hard science-fiction role-playing with fate
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Winchell Chung

Discussion  - 
 
Living Systems Theory looks like it may have applications to social combat in Diaspora.
Or maybe not.
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John Lusk

Discussion  - 
 
Heard yesterday. Guy sounds like an adventurer to me. Interesting to hear his voice; he's got conviction. What's also interesting is his background is NON-military. 
When the revolution in Libya took off, Matthew VanDyke picked up a weapon and joined the Libyan rebels. Now, he says he’s helping Iraqi Christians fight ISIS.
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John Lusk's profile photo
2 comments
 
[checks +Nathan Hawks's profile...] Ah.  Ok, then.
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Brubek Coltrane

Discussion  - 
 
Made this T2 ship but can't think of a name.
Any ideas?
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Michael Barry's profile photo
15 comments
 
What Do You Mean, Flash Gordon Approaching?
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Stephen Rider

Discussion  - 
 
I notice that there isn't a contact or investigate skill in Diaspora. It looks like computer covers part of investigation, but what about contacts? Is that assumed to be part of charm and intimidate? 
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Brubek Coltrane's profile photoStephen Rider's profile photo
8 comments
 
+Brubek Coltrane​, I agree, we had that same conversation in our game tonight
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I'm not well versed in Magnetism but could you infuse an astronaut with iron then place a big magnet at the bottom of the ship that would pull him towards it?
 
On the more super science side, what if you could create a force similar to magnetism that moved some other particle instead of iron [like a magnet that worked on carbon instead] so that your ships would have a giant coil around the circumference of the ship and when energized would push everything affected in one direction; presumably against the ship's decks so that you feel constant acceleration?
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John Reiher's profile photoChristopher Moore's profile photo
16 comments
 
Well I don't wanna create gravity, your right you would be god like. Constant acceleration is really where I'm looking, though a little quip like "zero G degradation was solved with the 'solution treatment' we give travellers" so players can fly around inside big "buildings".
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todd estabrook

Discussion  - 
 
With the success of the Bulldog's Fate Core revision Kickstarter, I would love to see the same done with Diaspora - a Fate Core revision. I don't really have a point other than to wonder out loud...
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Nat Sheppard's profile photoLuke Miller's profile photo
20 comments
 
You only pay a stunt if the ship is intrinsic to your character, otherwise you pay with assets.

You can shop one TL above the local system by raising the cost level, and further tune with MG/Civ. This should give you room to stand out a bit.
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Winchell Chung

Discussion  - 
 
A few outer-spaced based science fiction background for your game
For science fiction authors and game designers who need a quick plausible scientific non-obvious background to inspire their next novel, there are one or two in this website. Here is a list of links that will send you directly to them. Assorted Station cultures: Interesting situations and ...
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Sean West Money's profile photo
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Frank Serio

Discussion  - 
 
Interesting thought experiment about the difficulty of re-industrialization in a post-apocalyptic world. It might be useful background for designing a world where there have been multiple cycles of development and collapse. 
It took a lot of fossil fuels to forge our industrial world. Now they're almost gone. Could we do it again without them?
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Jeff Miller's profile photoNat Sheppard's profile photo
3 comments
 
I think adding a Hydrocarbon layer might be a useful step in transforming.

The first life introduced to the planet is a lichen like substance which starts to convert the atmosphere, and provides a base for other plant life to grow on. Then it gets buried as new layers of organic matter are deposited on top of it.

Under ideal circumstances the colony's industrial base uses a combination of nuclear and solar power, but in the event of a collapse, you can dig down to find a layer of organic sludge which can be burned like coal, or refined into a fuel that burns relatively cleanly at high temperatures. How convenient.

Alternately, bio-fuels. This would however make farming more important than mining for industry, which might cause feudalism to persist.
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John Reiher

Discussion  - 
 
A nifty start for an adventure. You, a non-space person, have inherited a planet. What do you do? (Hint, read the starting point for inspiration.)
John Hargreaves just inherited something from his aunt Chelsea... something you can't put out on the curb and hope someone takes it. What do you do when your inheritance is a planet?
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Pierre Savoie's profile photoJohn Reiher's profile photo
3 comments
 
I think the issue is that it's got plenty of CO2, but not enough O2. It's listed as a "marginal" world, that implies it's habitable, but you need support to live there. It could be a shirt sleeve climate, but not a breathable one.
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Winchell Chung

Discussion  - 
 
+Jeff Jones  is having a discussion about how to differentiate different spacecraft weapons types in FATE core.
What blew my mind was yet another clever use of the FATE fractal by James Branch:

You could also go the fractal route and make the missiles "characters" of their own with an aspect, a couple of skills a stunt and possibly consequences if it is considered a major enemy. Going this route would allow a "missile lock" aspect from a character/gunner/tac officer to be used by the missile entity.

