Was Stardrive* too generic?



Mar 31, 2004 3:13:52
Specifically I'm talking about the stellar nations. It just seemed to me that they were trying to get every sci-fi convention tied to it's own country.
Starmech, Nariac, Concord, and the T'sa I thought were really cool and innovative. But Austrin-Ontis, Borealis, and Insight just seemed silly. I mean a nation of hackers? And Thuldan & Voidcorp just seemed like thay were set up to be the bad guys. I mean whenever something nefarious or sneaky happened just blame Voidcorp.
Was it being too generic in order to catch as much interest as possible? Have a little something for everybody?

Although I did have similar problems with Traveler concerning races, I mean of the myriad of species they could have set up out there they populate the universe with other sentient humans, cats, and dogs?

I guess tell me what you all think.


Apr 02, 2004 21:09:14
As for me, having just recently come across the Alternity Stardrive material, I find it refreshing from all the Starwars and Star Trek my poor head is filled with. ;)


Apr 03, 2004 12:04:17
No it was not generic, it does have it's fans. But it was missing that certain "it" element that makes everyone wanted to run that universe.


Apr 04, 2004 12:14:19
I ordered it from svgames. hard copy. I will have to read throug it to say.


Apr 16, 2004 3:39:45
there is piles of info at http://tequilastarrise.net - offical Star drive site.
a lot of adventure hooks and such


Apr 17, 2004 23:02:09
the thing is, it wasnt that it was generic, it was just that the core book only went into a little detail. not ALL nefarious plots were Voidcorps fault, just enough of them that they had that reputation. there wasnt an entire nation of hackers, just a nation which had focused most of its military research on hacking and computer advancement. the corebook was a bit generic, but later they showed more verisimilitude by going into depth with each of the nations. they didnt get the chance to go into the massive detail they wanted, but they showed the roots of what they were planning at least.


Apr 27, 2004 15:55:48
I ran a Star*Drive campaign and I really liked the details--good aliens, interesting planets, lots going on. The Lighthouse was a great idea.

However, I think Star*Drive tried to do too much all in one book. What do I mean? Mutations, cybernetics, netrunning, exploration, alien bug hunts, psionics (mindwalking), intrigue, and more all in one book. Too much diversity or width and not enough focus or depth. A GM could narrow things down, but then a lot of the main book wasn't as useful.

Also, the stellar nations were out there somewhere undefined but huge and threatening. I'd have preferred that Bluefall had been Earth and the Verge a fictional setting with the home of the aliens close by in space, explored planets further out, and unknown planets and systems on the verge of known space. Exploration or trade could have been the main theme for the campaign.

I think that trade could have allowed the GM to use all the systems and planets to good effect as well as the Lighthouse. The PCs could have had a small merchant ship or a system only ship connected to the Lighthouse.

For exploration, a few books were made with unexplored planets and a small scout ship with the PCs onboard could have explored beyond the Verge of known space.

I may try to do this type of campaign when D20 Future comes out. The books have a lot of roleplaying info in them and some well thought aliens, planets, and systems.


Apr 28, 2004 7:25:18
Star*Drive like every other sci-fi universes had planets, aliens, and ships.

It was a good basis and D20 Future will have a similiar approach.


Apr 28, 2004 11:44:16
While the S*D setting did seem to have everything but the kitchen sink, it was well written. The best thing for a good gm to do is to focus on one area and work your way out. Too many times, we think adventures need to span the known universe.

Start locally. First adventure in the city, then move out from there. To the other localities on the planet. Then maybe to orbit, to the moon(s), other planets in the system and then to other planets. You do not have to leave a planet to have a good adventure. Over ninety-five percent of the novel 'Dune' took place on Arrakis/Dune.



Apr 30, 2004 5:07:12
The problem with future games is everyone wants to get in a starship and take off.

Every planet should have a thousand places to look at. Get out of that tin can and have a look around!


May 23, 2004 14:18:12
Has anyone ever played a Robot hero or character. I just received the Dataware sourcebook.

I was considerign playing one. I will have to come up with a good concept!


May 23, 2004 19:41:13
Dataware is a good book, its atrociously ugly, the cover design was awful, and none of the artwork is good... but its a good book.

I have never played a robot hero, but I built a character using Arthur from the hitchikers guide to the galaxy as a rough character sketch (was for a serious setting, so I stripped away the humor aspects, but kept the basic idea.)


May 24, 2004 15:49:10
for the reply. I agree Dataware looks ugly. I don't know what they were thinking.

So far there is good source info. I will have to read some more.


May 25, 2004 14:30:30
I don't think so.

It is nice to have some background to base your adventures on. The default location was The Verge, so you had this rich background and details of the Stellar Nations to draw from in the local conflicts of The Verge. Certainly there is some stereotypical stuff going on, but it is going to be near impossible to be completely original when creating a sci-fi setting anyway. If you take a gander out there on the net, you can see several new free, in-development, and recently released sci-fi games. When you look at the particulars, you will see similarities to something you have encountered before either in literature, film, or RPGs. Not mention the previous material to Star*Drive; Star Wars (WEG), Traveler, Star Frontiers, to mention a few. The other side of that coin, to be completely different, can really alienate players. People lose their frame of reference and then there can be a huge disconnect.

As an example of a strength in this area, Star*Drive utilized our dating system and calendar, and the Stellar Nations were born from earth equivalencies. It takes place in the Milky Way galaxy and centers around Sol (Earth). This helps people identify with those elements. Certainly is it generic, but it is also common knowledge. It helps players get into it, without the fuss of reeducating them to nuances about the game, that in the end, may not be important to the story.

I think a broad setting is better overall than a specific one. It gives you options to explore the game you want versus the one being packaged for you. It allows room to breathe and be creative with the setting, while having a common set of facts that are easily shared across new playing groups, authors, etc. Generic is good. Certainly there are unique and fascinating aspects of the Star*Drive setting, it is not completely generic, but the generic elements demonstrated a real focus on making the setting well adapted to utilizing it for a roleplaying game.

Just my two cents…


May 25, 2004 19:27:40
The generic sci fi setting has been done too many times. You mentioned Star Frontiers, Traveler. You are right.

Every planetary system deserves its own campaign book. It does n't have to be elaborate, but more than 2 pages.

Like in Star Frontiers, Humans from one planetary system would be different from ones from the other systems based on thier contact with the other species. And vice versa!!

I am sure its too expensive to create so many campaign books.