Monday, March 17, 2014

Ringworld Reloaded Redux

Over at the Blade & Crown blog, Rachel Kronick has written a good summary of the Fate-based Ringworld Reloaded game that I ran at Con of the North in mid-February. I'd encourage you to go over and check it out!

In this post, I'm sharing a few additional details of the set-up of my Ringworld Reloaded game:
  • Most of my prep work involved re-reading Chaosium's Ringworld RPG boxed set. It's all the source material I needed, since my setting was an extrapolation from Larry Niven's original Ringworld novel, rather than a faithful extrapolation of numerous successive Ringworld stories.
  • Three of the four players were new to Fate. We did character generation on the fly. It went pretty smoothly. I used the character sheet and skills from Sarah Newton's Mindjammer RPG - the new second edition of Mindjammer for Fate Core. The Mindjammer skill set worked well. It has everything you need for a SF space opera game. The Culture aspect is a very welcome addition to Fate Core's standard High Concept and Trouble aspects. Each character was from a different culture/species and world, so their Culture aspects were quite distinct. 
  • We went pretty light on Stunts, creating just one or two per character. That worked just fine for a one-shot, on-the-fly game. Mindjammer offers a very robust group of stunts, though, so for an ongoing campaign, I'd consider using some or all of them.
  • Characters included "Speaker to Machines" a male Kzin engineer working for the Matriarchy (one of the rival Kzinti states which emerged - coincidentally - at exactly the same time as the Puppeteer Exodus), a human Crashlander, and members of two species borrowed from SPI's Starforce: Alpha Centauri wargame: 
    • The itinerant Rame, a race with "multiple, group transferring minds"
    • The L'Chal Dah (sp?), a humanoid but highly modified (i.e., "transhuman") race.
  • The two SPI species were discovered due to the expansion of Known Space from a diameter of about 60 LY to 80 LY. The humans and L'Chal Dah have a shared contact world called Better Together; Rachel, who played a member of this species, said that was a pretty "Larry Niven" world name. 
  • The Mindscape existed in my setting; the standard interface with it was one of Niven's plug-in deep brain stimulation devices called a Droud. In Ringworld Reloaded, the Droud allows for both a direct neural interface with the Mindscape, as well as self-stimulation of the pleasure centers of the brain (Niven's original use of the devices).
  • The action started in Krushenko's: the bar - located near the UN, I believe - where the original "PC party" gathered in the novel Ringworld. Krushenko's has become something of a fixture on the local convention scene, as each major Twin Cities science fiction and fantasy convention has a theme room with this name. This is the first time, to my knowledge, that a Krushenko's made an appearance at Con of the North.

Next time, we'll talk about the end of the scenario - and how it sets the stage for an episodic Ringworld campaign!

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