I always wanted to roleplay Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri. GURPS even came out with a supplement for it (following the very nice formula of recycled art = lower production cost). Of course, the questions raised by the video game -- the transhumanism, ecoextremism, social commentary, the basic "how shall we live?" and so on -- are difficult if not impossible to raise using GURPS as a chassis. The GURPS book will allow you to roleplay in the world of Alpha Centauri, but it doesn't support playing Alpha Centauri. In precise terminology, it does not encourage the address of the question "how shall we live?"

That'd be neat to play a game that answered that. Shock: comes close, but it's more "How will this affect our lives?" and has less to do with making personal life choices.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

One of the fundamental things

One of the fundamental things that happens in Alpha Centauri is that the world CHANGES.

It changes in response to what the colonists do, and it changes as World goes through its natural life cycle of fungal growth and dieoff. I don't know of any games that handle that kind of thing well.

Planet is a character, not so

Planet is a character, not so much a "setting." I think you could get a long way towards making things happen with that in mind.

On topic: what you'd need, I

On topic: what you'd need, I think, is some switcheroo between macro-scale decisions--"Listen up, everyone, we're going Communist!"--and daily life--"Ugh, there's a delay in our monthly health rations. I wonder how long my family can wait to see a doctor?" The deep part of the game lies in screwing around with social policy and devising military strategy; the deep part of RP-ing involves looking at individual outcomes.

Off topic: I had, like, 20-30 pages worth of conversion notes for TSR's old Alternity game... but this was in 1999, long before I was exposed to these freaky premise-technique things, and the result would have been just as sterile as the GURPS business.

Still: the seven archetypal societies, and their spin-offs, are fun to play around with as elements of a sci-fi game.

It's a pity, by the way, that GURPS Transhuman Space falls so flat in terms of addressing premise and/or situation. It's a great world to look at... just no fun to play in (without doing massive work.)

Hm. You know, if you look

Hm.

You know, if you look at Planet as a Character, then the various "nations" become Characters too. How important is the micro-scale? Why can't you RP at macro-scale? You'd just take the role of the leader of the nation.

Post new comment