A Star Seen Ejecting Jets Of Water

Discuss the Traveller RPG and its many settings
User avatar
alex_greene
Cosmic Mongoose
Posts: 3816
Joined: Sun Dec 21, 2008 11:29 pm
Location: UK
Contact:

A Star Seen Ejecting Jets Of Water

Postby alex_greene » Sat Jun 18, 2011 8:58 pm

A Star Seen Ejecting Jets Of Water

It's the exploration of wonders such as these that I'd like Traveller to be about. Not endless burble about deck plans and fleet movements and that stuff.
Board moderator. Product List [DriveThruRPG]: Blood Path [Legend]; Cosmopolite [Traveller]; Castrobancla [Traveller]
rust
Chief Mongoose
Posts: 5941
Joined: Sun Feb 17, 2008 10:17 pm
Location: Sonthofen / Germany

Re: A Star Seen Ejecting Jets Of Water

Postby rust » Sat Jun 18, 2011 10:02 pm

alex_greene wrote: It's the exploration of wonders such as these that I'd like Traveller to be about. Not endless burble about deck plans and fleet movements and that stuff.
Agreed, but campaigns which focus on exploration and discovery tend to
disappoint both the players who want action and combat and the players
who are not interested in any kind of science, whether realistic or fantas-
tic. Besides, once you move a campaign in this direction, you are leaving
the Traveller "mainstream" and have to do a lot more design work, becau-
se there is hardly any commercial material for this kind of campaign - you
can buy zillions of PDFs about methods and equipment to kill sentients and
destroy things, but only a tiny selection of PDFs with ideas for interesting
and plausible "space mysteries".

Frankly, in most science fiction roleplaying games "sense of wonder" usu-
ally translates into "I wonder how I can kill it", and if you want to go be-
yond that you are entering almost uncharted territory.
User avatar
Greg Smith
Warlord Mongoose
Posts: 8849
Joined: Tue Aug 26, 2003 10:58 am
Location: Kettering UK
Contact:

Re: A Star Seen Ejecting Jets Of Water

Postby Greg Smith » Sat Jun 18, 2011 10:34 pm

rust wrote:Frankly, in most science fiction roleplaying games "sense of wonder" usu-
ally translates into "I wonder how I can kill it",
:lol: :lol: :lol:
"Bringer of Warmth, Carrier of Carrion, Prophet of Dilgarness, Speaker of all thing Llort!"

Part-time Narn.

ACTA playtester
Victorious Grand Admiral
BP
Cosmic Mongoose
Posts: 2802
Joined: Sun Mar 01, 2009 7:40 am

Re: A Star Seen Ejecting Jets Of Water

Postby BP » Sat Jun 18, 2011 10:56 pm

alex_greene wrote: It's the exploration of wonders such as these that I'd like Traveller to be about. Not endless burble about deck plans and fleet movements and that stuff.
Its your TU - why not? Of course, this is just background info that needs a plot - a mystery to resolve. Like who is using the star to pump out 'water signals?!

And how do we kill 'em? :lol:
rust wrote:...Frankly, in most science fiction roleplaying games "sense of wonder" usually translates into "I wonder how I can kill it" ...
LMAO - You, sir, do have a way with the words!
User avatar
alex_greene
Cosmic Mongoose
Posts: 3816
Joined: Sun Dec 21, 2008 11:29 pm
Location: UK
Contact:

Re: A Star Seen Ejecting Jets Of Water

Postby alex_greene » Sun Jun 19, 2011 6:32 am

rust wrote:Frankly, in most science fiction roleplaying games "sense of wonder" usually translates into "I wonder how I can kill it", and if you want to go beyond that you are entering almost uncharted territory.
I guess that's why roleplaying games based on the exploration of mysteries may never really catch on. Too many gamers for comfort have little or no imagination, or stomach for the real weirdness the universe has to hold. Just the usual unsublimated bloodlust.

Or something Freudian.

A pity, because who'd ever have imagined something like a world rich in water, orbiting a star which is emitting constant jets of steam from its poles like one of those cartoon characters who's eaten a jalapeno and is shooting steam out of his ears? We gamers clearly did not have the imagination to come up with such wonders, so the universe had to put one up there just to show us humans what to do.
Board moderator. Product List [DriveThruRPG]: Blood Path [Legend]; Cosmopolite [Traveller]; Castrobancla [Traveller]
Iron Domokun
Lesser Spotted Mongoose
Posts: 404
Joined: Wed Jun 15, 2011 1:58 pm

Postby Iron Domokun » Sun Jun 19, 2011 7:31 am

Where's the conflict? Drama comes from conflict. While a star spewing out jets of steam is intellectually interesting, it's not emotionally involving.
User avatar
alex_greene
Cosmic Mongoose
Posts: 3816
Joined: Sun Dec 21, 2008 11:29 pm
Location: UK
Contact:

Postby alex_greene » Sun Jun 19, 2011 9:28 am

Conflict comes from some other source than a lurking Zhodani battle fleet hiding around every spaceborn pebble.

What if the characters find something in the cloud other than water? There was a huge conflict in The Waters of Mars, and the enemy was just drops of water. They had to nuke the place - it was the only way to be sure.

One episode of the ancient series Blake's Seven, one of two written by Tanith Lee, involved a planet with the most nauseating viridian green sand. The conflict lay in that the sand itself was sentient and hostile.

(It was, in fact, identical in colour and texture to The Andromeda Strain ...)