The missile could have Athletics to close distances, Notice for the guidance system, Physique for the durability and possibly the attack that it would make once it got in the same zone. 

A swarm of smart missiles could act as a Mob.

Possible stunts would be:

Explosive - make an attack against everyone in the same zone as you without splitting your die pool. Once this is done you are considered to be "taken out".

Heat Seeking - gain +2 on your attack if you have the aspect "Missile Lock" active.

Long Range Missile - if you have the aspect of "Missile Lock" active, you are able to make an attack against a target without actually being in the scene.

The last one is kind of clunky but my thought was having a spotter "paint" a target and call in an air strike.
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Christopher Moore's profile photo
 
Genius!
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John Lusk

Discussion  - 
 
From the 'You Can't Put That In The Story; No One Would Believe It" dept.
One soldier prepared to kill a critically wounded enemy three decades ago, but spared him when he saw photos of the man's wife and kid. They met by chance decades later in a Canadian clinic.
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Pierre Savoie's profile photo
 
Well, I don't have a temperament as good as that. The skulls of my enemies are now part of my mismatched mug collection...
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Neal Durando

Discussion  - 
 
Boots can never hurt me, thought Robin. But hindsight can break your bones. Robin’s finger remained outside the trigger well. He watched boots floating up through the iris valve. There was no doubt whoever had burned it through was hostile--Broadsword had put up the force tracker showing eight presumably hostile 500+ kilo masses on two different decks--but through the spalling it just looked like boots, now legs, a lower torso in relaxed aspect. He heard BMan’s rifle begin to whir and somehow had a moment to think the owner would be pissed about the cabin paneling. Boots can never hurt me. 

They hadn’t bothered with grenades as they would have made the jump all that much harder. So Dialla kept floating. The plan, as they always drilled it, was that Etlazia would have a moment to drill any opposition while all eyes were on her. She would sometimes spin herself upside down with empty hands to further the notion that she was harmless. But nobody in battledress was harmless once they were in the room. Maybe Etlazia put her head through a little early. Robin engaged and the bridge filled with the whine of his and BMan’s rifles briefly coming into shrill harmony. His fire drew a constellation of white points all over Dialla. This is a stupid position, thought Robin before Etlazia put a neat hole through Robin’s dinged-up breastplate. The exit splash broke across Broadsword’s viewscreen, distorting the antihijack program’s preliminary gas alarm query. Do you want me to flood the lower decks?

The dark matter inherent to Traveller consists mostly of handwavium. "Grav belts are similar in performance to an air raft." So any game descended from that universe will inherit a good dose of it as well. The authors of Diaspora try to make that dark matter a little more explicit. They open an iris valve you might not have been able to get through if a huge number of new RPGs hadn't been written. 

I've played the social combat game before but, as I'm running a game where the table will want a little more crunch, I thought I'd shake down the personal combat minigame some. The scenario is from Traveller Adventure 7: Broadsword, a sort of half-assed attempt at fleshing out a mercenary ticket on the eve of the Fifth Frontier War. (Just looking at the deckplans, I keep thinking "This is bullshit!"). A referee really has to work this out and make it his own. Which made it a little more work than I wanted in standing up a shoot-em-up. But okay.

Diaspora requires the same sort of work to get to its sweet spot. There are no initiative rules per se for personal combat other than "the caller decides." (The caller isn't necessarily the referee. Which is awesome.) I decided that, until contact initiative would be by side, with the leader of each side moving in order of Tactics skill. Once there was contact, initiative would go by Alertness. (If everybody is Kung-Fu fighting, I would go with agility.) So initiative was sorted.

Somewhere in Traveller there are explicit rules for breeching iris valves. In fact, I don't think Classic Traveller (CT) ever specifies how antihijack programs work. I decided that pass values of 1/0/1 were in order for the crew and 3/0/3 for the Zhodani invaders.

Oh, about the Zhos. They teleport into Broadsword. Which sent me to the rulebooks, both CT Diaspora. Wow, that is a lot of handwavium I had to eat. I finally decided jumping in was a difficulty 6. The Zhos are all apex teleports. I rationalized that they jumped from a nearby ship at the starport from decks of equivalent height to their traget zones on Broadsword. Nevertheless, only one did not burn a fate point to make the jump.

