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[OOC] Roleplaying in the Far Future

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I initially suggested this idea on @Seylos' thread, but I figured I'd put it here, both for the sake of separating the two ideas and also because that thread's pretty old now. I'm hoping to put together a group of good writers to do an RP set in the far future, what our board used to describe as the "interstellar" period; this is essentially a soft sci-fi setting, with the basic elements of our roleplaying style overlaid onto it. It is, of course, optional whether or not you choose to portray your current country in this RP; I imagine that, centuries later, even nations (really, interplanetary states by this point) that are around today will have undergone significant changes in the far future. As for people who asked for a tag, I can remember off the top of my head @Adaptus and @Rihan. Anyone else is free to express interest as well, of course. Once we get a posse together, we can start planning, either in this thread or over discord.

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  • 1 month later...
  • 1 month later...

Recently, several members expressed their interest in a far future RP, for example everyone's favourite Alharun commie @Fulgistan.
Over the course of the past few days, I came up with a fun story line, however, to plan ahead, I'd like to know how many participants I should plan for and who they might be.

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Merged two threads because I forgot about this one, sorry, @Fulgistan.

Anyhow, the following people expressed their interest in participating in this:

In my opinion, the number of participants shouldn't exceed ten at most. Based on a Discord search, @Adaptus seemed to be interested as well.

Might post the beginning of the RP soon.
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Allright, the introduction is out.

Now, y'all have some time to adapt to the setting, think about what you want your species to be like (this could and should be based on your current nation). Mind, that you can (and should :P) change the phenotype. It would be best if none used vanilla humans, for example, @Fulgistan could use some space commie gundam centaurs.

The story will follow combined efforts of different species trying to find out where their FTL engines came from. Whether you want this to be a fleet of vessels, or just a small team of explorers, is up to you. Therefore, I'd like to know what you'd prefer. This will decide whether I will set things up for a large international conference, or whether the stage will be set for a small group of voyagers to meet and to go out on a journey.

Naturally, feel free to give me feedback here.

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One more note, since there were some questions about the races on the discord:

  • no "vanilla" humans please, this is far, far in the future
  • if you use humans or a human-like species, they believe to have originated on their home world


So to summarise, although this is a major plot element, whatever your species is, it is a far future descendant of earthborn life, it just doesn't know about it anymore.

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1 hour ago, Sunset Sea Islands said:

You have got to be kidding me. Not renaming this, screw this kid.

Just saw that too while lurking around NS. Really disappointing reading that thing, considering that one thread single-handedly constitutes most of the forums' total posts...

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After thinking about this some more, I've decided that this story should follow a small group of individuals, rather than large fleets. Furthermore, concerning your space empires:

  • No direct copy/pasting (f.e. Lusotropian Star Empire)
    This doesn't mean that your empire cannot be based on your current nation. However, since these events are supposed to be millenia in the future, you shouldn't simply say that your national identity carried over long enough for humans to evolve further in the meantime or even for other Eurthborne life to develop sapience. Whatever the humans will be like in the far, far future, they probably won't associate with some prehistoric microscopic nation state on some planet everyone has long forgotten. Your empire should assume that their traits/culture is theirs, not remnants of their ancestors that died tens of thousands of years ago.
  • No current-day homo sapiens sapiens
    This will be so far in the future, that there will be none of our species left, only post-human forms of life, descendants of the human race, who have adapted to their new surroundings aeons ago. Until they received the gift of FTL technology, your people dwelled on some foreign planet for innumerable centuries, so, naturally, they changed over time. Whether you want your species to resemble humans or be radically different, is up to you. We can explain it the good old "life elsewhere in the universe could be extremely similar to us"-way. That's also why I mentioned all known forms of life to be based on DNA.
  • No circlejerking
    The relations in size/power should be more or less the same as they currently are. People who joined the community recently or have low activity should not have giant empires spanning thousands of planets and star systems. It wouldn't be too weird if the species of a well-established member like @Fulgistan had 10-20 inhabited planets, but there should be no omnipotent Kualoan Galactic Dynasty that annihilates all its enemies with antimatter bombs sent through wormholes.
  • You don't have to be a classical sci-fi empire, nor have you to be big
    It's kinda boring if everyone wants to play huge empires, like the classical Star Trek species, f.e. the Klingons and the Romulans. Naturally, you can do that (looking at you, @Rihan), but you don't have to. What's the harm of playing some species with a low population who's happy living on their beautiful laguna world? Doesn't it add flavour if your whole species lives in monasteries spread across their whole home world? Why live on a planet in the first place, if you can have a glorious spaceship-fleet-dwelling species (@Variota), or one living aboard a giant space station? Same goes for government types, everything's possible. Empire, republic, criminal syndicate, theocracy, only to name a few. Whatever you do, be creative.

Reposting the discord screenshots from before:

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I'm in. 

I think the outlines above work well. I have a good understand of where Adaptus would be at this point. Or at least, its successor would be. What we do need to establish, is technology. We need to understand the limitations, and paradigms of the technology of this time. Otherwise, we end up with chaos around what is viable and what isn't. This setting is in the realms of things such as Foundations, Dune, and Warhammer 40K in regards of where it sits in terms of "far future". So I'd suggest we can use such works to roughly gauge a viable technological level. Now this isn't to say technology is a constant. It's likely there are varying levels of this. 

But this absolutely needs to be established before we continue. 

