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/tg/ - Traditional Games

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So, let's say we decide to make a space opera setting/system.

But here's the catch: in this universe, faster than light travel is impossible. Humanity is immune to extinction due to the sheer amount of colonies that exists and its expansion is nowhere near finished.

How would you keep this interesting for your players?
Space Opera WITHOUT FTL?

I could do it... but if I am ignoring physics and just getting dramatic in space... why am i doing it?

...of course tons of drama potential with STL and time dilation...
Authenticity? If literature is merely a medium for escapism then why don't we just write Tolkien mythology over and over?

Think about it. Humanity travels in sleeper ships between worlds (and journeys can take thousands of years in suspended animation) but can also build computers that use particle entanglement to communicate instantly.

So you get frozen up, wake up what seems like an instant later and get the lowdown on what happened to your homeworld during the past thousand years and speak to your family, 50 generations down the line.
Humanity had back in the day stumbled across a strange "megastructure", or a BDO of sorts.

The Hub.

50 inhabitable worlds in a solar system, rich with resources and a haven for life. Somehow forming a bizzare but entirely stable orbit around each other, by natural or even technological means.

And there is life, there.

(if FTL is impossible, just shrink the distances)

Interplanetary Starships are huge oversized monstrosities that can support the population of a small city for an indeterminable amount of time.
Party is currently aboard one of these ships during a long voyage to <insert Planet here>
Bad shit suddenly starts goes down.
Insert Aliens, Gremlins (aka malfunctioning shit), Conspiracy, Conflict, and Interstellar Terrorism Plot here.
OP here, I'll rephrase.

How would you maintain a proper plot when 10,000 year long gaps are a frequent occurrence? Assuming, of course, that the narrative includes space travel. If everything happens on a single planet there's no point in even touching the subject.
whedon pls go
It's not too farfetched when you realize gas giants have many moons and several moons around a single gas giant could potentially sustain human life.
lotsa different aliens. every planet to be colonized requires several years of conquest/diplomacy before it can be settled. I'm thinking something around 50d1000 required to generate the original inhabitants of each new world
I have no idea how you could keep a structured and compelling narrative with those kinds of time skips. Interstellar conflict would essentially be meaningless when your enemy's civilization could die and be reborn several times before your payload arrives.

Now what I do think could be a fruitful avenue would be a story focused around exploration and the continuing expansion of humanity. Conflict on a colony ship or between two colonized worlds in a single solar system could be very interesting.

Easy mode: Keep it in one system.

There really isnt much reason to travel between places without FTL, besides the colony ships going new places. Its not worth shipping goods that far. Ever. I mean sure you could make it cheap if you got enough resources to strap rocket boosters and fuel to the packages but who the fuck would pay for raw materials they'll show up in a thousand years. Especially when they can mine it from the system they are in (seriously there is a shit ton of everything in a system).

So really the only story there would be either sort of like forever war i guess where its about civilisations blasting eachother with RKVs and hoping the other side miss, exploring how people act and what they do when they know for a fact the planet they live on is going to be split in two in a couple of generations cause their neighbor just felt paranoid.

Or it could be about those giant ark ships that travel to new worlds. One way trip.

An interesting scenario could be about a world which just so happens two different planets scout and send arks too. So its about two offshoots of radically different civilizations who clash on the same planet.
Hmm shit, why didn't I think about war.

>send millions of troops to enemy world
>war is long over by the time the last few waves get there
>they're stuck on the planet and must integrate the society they were sent to destroy
Realistically, you wouldn't most of the time. 10,000 year journeys would be done once, and be over with, and a new colony set up.

If you want something virtual-like I would recommend two things: FTL communication, and transfer of minds digitally.

For 10,000 year journeys there would have to be pressing reasons to travel...


You are the crew of a colony ship; your cargo, a dozen pre-fabbed colonies and terraforming gear.

You travel from planet to planet, thousands of light years apart, and drop off a colony each time, spend half a year getting the colony on its feet and recovering, reviving the people in the other colonies to check up on them. And refreeze them, and go to the next.

Each of the colonies are people who are friends, perhaps loved ones, and you must leave them behind.

