Sci Fi RPG Musings
So whatever the case, for a space RPG you need some way to get multiple places within close reach. It's no good going Bladerunner since that only gets you two planets/moons to work with. No, you need many. There are a few options here.
1. Many Planets and Moons
Which is totally possible if you fulfill certain circumstances. You need planets close to the star so that they are multiple and many. You need planets with roughly the same orbits as each other, which is the difficult part. Otherwise travel is seasonal dependent. You also need powerful engines and cheap, reusable fuel sources. I'd go with Solar Energy on this one. Though I have been thinking about one other energy source no one has thought up. Say in the future, solar energy becomes incredibly efficient, thanks to... let's make it a global disaster like oil running out. This isn't actually so much of a stretch these days.
Now with that kind of efficient solar energy converter, why not alter it to work with Cosmic Background Radiation (which is everywhere. It's like the static your tv picks up when you're tuned out. And it's the remainder of the Big Bang.) That would work as an efficient energy source. But it takes an important consideration from the world, fighting for fuel. There's no dilemma when you aren't using something you need to buy.
So you have a solar system with multiple planets and moons, all terraformed to be green and lush and oxygen/nitrogen balanced. And so these planets need to be slightly volcanically active and warm in their cores. It took a billion years for our planet to cool enough for life. And it's still cooling. Now if those planets are stationary, you have multiple platforms from which to start your RPG. And the ships to move around it.
2. FTL Travel
Whether using flash drives, dimension dipping, real or abstract faster than light travel, this allows for the moving around to all the planets, etc. Small problems here. It takes light around 4 years to reach our nearest stellar neighbour. Of course, who says we need to start in Earth. But still, that's 4 years. Going twice the speed of light still takes you 2 years to travel between solar systems. I'm thinking it should take around a month between systems, or better yet, two weeks. That means you're going... 64 times the speed of light. And then slowing down before you smash into the star. 64 times is quite a substantial number, considering you could escape from a Black Hole using that speed.
What about different methods? Flash Drives that teleport the entire ship instantly short distances overcomes the problem with FTL, but then how does this teleportation work? Does it send radio signals? Oh wait, it has to be FTL. Dimension dipping involves different things. One is piercing through the fabric of the universe and reappearing somewhere else. Plausible in a strange sort of way perhaps? Or not. The other is to shift into a different dimension and 'pop' out again in your proper one. Assuming that being in another dimension causes so much 'wrongness' the universes try to reset themselves by sending you back with enourmous force. With string theory, this is more and more possible.
The most efficient way perhaps, is Wormholes. Travelling through one to reach the other. This one, I think might work best in conjunction with 1. since it allows for only a relatively small number of places to go. Wormholes, as I've thought of them, appear when incredibly strong shockwaves tear through the time-space continuum. This could happen with the first humans in a war of some kind perhaps? I'm thinking that the humans in my RPG would originate from a ship which fell through a wormhole in some kind of battle. This allows for a greatly theatrical beginning, as a lone battleship and its crew struggles to find somewhere to live. (Hmm, rather Battlestar Galactica really.) But of course, that's just the beginnings to the creation myth for the humans in the RPG and explains how they got to where they are.
Something from Starslip Crisis, a drive which searches through all possible dimensions, and finds one where a copy of you and your ship exist where you want to be, and they want to be where you are. So the two of you 'switch' dimensions. Problem here is like said in the comic. The computer has to round off, since there are infinite dimensions. So there are always discrepencies, and those aren't good at all for RPGs.
So that's all for now, really. That's a new origin idea for humans. A battleship, complete with crew and a temporary downloaded data of every technology Earth had. And some heroic figures in the form of Engineers, Pilots, Officers, Doctors, etc. A huge battle near Earth using concussion torpedoes causes a tear in the fabric of space, and the ship activates a certain drive or something that causes it to teleport, causing everyone to go, "wait, wtf happened to the war?" They all moan, and wander for generations, and Earth becomes a myth. They approach a star in the distance, and watch it get closer for another seven generations. Then they go populate on the closest planet there. Then spread from there. Some split off into a section in the darkness of a meteor belt and separate from the government.
I'm aiming to make this RPG a mix of all the different Space genre Sci Fi things. So as I can see it... Firefly, Star Trek, Star Wars, Zap!, Battlestar Galactica, Red Dwarf, Dr Who, Saga of Seven Suns... thinking of more later, or when I see them crop up in my reading.