Space and Time


#1

I’ve often thought about creating a non-FTL space setting. The speed of light is the law. Traveling across the gulfs of space between the stars can take years to millennia.

For example, the PC’s can save a fledgling space colony, travel around the galaxy in hypersleep, to return centuries later to find the colony they saved is now a metropolis. Will the PC’s be remembered? How will their decisions have echoed across that time to shape the society?

Can the theme of deep space and eons of time work for a campaign? How could it be run?


#2

It could be fun, for sure. Can I join?


#3

I think this would be a really interesting way to run a sandbox/open table type game where every so often the players could retire characters and a large amount of time skips. For example.

You saved the colony from the impending asteroid. The whole solar system applauds you. There probably won’t be another adventure like this in your lifetime. What do you do? Stay here and retire? Join a colony ship in deep stasis? Become an AI and live forever?

Some players might retire their characters. Some might try to figure out a way for them to keep existing. The DM rolls some dice to determine what happens in a LONG period of downtime (Decades, even centuries perhaps). Maybe the players have decedents? Maybe they get to pass down knowledge or useful heirlooms.

There is a roguelike video game with something like this mechanic (I wish I could remember what it is called, sorry). I would play in this game for sure.


#4

I was thinking of something similar in some way in the form of a West Marches campaign, but concentrating on the travel period of said ships - in the skeleton crews that maintain it functioning, that deal with the hardships of their journey to ensure the whole may survive, even if the individuals might fail.


#5

Anything can be a setting, The Expanse is a good current modern setting at relativistic speeds.

“Bobiverse” using AI replicants is another. But if stasis is the only thing taking characters forward in time…while it can be fun and attractive, it is difficult to encompass.

If 2020 has proven anything…time is odd, change can happen quickly and unpredictability.

However, most GMs and even more players will have trouble conceiving of centuries of change in an industrialized society. So much would be different…yet many things would be the same. If we add light years of distance for Comunication, the variances in human thought become very drastic.

British empire history shows how dictates made in reaction to 60+ day old information can be devastatingly wrong. As well as how loyal societies can drift drastically over time in different and unexpected ways.

To encompass that on a larger scale, not sure the mental load of the setting would be worth it…but it is really fun to think about!


#6

The player wants to play a hero, how to be a hero in an adventure that spans centuries. That every time he plays his character his actions will have an impact on the future. Like saving the life of the inventor of an important artificial intelligence. In another situation, he will help settlers to settle on a planet. His character intervenes in a war by changing his behavior in the face of an enemy.
This hero character can move from one century to another either because he is having a clone, or his spirit is in a computer, or because he is embodied in a new body. Otherwise, he is playing one of his descendants who has inherited his abilities.
I would write a 1000-year timeline divided by 10 major events. with maybe 100 events that have less impact on the future. For each of the events, he would have two possibilities. Example: either the planet explodes or not. The consequences which ensue will determine the sequence of events. Why take its events into account? because I want to give the player characters the opportunity to travel through time to come back to an event in order to change the situation.