Friday, October 29, 2010

Designing Plausible Spacecraft for Role-Playing Games Part VI

   This is the last post in this series, and it mainly deals with publishing your gear.  But I have a very busy weekend, with Halloween and my son's birthday, so we're gonna go through these real quick:

9: Does the Spacecraft in Question Have a Point?

     "It looks cool" is not a good answer.  Take a gander at the sub guidelines for most Star Trek blueprint websites.  You will see some variation of the following, "No Uber Dreadnoughts, Please."  This goes double for hard sf designs.  It's an ancillary of rule seven; If there are no useless rooms in space, there probably won't be entire useless ships, either.  Remember, even with more advanced technology, spacecraft will still be among the most expensive investments for governments and corporations.  They will not make a 300-Meter-Kill-O-Zap-Super-Rocket if a ship like the Heinlein will get the job done.

10: Make Your Ships Unique.

     By this I mean, "Do not make a dozen small orbiters when one or two will do."  Think about it.  If your ships are too similar, then PCs will lose interest.  I had this problem back in the day when I was running Star Wars on a regular basis.  After a while, it started to devolve into, "oh, another freighter."  and a total lack of reaction.  If your ships aren't exciting to your Players, what's the point?
     This is even more important for making spacecraft deck plans for sale.  If your designs are too similar, your customers have no reason to buy more than one.  Even worse, if people only need one of a certain type rocket and you have several different versions of that type, you're essentially competing with yourself.  Not to mention you have nothing to offer for you customers other needs... That's why every design I've produced so far is radically different from themselves.  That and its more fun.

     So, that wraps it up for this series, ladies and gentlemen.  Hope you enjoyed and found it useful and stuff.  Next week, I'll be starting a new series on space combat for the The Back Desert, and of course, role-playing games.  See you all Monday!

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