Saturday, November 27, 2010

Still Hammering Away at Traveller , Plus I Just Created An Impromptu Random Table

So, I'm still working on Traveller. I've decided I'm not going to actually start the game until the first week of January, since December tends to be a month in which no gaming gets accomplished.

In the meantime, I will continue fleshing out the worlds of my first sub-sector. I have also convinced myself to just do alien races the way all sci-fi does them. The thing that finally pushed me to abandon all hope of alien complexity is, of all things, Mass Effect 2. I am really enjoying this series, and the aliens are pretty much summed up in terms of mono-cultural cliches. It worked for Trek, it worked for Effect, it can work for me. So, I'm thinking I need at least a few of the following standard sci-i races:

1. The Mean-Muggin' But Honorable/Noble Warrior Race
2. The Squirrely Technician Race
3. The Aloof Scientist Race
4. The Hot Blue Chick Race (Or Green, or whatever)
5. The Eeeeeeevil Machine Race
6. The Race That Hates Humans For No Damn Reason
7. The Archaic, Technology-Hating Race (Option of Noble Savage or Goddamn Hippie)
8. The Surly/Greedy Merchant Race
9. The Mystical/Philosophical and Probably Psionic Race
10. The Evil Empire Race

For each sci-fi race, I might also give them one "Achievement"
1. Seemingly the only race besides humans to have developed on organized fighting style, be it bare-handed or with a melee weapon. They are exceedingly proud of this, despite the fact that humanity invented many hundreds of martial arts.
2. The only race that can't speak all the other races languages, or vice verse.
3. The race invented something everyone uses (Jump Drive, galactic currency)
4. The race lives for a crazy-ass long time
5. The race serves as some kind of erotic wish-fulfillment for nerds, like they all have three wives or live on a planet or free love or are all into BDSM or they have to have sex three times a week or explode or whatever.
6. They are a stand in for a topical political group or form of government. Alternately, they are a stand in for some country we wish we could just blow up.
7. The race possesses a universal character flaw serving only to show how totally fucking awesome humans are by comparison. Alternately, they engage in racism, sexism, or some other -ism that allows humans to engage in a lot of hypocritical moral grandstanding.
8. They are technologically advanced in one particular area (medicine, shields, stealth devices, cybernetics)
9. The race is completely humorless and stoic.
10. Their mode of dress and culture is a human culture from a particular time period with the serial number filed off; most likely Greek/Roman Empire, Ancient Egypt, or Feudal Japan.
11. They are the only race that has to wear a spacesuit all the time, whereas the other three dozen races all conveniently breathe oxygen.
12. This race used to be eeeeevil, but they lost a war or an empire and learned the True Meaning of Christmas, and now they play nice.

Hell, now I can make random alien races by rolling a d10 and a d12. all seriousness, I probably won't generate them in a manner as flippant as this, but I might do a few rolls on these impromptu tables and see what sparks my imagination.

1 comment:

  1. As far as I can tell, this is about the only way to create a generic space opera RPG.

    : )