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Author Topic: So has anyone else picked up the new 2300AD?  (Read 1768 times)

Heavy Josh

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Re: So has anyone else picked up the new 2300AD?
« Reply #30 on: September 11, 2021, 11:11:47 PM »
Taking the setting of one game then using a second game to advance that setting by 300 years and then using the results of that game to make the setting for a third game is the most arbitrary way of making a game setting that I've ever heard of.

Arbitrary compared to what? Writer fiat? Designer fiat? If anything, it seems like it would have been a really awesome way to design a new setting!

This is Games Designers Workshop we're talking about here. These guys were some of the most well-respected military/strategic game designers in the industry. The Game was pretty legendary among GDW staffers and fans.
When you find yourself on the side of the majority, you should pause and reflect. -- Mark Twain

Heavy Josh

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Re: So has anyone else picked up the new 2300AD?
« Reply #31 on: September 11, 2021, 11:21:06 PM »

You can definitely do your typical SF campaigns, military or technothriller (there is a transhumanist terrorist faction) or even cyberpunk back on Earth. But because of the work the designers did on the worlds and aliens, it actually supports exploration based campaigns where there are meaningful player-level puzzles to explore. Not just "I make a Science roll".

The main draw for me is the aliens. The designers made them hard-SF plausible and actually gameable. Generally each species has some biology-based factor that explains why it behaves in a puzzling / threatening way. As in thinks as well as a human, but differently. Probably the best aliens I have seen in any setting, whether RPG, film or book.

Many of the colony worlds are well detailed - to just the right level that gives them an independent character and provides built-in adventure potential. Aurore (which got its own sourcebook) and Cold Mountain in particular. The official Traveller universe did that for a handful of worlds but 99%+ of them are just bare-bones seven-digit codes that the Ref has to do the work to make vivid and interesting. Obvs the Ref still has to do some work in 2300 but the designers give you more to work with.

It's a much harder SF feel than classic Traveller - movie references would be something like Alien (1-4), Predator or Outland. Ships have spin modules for gravity. The main departure from plausibility are FTL and the number of intelligent aliens within about 50ly of Earth.

If you want a flavour, I would say pick up the original Aurore book by GDW on Drivethru for ten dollars or whatever they are charging (site won't load for some reason). Most of it is system neutral. At the worst you will have a world you could drop into Traveller or whatever that would support a campaign's worth of play.

I really liked just how believable and alien the aliens were in 2300. The Kafer are scary, plausible, and pose a real challenge to PCs. The other aliens are also pretty interesting, and I recall there being one module about a group of PCs discovering a new alien species--one that had just become sentient, and had already begun to stratify into a very oppressive caste system. And then there's the Bayern adventure...
When you find yourself on the side of the majority, you should pause and reflect. -- Mark Twain

TheAsimovian

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Re: So has anyone else picked up the new 2300AD?
« Reply #32 on: September 12, 2021, 01:30:03 PM »
But an important part of how all the various nations in 2300AD ended up where they were is the fact that it wasn't arbitrary. It was the result of a complex, grand-strategic game called The Game that played out the 300 years between Twilight 2000 and 2300. That's a crucial part of both the history of the game and of the setting. The USA MIGHT have ended up as the major power, but they didn't, because of what happened in The Game. It wasn't an arbitrary decision.

Taking the setting of one game then using a second game to advance that setting by 300 years and then using the results of that game to make the setting for a third game is the most arbitrary way of making a game setting that I've ever heard of.

I was using arbitrary in the sense of an individual whim.

Eirikrautha

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Re: So has anyone else picked up the new 2300AD?
« Reply #33 on: September 12, 2021, 08:10:01 PM »
But an important part of how all the various nations in 2300AD ended up where they were is the fact that it wasn't arbitrary. It was the result of a complex, grand-strategic game called The Game that played out the 300 years between Twilight 2000 and 2300. That's a crucial part of both the history of the game and of the setting. The USA MIGHT have ended up as the major power, but they didn't, because of what happened in The Game. It wasn't an arbitrary decision.

Taking the setting of one game then using a second game to advance that setting by 300 years and then using the results of that game to make the setting for a third game is the most arbitrary way of making a game setting that I've ever heard of.

I was using arbitrary in the sense of an individual whim.

So was he.  Deciding to create the setting based on the results of a wargame, regardless of whether the results make sense or not, is as arbitrary as it comes.

TheAsimovian

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Re: So has anyone else picked up the new 2300AD?
« Reply #34 on: September 13, 2021, 07:47:45 AM »
Oh jesus, here we go. Semantic arguments about the use of a word with more than one strict definition.

OK, then, it's not 'arbitrary'. It's something else. Fuck's sake. If this board is all about that kind of niggling then I am fucking out of here.

Marchand

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Re: So has anyone else picked up the new 2300AD?
« Reply #35 on: September 13, 2021, 08:34:50 AM »
Oh jesus, here we go. Semantic arguments about the use of a word with more than one strict definition.

OK, then, it's not 'arbitrary'. It's something else. Fuck's sake. If this board is all about that kind of niggling then I am fucking out of here.

A lot less of it here than some boards I've been on.
"If the English surrender, it'll be a long war!"
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"Sorry, we don't have the facility to take you all prisoner."
Lt-Col John "Johnny" Frost, responding to German offer to discuss surrender terms, Arnhem, Sept 1944

hedgehobbit

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Re: So has anyone else picked up the new 2300AD?
« Reply #36 on: September 13, 2021, 10:54:38 AM »
I was using arbitrary in the sense of an individual whim.

