>>44769320 If you're asking what I think you're asking, and you just forgot a "be" in the middle, there...
No. Not really.
Actually, keeping sci-fi and sci-fantasy within a single star system resolves a lot of problems inherent to sci-fi, like what happens when your players ask "what happens when we ram our faster than light ship into a planet?"
Interstellar travel generally tends to serve very little purpose in most settings where it's included; often simply an excuse to show far-off places that just wind up being like nearby places anyway, or a reason to show strange aliens, or isolate a ship/crew from their home to create tension.
Many series and sci-fi settings are set in individual star systems.
All you really have to do is make sure that you include everything you need for the underlying narrative within the system, and you're good.
Legit question: what does interstellar travel brings to a setting that has meaningful influence on the narration? I'd like to run a "spce smuggler" type game with a Cowboy Bebop vibe to it, but I can't decide if I'm going to include interstellar travel and/or alien species.
>>44771557 By itself? Not a whole lot, provided your one solar system is interesting enough to keep your players from asking "what's out there?"
If your solar system is a bunch of single-climate, single-culture planets and no interesting features or events, the easy way to make the setting interesting is make it bigger. You can also use it if you want to make up random "mystery systems."
>>44771557 Depends how you execute it. By default, it's just a means to see more than one earth-like planet despite the vastness of space. Does it require a specific ressource that society becomes dependent on? Does the technology force giant ships into use because the engine needs to be 200m long? Is the technology affected by the gravity of large celestial bodies, forcing you to go into STL when entering the solar system?
My suggestion would be to figure out what tech you want to use and if it would affect the setting in a positive way. If it doesn't, throw it out.
>>44769320 It definitely isn't too small. I've always wanted to run campaign in our own solar system, where the shiny, perfect future we were promised belongs primarily to the very rich while everyone else makes do with a more mundane, beat-up rundown and worn-in future.
>>44771800 Well if I use interstellar travel it's gonna be the NASA "warp drive" (and assuming it works. I don't care if it does or not, I want to run a science-fiction game and the article I read on the subject sounded reasonable enough) fueled by... something I , until now, handwaved. So I don't really know... guess I need to work a bit more on this.
>>44771858 Imagine two stars orbiting their center of mass, then another star doing the same with that two body system. Or two smaller stars orbiting a much bigger one. Just type "triple star system" in wikipedia. Also am I the only one who thinks those star systems would make great names for angels?
>>44772008 You could probably handwave the energy source, like with zero-point energy in stargate for example. But if you're going with an Alcubierre drive, there are already some theoretical problems known that can lead to interesting world building.
>>44769320 >Would "only" a Planetary system too small for a science fantasy setting?
Earthsiege/Starsiege (they don't leave the system until The Chase which leads to the Cyberstorm corporate wars and Tribes) Venus Wars (really only takes place on Venus but involves one nation invading the other over land rights) The Expanse (the show so far, and the first few books apparently) Cowboy Bebop That's all I can think of off the top of my head.
But essentially it means you need to have more variety in political, military, and merchant entities for each colonized or settled planet. This opens up the possibility for stories and intrigues within smaller political entities.
>>44772096 Actually, desu, how would this even be handled?
>Need to take a trip to the outer rim to stop the BBEG >100 years layer >Alright, we've arrived, now time to find the antidote! >Oh shit, the Outer Rim had a communist revolution! >Oh shit! The virus already wiped out Earth! >Oh shit! The BBEG already died of old age!
>>44772096 intrasystem travel may not take long enough for freezing passengers to really be necessary / practical. it's only 7 months earth -> mars via hohmann transfer, and that's using the technology we've got TODAY.
>>44772392 You just need to consider this when planning the campaign.
>party is limited to intrastellar travel >other star systems are only heard of in stories and few people care about them >occasionally, you get some plot hooks in form of new tec or people comming over
>setting is in technological stasis >charactes are interstellar travellers, character driven campaign >not taking a trip together with someone means never seeing them again
>space travel mostly forgotten technology and regarded as holy relics of the golden age >large scale political campaign >characters gather relics all over the universe to advance their kingdoms economic and military power >some pcs control wars, some try to return mankind to it's former glory and some just foster their own bloodlines
>>44769320 Sci-fi can easily exist even if interstellar travel doesn't. Perfect example to me is Rendezvous with Rama, a science fiction novel in which humanity has colonized other planets in the solar system but not other stars.
There are actually interplanetary conflicts and politics, and the planets compete for resources etc. There is a United Planets which functions like the United Nations but on a planetary level (also moons: Ganymede, etc). I can't recall if Earth is unified or if it's every mentioned.
There's even colonists on Mercury who have a very spartan society because of the harsh environment, and can only live in a thin strip between the light and dark sides of Mercury where the blazing heat and frigid cold meld together.
Most sci-fi settings tend to lump all the planets in each star system into the same category anyway, so why not just reduce it to planets instead? A plus is that you won't have to make up some stupid unscientific reason for fast interstellar travel e.g. hyperspace.
Earth alone is already an incredibly diverse planet. Even if there's only a single habitable planet in the system and all the other ones are lifless rocks with giant colony-complexes, that'd be enough room to develop completely diverging cultures and styles within decades. Depending on how good communication between planets is, there could be a lot of interesting stuff going on in a single system. If you bring terraforming or several habitable planets into the mix, all sorts of evolutionary crazyness is possible.
The one thing interstellar travel brings into a setting is the possibility of completely off-the-wall crazy bullshit that isn't affecting any other part of the system even in the slightest way. I'm talking planet sized corpses of strange creatures, or ginormous, solar-system scaled machines here. In most settings, different planets are so one-dimensioned, they might as well be places on the same planet.
>>44769320 You can do science fantasy on a single planet and never move off of it. It depends on how much detail you put into it.
If you just think of planets as glorified singular towns then they're not gonna be very interesting and players will move on as soon as they're done just like any other "town". If you give the planet multiple settlements and biomes and cultures, you can hold an entire campaign on just the one planet. And you can go everywhere in between those two extremes.
One solar system in a hard scifi setting can often hold more people and resources than an interstellar empire in a soft setting.
There is more energy, mass, and space to go around than most people comprehend; and as technology proliferates [whether cheap energy from fusion, automated manufacturing, or full MNT] it only becomes vaster.
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