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Author Topic: War in the Heavens, early days, help needed  (Read 3256 times)
contracycle
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« Reply #30 on: August 20, 2011, 08:11:11 AM »

Quote
I also like the idea of designing personal craft. I have issues with it on a personal level though. see I used to work as an fighter jet mechanic(F15E strike eagle), and when you mass produce an object for the military the closest to custom you can get is your name on the side. I realize that this is fiction, but I can't make my brain move that way and still feel right about it, if that makes sense.

Nah, that's easy.  Even today we see the beginning of desktop CAD/CAM and 3D printing.  In the reasonably distant future, the whole idea of "manufacturing industry" may well be redundant.  It's easy enough to justify for your purposes, at the very least.  In this scenario you have almost all design work done by tiers of machines, and all production carried out by local, on-the-spot assembly systems, which are themselves assembled for the purpose.  This makes building a ship more like visiting a tailor and being measured for a suit than like building a factory and rolling out a batch of a particular design class.  Also, this may play into your relighion theme because the lack of hands-on by human engineers may suggest that the tech is literally incomprehensible from a human standpoint, and only the machines really understand it.

Also, I caution against the idea of just saying oh yeah there are these gates and nobody knows how they work.  I find that sort of thing unsatisfying in a SF setting, as surely one of the attractions of SF is to see science at play.  I can provide some rough outlines for a gate system that is scientifically sound and also has some pretty interesting implications, if necessary.  There are also discussion about on the web and science fiction resources in good old usenet, which can get pretty deep.
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gtroc
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« Reply #31 on: August 20, 2011, 02:26:58 PM »

Nah, that's easy.  Even today we see the beginning of desktop CAD/CAM and 3D printing.  In the reasonably distant future, the whole idea of "manufacturing industry" may well be redundant.  It's easy enough to justify for your purposes, at the very least.  In this scenario you have almost all design work done by tiers of machines, and all production carried out by local, on-the-spot assembly systems, which are themselves assembled for the purpose.  This makes building a ship more like visiting a tailor and being measured for a suit than like building a factory and rolling out a batch of a particular design class.  Also, this may play into your relighion theme because the lack of hands-on by human engineers may suggest that the tech is literally incomprehensible from a human standpoint, and only the machines really understand it.

Also, I caution against the idea of just saying oh yeah there are these gates and nobody knows how they work.  I find that sort of thing unsatisfying in a SF setting, as surely one of the attractions of SF is to see science at play.  I can provide some rough outlines for a gate system that is scientifically sound and also has some pretty interesting implications, if necessary.  There are also discussion about on the web and science fiction resources in good old usenet, which can get pretty deep.
When it comes to military action, uniformity is important. So the ability to make a unique craft is not the only aspect to consider.that is neither here nor there, as I mentioned this is a personal issue of mine. If I go this route I will merely try not to think about it, and put modifiable ships in it. I will think on your ideas though and may use them.

I am aware that there are scientific explanations for the Gates. the reason I want to avoid those are for story purposes. Mainly I want them to remain alien. If it can be figured out, then it can be duplicated. I will probably put three or for different explanations in the text and let the players think of it what they will.
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contracycle
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« Reply #32 on: August 20, 2011, 03:08:09 PM »

When it comes to military action, uniformity is important. So the ability to make a unique craft is not the only aspect to consider.that is neither here nor there, as I mentioned this is a personal issue of mine. If I go this route I will merely try not to think about it, and put modifiable ships in it. I will think on your ideas though and may use them.

Well, thats true today, but it hasn't always been true and need not always be so in the future.  Methods of warfare are formed from the technology with which they have to work, and science fiction by definition proposes different technology.

I mean theres nothing wrong with projecting a current or past set of methods into a notional future.  The whole "WW2 in space" thing is pretty strong, for example, even if it makes no particular sense.

Quote
I am aware that there are scientific explanations for the Gates. the reason I want to avoid those are for story purposes. Mainly I want them to remain alien. If it can be figured out, then it can be duplicated. I will probably put three or for different explanations in the text and let the players think of it what they will.

Oh its fine for something to be a secret.  Although it gets a bit stickier if it also has to be a secret from the GM.  There is also the difference between what the player understands and what the character understands, in the same way people playing in fantasy games don't usually allow the characters to make gunpowder, even if the players know the formula.  But there has to be some level of understanding; what if someone in play tries to destory one?  There needs to be some basis to determine how vulnerabel they are, or what happens afterward etc.  Hence this sort of thing makes me uncomfortable, becuase in effect it punts the duty of figuring this out onto the GM, and that raises the question of why use, much less potentially pay for, someone elses game.
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gtroc
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« Reply #33 on: August 20, 2011, 11:00:39 PM »

Oh its fine for something to be a secret.  Although it gets a bit stickier if it also has to be a secret from the GM.  There is also the difference between what the player understands and what the character understands, in the same way people playing in fantasy games don't usually allow the characters to make gunpowder, even if the players know the formula.  But there has to be some level of understanding; what if someone in play tries to destory one?  There needs to be some basis to determine how vulnerabel they are, or what happens afterward etc.  Hence this sort of thing makes me uncomfortable, becuase in effect it punts the duty of figuring this out onto the GM, and that raises the question of why use, much less potentially pay for, someone elses game.

