Tag Info

Hot answers tagged

32

What, Are You a Terrorist? Think of all the things the TSA won't let you bring on planes. Now imagine a higher-tech world where dangerous things are even easier to make out of seemingly-innocuous items. Why can you have a medkit with A but not B? Because someone figured out how to use B to weaponize ebola, or cause apparently natural heart attacks from 50 ...


23

Talk to your players, and you don't need to trick your players into playing a game they don't like. My advice is to actually sit down and talk to your players about running a sci-fi style game and for your entire group to actually sit down and pick out a game that suits everyone's needs. "My problem is my players" is the wrong atitude to have in this ...


16

Finally, I had also thought about some kind of virus which would make robots turn against humans, in a society were security bots are the norm. I find that the best plots are engendered by taking elements of current events, exaggerating the causal themes, and inserting a unique twist, then time adjusting it and inserting it into your baseline campaign ...


13

Given the fallout setting, where there's no 'psionics' or magic as such (at least as far as anything appearing the games so far). Broadly speaking you've got a few options: Introduce psionics or magic into the game (this isn't part of the fallout canon). Go with mutation (this does appear in the canon setting). Tell the player no I think that the first ...


12

There are not any I've heard of that support all the items you're looking for off-the-shelf. I haven't played EVE, but friends have, and I seem to recall it being limited jump points. If, however, you drop the space hazard effects, there are several. GURPS is capable of it... but you'll be looking for multiple books. And GURPS 4E is only a slight bit ...


12

Other ideas include: Size Yes, the technology exists. It's the size of a room. If you can find a lab that has one, you may be able to rent it by the hour. You must provide 100 points of ID to do so (limiting criminal or anonymous activity.) Limited Ammunition D&D often provide magical weapons in the form of wands with limited charges, such as a ...


11

I figured I'd try to answer the part of the question that most of the other answers haven't really touched on yet, namely "How do I decide whether a particular piece of tech would be too disruptive?" One way to approach this question is to ask yourself, "How could the players achieve the same effect using things that are listed in the books?" If all the ...


11

I recommend Heavy Gear first (or its later generalized version, the Silhouette Core RPG Rules) from Dream Pod 9. It is a nice and smooth system, good for both role-playing and small-scale skirmish. It is not class-based though, but has many character templates, with many support and non-combat roles. A close second is Cyberpunk 2020, with the Maximum Metal ...


10

Traveller Without a doubt, Traveller has to be my first recommend for this subgenre... Why? Battle Dress is stolen liberally from Starship Troopers. The character generation model for CT, MT, T4, MGT, and T5 all show a serious limit upon player control over skills received, but at the same time, involve serious player choices. All the mentioned editions ...


9

There hasn't been a formally released Culture game, no. However: Joshua Newman's Shock: Human Contact is designed as a Culture-like game. Diaspora is a hard-science fiction game, based on FATE. Most interesting and speculative of all, Luke Crane, who wrote Burning Wheel, has announced he's acquired a licence. From the way he's announced it, it could be the ...


8

There's lots of good answers here. I particularly like the first one of using stories from the news as inspiration. Here's some ideas that are still relevant, but perhaps were more obviously cutting edge 8 years ago: widespread use of drones, widespread use of mercenaries by both governments and corporations, and the use of child soldiers. For something more ...


8

Oblivious Sage's answer is fantastic, but except for his very last bullet they are all reasons to deny a request for equipment, they don't do much to help if you already handed the players a piece of equipment and implied it was reasonably easy to get in the world. So let me add some thoughts on how to handle it if the players already have it. The direct ...


8

I would highly recommend giving Eclipse Phase a try, it's a very enjoyable system and setting in my experience. Let's go through some bullet points that might draw in you and your Pathfinder players in to get excited to play it. The setting is definitely hard-sci; the "star-trek" style tech in it is pretty minimal and I couldn't really find anything in ...


8

Well, it depends what you want out of an actual game system that would make it "hard SF." Except for systems that have bunches of magic integral to them, I assume what you want is a "simulationist" system, one that behaves realistically, and has some explicit rules support for realistic near-future tech. The most prominent fit for this is probably GURPS. ...


7

Many of the Classic Traveller adventure materials could be easily adapted. easily adaptable: Adv 8 Prison Planet Adv 9 Nomads of the World Ocean Adv 11 Murder on Arcturus Station Most of Sup 6 76 patrons CT D02 Double 02a Across The Bright Face/Mission On Mithril - both halves! CT D04 Double 04a Marooned/Marooned Alone Some "rather iffy - bends the 'verse" ...


