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Old 11-17-2015, 08:55 PM   #1
Arith Winterfell
 
Join Date: May 2014
Location: Indiana, United States
Default Sci-fi Space Opera design

So Iím currently working on a sci-fi space opera / exploration setting with a number of details still being decided as I progress. Generally I draw inspiration from things like Star Wars, Star Trek, and even a little bit from Dune. While Star Wars is a major source of inspiration for me, Iím hoping to make my setting something unique rather than simply derived from the Star Wars sources. Here is what I have so far and suggestions/ideas are welcome.

The central crux of the setting is the recent return of interstellar travel after a couple of centuries of isolation. Previously humanity had spread far and wide throughout the galaxy using hyperspace travel, creating countless colonies, trade outposts, and other centers of civilization.

However the races in the setting were unaware their hyperspace travel was actually damaging the divide between real space and hyperspace. This resulted in a sudden build up of distortions that eventually cascaded in hyperspace. Suddenly almost overnight FTL communication between star systems ceased as the cascade destroyed hyperspace communication beacons. At the same time any ship that tried to enter hyperspace was simply be torn apart in the attempt.

The result was a collapse of interstellar civilization. Worlds which had depended on interstellar trade and supplies to function scrambled to adapt, struggling to become self-sufficient where they could. While some colony worlds were complex and large enough to become self-sufficient, others simply perished. Still others fell into conflict over resources. Some even used what technology they had to transform themselves and their societies. In relative isolation, each star system diverged upon its own path, becoming as beautiful or as terrible as it was in them to become.

After the passage of roughly two centuries in isolation one world, Ascarin, developed its own technology which would allow travel between the stars once more. The Ascarian culture developed advances in bio-tech and psionic studies which ultimately lead to the development of a probability drive. However it required a trained psion to use psionic probability manipulation on a quantum level, which in turn was magnified by the starshipís jump drive allowing the ship and all aboard to teleport across the vast distances between the stars.

One of the first places Ascarins traveled to was Earth, only to tragically find it a ruined world. A place which had fallen into infighting when it no longer had access to the galaxyís resources to maintain itself. It has used the last of its technological edge to turn in on itself fighting for dwindling resources, poisoning and devastating its own ecosystems leaving Earth a uninhabitable husk of a world.

Our campaign begins with the PCís aboard one of the newly commissioned Ascarin ships, ready to explore a now unknown universe and discover the fate of various worlds that humanity once claimed for itself.

Some elements of the setting planned loosely so far include:

Sentient droids
Anti-Gravity and Gravity control in the form of starships and hover cars, but not hover belts.
Psionic Powers
No Digital Brain Uploading
Limited Nanotechnology (possibly used mostly for healing? Still unsure).

Thoughts/ideas/suggestions welcome :)
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Old 11-17-2015, 09:11 PM   #2
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Default Re: Sci-fi Space Opera design

You might want to look up the series deathstalker by Simon r green. Lots of RPG character material
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Old 11-17-2015, 09:17 PM   #3
weby
 
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Default Re: Sci-fi Space Opera design

Sounds like a interesting setting.

I have also been building a setting where interstellar travel collapsed but it was because of alien attack destroying all central worlds, but a lot of colonies did not even know what happened as FTL comm does not exists and the smaller colonies would not have ships. I am planning a mini campaign(maybe 40-60 sessions) around one of the colonies having built their first ship and the PCs being on it. So I do have some ideas for possible things to do.

Possible adventure themes:
Treasure hunt: If you make the world that the ships come from be somewhat limited in resources, there would be interest in going to look for more resources, be they raw materials,manufactured things or manufacturing capacity.
Diplomacy: Establishing contacts with other worlds.
Trade/trade route building: Even if worlds are forced to be self sufficient there will likely be things that could be better traded.
Helping colonies in trouble: It could be fairly easy for a smaller colony to survive but be in a downwards spiral if they do not have enough manufacturing capacity/know-how and raw materials. So they could run out of high tech goods and then be faced with some danger that they cannot cope with in the long run.

My own campaign is mainly focused on the treasure hunt and finding out what happened themes.
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Old 11-18-2015, 05:36 PM   #4
Arith Winterfell
 
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Default Re: Sci-fi Space Opera design

Wow weby! That's a great way of handling the setup. I feel that's even simpler and more logical than my own explanation. Mind if I build on that general idea instead of the entire failure of hyperspace?

Because setting the game in outlying colonies and then exploring what happened to the other worlds sounds really good. Because I tend to avoid having FTL communication in my settings normally anyway, because I like the idea of messenger ships adding to things as plot elements.
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Old 11-18-2015, 08:39 PM   #5
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Default Re: Sci-fi Space Opera design

Quote:
Originally Posted by Arith Winterfell View Post
Wow weby! That's a great way of handling the setup. I feel that's even simpler and more logical than my own explanation. Mind if I build on that general idea instead of the entire failure of hyperspace?
Feel free.

Quote:
Because setting the game in outlying colonies and then exploring what happened to the other worlds sounds really good. Because I tend to avoid having FTL communication in my settings normally anyway, because I like the idea of messenger ships adding to things as plot elements.
I like the lack of FTL because it often forces the people on the spot(the PCs) to act instead of calling for support.
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