Or attract the attention of the dreaded Lawyer-beasts.

Considering that Star Wars and Traveller were released in the same year, Miller would have had to work fast to see the film in May, create an original RPG, and get in on the shelves in a few months.

 

Do you have anything to support your claim, or it it just your opinion?

 

Edited by Atgxtg
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58 minutes ago, Apache6Actual said:

It did have fighters and capital ships; the Kinunir was meant to be a capital ship (at least before Book 5: High Guard came out...…). And there were blasters (laser pistols) once Book 4 showed up, and where do you think the Psionic rules came from? And why did the Imperium view them as illegal?  And the Imperium, in the very first books/adventures, was very much inspired by a certain Empire in a galaxy far, far away.

IIRC COTI (Citizens of the Imperium) even had write-ups for a certain farm boy and an Imperial Lord with psi powers, replete with black battle dress.

As for laser swords....or light sabers.....I suppose Miller didn't want to seem TOO derivative. Or attract the attention of the dreaded Lawyer-beasts.

Traveller is inspired by classic science fiction - especially Asimov, Heinlein and Herbert. Star Wars also draws some influence from the same writers and so there is some overlap. 

Both Star Wars and Traveller came out in the same year (1977), but were entirely independent of each other in terms of development. There is a reasonable argument that Star Wars' huge success gave Traveller a lot of impetus in it's early sales as it was the closest facsimile that gamers had to running something like Star Wars at the time. It's a similar tale to Call of Cthulhu possibly being boosted by the success of Raiders of the Lost Ark also coming out in the same year (1981). 

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47 minutes ago, TrippyHippy said:

Traveller is inspired by classic science fiction

That's what I thought.  Sure there are some similarities, but they are common elements in most Science Fiction. Much like how every FRPG has swords in it. 

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On 11/18/2018 at 7:53 PM, Atgxtg said:

Very small capital ship, compared to Star Wars.

Lasers and Pstions were staples of SciFi long before Star Wars. Psionics were probably viewed as illegal to prevent every PC from being tested. In fact Traveller was somewhat unusual for SCiFi for having slugthrowers and blades as the primary weapons.

Yup, but that doesn't mean anything. I beleive they did a Captain Kirk writeup someplace, too. . 

Considering that Star Wars and Traveller were released in the same year, Miller would have had to work fast to see the film in May, create an original RPG, and get in on the shelves in a few months.

 

Do you have anything to support your claim, or it it just your opinion?

 

Heh, look up Hammers' Slammers original book and check out David Drake's discussion about his version of a "blaster".  He gets into the advantages of both projectile and energy weapons for combat.  OTOH, like *any* kind of FTL (and much other common SF trope tech), it departs from "hard" science and works on theorycrafting based on the theory that is currently popular and/or fits the author's story.  Of course, add in the law of unintended consequences...Star Trek wasn't supposed to have a transporter, it was too "magical", but it wasted time for them to do the shuttle sequence every time during the first season, so they added it in for a faster way to move the characters....

Which version of Kirk?  Of course, the TNG and after mostly blew the original layout of Kirk away, except for the fact that he was supposed to be the first Fed captain to complete a five year mission without losing his ship or over half his crew.  One thing I appreciated about Enterprise, it was all fun and games, but when it got serious, yep, Archer lost mass quantities of crew.  However, the fun write up for the obvious Star Wars connection was there in one of the Traveler supplements.

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