FTL Directions

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Offline wasahbe

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FTL Directions
« on: June 07, 2018, 04:08:36 PM »
If we got a chance to 'reboot' FTL and pull it into the 21st century, what would you want changed and what would you want carried over untouched?
Any technology distinguishable from magic is insufficiently advanced. 
--Gehm's corollary to Clark's Third Law

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Enkeli

Re: FTL Directions
« Reply #1 on: June 07, 2018, 06:06:11 PM »
Since it is set in the future it would need to have a lot of the items in it brought up to the knowledge and tech levels we have today.

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Offline Kedamono

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Re: FTL Directions
« Reply #2 on: June 07, 2018, 06:41:20 PM »
Since it is set in the future it would need to have a lot of the items in it brought up to the knowledge and tech levels we have today.

Yes, the star charts are radically out of date. I was trying to set up a spreadsheet and went to the most accurate stellar database and found that most of the stars have changed position due to more accurate position data gathered by the Hippacaros space telescope. (And that's going to change again with the GAIA space telescope.)

I'd revamp the Star creation system, as we now have better information on where planets can be, like close in gas giants. That's something we thought was impossible. I'd keep the major zones, A, B, C, and D, but do away with slots, as they really don't work well. Unless you move to constant volume slots, which makes for an eye watering looking polar graph, all the slots for a Red Dwarf star fit inside the A zone of our Sun. Yet it takes the same amount of time to move from one slot to another.

I could create one that's much more accurate for the game.

Ships should move at one Earth gravity as they travel in space. So that it takes a day for a ship to go from Earth to Mars at it's closest approach. That's .5 AU, and plenty fast.

I would change the Phase Drive, Ship Drive failure tables. They are very much first generation RPG rules: Roll on the table, something goes wrong, the players react. Current generation would be: Players fiddle with something, make a skill roll, hilarity ensues. The players should have some agency in possible failure. Think of every movie where the ship's engineer is doing his very best to keep the ship's engines working and not destroy the ship. That's what it should be and not, "OK, you make the phase jump. Let me roll... Oh-oh! Phase Failure!" Players these days expect to have some way of preventing or reducing the danger in a failure.

Spaceships... oh where to start! Get rid of the gravity plates. If shows like the Expanse demonstrate, people understand that you don't need magic godlike gravity plates to get around. (And you don't need magnetic shoes either, but that's more of a restriction of making a SciFi show on Earth, than anything else. Wire work hurts.) Ships would get "gravity" by accelerating at 1G and would be built like skyscrapers instead of sea going boats. A lot more automation on those ships. Standard sized containers, 12 meters or 9 meters long.

Oh, that, the future is Metric. Deal with it. When I run a game, it's in metric. It's easier to work with, and you don't have to remember how much a bushel of potatoes weighs. (60 pounds by the way)

More thoughts as I think about this.

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Offline ORtrail

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Re: FTL Directions
« Reply #3 on: June 13, 2018, 08:00:38 PM »
There seem to be two basic approaches with interstellar RPGs when it comes to aliens.  You go with a handful of them, or you have countless numbers of inhabited worlds and a huge mix of aliens to deal with.  The SPI Universe RPG was at the most extreme end as I don't recall there being any aliens yet encountered.  FTL: 2448 was on the opposite end, but alien races just offer too much fun not to throw new ones at the players on a regular basis. 

Sure, you could have a campaign of humans searching the galaxy for other life, and finding the remains of an ancient civilization or two and finally having that first encounter.  That would be suited to a more serious tone campaign.  The 'alien of the week' campaign is easier to run though (one of the best things about a Star Trek campaign for example).  The most recent sci-fi RPG I picked up is FrontierSpace.  A new take on the old Star Frontiers RPG (with the serial numbers filed off).  The author wrote some fun chapters on Alien Species and Star System generation.  Meeting or exceeding those chapters should be part of any future version of FTL:2448.