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Author Topic: [Frontiercraft] PDF version 0.001  (Read 813 times)
Blankbeard
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« on: November 11, 2012, 06:46:09 PM »

Watching the Firefly marathon I've done a lot of typing today.  Nothing is anywhere near complete, but I'd like feedback on style, readability and format. Libreoffice's desktop publishing tools don't seem to be as easy as you might expect.

Get it here

Comments are deeply appreciated.  If you have commented and wish to be credited, message me.
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Morgenstern
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« Reply #1 on: November 12, 2012, 06:01:04 PM »

Comment: That is a lot of text!

I like the class skills table being laid out skills on top, classes down the side. The purple highlighting is eyesearing though Smiley.

I'm gonna try to amass my thoughts on drasilites, because something there doesn't feel quite right.
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« Reply #2 on: November 12, 2012, 07:29:14 PM »

Wait, wait, wait, wait, ...........wait..........This isn't a Firefly conversion......... I've been had.

*Tries to move past this betrayal*

Quote
Threat Display: Whenever you gain a feat from any tree, you may trade it for Rage Basics or any feat that depends on it.

I like this idea, Feat Exchange as an origin.

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Blankbeard
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« Reply #3 on: November 13, 2012, 12:12:19 AM »

If it's any consolation, knocking the weirdo aliens out should make a fairly generic sci-fi base. The tools for Firefly are already in mastercraft and the spaceship system I'm planning won't be heavily dependent on whether FTL works or not.  I'll try to make the planetary system tools flexible enough for them to be adapted to a firefly type solar system.
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glimmerrat
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« Reply #4 on: November 13, 2012, 03:16:54 AM »

Did Firefly have FTL? I don't remember.
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ludomastro
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« Reply #5 on: November 13, 2012, 03:24:23 AM »

From our friends at Wikipedia:

Quote from: Wikipedia
The film Serenity makes clear that all the planets and moons are in one large system, and production documents related to the film indicate that there is no faster-than-light travel in this universe.
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Blankbeard
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« Reply #6 on: November 20, 2012, 04:37:55 PM »

New Version!

Major Changes

Less Eyesearing!  Still has a Star Frontiers purple cover but the rest is grey.

Field Descriptions with examples of what each precision skill does with the field.

A few new feats.  Yazarians get more than one now.  I think many of the elf species feats could be applied to them too.

The beginnings of the gear section.  I've started off with non field associated gear.  Are there any items you see missing?  Star Frontiers isn't terribly high tech compared to modern society but I'm sure there's something else to fit in. 

The system generation rules are essentially complete.  I'd love to have a couple people generate a solar system and answer the following questions:
    How easy to use and follow were the instructions?
    How long did it take you?
    Did you end up with something usable for adventure, considering the fact that I haven't defined the cultures yet?
    Did you feel like what you ended up with was worth the time spent?
    What else would you like to see?
    What struck you as useless?
    Any other comments?
If you want a firefly style planetary area, skip steps one and two and consider everything to be in the habitable zone.

The Environmental hazards are complete. 

There is still a lot of work to be done but it's coming along.

New Version is at this link.
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ludomastro
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« Reply #7 on: November 21, 2012, 03:28:56 AM »

@ Blankbeard

I can see the amount of effort and care that went into the tables for the start system section; however, I found it a very frustrating exercise.  Here are my thoughts for your consideration.

First roll on Table X-1 nets me a Dying Star with no planets and 3 belts.
However, Table X-2 tells me that we now have a Wide Multiple Group with a total of 5 starts.
The remaining stars (rolled on Table X-1) are:
G Dwarf, No planets, no belts
Red Dwarf, no planets, 1 belt
K Dwarf, no planets, no belts
K Dwarf, 8 planets (4 are habitable based on the notes at the end of Table X-1), no belts

Table X-3 generates 3 points of interest in this system:
Occupied Base
4 Shipwrecks
Fallen Colony

Here we have a conflict.  Step 4 is telling me that stars have a 20% chance of 1d3 habitable planets.  However, Step 1 says there is a 25% chance of a habitable planet.  Further Table X-1 shows the ability to roll on the number of planets.  I am now confused.

I assumed that I needed to use the rules presented in Step 4 to re-determine my planets for all the stars again.
Dying star - no habitable planets
G Dwarf - no habitable planets
Red Dwarf - no habitable planets
K Dwarf - 2 habitable planets
K Dwarf - no habitable planets

Abrupt/poorly worded ending to the paragraph on the snow line.  Seemingly orphan statement about cultures described in Chapter Z.

Per Table X-3, my Occupied Base is staffed by the UPF.

The fact that I felt the need for a detour here to re-determine habitable planets before determining who was occupying the base speaks volumes - in my opinion - to the need to clarify these sections and perhaps reorganize things.

