[generic] RPG a day lockdown #34 - setting that's not been done

#2
I'm not sure how much of this is down to me not being aware, rather than these not being done, but it seems to me that large swaths of Science Fiction have largely been ignored by the RPG world. Most SF RPGs you see are of the planet-hopping space opera type popularized by Star Trek and Star Wars. What's missing are:

1. SF games that explore what life would be like on a particular planet given that planet's peculiar planetology.
Examples in fiction would be Embassytown, the Heliconia series, Mission of Gravity, Dark Orbit, Red/Blue/Green Mars, The Left Hand of Darkness, and many more.
Examples in RPGs that I can think of are Blue Planet and Ringworld.

2. By extension, SF settings on a single artificial environment.
Examples in Fiction of space stations: Downbelow Station, The Sector General series, Steel Beach, The Moon is a Harsh Mistress.
Examples in RPGs of space station settings: Freemarket, Babylon 5.
Examples in fiction of Generation Ships in fiction: Nonstop, Orphans of the Sky, Aurora by Kim Stanley Robinson.
Generation ships in RPGs - ?

3. SF settings on a future earth that aren't post-apocalyptic, but instead examine where our human experiment might be headed.
Examples in fiction: Hellstrom's Hive, The Godwhale, The Fountains of Paradise, Logan's Run, Minority Report, Blade Runner.
Examples in RPGs - ?

4. Similarly, settings that study the effects of a specific new technology on our lives, like the harnessing of worm-holes, medical advancements, and so on. Or settings that explore different social structures.
Examples in fiction: The Light of Other Days, More than Human, Minority Report, The Dispossessed, The Peace War.
Examples in RPGs - ?

5. Aliens come to earth settings that aren't apocalyptic.
Settings in fiction: Childhood's End, Stranger in a Strange Land, Star Man, Spin
Settings in RPGs: ?
 
#3
Xabungle! My favourite mecha anime - relentlessly silly over an utterly grim post-apocalyptic background with some very nasty conspiracies underlying everything. Could be played a simple action game or dead serious survival or investigation or ... anyway, a serious contender for an AEON:engine™ game in the future.

 
#4
I'd like an RPG of Anne McCaffrey's Dragonriders of Pern series. Based on the early books, with lots of stuff to reflect the politics and social upheaval in those volumes (and where time travel is new and dangerous, not something you use to avoid being late for dinner).

A Wraeththu RPG without the crunchy system. And without the ridiculous claims it is the best system ever, and the homophobic/transphobic backlash against playing a hermaphrodite. Maybe PbtA? I've only played one session of a PtbA game, but a playbook approach and lots of relationship/emotional hooks stuff would fit Wraeththu well. Plus a healthy dollop of supernatural weirdness and destiny, of course.
 

Dom

Administrator
Staff member
#5
What's missing are:
Downbelow Station,
Andy Slack and I pitched CJ Cherryh's Alliance/Union to SJ Games with the author's permission in the days before Kickstarter, but there wasn't any interest. She knew SJ from cons and was happy for such a project to go ahead.

Examples in fiction of Generation Ships in fiction: Nonstop, Orphans of the Sky, Aurora by Kim Stanley Robinson.
Generation ships in RPGs - ?
screenshot_44.png

Legacy has a plug in setting called Generation Ship:

Welcome to the generation ship: a massive spaceship created to hold hundreds of thousands in stasis as it hurtled into the stars. This ship was never meant to support life - the passengers would awaken at the end of the journey when they reached planetfall. The ship would work to aid humanity in reaching the planet’s surface, and then would be cannibalized for materials to build the new civilization.
At least, that was the plan.

Somewhere in the middle of the journey, there was an Awakening, Nearly a third of the population in stasis were wrenched back to consciousness, and more simply died in their pods. In the first few weeks, one in five died from starvation, violence, lack of medical care, and worse fates. For years the survivors fought tooth and claw to simply exist on this cold, inhospitable ship.

But humanity adapts, and at some point the insurmountable problems were, for lack of a better word, surmounted.
Now those survivors cluster together in a large section of the ship they call “the city”. Here they have carved out living quarters
- removing decking and walls, pushing aside active stasis pods and cannibalizing inactive ones, There’s a sort of harmony there, or maybe just a mutual apathy. Most people get enough of what they need to survive, but few have anything like wealth or luxury.
It has been generations since most have had to fight to survive, and some have started to look toward improving their position.
I ran it at Revelation. It worked okay. I wrote about it here: https://delta-pavonis.blogspot.com/2019/03/running-legacy-life-amongst-ruins-at_3.html

And there's always Metamorphisis Alpha.
 