Perhaps, amid the literal clouds of ionised steam, the characters discover something impossible, forcing them to have to go to investigate. It turns out to be a BDO (Big Damn Object) of an impossible age ... and it has an identical twin at the opposite pole.

And that's just from the top of my head.

Conflicts don't even have to come from sentient aliens on the outside. Maybe a disease starts hitting the ship's crew, and without the crew the ship starts to spiral into the sun. They have to find a cure and now, before a coronal mass ejection fries them.
Board moderator. Product List [DriveThruRPG]: Blood Path [Legend]; Cosmopolite [Traveller]; Castrobancla [Traveller]
User avatar
Greg Smith
Warlord Mongoose
Posts: 8849
Joined: Tue Aug 26, 2003 10:58 am
Location: Kettering UK
Contact:

Postby Greg Smith » Sun Jun 19, 2011 10:08 am

I have run plenty of such games. Those sort of scenarios are ideal for Star Trek. More difficult to do for Traveller, I would imagine, though certainly not impossible. There always has to be a mystery or problem to solve, not just 'here's a thing.'
"Bringer of Warmth, Carrier of Carrion, Prophet of Dilgarness, Speaker of all thing Llort!"

Part-time Narn.

ACTA playtester
Victorious Grand Admiral
rust
Chief Mongoose
Posts: 5941
Joined: Sun Feb 17, 2008 10:17 pm
Location: Sonthofen / Germany

Postby rust » Sun Jun 19, 2011 10:32 am

My campaigns have three types of basic scenarios:
- the characters are in danger from the environment, from some mal-
functioning technology or from a dangerous creature,
- the characters are involved in some important political, diplomatic, so-
cial or cultural development,
- the characters have to explore some kind of major mystery.

None of the scenarios are combat heavy, in fact combat is extremely rare.
Civilian starships in my settings are unarmed (and mostly stay far in the
background), pirates do not exist, and the heaviest commonly used wea-
pons are hunting weapons in the water world setting and multitool knives
in the desert world setting. Non-combat skills, especially social, science,
technical and survival skills, are far more important and common than
combat skills.

There are many, many ways to create conflicts for the characters, and
combat is just the quick and easy way to do it, it takes no more than an
opponent firing some weapon at a character for some reason (or none).
If used often, I find it boring, and in my view it becomes a lot more ex-
citing when it remains a rare, potentially lethal exception.
User avatar
SSWarlock
Greater Spotted Mongoose
Posts: 1052
Joined: Wed Jun 27, 2007 3:26 pm
Location: Fulacin/Rhylanor/Spinward Marches

Postby SSWarlock » Sun Jun 19, 2011 1:44 pm

One of the most intriguing and challenging adventures I've ever took part in as a player dealt with first contact with the Shriekers. We ended up using trade goods placed at a distance and drawings in the dirt as a discussion of basic mathematics to get concepts across. Unfortunately most people would find figuring out how to communicate with a low-tech alien race boring unless there was something concrete in it for them.

But then most people think the same about the sciences and exploration in general. At least that's been my experience.

Player: "But we don't want to explore the unknown..we could all die that way."
GM: "So what do you want to do?"
Player: "Hijack a ship!"

:roll:
Sir Dhaven Hevelin, IOD, Baronet of Fulacin
Owner/Captain - S.S. Warlock

Playing Traveller/RQ/D&D since 1977
BP
Cosmic Mongoose
Posts: 2802
Joined: Sun Mar 01, 2009 7:40 am

Postby BP » Sun Jun 19, 2011 1:59 pm

Players expect action adventure... its the nature of the game.

But, I also find they enjoy figuring out mysteries (at least some in a group). As a ref you also function as a storyteller who tries to involve the players in the plot - the key being to also still provide 'action' tied to that plot.

Imaging some wonderful, fantastical setting with a science spin is enjoyable for the ref who is able to share his creations with a captive audience - but rarely satisfying to anyone else in and of itself. Unless, it is part of a solution to a mystery the players are pursuing.

One trick to avoid senseless combat - take away the PC's weapons early on (PC's make this easy as they tend to ignore 'laws')... then provide a way for them to seek weapons out (they always go for this) and one can integrate this into a story arc that draws them in...
phavoc
Cosmic Mongoose
Posts: 4917
Joined: Tue Nov 04, 2008 6:13 pm

Postby phavoc » Sun Jun 19, 2011 3:46 pm

Would not hbe star be ejecting ice cubes from the poles? :-)

I could see having some science as part of the adventure. But it would be difficult I think to create the necessarry background tables.
User avatar
SSWarlock
Greater Spotted Mongoose
Posts: 1052
Joined: Wed Jun 27, 2007 3:26 pm
Location: Fulacin/Rhylanor/Spinward Marches

Postby SSWarlock » Sun Jun 19, 2011 4:09 pm

Background tables? Naw.

Just use the ship's database as a skill enabler.
Sir Dhaven Hevelin, IOD, Baronet of Fulacin
Owner/Captain - S.S. Warlock

Playing Traveller/RQ/D&D since 1977
Jak Nazryth
Lesser Spotted Mongoose
Posts: 795
Joined: Thu May 26, 2011 5:13 am

Re: A Star Seen Ejecting Jets Of Water

Postby Jak Nazryth » Mon Jun 20, 2011 12:06 am

alex_greene wrote:A Star Seen Ejecting Jets Of Water

It's the exploration of wonders such as these that I'd like Traveller to be about. Not endless burble about deck plans and fleet movements and that stuff.
Cool.
Maybe this is how comets and other ice bodies formed in our own Ort Cloud!

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Sigtrygg and 9 guests