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PD Early Year (advice & sourcebook idea)
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boneguard
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Joined: 09 Jul 2011
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 20, 2011 7:01 pm    Post subject: PD Early Year (advice & sourcebook idea) Reply with quote

I enjoy the Early Year supplement for SFB (and I agree that it could be fun to have a F&E Early Year supplement) and I've decided to transpose it to an upcoming PD game.

Using the map from my PD corebook (GURPS) I'm transposing the small map from circa Y75 onto the bigger map of the Quadrant (I've noticed it's not a perfect match due to the position of the WYN Nebula and Orion, but still) and use that as my starting point for the campaign.

The Focus would be the Earlier year where expension and exploration was the big thing. With more opportunity for First Contact and potentially rewriting history. With my group this will probably work very well.

Now I got the broad picture set (where to start, where to go for the first 2 adventure (both exploration/expension with a bit of mystery for the second), and knowing my players, it will probably be either a Federation or maybe a Klingon game. I think I figure out most of the technology reduction, as well as the ship technology that will be available.

So I was wondering -after reading this- if anyone has ever tried it or if you would have some advices to give me or noticing some glaring mistake/point I forgot to consider.

Any help would be appreciated.

PS. Am I the only one to thing that, in the future, this could be a nice 'historical' sourcebook for PD??
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Nerroth
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 20, 2011 7:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

An Early Years module would be great; Paravians and Carnivons, the rise of the ISC, the emergence of Star Fleet, and times when the quarantined worlds in Federation space had yet to be, well, quarantined!

(I wonder how differently a set of deck plans for the YFT would look compared to the TL12 Free Trader...)
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Jeffr0
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 20, 2011 7:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sounds like you are already on the ball with this and don't really need my input.

That said, I'd make sure the players understand that they can change the course of "history" and I'd put them in situations where things can really hinge on what they do. I'd try to do adventures that could only really be done in that time period and I'd try to get across the basic premise of it all for them. Between sessions, I'd fast forward things along so that the players can actually witness the consequences of the butterfly effect. It would be traditional to have things turn out for the worst somehow. If that was the case... I would at some point send time travellers from the post General War era back in time to either convince them to change or to undo their damage. I'd leave it up to the players to figure out if they intend good or ill.

To really deviate from the official history would be challenging, but worth the effort. Not sure to what extent the players could appreciate the nuances-- but they *will* surely enjoy seeing their actions matter to the setting.
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boneguard
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 20, 2011 9:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

@Nerroth
It would be interesting indeed, and there's a lot you can do during that period...and taking away from the player what they have been taking for granted 'technology-wise' can be quite funny too, see how they cope with it.

@Jeffr0
It is try that History deviation would be a big concern. This is why -as much as possible- I would like to keep major event either as background event or as unchangeable Temporal Nodes to keep a (mostly) intact history. But at the same time allowing them to make their own discovery, have a part in the mars, maybe even make a big difference in a world or on a theater (while maybe having a small impact for the overall war).

Or toss history out of the window and rewrite from scratch Razz
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Jeffr0
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 21, 2011 1:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A static background is of course easier to manage. Most TV shows end with everything fixed and back to normal, so as long as the players don't botch things too badly you're fine. Of course... the most interesting gaming scenes are when the challenges are derived from the players on mistakes. If there's some way that they can make things worse before they make things back to normal... that's good drama.

I remember a certain episode of a Trek series where the engineer had to invent the classic TOS red alert siren as part of the plot. I find this sort of thing intrusively annoying most of the time. There's a Boba Fett stand-up at my office. I cringe at the idea of someone making a cartoon where an elaborate plot is developed where we get to (finally!) see how he got that dent in his helmet. (Doh!)

At any rate... Traveller adventurers are used to not having an effect on the universe... but ratcheting the time line backwards should give the players even more of a chance to be the first ones there on a strange new worlds scene than you even normally get in a Prime Directive game. I would avoid chintzy origin stories of the dented helmet red alert variety and try to find something more meaningful, though. Early encounters with societies that will end up being Federation members later could be fruitful-- certainly different from more default Prime Directive conflicts....
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boneguard
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 21, 2011 2:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jeffr0 wrote:

At any rate... Traveller adventurers are used to not having an effect on the universe... but ratcheting the time line backwards should give the players even more of a chance to be the first ones there on a strange new worlds scene than you even normally get in a Prime Directive game. I would avoid chintzy origin stories of the dented helmet red alert variety and try to find something more meaningful, though. Early encounters with societies that will end up being Federation members later could be fruitful-- certainly different from more default Prime Directive conflicts....


That's a bit of the idea yes: Meet a new species, try to understand each other, 'sell' them to the idea of the Federation, avoid a war a bit of political and mystery intrigue to help spice things up.

So instead of being a nameless Slob who discover homeworld X and brought them into the Federation it will be my players...it's a big impact in the Federation and for my player, but doesn't change much of the timeline and it's enjoyable for all...I hope.
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Jeffr0
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 21, 2011 2:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Actually... this is almost exactly the same thought behind GURPS: Interstellar Wars. Heh.
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Mike
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 21, 2011 2:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Will you be limited by the Federation directive of not contacting a new civilization until they achieve warp flight?
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boneguard
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 21, 2011 2:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jeffr0 wrote:
Actually... this is almost exactly the same thought behind GURPS: Interstellar Wars. Heh.


