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  #1  
Old February 9th, 2003, 07:05 PM
Gaming Glen Gaming Glen is offline
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My PCs have found an Ancients' starship, abandoned by the crew long ago (who did have time to take things). What artifacts might be still aboard? Some could be mundane (TL 15 or abouts) to the Ancients, but odd for humans.

The humans are from 1939 Earth, so anything of higher tech than 6 would be wondrous, but I'd like to awe the players as well (jaded sf readers that they are).

I can think of a couple of things, but my imagination is so limited.


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Old February 9th, 2003, 10:59 PM
CarlP CarlP is offline
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1939 earth? How about a Game Boy? Image what they'll be able to do in a few tech levels with them. In its home setting, it'd be cheap and disposable, not something to risk your life for. But in 1939? It would be wonderous!
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Old February 10th, 2003, 12:00 AM
Fulminata Fulminata is offline
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Ok, these won't awe jaded SF readers, but if I could awe jaded SF readers, I'd be writing SF, not hanging around here

Some of these wouldn't really be wondrous items in a Traveller campaign, but for 1939 they would be, and they also would be the kind of mundane things left behind by an evacuating crew:

Handheld scanner. Probably an engineer's tool to help find problems without having to undo panels first. You hold it and it shows the insides of whatever you aim it at. It's set at some fixed distance now, but maybe the players can figure out how to adjust it. You can decide how detailed the image is and what range it is initially set at.

Ration/storage/cargo containers. Disposable stuff to the crew, but nigh-indestructable to 1939 technology. Airtight containers that can survive just about anything the players put them through. Can be several different sizes. Some of the containers may have variable environmental controls able to duplicate different atmospheres or vacuum, if the players can figure out how to use them.

Grav belt. personal anti-grav harness. Can provide all sorts of fun as players try to figure out how it works. An ancients version may be quite a bit different than imperial make. Maybe it's just a wristband that projects a field around the individual.

One of the first things I thought of was a non-mirror mirror. A handheld device that shows your image when you look into it, but it's not a mirror image. More a curiosity than anything else (and stolen from Annic Nova).

3D camera/projector. A staple of SF, but something that 1939 era characters would find wondrous. Maybe it's just a photo-wallet with a few fixed pictures of strange things, or maybe it's a camera as well, if the players can figure out how it works.

The key may not be to come up with new wondrous items, but to describe things in terms that a 1939 character would relate to, not a jaded SF fan. If you do it right, you can describe a palm pilot (or a game boy like CarlP mentioned) in such a way that a player would find it wondrous, and could take a long time to figure out what the heck it is his character just found.
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Old February 10th, 2003, 12:39 AM
Gaming Glen Gaming Glen is offline
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Thanks for the ideas.

Them figuring out this amazing picture mover device (a toy) would be fun for a quick diversion. How about a book/datapad: "Hominids and Hovels"? [img]smile.gif[/img]

They've already seen a holovisual projection. In fact, I talked about it rather casually. I'm also a jaded SF reader (although haven't read much lately). [img]smile.gif[/img] Sometimes I need to sit back and think about what's going on, but I'm so busy trying to stay a step or two ahead that I tend to forget the simple things.

Something did come to mind as I made a deck plan. How do Droyne, umm, let go of their wastes? What would their toilet/refresher look like? Would it be low to the ground? Or a perch that they flit up to with some catching device underneath (and if constipated they put a picture of a bright red shiny vehicle underneath - like mine. [img]smile.gif[/img] )


More anecdote: The Texan flyboy (new pilot) "flew" the pinnace (it auto-piloted, with verbal directions, but lighted the correct buttons in a hands-on training sim). It took him a while to get used to not having a stick and rudder pedals. The computer asked if it should go ahead and reconfigure the controls and create a stick and rudder pedals (morphing controls). He said "damn straight!". The computer had to ask again for confirmation. [img]smile.gif[/img]
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Old February 10th, 2003, 04:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Gaming Glen:
Something did come to mind as I made a deck plan. How do Droyne, umm, let go of their wastes? What would their toilet/refresher look like? Would it be low to the ground? Or a perch that they flit up to with some catching device underneath (and if constipated they put a picture of a bright red shiny vehicle underneath - like mine. [img]smile.gif[/img] )
Each of the Ancients made up his own technology, so if you come up with your own idea you'll actually, in a sort of bass-awkward way, be closer to canon than if you copy the 'toilets' described in Twilight's Peak (Unless the same Ancient built the ship and the base on Fulaxin):

