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  #11  
Old June 1st, 2018, 10:40 PM
wellis wellis is offline
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Originally Posted by Grav_Moped View Post
Part of the Traveller aesthetic is likely derived from its era. "Space" and "The Future" at the time looked and felt like cutting-edge tech; just having the technology in working form was the status symbol. Why would you gold-plate a Space Shuttle or give it wood-veneer instrument panels? It's already a Space Shuttle, what more do you need?
Would you say it's a standard space opera aesthetic (like say Star Wars) or do you feel the era Traveller was created in was sort of different there even with space opera looks?

I guess to me, somehow OTU 3I's looks remind me of Buck Roger's (1970's version) or old Battlestar Galactica.

But what's weird is that I'm completely fine with Star Wars's aesthetics despite the fact it's from the same timeframe. Well at least the Original Trilogy's looks were from that era.
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Old June 1st, 2018, 11:18 PM
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Both of these are on my "to purchase" list, along with some Clements Sector books.
That's all I can say for now. My financial situation has been better, therefore purchases need to wait for longer.

The Kuro RPG had a nice discussion of how hard it would be to walk around armed in Future Japan, so I'd probably use that, if the material in Zaibatsu seems too lenient.
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  #13  
Old June 1st, 2018, 11:37 PM
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Originally Posted by wellis View Post
Would you say it's a standard space opera aesthetic (like say Star Wars) or do you feel the era Traveller was created in was sort of different there even with space opera looks?

I guess to me, somehow OTU 3I's looks remind me of Buck Roger's (1970's version) or old Battlestar Galactica.

But what's weird is that I'm completely fine with Star Wars's aesthetics despite the fact it's from the same timeframe. Well at least the Original Trilogy's looks were from that era.
It was (and, aside from GT and MGT, is) an Aesthetic of the 60s and early 70's space opera.

Life is common; intelligence isn't, but intelligence spreads; FTL is hard until it's achieved, then easy to replicate; robots are rare and dumb; AI is hard; FTL communication is by sending ships.

Star Wars is a different mode. Life is common; intelligence is near inevitable on life bearing worlds; FTL is merely hard, but is also cheap, and is natural to develop; robots are capable of full AI; FTL communication is via FTL radio.

Buck Rogers TV show (with Gil and Erin), in the same terms: Life is uncommon; intelligence is rare, but spreads; FTL is very hard, using gates and hyperdrives, and expensive; AI is hard but doable in small packages, and many robots are AI driven; FTL comm goes via dedicated FTL comm networks at real time. FTL Navigation seems hard, and FTL drives are apparently huge; this makes stargates preferable.

Old BSG: "Life is uncommon, but was spread by humans; Humans are everywhere, but are not the only intelligence, tho' others are rare (We see only 3 non-human intelligences in oBSG: Cylon, Ovion, and the ascended in their ships of light); AI is hard, and anti-human; FTL comm is known and real-time, but STL comm is still available; FTL drive is obviously possible, but not discussed.

Both TV Buck and oBSG have visual influences from Star Wars, but harken back to the 60's SF in many ways. And, of course, TV Buck also has influences from the old comics and movie serials. And it's an important difference from Star Wars: Moralistic. Star Wars Assumes a fixed external morality (imposed by the Force), that makes it's morality black and white, and thus no need to preach it. oBSG was a weekly morality play - make the right choices, and things work out. TV Buck Rogers was Nationalistic, more than moralistic, but from many of the same creatives as oBSG, with Earth as their "nation"... it replaced the Han of the original Armageddon novel with the Draconians, a human culture separated for some unspecified time, and with slightly higher tech in some areas, but lower in others. And the Draconians are cruel, dictatorial, and a "clear and present danger" ...

The original Buck Rogers novel was quite different... it was (1) earthbound, (2) had the Han as the enemy - a Chinese empire writ large, (3) about asymmetry in warfare, (4) did have "non-radio" radio-like "ultraphone" comms.

All of them have gravity manipulation, tractor beams, and zap guns of various sorts, tho' Traveller's are much less portable in the playable tech range.

I cannot speak fairly of nBSG in these terms, as I found the initial changes sufficiently "Not at all what I was expecting from the Brand" that I disliked it, and thus didn't watch it. (And when I gave later episodes a try, it was moreso.) What I can say is it's much more morally gray than any of the above, and for me, that's a HUGE turn off. It has FTL, FTL real time comms, and FTL is big enough to not be on small craft, and AI and robotics so advanced as to be indistinguishable from humans on a casual medical inspection.
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  #14  
Old June 2nd, 2018, 01:12 AM
wellis wellis is offline
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Actually regarding nBSG, it had FTL drives on both Raptors (small dropship type of craft for the Colonials) & Raiders (nBSG Cylon fighters that had organic [as in a literal brain] computers piloting them).

The primary difference was that Cylon FTL drives could jump much farther, and much more accurately, compared to their Colonial counterparts. As for FTL comms, I think that was only with the Cylons and their resurrection stuff. Beyond that, it was just normal radio and normal radar.


