Morty
 member, 316 posts
 The Doctor.
Sun 4 Mar 2018
at 21:00
[interest check and advice] Space western!
Faster than light travel + cowboys = ?

I'm going for a Wild West vibe, but avoiding Firefly's chinglish. Also, I like the "railroads" analogy. Then travel by the "railroad" could be much faster than going "by horse" from town to town. However, the railroad needs extensive infrastructure (loads of Chinese guys to build the railroad, then there are watering stations and fuel depots and so on...) while your trusty horse needs only some grass and water. Going by horse gets even slower if you're not familiar with the terrain, watering holes and the like.

Now make railroads something like fast FTL (faster-than-light, like wormholes), horses into personal atmo/spaceships with limited FTL, carriages something that horses latch onto and give loads of cargo space at the cost of reduced speed, telegraphs into ansimbles...

cyborg steeds, yes, that's what I'm after. They actually drink water for reaction mass, and have nuclear reactors to make it into superheated steam that propels them along. Flying cyborg horses! :D And now I have a reason why they seek out water, and graze on uranium rich grass.

This also sets the scene for natives (the few colony slowship/seedship/sleepship descendants) vs. pioneer colonists (scouts at first, then untold masses coming in from the overpopulated East Coast vis the "railroads"). The hopelessly backward natives will have no resistance to the sicknesses the colonists bring (addictive videogames? nanotech gizmos? hyper-alcohol? memetic infection?) Indian wars, anyone?

Some places (where the "terrain" is not suitable for railroad building - perhaps the space between spiral arms in the galaxy?) might use the "ocean liner" paradigm - deep space = deep ocean.

Making timeframes playable. A sensible time for planetside travel would be hours to days; for planets, days to weeks; between stars, weeks to months (and the "railroad" might shorten it to weeks or days).

I'll confess I loved Saber Rider and the Star Sheriffs :) the world is reasonably realistic and gritty, yet style takes precedence over common sense. I want shootouts on airless asteroids and enormous red supergiant stars in the skies of endless deserts dotted with bleached cyber-cow skulls.

What does the esteemed readership think of the idea? Is this something you would play?

The second question is, what game system would you suggest for such a setting? I was gravitating towards something lightweight and quick-rolling, like Lasers and feelings.
LonePaladin
 member, 706 posts
 Creator of HeroForge
Sun 4 Mar 2018
at 21:47
[interest check and advice] Space western!
Make the FTL something akin to the early hyperspace stuff from Star Wars history. Basically, explorers had early hyperdrives but navigation was strictly seat-of-your pants. When you found a good spot, you could drop a beacon that had navigation info stored for the local area and any other known beacons nearby.

So early FTL involved one of two things:
  1. Pioneers who jumped out into unknown space; those who managed to 'land' in a safe area would drop a beacon, then jump out again into who-knows-where
  2. Travelers who would stop by a beacon, download its navigation info, and use that to jump to the next beacon; from there they would explore whatever was nearby, or read the next beacon and jump again

Trade routes formed from this. Specific routes would take less time in FTL -- not because they were physically shorter, but because they got more traffic and their navigation info was more up-to-date. The fastest routes are the ones most traveled, while the seldom-used branches at the end are slower and riskier.
Hendell
 member, 90 posts
Mon 5 Mar 2018
at 02:31
[interest check and advice] Space western!
The best analogy I have seen for heavy infrastructure space on rails is something like a series of gates, the Cowboy Bebob series has a reasonable representation of them a few times, but they don't feature heavily in the story.

Throw in a significantly slower FTL capability in the ships, and or perhaps that the portable version only works on small ships?  Then you have noticeable cargo limits as well for your horses when you go off the track, and an explanation of why laying new track is so difficult.
Morty
 member, 317 posts
 The Doctor.
Mon 5 Mar 2018
at 16:09
[interest check and advice] Space western!
yes, that's the idea. the difference in speeds between horses/wagons and trains just like their RL counterparts. FTL "gates" being like tunnels through the mountains. Tracks being laid only in very well known areas.
mofo99
 member, 396 posts
 May the hair on your
 feet never fall off
Mon 5 Mar 2018
at 16:19
[interest check and advice] Space western!
Sounds like a very cool concept and setting. I'd be interested depending on the system.
horus
 member, 422 posts
 Wayfarer of the
 Western Wastes
Tue 6 Mar 2018
at 01:17
[interest check and advice] Space western!
This sounds like it could easily have a steampunk angle to it, too.  Don't know if that's what you're going for, but the tech for this would probably have that gnarly, gearish look, at the very least.

