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Old 04-16-2021, 08:22 AM   #2211
Astromancer
 
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Default Re: New Sci Fi Setting Seeds

Try this one...

This is similar to one I've done before but it goes in a different direction. The town of Cashel is the Government and academic center of the planet Emain Ablach a terraformed colony world. It's the first real city on a moderately isolated colony world,

To touch on what that means, Cashel is the only place with a live music scene, a restaurant culture, theatre troops, or an active cultural life for several months travel. Cashel has high society (well a party scene with pretentions), a fashion scene, night spots. There is a publishing industry at Cashel, and films are being made. Cashel has the kind of energy and vibrancy associated with cities.

Cashel also has the political energy of a city. Emain Ablach is a democracy on paper, but the rural society is generally dominated either by conservative religious groups or powerful landowning families. Cashel is the first city on this colony world, but everyone can see it won't be alone for long. Both the religious reactionaries and the powerful landowning families can see the way things are going and how they will lose power. They also know that if the cities don't rise on Emain Ablach, then cities elsewhere will rule their world from afar.

This is a political game with the goals being power and freedom. the themes are the interrelationship between power and freedom (the powerless are rarely free) and the conflicts between power and freedom (because going for one will generally threaten the other). PCs could be power players, activists, or agents.
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Old 04-17-2021, 04:02 PM   #2212
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Default Re: New Sci Fi Setting Seeds

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Originally Posted by Astromancer View Post
Try this one...

This is similar to one I've done before but it goes in a different direction. The town of Cashel is the Government and academic center of the planet Emain Ablach a terraformed colony world. It's the first real city on a moderately isolated colony world,

To touch on what that means, Cashel is the only place with a live music scene, a restaurant culture, theatre troops, or an active cultural life for several months travel. Cashel has high society (well a party scene with pretentions), a fashion scene, night spots. There is a publishing industry at Cashel, and films are being made. Cashel has the kind of energy and vibrancy associated with cities.

Cashel also has the political energy of a city. Emain Ablach is a democracy on paper, but the rural society is generally dominated either by conservative religious groups or powerful landowning families. Cashel is the first city on this colony world, but everyone can see it won't be alone for long. Both the religious reactionaries and the powerful landowning families can see the way things are going and how they will lose power. They also know that if the cities don't rise on Emain Ablach, then cities elsewhere will rule their world from afar.

This is a political game with the goals being power and freedom. the themes are the interrelationship between power and freedom (the powerless are rarely free) and the conflicts between power and freedom (because going for one will generally threaten the other). PCs could be power players, activists, or agents.
At first glance it sounds to stereotyped. It can be done but it should have more rounded characters both in the rural and the city. Maybe some of the city can be bigots and some of the hidebound rural aristocrats honorable and genuinely paternalistic just to throw a loop? Make it a complicated shades of grey thing.
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Old 04-17-2021, 07:12 PM   #2213
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Default Re: New Sci Fi Setting Seeds

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At first glance it sounds to stereotyped. It can be done but it should have more rounded characters both in the rural and the city. Maybe some of the city can be bigots and some of the hidebound rural aristocrats honorable and genuinely paternalistic just to throw a loop? Make it a complicated shades of grey thing.
That would certainly fit real history for London, Paris, Boston, and San Francisco. The last was very much on my mind when I set this up.

I was also thinking of Leigh Bracket's The Long Tommorow. Cities have a long history of snobbishness towards the countryside. But cities are the source of cultural dynamism through most of world history.
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Old 04-17-2021, 07:38 PM   #2214
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Default Re: New Sci Fi Setting Seeds

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Try this one...

This is similar to one I've done before but it goes in a different direction. The town of Cashel is the Government and academic center of the planet Emain Ablach a terraformed colony world. It's the first real city on a moderately isolated colony world,

To touch on what that means, Cashel is the only place with a live music scene, a restaurant culture, theatre troops, or an active cultural life for several months travel. Cashel has high society (well a party scene with pretentions), a fashion scene, night spots. There is a publishing industry at Cashel, and films are being made. Cashel has the kind of energy and vibrancy associated with cities.

Cashel also has the political energy of a city. Emain Ablach is a democracy on paper, but the rural society is generally dominated either by conservative religious groups or powerful landowning families. Cashel is the first city on this colony world, but everyone can see it won't be alone for long. Both the religious reactionaries and the powerful landowning families can see the way things are going and how they will lose power. They also know that if the cities don't rise on Emain Ablach, then cities elsewhere will rule their world from afar.

This is a political game with the goals being power and freedom. the themes are the interrelationship between power and freedom (the powerless are rarely free) and the conflicts between power and freedom (because going for one will generally threaten the other). PCs could be power players, activists, or agents.
Agents doing what? Realistically the powerful landowners need an urban center as a market for their produce and a place from which to buy the luxuries that make being rich worthwhile. They aren't going to be the enemies of the city. They'll own the core of it because they're the ones with the capital to buy the present and future prime city real estate. If you were to look at the major land owners of prime commercial and residential real estate in Central London, the top dozen players are people like the Duke of Westminster, and Baroness Howard De Langford. Aristocratic families who rode the wave of modernization.
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Old 04-17-2021, 07:57 PM   #2215
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Agents doing what? Realistically the powerful landowners need an urban center as a market for their produce and a place from which to buy the luxuries that make being rich worthwhile. They aren't going to be the enemies of the city. They'll own the core of it because they're the ones with the capital to buy the present and future prime city real estate. If you were to look at the major land owners of prime commercial and residential real estate in Central London, the top dozen players are people like the Duke of Westminster, and Baroness Howard De Langford. Aristocratic families who rode the wave of modernization.
The landowning elites of 18th century England and France saw their respective capitals as their tool. The elites of Emain Ablach are aware of both how cities can benefit them as well as how cities can challenge their power. The powerful landowning families want to control not destroy the city of Cashel.

