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Old 02-28-2015, 04:55 PM   #1
Keiko
 
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Default What do you want in a Transhuman Space game (as a player)?

I've seen the sentiment "This isn't want I want from a Transhuman Space game" expressed quite a few times in response to campaign and scenario proposals (to me more than once...). So I'm curious what is wanted from a Transhuman Space game? What would your ideal campaign be like?
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Old 02-28-2015, 11:14 PM   #2
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Default Re: What do you want in a Transhuman Space game (as a player)?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Keiko View Post
I've seen the sentiment "This isn't want I want from a Transhuman Space game" expressed quite a few times in response to campaign and scenario proposals (to me more than once...). So I'm curious what is wanted from a Transhuman Space game? What would your ideal campaign be like?
I want it to be something that uses the stuff that's new to THS. I don't want a game that could be played now, or in Victorian England, with the future setting being no more than exotic costuming and scenery. Nor do I want a simple allegory of problems we have now projected onto the future. Give me an attempt to envision the future, identify problems that will distress its people, and build plots and scenarios on that.

I'm not primarily interested in combat, especially large-scale military combat. I'm fine with having it included, but I want drama as well as action.
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Old 03-01-2015, 04:13 AM   #3
johndallman
 
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Default Re: What do you want in a Transhuman Space game (as a player)?

I agree with Bill. To refine it a bit, I want to experience the sheer strangeness of the setting. Alternating that with the parts that are familiar both emphasises the strangeness, and provides something to cling to when the strangeness gets too much, for a while. But I want to learn to cope with the strangeness, and live within it, moving on to new and weirder levels.

All this tends to mean that the stories need to grow out of the new things in the society. Some of them may have basic human motives behind them, manifested in new ways, but others will start with some strange new idea. The neatest example of this I've played was a scenario that happened because of the strange self-organising properties of the large amounts of smart gift-wrapping paper that had been thrown away in a particular Martian settlement.

Last edited by johndallman; 03-01-2015 at 06:03 AM. Reason: "both", not "bother"
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Old 03-01-2015, 05:08 AM   #4
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Default Re: What do you want in a Transhuman Space game (as a player)?

For example, in my first THS campaign, one of the PCs was a ghost in a bioshell: He had been uploaded into a tiny computer and implanted in a bioshell cloned from his original body. (This had odd effects, in that he was a Modern Catholic and believed that he had died when his organic brain was destroyed and gone on to purgatory or heaven or hell; he regarded himself as a soulless simulacrum of the true person.) In the first investigation, they had to deal with a young woman who was very smart, but lacked confidence about physical things like dancing and sex; so she had had her VII wired to be able to control her body, and relied on the VII for physical skills, while she rode along and observed and experienced. The PC managed to encounter her in a club, dance with her, or end up going home with her for the night. But being cautious, he asked one of his teammates to keep in touch with him remotely and be prepared to step in and operate his body if he got in trouble. Well, he got up and visited the bathroom, and when he engaged with the house computer, a hidden layer in his internal computer tried to probe it without his knowledge, and it alerted his hostess, who had her VII take over and try to physically subdue him, whereupon he called for help and had his own body operated by his friend. She imitated his accent and asks, "Wha'd ye do that for?" and the whole thing was resolved peacefully, more or less.

But the thing is, aside from not knowing about the hidden layer of the first PC's digital self, the entire group of PCs followed the series of transactions and exchanges just fine. At that point I knew the campaign was viable.
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Old 03-01-2015, 07:12 AM   #5
Clancy
 
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Default Re: What do you want in a Transhuman Space game (as a player)?

I'd like to play in the smaller events which eventually will cause the THS world movement/adaptation to the new conditions. Next tech/social crysis, leading not to utter destruction, but rather to revolution. But this should be perceived in the small scale of events.
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Old 03-01-2015, 09:59 AM   #6
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Default Re: What do you want in a Transhuman Space game (as a player)?

I'm inclined to agree with Bill and John. If the motive for whatever's going on is conventionally human, the nefarious plot itself needs to be strange and TS-specific; if the plot is normal, the motives need to be odd. If both are odd, so much the better.

I want transhumanism, and I want space. That doesn't mean the campaign has to take place in space or deal exclusively with uploads and uplifts, but both need to be at least visible in the background.
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Old 03-01-2015, 12:18 PM   #7
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Default Re: What do you want in a Transhuman Space game (as a player)?

