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Author Topic: Star Trek RPG... What if there is no time travel?  (Read 3802 times)

Zalman

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Re: Star Trek RPG... What if there is no time travel?
« Reply #15 on: May 04, 2022, 11:39:55 AM »
If you really want to rattle the cage, try a ST campaign without transporter technology.

The Orville got this right.
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jhkim

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Re: Star Trek RPG... What if there is no time travel?
« Reply #16 on: May 04, 2022, 02:21:48 PM »
This is pretty easily handwaved as happening according to the original timeline. The Enterprise E did not arrive - but neither did the Borg sphere that it was chasing, so the warp flight and contact happened - just not in the altered way portrayed in the "First Contact" movie.

In general, I think Star Trek would require some changes to the canon - but other than the score or so of individual incidents, I don't think that any of the broader background needs to change. The Federation wasn't portrayed as having a time police or similar organization.

https://memory-alpha.fandom.com/wiki/Temporal_Integrity_Commission

https://memory-alpha.fandom.com/wiki/Department_of_Temporal_Investigations

OK, it's a fair cop - I was wrong. Still, these aren't integral to the series, since they appear in only one episode each, it seems. Single episode continuity is pretty easy to cut. It doesn't change anything about the Federation broadly to cut these out of continuity.

I think the more significant is the Temporal Cold War that is central to the Star Trek: Enterprise, but even that doesn't affect most of the rest of the background.

GeekyBugle

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Re: Star Trek RPG... What if there is no time travel?
« Reply #17 on: May 04, 2022, 02:35:37 PM »
If you really want to rattle the cage, try a ST campaign without transporter technology.

The Orville got this right.

The Orville is more Star Trek than anything the owners of the IP have produced in a long while. Starting with the Movies and including the tv shows, etc.
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Ratman_tf

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Re: Star Trek RPG... What if there is no time travel?
« Reply #18 on: May 04, 2022, 04:22:47 PM »
If you really want to rattle the cage, try a ST campaign without transporter technology. To me, the transporter was far less likely than warp drive and the other tech, and the writers misused and abused it terribly.

I agree, but I think transporters are a distinctly Trek element, and most fans associate it with the franchise. "Beam me up, Scotty", and all that.

I think the issue is a distinctly RPG one. We expect players to solve problems based on the situation. Trek has lots of examples of crazy things happening due to time travel or transporters or replicators, and so the players who are familiar with trek are going to expect they can use those techs to solve problems. In a TV show, the writers can just ignore the implications, but a GM can't.

And then if the GM introduces any crazy tech of their own, they're going to have to deal with that.
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Ratman_tf

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Re: Star Trek RPG... What if there is no time travel?
« Reply #19 on: May 04, 2022, 04:34:30 PM »
This is pretty easily handwaved as happening according to the original timeline. The Enterprise E did not arrive - but neither did the Borg sphere that it was chasing, so the warp flight and contact happened - just not in the altered way portrayed in the "First Contact" movie.

In general, I think Star Trek would require some changes to the canon - but other than the score or so of individual incidents, I don't think that any of the broader background needs to change. The Federation wasn't portrayed as having a time police or similar organization.

https://memory-alpha.fandom.com/wiki/Temporal_Integrity_Commission

https://memory-alpha.fandom.com/wiki/Department_of_Temporal_Investigations

OK, it's a fair cop - I was wrong. Still, these aren't integral to the series, since they appear in only one episode each, it seems. Single episode continuity is pretty easy to cut. It doesn't change anything about the Federation broadly to cut these out of continuity.

I think the more significant is the Temporal Cold War that is central to the Star Trek: Enterprise, but even that doesn't affect most of the rest of the background.

I think the foundation was laid with the Gary Seven episode that demonstrated that time travel was safe and reliable enough for the Federation to use it for historical research.

https://memory-alpha.fandom.com/wiki/Assignment:_Earth_(episode)

The first thing I would retcon regarding time travel in Trek, is that it's a dangerous and unreliable tech, not only because of the danger of altering the timeline, but simply attempting it can strand a ship in some era where there's no backup, or wind up smashing the ship into a sun. (In the case of the warp-slingshot) A desperate technique not to be used for simple sightseeing.
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Zelen

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Re: Star Trek RPG... What if there is no time travel?
« Reply #20 on: May 04, 2022, 05:03:09 PM »
Time travel is too interesting as a narrative device for writers of science fiction stories to ever completely avoid it. A lot of the best TNG episodes involve time travel or alternate-realities-as-time-travel. Yesterday's Enterprise, Cause & Effect, or All Good Things for example.