I think you and I are coming at this from very different directions. I am glad you are asking these questions, as it does force me to look at the reasons behind some of my creations. I am looking at making the Gates effectively indestructible and unknowable. I wil put forward several different, and widely divergent, theories as to how they work. If the GM wants to use ine of those as canon, that is great. If he wants to leave it a mystery, also great. I think you may be focusing more on the Science in Science Fiction than I am. I have a certain viewpoint on the Aliens who created the Gates. Namely that they are completely Alien, and cannot be understood. There technology would likewise be incomprehensible. The humans know how to turn it on, and roughly what it does. They do not know how, or why it works. I don't see the gates as being a central player focus. my game is about hot and cold wars over ideology. it is not about the physical sciences, and more about the social sciences. At least taht is where I am going with it right now.
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contracycle
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« Reply #34 on: August 21, 2011, 12:46:25 PM »

Hmm, yes and no.  I do look into the science in SF, but I'm not averse to the use of an SF setting used primarily as colour.  But, if you're talking about conflict then sooner or later someone is going to wonder if they can isolate an enemy or disrupt their movement and supplies etc, so attention will turn to the gates one way or another.  If at that point there is no solid info for the GM to go on, then the job of deciding whether these plans can work or not, or what happens when they are attempted, is left up in the air and has to be decided in each local game.  I mean if nothing else if they are physical objects and not awesomely large, then they could be nuked.  What happens to the gate at the other end, or the rest of the network?  Could you physically tow a gate from one point to another?

As everyone knows, players don't stay on the straight and narrow.  Some groups may be happy to just effectively ignore them, but many others, I would expect, will dream up some cunning plan sooner or later.  Or GM's might want to for their NPC's.  Something that significant is bound to attract interest.  You can put a big "plot device - do not touch" stamp on it if necessary, but I for one wouldn't find that much fun.
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"He who loves practice without theory is like the sailor who boards ship without a rudder and compass and never knows where he may cast."
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gtroc
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« Reply #35 on: August 22, 2011, 02:27:39 PM »

I am having real difficulty with the fluff. specifically how to write descriptions for the setting material in an interesting manner. check it out I put a few samples of what I am talking about here. I really don't know what the problem is, I can write better than this. I know I can. Yet here I am, hat in my hand, at a loss for what to do. any help would be appreciated.
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Daniel36
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« Reply #36 on: August 22, 2011, 02:57:30 PM »

Quote
•There is a god king. Beneath him are his scions. He maintains his immortality by transferring his consciousness to a new body. Each of the Scion legacies, is descended from a child of one of his bodies. They have been bred for centuries for specific purposes. Below the scions are the Monitors. They are the group of men and women dedicated to rooting out and solving problems. There are also Heralds, who serve as both missionaries and special forces.

The God King. Omnipotent and infinite in his wisdom. Immortal he is, as his consciousness travels from body to body. His Scions the legacies of his offspring, bred to revere and to offer their flesh for His reincarnation. Under their command come the Monitors, dedicated to His protection. And then there are the Heralds, the God King's Missionaries and Bringers of His Justice.

(I like capital Letters)

Also, that story passed down didn't really make sense. I can see why you stopped. I am too tired to come up with something myself, but I hope you enjoy the suggestions I gave just now. Cheers.
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gtroc
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« Reply #37 on: August 22, 2011, 03:26:06 PM »


The God King. Omnipotent and infinite in his wisdom. Immortal he is, as his consciousness travels from body to body. His Scions the legacies of his offspring, bred to revere and to offer their flesh for His reincarnation. Under their command come the Monitors, dedicated to His protection. And then there are the Heralds, the God King's Missionaries and Bringers of His Justice.

(I like capital Letters)

Also, that story passed down didn't really make sense. I can see why you stopped. I am too tired to come up with something myself, but I hope you enjoy the suggestions I gave just now. Cheers.

I like what you have done there. I have to think on this, perhaps I do not think in the proper manner for this. I agree about the passed down story, it sucked.
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gtroc
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« Reply #38 on: August 31, 2011, 09:13:10 PM »

OK, I have just completed my core mechanic Mk. 1. Here is the blog post where I describe what I have. I would appreciate any thoughts on the matter(especially any thoughts on names for the stats and such, seriously, I think I suck at names). Thank you!
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Daniel36
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« Reply #39 on: September 01, 2011, 01:28:22 AM »

Hmmm... Right now it seems you have just taken the basic D&D stats and changed their names, pretty much. If you are going to use a similar system, just use the same names. The people that are going to play this are people that are familiar with those terms, and they will know that you just changed the names but mean the same. I like the notion of a weak stat, a strong stat and average for the rest, because I think the whole dicerolling deal is stupid.

