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What sources do you base your sf universes on?


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#21 Tech priest support

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Posted 13 August 2017 - 01:53 AM

I once created an alien species that was essentially identical to H.G Wells' martians. Upgraded the tech a bit but the martians were the same.
"You know, the very powerful and the very stupid have one thing in common. They don't alter their views to fit the facts, they alter the facts to fit their views. Which can be very uncomfortable if you're one of the facts that needs altering." The Doctor.

#22 tkdguy

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Posted 13 August 2017 - 02:06 AM

I took elements from the new Battlestar Galactica and Firefly, such as using projectile weapons instead of lasers. I originally had a jump drive, but I eventually ditched it. Cowboy Bebop had a minor influence as well.

 

I can probably take a few things from The Expanse, as it comes closest to resembling my campaign.


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#23 TheQuestionMan

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Posted 13 August 2017 - 02:47 PM

Star Wars D6 

 

Star Trek (GURPS Prime Directive) 

 

Traveller (GURPS Traveller) 

 

Firefly / Serenity (GURPS Conversion)  

 

GURPS Space (GURPS Aliens, GURPS Space Adventures, GURPS Space Atlas 1 - 4, GURPS Space Bestiary.) 

 

 

Cheers 

 

 

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#24 bigdamnhero

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Posted 13 August 2017 - 05:24 PM

Despite 40+ years of gaming and sci-fi fandom, I have somehow never run a sci-fi campaign. (Unless you count one near-future cyberpunkey game I ran based on GDW's Dark Conapiracy setting.) I'm really not sure why not.

I have run a few SF one-shot convention games, which were based on:
1) Firefly
2) Hero's Alien Wars setting
3) Buck Rogers

Currently playing in a Star Wars game with heavy influences from Traveller as well as Futurama.

The Grand Space Opera campaign I've been writing in my head for years and may even get to run Some Day Dammit is a mishmash of:
1) Babylon 5
2) The Expanse
3) Valerian and other old Heavy Metal SF stories
4) another French comic called Scourge of the Gods IIRC?
5) Saga (comic book)
6) Traveller The New Era
7) Harry Harrison's Stainless Steel Rat series
8) and a little Farscape and Blake's Seven thrown in for seasoning.

And if your thinking most of those sources are mutually exclusive, that's the point. Some Day Dammit...
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#25 DShomshak

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Posted 14 August 2017 - 04:54 PM

Bujold also influenced me in making posthumans an important part of my setting. I even included a small society of genetically engineered hermaphrodites on one world, though the background was completely different than the Beta Colony "herms" in the Vorkosiganverse.

 

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#26 tkdguy

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Posted 15 August 2017 - 01:30 AM

I have transplanted PCs and NPCs from other universes such as Babylon 5 and Star Trek into my universe. I made changes to fit my setting, of course.


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#27 bigdamnhero

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Posted 15 August 2017 - 10:47 AM

I did once play in a game where instead of inventing his own aliens the GM just imported races from different films/shows/books like Klingons, Wookies, etc. I was skeptical at first, but it actually worked pretty well for a light-hearted game. The main advantage was that every time we met an alien the GM didn't have to pause the action to explain who they were and what they were like; "Two Klingons walk into the bar" and everyone already knows what to expect.


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#28 DShomshak

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Posted 15 August 2017 - 01:27 PM

I think that actually speaks to the reason why so few SF RPGs have shown any staying power. In Fantasy, you've got a warehouse full of races, monsters and other tropes that are in public domain and players already know: dwarves, elves, dragons, magic wands, etc. But there's not so much of a "Generic SF Warehouse" that game designers can draw upon without violating copyright.

 

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#29 DShomshak

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Posted 15 August 2017 - 01:41 PM

Oddly, I think the biggest influence came from all the work I did for White Wolf on Vampire, Exalted, and other games. Namely, to create a setting that is fundamentally *not* stable. That may in fact be on the verge of exploding.

This is one reason Star Trek lost my interest and never influenced my SF setting design. The Federation is fundamentally stable. Oh, there's the occasional war, but it isn't a society that's about to turn into something else. (Or about to do so, or has just done so and is working out what it will be.)

Babylon-5 might have pushed me in that direction as well, but it was my WW work that really drove home for me that this was the sort of setting that interested me.

Dean Shomshak
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#30 TheQuestionMan

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Posted 16 August 2017 - 12:04 PM

Appleseed D6  

http://appleseedd6.t...om/Olympus.html  


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#31 TheQuestionMan

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Posted 16 August 2017 - 12:12 PM

[Compilation] "to Star HERO Conversions & Adaptations"  

http://www.herogames...ns-adaptations/  

 

 

Note: Out of Date, but a good reference point. Use a the Google Search Link below. "Space" then enter search See Bold face above.

