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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. DarthXan318 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 12, 2002
    star 6
    Psionics doesn't necessarily have to allow magic alien communication. Maybe telepaths are still restricted to a common language like spoken communication, or images, or simple actions?

    Or maybe psionic communication is only possible between humans?
  2. Ramza JC Head Admin and RPF Manager

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    I think it's something we could iron out - either in more details during this phase or just see what happens in the game.
  3. Saintheart Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Dec 16, 2000
    star 6
    Also, wanting to add something...

    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.
    No accessible Precursor artifacts. If we think the current universe was once inhabited by a superhypercompetent alien civilisation in the way of a "Precursor" species, its technology is unavailable to be reverse-engineered. If there are Precursor artifacts to be found, their technology is so far advanced and so alien we simply can't grasp it. Thus, while you can have the strange spindly-looking helix found on a barren moon of Arcturus, analysing it is not going to yield anything useful about it. It's like analysing a rock.

    EDIT: Should add I'm happy with LordT's enunciation of the prohibition. That's fine by me. On the psionics thing, without wanting to bind anyone, it might be that the only way to communicate with one, or more, species is by telepathy -- with all the inaccuracy that implies. But that's something to be created during the game. All we're working out here, remember, is what we definitely don't want.
  4. Ramza JC Head Admin and RPF Manager

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

    • No accessible Precursor artifacts. If we think the current universe was inhabited by a superhypercompetent alien civilisation in the way of a "Precursor" species, its technology is unavailable to be reverse-engineered. If there are Precursor artifacts to be found, their technology is so far advanced and so alien we simply can't grasp it. Thus, while you can have the strange spindly-looking helix found on a barren moon of Arcturus, analysing it is not going to yield anything useful about it. It's like analysing a rock.

    • No habitable worlds. Alien physiology is too different from our own, and their definition of "habitable" too disparate from our own. Humanity is confined to colonies, spaceships, and the like

  5. Saintheart Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Dec 16, 2000
    star 6
    ramza, is that no habitable worlds outright, or just you can't go onto another alien species' planet without a spacesuit? And how does terraforming fit into it -- can you make a planet habitable over time?
  6. Ramza JC Head Admin and RPF Manager

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    Basically, with earth gone there's nothing humans can inhabit without a full body suit. I'm not adverse to the possibility of terraforming, though, barring the usual restrictions from being put on this list, not coming up in the course of play, and the like.
  7. Saintheart Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Dec 16, 2000
    star 6
    So what you're saying is: no M-class planets :D ... rather, no planets that are the right distance from the sun which support the right oxygen/nitrogen mixture to support human life? I could go with that ...

    ...if you accept the idea that a genetically modified human made capable of living on such a planet without a spacesuit is not human. [face_devil]
  8. Ramza JC Head Admin and RPF Manager

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    The list is still going.:p
  9. Saintheart Chosen One

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    How about "there are no habitable worlds for mundane humans to exist upon. Terraforming or genetic manipulation are required for a human to live on any planet in the cosmos without a space suit."

    I'm intrigued by the confinement of domes and suits, rams, just wanted to leave the door open there? :)
  10. Ramza JC Head Admin and RPF Manager

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  11. Saintheart Chosen One

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    Over to Xan, then (assuming we don't want to talk habitable worlds some more) - remembering, no pressure, that if anyone decides they don't want to add anything further to the list, we're done with the palette! :)
  12. DarthXan318 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 12, 2002
    star 6
    How about "There are no habitable worlds for mundane humans to exist upon. Terraforming, habitat domes, space suits, genetic manipulation, or other adaptations are required for a human to live on any planet in the cosmos" ?