Now I get to roll my planets per Table X-6:
Earth Like with 2 major moons and 5 minor moons.  Damn, the night sky on that planet is interesting.  I bet high/low tide is too.
Ice Dwarf, but apparently I need to reroll this?  Is it because it's not habitable?  This comes from the text above the table.
Super Earth with 2 major moons and 3 minor moons.
Now I have to go rool on Table X-7 for my habitable rocky worlds.
My Earth-like planet has .9G, Pressure IV, No Toxin, No unusual temperature, Visibility I
My Super Earth has 1.6G, Pressure I, no Toxin, Cold I, Visibility III

Apparently, I still need to roll for the other planets???  How are the major moons even remotely habitable for an Earth like planet?  I get it for a gas giant, but a super Earth?  Three of my moons were habitable; however, they all ended up being icy dwarfs (Table X-6) so I wasn't even remotely sure what to do with that.

At this point, I was about 30 minutes into the exercise and frustrated.

I'd post suggestions; however, I'm exhausted so my best course of action is sleep.  I'll take a fresh look at this tomorrow.
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Blankbeard
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« Reply #8 on: November 21, 2012, 05:06:04 AM »

No, thank you.  This is what I was afraid of.  That I had made something that made perfect sense to me and was useless for anyone else.  I'll take a look at your comments and work through changes and clairifications.  I really didn't intend for it to take any where near that long.

I apologize for the confusion and thank you for the help.
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ludomastro
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« Reply #9 on: November 21, 2012, 12:40:43 PM »

Blankbeard,

After some though, I would argue that your tables are too detailed.  Don't get me wrong, I was the kid who was convinced that he wanted to be an astronaut until he got glasses, went to Space Camp, had models hanging in my room and could wax poetic about the gas giants and/or Mars with equal fervor.  I love that you put in so much detail but I don't know that we need it for a game that ultimately NEEDS habitable planets.  Otherwise, it's the open seas ... in space.

I'll post some thoughts here in a bit.  Feel free to take/leave as you will.
« Last Edit: November 21, 2012, 01:21:24 PM by ludomastro » Logged

Blankbeard
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« Reply #10 on: November 21, 2012, 01:09:16 PM »

No, seriously, that is exactly the kind of feedback I want (Well, I'd love to have "it's perfect!" but only if it really is perfect) I don't have the experience or the creativity that the crafty guys have.  I'd rather it said that "It's s**t, throw it all out" than produce something that is useless.

Ideally, I'd like a useful guide for people on producing adventuring grounds.  If that means a paragraph that says "Most stars have planets.  Planets close to stars are hot and often radioactive.  Too far and they are cold ice balls.  In between are the really interesting ones" then so be it.  I think between NPCs, traps, and the environmental hazards, there are plenty of tools for actually making settings for adventure.
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ludomastro
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« Reply #11 on: November 21, 2012, 11:03:19 PM »

My post uses the current Table numbering system.

I would put Table X-2 first with some wording about determining whether the system has multiple stars.  For the sake of sanity, I would limit functional star to three with any leftovers automatically being sub-stellar dwarfs.  This allows the wide swings of variety you want without bogging down the creation process.

Keeping in that vein, I would dump planets and belts for the sub-stellar dwarfs for much the same reason.

I would modify Table X-1 to lump all the "sun-like" stars into the same group (K, G and F) to speed up the process.  That gives us a range of 3-16 or 70% with a "sun-like" star.  Since we live with a "sun-like" star nearby - Grin - we can all relate to what that looks like and know how to describe it.

I would automatically roll for planets on all appropriately sized stars.  It just speeds things up.  The Ort cloud or something like it is pretty likely to exist within any solar system of note, so I wouldn't include a roll for things like them.  Further, I would simplify the asteroid belt rolls to something simple, like 1d4 -1, perhaps less.

Then, we need something to distinguish rocky planets (from Mercury up through super-Earths) from the gas giants.

Only the gas giants should have moons (mini-planets really) capable of supporting a biosphere.  While Ganymede - Jupiter's largest moon - is bigger than Mercury, it is still only a fraction of the size of Earth.  For the sake of argument, it has about 17% of Earth's surface area, about 7% of the mass (leaving it with only a fraction of the gravity) and only trace amounts of oxygen for an atmosphere.  Thus we need really BIG moons to get habitable planets.

The above lends itself to a re-write of sorts for Table X-6 which should be placed immediately after Table X-2 and a reformed Table X-1.  Tables X-3, 4 & 5 are great, as is, but should be moved to the of the system generation section.

I'd simplify Table X-7 just because having a high pressure effect on a low mass planet doesn't make much sense to me.  High temperature and toxic environments are fine.

I didn't get to Tables X-8 or 9 in my run through, so I don't have any comments on those.  Table X-10 looks fine as is.

Hopefully that is of use to you.  I'd be happy to run through another building session when you come up with new rules.
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Blankbeard
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« Reply #12 on: November 22, 2012, 01:04:58 AM »

My post uses the current Table numbering system.

I would put Table X-2 first with some wording about determining whether the system has multiple stars.  For the sake of sanity, I would limit functional star to three with any leftovers automatically being sub-stellar dwarfs.  This allows the wide swings of variety you want without bogging down the creation process.

I did that after your first comment.  I'll also make it clear that there is no need to detail portions of the solar system that don't affect the adventure.

Keeping in that vein, I would dump planets and belts for the sub-stellar dwarfs for much the same reason.

