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Old 09-19-2017, 08:26 PM   #61
Fred Brackin
 
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Default Re: Spitballing a Space Opera Boxed Set

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I don't like Family guy either, but did think third season Enterprise was an improvement.
Third season (The Xindi arc) was a modest improvement but fourth season Enterprise was a radical improvement.

The Orville does not appear to be like either.
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Old 09-19-2017, 10:13 PM   #62
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Default Re: Spitballing a Space Opera Boxed Set

I think we went a little off topic there.

Okay, so the problem isn't so much a lack of setting as a lack of standard assumptions from what several have said. Perhaps we can come up with one or two things that many protagonists in space opera works do. I'm familiar with Star Wars and Star Trek, and there are some similarities in what protagonists in both do. What about other entries in the genre?
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Old 09-19-2017, 10:35 PM   #63
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Default Re: Spitballing a Space Opera Boxed Set

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Agreed on this, at least mostly. I would put it as "technology can rarely improve an individual human". You don't cybernetically enhance your pilots, you don't genetically engineer individuals, producing a bunch of identically-trained clones doesn't win against a diverse force of regular humans, and so on.
So it shouldn't support new space opera?
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Old 09-20-2017, 12:29 AM   #64
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Default Re: Spitballing a Space Opera Boxed Set

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I think we went a little off topic there.

Okay, so the problem isn't so much a lack of setting as a lack of standard assumptions from what several have said. Perhaps we can come up with one or two things that many protagonists in space opera works do. I'm familiar with Star Wars and Star Trek, and there are some similarities in what protagonists in both do. What about other entries in the genre?
Well, let's see:

Investigate the Precursors. (Any number of examples.)
Win vast conflicts through clever politicking. (Cherryh's Merchanter Universe, esp. the Chanur books.)
Take over the Universe, or, at least, become the biggest bad-ass around. (Bio of a Space Tyrant, Well of Souls)
Save humanity (Interstellar, the Childe Cycle)

Space Operas feature large-scale conflicts in which the protagonists grow to play a key -- or at least, significant -- role. The problem is, there are all sorts of potential vast conflicts, and all sorts of ways to resolve them, and space opera stories have covered hundreds of different combinations. We can't do any of them justice if you try to cover all possibilities in a single boxed set.

So, we've gotta pick something -- a great hook to reel people in.

So, what does that look like?

Well, the characters have to be readily identifiable with traits and skills easy to understand, intuitively:
* Hobart Floyt and Alacrity Fitzhugh basically start out as an "odd couple" of decent chaps in a what is, essentially, a "buddy" story.
* Riddick's the bad-ass you always wanted to be.
* Pyanfar Chanur is a good woman who's just trying to take care of her people.
* Starbuck is either the charming, irrepressible younger brother you can't help but like, or she's the raucous, crazy party girl who's Braver than You, up for anything and always calls your bluff.
* Joe Cooper is a loving father who just wants to do what's best for his family, and Amelia Brand is the smart, pretty, over-achieving nerd-girl who wants somebody to love.
* The crew of the Rocinante are the honest, hard-working people you've known at any number of jobs.

Then, you have to get them pulled (usually, kicking and screaming) into vast, complex, Terribly Significant events.

So, the Space Opera needs a set of templates for soldiers, pilots, independent merchants, roustabouts, nosy scientists, hookers with hearts of gold, talented mechanics, brilliant engineers, precocious youngsters, bored rich girls looking for a purpose, freelance journalists, space cowboy generalists, stubborn princesses, and farmboys with tremendous potential. It would help if at least some of them were sensuous cat-girls and snarky talking raccoons.

Then, you need a "framework" that gives busy GMs, who don't want to have to build an entire setting from scratch, the ability to create a campaign with any number of things to do in a vast, sprawling universe where, somehow, the PCs are supposed to make all the difference.

Personally, I think that's a tall order.

Personally, I think we'd be much better off creating as compelling a basic setting as possible with only one or two fun things to start off doing. Present those activities in a well-illustrated set of connected modules that feature good maps and deck-plans, which SJ Games can expand upon, later, if it sells well.

Throw in a dozen, or so, templates that would work with the modules, print it up, and find a distributor to put it in book stores, toy shops, and last few game stores that still exist. Cross your fingers.
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Old 09-20-2017, 01:19 AM   #65
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Default Re: Spitballing a Space Opera Boxed Set

I am not entirely sure what the difference between a "module" and an "adventure" is, but officially SJGames doesn't publish the former.
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Old 09-20-2017, 07:13 AM   #66
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Default Re: Spitballing a Space Opera Boxed Set

Okay, just to add my 0.02 Euros ...

If you want to sell people a "Space Opera Box", you have to give them a "Space Opera Box". Since anybody sees space opera in a different way, you have to give them something very generic.

That means you have to ignore your favourite setting.

And that also means you have to give them something "ready to play", without any numbers-crunching.

So, for the kickstarter:

- 1 booklet of rules - Gurps lite, with space travel stuff and how the GM can build a frame for the game.
- 1 booklet of pre-gen characters - a mix of usual ones (cyborg bounty hunter) and weirdos (psionic walking trees).
- 1 booklet of pre-gen star ships - not a system to build one
- 1 booklet of gadgets - "ultra-light ultra-tech".
- 1 small space atlas, with lots of adventure hooks
- 1 short adventure
- Some markers for ship combat

Rules for ship and world building, paper miniatures for ships and characters could be stretch goals.

Comments?
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Old 09-20-2017, 07:34 AM   #67
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Default Re: Spitballing a Space Opera Boxed Set

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I am not entirely sure what the difference between a "module" and an "adventure" is, but officially SJGames doesn't publish the former.
There is none the terms are interchangeable. The whole thing stems from how TSR marketed their products as adventure modules.
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Old 09-20-2017, 07:47 AM   #68
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Default Re: Spitballing a Space Opera Boxed Set

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Anybody want to just License The Orville?
What's The Orville?

(First thought: one of the two people who invented the airplane. Second thought: that guy who makes popcorn. No third thought. Neither thought appear to be correct in context.)
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Old 09-20-2017, 08:22 AM   #69
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Default Re: Spitballing a Space Opera Boxed Set

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That's three different games. What's the one overarching thing you do in a space opera game? In Dungeon Fantasy it's "kill monsters and take their stuff." In Monster Hunters it's "kill the monsters." What is the ONE thing that defines what you do in a space opera game?
You over simplify. Monster Hunters is not a simple combat slog. Its "Track down hidden monsters and kill hidden monsters." It also has a few forays into breaking curses and curing plagues. And Action and AtE are a little less focused.

The default adventure is stopping a bad event (plot, natural disaster, whatever) on an exotic planet through shooting, clever application of technology, and diplomacy.

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So it shouldn't support new space opera?
Not at first. We're trying to prune it down to its very core.
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Old 09-20-2017, 09:08 AM   #70
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Default Re: Spitballing a Space Opera Boxed Set

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The default adventure is stopping a bad event (plot, natural disaster, whatever) on an exotic planet through shooting, clever application of technology, and diplomacy.
"Star Marshals". Working for the "United Planets" or some such body, in a thinly-colonised galaxy, providing law enforcement, disaster relief, and so on.
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