HappyDaze

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Re: Star Trek RPG... What if there is no time travel?
« Reply #21 on: May 04, 2022, 05:08:15 PM »
This is pretty easily handwaved as happening according to the original timeline. The Enterprise E did not arrive - but neither did the Borg sphere that it was chasing, so the warp flight and contact happened - just not in the altered way portrayed in the "First Contact" movie.

In general, I think Star Trek would require some changes to the canon - but other than the score or so of individual incidents, I don't think that any of the broader background needs to change. The Federation wasn't portrayed as having a time police or similar organization.

https://memory-alpha.fandom.com/wiki/Temporal_Integrity_Commission

https://memory-alpha.fandom.com/wiki/Department_of_Temporal_Investigations

OK, it's a fair cop - I was wrong. Still, these aren't integral to the series, since they appear in only one episode each, it seems. Single episode continuity is pretty easy to cut. It doesn't change anything about the Federation broadly to cut these out of continuity.

I think the more significant is the Temporal Cold War that is central to the Star Trek: Enterprise, but even that doesn't affect most of the rest of the background.

I think the foundation was laid with the Gary Seven episode that demonstrated that time travel was safe and reliable enough for the Federation to use it for historical research.

https://memory-alpha.fandom.com/wiki/Assignment:_Earth_(episode)

The first thing I would retcon regarding time travel in Trek, is that it's a dangerous and unreliable tech, not only because of the danger of altering the timeline, but simply attempting it can strand a ship in some era where there's no backup, or wind up smashing the ship into a sun. (In the case of the warp-slingshot) A desperate technique not to be used for simple sightseeing.
I agree with this. If I was going to include time travel in the setting it would be hazardous and unreliable regardless of the tech involved (otherwise the obvious answer is to seek out more advanced tech for time travel). This is part of why I considered having the "time cops" not be humanoids from the future, but instead "timeless" aliens like Q running something like the organization from Loki (perhaps with El-Aurians being their agents).

Omega

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Re: Star Trek RPG... What if there is no time travel?
« Reply #22 on: May 04, 2022, 05:17:51 PM »
I was looking at running a Star Trek RPG (system undecided, but probably Decipher's CODA) but was wondering how the setting would be altered if time travel were not possible. Perhaps the laws of the universe just don't allow it, or perhaps beings from beyond the universe (Q or such) choose to prevent it, but either way, what would the Star Trek setting be like if time travel is eliminated? I'm thinking that this happens from the beginning of time, not as in in-game event.

Overall you can drop the time travel elements as in at least the TOS era they were few and far between. Tomorrow is Yesterday being the first one where it is a major plot element. Building off an accidental short time hop in a prior episode. Assignment Earth and City at the Edge of Forever are the other two notable ones with All Our Yesterdays also being a time Travel Episode that does not feel like a time travel episode in the normal sense.

But keep in mind that at least by Rodenberry's notations. Everyone travelling in space is technically travelling in time due to time dialation. His original concept was that there was no overall dating in the normal sense for shops as their subjective time was always different. It was only mentioned in passing once far as recall.

But for whatever reasons its become one of the most over-over-over-used elements in Star Trek. Hence it is practically non-existent in my campaign. So say instead of getting the whales from the past for that alien probe. They had to travel to a planet where cetacians had been moved and have to get their help there after unearthing the old files telling where. ETC. Keeping any actual Time Travel incidents very few and very far between so if ever used they have more impact instead of "oh joy... another damn time travel plot..."

jhkim

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Re: Star Trek RPG... What if there is no time travel?
« Reply #23 on: May 05, 2022, 12:05:53 AM »
Overall you can drop the time travel elements as in at least the TOS era they were few and far between. Tomorrow is Yesterday being the first one where it is a major plot element. Building off an accidental short time hop in a prior episode. Assignment Earth and City at the Edge of Forever are the other two notable ones with All Our Yesterdays also being a time Travel Episode that does not feel like a time travel episode in the normal sense.

But keep in mind that at least by Rodenberry's notations. Everyone travelling in space is technically travelling in time due to time dialation. His original concept was that there was no overall dating in the normal sense for shops as their subjective time was always different. It was only mentioned in passing once far as recall.

But for whatever reasons its become one of the most over-over-over-used elements in Star Trek.