I would modify Table X-1 to lump all the "sun-like" stars into the same group (K, G and F) to speed up the process.  That gives us a range of 3-16 or 70% with a "sun-like" star.  Since we live with a "sun-like" star nearby - Grin - we can all relate to what that looks like and know how to describe it.

Will do.  There just isn't much difference unless you're talking about either a red dwarf or an A sub-giant.

I would automatically roll for planets on all appropriately sized stars.  It just speeds things up.  The Ort cloud or something like it is pretty likely to exist within any solar system of note, so I wouldn't include a roll for things like them.  Further, I would simplify the asteroid belt rolls to something simple, like 1d4 -1, perhaps less.

Kk.  I tried upping the chance of planets but I'd really like this to be a less than 10 minute process.  That it took 30 minutes for you is completely unacceptable.  I'm also explaining (and looking for ways to simplify) placing planets.

Essentially, table X-9 is as much detail as I think is needed.  I'll write some verbiage to go along with it.

Then, we need something to distinguish rocky planets (from Mercury up through super-Earths) from the gas giants.

Only the gas giants should have moons (mini-planets really) capable of supporting a biosphere.  While Ganymede - Jupiter's largest moon - is bigger than Mercury, it is still only a fraction of the size of Earth.  For the sake of argument, it has about 17% of Earth's surface area, about 7% of the mass (leaving it with only a fraction of the gravity) and only trace amounts of oxygen for an atmosphere.  Thus we need really BIG moons to get habitable planets.

Slight disagreement here.  Titan would be the counter example.  It's in between Mercury and Mars in size with surface gravity lower than the moon's (.14g vs .16g) but it has an atmosphere 1.4 times as dense (and 1.2 times as massive) as Earth's.  Titan is an ice ball with a rocky core which complicates matters but it might well retain enough atmosphere to be habitable if it were in a stable orbit of earth.  Mars may have also been habitable for the first billion years.  If our solar system had been richer in volitiles, or if Earth hadn't formed, it might still be today.

(As I understand it, current theory is that you need enough heat to allow liquid water, enough mass to hold water vapor, and enough water to prevent excess weathering of carbonate rocks, to act as a lubricant to keep plate techtonics going, and it may even be involved in keeping the core rotating so that you have a protective magnetic field.  Venus baked because there wasn't enough water to keep the carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere once plate techtonics stopped. Mars loses some of its water vapor to space every time water gets into the atmosphere.)

On top of that, I have a couple of ancient species who spent a lot of time terraforming every surface they could.  I'd like to have weirdo systems with two earthlike planets orbiting each other once a week and gas giants that host a dozen habitable moons.  But I need the system to be clear.  Is this a clarity issue or a credulity issue?  Would an explanation help or hurt?

The above lends itself to a re-write of sorts for Table X-6 which should be placed immediately after Table X-2 and a reformed Table X-1.  Tables X-3, 4 & 5 are great, as is, but should be moved to the of the system generation section.

Ok. First thing I'm thinking is that X-6 can be simplified.  Ice dwarfs and rocky sub-earths are mutually exclusive.  They're small planets on either side of the snow line.  Likewise, Ice giants aren't really that much different than gas giants (they lack large amounts of hydrogen and helium which makes them smaller) so I can drop the table to subearth, earthlike, superearth, and gas giant. 

I'll definitely split the adventure section from the physical section.

I'd simplify Table X-7 just because having a high pressure effect on a low mass planet doesn't make much sense to me.  High temperature and toxic environments are fine.

Pressure hazards can be high pressure or low pressure.  Do I need to separate them out?  (Although Titan is just short of having a high pressure I hazard)  Clarity is better than compactness in this case.

I didn't get to Tables X-8 or 9 in my run through, so I don't have any comments on those.  Table X-10 looks fine as is.

Hopefully that is of use to you.  I'd be happy to run through another building session when you come up with new rules.

X-8 is largely fluff.  One of my favorite paintings was a night scene of a young world that orbited a very young blue ringed gas giant.  It just struck me how alien that world would be.

X-9 should probably be with the planetary placement section.  Although given the ready availability of space suits, how habitable a planet is doesn't matter that much to players except that it gives them alien monsters to fight.

Thanks again for the comments.  I'll post up a version 2 in a couple days.
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MilitiaJim
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« Reply #13 on: November 22, 2012, 09:09:08 AM »

Having to armor up against a hostile environment to grab your forgotten music player from the car is right annoying.  There will need to be something compelling to keep people in such a hostile place.  Mining is the first thing that comes to mind.  Maybe something in the air contaminates welds making for some fantastically sturdy space ships?
« Last Edit: November 22, 2012, 03:09:39 PM by MilitiaJim » Logged

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« Reply #14 on: November 22, 2012, 10:43:04 AM »

A thought that occurred to me as I was drifting off to sleep last night: Do your quick rules need to detail ALL the planets in the solar system?

If we need habitable (or at least survivable ... with equipment) planets, then can't we focus a subset of tables for the quick rolls?  You could still have all the detail for when the GM needs to build a complete system but a way for on the fly creation of a suitable location right now.

This is not a completely formed thought, but it's what my subconscious has been working on.
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