As for the "same terms" as you put it, how would you classify the type of science fiction HOSTILE uses as inspiration for its setting? Like "AI is hard" etc categories you had. Since HOSTILE is very much "Not!Aliens"/"Not!Outland" using a Traveller ruleset essentially.

For example, Aliens FTL is slow, travelling at around 0.76 LY per day and requires hypersleep capsules to be used while going FTL to prevent the crew from aging too fast. Computers use bulky, monochrome displays yet fully-sentient AI, in the form of humanlike androids, is possible and AI is also used to run ships (albeit with humans having control), and of FTL radio is possible. Megacorps work with nations to help dominate interstellar space and most planets require extensive terraforming before becoming barely livable, so often colonies are put down on planets that are pretty inhospitable.



As for HOSTILE Earth, well pretty much imagine any 1980s cyberpunk setting, with the world's environment having gotten screwed up some as well.

In HOSTILE, humanity is pretty much alone and what aliens have been found out there have been the horrifying/monstrous types. The kind that make you die an awful death ala the Aliensverse xenomorphs, to use an example. In fact there are 22 varieties of horrifying aliens in just one book that was recently put out.

For example regarding tech in the setting:
Quote:
Technical Area - Applicable TL - Notes
Cybernetics - N/A - None Allowed
Communications - TL10 - No holographics; FTL communications possible [1 parsec a day]
Computers & Robotics - TL15 - Human-level synthetic androids; no touchscreens; data held on data cards.
Starship Drives - TL15 - Hyperdrive and reaction drives; no grav drives. [hyperdrive speed at parsecs per week]
Vehicles - TL10 - No anti-gravity vehicles – wheels, tracks, helicopters, submarines, surface ships, jets and tilt-rotor and prop aircraft only.
Weaponry - TL10 - -
Quote:
Fitting the retro-tech setting of HOSTILE, computing more resembles the systems of the late 1980s than those of the early 21st century. Key differences are a lack of wi-fi cableless technology and the absence of ultra-miniaturization of computing. There are no palm computers or smart phones and touch screen technology does not exist. None of this means to say the computers in 2225 are not powerful and versatile machines, it’s just that they have a number of minor limitations which we in the twenty-teens, are no longer familiar with. Forget full-color LCD or plasma screens, too, the cathode-ray tube (CRT) monitors in HOSTILE are monochrome, typically green, although amber, blue and even white displays are in use (the actual color depends on the type of phosphor being used to create the display.

Last edited by wellis; June 2nd, 2018 at 02:37 AM..
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Old June 2nd, 2018, 01:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wellis View Post
Would you say it's a standard space opera aesthetic (like say Star Wars) or do you feel the era Traveller was created in was sort of different there even with space opera looks?

I guess to me, somehow OTU 3I's looks remind me of Buck Roger's (1970's version) or old Battlestar Galactica.

But what's weird is that I'm completely fine with Star Wars's aesthetics despite the fact it's from the same timeframe. Well at least the Original Trilogy's looks were from that era.
It's actually a good question, but I don't think I have a good answer.

One thing to keep in mind was that Traveller was developed before Star Wars (went to print while the publicity for SW was active, but before the movie itself started showing in theaters), and was originally intended to enable roleplaying in milieus inspired by SF/SciFi up to that point.

And of course the OTU with the Third Imperium et al didn't exist -- though elements of it were implicit in the game -- when the original Little Black Books were written.
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Old June 2nd, 2018, 01:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grav_Moped View Post
It's actually a good question, but I don't think I have a good answer.

One thing to keep in mind was that Traveller was developed before Star Wars (went to print while the publicity for SW was active, but before the movie itself started showing in theaters), and was originally intended to enable roleplaying in milieus inspired by SF/SciFi up to that point.

And of course the OTU with the Third Imperium et al didn't exist -- though elements of it were implicit in the game -- when the original Little Black Books were written.
Ahh. I never really knew what the style and aesthetics of the scifi Traveller modeled itself on were really like, mostly because I was born almost 30-40 years after a lot of was first written down.

Though I suspect it was different from the grungy look of Aliens/Outland or the cyberpunk stuff popularized by Neuromancer?
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Old June 2nd, 2018, 02:12 AM
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Very much so. Well, there was implied grunge (Twilight's Peak has the PC party starting out in a starship with a lot of deferred maintenance) but for the most part, the "realistic" SF of the time looked like 2001: A Space Odyssey and Silent Running and Traveller reflected that aesthetic.
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Old June 2nd, 2018, 12:07 PM
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Bought them both. Zaibatsu in particular strikes me as a fresh look at a well worn genre.
I like Z and it's creative use of character creation. Starting as youthful nobodies and fighting your way up -- leveling up, so to speak. However, if I use the setting it will be using the Hostile careers instead. I prefer the old veterans trying to make it one more term to pension.
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Old June 3rd, 2018, 04:23 PM
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How does Zaibatsu compare to the cyberpunk stuff for 2300 AD?
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Old June 4th, 2018, 12:47 AM
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How does Zaibatsu compare to the cyberpunk stuff for 2300 AD?
I thought the cyberpunk stuff in 2300 was pretty poorly done. By comparison Z is far and away better. It captures the Japanese cultural aspects of cyberpunk very well.
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