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Old 11-02-2009, 10:57 AM   #41
Johnny1A.2
 
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Default Re: How is GURPS Alpha Centauri.

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Originally Posted by pawsplay View Post
Well, to be fair, hunter gatherers tend to have a short work day.

This is almost certainly a myth.
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Old 11-02-2009, 11:00 AM   #42
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Default Re: How is GURPS Alpha Centauri.

I love the computer game and I bought the GURPS book from SJG's store. It's good reading, especially if you liked the computer game. The writing and mechanics are good and the adventure ideas are creative.
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Old 11-02-2009, 11:13 AM   #43
Johnny1A.2
 
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Default Re: How is GURPS Alpha Centauri.

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Originally Posted by gjc8 View Post
Admittadly, Deirdre is set up to be one of the more heroic leaders, but there's nothing about her that has to be that way. On point with Kelly's campaign, Deirdre and Yang share the belief that the individual must, at least sometimes, be subservient to a larger goal.

All the standard atrocities are equally available to the Gaians, and your enemies are still condemned to apparent torture in the faction elimination videos. Mind worm assault is a singularly nasty way to die, and what faction is most likely to use them?

All of the factions, as presented in the game, are potential bad guys.
Or good guys (except maybe the Hive). People have already mentioned Morgan and the Believers, they're actually pretty easy to turn into very sympathetic factions. Morgan needs only modest adjustment to become a freedom-loving kind of guy, a ruthless businessman tempered by a strict code of personal morality, for example.

The Spartans can be moral, strictly self-disciplined warriors, dedicated to a warrior code that also incorporates duty to the species, the future, and a code of treatment of defeated enemies and civilians and bystanders.

Pravin Lal and the Peacekeepers are set up as the 'good guys', but not much is needed to make them bureaucratic, technocratic nepotists, carrying over all the bad traits of the real-world U.N. to Chiron. Without too much adjustment Lal and the Peacekeepers can be turned into a socialistic would-be 'soft dictatorship', enslaving Chiron in a web of good intentions and nepotism.

The Nautilus Pirates...just a little adjustment can turn them into freedom-loving free spirits, harrying the nasty factions and providing reliable, reasonably priced sea transport and protection to the sympathetic ones.

The Free Drones? They've actually made socialism work the way it's theoretically supposed to! You could easily have a campaign based on a rivalry between the Morganites and the FD as the rival 'good guys' against the Peacekeepers who want to bring in socialism with an autocratic face.

The University? Modest adjustments can easily turn Prokhor into a terrific guy or a monster.

The Hive, though...it's hard to make that sympathetic without competely rewriting it into something else.

Last edited by Johnny1A.2; 11-02-2009 at 11:25 AM.
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Old 11-02-2009, 11:45 AM   #44
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Default Re: How is GURPS Alpha Centauri.

I ran a playtest game while I was writing the book - on the Pyramid MOO, with Dr. Kromm as one of the regular players. It was a Planetfall game, in which the players actually had some part in choosing which faction they were going to end up. I had two or three different potential faction leaders turn up in their landing pod's population, with the assumption that only one would end up in charge.

Worked pretty well, as I recall. I suspect if I were going to rewrite the book, I wouldn't try to do the "grand sweep of history" approach again. Better to concentrate on the first years after Planetfall, and provide more ready-made material for building adventures.
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Old 11-02-2009, 11:51 AM   #45
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Default Re: How is GURPS Alpha Centauri.

The Hive can be a sympathetic faction if you do a trope subversion. Even the Soviet Communists were semi-sympathetically portrayed in the "Red Son" series of Superman comics (alternate universe where he landed in the USSR rather than the USA).

Take the usual authoritarian propaganda arguments, e.g. the leadership ensures security, without a dictator the entire faction would collapse, etc., and play them straight. Let the players sign on with an "Evil Galactic Empire" faction but show them that behind the slogans there's actually a fair bit of truth. And make the leader, Sheng-Ji Yang, every bit as philosophical and thoughtful as his ingame quotes make him out to be.


The Hive stands for an unpopular authoritarian political structure, but a canny GM can definitely make it a "Good guy" faction.
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Old 11-02-2009, 12:03 PM   #46
Fred Brackin
 
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Default Re: How is GURPS Alpha Centauri.

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Originally Posted by Johnny1A.2 View Post
This is almost certainly a myth.
<shrug> It's been reported by serious scientists. Hunter-gathers have more leisure time than the primitive agriculturalists supposedly one step above them. This may say more about the extreme suckitude of being a primitive farmer.

The farmers support a denser population though and can generally push the H-Gs off any land that's in contention between them.
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Old 11-02-2009, 02:54 PM   #47
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Default Re: How is GURPS Alpha Centauri.

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Originally Posted by HuManBing View Post
The Hive can be a sympathetic faction if you do a trope subversion. Even the Soviet Communists were semi-sympathetically portrayed in the "Red Son" series of Superman comics (alternate universe where he landed in the USSR rather than the USA).

Take the usual authoritarian propaganda arguments, e.g. the leadership ensures security, without a dictator the entire faction would collapse, etc., and play them straight. Let the players sign on with an "Evil Galactic Empire" faction but show them that behind the slogans there's actually a fair bit of truth. And make the leader, Sheng-Ji Yang, every bit as philosophical and thoughtful as his ingame quotes make him out to be.


The Hive stands for an unpopular authoritarian political structure, but a canny GM can definitely make it a "Good guy" faction.
I'm quite interested in seeing a Hive-like society/community in a positive light. And IMO the original game itself doesn't have much in the way of quotes to prove the Hive irredeemably evil.

For one, I see them as one of the only two factions that make transhumanism viable (the other being Students of the University). Not talking about the expansion factions, that is.
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Old 11-02-2009, 03:02 PM   #48
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Default Re: How is GURPS Alpha Centauri.

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I'm quite interested in seeing a Hive-like society/community in a positive light.
A friend of mine, Allie Cove, wrote up an immersive fanfiction for Alpha Centauri that deals with the Hive in a semi-sympathetic light. She also included me as a minor character who gets his head cut off and stored in a plastic bag, which was awesome.
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Old 11-02-2009, 05:24 PM   #49
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Default Re: How is GURPS Alpha Centauri.

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Originally Posted by Phoenix42 View Post
Btw, does anyone know anything as for a 4th ed. upgrade for Alpha Centauri?
Since it was a license, an official update seems extremely unlikely.
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Old 11-02-2009, 05:47 PM   #50
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Default Re: How is GURPS Alpha Centauri.

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I'm quite interested in seeing a Hive-like society/community in a positive light. And IMO the original game itself doesn't have much in the way of quotes to prove the Hive irredeemably evil.
We are colonizing a hostile alien planet without support here! This is no time for the reckless pride of the ego. We must be strong and single-minded, working with the strength of all as one, like the ants. Let our grandchildren have such luxuries as debate and the pursuit of creativity, if we survive to have any.

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Originally Posted by Molokh View Post
For one, I see them as one of the only two factions that make transhumanism viable (the other being Students of the University). Not talking about the expansion factions, that is.
Picture the alliance: a shotgun marriage of the bold pioneers with the most bizarre visions and the blindly loyal worker bees with the will to carry anything that seems advantageous to its logical extremes...
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