    Basically it sounds like what we're saying is there are three ways for humans to live on an uninhabitable planet: change the planet, change themselves, or build structures to support life on it.
  13. Saintheart Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Dec 16, 2000
    star 6
    Sounds pretty much the same as ramza's proposal. Essentially, Earth is screwed and there's no other place in the cosmos where you can just drop the ramp, walk out and breathe the sweet O2 unless you've got your own supply, you've changed the air to create it, or your nose is now capable of sucking solid methane rather than a CO2/O2 mixture. :) So if LordT's cool with that, I'm guessing it comes down to whether there's anything else you want to put on the list, Xan. :)

    EDIT: ....oooOOOOOoooo, I think I know where you're going with that change, Xan! [face_thinking] [face_mischief]
  14. DarthXan318 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 12, 2002
    star 6
    I'm just trying to avoid turning into humans into Quarian. :p

    This is pretty funny, we've included all the things in the example so far.

    So, anyway ...

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

    • No accessible Precursor artifacts. If we think the current universe was inhabited by a superhypercompetent alien civilisation in the way of a "Precursor" species, its technology is unavailable to be reverse-engineered. If there are Precursor artifacts to be found, their technology is so far advanced and so alien we simply can't grasp it. Thus, while you can have the strange spindly-looking helix found on a barren moon of Arcturus, analysing it is not going to yield anything useful about it. It's like analysing a rock.

    • There are no habitable worlds for mundane humans to exist upon. Terraforming, habitat domes, space suits, genetic manipulation, or other adaptations are required for a human to live on any planet in the cosmos.



    ... I'm pretty happy with this list, so it's over to LordT?
  15. LordTroepfchen Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 9, 2007
    star 4
    Yes[/color]
    • 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.

    • Clones - Humanity has to refill it´s ranks. Cloning becomes common.



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

    • No accessible Precursor artifacts. If we think the current universe was inhabited by a superhypercompetent alien civilisation in the way of a "Precursor" species, its technology is unavailable to be reverse-engineered. If there are Precursor artifacts to be found, their technology is so far advanced and so alien we simply can't grasp it. Thus, while you can have the strange spindly-looking helix found on a barren moon of Arcturus, analysing it is not going to yield anything useful about it. It's like analysing a rock.

    • There are no habitable worlds for mundane humans to exist upon. Terraforming, habitat domes, space suits, genetic manipulation, or other adaptations are required for a human to live on any planet in the cosmos.


  16. Saintheart Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Dec 16, 2000
    star 6
    Strictly speaking, if Xan chooses not to add anything else, then that's where the palette ends. As a result, we do have a palette of things we can't include as set in, and everything else is either allowed or tacitly not expected (e.g. wizards) because it doesn't fit in the setting.

    Thus, clones are in. However: LordT, the only issue I have with cloning is really the game's own warning against immortal characters. I don't think that's what you were aiming at anyway, but I thought I'd underline it - if you're planning to go the "Duncan Idaho" route of Idaho-10747 and so forth, it'll be interesting, I'm sure, just so long as it's not just "o hai! i'm back again..." :D :D

    In any event, I've nothing to add to the mix, so our palette is complete! We're now set up and ready to begin!
    Player order does have a part in this thing, so I'll put the order of taking turns the same as we've had so far: me, ramza, Xan, LordT -- unless we'd all prefer I randomised the order and we just see where the dice fall.


    Now that setup is done, we?re ready to start play. We already know more about our history than we did when we came up with the single sentence idea, and as we play we?ll find out more and more.

    The basic structure of the game is that we keep going around the table adding to the history, making either a Period, an Event or a Scene. For each rotation there?s going to be one player called the Lens, and that player is going to pick a particular Focus that everything we create has to relate to. So if the Focus is a city, each player is going to get to add something to the history that somehow relates to that city. It?s a topic to keep us all on the same page.

    If you make a Period or Event, just describe what happens as though we?re seeing it from a birds-eye view. You?re in charge, and the rest of us are eagerly listening to hear what you have to say. If you make a Scene, we all pick characters and role-play to find out what really happened in that moment of history.

    I?ll go first to show how it works, so I?ll be the first Lens and I?ll pick the first Focus for our history.

    The Focus for this rotation is one Captain Abraham Perry. He's the commander of the last, cobbled-together column of spacegoing vessels to leave Earth.

