Basic Scifi Role-Playing Game

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teaman
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Re: Basic Scifi Role-Playing Game

Post Sun Dec 29, 2019 5:54 am

TardisCaptain wrote:
Sun Dec 29, 2019 2:19 am
Metroknight wrote:
Sun Dec 29, 2019 1:43 am
A wookie is just a Sasquatch in space.
Ok I laughed. :lol:
True. Here's a few more:

Vulcans - Elves who really took to their high school chemistry and physics classes
Tellarites - Pig faced orcs
Gamorreans - Hobgoblins
Ewoks - Harrier halflings
Robots - Living statues

etc.......
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Tazer_The_Yoot
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Re: Basic Scifi Role-Playing Game

Post Sun Dec 29, 2019 7:53 am

See, there's so many different flavors of sci fi with so many different assumptions about what aliens are that you almost have to use templates or archetypes rather than anything super specific.

Like maybe the type of alien the Vulcan or E.T. style is based on would be a Stoic or Space Mystic. Wookiees and Sleestaks would be Space Brutes. Robot/Droid is a simple category to noodle out. Same with cyborgs, clones etc. These are generic enough. Seems like a lot of systems that emulate space already use these templates. White Star and Machinations of the Space Princess keep their aliens pretty vague, with the latter giving you a bunch of traits to combine together into one alien but giving penalties for using too many, etc.
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Solomoriah
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Re: Basic Scifi Role-Playing Game

Post Sun Dec 29, 2019 10:42 am

The core rules would allow, at most, a variety of humans. Pure strain, genetically modified, perhaps slightly mutated, but human. The idea is that humans moved out into the galaxy only to find that there are few if any other sentients capable of interstellar travel; humans spread out quickly (relatively), taking the human-habitable planets and terraforming even more.

I'm ambivalent toward sentient robots. They should be there, but not sure they should be common, and not sure what they should look like in terms of the rules. Should they be player characters? Dunno.

And I'm not sure where the "Dying Earth" thing came in. In a word: NO. Jack Vance's science fiction, yes. His fantasy, no. Not for this project.
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teaman
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Re: Basic Scifi Role-Playing Game

Post Sun Dec 29, 2019 11:55 am

Solomoriah wrote:
Sun Dec 29, 2019 10:42 am
The core rules would allow, at most, a variety of humans. Pure strain, genetically modified, perhaps slightly mutated, but human. The idea is that humans moved out into the galaxy only to find that there are few if any other sentients capable of interstellar travel; humans spread out quickly (relatively), taking the human-habitable planets and terraforming even more.

I'm ambivalent toward sentient robots. They should be there, but not sure they should be common, and not sure what they should look like in terms of the rules. Should they be player characters? Dunno.

And I'm not sure where the "Dying Earth" thing came in. In a word: NO. Jack Vance's science fiction, yes. His fantasy, no. Not for this project.
The genetically modified or slightly mutated humans may be a good way to justify spell-like abilities like telepathy or telekinesis.

If robots are player characters, they could certainly improve as they go up in levels. Their AI lets them learn and improve their skills. If they have the three laws and can't do combat, perhaps they can pick up a lot of other useful things more quickly. Maybe they get more languages, better healing (if medical droids) or can interface with higher level computers. These could even be software upgrades.
Teaman is the sole proprietor of Sharp Mountain Games at drivethrurpg.com. (Soon he'll be able to purchase the name brand peanut butter!). Come take a look if you have some time.

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Solomoriah
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Re: Basic Scifi Role-Playing Game

Post Sun Dec 29, 2019 8:51 pm

Psionics would be a supplement, not a core rules feature. Not all fiction of the era I'm targeting included psychic abilities.
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Tazer_The_Yoot
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Re: Basic Scifi Role-Playing Game

Post Sat Jan 04, 2020 2:22 pm

How would you treat alien technology or advanced prototypical pieces of tech? I assume this would be a section similar to magic items in BFGRP, correct?

One thing that might be interesting is the question of how technology integrates with androids and cyborgs and how leveling works for them. I know some existing RP systems have people who are partially or fully artificial level differently from those who are primarily organic. I seem to recall in WEG Star Wars a Droid needs to collect kits to upgrade with. Would you keep things simple/abstract in an OSR sense here or get more technical with robotics upgrades?
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Solomoriah
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Re: Basic Scifi Role-Playing Game

Post Sun Jan 05, 2020 12:04 pm

I'd likely handle tech on a case-by-case basis; as for aliens, not sure yet.
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Fraetor
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Re: Basic Scifi Role-Playing Game

Post Fri Jan 31, 2020 7:54 pm

Coming off of the back of reading Dune, this concept really excites me.

I think a basic skill system is key to making a sci-fi system. Much can be reflavoured from the regular game, but skills matter more in a technical society than the "might makes right" of many fantasy games.

My temptation would be to use d% for the skills, in much the same way as thief abilities, though it would be nice for ability scores to be reflected in this. (I add 5*[ability modifier], but this is not perfect.) In this way classes could be differentiated by having different skill progressions. Scientist could improve their computer use faster; pilots their driving.
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Re: Basic Scifi Role-Playing Game

Post Sat Feb 01, 2020 1:12 pm

Here's how I see the game working. Characters would have a class, much as with BFRPG. Each class would confer access to a number of skills at first level, with a standard advancement bumping the skill rank every 1 or 2 or 3 levels. I'm thinking a d20-based skill resolution mechanic would be best here, though I haven't ruled out percentiles.

Characters would have the option to "spend" XP to learn additional skills, which would then alter the class advancement rate (change the table).

If you've played the classic Arcanum, this might seem vaguely familiar to you (though that game does not change the advancement rate when you learn an additional/outside skill). But this game would have, in an appendix of sorts, a full set of rules for building your own class which would support/explain the standard classes from the front of the book.

One of the hardest things to get "right" in a class-and-level game is class balance. It's my hope this approach will completely eliminate that problem.
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Fraetor
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Re: Basic Scifi Role-Playing Game

Post Sun Feb 02, 2020 11:32 am

Such a system seems quite interesting. Would a class manifest in having a major skill (increases every level), and a couple minor skills (every 2 or 3 levels)? Perhaps a smaller hit dice could be exchanged for another skill.

Rather than using XP as a currency for purchasing skills, I would be inclined to grant a skill or two at each level up, as this would simplify the bookkeeping. It would however slow progression at higher levels as the XP requirement grows, but this could be changed by adjusting the XP requirements of each level.

Another, more radical option is to do away with levels entirely, replacing them with spendable XP, with the class skills cheaper than the non-class skills. This could work as in basic fantasy characters don't really gain additional abilities as they level up (other than cleric spell casting at second level), rather they get better at what they can do. This does however seem to go against system compatibility/ease of learning from basic fantasy compared to retaining levels.

My point against d20+N based skills is the wide range of the result, as at lower levels there is little difference between someone whom is supposedly specialised in a particular skill and someone who is completely untrained. It is, however, quite a simple and adaptable system, which would be familiar to players of systems such as D&D 5E.

Something I have done in homebrew is to roll under the relevant ability score. So to jump across a gap you would roll 1d20±[situational/difficulty modifier] with a success being a roll below the character's strength score. I quite like this system of an improving target, and think it would apply nicely to skills. It would, in its current form, make tests very difficult for those not trained in them.
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