Space Holes

Tchklinxa's picture
Tchklinxa
February 11, 2017 - 6:30pm
In TSR material along with a lot of sci-fi material for entertainment, plot elements involve holes in space. TSR has space ships sucked into Blackholes that then get spit out as at least one D&D module...this implies the existence of Whiteholes in the general RPG universe of TSR.

So Blackholes, Whiteholes, Wormholes, and dimensional rifts (space potholes) are probably all usable but story telling plot elements may not be very scientific I think.


 Whitehole creation as a weapon should be just as possible as creating a Blackhole as a weapon...

Stable and unstable Wormholes could be used as transport highways, reasons for lost ships, coveted finds for merchants or military, or horrible ship eaters to be avoided.

Small holes in the fabric of time and space could be real space hazards.

Just tossing some ideas out about Spaceholes as they appear in sci-fi lite on the science side, anyone got a personal favorite sort of Spacehole sci-fi gimmick or real theorized science based hole or Spacehole based tech idea?
"Zoinks!"
Comments:

JCab747's picture
JCab747
February 11, 2017 - 7:08pm
It could be one of the ways that the Core Four races arrived in the Frontier from distant points and how they eventually got cut off from their home worlds... if they were cut off.
Joe Cabadas

rattraveller's picture
rattraveller
February 12, 2017 - 6:46am
Although they have been a stable of Sci Fi for a number of years we have to admit that Holes in Space are really just a cheap plot point invented to allow travel from vast distance points without alot of explanation.

Use them or not since this is a fantasy game in some elements the only important thing is that as with many elements of the game the Gamemaster just needs to set down the rules of the element and then do not change them during the game.
Sounds like a great job but where did you say we had to go?

JCab747's picture
JCab747
February 21, 2017 - 6:43am
Star Frontiers already uses fantasy elements such as Knight Hawks' simplistic explanation of the Void to explain interstellar travel. So, yeah, why not space holes? Maybe  a space hole would be some sort of subspace rift?

It's either that or the black monolith stargate from 2010.

Image result for black monolith jupiter 
Joe Cabadas

JCab747's picture
JCab747
February 21, 2017 - 6:49am
Or we could always use one of the navigators from Dune....

But then we'd probably run into trademark issues with the Herbert estate.

Image result for dune navigator
Joe Cabadas

Tchklinxa's picture
Tchklinxa
February 21, 2017 - 5:45pm
Well powerful psionic creatures/aliens that can create rifts/holes for travel or used to navigate with are sort of fantasy sci-fi standards too. 
"Zoinks!"

JCab747's picture
JCab747
February 21, 2017 - 5:48pm
Tchklinxa wrote:
Well powerful psionic creatures/aliens that can create rifts/holes for travel or used to navigate with are sort of fantasy sci-fi standards too. 


It could be Tetrarch technology.
Joe Cabadas

JCab747's picture
JCab747
February 21, 2017 - 5:48pm
Tchklinxa wrote:
Well powerful psionic creatures/aliens that can create rifts/holes for travel or used to navigate with are sort of fantasy sci-fi standards too. 


It could be Tetrarch technology.
Joe Cabadas

Tchklinxa's picture
Tchklinxa
February 21, 2017 - 6:05pm
Sure could, I am borrowing the "mind war" idea in TSR s original space game, perhaps a race of super brains once existed so their tech would be psionic based... seeing as they wiped out their own empire pre everyone else their old tech should be dangerous if not impossible for feeble minded creatures to use. But would be the stuff of space lore.
"Zoinks!"

rattraveller's picture
rattraveller
February 22, 2017 - 10:39pm
Mind tech that is dangerous is basically the plot of Forbidden Planet. Go Robbie the Robot.
Sounds like a great job but where did you say we had to go?

ExileInParadise's picture
ExileInParadise
February 23, 2017 - 4:27pm
Adding psionics to SF basically turns it into Babylon 5 with the PsiCorps vs. Mundanes, or Traveller with the Zhodani vs Imperium.

