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Science Fiction Microscope: the RPG

Discussion in 'Role Playing Forum' started by Saintheart, Feb 14, 2012.

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  1. Saintheart Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Dec 16, 2000
    star 6
    Feel free to insert a nukular explosion (dark event) into the ending (light period) :D :D
  2. Ramza JC Head Admin and RPF Manager

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    star 6
  3. Saintheart Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Dec 16, 2000
    star 6
    It also looks like we've got basic consensus on the feel of the beginning period: "The colonies of Earth struggle to fend for themselves as Earth falls."

    So the ending period, assuming it's Light... Humanity transcends and all of humanity finds peace in the untied existence of a hive mind.

    I'd make a slight change to that. Humanity transcends and most of humanity finds peace in the united existence of a hive mind.

    Xan, did you want us to slow down to give you time to think since you're sneaking on at work?
  4. LordTroepfchen Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 9, 2007
    star 4
    Sounds to to me. And yeah, let´s makesure we leave noone behind (and I go to bed now, anyway).

    This will be interesting.
  5. DarthXan318 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 12, 2002
    star 6
    Back home now (although LordT is probably asleep...) so I'm good.

    I like this for the beginning: The colonies of Earth struggle to fend for themselves as Earth falls." - nuclear holocaust is implied by the setting, I suppose?

    Not totally sold on the hive mind ending though. [face_thinking] Independence is such a core part of the western human identity that it doesn't really feel like a light ending. Actually the whole concept reminds me of The Last Question by Isaac Asimov (lovely short story, if you haven't read it). What about Humanity discovers the secret to immortality and spreads across the galaxy or Humanity unites under a common banner to restore Earth to its former glory?
  6. Saintheart Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Dec 16, 2000
    star 6
    Not necessarily. We just say "Earth falls". Who says it's necessarily a self-imposed nuclear holocaust? Reaper incursion, anyone? :D

    Caution on immortality - some hints from the book...

    Microscope lets you jump around and explore the past or the future at will, which lets you move away from topics that don?t interest you and focus on ones that do. Because of that, anything that collapses time undermines the game. Time travel is a perfect example: if the characters within the fiction can move backward and forward in time, the ability of the players to jump backward and forward is meaningless. The game becomes linear again.

    Immortality has similar problems. It can work if lots of characters are immortal (like pantheons of gods), but if immortality is a special trait of just one or a few characters, they may hog the spotlight (?not Doctor Lazarus again!?). Another good rule of thumb is never to have character lives span more than one Period since that starts to weld adjacent Periods together. Once you?re thinking about lifespan, you start to estimate precisely how many years must have passed, which locks things down.


    Possibly a long but not immortal life instead?

    One thought on the hive mind thing -- thus why I insisted that most of humanity -- not all -- becomes part of the hive mind. And this, quite accidentally, fits in with some versions of the Omega Point theorem in that some theorise that some people will choose not to be part of the Singularity.

    Possibly it's those with long, yet not immortal lives who choose not to be part of the hive mind?

    We could make it simple: Why not just title the last, Light period The Golden Age of Humanity; Eden returns and see what happens from there? We all seem to be pointing towards a virtual paradise or a heaven here, how about we keep it vague until somebody starts to craft it via events?
  7. Saintheart Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Dec 16, 2000
    star 6
    Wait wait wait ... we could put both concepts together. Man, as he spreads through the stars, discovers the secrets to immortality: through regeneration of the body, thus leading to a sequence of long lives ... or via melding into a hive mind. Humanity as a whole choses between these two fates for themselves.
  8. Ramza JC Head Admin and RPF Manager

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    Jul 13, 2008
    star 6
    I prefer the vaguer option. More breathing room. More subjection to interpretation.
  9. DarthXan318 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 12, 2002
    star 6
    Ah, for some reason I thought our concept was "Earth falls to a nuclear holocaust"; don't mind me then. :D


    Re immortality: but that's what's so great about it! Every human can become immortal. Become space elves, basically. :p

    +1 for the vague The Golden Age of Humanity; Eden returns option, though.
  10. Saintheart Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Dec 16, 2000
    star 6
    Okay, then I guess we're just waiting on T now to see what he reckons. :)
  11. LordTroepfchen Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 9, 2007
    star 4
    Well, I am rooting for something a little less vague. I think Golden Age, Eden is not really anything we can work forward to. It might actually not even BE an ending, as Eden is not the end of anybodies story, but a beginning. ;) So some development you can put your finger on and work forward to in-game might be a better option. We can probably keep it semi vague?

    Humanity transcends and the old dream eternal peace becomes a reality?

    The Kant ending, if you want to.

    That way we leave it open what happens, but just clearify something does. We can work and shape this transcension in in-game events.
  12. Saintheart Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Dec 16, 2000
    star 6
    Works okay for me. I did have some nagging concerns "Golden Age, Eden" might be a bit too vague, so this one works just as well. And if eternal peace ain't a light ending, I don't know what is. :) There's lots of stuff that can happen in that sort of age which would fit with a historical theme of "transcendence and eternal peace".

