Wizards, the real rulers

Wizards are an integral part of many role-playing games. Often they are restricted by rules, such as not being allowed to use weapons, a weak attempt to limit their unimaginable power. If we assume that the people in fantasy game worlds behave at least approximately as people in reality do, then some of the widespread […]

Designing Space Ships – Important Questions

shipyard

Whether you’re writing a novel, designing a role-playing setting or planning another science fiction project: Spaceships are usually part of it. The most important questions as to how these should look and function concern not only the ships themselves, but above all the cultural and technological developments that must exist as prerequisites for space travel. […]

Building a Star Empire (Part 1)

Star Map

The heart of every Space Opera novel or setting is a star empire – or better: several of them. But what exactly is a star empire? On Earth we have seen the evolution of many nations and alliances of nations from the Roman Empire to the European Union. Assuming that mankind (or any other intelligent […]

The Adventurer (Trope)

Adventurer Group

A very basic element of nearly every tabletop RPG is the concept of “The Adventurer”. You will not find many games where players are taking on the roles of bakers, social workers or civil servants. Typically character roles or class are not occupations or real life tasks. Regardless of what fancy name the roles have […]

Jovian Chronicles Engineering Rules Part 1

Engineering

Revisiting one of my favourite RPGs of all time I stumbled over the Mechanical Design or Engineering rules provided in the books again. They are complicated and pretty hard to understand (at least for me), so I tried to build a spreadsheet out of the formulas and options given, to double-check vehicle data sheets found […]

Attributes, Skills and Tasks

Something that puzzles me in many games is the rather abritrary way of how characters or heroes are defined by stats like attributes, abilities, skills and such and how those are used in the context of challenge resolution. Everyone wants to describe his hero just like you want to tell your best friend the cool […]

Sci-fi tv tropes – Ship Designs

Passengers - Vaisseau avalon

When I look at spaceship designs from movies, tv series, comic books, video games and other ressources, I typically find one of the following three archetypes, with Type II being the most common: Type I – NASA/Semi-Realistic Realistic deep space explorer ship by Do Mo These designs look like variations of the space shuttle or […]

Beam Cannons

Beam Cannon

or Direct Energy Weapons are the second type of the three typically used large scale weapons systems used in space battles (the other two being Kinetic Kill Cannons and Missiles). Laser cannons A long time ago lasers and particle beam cannons were considered to be the weapon system of the future, superior to conventional ballistic […]

The Expanse: Annoying logic holes

The Expanse is a space opera – it’s about story-telling while trying to deliver a rather believable scientific background. They started quite well in terms of the scientific approach, but have made major mistakes in the second season that are very obvious and not easy to your eyes at. Even more irritiating ist the fact […]

The Expanse: Theory on the Ancient Builders

I haven’t seen all episodes of Season 2 yet, so I may be off topic completely here. But I just came up with one, actually two, ideas about the motives of the ancient race that is responsible for creating the protomolecule and the wormhole network spanning space (that I read about internet spoilers already). I […]