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Author Topic: Space Opera Gaming  (Read 6948 times)

Batjon

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Re: Space Opera Gaming
« Reply #75 on: December 29, 2021, 08:13:46 PM »
Battlelords of the 23rd. Century 7th. Edition.

caldrail

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Re: Space Opera Gaming
« Reply #76 on: December 30, 2021, 03:18:18 AM »
Quote
then watch an old science fiction TV series called Space: 1999. How they incorporate horror elements into what is a squishy science space opera is brilliant. Space: 1999 is an often overlooked gem.
or indeed it's predecessor, UFO.

Somebody mentioned Traveller. Space Opera? Well, you could play it that way, but I don't think that was ever the intention of the rules' authors. It has more to do with tinkering, solving problems, focused on a small personal scale. Certainly its spin-off, Megatraveller, could never be described as opera in any form. Too detailed, Unplayable in my view because it tries to codify everything. My own experience of scifi RPG's is that the science should always be in the background, means to an end. Once you start trying to analyse and creating rules to reconstruct the possible, you start running into the very same complexity the real world offers us. Not fun.
« Last Edit: December 30, 2021, 03:23:59 AM by caldrail »

Eirikrautha

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Re: Space Opera Gaming
« Reply #77 on: December 30, 2021, 12:28:15 PM »
If "going back to the roots" wouldn't it be good to refresh on what "Opera" is?
===
An opera is a theatrical piece that tells a story totally through the music. It consists of recitatives which provide the narrative plot line and elaborate chorus singing, along with duets and arias,
===

While it might be interesting to make a game where the players sing, I'd be surprised if there was a market for it.

What really stands out to me is the Character Focus over the setting. It really seems to me that it would favor the "Narrative" games with their scene focus over the more traditional blow-by-blow style.
Yes and no.  I agree that the "opera" part of space opera is often overlooked, but not the singing.  Opera deals with larger than life characters, malevolent - but relatable - villains, a sweeping scope, focus on the why and not the how (especially important in space opera... that's why midiclorians was such a blunder), heroic falls from grace, etc.  Honestly, opera generally has some overarching goal for the main characters, even if it is their fall from grace, and so a sand-box campaign seems like it would be very hard to accomplish.  I don't think a "storygame" is any more suited than a traditional RPG, as the important part is the themes of the game, and not the mechanics.  Sure, mechanics (especially the "how" mechanics) can be intrusive, but that's much less of a problem than trying to turn your murder-hobo players into operatic heroes...

Greentongue

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Re: Space Opera Gaming
« Reply #78 on: December 30, 2021, 01:37:27 PM »
The imperative of PbtA / BitD games of "Drive it like you stole it!" just seems to me to align better with an Opera style.
Along with the Scene Resolving by a Move verses the drawn out Back & Forth of D20 rolls.
Obviously there are multiple rule options. I just think that if you want to play in a Opera Style, they are rule systems to consider.

tenbones

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Re: Space Opera Gaming
« Reply #79 on: January 03, 2022, 10:50:19 AM »
I don't actually like PbtA/BitD for RPG's. I'm pretty set on systems (I have puh-lenty of systems to choose from - I generally find PbtA/BitD are too anemic for my sandbox style of gamine with depth, but I appreciate the offer.)

Yeah I grew up with Space 1999. Loved that series, though it probably deserves a re-watch.

I'm also looking at Space Battleship Yamato and Macross as well as some other old school anime. I'm a big fan of Mekton - I own all the books for it, so I'm top of that.

Greentongue

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Re: Space Opera Gaming
« Reply #80 on: January 03, 2022, 02:51:35 PM »
Yeah, PbtA/FitD is not for everyone but it does seem to do what is commonly called "Opera" style of play pretty well.
I'm sure that there are people that play them without depth but then there are people that require climbing rolls for every 10 feet of height too. "Correct" for one is not always the same "correct" for others.

tenbones

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Re: Space Opera Gaming
« Reply #81 on: January 03, 2022, 03:55:43 PM »
Sure. I think PbtA is typically played in a way I consider "Too meta" for my campaigns. I like things played a little closer to the drama and action rather than abstractions handwave all the things I consider "the good stuff".

Truth be told - I'm not even convinced that they are "RPG" systems more than souped-up board-game rules. Hot sports opinion, probably better for another thread.

