What tropes do you want to see more of in sci-fi RPGs?


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Silvercat Moonpaw

Adventurer
Going to the other extreme, space travel that takes a long time.
Like, how long? "Sailing to a new continent on Earth" long? "You might as well keep all the action on one planet because there's no way to get to a different solar system within a reasonable human lifetime" long?
 


Travel via Stargates or other planet-bound devices is definitely something I'd like to see explored.

Another thing I wouldn't mind seeing is a Sci-Fi setting where it's not (at least not much) about some ancient dead civilizations and finding artifacts, and more like trying to get stuff from more advanced existing civilizations or entities, and otherwise trying to get recognized or accepted by them. Not hostile aliens, but aliens that just don't feel like sharing (maybe for good reason, maybe because they are petty, maybe because they are indifferent). If hostile aliens, they'd might be merely accidentally hostile and maybe not even capable of reasoning, something like a bunch of Von Neumann probes on search for more paperclip wire base materials.
 

dragoner

solisrpg.com
What I wanted, I made ...
Solis People of the Sun, Cepheus Engine/Traveller with 3D real star maps. Near future, with solarpunk, transhuman, and hard SF elements; influenced by writers such as Asimov, Banks, Drake, Hamilton, Norton, and Reynolds. First published this last September, though from over ten years in the making, and playing. I am the writer. :D
Solis People of the Sun - Wild Bee Publishing | DriveThruRPG.com

(This is a reddit reply)
 


J.Quondam

CR 1/8
Like, how long? "Sailing to a new continent on Earth" long? "You might as well keep all the action on one planet because there's no way to get to a different solar system within a reasonable human lifetime" long?
You could go the "ark-ship" route, so all the action takes place on an interstellar habitat of some sort en route to a new solar system. Campaigns could focus on whatever happens during the long transit time in isolation; and/or examine the arrival of the arkship at its destination.
 

Silvercat Moonpaw

Adventurer
You could go the "ark-ship" route, so all the action takes place on an interstellar habitat of some sort en route to a new solar system. Campaigns could focus on whatever happens during the long transit time; and/or examine the arrival of the arkship at its destination.
Okay, I admit: that's my bias against outer space showing. :oops:
 


schneeland

Adventurer
For SciFi it's a bit harder to figure out than for fantasy stuff. Immediate thought:
  • A "hardish" SciFi setting/game that plays on earth, but also extends beyond it, but which doesn't have a magic FTL drive (so probably rather cryo sleep, maybe some sort of wormholes/etc) and has a rather gritty tone - basically Blade Runner meets Alien (but not necessarily tied to these franchises)
  • A good space opera setting that isn't Star Wars
(please not both in the same game ;))

On a second thought: I'd also like to see more settings in which the dominant culture is not western (like e.g. Coriolis).
 

gorice

Explorer
Like, how long? "Sailing to a new continent on Earth" long? "You might as well keep all the action on one planet because there's no way to get to a different solar system within a reasonable human lifetime" long?
Well, either, but I think 'sailing to a new continent' works well for travel to other planets within the same solar system. Which means you probably do want to stay on the same planet, but you can absolutely go on an epic voyage that involves e.g. coasting for months before you complete your Hohmann transfer.
 

gorice

Explorer
Travel via Stargates or other planet-bound devices is definitely something I'd like to see explored.

Another thing I wouldn't mind seeing is a Sci-Fi setting where it's not (at least not much) about some ancient dead civilizations and finding artifacts, and more like trying to get stuff from more advanced existing civilizations or entities, and otherwise trying to get recognized or accepted by them. Not hostile aliens, but aliens that just don't feel like sharing (maybe for good reason, maybe because they are petty, maybe because they are indifferent). If hostile aliens, they'd might be merely accidentally hostile and maybe not even capable of reasoning, something like a bunch of Von Neumann probes on search for more paperclip wire base materials.
Yeah, I like this too. Something like the Culture novels, where there are all kinds of civilisations out there, some of which are so far ahead of you that they won't share anything with you, anymore than you'd hand a weapon to a toddler. Plus, somnolent Elder civilisations of vast power that long ago disappeared up their own rear ends/translated to a different plane of being, but may one day wake up (the game Stellaris uses this trope to good effect).
 

Silvercat Moonpaw

Adventurer
Well, either, but I think 'sailing to a new continent' works well for travel to other planets within the same solar system. Which means you probably do want to stay on the same planet, but you can absolutely go on an epic voyage that involves e.g. coasting for months before you complete your Hohmann transfer.
Ah, thank you. It was a necessary question given different tolerances and senses of scale.
 

Bluenose

Adventurer
I'd like to see more games that focus on colonisation and terraforming, ehat happens after your generation ship arrives at its new world/star system and people building new worlds and new societies in new places. There's a few but most SF RPGs focus on other things (there's even more games focusing on exploration and science or Science!).
 

gorice

Explorer
I'd like to see more games that focus on colonisation and terraforming, ehat happens after your generation ship arrives at its new world/star system and people building new worlds and new societies in new places. There's a few but most SF RPGs focus on other things (there's even more games focusing on exploration and science or Science!).
Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri: The RPG would be quite a wild ride.
 

Endroren

Explorer
Publisher
What happens when space isn't "cool" anymore. When space life becomes "life as usual." The Alien films captured this. It isn't that it's gritty - it's just normalized. Star Wars also captures this pretty well (Mandalorian in particular).
 

Bluenose

Adventurer
Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri: The RPG would be quite a wild ride.
That'd be one example of the genre (and one of my favourite computer games of all time) but there's a spate of other games in the wake of Surviving Mars. IMO some of them are on a small enough scale to be more suitable for an RPG group.
 


doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Optimism.

People being augmented to handle space, and the ways that changes how people think. Stuff like in my Earth with magic game, where space tech involves the user “meshing” with the machine, joining organic consciousness to technological input and digital data.

Giving a damn about the social sciences.

Weirdness that isn’t grim or edgy. Sentient nebulas and such.

Trahnshumansim that isn’t dystopian or horrific.

Weird tech/weapons like how Dune has personal shields that deflect high velocity objects but not slow-moving objects, leading to futuristic knife fights.

Consideration of stuff like music and cocktails and art movements and small scale architecture.
 

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