And when you sleep and wake again do, they are dead and their descendants are never to see you.

And you do it again, leaving your precious cargo behind with each step of the way.
There would be plenty of reasons to travel between places. Given sufficient funding a man could travel between several galaxies inside of one human month.
FTL communication is also an important setting element. Essentially, for two planets to communicate, particle entanglement is necessary and that requires two communicators to be manufactured in the same lab, and then delivered.

To keep a network of communication between hundreds of human worlds, constant cargo hauls would be necessary.
Why would journeys take 10000 years? Even if you're under the speed of light, well, 0.99c is still under the speed of light, and that'll take you to a neighbouring star system in a matter of years - less than that in subjective time.
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For example, a colony ship meant to spend 10,000 years in transit would probably be massive. Think closed O'Neil cylinder. Something so large, it feels like a small world. The Island-3 type colony has something like 500 square miles of real estate in it.

You could have small starter populations planted into a cylinder that would grow over generations while the cylinder drifts to its destination occasionally making adjustments with nuclear power thrusters. The colony could also perform multiple gravitational slingshot maneuvers on its journey to another habitable world. Stealing momentum from stellar objects found along its trajectory and then performing similar maneuvers at its destination to bleed off momentum.

With medical advances what they are, and especially considering humanity's growing mastery over genetics it is fairly logical to speculate that humans may eventually become biologically immortal. If you can keep cancer at bay and find a way to restore telomeres in living creatures, there doesn't seem to be any reason why a human couldn't live the 10,000 years for the whole journey.
According to Wikipedia the closest planet speculated to be habitable is 12 light years away.


Assuming a network of habitable planets with say, the furthest distance between any two being 800 or so planets, then you have over eight thousand years right there.

Of course it cold take less than 20 if you're visiting your neighbor.
I am used to hard sci-fi using the No FTL rule, though.

A Space Opera, none of the science or tech mattering, but keeping the lack of FTL... it'd be there for the drama potential.

The kind of loss you'd have to deal with. Every trip a sacrifice. Every journey a new lifetime entirely. And forget sleeper ships, it's space opera... time dilation. The trip is still instant for you. Outside, it's decades for everyone else. Not enough time goes by for an entirely clean slate. You get to hear about distant loved ones growing old, hear they might die before you see them again. You get to come back just in time to hear they've been dead just a few years, that despite all of the transhumanism technology they only lived 3 or 4 centuries until they let themselves die? Had an accident? Does anyone even remember or care when it happened years ago?

...300 years wasn't enough time to say good bye...

Uncle... uncle i died in poverty. You left for me, the company promised we'd be cared for. Every paycheck they sent you a receipt for was a lie to us. We wouldn't get a dime until you got back. You probably know all of this already, you'd have enough time to learn it by now. I likely died starving because of them. They knew it'd be 200 years before you returned, from our point of view... a long term investment they'd live to reap, while those they made promises to died quietly...

Uncle... I wish you could have stayed...
But even a system with no inhabited or inhabitable planets could have space stations, hollowed out asteroids and other forms of space habitat, so long as there were resources in that system.

Some might be the space equivalent of a small town that lives off the local highway and basically exists only to provide travellers passing through with a place to buy gas, coffee and some pie.
I think it's more interesting to explore the kind of person who would do this kind of Space Travel Routinely and Often. You would have to be extremely disconnected from the passing of normal time and be constantly exposed to a slightly changed world each time you come out. No family. You live through centuries and yet only exist for years at a time. Now imagine being the guy who does that for a living.
"Reports are coming in now, of an interstellar ship crashing into the former headquarters of the Reileen Corporation, now owned by Kaguhawa industries. The company was bought out almost two hundred years ago after a successful class action lawsuit regarding nonpayment of the families of interstellar drive ships. It is believed all families of those ships, who were housed in that megastructure, as well as many other facilities on that land mass, have been vaporised."
Of course, but you're arguing that Australia can't be close because there's a convenience store close to you.

