I can watch The Expanse in Canada now. Hell yes! [Spoilers for season 1, till episode 4]

Rainfall

Registered User
Validated User
#1
And what a treat this is. It's a simple but very effective, very gameable setup. It's a great mystery series seen from a lot of different angle, a really cool gritty space series where being in freaking space is actually key instead of everything behaving like naval ships.

Calling it realistic is probably an exageration but I really, really appreciate the nods to actual physics.

Gotta ask though, is the original author a gamer? Because the series sure feels like it's full of PC's.
 

Mallus

Registered User
Validated User
#2
The story the authors tell is the setting began as the background material for a failed MMO one of them was working on, which became a tabletop RPG campaign using a heavily modified version of D20 Modern. There’s an early unceremonial character death caused by a player dropping out of the game.

I think Holden’s player showed up in a Reddit AMA once. So yes, actual gamers, was an actual game, and some of the characters got their start as PCs.
 

Rainfall

Registered User
Validated User
#3
There’s an early unceremonial character death caused by a player dropping out of the game.
So THAT's what that decapitation was about.

I think Holden’s player showed up in a Reddit AMA once. So yes, actual gamers, was an actual game, and some of the characters got their start as PCs.
I KNEW IT! :D

Anyway, fun times. It's like somedody stitched a cyberpunk detective story, a Tom Clancy novel and an RPG campaign into one Frankenstein's monster of a setting.
 

Myrme

Historian for Hire
Validated User
#5
And what a treat this is. It's a simple but very effective, very gameable setup. It's a great mystery series seen from a lot of different angle, a really cool gritty space series where being in freaking space is actually key instead of everything behaving like naval ships.

Calling it realistic is probably an exageration but I really, really appreciate the nods to actual physics.

Gotta ask though, is the original author a gamer? Because the series sure feels like it's full of PC's.
There's a bit of a story to why it feels like an RPG game, because it really is. First off, the author James S. A. Corey, is actually two guys: Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck.

The Expanse's setting started out as part of an MMO pitch by Franck that never got off the ground. Franck then turned and used all the worldbuilding and setting design he'd done and used it for an internet play-by-post game. That game is where the main setting we're seeing took place and several of the characters, including the main crew, came from. Like the bit where the medic got his head blown off by a railgun? In the original game that was because his player had to bow out because of real life obligations so his character was killed off.

But through the game running for a while on the forum, Franck came into contact with Daniel Abraham in 2011, another author (who among other things used to work as G.R.R. Martin's assistant) and they began collaborating on turning the game into a book series that became The Expanse. The first book, Leviathan Wakes, draws most heavily from the original game while the later books go in their own direction. The players, of course, gave it their blessings and several characters were changed or rewritten in their transition from roleplay character to book character, and of course further changed from book character to TV character. For instance, some of the characters in the book are not really feasible in their book form for television, such as Naomi in the books pushing seven feet tall and built like a scarecrow with a slightly oversized head (most Belters in the book are built like this). Obviously that's not feasible for TV, so as you'll see as the show continues Belters instead have distinctive mannerisms (Belters tend to talk as much with their hands as their voices, for instance), dress and tattoo culture to mark them as Belters.

A thing about the Belters, by the way. That distinctive Belter Cant of theirs, which shifts depending on their social class and situation, actually was developed by the show as a full dialect. They hired a linguist to help design it, and he built a creole for the Belters. Scenes with Belters have their dialogue written three times: once in plain English, then three times over in different levels of Belter and they pick the one that fits. You'll get the hang of it, and there's sort of an odd internal logic to how it works. But it's not just gibberish, and later in the show there are entire scenes entirely in thick Rockhopper Belter.

There's also a tabletop RPG coming out soon from Green Ronin.

As for the science, the show does a pretty decent job sticking to science and physics. As the authors put it, it's Wikipedia level science, but stuff like acceleration and basic orbital mechanics are a big deal. The main nod to handwavium is the ship engines, the Epstein drive, which are far, far better than anything we've got. That and they cracked nuclear fusion. The rest of the tech stuff more or less seems like the natural progression of technology.

Oh, and there aren't "smart" AIs in this setting. The computers on ships are very, very smart at doing what humans tell them to do and the authors have commented that the main ship should be thought of as more like a robot, but they don't talk or think. This is because the authors don't find talking robot characters interesting, and that's their prerogative.
 
Last edited:

JoeNotCharles

Registered User
Validated User
#6
The story the authors tell is the setting began as the background material for a failed MMO one of them was working on, which became a tabletop RPG campaign using a heavily modified version of D20 Modern. There’s an early unceremonial character death caused by a player dropping out of the game.

I think Holden’s player showed up in a Reddit AMA once. So yes, actual gamers, was an actual game, and some of the characters got their start as PCs.
Now that I know this, the way
Spoiler: Show

Miller meets the rest of the group in S1E8

Just screams replacement PC.
 

Rainfall

Registered User
Validated User
#7
Oh, and there aren't "smart" AIs in this setting. The computers on ships are very, very smart at doing what humans tell them to do and the authors have commented that the main ship should be thought of as more like a robot, but they don't talk or think. This is because the authors don't find talking robot characters interesting, and that's their prerogative.
Oddly enough in doing so they've stayed pretty close to extrapolated current technology. We don't know if we'll ever make artificial people, but massive unemployment and very high levels of automation? We're getting there.

Just screams replacement PC.
And Amos is that player who only has combat skills and will just shoot the NPC if the talky bits are getting too long.
 

Mallus

Registered User
Validated User
#8
In related news book 8, Tiamat’s Wrath is out now, at least in the US. I read the first 2 chapters before getting out of bed and seriously contemplated not going into the office.
 
Last edited:

Rainfall

Registered User
Validated User
#9
In related news book 8, Tiamat’s Wrath is out now, at least in the US. I read the first 2 chapters before getting out of bed and seriously contemplated not going into the the office.
I would not have touched it before work. Because I am not as good a person as you. This would not have been a work day.

Finishing season 2, loving much of it to death. Except for Holden. This is a problem as he is the protagonist. I want this self-righteous prick to die painful death, and the actor isn't charismatic enough to sell the role.

The problem looks way worse when you've got Shohreh Aghdashloo's awesomeness to compare it to.
 

Myrme

Historian for Hire
Validated User
#10
Oddly enough in doing so they've stayed pretty close to extrapolated current technology. We don't know if we'll ever make artificial people, but massive unemployment and very high levels of automation? We're getting there.



And Amos is that player who only has combat skills and will just shoot the NPC if the talky bits are getting too long.
That's pretty much what happened with Miller. He joined the game late and his whole arc was from a one-on-one RP with the GM catching him up. And he got a roll that ended up giving him the Major Flaw: Obssession.

As for Holden, he's written by the authors to be how irritating a paladin would be in life. They do explore that he's really not entirely mentally healthy and got some pretty serious issues that make him such a pain in the ass. He also gets better about it, when life decides to knock him upside the head about it.

But he's a stubborn idealist in a cynical setting.
 
Top Bottom