To be fair to the later series, I think the *ratio* of time travel episodes within the series remained didn't increase - it may have even gone down. There were a lot more episodes later that involved time travel, but there were a lot more episodes total. Here's one person's summary:

https://www.higgypop.com/news/star-trek-time-travel/

That's 5 out of 79 in the original series, 10 out of 178 in The Next Generation, 10 out of 176 in Deep Space Nine, 11 out of 172 in Voyager, and 12 out of 98 in Enterprise.

That's a large number of episodes, but the vast majority of episodes have no time travel - so I agree that retconning them out isn't that difficult. Taking out transporters would be a lot more difficult, as they are used in nearly every episode.

HappyDaze

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Re: Star Trek RPG... What if there is no time travel?
« Reply #24 on: May 05, 2022, 12:32:15 AM »
Overall you can drop the time travel elements as in at least the TOS era they were few and far between. Tomorrow is Yesterday being the first one where it is a major plot element. Building off an accidental short time hop in a prior episode. Assignment Earth and City at the Edge of Forever are the other two notable ones with All Our Yesterdays also being a time Travel Episode that does not feel like a time travel episode in the normal sense.

But keep in mind that at least by Rodenberry's notations. Everyone travelling in space is technically travelling in time due to time dialation. His original concept was that there was no overall dating in the normal sense for shops as their subjective time was always different. It was only mentioned in passing once far as recall.

But for whatever reasons its become one of the most over-over-over-used elements in Star Trek.

To be fair to the later series, I think the *ratio* of time travel episodes within the series remained didn't increase - it may have even gone down. There were a lot more episodes later that involved time travel, but there were a lot more episodes total. Here's one person's summary:

https://www.higgypop.com/news/star-trek-time-travel/

That's 5 out of 79 in the original series, 10 out of 178 in The Next Generation, 10 out of 176 in Deep Space Nine, 11 out of 172 in Voyager, and 12 out of 98 in Enterprise.

That's a large number of episodes, but the vast majority of episodes have no time travel - so I agree that retconning them out isn't that difficult. Taking out transporters would be a lot more difficult, as they are used in nearly every episode.
The Enterprise set is already at the high end proportionately, and then you realize they didn't include many of the Temporal Cold War episodes.

Godsmonkey

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Re: Star Trek RPG... What if there is no time travel?
« Reply #25 on: May 05, 2022, 09:46:00 AM »
If you really want to rattle the cage, try a ST campaign without transporter technology.

The Orville got this right.

Seems like the Orville is a better foundation to build a Star Trek like RPG than Star Trek. There is less lore, and less corruption from time travel episodes that would alter the time line.

It also allows you more room to venture off on your own.

Ratman_tf

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Re: Star Trek RPG... What if there is no time travel?
« Reply #26 on: May 05, 2022, 03:54:11 PM »
If you really want to rattle the cage, try a ST campaign without transporter technology.

The Orville got this right.

Seems like the Orville is a better foundation to build a Star Trek like RPG than Star Trek. There is less lore, and less corruption from time travel episodes that would alter the time line.

It also allows you more room to venture off on your own.

For now...

https://orville.fandom.com/wiki/Tomorrow,_and_Tomorrow,_and_Tomorrow
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Omega

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Re: Star Trek RPG... What if there is no time travel?
« Reply #27 on: May 05, 2022, 04:24:50 PM »
To be fair to the later series, I think the *ratio* of time travel episodes within the series remained didn't increase - it may have even gone down. There were a lot more episodes later that involved time travel, but there were a lot more episodes total. Here's one person's summary:

https://www.higgypop.com/news/star-trek-time-travel/

That's 5 out of 79 in the original series, 10 out of 178 in The Next Generation, 10 out of 176 in Deep Space Nine, 11 out of 172 in Voyager, and 12 out of 98 in Enterprise.

That's a large number of episodes, but the vast majority of episodes have no time travel - so I agree that retconning them out isn't that difficult. Taking out transporters would be a lot more difficult, as they are used in nearly every episode.

Problem is that Enterprise skews this in a roundabout way as theres that whole "Temporal Cold War" arc. And Discovery has been doling out the time travel elements left and right. Picard too. Prior to that I'd say yes. It was not as prevalent or in some cases was time travel only in the most roundabout or superficial manner.

It even pops up as a story arc in the Star Trek early NES/SNES console games. And its all over the ST MMO.

