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Author Topic: Drift RPG  (Read 10067 times)
RobMuadib
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Posts: 230


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« Reply #15 on: November 08, 2002, 07:06:35 AM »

Quote from: Wormwood
Valamir,

Well, for that purpose it's useful to approach the question from the angle of what things do I want to be catagorized:

Creating
Repairing
Attacking or directing
Defending or resisting
Percieving
Hidding
Explaining or relating
Destroying

From that I see:

Creative
Direct
Destructive
Resistive
Deceptive
Revealing
Restoring
Informative

Perhaps those could be cleaned up a bit. I'm not sure if making them less accessible is worth the added setting link.

Thanks for your suggestions,

   -Mendel S.


Mendel

I thought I would chime in here and say ditch the ditch the flavour crap, ditch the flavor crap, or rather, to keep the particular poetic tenor your initial example had, pitch the flavour idea differently. How about having each flavor represent the character having used that aspect before successfully or reference a Case File or whatever in the literature, with regards to the application of that truth, or a short Abstract or something.

So you might have something Turtles All The Way - Nanotech, with a flavour like Mendelsohn IV - 3215.05.10 - Destroyed bacteria by introducing accelerated life-cycle cognate predatorial bacteria.

That is, take the categories you have mentioned, making them Keywords or similar, qualifying them by grounding in the setting and feel. But reduced to these abstracts/case files. Keeping that distant, alienated style you created with your example.  

So a player would would look for his relevant Truths/Insights, and any Flavours, perhaps calling them Abstracts. (that would enforce the longer term, scientific reductionism of life experience feel you have going on.) So any precedents, or similar situations he might have studied that would provide him a leg-up on a solution.  Thinking about it, I like Abstracts, or perhaps Precis', which relates to scientific reports, distillations as reported in professional scientific/medical literature, etc. Reducing catastrophic human drama to simple applications of physical law, again, I think it would really maintain the feel you have made so far.

HTH

Rob Muadib
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Le Joueur
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« Reply #16 on: November 08, 2002, 08:46:13 AM »

Quote from: Wormwood
Well, for that purpose it's useful to approach the question from the angle of what things do I want to be categorized:
    Creating
    Repairing
    Attacking or directing
    Defending or resisting
    Percieving
    Hidding
    Explaining or relating
    Destroying[/list:u]From that I see:
    Creative
    Direct
    Destructive
    Resistive
    Deceptive
    Revealing
    Restoring
    Informative[/list:u]

How about the list we use of 'thing you can do with a subject?'
    Assimilate
    Imitate
    Produce
    Restore/Alter
    Empower
    Ruin
    Direct
    Sense/Feign[/list:u]If it'll help.

    Fang Langford
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Blake Hutchins
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Posts: 614


« Reply #17 on: November 08, 2002, 09:55:17 AM »

FWIW, I like Valamir's spectrum example very much.  Intuitive and interesting, though getting the right color symbolism could pose a bit of a challenge.

Best,

Blake
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greyorm
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« Reply #18 on: November 08, 2002, 03:36:23 PM »

Quote from: Wormwood
On the otherhand the colour scheme seems almost as risky. I suspect that it would detract, unless there was some in game story element associated with it.

The whole travel-time between systems deal is the perfect story element to complement the colour scheme...you've never heard of redshift or blueshift?

That is, depending on the speed and direction of travel, light takes on a different color, or rather, shifts towards a different color.  This is even more noticable when travelling at light speed.

(Assuming here, that travel is occuring at speeds of light and greater, which slows down time considerably for the passengers due to the gravitational changes, while the rest of the universe experiences time at its usual rate)
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Rev. Ravenscrye Grey Daegmorgan
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Wormwood
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« Reply #19 on: November 09, 2002, 05:13:02 AM »

Rob,

I do like your idea about fixing the 'flavours' into the setting in a concrete manner. Still working out how that would fight. I don't want to build in the emphasis on research too much. In pratise most technology is developed by a process analogous to programing. Advancements in the state of the art, as it were are uncommon, and tend to eventually pass from ship to ship via colonial store houses and the like.  