I understood your intent, but I don't think that procedurally creating a game setting actually removes any "individual whim", it just moves those arbitrary decisions from the design of the setting to the design of the procedures (in this case, a game) that generates said setting. Since, in this case, we are talking about taking a setting that could never have happened historically, Twilight 2000, and advancing it forward in time with a vast list of unknowables such as the probability of habitable planets, the types and frequency of alien life, the detail of any sort of FTL travel, etc. It's whims stacked on top of whims.

However, that avoids the main issue here. What possible advantage is there of a setting being procedurally generated over one that is designed for a specific purpose and feel?
« Last Edit: September 13, 2021, 10:56:23 AM by hedgehobbit »

Heavy Josh

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Re: So has anyone else picked up the new 2300AD?
« Reply #37 on: September 13, 2021, 01:00:36 PM »

However, that avoids the main issue here. What possible advantage is there of a setting being procedurally generated over one that is designed for a specific purpose and feel?

It's a dynamically generated emergent game setting developed through actual play. That's kind of cool.
When you find yourself on the side of the majority, you should pause and reflect. -- Mark Twain

Marchand

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Re: So has anyone else picked up the new 2300AD?
« Reply #38 on: September 13, 2021, 08:22:25 PM »
What possible advantage is there of a setting being procedurally generated over one that is designed for a specific purpose and feel?

What advantage is there in randomly rolling up a PC rather than point-buy build? Or using a random scenario generator? It comes up with stuff you would otherwise probably never have thought of. It can achieve purpose and feel as an emergent quality, rather than something imposed.
"If the English surrender, it'll be a long war!"
- Scottish soldier on the beach at Dunkirk

"Sorry, we don't have the facility to take you all prisoner."
Lt-Col John "Johnny" Frost, responding to German offer to discuss surrender terms, Arnhem, Sept 1944

HappyDaze

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Re: So has anyone else picked up the new 2300AD?
« Reply #39 on: September 13, 2021, 08:39:00 PM »

However, that avoids the main issue here. What possible advantage is there of a setting being procedurally generated over one that is designed for a specific purpose and feel?

It's a dynamically generated emergent game setting developed through actual play. That's kind of cool.
Ever see what a shitshow actual play turned the L5R setting into?

Heavy Josh

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Re: So has anyone else picked up the new 2300AD?
« Reply #40 on: September 13, 2021, 10:24:33 PM »

Ever see what a shitshow actual play turned the L5R setting into?

Nope. Was that in-house, or "living world" fan-play derived stuff?

Edit: either way, if it didn't work for L5R, then the writers at least had the option to change things up as they developed the system. It's not necessary to cling to one way or the other in some sort of ideologically "pure" method of setting design. GDW decided to try growing a setting out of the Twilight:2000 game. They, being a bunch of strategy game designers, designed a game to play to see how things might play out. It worked, the company was happy with it, it wasn't a total gong show of a setting (by a long shot). I'm sure they probably tweaked a couple of things here and there that didn't fit right.
« Last Edit: September 13, 2021, 10:30:18 PM by Heavy Josh »
When you find yourself on the side of the majority, you should pause and reflect. -- Mark Twain

hedgehobbit

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Re: So has anyone else picked up the new 2300AD?
« Reply #41 on: September 14, 2021, 11:52:33 AM »
What advantage is there in randomly rolling up a PC rather than point-buy build?

I'm ok with randomly rolling for PCs if it's a campaign where death is expected and I might need to go through multiple characters. But, for a campaign where I will only have one PC, such as a superhero game, I would only every use a point buy system for that. Similarly, a randomly generated adventure is fine as that will only take a session or two.

For an entire setting, however, I'd rather it be carefully crafted to create a specific feel or theme. Otherwise you end up with 2300 which always felt incoherent to me.

HappyDaze

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Re: So has anyone else picked up the new 2300AD?
« Reply #42 on: September 14, 2021, 12:40:48 PM »

Ever see what a shitshow actual play turned the L5R setting into?

Nope. Was that in-house, or "living world" fan-play derived stuff?

Edit: either way, if it didn't work for L5R, then the writers at least had the option to change things up as they developed the system. It's not necessary to cling to one way or the other in some sort of ideologically "pure" method of setting design. GDW decided to try growing a setting out of the Twilight:2000 game. They, being a bunch of strategy game designers, designed a game to play to see how things might play out. It worked, the company was happy with it, it wasn't a total gong show of a setting (by a long shot). I'm sure they probably tweaked a couple of things here and there that didn't fit right.
Their world history was decided by the winners of their card game tournaments. History was literally written by the victors, in some really stupid ways.

Heavy Josh

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Re: So has anyone else picked up the new 2300AD?
« Reply #43 on: September 14, 2021, 01:01:31 PM »
Their world history was decided by the winners of their card game tournaments. History was literally written by the victors, in some really stupid ways.

Ah. That doesn't seem wise in the slightest. Fan input is great, but if the goal is a playable game world, then it's probably best to keep the final editorial decisions about the game setting in-house.
When you find yourself on the side of the majority, you should pause and reflect. -- Mark Twain

lordmalachdrim

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Re: So has anyone else picked up the new 2300AD?
« Reply #44 on: September 14, 2021, 03:51:49 PM »
Those winners were making decisions based on the faction they played in a Card Game.