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Author Topic: Star Trek RPG... What if there is no time travel?  (Read 7402 times)

HappyDaze

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Star Trek RPG... What if there is no time travel?
« on: May 03, 2022, 09:48:36 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.

Wisithir

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Re: Star Trek RPG... What if there is no time travel?
« Reply #1 on: May 03, 2022, 10:03:04 PM »
The Federation as we know it does not exist because the first human warp flight did not occur when the Vulcan survey ship was around to observe it, due to the Enterprise E not traveling back in time to ensure it happed as prescribed.

Chris24601

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Re: Star Trek RPG... What if there is no time travel?
« Reply #2 on: May 03, 2022, 10:56:22 PM »
The Federation as we know it does not exist because the first human warp flight did not occur when the Vulcan survey ship was around to observe it, due to the Enterprise E not traveling back in time to ensure it happed as prescribed.
Not quite correct; it was Borg interference via time travel that caused the flight to fail and the Enterprise-E just got it back on track. If there’s no time travel, then the Borg could not have messed it up and so everything in the Star Trek present would be just as it was except that Earth would be a lifeless rock as of the late 23rd century because the Probe in Star Trek IV would have killed everyone because there were no whales brought from the past to tell it to knock it off.

This Ends Tonight

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Re: Star Trek RPG... What if there is no time travel?
« Reply #3 on: May 03, 2022, 10:59:30 PM »
Usually time travel plots are all about making sure to undo all the effects of time travel plots. So generally not much. Except that giant space cigar who was so angry it couldn't talk to whales that it was gonna shake the Earth to death.

If Roddenberry in the 1960s had said, "Time travel is dumb, we will never do it," the shows would generally be the same, it isn't integral to the setting so much as it's a lazy way to create a plot and film on sets that look like current day Earth.

jhkim

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Re: Star Trek RPG... What if there is no time travel?
« Reply #4 on: May 03, 2022, 11:25:50 PM »
The Federation as we know it does not exist because the first human warp flight did not occur when the Vulcan survey ship was around to observe it, due to the Enterprise E not traveling back in time to ensure it happed as prescribed.

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. If you want to be technical, give a list of all the time travel stories that have happened and declare them all non-canon, but I don't think that the rest of the canon would be affected.

GeekyBugle

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Re: Star Trek RPG... What if there is no time travel?
« Reply #5 on: May 03, 2022, 11:40:50 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.

This is but one of the many reasons why I don't run/play in stablished IPs anymore (and I got my start playing WEG Star Wars).

I would preffer to play/run a totally not Star Trek because then I have a blank slate.

As someone already said Earth would be barren because no whales.
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HappyDaze

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Re: Star Trek RPG... What if there is no time travel?
« Reply #6 on: May 04, 2022, 12:03:45 AM »
Let's go with the assumption that none of the events that have previously required time travel to overcome required it in this universe. For example, perhaps a brilliant Xindi-Aquatic linguist was able to communicate with the probe from ST III and make it go the fuck away.

The big thing I'm looking for is to be able to start in year X with most events having the same outcomes expected without having to rely on time travel to get to those outcomes. Obviously, some events (like the Temporal Cold War) that depend upon time travel will just be eliminated from this universe. So in this universe, the Suliban and Xindi both attacked pre-Federation Earth on be half of mysterious patrons for reasons that did not involve beings from the future.

Mishihari

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Re: Star Trek RPG... What if there is no time travel?
« Reply #7 on: May 04, 2022, 01:05:27 AM »
If Roddenberry in the 1960s had said, "Time travel is dumb, we will never do it," the shows would generally be the same, it isn't integral to the setting so much as it's a lazy way to create a plot and film on sets that look like current day Earth.

If only.  A famous SF writer once said "In SF you get one impossibility for free, the rest you have to work for."  Trek never put in the work to make time travel plausible, at least not to me.  Space travel is more than enough to base the show on.  Adding time travel just makes it weirder without contributing anything.

migo

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Re: Star Trek RPG... What if there is no time travel?
« Reply #8 on: May 04, 2022, 03:28:00 AM »
Let's go with the assumption that none of the events that have previously required time travel to overcome required it in this universe. For example, perhaps a brilliant Xindi-Aquatic linguist was able to communicate with the probe from ST III and make it go the fuck away.

But the Xindi only got involved because of the temporal cold war. So would the pre-Federation have had Xindi contact without it?

jeff37923

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Re: Star Trek RPG... What if there is no time travel?
« Reply #9 on: May 04, 2022, 05:48:41 AM »
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.

You get Star Trek episodes where the writers actually have to come up with good scripts.

Then again, you also don't get a great episode by Harlan Ellison.
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Ratman_tf

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Re: Star Trek RPG... What if there is no time travel?
« Reply #10 on: May 04, 2022, 06:01:26 AM »
The Federation as we know it does not exist because the first human warp flight did not occur when the Vulcan survey ship was around to observe it, due to the Enterprise E not traveling back in time to ensure it happed as prescribed.

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

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jmarso

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Re: Star Trek RPG... What if there is no time travel?
« Reply #11 on: May 04, 2022, 09:03:47 AM »
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.

Armchair Gamer

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Re: Star Trek RPG... What if there is no time travel?
« Reply #12 on: May 04, 2022, 10:04:17 AM »
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.

   And it's really only in the show for budget reasons.

HappyDaze

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Re: Star Trek RPG... What if there is no time travel?
« Reply #13 on: May 04, 2022, 10:14:49 AM »
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.
If I was writing my own setting and intended to have transporter tech, I would limit it to working between two functioning transporter pads. If you want to go down to a new world, you send a shuttle. If you plan to be coming and going, have the shuttle crew bring down and assemble a transporter pad in the field (assuming your shuttles do not have transporters, and I prefer that they do not).

Banjo Destructo

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Re: Star Trek RPG... What if there is no time travel?
« Reply #14 on: May 04, 2022, 10:44:23 AM »
I honestly don't expect you'd really need to change anything or think of anything as being different in the setting if you remove time travel. Every time travel story that does exist in the shows/movies can be ignored/hand waved away for your game. Nothing important or intrinsic about trek requires time travel to exist.