    When you're the Lens, can choose to create two things on your turn, so long as they are nested inside each other: either a new Event plus a Scene inside that Event, or a new Period plus an Event inside that Period. So we see how the whole thing hangs together, I'll create an event plus a scene.

    The Event I'm creating is inside the Period The colonies of Earth struggle to fend for themselves as Earth falls..

    The Event is: The Earth disappears from the Solar System. In this event, the entire planet of Earth completely vanishes from the space it previously occupied in our solar system. It is as if it had been completely wiped from the face of space.

    Yes, really.

    I'm going to double post about scenes shortly, but just to pass the time, here's what the book says about creating Events:

    />
  17. LordTroepfchen Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 9, 2007
    star 4
    Now with cloning I meant actual cloning as it is in science. A duplicate of you, with no memories of his fomrer live. And then worker clones, soldier clones, if we decide to go down that road. Anti-cloner. Clone Uprisings. Not all colonies can clone perhaps, so Mars get´s a one billions population when Jupiter still has to do with 100.000. Thought that might be interesting. Immortality? Not more than you get through a child, I´d say. Something lives on. Not you. But your genentic make-up, changed by some scientists probably. I could imagine clones of wise benefactors who turn into cruel dicators and all that could be . . . interesting! So no immortality. Just a lot of twins and "material". As you see through my suggestions I just tried to give it a bit of a more scientific spin, that is all. I am a sucker for old Asimov and co.
  18. Saintheart Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Dec 16, 2000
    star 6
    On Scenes
    What follows is a bit didactic, and I imagine some of it if not much of it we'll be able to streamline in freeform, but best we go through it in detail now.

    When it comes to making scenes, the book says this:

    So, for our current exercise, as we know I'm making a scene within the event of the Earth disappearing from space. Remember, our Focus is Abraham Perry, the captain of the last fleet to leave Earth.

    The Question we're going to answer in this scene is:

    "Why didn't Abraham Perry's daughter escape from Earth before it disappeared?"

    On Questions...

    Next, we set the stage. On this, the book says...

  19. LordTroepfchen Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 9, 2007
    star 4
    Okay, I pick Captain Abraham Perry then. I´ll play it save for once :p
  20. DarthXan318 Manager Emeritus

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    Sep 12, 2002
    star 6
    I'll play the Captain's daughter, Gabrielle Perry.
  21. Ramza JC Head Admin and RPF Manager

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    I will be the one known only as M. Supernatural phenomenon? Residue from a massive psychic event? Harbinger? Alien? None can say, for now anyway.

    ... Yes I did pick this as a cheap way to get an easy recurring character.:p
  22. Saintheart Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Dec 16, 2000
    star 6
    And I'll be playing Sergeant Gus "Moonlight" Graham, one of the hard troopers trying to keep the NOMAD droids from overruning the David's launch facilities. Tall, skinny drink of water with the kind of eye-hand coordination that can take out a droid's receptor from 300 feet away.

    Now we're at the stage of revealing thoughts.

    So, from LordT again: what's your characters thinking about the upcoming scene?
  23. LordTroepfchen Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 9, 2007
    star 4
    Captain Abraham "Old Abe" Perry has two thoughts fighting for superiority in his troubled mind, as he defends the ship. "Who set us up? The robots could never have found us without help! I blocked all signals! And a second thought underlying it all like a violine not playing along with the orchestra: And have I smoked my last cigarette or did I spare one for take off?"
  24. DarthXan318 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 12, 2002
    star 6
    Oh hey we were supposed to describe our characters too. Of course. [face_blush] Gabrielle Perry is, as already mentioned, Captain Abraham Perry's daughter. She's an idealistic young woman, and is also a gifted AI scientist.

    [face_mischief]

    She is thinking: "There must be something I can do to help Dad against the robots!"
  25. Ramza JC Head Admin and RPF Manager

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    M is thinking: "Most of them won't get out of here alive - man or machine."
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