7

Cyberpunk is about a fast world overwhelming and crushing people. Pick a technological or social advance that occurs too fast and destroys the lives of a lot of people while catapulting a few others beyond humanity. Ideas: A new affordable and safe source of energy (practical fusion power at last, maybe) threatens to upset the balance of power(=oligopoly) ...


7

I normally avoid recommending generic, "universal" systems for questions like this. It's too easy to think of one's own favourite generic system and think that it can do whatever is being asked about. I hesitate, but not all generic systems are made equal – each has different fiddly bits that it brings to the experience of play, and in this case, Savage ...


6

Seriously?... Film Noire: Pick any of them, move the story into a cyber punk setting. Any 20/30 police thrillers will do nicely as well. It's gritty, dark, and contains corruption going sky high. Instead of prohibition, use forbidden technologies -- maybe nanotech would fit nicely making all that cyberware obsolete. Instead of corrupt politicians, use ...


6

Pathfinder + Mass Effect Give a try to the unofficial Pathfinder Mass Effect conversion, created by Wesley Schneider... Wesley Schneider the Paizo Editor-in-chief, co-creator of the Pathfinder campaign setting, and co-designer of the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game released his home brew Pathfinder Mass Effect Adventure: Project Lobotomy. Everything ...


6

If I understand this correctly, Metropolis is really a collection of ideas and concepts rather than a formal setting. In that case, I'll suggest a system that might just be perfect for your game: Microscope. Microscope is a GM-less game where all players collaborate to create and flesh out the history of a fictional setting. The game switches from very ...


5

I am generally pretty impressed with NBOS products. You might check out their AstroSynthesis program. It does all sorts of 2 and 3 D star maps and system animations. If that's too much, you might be able to get a stellar graphic set for their 2d fractal mapper program.


5

The non-cliche would be to build up stories about a neighborhood or sub-culture that the player characters can care about. When you get down to it there aren't that many things to do: get some(thing/one), protect some(thing/one), discover some(thing/one), escape some(thing/one), or affect somechange. Rather than looking for some new fresh idea, build on ...


5

One thing no-one else has explained thoroughly yet, although Zoot's answer touches on it, is how to take items away from players once they've been tried out and proven to be overpowered. Talk to players This has been mentioned, but I'm including it for the sake of completeness. Just tell them that you've made a mistake and either retcon the item, remove it ...


5

When you can't find a game the players like, you ask them to find a solution. If they don't know or don't want to answer that, they obviously don't want to play Sci-Fi. If you want to change game "for a few months" and your players are really into long lasting campaigns, you might have some compatibility issues here. Don't try to find the perfect system, ...


5

Savage Worlds First, I would check out Darwin's World. It is a setting in itself, but also provides a comprehensive toolkit for post-apocalypse (or post-collapse if you prefer) gaming. It includes: Varying technology levels and penalties for using items of a higher level than you are used to Different languages in the waste lands Rules for creating ...


5

Declaring Desires: You mentioned your desired solution should be not too long, not too boring, using mostly roleplay or non-combat related interaction, and without too much dice-rolling. Barter Method This suggestion is that you go the route of many famous computer games that are usually referred to as Quest, Adventure, or Point-and-Click. This method ...


5

The GURPS Transhuman Space line is set in 2100 and is a little more advanced that what you want, but it is a very well realized multi-book setting line. It has a comprehensive timeline so you could "back it up" in time and have some running room of where you know the future's going to go. Actually, you know... OK, so you will probably have to get this from ...


4

I played a lot of the classic TSR space opera game Star Frontiers back in the day, and the many published adventures for it could easily be adapted to Serenity. And, you're in luck, TSR allowed all the Star Frontiers stuff to be published for free on the Web! (registration required) The Alpha Dawn adventures tend to not involve the PCs having actual ...


4

Traveller would be ideal for this. If you can get 101 cargoes, 101 travellers, and 101 plots, 101 XXX then you are a winner. They are awesome sources books. "What do you mean they are LIVE animals? I thought the cargo manifest says "dead". It does, look. You don't care. Well, that's just grand..." The old ICE Spacemaster game world had a very similar ...


4

An unofficial Champions/Hero System adaptation has been done. Its original website is missing, but it is archived at http://web.archive.org/web/*/http://www.sden.org/jdr/spaceopera/download/GB/IainBanks.pdf as of this writing, the link works.



Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible