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Old 09-16-2017, 08:39 PM   #11
awarnock
 
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Default Re: Spitballing a Space Opera Boxed Set

Quote:
Originally Posted by evileeyore View Post
I'm pretty sure that at this point Mailanka's Psi Wars is the Unofficial GURPS Space Opera Unboxed Set.
Yup.

So, current ideas include:
  • Mailanka's Psi-Wars
  • Transhuman Space
  • Generic Galaxy Spanning Space Opera (tempted to go Guardians of the Galaxy with it.)
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Old 09-16-2017, 09:30 PM   #12
ericthered
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Default Re: Spitballing a Space Opera Boxed Set

We had a similar thread a while back.

If I built a GURPS Space Opera Set, It would be called "Spaceships and Aliens". It would emphasize exploring, playing up exotic environment and societies. While the characters might have a secondary reason to be waltzing around the galaxy, from a game perspective the primary reason is to experience the different places and customs, and to exploit those terrains and customs to solve problems. This isn't to say that exploration drives the plot: it usually won't. But some unique terrain feature should always complicate the plot.

Of course, you can add other things to the mix. But I think Space Opera will do best when its base is "Solving problems in exotic circumstances" is its theme. It will provide focus and help squeeze the core of the genre to a manageable size.
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Old 09-16-2017, 09:39 PM   #13
Fred Brackin
 
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Default Re: Spitballing a Space Opera Boxed Set

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Originally Posted by awarnock View Post
Yup.

So, current ideas include:
  • Mailanka's Psi-Wars
  • Transhuman Space
  • Generic Galaxy Spanning Space Opera (tempted to go Guardians of the Galaxy with it.)
Transhuman Space is pretty much the Anti-Space Opera and even Hal's take is basically Cyberpunk rather than Space Opera.

Note that I say this as someone who has put a lot of time over the years into both and is very fond of both. They're two great tastes that won't even share a kitchen.
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Old 09-16-2017, 10:51 PM   #14
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Default Re: Spitballing a Space Opera Boxed Set

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Originally Posted by Fred Brackin View Post
Transhuman Space is pretty much the Anti-Space Opera and even Hal's take is basically Cyberpunk rather than Space Opera.

Note that I say this as someone who has put a lot of time over the years into both and is very fond of both. They're two great tastes that won't even share a kitchen.
Which is largely why I pointed out the concept should be "somewhat" neutral in the sense that if the GM wants to emphasize one thing, it becomes "Transhuman Space", but if he emphasizes another, it becomes sort of a cyberpunk like game depending on how much emphasis is made on the cybernetic limb replacements etc. DEUS EX, another SORT of cyberpunk like environment, is one where only a FEW people are Augmented, the rest are "Naturals" or Natches. Augmented people have nicknames like chromeboy, Auggies, Hanzers, etc.

Then we have something like GURPS MARS. Ignoring the "over the top" cybernetics, over the top biotech - and we can have a simple Mars colonization story. Or, we can have a Terradyne like story - man's advancement into space as he dreams of heading out to the stars. But wait, do I hear the Car Wars fans complaining about not having their future represented? It could be dropped in with some minor shoe horn antics perhaps.

See, for me, creating the timeline and the technology that becomes available is where the fun begins. Having changeable ink (Ultratech) that can start out flesh colored, but change color in response to stimuli, or can be actively controlled has some serious implications outside of simple "Body Tats". Looking at the rules for guns, bullet weights, etc - and although we've not seen caseless ammunition yet, having dual stage propellants might do away with the need for cartridges entirely. What makes it even more interesting is that if dual propellants are used to handle projectile firing from a gun, people can manufacture their own projectiles and use the liquid propellants. No more "brass" to clean up, but more importantly, no more brass required to manufacture the bullets in the first place.

It would be nice to have the bare bone frame in place, and then let the GM decide what to emphasize or not, to make his or her game either of Transhuman space, Cyberpunk, Normal near future games that are action/adventure, etc.

So, no - it isn't that Transhuman Space and Cyberpunk can't share the kitchen, it is up to the Cook (The GM) to add ingredients, withhold ingredients, shake the whole thing up, and cook what he wants from his space game. The only "common ingredients" might be the "frame" of time or history itself. All other elements are as unique to the main story line as the GM decides to make them.
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Old 09-17-2017, 06:04 AM   #15
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Default Re: Spitballing a Space Opera Boxed Set

To my mind there are broadly speaking two distinct versions of a sci-fi space opera rpg.

There is the setting specific type - Terradyne, THS, T2300, Star*Drive etc. these are characterised by having technological assumptions baked into the settings and usually have only a one or two TL range at the top end of their setting technology.

Then there is the sandbox which offers a range of TLs from the near future right up to technology as magic. CT, GURPS Space 3e, Alternity etc.
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Old 09-17-2017, 10:07 AM   #16
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Default Re: Spitballing a Space Opera Boxed Set

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Originally Posted by hal View Post
So, no - it isn't that Transhuman Space and Cyberpunk can't share the kitchen, .
That was not my premise. It's TS and _Space Opera_ that are incompatible. TS and Cyberpunk are no farther apart than two sides of the same coin.

Space Opera means more than "SF game". Cyberpunk elements were included in the original Gurps Space but that _was_ a broad-based SF game resource.

"Space Opera" is a narrower term and putting everything you need to run a Space Opera campaign into a single box means having a somewhat restricted focus. Wandering off into TS-like "But what is Human" is a distraction.
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Old 09-17-2017, 11:27 AM   #17
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Default Re: Spitballing a Space Opera Boxed Set

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Originally Posted by Fred Brackin View Post
That was not my premise. It's TS and _Space Opera_ that are incompatible. TS and Cyberpunk are no farther apart than two sides of the same coin.

Space Opera means more than "SF game". Cyberpunk elements were included in the original Gurps Space but that _was_ a broad-based SF game resource.

"Space Opera" is a narrower term and putting everything you need to run a Space Opera campaign into a single box means having a somewhat restricted focus. Wandering off into TS-like "But what is Human" is a distraction.
Agreed. It'd be like putting Transmetropolitan under Space Opera; the two are quite distinct and very different. Transmet, Transhuman Space, and Shadowrun all have elements that can bounce between them, but Space Opera tends to be fairly safetech when it comes to transhumanist technologies. Cybernetic replacements, sapient robots, and the occasional full-body cyborg can show up in Space Opera without breaking the feel of the setting overmuch, but brain uploads to a computer or nanite swarm is essentially a no-no.

This is one reason why I vote to fund Mailanka in putting Psi-Wars as a boxed set. Also, the name. "Psi-Wars". It evokes Star Wars nicely, yet is distinct enough that people won't buy it thinking it's a Star Wars product. (I'm sure we wouldn't use the Star Wars font for the logo, either, which while fun would be misleading....)
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Old 09-17-2017, 12:20 PM   #18
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Default Re: Spitballing a Space Opera Boxed Set

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fred Brackin View Post
...
Space Opera means more than "SF game". Cyberpunk elements were included in the original Gurps Space but that _was_ a broad-based SF game resource.
...
Similarly, "going on a bug hunt" was included in GURPS Space, but bug-hunting isn't space opera, either. At least, not to me - YMMV.
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Old 09-17-2017, 12:23 PM   #19
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Default Re: Spitballing a Space Opera Boxed Set

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Originally Posted by Phantasm View Post
Cybernetic replacements, sapient robots, and the occasional full-body cyborg can show up in Space Opera without breaking the feel of the setting overmuch, but brain uploads to a computer or nanite swarm is essentially a no-no.
As a general setting element, sure. But I think they're the kinds of thing that showed up as a "problem of the week" in Star Trek- Next Gen, for example. Whether you want a fully consistent setting or one that allows such random challenges is another question to consider, then.
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Old 09-17-2017, 01:08 PM   #20
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Default Re: Spitballing a Space Opera Boxed Set

Just thinking out loud, but maybe we should consider tone first, then work from there.

Star Trek and Star Wars are very different in tone. Trek is like jazz that plays in a lounge. It's not very loud and it tends to focus on complexities and things that may never affect more than the ship. Star Wars, on the other hand, is like big band swing. It's loud and tends to focus on simpler conflicts of good vs. evil and has events affecting the entire galaxy. Those are far from the only two, I know, but it does illustrate that, perhaps, before we decide what goes in, we should decide what the tone is.
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