Selling you on Diaspora -- Fate-based hard sci-fi

Brad J. Murray

VSCA
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Butcher, I think you made the right choice with Starblazer Adventures. Diaspora is not a great fit for Star Trek or for Fading Suns. You can make it work, but I think SBA has more tools that are already suited for it. Diaspora certainly has a meta-setting, much like the very first iteration of Traveller had -- a setting that's implied by what rules you have handy -- and that setting is pretty in-the-trenches gritty. Not grim, but maybe not Epic or Heroic. Dune, however, would work very well -- the whole thing I mean; the planet Dune would be one system in a cluster with all the other worlds and each well represented systemically.

So at one for three, Diaspora would be a second-best choice to hit your specific needs. That said, I always advise people to buy both.
 
Ordered it from Leisure Games - anyone know when they'll have it?

Looks like the perfect versin of FATE to use for my SF setting, a big one called Omnichron - was really gonna use Mongoose Traveller, but there where always something I had to adjust.

So a few weeks ago, I got the book Starblazer Adventures from my "review editor", and reading through it, I was beginning to like the system. To pulpy for the Omnichron setting - But from reading all I could come across Diaspora I saw that it was the system for Omnichron!

So now I have my 8 Traveller books on sale and writing Omnichron finished for playing this year. Just hope Diaspora comes fast.

So onto questions....

Starblazer and Diaspora both uses Fate 3 but differently: Can the "alien building system" be used in Diaspora?

Are there a ship building system in Diaspora? And can one make somewhat more advanced alien ships and techs from lost civilizations with the rules? (Omnichron have the undertone of a lost ancient race that made slipstream gates actually, and the effect of the gates is called omnichron effect (the "all time" effect). And there are another race, somewhat more advanced then humans (couple of hundred years or so) that is also puzzling together the clues, and there are conflicts. A few systems have been explored, some system colonized (Almost think of it as a version of the series "Space Above and Beyond" meets "Battlestar Galactica".

And last question - Are there rules for ground vehicles, and maybe building rules for them?

Looking very forward to this game :)
 

Brad J. Murray

VSCA
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Validated User
Ordered it from Leisure Games - anyone know when they'll have it?
They should have their hands on it Any Day Now -- I know it arrived at their US shipping drop already.

Starblazer and Diaspora both uses Fate 3 but differently: Can the "alien building system" be used in Diaspora?
Someone else will have to catch this one. A design principle of Diaspora is that aliens are not different from humans except in terms of paint. They may have different skills and be skewed towards certain stunts and maybe have a required aspect or two, but under the text the same mechanisms apply.

Not so for beasts, mind you, which are simpler but more variable.

Are there a ship building system in Diaspora? And can one make somewhat more advanced alien ships and techs from lost civilizations with the rules?
Yes and yes. The ship construction rules are NOT, however, a ship building simulator (you don't calculate mass, volume, thrust, cost and juggle those numbers as though actually building space craft). The construction rules are a game design tool that makes equipment stats that are correct for the type and purpose and technology level.

And last question - Are there rules for ground vehicles, and maybe building rules for them?
Vehicles operate at the platoon scale, and that mini-game has rules for vehicle construction and operation. Vehicles are not, by and large, something we considered interesting at a personal scale though we might think about a supplement. So if you have an APC, you'de probably model it as an aspect and maybe also a stunt (Military Grade Vehicle maybe) and treat it as a bonus to character skill checks under those rules.

Looking very forward to this game :)
I am looking forward to hearing you tell us about meshing it with your setting, which sounds pretty cool! And if you post an actual play session in a nice public place, we'll send you some nice Fudge dice!
 

Michael Tree

Registered User
Validated User
Vehicles operate at the platoon scale, and that mini-game has rules for vehicle construction and operation. Vehicles are not, by and large, something we considered interesting at a personal scale though we might think about a supplement.
I've been mulling over ways to adapt the starship combat rules to model vehicle chases. For a future session, I want a way to run a high speed car chase, possibly with people shooting at each other, or jumping onto enemy vehicles like in the Indiana Jones movies.
 

Eisenmann

10th Level ADD Gamer
Validated User
I've been mulling over ways to adapt the starship combat rules to model vehicle chases. For a future session, I want a way to run a high speed car chase, possibly with people shooting at each other, or jumping onto enemy vehicles like in the Indiana Jones movies.
Do you happen to have Spirit of the Century in your FATE toolbox?
 

Brad J. Murray

VSCA
RPGnet Member
Validated User
I do, and like the chase rules in it, but I like the way Diaspora's space combat uses relative distance as well as attacks and maneuvers to make the escape more dynamic.
I think there's a more generic chase mechanism somewhere inside the space combat rules (which are available for free at the web site, btw), and as that's usually what's interesting about a vehicle, that's probably what we'll do if we write a supplement. So I'm with you on this one.

When vehicles are static (say, you're fighting from inside one) they are probably adequately modeled as aspects.
 

MavrikGandalf

System Spaz
Validated User
So, in the interest of, uh, interesting the people of rpg.net, I thought I'd post this super sweet tidbit from the Diaspora emailing list. It's Brad's idea for assassination, and it's fantastic.
Halfjack said:
Chatting with a fan today, I was advised that there is a flaw in the personal combat system: there is no way to totally get the drop on someone with, say, a sniper rifle, and assassinate them. I thought about that for a while and considered a reflexive defense: sure you can, with maneuvers and so on, but the more I thought about that the more I thought it was a boring way to do it and more likely to fail for boring reasons. Then I realised, assassination is actually social combat.

A successful assassination means getting the Means into place at an Opportune time while maintaining Secrecy. The actual violence is the tiniest fraction of the endeavour. And so I propose social combat on a bulls-eye map (for visual analogy as well as simplicity of the map). The center is labeled KILL and the outside labeled FOILED. Three pawns are on the map: Secrecy, Means, and Opportunity. Two actors are on the map: the assassin and the target, with their own skills and aspects and so on. A timeout is established (one turn per zone is good, so with a bullseye of FOILED-*-*-*-KILL that's five turns). The operational rules are:

Get two pawns and your opponent into your target zone (KILL for assassin, FOILED for target) and your opponent is Taken Out (if you're getting close, maybe a concession is in order). If no one succeeds before the timeout, no one is taken out -- the assassination is a failure or never comes off at all, but the assassin has escaped. Narrate these results based on pawn positions -- if Secrecy is in the FOILED zone, obviously the target has been alerted and raised the alarm. The assassin may even be a wanted man now. If Means is in the FOILED zone, maybe the target has managed to get the materiel confiscated or even changed border management laws so it was impossible to get it in! If Opportunity is in the FOILED zone, the assassin was never able to match up with the target's deliberately obfuscated movements.

No matter which way the map state changes and no matter how it ends, there is a whole diverse story of several scenes all related to the whole process of political assassination. Now the actual trigger pull is so boring and obvious that we don't roll for it at all -- a really good assassin never fails when all the pieces are carefully in place.

And isn't that really what you want an assassin character to be good at? The hard part?

--
Brad Murray (halfjack)
VSCA Publishing
Enjoy!

Noah
 
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