Also the university ships are only a portion of the ships that are out there, and can be played as a setting. I'm seriously considering making something which is ship specific in terms of flavours. Or more accurately, reflecting the tone of the ship and it's nature by the use of flavours. I think that fits the idea of drift well, as characters are inclined to actually acquire flavours, but truths and insights are fixed in number, and can vary with less direct control.

Thanks for the push.


Fang,

Thanks for the list but it goes somewhat counter to the effect I'm going for. I want the flavours to be combinbable, a given action having two or more flavours associated with it. To me it makes far more sense to have an action being Creative, Revealing, and Direct, than it does for it to be a Produce, Direct, and Sense action all in one. A flavour is meant to be something that describes the slant or tone of the action, rather than the core of it, I want that to remain as the truth or insight involved.


Blake,

Well in looking back over it I can see usng the colour system, but in this case I want to combine it with Rob's idea about fixing the flavours into the setting. In other words, asssociating colour with department and and using that as a ship specific choice for the flavours does appeal to me. But it's good to know people do consider colours at least potentially intuitive and fitting in a way that tastes are not.


greyorm,

Well the red-shit / blue-shifft thing is pretty loose for a connection. And it sets up and ordering on the colours, that really detracts from their use as flavours. But I'll take your post as evidence of support for the colour scheme as well.

To clarify, in Drift there is no FTL travel, the speed at which interstellar distances are crossed is wholly due to relativistic time dilation.

Thanks for your help,


    -Mendel S.
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Christoffer Lernö
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Posts: 822


« Reply #20 on: November 09, 2002, 06:04:20 AM »

Just a few questions:

The setting, just how realistic is it supposed to be? Are you solving the practical problems of high speed travel? For instance, if you travel near enough c and hit some gravel-size space dust then that would have enough energy to shred even a massive space cruiser to to bits.

(Since you're talking about time dilation which doesn't really become helpful until you come pretty near c. At 0.87c you have halved the perceived time to cross a distance. If you want 1/10 of the time you're talking about 0.995c. The movement energy of 1 gram of space dust at that speed is about 9 TJ (thats Terra - 10^12).)

Are you bothering about these things (like bothering to describe the deflector shields or whatever they have to protect the ships) or are such concerns uninteresting?
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Le Joueur
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« Reply #21 on: November 09, 2002, 11:39:03 AM »

Hey Mendel,

Quote from: Wormwood
Fang,

Thanks for the list but it goes somewhat counter to the effect I'm going for. I want the flavours to be combinbable, a given action having two or more flavours associated with it. To me it makes far more sense to have an action being Creative, Revealing, and Direct, than it does for it to be a Produce, Direct, and Sense action all in one. A flavour is meant to be something that describes the slant or tone of the action, rather than the core of it, I want that to remain as the truth or insight involved.

Sorry I didn't have time to explain it before.  I didn't intend the list I posed to be used verbatim.  It's been a long project of mine to capture a list of 'everything you can do to a subject.'  From such a list, I think you could create a complete, flavorful list.  Just trying to lend a hand.

Fand Langford
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Wormwood
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« Reply #22 on: November 10, 2002, 02:37:57 AM »

Pale Fire,

A reasonable question, and one I attribute several answers. The most important element of the technology in Drift is that it is incredibly potent. In some ways almost anything is acheivable, but it's the creative forces behind the technology which prove most difficult. True some things are impossible, but nearly any problem encountered can be solved, given the right approach well handled.

For example, the mid-trip collisions could be handled by carefully callibrated electric fields, which 'rail-gun' the particles into the velocity of the ship, causing them to bounce off at comparitively small relative velocities due to acceleration. Or the use of large (we are talking true generation ships here, so a mile or so for shields isn't asking too much) bulkheads derived from any number of technological innovations to allow it to absorb the incoming particles. Of course those smart materials will require maintenance and calibration to keep the ship safe.

Ultimately it comes down, not to having the technology to do something, but having the insight to make the technology effective.


Fand,

Well, from that perspective they do help. Thank's for the suggestions.