Also nice quads.
Times were hard in our home system. Sustaining life was difficult under the new company rules. But I was one of the best and brightest our entire block had to offer. So i signed up for a long range excursion to the ice system to mine for energy.
They promised my wages to my family. My niece... she'd been through hell in the short time she'd be alive. She didn't need me, she needed a father and he'd gotten himself killed playing at being a criminal. She idolized me, but I had to leave for her. I left to make her life better.

They promised my wages to her. And for decades of travel I awoke to the receipts. I awoke to a few short videos of he smiling face, thanking me... and then nothing.

For 50 years I traversed every inch of the glittering, crystalline starscape. My niece would have a new body payed for by me, still alive and young woman, or maybe an animal or a boy, whatever she wanted to be, she'd have it. The company promised that. And i was going to hit paydirt and bring her even more.

I got no messages the entire time i was there. I don't know if she ever got mine. 50 years I searched. 50 years I fought locals and pirates. 50 years I lost limbs, was clinically dead a total of 12 hours non consecutively, and I even started two families, one of which still bears my name proudly anyway...

...and i return. To find i left for nothing...
I'm arguing...what? Please explain your reasoning, because I can't follow it.

I'm arguing that the absence of terrestrial planets in a star system doesn't mean the star system can't be colonized. I'm arguing that O'Neill cylinders, Orbitals/Halos and Ringworlds work everywhere with suitable stars.
"2567,The Maraxis Humanitys corporation sent out the Multi-Generational ship "Canonical" with a Cargo of 2,000 human familys to the young colony of Alpha centuri.
The ship Didn't arrived for it's 2786 schedule.
7256, the "Canonical" Arrived, but the cargo could no longer be considered human"
Cowboy Bebop is the perfect example of a space opera on a short distance (well when you ignore the gate travelling). The whole thing takes place in our solar system after we've terraformed and colonized all of the terrestrial rocks floating around.

Add in spacestation "gas stations" in between the planets and you've got potential for countless locations all within a few years of travel if done by rocket and gravitational slingshots... allow maybe 0.5 light speed and distances grow alot shorter.
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I don't need no habitable planet.
Your arguing makes no sense. It doesn't matter how many stations are close by if the place you're going to is not.

If there's a planet ten thousands of light years away and you absolutely must go there, the journey will take that long.
They were still alive. Alive for centuries like she should have been. When i left times were not that bad. I lodged a protest, but they claimed those responsible had been fired for almost as long, that a lawsuit had been brought, they everything that could be done had been done.

I didn't buy any of it. She doesn't just starve instantly before a lawsuit. And i was right. Even after the hand wringing, the stalling, the decades of pandering and politicing, they gave a show of caving into the lawsuits and punishing those responsible and THEN CONTINUED TO NOT PAY!

And they are still alive, in new bodies, payed for by my work, dug up by my hands in the frozen dust of a distant star! She should have been here to greet me. She should have been here to show me her new face. I wanted her to be proud of me... I wanted my family to be safe, even if I couldn't be there for them...

...and now i have nothing... they got my paycheck, i have 200 years worth of salary... chump change to their 200 years worth of multi trillion dollar profit. They'd gladly pay the table scraps of what I brought back for them now...

...i'd trade it all, just to have her back...
And just like that, a great pirate is born.

Keep going, I love this.
...actualy overseas because payin' rent for niece, brb crying
Clinical Immortality is common place and thus you only need to travel for 20 years to the nearest system.

You only need a long-term planning fellow like Sauron. Make the enemy a post-human who plans centuries ahead of time. The players would be either transhuman like this man or use hivernation/mind-transplantation techniques to travel long distances.
I spent years, almost 30 of them, sulking. I bought something that told me it was a sapient woman, and spent years of depravity and hedonism, wrecking one body after another... still only blew through half of my pay check...

I was past my lowest point. I couldn't stop caring but I did my best to ignore it. And when I felt I could go no lower... it's interesting how the mind works, no matter what you do to remix it and make it better it will still surprise you.