Meanwhile the religious leaders also understand the upside of cities for them as well as the threats to their dominance. Their answers are different from the landowner elites. Unlike 18th century England or France, the religious leaders aren't subordinate to either the state or the landowning elites. The religious leaders and the landowning elites are both allies and rivals.
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Old 04-17-2021, 09:33 PM   #2216
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Default Re: New Sci Fi Setting Seeds

I also found the initial description flat and stereotyped.

That said, there is a lot to explore in the concept of the conflict between a society dominated by its countryside, its cities (which almost always end up with some strong philosophical differences), and the outside world.

One huge theme that you've described is change, and how you deal with it. Everyone wants something to change, but most people also have something they really don't want to to change, even when it must. When you only get to keep one thing, what do you get to keep? I've lived in a city with vicious politics all revolving around whose neighborhood is going to be transformed by an influx of mostly welcome new arrivals, and with odd laws and policies aimed at trying to keep the community from making the changes that come with growth. Change almost always come with both benefits and drawbacks.

Another huge theme is identity. Is this city's identity as the great opponent of the country-side, or is it as its newest phase? What parts of the base culture are their own? What parts are not? When will the city act as a shield against the outside world, and when will it use the outside world as a lever against the countryside? Are the faction's goals actually tied to the identity of the place? Can you actually defeat your opponents without warping or destroying the identity of their supporters?
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Old 04-18-2021, 05:05 PM   #2217
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Default Re: New Sci Fi Setting Seeds

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I also found the initial description flat and stereotyped.
Fair cop gov, I was trying to make something for all comers. Flat and stereotyped are common risks.

Quote:
That said, there is a lot to explore in the concept of the conflict between a society dominated by its countryside, its cities (which almost always end up with some strong philosophical differences), and the outside world.
"We Reach," as they said in the Star Trek episode with the space hippies. I was thinking about how in Europe the Land Owning elites co-opted the cities and in the Arab lands the religious leaders did. Grossly oversimplified I know, but a fun basis for social conflict.

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One huge theme that you've described is change, and how you deal with it.
I personally believe that Isaac Asimov was right in saying that Sci Fi is fundamentally about the human response to change.

Quote:
Everyone wants something to change, but most people also have something they really don't want to to change, even when it must. When you only get to keep one thing, what do you get to keep? I've lived in a city with vicious politics all revolving around whose neighborhood is going to be transformed by an influx of mostly welcome new arrivals, and with odd laws and policies aimed at trying to keep the community from making the changes that come with growth. Change almost always come with both benefits and drawbacks.
True, and never more so than when we things to stay the same. I remember G.K. Chesterton's remark that "if we want the old white post we must have the new white post." In others words to keep things the same often requires the biggest changes of all.

Plus I have two different groups from the countryside (who are allies but desperately need different outcomes) rather than one group.

Quote:
Another huge theme is identity. Is this city's identity as the great opponent of the country-side, or is it as its newest phase? What parts of the base culture are their own? What parts are not? When will the city act as a shield against the outside world, and when will it use the outside world as a lever against the countryside? Are the faction's goals actually tied to the identity of the place? Can you actually defeat your opponents without warping or destroying the identity of their supporters?
I'd say the culture of rural areas tends to be more unitary. Cities allow for diversity and individuality in so many ways. The crowd can be bitterly lonely and profoundly liberating,
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Old 04-18-2021, 08:45 PM   #2218
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<SNIP>
I'd say the culture of rural areas tends to be more unitary. Cities allow for diversity and individuality in so many ways. The crowd can be bitterly lonely and profoundly liberating,
The culture of any one rural region can be fairly monolithic, but not always. Rural areas that don't deal with each other much can be VERY different. There's a certain level of resistance to change involved, since Mother Nature doesn't listen to oddball ideas, but beyond that, could be anything.
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Old 04-19-2021, 05:30 PM   #2219
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The culture of any one rural region can be fairly monolithic, but not always. Rural areas that don't deal with each other much can be VERY different. There's a certain level of resistance to change involved, since Mother Nature doesn't listen to oddball ideas, but beyond that, could be anything.
But these separate rural societies are monolithic within themselves in a way that Post-Medieval Western cities simply aren't. And even in the Medieval period the saying "City air makes one free!" wasn't just about legal status.

Part of the communication issue here is I simply don't buy into the Romantic and Post-Romantic formulation "Countryside equals good, city equals bad."
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Old 04-25-2021, 06:57 PM   #2220
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Default Re: New Sci Fi Setting Seeds

Try this one...

Long After the Trumpet

No One knows why the Dead rose and destroyed the before people. Only the oldest Elders spoke to the survivors of the rising. Most of the Zombies rotted away long ago, and the dying are restrained in their last hours to keep them from killing folk. And once they are cold they are cut up and burned. Only a few get away.

The few ancient zombies are terrifying monsters, but most zombies rot away quickly.

They say that the villages to the southwest have been given a new vaccine that prevents one from rising as a zombie. The new folks from Cali in the West, where the Elders say they once made dreams, brought the vaccine.

How do we get them to bring their wares here?


Basically, a post Zombie apocalypse world. PCs start in a small village in what was once Colorado. Cali, on the West coast, the various kingdoms of the Mexca, and the Northern raiders are all trying to expand into your area.

The Cali have the best tech, the Mexca are about TL4, the Cali seem to be an advanced TL5 with items from beyond that, The raiders, like your village folk are a mix of TL2 and TL3.
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