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Space Opera Gaming

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tenbones:
This is not about systems, per se. This is about genre conceits and "what is cool". AND more importantly, do established Space Opera settings get in the way of your ability to enjoy other settings in the genre?

What elements do you like in a Space Opera?

 - Human space federation?
 - FTL?
 - Pseudo-Science?
 - Lots of humanoid aliens?
 - Capital ship customization and combat?
 - Fighter-scale combat?
 - Psionics? How powerful?
 - Politics/Exploration?

What KILLS Space Opera for you when it raises its head?

HappyDaze:
I don't like my space opera to take too hard a line on science when it comes to starships. I want space fighters that dogfight and ponderous capital ships firing barrages at one another. I don't want combatants that eliminate one another at extraordinary ranges with missiles/drones.

Spinachcat:
>What KILLS Space Opera for you when it raises its head?

Realism.

It's why I call it Space Fantasy when I run it. Not enough people understand the "opera" part and what it means because the public schools have failed civilization.

S'mon:
I like all those things OP.

My big problem with Space Opera - a genre I love - is that for easy long term RPG play you need a default game activity, and space opera gaming does not have the equivalent of D&D's 'go in the dungeon & loot'. Traveller has 'buy & sell', and Star Wars has 'go shoot some Stormtroopers'. The former is a bit dull. The latter is ok for linear mission based play, but does not lend it to the kind of sandboxing I like.

Aglondir:

--- Quote from: tenbones on November 23, 2021, 11:01:59 PM ---This is about genre conceits and "what is cool". AND more importantly, do established Space Opera settings get in the way of your ability to enjoy other settings in the genre? What elements do you like in a Space Opera?... What KILLS Space Opera for you when it raises its head?

--- End quote ---

Wow, great question. Cool Established Settings:

Babylon 5
Buck Rogers XXV
Dark Matter
Fading Suns
Lightspeed
Pirates of Drinax
Serenity
Star Hero's Terran Empire
Stars Without Numbers (Post-Scream space)
TravellerMap.com


Not Cool Settings (could fill up a page why they are uncool):

Star Trek's Federation
Star Wars


Cool Stuff

A humans-only universe
Ancient technology
Anti-grav tech
Bringing a sword to a blaster fight
Cargo cults
Droids that look like machines
Droids that can pass as human (androids, replicants)
Evil AI's
Genetic engineering (replacement limbs, altered humans)
Humanoid aliens can be cool if done right
Jumpgates
New space religions and cults
Noble houses
NPC aliens that can't be comprehended
Psionics that are not too powerful
Psionics when the focus is on the dramatic elements and not kewl powerz (see Babylon 5)
Ships that spin for gravity
Space combat that's like pirates (broadsides and boarding parties)
Wet nano-tech (inside your body, it can heal you)


Uncool Stuff

AIs that run the PCs ship
Alien PC races that are so alien they are unplayable
Cloning tech (usually)
Dogfights in space
Dry nano-tech (creating/disintegrating objects. See space magic)
Light sabers, etc.
Mecha
Replicators
Space magic (The Force)
Space magic (Treknology)
Space magic (Very powerful psionics)
Teleportation, transporters
The "Better Than You in Every Way" race (Vulcans, Minbari, Space Elves)
The players are plucky rebels fighting an evil empire

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