I hadn't thought of my niece in years, I felt powerless about the whole thing which is why i tried to forget it. I saw in an apartment complex a little girl, same smile and eyes as my niece... I could tell from the clothes, the features, she was 100% human. Of course she was, still a toddler. But her parents had no augments or changes either that i could tell... then her parents trnd out not to be related to her... she was a lost child being taken care of by lost people... it all hit me, what my niece had become in my absence, as i was looking at it happen again to someone else. maybe by the same people, maybe by their competitors, i didn't know or care.

But in that moment I came up with a plan.

I was going to take over. And create a world where nothing like this would happen to a little girl gain.
That ain't even the half of it

I've heard this story 100 times. Good guy went off to provide for his family, shafted by the suits like the rest of us. Then you get back to find that even after they strung the ones responsible, they still manage to find a way to screw ya.

Mines a classic too. Planet born punk who's folks never even got to see a synthetic limb. When they croaked I had to take what I needed, saw more jail cells than I did classrooms growin up.

One day, while doin hard labor for a botched heist, one of those suits says he can change my life, give me a fresh start. Most of my boys don't buy it, but some child in me says that there must be something in me worth redeeming.

Six months later, I'm fixed up with one of those robo-brains and given highspeed course in starship repair. A one man crew who monitors the ship while all the scientists and what not sleep in there pods. Easy gig, don't gotta deal with people, and they give me all the upgrades I need to out live the lot of them.

... funny though, entire ship to my self for 125 years, I never noticed the lack of mirrors on board
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There's a space plague of Grey Goo that it is consuming all the systems in the intergalactic Empire, one by one. The players have to move from system to system and find a cure before Grey Goo consumes all the know Universe.
The first part was easy. Buying ships, investing in ships, spending every single dime I had on controlling anything with thrust. Buying and selling, buying and selling. The original company bought out my first, and my second, and each time i fought until the paycheck was high enough, let go, and started all over again.

I wanted control of a Driver. An interstellar ship. And once i had it... i wanted another, and another.

Soon the company was allying with me. They offered me a partnership. But i was too smart. I didn;t accept... my "partner" on the other hand, a cybernetic tiger monster, went right for it. They'd never recognize me, their enemy, kept close as a guest, in this new body with a new name. No, this was a friend looking to backstab their old employee to join them, right.

And with my new claws and teeth, figurative and literal, I climbed through their ranks. They thought the old me was dead, offline, unable to afford upgrades while my new monstrous form betrayed him. They had no idea the man they thought eliminated their threat... was their threat...

OP, I would suggest go reading the Revelation Space series, as it is space opera without FTL. I would suggest starting with Chasm City rather than Revelation Space itself, as the latter is dry as fuck.
Wow tg just became my new favourite board.
Are we allowed ansibles or are interstellar travellers the only means of communication between inhabited planets?

It'd be interesting to see what kind of societies you run into when they all evolve in practically complete isolation.
We finally land, the passengers are unloading, but give me all these weird looks, like they'd never seen someone with metal arms. But after the tenth person almost faints at the sight of you, you start to think there might be something wrong.

I remember my first upgrade. Some debris knocked a solar panel loose and its out of the claws reach, so I got to go out there and push, modern technology my ass. As I get it into place, Snap! Damn thing shifts to far and crushes my leg. The suit sedates ya pretty quick, but that first hit packs a punch. So I get a metal leg, takes some getting used to but I've seen worse. Next its my shoulder, then my other leg, then my back starts to go, then time takes its toll on my seeing and hearing. It reached a point where getting an upgrade became part of the daily routine.

So as the last couple passengers gets off, I finally ask one of them what they're staring at. Her answer hurt me more than any accident.

"I've never seen a piece of hardware act so... human."
So there i was, nothing at all like the old me, a completely new life yet again, right beside the uncaring monsters that played with lives like a numbers game, choosing seemingly at random which people to prune and which to keep.

I had control of multiple ships now, and i had access to all of their records and accounts. My own fleet and plenty of evidence against them. I had to act quickly, though. Once i began to betray them they'd react, casting me out as easily as they brought me in. The entire plan needed to go off all at once.

