Including a list of inspirational sources.

Discuss the Traveller RPG and its many settings
IanBruntlett
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Re: Including a list of inspirational sources.

Postby IanBruntlett » Sat Oct 24, 2015 12:27 pm

As well as inspirational reading, could we have recommendations for science concepts / books / wikipedia pages / YouTube videos so that newbie referees who aren't familiar with astronomy / physics etc can read up on things prior to running a game?
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TrippyHippy
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Re: Including a list of inspirational sources.

Postby TrippyHippy » Mon Oct 26, 2015 12:47 am

IanBruntlett wrote:As well as inspirational reading, could we have recommendations for science concepts / books / wikipedia pages / YouTube videos so that newbie referees who aren't familiar with astronomy / physics etc can read up on things prior to running a game?
Good idea.
Outtasight!
Meeko100
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Re: Including a list of inspirational sources.

Postby Meeko100 » Fri Dec 18, 2015 7:13 am

Video Games you say? Coming right up...

These may not be totally relating to common Traveler campaigns, but they should contain some plot or ideas that could be used for campaigns. Bolding what I added.

Authors / books
Poul Anderson
Isaac Asimov - Foundation Series
Iain M. Banks - Culture Series
Marion Zimmer Bradley
David Brin (Uplift series)
Dan Simmons (Hyperion Cantos)
C. J. Cherryh
Arthur C. Clarke
James S.A. Corey (The Expanse series)
Gordon Dickson
Robert Heinlein - Starship Troopers
Larry Niven
Andre Norton
Anne McCaffrey
Elizabeth Moon
H. Beam Piper; Ubiquitous Contragravity, Guns instead of energy weapons, Space Vikings!
Jerry Pournelle 1) in general 2) for the CoDominium and Falkenberg's Legion, which influences perception of large mercenary unit employment
Kim Stanley Robinson
Jefferson P. Swycaffer - His Concordat and Tales of the Concordat books are set in the Traveller Universe
E.C. Tubb, High, Middle, Low passage, Fast and Slow Drugs, wandering from Planet to Planet.
Dave Webber (the Honor Harrington series)
David Drake - Hammer's Slammers series hold great examples of what a star spanning mercenary story might hold.
Arkady and Boris Strugatsky - Roadside Picnic, weird sci-fi/exploring mysterious alien visitation sites at its finest
William Gibson - Stories that involve the wide range of people, rich vs poor, set in the future where you begin to see use of cybernetics and various other Travelleresk technology.

Series of books
SF Masterworks - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SF_Masterworks
Fantasy Masterworks - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fantasy_Masterworks

Graphic Novels / Comics / Compilations:
2000AD
Judge Dredd (+ rulebook previously available as a Mongoose Traveller Universe)
Strontium Dog (+ rulebook previously available as a Mongoose Traveller Universe)


Movies:
Alien/Aliens/etc. - Military and Alien Encounter stories, small groups of people that must overcome hardships.
Avatar (high tech versus natives)
Black Hawk Down (similar to the above, just at a different tech level)
Bladerunner - A definitive source for cyberpunk, apparently, but also a good visual representation of any high population/high tech planet out there. Hunting Replicants could easily be a PC occupation too.
Dark Star - A comedic look at how dull space life could be, with crew members overcoming boredom largely through irritating and fighting each other, their pedantic ship computer and their pet alien that looks suspiciously like a beechball. The cynicism can be hilarious "Don't give me any of that intelligent life crap, just give me planets to blow up!"
Gravity - Hard sci-fi movie that presents the obstacles one may find in space in an entirely believable way.
The Martian - Great hard science movie that shows the means for survival on an alien planet.
Moon - Another drama, which suggests how cloning may be used in the exploration of planets into the future.
Outland - Great example fo what a small adventure in a Belter Coloney might be like.
The Sand Pebbles (higher tech ship and crew trapped in politically charged lower tech setting!)
Serenity - Pretty much the closest thing to Traveller: The Movie on this list. A wonderful use of dialogue and character development presented in quickfire exposition.
Starship Troopers - 1) It's irreverence towards it's literary source tends to divide audiences, but for those with liberal sensibilities it's a funny satire on militarism, while the action and SFX still hold up to make a decent sci-fi action movie 2) on no account watch the sequels.
Star Trek - A definitive source for science fiction. The movies and TV series cover a very wide range of sci-fi stories, buts it's this generic quality that makes it hugely useful to an aspiring referee.
Star Wars - Despite having it's own tropes, the spirit it captures is still pretty much spot on for most Traveller campaigns. And lets face it, everyone knows Star Wars...
Titan AE
Children Of Men - Small group of people must protect and move a VIP against the existing imperial forces. Future yet not, like Traveller.
2001: A Space Odyssey - A definitive source of hard science fiction, replete with references to an Ancient influence on our own evolution.
2010: The Year We Make Contact - The next chapter in the 2001 story.
Silent Running - Example of what a large space ship crew' s life might be like.
Edge Of Tomorrow - SciFi mercenary/military confrontation vs alien life forms. Great military tech as well as small team adventure.
Sunshine - Beautiful film which again captures the spirit of living in close proximity with other crew members under intense pressure. It's all about the mission and scientific altruism reigns. Great science and technology explanations too.
Pitch Black - Great example of a risky adventure with a mixed group of characters. Feels like a "RPG Party".
Mission to Mars - Example of an adventure to rescue a missing exploration team. Could see this as a Scout based adventure.
Ghost in the Shell - Great example of how a small team of characters could be ran in a future setting including advanced tech and government oversight.
Minority Report - I included this one as an example of how Psionics, as controlled by the government, might play into an adventure.
5th Element - Small Ship life, large ship life, small apartment examples, alien interaction, future tech.