Personally, I'd rather stick with the Void Jump... but after all of these years of using it without understanding it, researchers at a secret UPF base near Morgaine's World discover that ships entering the Void "shadow" or "absorb" subspace pi-tachyons near them... which get emitted at a different energy level at the destination when the ship exits the Void. The space fleet quickly moves to explore all the scientific applications and ramifications of this, including weapons... before the Sathar can.

Little do they know, the lab is already infiltrated... and the arms race is on.

JCab747's picture
JCab747
February 23, 2017 - 8:03pm
Well, psionics -- mentalist powers -- were part of Star Frontiers from the getgo.

Example: the Eorna and Sathar have hypnotic powers -- and this seems beyond the hypnosis that a bio-social character can do.

The Ul-Mor with their Vulcan mind touch-like telepathic powers.

The fungus the Eorna experimented with (and failed) so it could be used to create a telepathic link between individuals.

Then, Ares magazine had "Frontiers of the Mind" that first offered psionics in the game, followed by the actual Mentalist profession in... er... cough, cough... Zebs.

But, again, it is a take it or leave it option... but it's already part of the game. 
Joe Cabadas

ExileInParadise's picture
ExileInParadise
February 24, 2017 - 9:59pm
Agreed Joe - I have no problem with the existence of psionics in the game.

Personally, however, I prefer them to be severely limited to prevent them from basically taking over the game and ending up in the Babylon5/Traveller territory.

A Creative Commons licensed RPG system called Myriad uses a D6 dice pool system similar to Last Unicorn and DreamPod9... but with an excellent twist.

A roll is basically roll the number of d6 that matches your stat (1-5) needed for a check, then add your skill (1-5).

The twist for Myriad is that if you rolled sixes, those sixes could be "burned" to activate "special effect abilities" like magic, powers, or psionics - which worked better than D20's "feats" in my opinion which were always on.

For Star Frontiers, a variation of that where zeroes rolled on the die could be burned to activate the psionics would probably limit them enough for to have them in the game but not worry about them becoming abused.

But for this thread, I was trying to work in a way to have some of the blackhole/wormhole/whitehole bits from the original post, while keeping the Void Jump as the core of interstellar travel.

JCab747's picture
JCab747
February 25, 2017 - 7:45am
ExileInParadise wrote:
Agreed Joe - I have no problem with the existence of psionics in the game.

Personally, however, I prefer them to be severely limited to prevent them from basically taking over the game and ending up in the Babylon5/Traveller territory.

Agreed. That's why mentalist powers are restricted to characters with high Logic scores.

Ah, as to Babylon 5, Iggy has posted several times, and I haven't independently verified this, that the creator of B-5, Michael J. Straczynski knew about Star Frontiers and was, shall we say, inspired by things.

Hence in Zebs there is Psi-Corp where mentalists need to wear special badges and uniforms. In B-5 there's a Psi-Corps where "telepaths" wear special badges and uniforms.

In SF we have the insect Vrusk.

In the first season of B-5 they tried to have an animotronic insectoid criminal character in the "down below" section that looked like a Vrusk.
Joe Cabadas

JCab747's picture
JCab747
February 25, 2017 - 8:54am
ExileInParadise wrote:


But for this thread, I was trying to work in a way to have some of the blackhole/wormhole/whitehole bits from the original post, while keeping the Void Jump as the core of interstellar travel.

Yeah, I think Void travel is what the Frontier colonists are stuck with.

I've had the idea that the homeworlds of at least the Humans and Vrusk had access to a "stargate" and that's how they sent their colonists a great distance to the Frontier. Then, due to war or some disaster, the stargate system went down, leaving the Frontier to fend for itself.
Joe Cabadas

ExileInParadise's picture
ExileInParadise
February 25, 2017 - 10:24am
Joe, personally, I've been thinking that I want to set Star Frontiers in the Milky Way Galaxy, and that a Void misjump is how Humans from here ended up in the Frontier.

The idea is that the understanding of the Void Jump is far from complete, and that a one-in-a-million misjump took a colony ship thousands of LY away, rather than dozens, possibly a misjump affected by a close encounter with an astrophysical phenomenon, like a neutron star, black hole, pulsar etc, that was JUST close enough to fling the misjump magnitudes farther than ever heard of before.

