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  #101  
Old July 20th, 2009, 04:02 AM
Icosahedron Icosahedron is offline
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Good points, Lycanorukke. As you say, you need some idea of what's going on to make sure it's consistent, but a lot depends on who you're playing with.

A defined technology can help a techy ref keep layman players at bay, but if you're playing with a bunch of science undergrads who understand the physics as well as the the ref does you've made a rod for your own back, and you get some player explaining at nauseating length exacly why the weird idea they pulled out of their butt is allowed by the Higgs field equations...

I take the middle ground. I like to know that the technology is plausible (even to science students) and what it does on the large scale, but I leave explanations of exactly how it does it as vague as possible, leaving me with guidelines, but plenty of wiggle room.

I learned about overdefinition the hard way back in the eighties.
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  #102  
Old July 20th, 2009, 04:33 AM
Lycanorukke Lycanorukke is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Icosahedron View Post
but if you're playing with a bunch of science undergrads who understand the physics as well as the the ref does you've made a rod for your own back, and you get some player explaining at nauseating length exacly why the weird idea they pulled out of their butt is allowed by the Higgs field equations...
I managed to dodge that problem by asking one on the physics professors at univeristy a 'plausible way' based on what we know (in the 80's) of mass/higgs. If it was good enough for the "Alderson drive" it was good enough for me. Being a bit of a gamer himself he gave me the basic idea and I fluffed it up - And if the players wanted to argue they could be told to argue with the prof (something undergrads never want to do).

But I fully agree with your point about overdefining things. As you pointed out, it only takes one 'real world' discovery to blow the whole thing out of the water, and if you campaign revolves around it you are in a world of trouble. Hence why I keep the basic idea there - but as for the field equations, mass energy conversion, how long is a piece of string, etc etc I stay away from. The wiggle room lies in the unknown.
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