So how did Diala's fireteam make it into the bridge, after cutting the iris valve away with plasma weaponry? Without grenades, in CT/Snapshot this would have been Leroy Jenkins time and too bad.
Robin, alerted by the antihijack program, maneuvered to cover the opening with his gauss rifle. (His buddy, BMan, who is half asleep from a twenty hour shift did the same, but decided to use his free move to get behind the assistant naviator's workstation.) So the free-taggable aspect [Robin covering] gets placed on the southern iris valve. No roll necessary. Diala, who is equipped with battledress and grav belt ("equivalent in performance to an air raft"--fuck me) decides she will do an Australian rappel and enter combat ass over tits. The maneuver will place an aspect on Robin ['Da fuk?]. Success will be Agility limited by MicroG. Etlazia enters and fires. Robin defends with Slugthrower 3 and tags "Robin covering". Roll is good enough to spoil Etlazia's aim and so she splashes plasma across the viewscreen.

Captain Zashiezdint and Tebroj float up and nail Robin, while the two deck officers hose down the zones with ineffective SMG fire (earning the free tag "out of ammo". BMan keeps his cool and switches targets to engage Etlazia and Diala (using autofire) and manages to find a chink in Etlazia's armor. Next round will probably find the Zho squad simply walking through fire to take prisoners or go hand to hand, as the remaining bridge crew struggles to remember how to do combat reloads. 
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Todd Zircher's profile photoBrubek Coltrane's profile photoKeith Mantell's profile photo
2 comments
 
Nice.
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I've just finished listening to a jolly good audio book that could be a good Diaspora scenario. Its free to download from Podiobooks.com and is called "Bones Burned Black". 
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John Lusk's profile photoJack Gulick's profile photo
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Adam Wells

Discussion  - 
 
I am planning on starting up a Diaspora Campaign using Hangouts and Roll20, and I am seeking interested players. Ideally I am looking for 2-4 dedicated players. Time slot would be 8:00pm-11:00pm Eastern time on either Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday nights, and expected gaming frequency would be weekly.

We'll be using the rules found in the Diaspora 2010 corrected printing, not Fate Core.

The first session will focus on cluster and character generation. I would like to schedule that for this coming week, if possible. If you are interested, please post a reply and let me know which of the three possible days work best for you.
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Pierre Savoie's profile photo
17 comments
 
People are into different things in RPG, they go gaga for combat or spaceship trade or whatever.  I specialize in powers of description, to be evocative, to help players immerse themselves in a strange world for their characters.

Like the rules recommend, I made flavour-paragraphs for the two systems I rolled:


Parch (D):

T0: Exploring the System
E-3: Barren World (gravity, no atmosphere)
R0: Sustainable

"You scrabble and scrape in the dusty mines, hoping for enough ore to pay for supplies and, of course, the water. The sealsuit helps, of course, but after a couple of weeks you smell so bad you go into town and pay a tenth-kilol to splurge on a three-minute shower. Half-price for used water. But you soon go back because you get attached to your Claim and don't want to leave it out of your sight, sleeping out there each night with one eye open. Sometimes I imagine I can smell the ore, it's down there if I only know to turn left or right. I'm hoping for the Big Score."

ASPECTS:

Water is precious: The currency is tied to kilolitres of water. People greet each other by extending a full canteen of water, in case the other wants to drink. (No one actually drinks from the other's canteen any more.)

Don't Jump My Claim!: Semi-precious metals can be found around here, but prospectors who poach on another's claim (if caught out in the barren expanses) will be dealt with harshly by the law (if the law gets to them first).

Just Waiting For My Ticket Out: People are hoping for the big prospecting score that will allow them to get off-planet. In practice, most people lead lives of quiet desperation.



Halogia (H)

T1: Exploiting the System
E-2: Hostile Environment (gravity but dangerous atmosphere)
R-1: Almost Viable

"The old-money families, they inherited the beautiful glasseramic buildings from a lost technology, but by changing hands so many times, the property values are out of this world. They can't build them like they used to. Us regular folk, we have to just dig underground in the rock and seal it from the chlorine as best as we can. Once in a while, cave-ins occur and the deadly gas seeps in, kills dozens at a time. I'd like to get off this rock; I hear the mercenary companies are recruiting..."

ASPECTS:

It Smells Like a Swimming-Pool: Chlorine is the big problem here. It makes the sky green. It will eat uncoated structures and vehicles. With good technology you can live here, but there's that constant smell...that smell...

War is Good For Business: A technological center that exports arms and the people who will use them for a price.