    Possibly we need an agreed colourscheme :D -- This means a Light tone, This means a Dark tone, yes?
  13. Saintheart Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Dec 16, 2000
    star 6
    And now I'm heading off to bed. See you all in eight hours or so... :D :D
  14. LordTroepfchen Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 9, 2007
    star 4
    Oh we are in total agreement what is light and dark, but I posted before my first coffee so I mixed it up. Sorry.
  15. DarthXan318 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 12, 2002
    star 6
    Beginning: The colonies of Earth struggle to fend for themselves as Earth falls.

    End: Humanity transcends and the old dream of eternal peace becomes reality

    ?
  16. LordTroepfchen Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 9, 2007
    star 4
  17. Ramza JC Head Admin and RPF Manager

    Administrator
    Member Since:
    Jul 13, 2008
    star 6
    I approve of this course.
  18. Saintheart Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Dec 16, 2000
    star 6
    Then we're agreed on our start and end periods!

    Step Three: the Palette

    Here's what the book says on it:

    The Palette is a list of things the players agree to reserve the right to include or, conversely, outright ban. It gets everyone on the same page about what belongs in the history and what doesn?t.

    1) Each player can add one thing, either a Yes or No. Add something to the Yes column if you think the other players would not expect it to be in the history, but you want to be able to include it. Add something to the No column if you think the other players would expect it to be in the history, but you don?t want it included. Players can go in any order. You don?t have to add anything to the Palette if you don?t want to.

    2) If every player did add something (either a Yes or No), repeat step 1: each player has the option to go again. If someone opted not to add something, stop: your Palette is done. In the end, no player will have added two things more than anyone else.

    Feel free to discuss and negotiate. No one should be unhappy about what winds up added or banned on the Palette.

    If something is in the Yes column, then during the rest of the game it?s okay to introduce it into the history even if it doesn?t seem like it fits. You?ve all agreed it belongs.

    If something is in the No column, it?s never okay to bring into the game, no matter what. You?ve all agreed it?s not
    part of the history.

    Even if something is in the Yes column, it doesn?t exist in the history until someone introduces it in play. Something might be in the Yes column, but never get used at all.

    The Palette is not an exhaustive list of what will be in the history: it?s a list of exceptions. If something fits the setting (like wizards in a fantasy world), you probably don?t need to add it to the Yes column because the other
    players already expect it. Likewise if something seems really out of place (like wizards in a science fiction history), you probably do not need to add it to the No column unless you think other players want to include it. When in doubt, discuss.

    Example: One player puts ?habitable worlds? in the No column. People have to live in artificial habitats, biodomes, space stations, or ships. Another player asks if terraformed worlds would be okay, but the first player doesn?t want that either. The other players decide to go along with it.

    Another player adds ?aliens? to the Yes column; she?s not sure the other players want aliens in this setting, so she wants to find out now. Other players want to keep space mysterious, so after some discussion a different player adds ?communication with aliens? to the No column. There may turn out to be aliens in the game, but there will be no way to talk to them.

    The Palette is your last chance to freely negotiate and build group consensus about your history. Your choices tell the other players what kind of game you want to play, helping you avoid bad surprises and misunderstandings later on. If there?s a big disagreement about the kind of things you want in your history, now?s the time to find out and talk about it.



    So, we have two columns, and I'll add something off the bat...

    Yes- Aliens. Maybe ten alien races. Humanity isn't alone in the cosmos.

    No
  19. Ramza JC Head Admin and RPF Manager

    Administrator
    Member Since:
    Jul 13, 2008
    star 6
    EDIT: Wait, that's not how it works.


    Yes- Aliens. Maybe ten alien races. Humanity isn't alone in the cosmos.
    Giant mecha suits. Everything's better with giant mecha suits.

    No
  20. DarthXan318 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 12, 2002
    star 6
    Yes- Aliens. Maybe ten alien races. Humanity isn't alone in the cosmos.
    Giant mecha suits. Everything's better with giant mecha suits.
    Psionics - telepathy, telekinesis, that sort of thing. Because psionics are cool.

    No
  21. LordTroepfchen Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 9, 2007
    star 4
    Yes- Aliens. Maybe ten alien races. Humanity isn't alone in the cosmos.
    Giant mecha suits. Everything's better with giant mecha suits.
    Psionics - telepathy, telekinesis, that sort of thing. Because psionics are cool.

    No- to any clear communication with the Aliens. No universal translators, universal languages or that sorta thing to make it too easy.

    EDIT, because Xany below was right.
  22. DarthXan318 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 12, 2002
    star 6
    It's one item at a time, isn't it?
  23. LordTroepfchen Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 9, 2007
    star 4
    Yeah, sorry. So I took the NO and edited out my yes and I will come up with something new, of course.
  24. Saintheart Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Dec 16, 2000
    star 6
    LordT: One point: are psionics an acceptable possibility for communication with alien races, even if it's not a universal language?

    EDIT: Also, you're not saying that communication with aliens is impossible, only that the communication isn't entirely clear?
  25. LordTroepfchen Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 9, 2007
    star 4
    I meant no chatting up a blue skinned chick in a bar. Aliens should have a unique way of communicating and yeah, it can be figured out. Just not by turning on the thing in your ears and then the flirting can begin. Communication as a challenge so to say. Psionics could work or not. Maybe not with all races? I think we figure this out in play. It is not meant as a "no communications" ban, only as a huge challenge in the relationships.

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