I set up the missions, and the payouts. I put myself on a ship, and everything i owned. I'd be long gone, how could i be a threat to them... well, I started the transmissions as the ships were being loaded. They were incriminated publically, all of them. They fought hard to stop it, tried to cut off my accounts but the lawsuits were ready to go in anticipation of my betrayal, I set them up. With the push of a button, the data was transmitted, their assets frozen seemingly instantly, and myself scott free and in control of ten Drivers... ten, filled with everyone i could gather. I was likely leaving the situation worse for anyone i couldn't take with me. But i was going to make a better world for as many as i could...

...and then i was coming back to do the same for those I left behind...
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honestly, if your going to have a space opera styled game, WITHOUT FTL, you have 2 choices, well 3 actually. 1) your gaming group better be into all plot and little action, because your going to get a crap ton of that. 2) keep it in the local solar system, so that only takes a couple months to a year or so to travel from 1 planetary colony to another. 3) play a damn setting that has FTL, there is a reason you dont see any good scifi tv shows or books that dont have ftl, because the universe is boring as fuck.

but if you are planning on still doing it, the only advice i can give you is the only way to keep your party interested, is to have a deathcult on your capsule ship, and your party is a group of detectives that are trying to stop them. and your group has to keep fighting the cult generation to generation, sometimes winning, other times losing. only way to keep them interested.

also, 2 words for you 'Thanatos Gambit'. look it up, its the only plot hook to keep the universe rolling. good luck
You Should see some of the guys they get to jocky the ships. Ya see, You go on a 50 year trip, maybe a administration has changed. 200, and those Hydrogen ship reactors are now all Cold-fusioned based and the music has gotten worse. 300, The architecture's different. 500+, Suddenly your entire race has swapped skin colors.
Each time you drop out, it's a whole different place then you left it. A lot of the "fun" Jockys Ive met in my career as a Dock Manager never even bother to leave the ship after their 3rd or 4th Future Shock. Just automate it all, send their drones to do the lifting.
If you have the good fortune to met one face to face, you get to see a scruffy looking fellow who gave up the personal hygiene gig a long while back. But it's a mental thing more then anything. The way they look at you, they can tell that the fashion changed. they've become agoraphobic. They can't live without having a metal corridor somewhere in their Vincenty.
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Transhuman societies is the way to go.
lots of AI, AI running around generations and Generations, because they are immortal.
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Technically there's FTL in this one. However, each jump takes you years or even centuries in the future. The fun of this book is how alien Earth society becomes as you jump from system to system until Earth is unrecognizable and you have become nothing more than a relic from a previous age.
It took this long until someone mentioned Alastair Reynolds? Seriously? He's the king of STL space opera.

Also, if you think Revelation Space is dry, you need to expand your reading. You want dry? Go read Greg Egan's Diaspora. Although I'll admit Reynolds does have a love of overly long-winded descriptions, he doesn't go into advanced mathematics to explain physics. Also, the plot of Diaspora extends over one of the longest time periods of any novel I've written. Past the end of several universes.
I am the supreme ruler of an entire star system. We arrived and immediately put down resistance with the radiation bursts of our engines. Ten, TEN star-ships of greater than stellar force. Each one was a kingdom. Each World self ruled as saw fit, as long as it was within my guidelines. I was dictator for life, and immortal. And they loved me. I brought them out of darkness into new light. I was a slayer of pirates and murderers, a bringer of order and peace.

Under my guidance, no one was simply neglected. It was difficult and i didn't always get my way, and i saw the very real threat of bad middle management stab me in the back several times a year for over two hundred years of rule over this system...even had to kill old men, who claimed I had taken their fathers and mothers away when they were boys...

...a lot of self doubt plagued me as ruler... the only thing that kept me going was perfect, crystal clear memories of the very intentional crimes I had scene standing beside my old enemies. Anything I had done wrong was a mistake. Everything they had done wrong was to millions daily and with gleeful intention.

No, i wasn't "as profitable". I had absolute power and the kill switch on Drivers that could knock out a world. All i cared about was that when someone said they'd pay, they paid. And under my regime, did little girls starve in the streets!?

... nicknames stick hard, I'll tell ya that much, "Hardware" the ships mechanic. half those eggheads didn't even realize I'd been human.