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Originally Posted by RogerBW View Post
I'm inclined to agree with Bill and John. If the motive for whatever's going on is conventionally human, the nefarious plot itself needs to be strange and TS-specific; if the plot is normal, the motives need to be odd. If both are odd, so much the better.
As I said in Transhuman Mysteries, it's basically Chekhov's electrolaser. If you put a campaign in THS, rather than in a more generic future (outer space or cyberpunk) or even in the present day, I want to see some of the features of THS being significant to the adventures or the character interaction or both.

This can take place in all sorts of ways. For example, toward the end of my first THS campaign, one of the PCs got a message from the Montréal child welfare authority, which contained street camera footage of his eleven-year-old daughter smoking a cigarette—and it didn't look like her first. The accompanying message said that he was allowed to exercise his own discretion on such behavior, but it was government policy to advise parents of behavior that might be of concern. So then he called in the team's hacker and asked her to help him figure out why his daughter's recently acquired virtual interface implant hadn't notified him of this. And the implant's response was that he had set it to maintain his daughter's privacy; did he want a different setting? Did he want moderate privacy, or zero privacy, or did he want a customized setting? Did he want to know . . . followed by some items from a long list of possibly questionable behaviors; at one point the other player had the hacker say, "Gianni, I masturbate!" while Gianni was boggling.

Now, this brought out several features of THS: virtual interface implants; the omnipresence of privacy issues; the omnipresence of surveillance; the fact that Montréal was a CR2 city-state and wasn't going to say, "Unfit parent! custody loss!" over a girl of eleven smoking (there are hints in the books that the current climate of raising children in bubbles has changed a bit), counterbalanced with the fact that software sold to parents had a built in list of privacy options, from total privacy rights to Big Daddy Is Watching. And all that was in a short comedic characterization bit that I threw in because the character's being a single father was a running story thread; it wasn't the primary focus of the campaign (though the players and I all grew fond of Constanza, which is why I put her into the last vignette in Transhuman Mysteries).
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Old 03-01-2015, 01:34 PM   #8
vicky_molokh
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Default Re: What do you want in a Transhuman Space game (as a player)?

What I want in a Transhuman Space campaign (some of which I did get, and some of which I didn't, over the last two years):
  • A wide variety in the types of PCs. "A raccoon who happens to be a childrens' books writer, an Elf Kitten news anchorwoman, and a 3D-printer factory on vacation, walk into a bar . . ." (There was the latter PC; I played a Ghost/ex-Bioroid; there was a parahuman and two human PCs.)
  • Pan-Sapient Rights issues showing up in the campaign. (It almost didn't.)
  • All sorts of THS-canon stuff (e.g. tech facts, geopolitics facts, legal facts) playing important roles in the plot, many of them naturally rather than by being deliberately pulled into the plot by the GM. (I'm quite happy on that account regarding the past campaign.)
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Old 03-01-2015, 01:57 PM   #9
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Default Re: What do you want in a Transhuman Space game (as a player)?

A tangent from the other thread that I feel is more at home here:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Flyndaran View Post
Merging discordant genres is a unique fun of Gurps. I just find it odd how few people want a THS as is campaign.
People add Lovecraft, aliens, magic, etc.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Owen Smith View Post
I like THS as is.
I like THS as is, but 'as is' means 'actually as stated in the books, with no retcons, cutbacks or canon-incompatible additions'.
Occasionally, I get something like an 'oh no, surely the setting does not really mean to have that stuff, let us cut that out' sort of attitude. Mostly unofficial, though there are official cases too, e.g. Big Media Memetics basically erasing two TLs worth of progress in the science of propaganda.
Same with the other direction: stuff directly based on canonical mentions is OK, but revolutionary additions that came out of nowhere are not pleasant to have around in a game set in 2100.

The campaign I've been in balanced very dangerously on the edge; perhaps in some cases stepping beyond absolute compatibility. It's a scary and impressive feat even with the (arguably) missteps onto the other side.
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Last edited by vicky_molokh; 03-01-2015 at 04:18 PM. Reason: Not Felicias in backless dresses ^_^
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Old 03-01-2015, 02:48 PM   #10
Owen Smith
 
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Default Re: What do you want in a Transhuman Space game (as a player)?

Well I'm a player not a GM so I get what I'm given in a campaign except for what I do with my own PC. However, my only THS campaign has had as GM the current line editor Phil Masters so if he says it's canon any of the players need a strong case to claim otherwise. Of course Phil is trying to tone down memetics or at least give people the option (same with pheromones) so then we get into "canon as current line editor sees it" vs. "canon as originally written". Which gets silly real fast.
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