Space Opera without wars (Space Guard instead of Space Navies)


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Bit surprised no-ones mentioned Mindjammer.

Definitely leans towards Space Opera but the overall conflict mechanism to me seems less interested in beating up other ships and more about winning populations over to your way of thinking.


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I should have added that when I mentioned the Culture up thread...

slight aside I like the Traveller version better for integration with my homebrew Traveller Culture rip off, but found the Fate version much more useful when I used Genesys to run it.


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Eclipse Phase, Polaris, Blue Planet, Transhuman Space (somewhat), Cyberpunk, there are a lot of game settings that aren't militaristic, though obviously you could focus on those aspects. Cyberpunk and similar games are odd because they're not strictly militaristic, but they carry some of the same baggage. OTOH, Eclipse Phase doesn't even have ship combat rules. The default play is centered around spy-like players working for a secret "protect humanity from existential risks" agency known as Firewall.

In terms of actual science fiction, military sf and space opera are just 2 sub-genres of a much wider field. See: Greg Egan, Vernor Vinge, Charles Stross and literally hundreds of other authors. For softer sci-fi there are plenty of examples among the new wave authors of the 60s (Zelazny, Delany, Le Guin, Dick, etc.). Going back further there's Sturgeon and many more all the way back to HG Wells.

Space opera has a lot of ties to Pulp, which, I suspect, is why it's been the main area of interest for RPGs and movies. But it's barely scratching the surface.

Adam Reynolds

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Even if the espionage isn't very effective at resolving conflict by itself, the information that spies find out would be invaluable for foreign policy.
Even then there is a question of whether it is worth the cost, as there is often a lack of strategic vision in intelligence gathering. See the NSA's collection of literally everything. Though this is also an interesting element of the concept as well, it isn't a flaw.
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