When they started needing upgrades, I saw the stuff they'd brought with them. Sleek, shiny, metal limbs that actually looked human, voice synthesizers that sounded like your own voice, synthetic skin... FUCKING SYNTHETIC SKIN!!! I'd never even heard of shit like that! All this tech had been on board the entire time, and what did they turn me into? The equivalent of a forklift with a two video cameras for eyes, a winch for one arm and giant fucking army knife for the other.

I call up one of the big wigs and ask about it, they tell me I didn't qualify for "advanced upgrades" and the shit they gave me was "in the company budget". Budget my ass, or whatever the fuck you call it now.

When we got the call that they wanted the ship back, I volunteered to bring it personally. I'd give them a ship... I'd bring it right to there door.
its vietnam in space
replace FTL with deployments.
I couldn't solve every problem. I had solved the one i set out to solve, the guy in charge wasn't a scheming bastard for no reason who got off on betraying people for chump change only to turn around and give the change to someone for a laugh.

No, being in charge and not being a piece of shit was the easy part. After centuries of experimenting with different rules, different governments on one world, and then on the next, more militaristic, more liberal, every style and creed, I resigned myself to accept the horrible truth...

No one is perfect. And some people just WANT problems... it's insane, it's a mental illness. But i can't stop it. I can discourage, minimize it, help it along. I eliminated war in my system, i think... no war for 50 years so far, so good. But on the lowest level, without taking away their lives, their control, their humanity, some people just screw over each other or themselves.

So, aside from that little nuisance, I had the perfect society for me. PErfect in that I had what i wanted, and across 50 "worlds", planets, habitats, hollowed rocks... whatever life you wanted was as simple to have as getting on a cheap rocket and going there. My regime won the regime competition. I had the best idea for an over rule, and little states under it competed with the best ideas they had. Everyone was happy and thinking.

And then the old company ships began arriving.
You could set an entire game within a single - well colonised - solar system.

Read Leviathan Wakes, one of the best Space Operas i've read in ages, and it takes place entirely in the solar system. Against a dark background too, might be worth reading.

And... you could always throw FTL in in a limited means. An Algebraist style gate network of wormholes that are ultimately highly fragile.
Back on their feet! From what the new inductees tell me, they thought I'd be back now, suspected me dead since I was sending no news back and not trying to run "my company", sued for it back, and were still in charge and up to their old tricks.

And why are the incoming company ships "inductees"? Because i induct them. Arriving one at a time we can over power them, show them we had a MUCH better way of living, and make sure "all clear" messages go back to those assholes.

Over the course of a century, I amassed even more Kingdom Ships under me. I wanted an even greater force then i left with to return.

...I... I... ww... w... what's happening to me.
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OP, delete this thread, go read this book, then make the the thread again
10k years is a little crazy, perhaps the human empire spans 10k light years but most solar system would be 10-20 years between each other, even at 'just' 25 or 50% of lightspeed.

I'd probably set the game aboard a ship - a huge, quasi automated ship 1-2km long. If you want to go crazy set it aboard a massive generation ship. a hollowed out planetoid or something similar.
Oh god... crying again...

Why does it need to be done in space?

If the travel time is so long, you aren't going to be seeing different planets. Why not just set it on a world that has the settings you need?
I'll give them two pieces of credit, this shell they stuck me in can really take an impact, and the pay I actually got was more than enough for some black market mods. Since my mods were old when I had them installed, upgrading wasn't an option, but those street docs work with what they got. I ain't ever gonna pass for flesh again, but being smaller than a fridge again felt pretty good.

My "landing" was the only thing in the news for while. Sure, the guys who sent me off were long gone, but the ones who took there place didn't change much. I figured I go live on some distant rock, but then a reporter mentioned a survivor, some CEO type who had a safe room in the building. It wasn't built for the hit it took, but he survived enough for them to fix him. The shell they gave him, that was just twisting the knife. Not only did it look human, he made himself look younger and better, like some kind of model, then had the nerve to go on the air and talk about his hardships.

Every morning he woke up, he could feel his blankets, he could taste his breakfast, he could walk down the street, he could feel his wife's skin, and then he could go back to sleep.

