[Solar System] Science Fiction?

Started by oliof, April 16, 2009, 06:41:00 AM

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I know from the Solar System vignettes that at least one Science Fiction campaign was run using Solar System. Did anybody else do it? Is there crunch available somewhere?

My personal impression is that Solar System would be good for SF in the vein of Stanislav Lem, but I'm open to more ideas and suggestions.


Eero Tuovinen

I wouldn't count on the 100% factuality of the vignettes in all cases. I didn't require it, and some of mine are reskinned a bit to make for a wider selection of genres. Would have got a lot of Near otherwise. That being said, I've done the scifi thing. The crunch is mostly somewhere with the character sheets, probably in my bookshelf.

Last summer we played one of my favourite Solar System campaigns using a setting that was mostly a rip-off of Alyria and that mud dragon Sorcerer setting by... Frank? I don't quite remember. Anyway, I sold that to the players, so we got a fun science fantasy campaign out of it. We had telepathic dragon-creatures and a fleet of ships from Earth, come to reconnect with an ancient colony world that'd fallen into feudalism. Then there were mutants who had adapted to the atmospheric conditions down on the ground - the nobility were constrained to breathing devices and staying up in their mountaintop fortresses with their dragons.
Blogging at Game Design is about Structure.
Publishing Zombie Cinema and Solar System at Arkenstone Publishing.



Got introduced to Solar System on Ropecon, and I'm looking how to use it in a Sci-Fi similar in feel to 90s TV-series like Babylon 5, Star Trek DS9&Voy. Originally was planning also to rip from MassEfect (console/pc game).

Read the brilliant ideas in old topic "But what about the Space Battles". Liked ideas of Eero's Navy but it seems too much like bookkeeping. Also the recommendation to start small.

Maybe one way to model USS Enterprise would be a bunch of effects, which belong to no-one or "starfleet". If a player wants to make Enterprise fire foton torpedoes at somethings, that would require access to weapons fire effect of Enterprise. Could be done in several ways:
- character currently assigned at weapon station on bridge. This could mean that character really has the effect (was given the effect as in rules)
- character somehow gets access to weapons station, by force or mutiny or whatever
- calls in airstrike by convincing the captain (though this would probably be just bonus dies)
- hacks into ship systems...

So far so good. I think I'm onto something, with secrets giving more permant access to these.

Asking opinions how to model these effects "lying around".

Maybe the problem is that in this kind of genre, the ship is means to do something only in specific cases (ie, story goes briefly closer to the military scifi genre discussed in space battles thread), but usually is just places to have scenes in.

Nick the Nevermet

I forget who, but someone was running Fading Suns using the Solar System a few years back.

Simon JB

Hiya all, long time no see! I've been mostly playing the game for a year, and doing discussions and AP-reporting on the Swedish board www.rollspel.nu. Will try to hang out here a bit again.

Yes, I've been doing some SF. One glorious campaign in a take on the Shadowrun setting, and a space campaign based on Babylon 5, the Swedish 80s low-fantasy setting Khelataar and a Swedish manga space opera rpg called Skymningshem: Andra imperiet. I have some crunch from both of those, but it's mostly in Swedish, I think. I could post it here, of course, translated, if anyone would like to see it. It's not revolutionary stuff. These days I'm pretty hardcore in framing the conflicts based on the question where is the interesting conflict, where entire battles are often just narrated in a fittingly heroic way, while the real conflict stands around do I manage to impress my commander, for example. So a lot of combat crunch is often not that necessary.

So my position on space battles is as mentioned in the last posts from 2008 in the What about the Space Battles-thread. Ships don't have intentions or objectives, people do. So ships are, as we said then, primarily leverage to be able to fight in space. Running the actual battle would most often be a conflict run by the commander, with mechanics, gunners and so on doing support rolls if that's necessary to involve PC of that kind. Trying to simulate the cinematic battles, with the different roles of the crew and so on, is in my experience not that fruitful. What the crew does is usually just proxying for the commander, and while that's entertaining to watch, it's not necessarily dramatic in role-playing. So, I say just let the commander run that conflict, others can help if that's fitting, and then go on to other scenes and other conflicts where the other characters are in focus. Or run other dramatic conflicts during the battle, such as the dogfight pilot conflicting with his rival to shine the most in the eyes of the wing leader, the mechanic trying to "accidently" make inciminating evidence get lost in the chaos, and so on.