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Old July 4th, 2009, 04:09 AM
fiat_knox fiat_knox is offline
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Join Date: May 2008
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fiat_knox Citizen

The only thing you have to watch out for is that "hard science" stories suffer from a major pitfall: they turn into engineering stories, if you're not careful.

1. Science Crew is sent in to uncover some Weird Phenomenon.

2. Initial studies seem to aggravate the Weird Phenomenon.

3. Their initial attempts to stop it Make Things Worse.

4. One of the Science Team Puts The Pieces Together.

5. Science Team pour a bucket of water over the combusting thing. Weird Phenomenon ceases.

6. Science Team collects a financial reward, then shoot off to the next system to Solve The Next Problem.

Look at the TNG episodes "Night Terrors," "Sub Rosa," "Time's Arrow" and that one where Barclay becomes a supergenius for hideous examples of "hard science gone wrong" stories.

They also tend to typecast Traveller adventures somewhat. Traveller games become exercises in puzzle solving: the weird ghostly apparition turns out to be a holographic projector, and this week's monster alien turns out to be Mister MacAndrew, the groundskeeper, wearing a rubber mask to scare off the tourists so he could run his smuggling operation without interference.

When everything has a pat explanation, it kind of lets down the players who might be expecting something a little more exciting.
"You people and your quaint little categories." - Capt. Jack Harkness, Torchwood
"I aim to misbehave." - Capt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity
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