As for Transporters. Those could actually also be easily removed and replaced with shuttles. A few episodes would need some sort of fast emergency pod like a suped up workbee for the rare few really close calls. Or other tech to extricate characters from whatever problem, or to get them into whatever problem.

Just a matter of how many hoops you want to jump through to get what you want. Much akin to say removing magic from Shadowrun. In some ways it impacts the setting not one bit as it's always treated the magic as an afterthought even when its supposedly prominent to a story.

migo

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Re: Star Trek RPG... What if there is no time travel?
« Reply #28 on: May 05, 2022, 04:29:54 PM »
To be fair to the later series, I think the *ratio* of time travel episodes within the series remained didn't increase - it may have even gone down. There were a lot more episodes later that involved time travel, but there were a lot more episodes total. Here's one person's summary:

https://www.higgypop.com/news/star-trek-time-travel/

That's 5 out of 79 in the original series, 10 out of 178 in The Next Generation, 10 out of 176 in Deep Space Nine, 11 out of 172 in Voyager, and 12 out of 98 in Enterprise.

That's a large number of episodes, but the vast majority of episodes have no time travel - so I agree that retconning them out isn't that difficult. Taking out transporters would be a lot more difficult, as they are used in nearly every episode.

Problem is that Enterprise skews this in a roundabout way as theres that whole "Temporal Cold War" arc. And Discovery has been doling out the time travel elements left and right. Picard too. Prior to that I'd say yes. It was not as prevalent or in some cases was time travel only in the most roundabout or superficial manner.

It even pops up as a story arc in the Star Trek early NES/SNES console games. And its all over the ST MMO.

As for Transporters. Those could actually also be easily removed and replaced with shuttles. A few episodes would need some sort of fast emergency pod like a suped up workbee for the rare few really close calls. Or other tech to extricate characters from whatever problem, or to get them into whatever problem.

Just a matter of how many hoops you want to jump through to get what you want. Much akin to say removing magic from Shadowrun. In some ways it impacts the setting not one bit as it's always treated the magic as an afterthought even when its supposedly prominent to a story.

I don't think removing transporters would change much at all to the overall story - except we'd lose Mirror, Mirror (which by itself was an interesting episode like Remember Me, but got out of hand with the mirror universe episodes in DS9) and Second Chances - since a lot of the time the writers had to find some reason that transporters didn't work to maintain tension.

HappyDaze

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Re: Star Trek RPG... What if there is no time travel?
« Reply #29 on: May 05, 2022, 04:43:43 PM »
To be fair to the later series, I think the *ratio* of time travel episodes within the series remained didn't increase - it may have even gone down. There were a lot more episodes later that involved time travel, but there were a lot more episodes total. Here's one person's summary:

https://www.higgypop.com/news/star-trek-time-travel/

That's 5 out of 79 in the original series, 10 out of 178 in The Next Generation, 10 out of 176 in Deep Space Nine, 11 out of 172 in Voyager, and 12 out of 98 in Enterprise.

That's a large number of episodes, but the vast majority of episodes have no time travel - so I agree that retconning them out isn't that difficult. Taking out transporters would be a lot more difficult, as they are used in nearly every episode.

Problem is that Enterprise skews this in a roundabout way as theres that whole "Temporal Cold War" arc. And Discovery has been doling out the time travel elements left and right. Picard too. Prior to that I'd say yes. It was not as prevalent or in some cases was time travel only in the most roundabout or superficial manner.

It even pops up as a story arc in the Star Trek early NES/SNES console games. And its all over the ST MMO.

As for Transporters. Those could actually also be easily removed and replaced with shuttles. A few episodes would need some sort of fast emergency pod like a suped up workbee for the rare few really close calls. Or other tech to extricate characters from whatever problem, or to get them into whatever problem.

Just a matter of how many hoops you want to jump through to get what you want. Much akin to say removing magic from Shadowrun. In some ways it impacts the setting not one bit as it's always treated the magic as an afterthought even when its supposedly prominent to a story.

I don't think removing transporters would change much at all to the overall story - except we'd lose Mirror, Mirror (which by itself was an interesting episode like Remember Me, but got out of hand with the mirror universe episodes in DS9) and Second Chances - since a lot of the time the writers had to find some reason that transporters didn't work to maintain tension.
That last part is why the Modiphius version is a heavily narrative game. In traditional games, people expect their gear (magic, tech, or magical tech) to have predictable results and not to go on the fritz for story reasons. In the narrative games, you always expect the gear to relatively unimportant unless you metacurrency it into being the most important thing.