How many are playing Slipstream as written?

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kakupacal
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How many are playing Slipstream as written?

#1 Postby kakupacal » Sun Oct 12, 2008 5:33 pm

I was pretty thrilled to finally get a copy of Slipstream a few weeks back and even thrilled-er when I managed to find a group of players to give it a whirl and with that game session approaching, I am faced with the hard call of playing the game as written or modifying the aspects that I just don't dig.

Okay, yes, I KNOW the setting represents a 30's serial environment and I can swallow the campy aliens and thematic aspects but the whole "bits of planets floating in a breathable ether" just rubs me the wrong way. I feel like I'm seeing a sci-fi version of the Sundered Skies setting (a setting that I generally enjoyed except for the whole "glowing ether" bit... so to see that element pop up again was a let down).

Anyway, I'm thinking of ditching the "pocket universe in a bubble of air" notion of Slipstream and playing it more "straight" - still pulp but not quite as zany... still low-tech but with interplanetary travel simply "assumed" in the way that it is in most serials without the mention of a hyperdrive or what-have-you.

I'm wondering if I am alone on this and whether others are seeing some value to the setting as written that I am overlooking (obviously, space-pirates and the like will have to do their dastardly boarding actions while wearing bubble helmets, etc. but I can't see any other flavor that I will lose by jettisoning the bizarre nature of the ether).

Do tell...

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#2 Postby skylion » Sun Oct 12, 2008 5:54 pm

I have a tendency too agree with you on this one. However, give the game a session or two. I ran it for a small group and for them, the crazieness of the Stream faded into the background after the quick action got going. In fact, it helped the Pulp feel of the background a great deal.

So, yes, I am running the background mechanics of the Graviton Wave as written. I'm adding Deadlands too it, but that won't change the air bubble at all.
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#3 Postby Wendigo1870 » Mon Oct 13, 2008 5:45 am

Everyone's free to change their game as they wish. If you don't like the breathable air in space, ditch it. Unless of course, it somehow plays an important part in the setting (like in Sundered Skies, you can't exactly just ditch the Glow, 'cause it's an essential element in the setting).
If you do ditch the breathable air, make sure you got yourself covered for this new element in the game.

Last of all; if you're GM-ing, ditch the things you wouldn't like. I for my part don't look forward to run a new session of a setting every x days/weeks/... knowing each time something annoys me about it. (I ditched the official Lodge Rules in Rippers for example, which allows my players to travel around the world instead of being stuck near their Lodge.)

7th Sea said it best:

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Cheat anyway."
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#4 Postby tylermo » Mon Oct 13, 2008 8:10 am

Oh yeah. The lodge rules. I don't think they were poorly written in the main rules, or the companion(alternate rules), but it's a LOAD of book keeping. Probably more so than the book keeping involved with traveling(in a ship) all over Caribdus in 50 Fathoms. hehe Don't get me wrong, I'm not criticizing any of the afore-mentioned settings. I love em' all. Just hate book keeping.

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#5 Postby ron blessing » Mon Oct 13, 2008 10:10 am

We're going to run Slipstream, as is. I think it will be a perfect game for the group in which I'm running it. Many people have called this book sci-fi, but I think that's inaccurate. Sci-Fi implies there's science in the game. Not so. Yesterday, when talking to Clint, he called it Space Pulp. That's the best way to put it.

If you find the setting goofy, don't feel like you have to use it. I do highly recommend the season generator. And you have everything you need in there to make your own sci-fi species. I think many of the species would be fine with your sensibilities if you just change their names and backgrounds. Heck, the plot point itself could be tweaked to fit in with a darker tone.

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#6 Postby Snate56 » Mon Oct 13, 2008 12:05 pm

I like to find the figure first, then make the species!


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#7 Postby Ashavan » Tue Oct 14, 2008 1:14 am

Actually, looking through the Plot Point writeup, I'm thinking that all it would take is a few cosmetic changes to make it a very good Star Wars campaign if one were so inclined. (Make the aliens a little less hokey, for instance, although not necessarily by too much--after all, this is Star Wars, not hard sci fi.) Set it in some uncharted era before or after the movies during which the galaxy was dominated by a female Sith Lord called Darth Anathraxa, and there ya go.

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#8 Postby kakupacal » Tue Oct 14, 2008 7:53 am

I'm not looking to make it darker or grittier or even less campy but even in the flavor of 30's pulp sci-fi, a giant bubble of breathable space is just thematically "icky" to me... it's just weird for the sake of weird. I can't come up with a single "plus" in having breathable space other than that you can let a character roll down the windows of his spaceship and look to see if he missed his space-exit.

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#9 Postby TheLoremaster » Tue Oct 14, 2008 8:03 am

kakupacal wrote:I can't come up with a single "plus" in having breathable space other than that you can let a character roll down the windows of his spaceship and look to see if he missed his space-exit.