Dom

Administrator
Staff member
#6
I'd love to see CJ Cherryh's Alliance Union done well or M John Harrison's Viroconium.

I'd also like to see a decent spy game. Cold Shadows - came closest to what I want so far but has flaws, partly from the nature of its genesis. I'm talking le Carré /Cold War style rather than James Bond.
 
#8
Andy Slack and I pitched CJ Cherryh's Alliance/Union to SJ Games with the author's permission in the days before Kickstarter, but there wasn't any interest. She knew SJ from cons and was happy for such a project to go ahead.
I can second that. I remember thinking all the way through the books, "I've got to run this game sometime."
 
#9
@Apocryphal I'd quite like to see Transhuman Space reworked with a system that's not GURPS and good notes on what to actually do with the damn thing. It was a nice attempt to look at likely technological and social changes in the near future, but suffered on those counts.

There is a well-known rpg that revolves around tech allowing humans to 'resleeve', inserting their minds into different bodies, and annoyingly I'm blanking on the name. (Ed: aha! Eclipse Phase!) There's also an Altered Carbon one on the way, that'll be a moe grounded version of the same.

To go off in a different direction, I've always had a fancy for Castle Falkenstein redone with a different core mechanic.

And Jim Butcher's Codex Alera series is very rpg-able.

But was the question about genres/subgenres/concepts rather than properties?
 
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#10
I'd like to see an rpg of 1970s post-modern Brummie crime saga Gangsters. Although...I think Remember Tomorrow with its characters vs factions play could do a decent job of simulating the back-stabbing, double dealing and constantly shifting alliances of convenience that were so much a feature of the series.
 

Guvnor

The Guvnor
Staff member
#11
I'm not sure how much of this is down to me not being aware, rather than these not being done, but it seems to me that large swaths of Science Fiction have largely been ignored by the RPG world. Most SF RPGs you see are of the planet-hopping space opera type popularized by Star Trek and Star Wars. What's missing are:

1. SF games that explore what life would be like on a particular planet given that planet's peculiar planetology.
Examples in fiction would be Embassytown, the Heliconia series, Mission of Gravity, Dark Orbit, Red/Blue/Green Mars, The Left Hand of Darkness, and many more.
Examples in RPGs that I can think of are Blue Planet and Ringworld.

2. By extension, SF settings on a single artificial environment.
Examples in Fiction of space stations: Downbelow Station, The Sector General series, Steel Beach, The Moon is a Harsh Mistress.
Examples in RPGs of space station settings: Freemarket, Babylon 5.
Examples in fiction of Generation Ships in fiction: Nonstop, Orphans of the Sky, Aurora by Kim Stanley Robinson.
Generation ships in RPGs - ?

3. SF settings on a future earth that aren't post-apocalyptic, but instead examine where our human experiment might be headed.
Examples in fiction: Hellstrom's Hive, The Godwhale, The Fountains of Paradise, Logan's Run, Minority Report, Blade Runner.
Examples in RPGs - ?

4. Similarly, settings that study the effects of a specific new technology on our lives, like the harnessing of worm-holes, medical advancements, and so on. Or settings that explore different social structures.
Examples in fiction: The Light of Other Days, More than Human, Minority Report, The Dispossessed, The Peace War.
Examples in RPGs - ?

5. Aliens come to earth settings that aren't apocalyptic.
Settings in fiction: Childhood's End, Stranger in a Strange Land, Star Man, Spin
Settings in RPGs: ?
4: Red Planet: Progressive Materialism in practice

3: Tell me about Freemarket
 
#12
there seem to be very few rpgs based upon historical settings that don’t introduce magic and other fantasy elements. I picked up a copy of Honor and Intrigue for a three musketeers type feel and even that has a couple of chapters on magic.


Also, a WHRP game that has a system that isn’t a bit of a mess.
 
#16
Two games I need in my life

I will have a decent Honor Harrington style SF naval game before I stop playing or damn it I'll have to write it myself.

I simply cannot fathom HOW there isn't a Dragon Prince RPG yet. It bemused me. It's one of the great mysteries of the universe.
 
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