Author Topic: DM/GM 101: Land Transportation From Now to beyond  (Read 680 times)


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Offline Lord Palatine

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DM/GM 101: Land Transportation From Now to beyond
« on: May 16, 2013, 08:20:57 PM »
One of the first things you have to do in science fiction gaming is to loosen your tight hold on the science aspect.  Physics hasn't figured out a way to make a space craft even approach let alone surpass the speed of light; for that matter, physics also casts a jaded eye at the light saber and the transporter.  Unless you're a hardcore science geek this shouldn't slow you down too much, after all, Star Trek has science advisors and they manage to turn a blind eye toward the pseudo science of science fiction, so why shouldn't we?

The biggest challenge to science gaming is not to have the science too complicated for game play.  Players don't need to know how to bypass computer security for their characters to do it, the same with flying or fixing mechanical problems.  Games are skill based, so keep it simple, if you have the skill you can do the job, so let the dice decide if it works.  Even the unskilled have some sort of chance, but don't make it too easy on them.  If you can tap dance some flavor text on how they did it that'll add some to the game, but in the end keep things simple!

Something else to watch, never have anything infinite except the size of space itself.  Batteries run out of power, fuel cells run out of their fuel source, reactors deplete their fuel, magazines run out of ammunition.  Also, things wear out: solar panels, laser devices, circuits, everything has a service life.  Things also have a fixed capacity, you can't fit limitless amounts of supplies and provisions into a small fighter, and even huge freighters have limits on capacity.  Nothing should have infinite range, life, or capacity.  There's a real temptation to solve every problem through technology, but some things need a living brain and sweat to make them work.

First, travel in the science fiction genres.  Don't overlook any possibility for travel in the futuristic worlds, just because somebody can travel at warp speeds or make hyperspace jumps doesn't mean that they can't still walk, ride bikes or even ride horses or Banthas.  High tech has an appeal, but don't limit yourself from the old and mundane as prop devices if you need them.  Look at the chaos that Stallone and Snipes were able to bring to a high-tech and peaceful world with a firearms and a 1970 Oldsmobile 442 (With a 455-cubic-inch engine, radial tires and bucket seats.


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