Using a recent map of the galaxy, I was thinking of placing the Frontier somewhere in the Far 3kpc Arm, on a line from Sol, passing close to the core and landing on the edge of the 3kpc arm to create the "Vast".

And, the Sathar could come from further along the 3kpc arm...

The Yazirians seem to be native close to the Frontier itself, while the Vrusk and Dralasite are from near the Frontier but a bit further out.

For my history to work, I had to handwave a bit from the basic book - Humans... of Earth developed subspace pi-tachyon communications, and due to a quirk of THAT, Vrusk thousands of LY away were the ones who heard the first transmissions.

They had already contacted Dralasite and figured out limited Void jumps and they shared that information with these distant "humans" - but the first tests of the Void jump misjumped across the Vast and landed humans near the Frontier, like at Theseus many generations ago.

The colonists crashed there, lost most of the technology, and generations later the legends of Earth faded to myths and stories of the "homeworld" somewhere beyond the Vast, but without the original navigation data, the location of the homeworld was lost to these distant refugees.

Of course, I might have been watching a lot of the original and reimagined Battlestar Galactica lately while working on populating Port Loren so I expect there's a lot of mixing going on here.

Sol, Frontier, and Sathar space in 3kpc arm

JCab747's picture
JCab747
February 25, 2017 - 11:31am
Jedion -- Tom Verreault -- has posted similiar ideas about how the Humans arrived in the Frontier.

I also use the Humans from Earth model and adopted the 2001 and 2010 modules as "canon." After all, it gives an alien stargate -- the large black monolith. The Massconfusion module "Trouble on Janus" provides an odd timeline background, but one that I've tried to adapt.

Then I looked more into the Alternity game that TSR put out and figured that could provide some background -- for me at least. The SF Humans expanded out from Earth, found a few other races in their sector of space around Sol, created the Terran Empire, discovered how to use an ancient stargate transportation system (which only goes to select areas, not every star system), discoved the Frontier sector where they made contact with the Vusk and Dralasites, starting sending colony ships of political outcasts and indentured servants to Theseus (hey, according to the "Warriors of the White Light," Humans expanded into the Frontier from the direction of Theseus), but then one of the Alternity-style galactic wars shut off the flow of Human colonists and the stargate system collapsed.

The Humans in the Frontier were initially controlled by the Laterial Federaion (a name from the Janus module), which tried to dominate what systems could be settled by who and when, but then came a Madderly's Star style revolt. The "Laterials" packed up and left with whatever advanced ships, technology and star charts were available, leaving the Humans with more basic technology and the need to work with the Vrusk and Dralasite colonists, with the Pan-Galactic Corporation leading the way to unite the races.

I've also adopted the idea that the Yazarians came into the Frontier later, fleeing their dying planet (see the various posts on this website about that). The Yazarians and Humans would often clash, short of all-out-war, with various small Human settlements "disappearing" into what became the Yazarian arm of the Frontier.

As usual, the Pan Galactic Corporation tried to forge peaceful trade and a quasi-government organization -- the Free Trade Federation -- was established on Gran Quivera (Prenglar) at the heart of the Frontier. (The FTF is another Janus module term. Ill-defined but useful as a predecessor to the UPF).

Then the Sathar come in and force the Core Four to unite for defensive purposes.

At least, this vague timeline works for me.

And, I like your idea of the Frontier being far away from Earth.

In the end, it doesn't matter for the players because one way or another, the home worlds are too distant to impact what's happening on the Frontier.


Joe Cabadas

Tchklinxa's picture
Tchklinxa
February 25, 2017 - 2:28pm
Gamma Dawn rules supplement has psionics... but I am suggesting these alien devices are rare, don't necessarily function correctly with alien minds using the tech, nor does humans or the other three races having psionics themselves necessarily mean the whole psicorp thing... as GM limits could be put into place, cultural taboos might require individuals hiding powers without big government agencies, dark projects could exist "Staring At Goats" type projects could exist... just throwing out ideas.

"Zoinks!"

JCab747's picture
JCab747
February 25, 2017 - 3:08pm
Yes. Mentalist characters might end up at the paranormal studies laboratory:


Joe Cabadas