TV Shows:
The A-Team (various characters acting as mercs to help the downtrodden)
Babylon 5
Battlestar Gallactica (Lots of scenario ideas)
Blake's 7
Dark Matter
Doctor Who - Because you can't have a list of science fiction TV shows without including the longest running of them all. Although the tropes are possibly more to do with weird fiction that spacefaring adventure, there are enough that can be lifted. The more recent seasons are also a great example of how to make something old and dated seem fresh and new again, too. Earth 2
Farscape
Firefly - As with the movie, a perfect example of a spacefaring crew and the issues and encounters they frequently face to 'keep the boat afloat'. The closest facsimile of Traveller: the TV show.
Killjoys - very Travellerish, bounty hunters plus advanced ship; aristocracy.
Mission Impossible (agents acting in the shadows to support their government)
Red Dwarf - despite the silliness, this series is littered with great sci-fi ideas and storylines.
Space:1999
Star Cops (BBC TV)
Star Hunter
Star Wars
Wonders of the Universe - w/ Dr.Brian Cox - Quality documentary on all sorts of aspects of space; entertainingly explained.

Video/Computer Games:
Dead Space series - planetoid mining, industrial sci-fi and horror
Deus Ex series
Elite series - essentially a Traveller interstellar flight-simulator
FTL
Mass Effect series - the "Babylon 5" or "Star Control" of our century. One of the best digital military sci-fi universes and narratives out there nowadays.
STALKER: Shadows of Chernobyl
Star Control 2 (or the free remake, The Ur Quan Masters) - *THE* classic interstellar sci-fi computer game, with some humorous twists.
Starflight 1 and 2
System Shock 1 and 2 - Sci-fi horror masterpieces
Halo Series-The idea of a soldier in advanced gear coming and saving humanity from alien invaders is common, and well used in Halo. The throw in of ancient artifacts that the humans and aliens find is another good one. Good resource for military campaigns against spacefaring aliens
Metal Gear Series-Not very sci-fi in the sense Traveller is, but it is a military based game that has a small (one man) group go in to a occupied military installation and have to stop whoever took over the station from using some prototype tech from holding the world (system) hostage with it. Nice examples of a small guy punching above his weight in tech to beat said prototype tech (with some help, of course). Light touching on genetic engineering, cloning, and in-body nanomachines, especially in the 4th game. Just prepare for cutscenes
Freespace 2-A great space Sim. Good for finding a way to reasonably use fighters in your setting.
X-Com- Good points for a lower-tech world getting invaded by a higher-tech world. This game could reasonably get its own book relating to reverse-engineering tech for use, and just covering that.
Sid Meier's Pirates -(No wait, come back) Although set in the 1600's age of sail, it leaves it up to the player what to do. Being a pirate is just one thing, there's privateering for a certain government, or trading between cities in the islands. Heck, you can play the game as a playboy pirate and court ladies in the governors court. Very Traveller in Salt Water.
Fallout-What happens when the players get marooned on a decimated planet, burned by Aslan invaders? These games happen. Any time they get struck on a junky planet, unable to leave, there's a quest from one of these games could be pulled and used. Save a homestead from marauders, find a lost child, examine a local ex-tech center for the local mad scientist. If your stuck on world for a extended time, and you can't enjoy downtime at the TAS Hostel, this has good ideas in it.


I know I'm missing a ton of stuff from my own game cabinet. May post more later. Apologies, but my tablet does not want to put things in alphabetical order.
Infojunky
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Re: Including a list of inspirational sources.

Postby Infojunky » Fri Dec 18, 2015 7:23 am

Meeko100 wrote:Video Games you say? Coming right up...

Fallout
Actually the Campaign and official setting have been written for this one. i.e. it is the setting of TNE and 1248.... And it includes the Brotherhood of Steel...... :mrgreen:
Evyn
Condottiere
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Re: Including a list of inspirational sources.

Postby Condottiere » Fri Dec 18, 2015 1:19 pm

I've seen enough of the The Expanse to believe it should be included.

Nicely covers both the grit and the politics in scifi, plus space battles.
allanimal
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Re: Including a list of inspirational sources.

Postby allanimal » Sat Dec 19, 2015 5:03 pm

Condottiere wrote:I've seen enough of the The Expanse to believe it should be included.

Nicely covers both the grit and the politics in scifi, plus space battles.
Indeed. I put it in the books section a while back, before I knew it was coming to TV...

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