I would love to play in this, but I'm barely keeping up with what I have here on RPoL now.  (Too much happening IRL lately...)

Here's wishing your enterprise all the best!
Hendell
 member, 92 posts
Tue 6 Mar 2018
at 10:55
[interest check and advice] Space western!
Eberron is a magicpunk world it has all the steampunk style components except the world openly calls them magical, rather than the suspiciously effective technology of steampunk.
Morty
 member, 318 posts
 The Doctor.
Fri 9 Mar 2018
at 15:26
[interest check and advice] Space western!
this is not magical, nor steampunk - it's straight sci-fi meeting western.

still looking for suggestions as to what game system to use.
Mortixx
 member, 288 posts
Sat 10 Mar 2018
at 22:07
[interest check and advice] Space western!
If you want to keep it simple system wise id suggest some Powered by the Apocalypse system. Apoalypse world might work if you want the worlds to be in ruins.

D20 modern with Future might also be interesting to use Simple yet adaptive enough to also have space ships.

And of coarse the firefly rpg and then just cut out whatever it is you feel makes it unsuited for the world you portray.
CrazyIvan777
 member, 229 posts
Thu 15 Mar 2018
at 02:52
[interest check and advice] Space western!
Interesting concept. I don't really have a specific suggestion for game rules, but I'd be interested in playing.
Baker
 member, 19 posts
Thu 15 Mar 2018
at 07:24
[interest check and advice] Space western!
Itís an interesting concept that might lend itself to Fate.  Or, if you want a little more robust of a system, Cypher system is a favorite of mine.
NowhereMan
 member, 181 posts
Thu 15 Mar 2018
at 07:54
[interest check and advice] Space western!
If it was me, I'd go with Savage Worlds. It lends itself well to westerns (Deadlands), sci-fi (Nemezis), and even sci-fi Victoriana (Space 1889).
Hendell
 member, 95 posts
Thu 15 Mar 2018
at 09:35
[interest check and advice] Space western!
Savage Worlds is a very versatile setting, even higher tech sci fi can be done easily with the new Rifts supplements, just ignore the magic.
NowhereMan
 member, 182 posts
Thu 15 Mar 2018
at 10:02
[interest check and advice] Space western!
In reply to Hendell (msg # 13):

The Science Fiction Companion covers most of the sci-fi bases, though the Rifts supplements are pretty good.

If you can find it, the old Deadlands: Lost Colony setting (written for the original Deadlands game, but easily converted to Savage Worlds) is straight-up space western, including small starships called Stallions. The supernatural is definitely a part of the Deadlands universe, but since you're likely wanting to do your own thing with setting anyway, those components can be safely ignored.
Morty
 member, 319 posts
 The Doctor.
Thu 15 Mar 2018
at 21:44
Re: [interest check and advice] Space western!
NowhereMan:
In reply to Hendell (msg # 13):

If you can find it, the old Deadlands: Lost Colony setting (written for the original Deadlands game, but easily converted to Savage Worlds) is straight-up space western, including small starships called Stallion.

Great suggestion! My local book hoarder actually has every Deadlands book and lent me this one. The setting is interesting, and has plenty of ideas to steal.

Perhaps gurps (ultralite or lite) would be a good match?
angille
 member, 2 posts
Sun 8 Apr 2018
at 05:40
Re: [interest check and advice] Space western!
awesome concept. I'm down, though certain rule systems will attract me faster than others. (Firefly and Genesys are my top choices...)
BFink
 member, 45 posts
Tue 17 Apr 2018
at 16:17
Re: [interest check and advice] Space western!
Ah, the topic sounds very Cowboy Bebop-like. I second the idea of Deadlands: Lost Colony. It's a shame they haven't turned it into Savage Worlds yet.