Greentongue

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Re: Space Opera Gaming
« Reply #82 on: January 03, 2022, 06:55:34 PM »
I think you have been exposed to a completely different view than I have but as you say, this is not the thread to dig into that.
Besides, I'm not an expert and don't know every current variation on the hundreds of tuned genre emulations.

tenbones

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Re: Space Opera Gaming
« Reply #83 on: January 04, 2022, 09:31:24 AM »
As BitD is/can be "Mission Oriented" - I could easily see someone making a Space Opera game in that system.

I'd want an engine a little more detailed and flexible under the hood. I need scaling both vertical and horizontal. D6, Savage Worlds (especially with Rifts rules), CP2020 - if I wanted to get gritty with some Mekton rules over the top on it, would be my immediate go-to. At least until I try the Alien's game, which has a very cool ruleset on paper.

palaeomerus

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Re: Space Opera Gaming
« Reply #84 on: January 04, 2022, 01:35:04 PM »
Scum and Villainy is close though it's more Firefly/Blake's 7 oriented which was gritty cold doomed anti-hero outlaw stuff.
Emery

Greentongue

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Re: Space Opera Gaming
« Reply #85 on: January 04, 2022, 01:40:38 PM »
"Scum & Villiany" is the BitD Space Opera game but, from what I gather, is just focused on three primary tracks.
But yeah, if you want a game that bounces around between multiple types of things like trading / theft / court cases / bounty hunting / love affairs / archeology and such, then not the game system to use.
It's strength is enforcing genre conventions to drive a specific type of activity.  Any one of those I mentioned but not all.
The ones that try to do all, are the horror stories people point to as rules failure. 

As you may know, not all Opera is about "Heroes".
« Last Edit: January 04, 2022, 01:42:11 PM by Greentongue »

Jaeger

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Re: Space Opera Gaming
« Reply #86 on: January 04, 2022, 10:04:24 PM »
I don't actually like PbtA/BitD for RPG's. I'm pretty set on systems (I have puh-lenty of systems to choose from - I generally find PbtA/BitD are too anemic for my sandbox style of gamine with depth, but I appreciate the offer.)
...

As someone that has played a lot of PbtA, BitD style games; they are absolutely not suited for sandbox play.

Greentounge kinda nails it in one here:

...
It's strength is enforcing genre conventions to drive a specific type of activity.  ...

They are laser-focused, rules-light RPG's, meant to enforce genre tropes in a very specific type of "on mission" play style.

They are great for one shots, short adventures, and 5-6 month long mini-campaigns, but not more. The PC's will cap out around that point with advancement coming to a standstill.

They're literally not designed for play outside that range.

IMHO they are worth looking at, as they do have several clever ideas that can port into whatever homebrew system someone might be doing. But RAW they are very much designed to drive a very specific hyper-focused style of play.
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Greentongue

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Re: Space Opera Gaming
« Reply #87 on: January 05, 2022, 06:46:58 AM »
They are great for one shots, short adventures, and 5-6 month long mini-campaigns, but not more. The PC's will cap out around that point with advancement coming to a standstill.
On the upside, perfect for a series of missions.

It's also one of the few times I've had a players say, "This is the first time I've actually finished a campaign."
Seems that even with all the huge plans GMs have, games don't often make it to "The End". 

tenbones

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Re: Space Opera Gaming
« Reply #88 on: January 05, 2022, 09:35:50 AM »
Yeah that's one of the reasons that I kinda find Savage Worlds is the happy medium. It's granular enough mechanically for me to run it sandbox, but it is entirely about the tropes of the genre you're setting demands, and does so without having to do a lot of fiddly stuff. And what fiddly stuff needs to be done is pretty straightforward.

What are some other cool settings/books that are Space Opera that are "not quite" what people think of as "Space Opera"?

Zalman

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Re: Space Opera Gaming
« Reply #89 on: January 05, 2022, 11:23:19 AM »
What are some other cool settings/books that are Space Opera that are "not quite" what people think of as "Space Opera"?

In that regard, it seems to me that a lot of ideas could be pulled from the Stainless Steel Rat world. Probably doesn't reach even "not quite" levels of similarity to Space Opera, but lots of elements could be re-skinned as more "operatic".
Old School? Back in my day we just called it "School."