I have that supplement, maybe I should read it again for ideas.

Mike wrote:
Will you be limited by the Federation directive of not contacting a new civilization until they achieve warp flight?


I look into when that rule came into effect, but odds are that yes I would limit myself to it...maybe bend it a bit for races who are just about to achieve Warp Flight (eg. they discovered the theory and are now working to apply and develop it).
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Jeffr0
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 21, 2011 2:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The part of GURPS: Interstellar Wars that I would look at is the idea of aggressive Terran merchants breaking into otherwise hostile civilisations through the vector of disruptive trading situations. This fits very well with the Federation as we know it... and that sort of thing could easily be the diplomatic mission of a starship crew in some circumstances.

The thing to look at would be... (a) which Federation members could provide similar situations as the Vilani ans also... (b) how would contrasting Federation members provide a variation on this sort of challenge.

The other thing to look at would be... which empires could conceivably want to sabotage this and which ones would be competing with the Federation in these scenarios.

If you need help brainstorming about this, fire away with specific Federation members and we can see what we come up with here.... (Not that you haven't gotten there already, but... you know what I mean.)
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Darkwing
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 21, 2011 3:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I used to be part of a group that played another Trek based RPG back in the 80s and one tiny little detail of our adventures that really stuck with the players was the use of different symbols for different ships. We have seen patches on some of the TV shows that vary from ship to ship and in the original series the design on the left side of the uniform was different for each assignment. When someone would come over from another starship, they would have a different symbol from what was on our favorite captain's and our doctor's uniform.

By the time of the movies, the symbol that appeared on the Original Crew's uniform was everywhere, on everyone's uniform and even on the red stripe that adorn the starships.

We served aboard the Lexington and we used an insignia we found in an old source manual. One of our side stories was that Fleet Command was ordering a switchover to use the "upward arrow with the asymetrical underside" rather than our diamond and four loops. We had some great adventures, but that on-going conflict stuck with me to the point that I stick snicker when I see that symbol on star fleet vessels and cast in gold as part of a uniform (for crews from ships other than 1701).

Anyway, I just thought I'd throw it out there as part of the flavor of the early years. Depending how early you go, they may still be using patches on their shoulders.
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boneguard
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 21, 2011 3:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jeffr0 wrote:
The part of GURPS: Interstellar Wars that I would look at is the idea of aggressive Terran merchants breaking into otherwise hostile civilisations through the vector of disruptive trading situations. This fits very well with the Federation as we know it... and that sort of thing could easily be the diplomatic mission of a starship crew in some circumstances.

The thing to look at would be... (a) which Federation members could provide similar situations as the Vilani ans also... (b) how would contrasting Federation members provide a variation on this sort of challenge.


I can see either human or Orion do this kind of thing, although I can't really thing of a purely mercantile member of the Federation at the moment. And I can see the rest being annoyed by it too.

Jeffr0 wrote:

The other thing to look at would be... which empires could conceivably want to sabotage this and which ones would be competing with the Federation in these scenarios.


Here I could probably see: Klingon, Orions again, Romulan, Kzinti (maybe ISC near the end) to make sure their product is sold...kind of going for a monopoly thing or to disrupt the Economy (particularly during wartime).

Or I can even go for a completely new race who wants to keep the Monopoly on trade (but not as bad as the Ferengi though).

Darkwing wrote:
(...)
We served aboard the Lexington and we used an insignia we found in an old source manual. One of our side stories was that Fleet Command was ordering a switchover to use the "upward arrow with the asymetrical underside" rather than our diamond and four loops. We had some great adventures, but that on-going conflict stuck with me to the point that I stick snicker when I see that symbol on star fleet vessels and cast in gold as part of a uniform (for crews from ships other than 1701).

Anyway, I just thought I'd throw it out there as part of the flavor of the early years. Depending how early you go, they may still be using patches on their shoulders.


That's actually a pretty cool idea. I never thought of that. Early uniform and lack of consistancy between services and Members Nations of the Federation. Consider it nabbed.
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Mike
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 22, 2011 2:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not to interrupt, but I think each ship had its own insignia in TOS (at least each CA did). The Enterprise was about the only one of the original 12 CAs that survived its 5 year exploration mission intact, and its adventures were widely publicized throughout the Federation as public relations, so its insignia was adopted across the Federation Star Fleet.
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Jean
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 22, 2011 4:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just to note -- in the SFU, the ships still have individual patches.
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Darkwing
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 22, 2011 1:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mike wrote:
Not to interrupt, but I think each ship had its own insignia in TOS (at least each CA did). The Enterprise was about the only one of the original 12 CAs that survived its 5 year exploration mission intact, and its adventures were widely publicized throughout the Federation as public relations, so its insignia was adopted across the Federation Star Fleet.


Absolutely true and that is where we got the idea. We were playing during the movie era and everything was homogenizing at that point. We had a whole back story going on about that 5 year mission thing and we were in fact rivals with "the ship that makes movies." (I'm being abstract to avoid mentioning things that might be someone else's IP.)

Jean wrote:
Just to note -- in the SFU, the ships still have individual patches.


And that is just one reason I like the SFU better than the other universe. Very Happy
The art work in GURPS PD shows all sorts of emblems on uniforms and that that feels right to me. Sometimes, though, the uniqueness gets lost. (Also, I do see that that other ship's emblem is at the bottom of every page and the top of each chapter Wink .)
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