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

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3 hours ago, Algesan said:

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....

That and the fact that the cost for a shuttle prop (eventually made by a model company for the rights to make Trek models) and a landing sequence each week was prohibitive. But sometimes limitations pay off. 

3 hours ago, Algesan said:

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. 

Well originally Kirk was supposed to be a Horatio Hornblower in space, and you see some of that with Pike. But Shatner pulled things into a different direction. 

3 hours ago, Algesan said:

 

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.

One thing I didn't appreciate about all Trek shows after DS9 was that commanders got "Janeway's Disease". That's the inability to take any sort od meaninful action until the shields are down below 30%. So the sit there and take a pounding long after Kirk, Picard or Sisko would have have done something (and probably won the battle), Sadly Janeway Disease appear to be retroactive.

 

Yup. Something like 10 Citizens for the Imperium or some such. If I recall correctly they gave the writups and you had to guess who they were supposed to be, the the answers available elsewhere.

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On ‎11‎/‎19‎/‎2018 at 1:37 AM, 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.

The CT 77 rules had a maximum ship size of 5000t which is well bellow Star Destroyer size, and no space fighter - the 10t fighter would appear in the 81 revised rules.

There were no laser pistols in CT LBB4 Mercenary - Loren K Wiseman did show how to use the CT rules to extrapolate one from the extant weapon list, and they made it into the rules in the Striker miniatures game. They would then be included in every future edition of Traveller

Psionics owe a lot more to golden age sci fi than Star Wars, if we read the Lensmen stories, or countless other works of sci fi from the early sci fi greats, e.g. Foundation, Dune even Odd John predates Star Wars by quite a long way.

There was no Imperium in early CT - the setting didn't start to be developed until 1979 and would only reach its recognisable form by the early to mid-80s. One change however is the Imperials became the good guys in Traveller - despite the early adventures portraying the Imperium is a much darker/negative view (much more like Star Wars).

MWM has been interviewed many times, you can listen to podcasts and even watch a three part youtube video. He quite clearly and emphatically states that Star Wars had no influence on the CT rules themselves, but did have an influence on the setting as it developed, although they steered towards a much harder sci fi rather then the science fantasy of Star Wars. He often sites the main influence behind CT to be the Dumarest saga.

In addition it is probably worth pointing out that George Lucas ripped off just about every golden age sci-fi trope he could, added a dash of eastern mysticism and Kurosawa homage and was so doubtful of the success of Star Wars that Splinter of the Mind's Eye was going to be the sequel if one were to be needed. Thus is you have a film based on golden age sci fi and an rpg based on golden age sci fi they will resemble one another without the former influencing the latter.

Edited by Sigtrygg
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I did read it and I responded to your inaccuracies. I have not intention of starting a flame war, all I wanted to do was set the record straight with regards to some of your errors. If I have caused you offence I apologise as such was not my intent. I'll edit to try and improve the tone of the post.

I actually agreed with you that the Traveller Imperium was influenced later by Star Wars, the massive ships and battle fleets of High Guard, the inclusion of fighters etc.

Back to the original point of the thread, it would be interesting to get at least a peek at the setting the author is going to present us with. Will it be science fiction, science fantasy or a combination? Near future, far future, alternative history? Will there be interstellar travel and if so how? Will it be influenced by previous Chaosium science fiction games - Future World, Ringworld, Hawkmoon? Is there a particular book, TV series or movie that will influence the game?

I am quite excited to see a new Chaosium sci fi rpg, despite my first love being Traveller, RuneQuest and BRP run a pretty close second and I have found them to be a better fit for certain types of campaign I wish to run.

Edited by Sigtrygg

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I can answer some of these questions, but honestly I'd rather wait until we have more to show. 

But first, please take the arguments about the genesis of various other games to another thread, or vanish them altogether. 

18 hours ago, Sigtrygg said:

 

Will it be science fiction, science fantasy or a combination?

Closest to hard science fiction. More Brin than Burroughs. 

18 hours ago, Sigtrygg said:

Near future, far future, alternative history?

Somewhere between the first two, depending on what your definitions are. Not the third. 

18 hours ago, Sigtrygg said:

Will there be interstellar travel and if so how?

Yes, to be explained later. 

18 hours ago, Sigtrygg said:

Will it be influenced by previous Chaosium science fiction games - Future World, Ringworld, Hawkmoon?

Ringworld, given it's leaning more towards hard sci-fi than anything else. 

18 hours ago, Sigtrygg said:

Is there a particular book, TV series or movie that will influence the game?

This will be mentioned when the game is discussed further. 

We're not being coy here. Right now the author is still finishing up two big projects for us and is developing the "setting bible". Until that's locked down there's no point in discussing anything about it, as that might change. 

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The more I hear and read about this project, the more promising it sounds. David Brin (expecially with his Uplift books) is a good touchstone for hard sf that doesn't go over the top with scientific detail. There's far too little rpg stuff in that vein out there; I'd say that River of Heaven, another BRP game by D101 games, comes lose, but feels a little undercooked ... something along that lines, but with a little less space opera and a little more hard sf, authored by Chris Spivey and in current chaosium quality might really turn out to be something quite unique on the rpg market.

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There was a GURPS Uplift book some time ago. Either way, a Hard Sci-fi rpg has me interested. This is the sort of sci-fi there is a niche for, and if it's well done, the sort of thing I'm going to keep a close eye on, for sure.