I haven't slept in 100 years...

Those expensive shells can stand up to 900 lbs. of pressure, the claw they stuck me with could apply 2 tons. It was like crushing a soda can.
You need to read the novella Diamond Dogs by Alastair Reynolds.

Like, right now.
If there's Quantum Entanglement, what stops players from sending their conscience instantly to the next system with multiple cloned bodies?
The money? Bah, they started rearranging the bank systems to wipe out that loop-poll on the interest. Even then, the ones who had the money piled from before that have no clue what to do with it. Most of it they just put back into their ship. With the time they spent inside them, they've become beyond just transports. Homes would be a complete understatement of how close they've gotten with it. At some point, they've basically married themselves to it. Neural interfacing with the ship's mainframes. Illegal Emotion simulation software for on bored AIs. Shit, Ive seen a guy who Funneled the AI interface into this Sex-bot.
These guys have experienced loneliness that would make you eat your own skull, And all so that you could get your produce here a little quicker.
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You might want to find out if there is an english translation of the Steinm├╝ller's "Pulaster". It is serious Sci-Fi and no opera, but it deals with an interstellar human civilization functioning without FTL. Basically, people travel with sleeper ships, sometimes existing for nearly ten millenia but only 35 years old, so that fleet members appear to planetary citizens as ghosts out of time while fleet members think of those citizens as nothing more than meaningless schemes, living just for a few glimpses.
I had neglected some upgrades, but i got them quickly. My neurons, however, were breaking down. I am so glad of all the memories I held, I had kept my niece in my mind. At this time an entire civilization in my system claims me as it's prime ancestor, and all i cared about was my sister's child, I did what i did for them for her, for them in her place.

I wasn't going to be me anymore. My brain was dying. Mostly cybernetic I'd make myself into a mere guidance system for my rule. And then, hopefully, as my fleets set out amongst the stars... would they depose evils like the company, would they remember my wisdom, my kindness, my experiments, what I did wrong was wrong and what I did right was right... or was i just unleashing a barbarian horde that would hide under my name as a get out of jail free card?

Maybe I'd know. Maybe I am dying... My end would come quietly, with a kind of electronic senility, if it comes...

...but I had at least made peace and happiness for someone, in one place...

First thing that came to mind when reading the OP was "Revelation Space universe without the Inhibitors. Would play the fuck out of that.
Everyone recommending Revelation Space: Which is best to start with?
By the time they found what was left of him in the gutters behind an old launch zone, I had jumped planet a month ago. When I heard the story in the news I just about died laughing when they ruled the cause of death "Hardware Malfunction".

Going ship to ship was basically the life I was used too, just with a bit more interaction. It ain't hard for me to find work, theres always something that needs lifting, or welding, or crushing. I've learned to enjoy the little things, watching a sun rise, that job-well-done bullshit, and if you look hard enough there are ladies out there for everyone.

You came to me because of what I am, because you needed some smart Hardware that those suits can't track. You already know my price, so lets just be frank. They got their ships out looking for you, and you're planning on taking down as many of them as you can. Lets stick to those sons of bitches, bringem twice what they brought us.
>your family, 50 generations down the line.
You do not have a family 50 generations down the line. 50 generations down the line you have a quartillion of ancestors. That is more rougly a thousand times the number of people who ever lived. So they wuld think of you as family in just about the same way that you would think of Cicero as part of your family.
Do you not think of dear, sweet, Cicero as Family, Anonymous?
Or, you know, a perfect lineage of first born sons spanning 50 generations, as unlikely as that would be.
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The future doesn't need humans.
Everyone has longevity vaccines/transophont tech. Slow everything down when they travel by ship (a travel of 500 years is equivalent to one of 5, if people live 100X) just make them resleeve when they're in a hurry.
>Generation Starts with one family, large enough to avoid rapid genetic degeneration.
>By the end of it's trip, an entire civilization forms where everyone is arguably related to each other.
Start with Revelation Space, since it's the first one.
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What if we just bend space to create stable wormholes, instead of warp-travel?
That would still break the "no FTL" rule.
Causality, motherfucker, do you understand it?

captcha: people raidmor
That sounds even more Improbable AND dangerous then wrap driving.
At least in FTL you don't have a chance to open the gates of hell.
Faster than light...impossible? What about the theoretically possible alcubierre drive?
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Got some good stories, here. Is this thread worth archiving?
As far as I know it's fine if you just go ahead
Revelation Space, played via Eclipse Phase? I'm okay with this.