But aside from that, I think it is more important to know beforehand what you want to DO with these stats, which is why I am not going to suggest any terms for them right now. I mean, we can all understand why one would take Strength or Quickness as a strong point, but why would someone take Cleverness or Sincerity? What can one do with these stats? How will this affect play?
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gtroc
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« Reply #40 on: September 01, 2011, 09:30:25 AM »

Hmmm... Right now it seems you have just taken the basic D&D stats and changed their names, pretty much. If you are going to use a similar system, just use the same names. The people that are going to play this are people that are familiar with those terms, and they will know that you just changed the names but mean the same. I like the notion of a weak stat, a strong stat and average for the rest, because I think the whole dicerolling deal is stupid.

But aside from that, I think it is more important to know beforehand what you want to DO with these stats, which is why I am not going to suggest any terms for them right now. I mean, we can all understand why one would take Strength or Quickness as a strong point, but why would someone take Cleverness or Sincerity? What can one do with these stats? How will this affect play?
Thank you for the questions, hopefully I can explain my thoughts a bit better.

basically as I was designing, I knew I wanted stats. I thought long and hard about it, and would like stats that really represented what the game is about. so I broke down the problems the characters will face and tried to come up with stats that would reflect the sort of actions i would like to see them do. then i made a mistake, I toyed with using a traditional stat set up. now when ever I go back to my stat designs all that comes to me are the traditional stats. I know that I want a lot of social/political challenges in my game, diplomacy and missionary stuff. making deals with foreign powers and converting the heathen masses and such.I also know there will be a lot of physical interaction, my game is about war after all. so I broke the stats down to three mental actions, physical actions, and social actions.

then I made mistake number two. early on I had gotten it in my head to have six stats. I like the number, that is the only reason I did so. because of that choice, the three action types had to be broken down into two separate stats each. so that is where they come from. Also as a quick aside, I realized that mental action really doesn't need to be there for my game's premise as is. all I need are physical challenge resolution and social challenge resolution, for what I currently want out of my game. Of course that will break my stats down to two or four, depending.

the stats each represent strength/power of an action type(physical, mental, social) and speed/flexibility of an action type.

they break down like so:

Strength: using physical power to solve a problem.
Quickness: using physical speed/agility/flexibility to solve a problem
Intelligence/education: using raw intellectual might/facts to solve a problem
Perception/cunning: solving a problem using mental speed/situational awareness.
cleverness/wittiness: lying/obfuscating/manipulation to solve problems.
Charm/sweetness/sincerity: solving a problem using honesty/sincerity.

I know they are not really what I want. but my mind has fallen into a trap of my own making and I am at a loss as to how to get out. As I write this however, I am thinking of maybe dowing something like Smallville. using a stat system like that...it could work.


thanks Daniel, once again discussing this has helped open up my thoughts a bit on my design. I look forward to hearing more of your thoughts in the future.
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Daniel36
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« Reply #41 on: September 01, 2011, 12:30:19 PM »

Glad to oblige. I had an inkling you got stuck. The same reason I post here, to hear what others have to say so as to find things from a different perspective.

Tell me, without using any stats or game mechanics, what exactly do you want the characters to do? Battle? How? Diplomacy? In what way? I want to know what the characters "are", what they can do and why they want to do that.

If you can tell me that, I may be able to help you further.
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gtroc
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« Reply #42 on: September 02, 2011, 02:44:22 PM »

As I was designing this I got some imagery in my head. basically I see this as Equilibrium meets Dune meets Beowulf(and maybe La Morte d'Arther). I want the characters to be larger than life, I want it to be tragic. I want the battle scenes to wow people, but they must have an emotional impact. there has to be a reason that they are fighting. So combat is deeply personal. it is more about the emotion of the scene, than flipping around and such like. does that make sense?

after talking with you all, and think on what has been said I am leaning toward having four stats, along the lines of Faith, Hope, Love, and Duty. and basically when you make a roll you you must justify it in the description how that relates, but that is where i am stuck. I hate this part of design; the getting stuck bit, I mean. and this has happened a lot this go round. if you need me to clear up what i am talking of, let me know. sorry I am just a bit discouraged with the process lately. I am afraid it is affecting me.
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The Jake, the great and powerless
Daniel36
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« Reply #43 on: September 03, 2011, 02:34:11 AM »

Don't let it affect you. We've all been there I suppose. I know I have!

Okay, so you want the battle scenes to be epic, there has to be a reason to fight. I think you should write out the background stories now and make it a question of demand.

I was thinking. Your stats were, at first, geared towards the individual character, but perhaps you should consider not rolling stats for a character, but for their craft. If you want space combat, regular combat and diplomacy, perhaps the spacecraft can also be turned into walkers for some ground based combat? (Think Starfox) This way, your characters don't need stats such as strength and agility, but their craft do.

Maybe give your characters a whole different set of stats aimed primarily at solving diplomatic issues?

Just some random food for thought again. Keep up!!
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gtroc
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« Reply #44 on: September 06, 2011, 08:06:43 PM »

I have stepped a bit away from the mechanics for a bit. I have been working on a way to build the religions. mostly I was looking for a way to get the information required, while still leaving it open enough for the players to play with.

Here is the post where I discuss my method

I am unsure of this method, and would like any thoughts on the matter. Thank you!
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