Secondly, we need a rough plot. At least a starting plot. From what SSI is saying, we're looking at an almost D&D style experience. Small in scale, focusing on a handful of characters, with empires, and nations playing secondary, and scene setting roles. Might be worth discussing this via Discord to establish a goo baseline, and return here would an overview. 

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2 hours ago, Adaptus said:

What we do need to establish, is technology.

In my opinion, it all depends on how much time is supposed to have passed between the "discovery" FTL and the events of the story. If it happens relatively quickly, most empires would probably only have settled their home systems, in which they would have been trapped for thousands of years. If some hundred years have passed in the meantime, we could have seen major interstellar expansion and even warfare in the past. Since, afaik, none of us are into circlejerk war RP, we shouldn't spend too much time on weapons. If you have a way of traveling at light speed without collisions with random particles destroying your ships, ship-to-ship combad probably isn't viable either way, since projectiles could be deflected. I'm curious to hear what everyone has to say about what the state of technology should be like.

2 hours ago, Adaptus said:

Secondly, we need a rough plot.

  • group of adventurers meet
  • search for the source of the FTL drives
  • everyone has their own reasons (knowledge, power, money, gaining an upper hand over the other species, whatever)
  • search for clues on where it came from
  • visit multiple planets etc. on their search for clues
  • surprise surprise, the engines came from Eurth
  • I'll keep to myself what they'll find on Eurth, except for a world uninhabited by humans
2 hours ago, Adaptus said:

we're looking at an almost D&D style experience.

That's actually a kinda cool aspect I haven't even thought about. We could add some D&D-like elements to this, sounds dope. Any ideas on how to achieve that?

2 hours ago, Adaptus said:

with empires, and nations playing secondary, and scene setting roles.

I'd definitely prefer it that way. Unless you guys want to RP epic empire vs. empire space battles, which I find to be kinda boring, tbh.

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I feel like if we are going for such a far future setting, then FTL will be a given. Probably likely having been a staple for thousands of years. 

I think we need to establish a core reason as to why we are exploring, to make it worth while. Questions like: 

  • Is there a common enemy?
  • What is the gain?
  • What is the threat?
  • Why band together?
  • What's at stake?

As for the D&D elements. We're going to have to approach the RP in a similar sense was you would a D&D campaign, albeit, with no GM. So I we will have to have a consensus OOC


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I'd also like to step in and say that I run a FT (Future Tech) story thread over on the main NS forums, called The Compendium. There's also a vibrant FT community with many helpful threads filled with advice on how to pull off good FT RP, as well as resources for say, ship building, finding images for planets, etc and so forth. There's also a Discord server with a couple of channels, one for general discussion and another one for RP and Worldbuilding.

The Future Tech ADvice & Assistance Thread: https://forum.nationstates.net/viewtopic.php?p=17432652#p17432652

NSFT Discord: https://discord.gg/Enky7x8

The Compendium: https://forum.nationstates.net/viewtopic.php?p=22295786#p22295786

My preference would be to have an FT thread up on the NS forums to some regard, but if anyone is interested, so long as your story follows the rules set out in the OP, anyone is welcome to post there. And anyone is welcome on the NSFT Discord to talk about either just random stuff or worldbuilding specific things, so long as you follow the rules. 

Not plugging for the sake of plugging, but if anyone needs help or resources, there's a whole community out there that has, over the years, built up a rather generous amount of player guides and resources for the aspiring FT RPer (or just anyone interested in writing science fiction as a whole).

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I did have some thoughts about doing something a little more low-key and less SPACE THE FINAL FRONTIER. Was thinking maybe take a page out of Alien Vs Predator, mix it with a little Homeworld: Deserts of Kharak, a little from the film Sphere and have something high tech be buried under one of the Arctic areas. Maybe some form of international rush to get to it, or a conflict of some sort. But other than that, I didn't really have many ideas and The Radiant is already going, so.

I was largely just tossing some helpful links and resources in because I know that going into Future Tech territory can be daunting and intimidating without a good starting point. There's also the temptation to go overboard right at the start and burnout before players have even had the chance to do anything, be it through the desire to have everything, or the compulsion to 'win'.

After reading through here again, I'd just like to point out that the idea that everyone has to agree upon one solid technology base in order to succeed in a Future Tech environment is incorrect. The NSFT community on the main boards has wildly varying techbases. It's just all kept in check through respecting each other and not being dumb about the tech you have. Basically the 4C: Creativity, Consistency, Collaboration and Compromise. All in all, most people in the NSFT community wind up having pretty grounded nations and the largest empires rarely go above a dozen star systems. Typically the people that have 'god tier' technology (the Forerunner from Halo, etc) is actually extremely rare, and the people that have played them generally put years worth of development into them as well as earning the trust as respect of the community.

And I'll second Sunset's desire for smaller, character based RP. Actual open war between NSFT nations is actually a rare occurrence that has months/years worth of planning built up between the players involved before it actually happens, as war (at least within the NSFT community as it exists onsite) drastically changes the astropolitical landscape of the NSFT galaxy. So most combat between nations are limited to skirmishes, and a lot of them built around simple character, not nation, based RP.

Anyway, I was just looking to toss a few cents of knowledge and experience with the tech level in, in the hopes it might help any Europans getting started on their own FT nations (or settings, as I prefer to call them). There's a way to be Future Tech and experience the creative freedom it allows without going overboard and unless they intend on going overboard, most people can get what they want out of it by way of the 4C.

Edited by Vocenae (see edit history)
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