   -Mendel S.
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contracycle
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Posts: 2807


« Reply #23 on: November 10, 2002, 08:29:17 AM »

I have not got a developed idea, but thought I'd throw this in.  A comment on the use of light for flavours - light is quite a complex thing and if you could develop analogies for several of its properties you might have a fairly developed flavour/tint system.

Light, when acting as a wave, has both amplitude and frequency.  Frequency determines colour; amplitude is proportional to energy at a given frequency.  At the very least, this permits another layer of distinction: Bright and Dim.

Another angle which might be exploited is the photoelectric effect, one of the "particle" properties.  Light will knock electorns off atoms if it is above a certain minimum frequency, depending on the matrial.  The number of electrons affected is proportional to the amplitude/intensity, and the velocity with which they are ejected is proportional to frequency.

Hence, you end up with an array; the colours are arranged by severity of effect by frequency from Red (lowest) to Violet (highest), and are governed by qualifiers inidicating Brightness (quantity of effect).  Coloour (frequency) is a minumum value; if you don't have sufficient frequency ("blue enough") no amount of Brightness will help.  If you have exceeded the minimum colour, both Brightness and more blue will increase the effect (differently).  

Hmm, this sort of thing is quite suited to the outputs for a resolution mechanic, and allows the use of flavours as flavours to explain the How of an act.   Just an idea.
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Christoffer Lernö
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Posts: 822


« Reply #24 on: November 10, 2002, 09:59:18 AM »

Quote from: Wormwood
For example, the mid-trip collisions could be handled by carefully callibrated electric fields, which 'rail-gun' the particles into the velocity of the ship, causing them to bounce off at comparitively small relative velocities due to acceleration.

So... are you gonna account for these things when you write the setting (i.e. do you want input on the scientific angle or not?).
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Wormwood
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« Reply #25 on: November 11, 2002, 07:39:22 PM »

contracycle,

Well, that's an interesting application for the photo-electric effect. As a game system it vaugely reminds me of a (potentially) diceless version of the breadth / depth system for Godlike. I'd suggest naming the componants Intensity and Activity, since we are talking about the single photon energy (as determined by frequency) and it's ability to provide activation energy for the ionization of the metal. This is not an uncommon two-dimensional scale. It gives quite a bit of room to vary abilities, by having a range of values.

I'm looking more for a six to eight dimensional scale, but with much stronger graininess in each dimension. Also, I'm strongly focused in this game on culture. It's science fiction, yes, but it's not about the technology as much as the people.

Bringing a heavy sense of a fairly narrow physical event into the mechanics will likely detract from most games. In the very least the mechanic you are centering on would work best extended to apply to a broad range of phenomena. Perhaps a chemical perspective is better, with Intensity acting as concentration, which allows new avenues of complication such as catalysts, limiting reactants, and reverse reactions.

It's certainly something to look into, but it doesn't really fit this setting too well.


Pale Fire,

Well, I plan to break out my GR book and figure out the specifics with the time dilation and acceleration concerns.  But as to the general potential of technology, I don't think that can be done by anyone. What is possible it determined by what you can develop and debug sufficiently well, not what is theoretically achievable. This is why insights are so important, and why they span various distinct technological disciplines. They center on the problems of technology, not the theory of the science.

In practice each ship will have patched a different solution for that and a hundred different other problems. Many of the strategies may be similiar, but I doubt there is a best solution, and certainly not a universal solution. Explainations can be provided in techno-babble, extensions of real theory, or simply glossed over.  Part of the theme of the setting is that nowhere stays the same, and no universal standards can be enforced accross the paths between stars. The only exception is that some laws, like no FTL, are absolute. I'd be interesting to hear suggestions on what other laws should be in that catagory.

Thanks for your help,
 
     -Mendel S.
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Wormwood
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« Reply #26 on: November 18, 2002, 12:42:43 PM »

Here's a first stab at a list of Truths:

Truths:  

Aspiration: Exploration - The journey to find new worlds, both
metaphorically and in reality is the fundamental drive. To deny it is to
stagnate and die.  

Aspiration: Chaos - The structure of the world requires  shaking,
in the very least to prevent stagnation. Pure energetic  action and disorder rovide the fertile ground for life at it's best.  

