Waterworld-SF Campaign

Captain Rags's picture
Captain Rags
July 28, 2011 - 9:54pm
As full of illogical holes as the 1995 movie "Waterworld" was, I couldn't help but see its potential as a role-playing game. Digging Star Frontiers as I do, I decided to work on a playable hybrid of the two concepts.

There are no spaceships in the game, no advanced weaponry or any alien races. But it does have waterborne vessels, a whole slew of improvised weaponry, and humans with mutations (the player characters). The game mechanics use Star Frontiers Alpha Dawn Expanded rules, minus any referrence to advanced weaponry and alien races.

No PSAs; skills on the skill list can be learned by any character, with the technically complex skills requiring more XP to advance in level than say mere fighting skills. Also, skills do not come in clumps (having the 'Projectile Weapons' skill does not mean the character is automatically skilled in every possible type of projectile weapon, etc). Each weapon skill is exclusive to that particular weapon type.  

As far as ship combat, Knight Hawks stats and maneuvering fits nicely, although 1 map hex = 1 nautical mile. The ADF, MR, DCR, and HP ship stats actually work better on the water. Ships are powered either by oar, wind or propeller (or sometimes in combination).

The mutations are determined randomly (d100), and range from Costner's Ichthyo Sapien (extremely rare) to those that the mutant character may not recognize to be a mutation. Then there's the ever present threat that the "normals" (who do not have or otherwise hide their mutation) will find out that one or more of the PCs is a mutant (= death or imprisonment).

The website for Waterworld-SF is still under construction. Could use this list's perspective on the game idea.

My SF website izz: http://ragnarr.webs.com


jedion357's picture
July 29, 2011 - 3:31pm
Recently audited the movie (ie I flip between it and another channel) and was struck by the potential for a RPG based on that setting. I would disagree with the no PSAs though as they act in away like classes and prevent every character from being the same. I also think you aught to start a project called SF Water World and get peeps sounding off on issues and offering ideas. Potential for two settings here: a generic one and one that matches the movie.
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

AZ_GAMER's picture
July 31, 2011 - 3:55pm

Or just make it a remote world where the development of the advanced technology has not occured. You could even tie in materials from the Heliope adventure on star mist.

By making it a remote, and undesireable destination for more advanced travellers with high tech, mostly because none of the resources other than water would be worth the trouble flying starship too collect. I would also surround the world with a space navigation hazard like a meteor field that makes interstellar travel there, impractical and dangerous. In this way you still leave the door open for a crash landing adventure if you got bored with the hydro/petro/steam/wind-tech environment. It also leaves and out if the players grow tired of the water world and wish to escape.

Knight hawks would work fine for a conversion to naval combat with the note scale and technology changes.

jedion357's picture
August 1, 2011 - 6:06am
I'd prefer to make the navigational hazard a nebulae that surrounds the system which enforces a speed limit due to particle density. In reality asteroid belts are pretty dispersed; something like 90% of all material in the sol system belt is contained in just 4 or 5 bodies. Space is just so big that the chances of hiting something are so remote, thus the fact that numerous fragile craft have successfully traversed our own belt without a hitch. If you used the nebulae idea and enforced a speed limit through it I suspect that forces like the solar wind and gravity would clean out a bubble of clear space that the system inhabits. In addition there would be a boundary of turbulence created in the cloud from the bowshock of the systems passage as it orbits the galafic center. So if a ship can't jump directly to the system and is forced to travel at slow speeds through the cloud and surf the turbulence of the boundary of the system, it would require a real pressing need for a captain to bother with travelling there.
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

Captain Rags's picture
Captain Rags
August 1, 2011 - 8:57pm
Jedion's idea works for me as a way of isolating SF-Waterworld from the rest of the frontier, while still allowing a player group to go there by chance. Not sure how to workout the following points though:

(1) If the frontier adventure group included Dralasites, Yazirians, and/or Vrusk, this could cause a problem in a world filled with paranoid Human "seabillies" who gleefully even kill members of their own race whenever they are revealed to be different (mutant). How would the seabillies react to aliens? Kiss

(2) A frontier adventure group traveling (or crashing) on Waterworld will likely have items and/or weapons with them that the seabillies would be amazed by. Unless of course the PC starship sinks shortly after crashing into the ocean, and the PCs only have a few crappy items with them in their drifting raft.

(3) I would assume that a SF-waterworld campaign would have a "Gilligan's Island" theme of eventual rescue from the planet, that is as long as my points 1 & 2 can be worked out.

My SF website izz: http://ragnarr.webs.com

TerlObar's picture
August 1, 2011 - 9:20pm
The only thing you'd need to change about the KH rules for naval combat is to give ships a maximum speed.  There's no friction in space but there definitely is in water and you can't just accelerate indefinitely.  Otherwise, I agree, the rules would work quite well for naval combat.
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Captain Rags's picture
Captain Rags
August 2, 2011 - 8:21am

When researching maximum speed, I came across a formula to determine the sailing speed of any ship:

Hull Speed (in knots) = 1.34 times the square root of the waterline in feet. 1 mph = roughly 0.869 knots

Wind speed also affects sailing speed in weird ways; too little wind won't push you along very fast, but too much wind makes the water too choppy and it actually can restrict your hull speed. Also, catamarans and trimarans tend to accelerate faster than monohulls due to the multihull's lesser draft, although monohulls can right themselves if capsized as opposed to multihulls (once they capsize, forget it unless you have a crane).

My SF website izz: http://ragnarr.webs.com

jedion357's picture
August 2, 2011 - 9:06am
Gilligans Island meets Star Frontiers

mega corp tycoon and his wife

the Tri-vid star

The Professor

Farm girl from New Pale

The skipper and his dralasite "little buddy"
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

Captain Rags's picture
Captain Rags
August 2, 2011 - 7:41pm

Wow Jedi, I should've seen that one coming. :)

My SF website izz: http://ragnarr.webs.com

Karxan's picture
August 15, 2012 - 10:10pm
Captain Rags, How is your WW/SF project coming along?