"Bathrooms: Every room has a sanitary disposal facility. Looking closely at the wall will show apparently random patches of gold. Patches in the rough shape of a four-lobed clover mark sanitary facilities (no two patches are exactly the same, but all have the same rough shape). Touching such a patch three times in rapid succession will cause a section of the floor to glow dull orange; this section disposes of anything placed on it with a slow, pulsed rythm. Stepping on such a patch will slowly disintegrate the bottom of a shoe or boot, and will ultimately begin destroying the sole of a foot.

The orange patch is turned off with three rapid touches on the gold patch.

This mechanism is a phased teleportation device; it teleports any matter on the patch (to a height of one millimeter) away with each pulse. Additional matter then settles down into position for the next teleport." [TP:38]


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Old February 10th, 2003, 09:00 AM
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One I've used before consists of a cylindrical base, about 10cm across and 2cm high. Above it a number of metal spheres (between 1 and 3cm across) spin and orbit and rise and fall, seemingly at random but never colliding.
They move quite slowly and can easily be grabbed, and if they're put back they carry on moving from wherever they're released. They are confined to a spherical zone some 40cm across centred 20cm above the disc.
My players spent ages discussing it, convinced they'd found something important: "Perhaps it's an astronomical model, or a representation of a molecule."

Actually it's just a desk toy, it sits on the somebody's desk, and he watches it while he thinks... [img]graemlins/file_23.gif[/img]
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Old February 10th, 2003, 11:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by BigBadRon:
One I've used before consists of a cylindrical base, about 10cm across and 2cm high. Above it a number of metal spheres (between 1 and 3cm across) spin and orbit and rise and fall, seemingly at random but never colliding.

They move quite slowly and can easily be grabbed, and if they're put back they carry on moving from wherever they're released. They are confined to a spherical zone some 40cm across centred 20cm above the disc.

[...]

Actually it's just a desk toy, it sits on the somebody's desk, and he watches it while he thinks... [img]graemlins/file_23.gif[/img]
Oh my G**, it's an Ancients lava lamp!!! [img]graemlins/file_21.gif[/img]


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  #8  
Old February 11th, 2003, 01:42 AM
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lol - A Lava lamp. [img]graemlins/file_21.gif[/img]

I guess it is at that, and just the sort of thing that nobody would bother to take with them if they were in a hurry to leave... [img]smile.gif[/img]
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Old February 11th, 2003, 10:52 AM
Gaming Glen Gaming Glen is offline
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I caught the lava lamp reference.

But it reminded me of a futuristic skeet contest I made up on the spur of the moment in a d20 Star Wars game. I was running a noble character and wanted one of those "sport hobbies" that the upper class partake in. Basically, a 10 meter diameter circular anti-gravity pad is laid down and "sqwacks" (robotic devices that look and sized like a duck) are released above it to fly randomly about. You fire a special energy pistol at them and their sensors tell if you have a hit or not. Sometimes a pattern can be noted and you can score really well, a trick my noble knew that won him contests often (he got to the Galactic Sqwack Championship Hunt on a particular planet which explained why he was there for the adventure). [img]smile.gif[/img]


[img]graemlins/file_21.gif[/img] Another "toy": a Barrel of Humans (but is there any difference to an alien?). More seriously, a learning toy of several aliens in a container. Or a device to teach which aliens are which with pictures and sounds ("woof", "meow" - do Aslans "meow"? )(instead of the animal ones we give to kids today)

I'm feeling silly this morning.


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Old February 11th, 2003, 12:41 PM
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In the spirit of your infectious silly mood...

You find a 30cm disc with a large plunger type button on the side that doubles as a handle. When pushed a series of colored diamonds around perimeter of the face of the device flash on then off sequentially finally settling on one at random which stays lit. A hologram of an alien lifeform (in this case say a modern c1939 male caucasion terran homo sapien) springs forth above the center of the disc. An alien voice speaks a couple unintelligible "words" (translation - "The American says.") followed by in clear English "How ya doin doll face." The hologram and diamond fade off together.

I bet little Zardlekno misses his first "Nations of Earth" See and Say.
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