Aspiration: Knowledge - The advancement of humanity is  defined ost directly by the body of knowledge that has been  accumulated. Without this we would be nothing more than animals.

Aspiration: Peace - The path of war has held humanity back for
millenia. Only a concerted effort and unending vigilence can allow us to
overcome this base urge and become truly masters of  ourselves.

Aspiration: Purity - Things, including people, must attain  a state
of true being. It is the reason for existence, without that we would be purposeless. What matters is working towards this perfection in ourselves and those around us.  

Aspiration: Stability - The first necessity in life is to stabilize
your environment. Without stability life consists of merely surviving and
nothing truly worthwhile can be accomplished.  

The Great Wheel - All things return in time, and balance is restored. Living in balance and setting things right that are imbalanced helps to guide the world in the correct path.

My Country, Right or Wrong - The first and most basic loyalty  is
to your nation, whether chosen or by birth. You may work to change  policies you disapprove of, but it is your responsibility to support  the results, regardless of your agreement. To do otherwise would invalidate the entire process.  

Law and Order - Society exists because of the rules that must be obeyed. Following those rules provides the necessary structure for humans to grow beyond their humble beginnings.  

Natural Law - The laws of nature predate humanity. Without  them we could not exist. To forget them and try to change them is  the ultimate folly.

Sin: Anger - To be clouded in judgement and to show anger to another human is to insult the rise above the beasts. Humanity is beyond such unconcidered action. Violence carries a determined nature and it is with determination that is should be performed.

Sin: Dishonesty - To tell a lie is to put at risk to world  in
which all people must live. The world is harsh enough, without  trust all
would be for naught.  

Sin: Hubris - Pride is a violation of the natural order, it ignores
the truth worth of the world and yourself. One's place  is not to stand in
defiance to the rest of the world, but to work within it.  

Sin: Love - Romance leads to pain, and placing one's desires above the needs of your society will cause nothing but heartache. Learn to live, not to love.  

Sin: Lust - Reckless carnality is wasteful, regardless of the target of the desires, giving in to them causes the people around you to suffer, and likely yourself when you return to your sense. Keep those desires firmly in check, or you will regret it in the long run.

Sin: Self-Denial - To deny one's self is to open the door to self
destruction. You must live, and experience the world, in all it's grandeour
and villainy.  

Virtue: Beauty - Aesthetics define what is good and what is evil.
Beauty in it's truest form is what makes life worth living.  

Virtue: Freedom - To be one's own master is the greatest gift, and the greatest responsibility. Striving for better world, freeing  others,
and living your own life for yourself, these are the central tenets of freedom.

Virtue: Friendship - Friends are those to whom you owe the greatest debt. A true friend is your rock, a place of stability and one must be protected against all threats.  

Virtue: Hope - When the world turns darkest, it is time to shine
through. Hope is a great power and it can guide you through the most horrible events.  

Virtue: Instinct - The purest expression of survival is instinct.
Acting without thought to cloud what needs to be done. It is the last best
hope when danger comes calling.  

Virtue: Justice - The world must be maintained in a set of balances. When actions remove harm the innocent, it is the responsibility of the just to alleviate the situation.  

Virtue: Love - Romantic emotions are the pinnacle of human  experience. They define what is good and bad in our lives and give us purpose in the face of despair.  

Virtue: Reason - The fundamental human experience is to  think. To forget the power of reason and ignore the abilities of  careful consideration is to become less than human, less than what we should all aspire.  

Virtue: Sincerity - Perception of dishonesty is a break  down in
the ability to interact in a real society. Truth is less important than the
social obligation of being of one face.

Virtue: Strength - Strength defines status and weakness is  a loss of that status. To show strength is good, to be truly strong and self-reliant is even better.  

Virtue: Unity - Discord brings pain and destruction. By cultivating a unified purpose among people around you, you aid them as well as yourself. When disunity arises disaster is at it's heels.  

Virtue: Wealth - True worth is based on your ability to  acquire
material wealth. It is the ultimate game, and victory in  it implies a true
master of the world.  


   -Mendel
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