How about this OP?

What happens to your cozy little slower-than-light socioeconomic system when the Alcubierres two star systems over, given the benefit of those TENS OF THOUSANDS OF YEARS stuck in dirtside laboratories or putting around their Friendly Local G-type Star, kick reason to the curb, make the impossible possible, and finally crack faster-than-light travel? Or someone discovers some naturally-occurring wormholes. I think if you're going for dramatic space operas, paradigm-changing technology is a good way to go.

See, I think you might be oh-so-conveniently assuming that people are just going to give up on fields which are "going nowhere fast." Granted, a lot of people would, however when you're effectively immortal, live in a post-scarcity society and have a contrary streak a mile wide you aren't exactly going to give a single light-hugging fuck what the "received wisdom" says about the physical impossibility of FTL travel. As the best corporate lawyers do, you find loopholes and exploit the fuck out of them. Which, by the way, there ARE loopholes. I think you need to do a bit of reading on things like physics and causality before you completely reject the possibility of FTL travel.

But that's just me.
This irks me. Sure the theory of relativity has been proven to not be infallible, but why can't science fiction project backwards?
A setting like this is interesting for stories, as the anons above proved with glorious, dramatic writefaggotry, but I don't think it'd be that great for RP.

At least we could estabilish some kind of .9c drive and get to places in a bunch of years instead of several generations. Having to re-fluff everything every time a ship reaches her destination doesn't sound that fun.
No wormholes?
I think the most ugly scenes are the Hulks. A lot can happen over the course of a hundred year voyage. A lot can go wrong.
These fully staffed ships go in one end and come out completely scraped out. So you get these hunks of metal floating out there like a dead whales. If your lucky, the reactors are still functioning and you can locate them nearly once their out of FTL, otherwise, they can rot out there forever.
We had one dragged into port once in preparation for scrapping later, and inside it, it was clear that some bad shit went down. Laser burns all around, Corpses perfectly preserved from a overly effective life support system (Recycled air can pass around quite the scent. give it a few hundred years and every square inch of a frigate can smell like burnt hair).
Most these people died screaming, propped up against hundred year old blood stains. The official story was that it was mutiny, but the data was all dead and a captain was never found.
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I know the point isn't to think of ways to work FTL into a 'real' sci-fi setting, but with the whole spinning-ship gravity manipulation angle, you could hypothetically approach the speed of light, but because you've collapsed gravity you're moving 2-3 times faster relatively; and are therefore going ~double the speed of light. Not that much faster, relatively speaking.
Just saying, it works on a conceptual level; other issues of LUDICROUS SPEED aside.
In my setting there's a parallel void-dimension that ships jump into. It is, for all intents and purposes, actually empty. In it there is no relativity, gravity, or things to hit, so they can accelerate infinity and do so a few times quicker than in our space-time; but by the time they've reached their desired speeds they've got to start slowing down.

General math is that one light-year equates to three months of travel; give or take a week. It's not a huge part of the setting, so I haven't gotten real specific with the time frame. The idea is that if the space-time continuum are the X and Y of space, then the distant void is the Z that lets you travel more directly.

I was thinking about having them get caught int the void at one point, and letting a lovecraftian horror unfold; mostly due to the effects of prolonged exposure to the alien radiation, but also because the void isn't 'empty.'
You need exotic energy for it - which may not exist or be capable of existing.

Handwave that, and you still self-destruct as you approach the speed of light because the radiation wash increases exponentially vs your speed.

Handwave that, and if you could somehow go faster than light you've now got a CTC maker...which also destructively destabilizes.

Handwave that...and you've got a working CTC machine. You're now a capital-g God, and gods don't need starships.

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