 

https://www.google.c...games.com&cad=h   

 

 

QM


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#32 TheQuestionMan

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Posted 16 August 2017 - 12:26 PM

GURPS Vorkosigan  

http://www.sjgames.c...oks/vorkosigan/   


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#33 Xavier Onassiss

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Posted 19 August 2017 - 07:50 PM

I think that actually speaks to the reason why so few SF RPGs have shown any staying power. In Fantasy, you've got a warehouse full of races, monsters and other tropes that are in public domain and players already know: dwarves, elves, dragons, magic wands, etc. But there's not so much of a "Generic SF Warehouse" that game designers can draw upon without violating copyright.

 

Dean Shomshak

 

To some degree, I think I'd beg to differ on this point.

 

Science fiction has (IMHO) enough standard alien racial tropes to get by. I'll admit not as many as many as fantasy literature, but think about this for a minute. How many times has the "cat like aliens" thing been done, and how similar were they? (A: more than I can count.) You drop a race of cat-people into your SF game, the players will know what to expect. The same goes for "wolf-like" aliens, insectoid creatures with so-called "hive minds", space amazons, amorphous blobs, beings of pure energy, evil space squids (hurray, tentacles) and you might consider androids/robots to be a playable species. Your players know what all of those are. Or at least they should.


After the Terracide... 300 years from today, artificial space colonies orbit distant stars while terraformers labor to create new worlds for humanity. Bizarre aliens come to trade exotic goods unknown to Terran technology. And the lifeless, charred husk of mankind's homeworld slowly cools in the empty, silent void of a dead star system. Welcome to the rest of the Galaxy; It's Dark Out There.

#34 bigdamnhero

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Posted Yesterday, 10:15 AM

I think that actually speaks to the reason why so few SF RPGs have shown any staying power. In Fantasy, you've got a warehouse full of races, monsters and other tropes that are in public domain and players already know: dwarves, elves, dragons, magic wands, etc. But there's not so much of a "Generic SF Warehouse" that game designers can draw upon without violating copyright.

 

Science fiction has (IMHO) enough standard alien racial tropes to get by. I'll admit not as many as many as fantasy literature, but think about this for a minute. How many times has the "cat like aliens" thing been done, and how similar were they? (A: more than I can count.) You drop a race of cat-people into your SF game, the players will know what to expect. The same goes for "wolf-like" aliens, insectoid creatures with so-called "hive minds", space amazons, amorphous blobs, beings of pure energy, evil space squids (hurray, tentacles) and you might consider androids/robots to be a playable species. Your players know what all of those are. Or at least they should.

Fair enough. To some extent you just have to come up with new names for them.

 

But it's still an interesting question. One of the reasons I got burned out on high fantasy, especially in RPGs, was to some extent they all feel like the same game world I've been playing in since I was 15, with at most 10% variation for "My elves are different..." Gaming aside, I think that sense of YATRO* is a big part of why the fantasy genre has always limited mass-market appeal (ie - outside of core fandom) compared to SF. So personally I like the fact that most SF universes feel a little more distinct/unique, particularly when it comes to alien species. Even if you're just stealing everything from existing material, there's enough variety to choose from that you can mix & match into something that feels unique.

 

But OTOH, to what extent does the "commonality" of fantasy races (and other tropes) make it easy for players to jump in to a new game world and feel like they already know what's going on? But does that recognition factor help sell games? Does that lowering of the learning curve help players to learn & immerse themselves in the setting quicker?

 

* Yet Another Tolkien Rip-Off


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#35 tkdguy

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Posted Yesterday, 07:50 PM

But fantasy games don't have to be based on Tolkien. The works of Burroughs, Howard, Leiber, and even Moorcock are very different from Tolkien, and all of them have been used as rpg settings.


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#36 bigdamnhero

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Posted Today, 08:08 AM

But fantasy games don't have to be based on Tolkien. The works of Burroughs, Howard, Leiber, and even Moorcock are very different from Tolkien, and all of them have been used as rpg settings.

Sure, and I like all those settings. (Tho I wouldn't classify most of Burroughs' stuff as fantasy per se, but that's another topic.)

 

I'm not saying fantasy game have to be based on Tolkien - just that the vast majority seem to be. You just don't see a lot of other works/settings that are based on/paying homage to those settings the way you do with Tolkien. Excluding rpgs that are specific to those licensed properties, how many original rpg settings have you looked at and thought "Oh, Yet Another Lankhmar Rip-Off"?

 

And to the previous point, most of those worlds are pretty light on "alien" races, aside from monsters.


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#37 Nolgroth

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Posted Today, 09:23 AM

I think the vast majority are based on D&D, which borrowed liberally from Tolkien. The whole multiple fantasy race setup being the most identifiable aspect of both D&D and Tolkien. 


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