I can: you don't have to write rules for explosive decompression. :D

Myself, I love the idea of seeing Birdmen swooping down from near-orbit to strike a power raid against one of Anathraxa's ammo dumps, but that's just me.
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#10 Postby Diskhotep » Tue Oct 14, 2008 8:10 am

Having breathable space also allows for Flash Gordon-esque battles between fragments on Rocket Sleds, and dramatic boarding actions. It solves the "I just shoot a hole in his spacesuit" problems I've encountered in hard scifi games. Besides, the realm of Slipstream is by its very nature not obliged to follow hard and fast rules of physics. I like to picture it as a solar-system sized atmosphere bubble held in place by the interaction of the black hole and whatever lies at the center of Graveyard.

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#11 Postby dpetroc » Tue Oct 14, 2008 10:21 am

I'm running it as written and my players love the setting so far. I had them watch the Flash Gordon movie from the 80's and it got them jazzed for the game and didn't make the 'fragments' or semi-breathable air in space seem unreasonable.

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#12 Postby burningcrow » Tue Oct 14, 2008 12:00 pm

I guess I'll run it as written ... but as this is a pretty obvious thing I'll introduce an obscure knightly order that uses laserswords as their signature weapons ... :oops: ... it's just too tempting ...

We'll see if my players will take the bait ... ;)

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#13 Postby Scott A. Woodard » Tue Oct 14, 2008 1:29 pm

You don't even need to back to the 30s serials... Just watch the awesomely campy movie version of "Flash Gordon" (from 1980) to see LOADS of Slipstream-ish elements in play... Even down to "breathable space", etc.

The group I plan to run 'Slipstream' for is made up of players who adore that movie as much as I, so that's the feeling we're going for with our imminent campaign (I'll be playing the Queen soundtrack during our sessions, as well...)

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#14 Postby skylion » Tue Oct 14, 2008 2:08 pm

I've already decided to mix it up. The setting rules are going to remain the same; only I'm adding the Reckoning from Deadlands. Other than just saying that, I haven't gone to far in depth. I've only written a spoilerific thesis statement elsewhere in the forum, and I'll let on for one other idea here.

Basically, it's a disease that once infected, a body become attracted too the Graviton Wave. It slowly kills the host body, until finally, ZIP, it jumps dead off the Fragment it happens to be on, or starts to float on whatever ceiling happens to be convent.

But that's OK, they head towards the Graveyard anyway. They might even come back.

I'm also developing ideas about how to incorporate the Blessed, even so far as too make them Templars in all but name. Psionics is out. Weird Science stays. And Huckstering is all the rage.
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#15 Postby Snate56 » Tue Oct 14, 2008 2:37 pm

As for breathable air, why not give a reason like an incredibly ancient and abandoned technology of Dyson Sphere proportions? Some precursor beings built this place and as the black holes absorb molocules from outside, an energy field makes a breathable atmosphere out of them.

I haven't seen the book yet, so said explanations may have to be modified, but I was thinking of Mt. Everest thin atmospere between the fragments with thicker condensations nearer the fragments.
This way a punctured vac suit or ship can cause a level of fatigue if I wish.


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#16 Postby ron blessing » Tue Oct 14, 2008 2:48 pm

Maybe it's all the atmosphere that's been pulled into the pocket universe over the years. :D

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#17 Postby Clint » Tue Oct 14, 2008 3:34 pm

Snate56 wrote:I haven't seen the book yet, so said explanations may have to be modified, but I was thinking of Mt. Everest thin atmospere between the fragments with thicker condensations nearer the fragments.
This way a punctured vac suit or ship can cause a level of fatigue if I wish.


Actually, that's pretty much the way it is in the book.

See, the reason for air existing between fragments is...

Ron Blessing wrote:Maybe it's all the atmosphere that's been pulled into the pocket universe over the years. :D


Dangit! Beaten by a Blessing! ;)

Or something like that; the atmosphere comes from the Black Hole for some reason.
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#18 Postby ron blessing » Tue Oct 14, 2008 3:59 pm

Clint wrote:
Snate56 wrote:I haven't seen the book yet, so said explanations may have to be modified, but I was thinking of Mt. Everest thin atmospere between the fragments with thicker condensations nearer the fragments.
This way a punctured vac suit or ship can cause a level of fatigue if I wish.


Actually, that's pretty much the way it is in the book.

See, the reason for air existing between fragments is...

Ron Blessing wrote:Maybe it's all the atmosphere that's been pulled into the pocket universe over the years. :D


Dangit! Beaten by a Blessing! ;)

Or something like that; the atmosphere comes from the Black Hole for some reason.


Must be Tuesday... :cool:

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#19 Postby Chris Tavares » Tue Oct 14, 2008 6:33 pm

If you need a "scientific" justification of air in the region, go read Larry Niven's "The Integral Trees" or "The Smoke Ring." It worked for him, it'll work for Slipstream.

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#20 Postby RPTroll » Tue Oct 14, 2008 9:17 pm

I hope to run a slightly modified intro to it where the characters are actually sucked into the pocket universe and have to come to grips with this strange new world... er pocket universe.


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