Why Does Everybody Hate Us?: The arms exports and mercenaries may make Halogians politically unpopular.
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John Lusk

Discussion  - 
 
Mercenaries from South Africa have proved quietly decisive in helping the Nigerian military turn around its campaign against Boko Haram, writes Colin Freeman in Abuja
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Martijn Vos's profile photoNeal Durando's profile photo
6 comments
 
Off world mercenaries gone to ground after executing some terrible mission. Who can find them first?
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Winchell Chung

Discussion  - 
 
Ballads and science fiction
Lojban language logo. Many science fiction novels have noted how difficult, illogical, unscientific, and inefficient the English language is (did you know that "ghoti" should be pronounced "fish?"). It is certainly a burden for people to learn as a second language, and even more so to try and ...
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Pierre Savoie's profile photoMark Arndt's profile photoSean West Money's profile photoRyan Heck's profile photo
5 comments
 
No. Ballads must be of the useless variety. Paging +Gurney Halleck.
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Mark Martin

Discussion  - 
 
Diaspora/Fate this Friday at 8pm US/Central. Who's game? Usually session "0" is about world/background building. Would like to try to timebox that to try to get into actual play. +Jennifer Martin​, my wife, is almost certainly down for it.
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Mark Martin's profile photoJohn Reiher's profile photo
10 comments
 
Ah well, maybe next week.
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Winchell Chung

Discussion  - 
 
When space becomes industrialized, certain business opportunities arise. These might grow into space corporations.
As mature corporations they can be an entertaining backdrop or complications for your Diaspora campaign. Or the campaign might be about the players efforts to establish one of these businesses, in the law-less high frontier.
By Hop David. If you try to go on a trip in your automobile, you are not going to get very far if there are no gasoline stations to feed your auto. Or restaurants to feed you. Or auto repair shops. This is what is called infrastructure. In the same way, if you want a rocketpunk future, ...
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Winchell Chung's profile photoJohn Reiher's profile photo
5 comments
 
Too true +Winchell Chung, too true. In FTL: 2448, the Whurr had near instantaneous FTL travel, so they could deliver information that was literally hours old to the various markets. 

To keep the Whurrs from dominating the information industry, I decided that:
1. Since Whurr ships were living creatures, they had to be raised and had lifespan measured in decades, as space is a hostile environment. 
2. FTL capable Whurr ships were rare, had to bred through carefully control matings. Thus, while there are many space capable ships, there are only a few FTL ones.
3. The Whurr blink drive does not do away with the momentum and movement vector the ship had when it blinked out. If it had a velocity vector relative to the galactic core, it still has the same vector when it appears in the target system. 
4. They do not have a space drive per se. They maneuver using their blink drive and using gravity wells to speed up or slow down in relation to their target. So while they will appear in a system in an instant, they will spend hours bleeding off/gaining speed or changing their vector, or both. 
Some systems, like Fomalhaut, this is very hard, as the only planets in system are still forming, or going through early bombardment. It's a target rich environment. 
5. Finally, they need a specialized diet to use their blink drive. It contains several rare earths that they need in quantity. It then transmutes these elements into other elements as it uses its blink ability. 
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Lorna Moloney

Discussion  - 
 
Wonderful show with Dr Paul MacCotter on Irish surnames and DNA this week, check out this podcast link to have a listen to same https://www.mixcloud.com/raidiocorcabaiscinn/episode-6-series-2-dr-paul-maccotter-genealogist/   Paul will be speaking at the Ancestral Connections, Irish genealogy summer school 28 June - 5 July see http://www.slideshare.net/Merrimantraining/ancestralconnections2015brochure-28-june-5-july for programme
Episode 6, Series 2: Dr Paul MacCotter Genealogist. Lorna Moloney details the finer points required to research, cross check and finally to ensure all information is correct at all stages in genealogy mentoring.The progamme will provide strategies and useful genealogy advice on where to start and how to proceed on your important family journey. Lorna is the resident genealogist at Dromoland Castle and runs a company; Merriman Research dealing wi...
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Pierre Savoie's profile photo
 
Perhaps you posted this in the wrong group?  This is a group for the Diaspora science fiction tabletop roleplaying game.  This is NOT about an ethnic diaspora or the Irish diaspora!
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Winchell Chung

Discussion  - 
 
I cannot but wonder if this graphic technique could be applied to a Diaspora wargame map.
Or even a Social Combat map
 
Here is an infographic explaining why one does not simply walk into Mordor.

#lordoftherings  #hobbit
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John Reiher's profile photoTim Noyce's profile photoBlue Tyson's profile photo
3 comments
 
As a Brit I immediately assumed that one did not walk because apparently you can get the Underground all the way there, maybe need to change at Minas Tirith.
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