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On 11/21/2018 at 9:05 AM, Atgxtg said:

Well originally Kirk was supposed to be a Horatio Hornblower in space, and you see some of that with Pike. But Shatner pulled things into a different direction.

I think Kirk still managed that "feel" for Hornblower in Space (as in being isolated and making off the cuff policy decisions without oversight).  I'm referring to some of the "canon" background from the 70s (IIRC) in the sense of "approved by Gene Rodenberry" but never actually declared such.  It covered several interesting tidbits, like why Kirk & Scotty after the latest Romulan cloaking device?  They had the hands on technical skills because Lt. (or Lt. Cmdr.) Kirk and his about to become pet engineer were the Captain & Chief Eng on the Fed's cloaking device test ship (IIRC, the Feds discarded it because of the energy penalty and their wasn't some need for a made up treaty to explain why the Feds didn't have a cloaking device....besides, who the feth would have EVER agreed to that kind of treaty?!).

Edited by Algesan

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On 11/21/2018 at 4:58 PM, Sigtrygg said:

There was no Imperium in early CT - the setting didn't start to be developed until 1979 and would only reach its recognisable form by the early to mid-80s. One change however is the Imperials became the good guys in Traveller - despite the early adventures portraying the Imperium is a much darker/negative view (much more like Star Wars).

IIRC, the earliest "Imperium" was the alien one that humans had to fight to get into the stars (loosely connected at least).  Heh, Imperium was one of my favorite games by GDW and maybe ever.  The balance of having to lose wars, while somehow gaining ground as the Imperium and the Terran's need to not allow it to grow out of control as they actually did gain ground was a lot of fun.  They also had the little fighter counter with the one black fighter in front of the two white ones (as opposed to the three white ones on the rest).  What I missed about that was there was supposed to be a series of independent "linked" games that chronicled the several "barbarian races" arising and fighting their way into the original Imperium and then a final game or two using the same system for the "barbs" to fight it out over the Imperium.  Hopefully tied together by a grand campaign of sorts (so that you could have some barb races win, some lose, some draw and have that play out in the endgame part).

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16 minutes ago, Algesan said:

I think Kirk still managed that "feel" for Hornblower in Space (as in being isolated and making off the cuff policy decisions without oversight).  [/quote]

Yeah, although they kinda lost the introspective bits as the series went on. Plus Roddenberry was trying to sell the show as a "space western" (westerns were popular on TV then). Eventually it evloled away from all that into it's own thing.

16 minutes ago, Algesan said:

I'm referring to some of the "canon" background from the 70s (IIRC) in the sense of "approved by Gene Rodenberry" but never actually declared such.

LOL! That is probably like when he was selling off the pops. In the early 70s Trek was "dead" and he just kinda got whatever last bits of cash out of it he could. When the series proved to be far more popular in syndication that it had been during production, things changed. 

 

As for the cloaking device, the problem is for a series standpoint, you really don't want the Enterprise to be able to cloak, but it's obviously incredibly useful and would logically be incorporated if possible. IMO the best solution would have been to say that the sensors got better and negated the technology. They actually did state than in a TNG episode where an old TMP era Bird of Prey shows up. Since the Fed seem to have the best science tech, it could be that they couldn't come up with acloak that defeated thier newer sensor systems, and didn't want to gamble that the same wasn't true with the Klingons or Romulans. 

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7 hours ago, Algesan said:

IIRC, the earliest "Imperium" was the alien one that humans had to fight to get into the stars (loosely connected at least)...

I have the 3 LBBs which were the original edition.  There was clearly an "Imperium" setting implicit, but no real detail; it wasn't IMHO a playable "setting: as such.

 

7 hours ago, Algesan said:

...  Heh, Imperium was one of my favorite games by GDW and maybe ever.  The balance of having to lose wars, while somehow gaining ground as the Imperium and the Terran's need to not allow it to grow out of control as they actually did gain ground was a lot of fun.  They also had the little fighter counter with the one black fighter in front of the two white ones (as opposed to the three white ones on the rest).  What I missed about that was there was supposed to be a series of independent "linked" games that chronicled the several "barbarian races" arising and fighting their way into the original Imperium and then a final game or two using the same system for the "barbs" to fight it out over the Imperium.  Hopefully tied together by a grand campaign of sorts (so that you could have some barb races win, some lose, some draw and have that play out in the endgame part).

That was NOT the Traveller setting.

Although Marc Miller was behind that game, it really wasn't part of Traveller, nor Traveller of it.  Other than both being interstellar sci-fi, they were unrelated upon publication.

Wikipedia states:

Quote

... as the company constructed the Third Imperium as the default setting for Traveller, the situation in Imperium was retconned into the Traveller Imperium's history; it became the First Interstellar War...

===

Edit:  Of course, NONE OF THIS is relevant to Mr. Spivey's new product.  Sorry Jason/Choasium

As others have said, Brin is an exceptionally exciting name to come up as inspiring-source-material!

Edited by g33k

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17 hours ago, g33k said:

Of course, NONE OF THIS is relevant to Mr. Spivey's new product.  Sorry Jason/Choasium

And while it's an interesting discussion, perhaps you (you all, not you specifically) could start a different thread to pursue it and leave this one to Mr. Spivey's project.

Edited by drablak

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