Suggestion: a new FTL setting, Gateway

General discussion about the game.
xdiesp
Posts: 109
Joined: Thu Sep 27, 2012 9:39 pm

Suggestion: a new FTL setting, Gateway

Postby xdiesp » Sun Sep 29, 2013 7:37 pm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gateway_%28novel%29

Just like D&D, FTL could support multiple settings while retaining the same basic ruleset. Here is a novel whose setting is very game-like, and was indeed made into a text adventure in the early 90s: Gateway, by Frederik Pohl.

Let me describe what the setting is about, rather than spoilering the plot itself. In the future, Earth is impoverished and overpopulated: when deserted alien ruins are discovered, with abandoned alien vessels no less, an entire class of venture entrepreneurs comes into existance to win all, risking all.

See, this is the gaming aspect of the story. On the Gateway asteroid, home to a thousand alien vessels, everyone is trained into becoming a pilot for them with the full knowledge of what we know about them: which is, nothing. Every test pilot ventures blindly to an unknown destination, using incomprehensible flight controls, dealing with crew problems and emergencies of all kinds. Two in three ships that depart frmo Gateway, are never heard of again.

Think of it as russian roulette in space, or well, a random FTL jump into danger. I believe that FTL could very well be tweaked to support such a setting: as you invest point in a ship system, you are actually researching the alien technology (useful to pass challenges); the overall stated goal of the entire trip, would be to bring back artefacts and knowledge back to Earth and become rich (but it's a slow process).

The major difference with what FTL does, is that the risk involved here would be much greater and some managerial aspects would be required for a better feeling of the stakes involved. In FTL, you can take as many as a hundred jumps to make it to the end. 10 jumps in Gateway would be an incredible achievement, and most people would be either dead or retiring in riches by 5.
zeek
Posts: 92
Joined: Wed Jul 03, 2013 7:02 pm

Re: Suggestion: a new FTL setting, Gateway

Postby zeek » Mon Sep 30, 2013 4:53 pm

I don't understand why you say it would be 10 jumps max? Seems like it would take plenty of jumps to find a bunch of alien artifacts.

I think it would be a cool way to make the same game feel different if it had the same basic mechanics for your ship but instead of running from the rebels you're given assignments "Go to such and such a sector...there are reports of an artifact being discovered at one of the beacons there. You must retrieve the artifact before our rivals or scavengers find it." Then you set out to a sector and start searching. If an opponent gets the artifact first you can attempt to catch them before they reach an exit beacon. If you get the artifact suddenly you become a target and get attacked by more powerful vessels. Kinda like capture the flag mode. If you lose an artifact your faction could be low on cash and no be able to supply your ship with much fuel. Maybe you even have something on your ship scrapped at random like a weapon, drone, augmentation or additional system. Not sure if there should be an end to a mode like that or if they should just keep ratcheting up the difficulty until you inevitably lose.
Kierany9
Posts: 56
Joined: Mon Sep 23, 2013 8:02 pm

Re: Suggestion: a new FTL setting, Gateway

Postby Kierany9 » Mon Sep 30, 2013 9:47 pm

This sounds like a good idea, and could even possibly be made into a mod, with a rival ship from each faction showing up on the FTL jump screen. The objective could be to collect the sector's artefact and move to the next as fast as possible. Rival ships can run into eachother and interact. You could have the Engis meet the Rebels and buy yourself some more time or have the Mantis ally with the Rockmen and be forced to make a mad dash for the exit. The goal could be something along the lines of "get 5 of 8 artefacts and defeat the rebels at the last stand" or something. This would allow for many creative ways to outsmart your rivals. The factions could be something like this.
-Federation: You are the fed representative. Get them artefacts. Now.
-Engis: As close allies of the federation, the Engis will help you on your quest no matter what. You can buy the artefact off them with ease or have them delay the other factions while you make a run for it.
-Zoltan: Usually friendly, the Zoltan usually won't attack you unless you strike first. However, don't bother risking an encounter with the artefact in your hands. Or else.
-Mantis: The Mantis know you're after the artefact and will crush you if they have to. As you become a bigger threat, the Mantis will actively seek you out more and more.
-Rockmen: The rockmen simply want the artefact and will do anything for it regardless of who has it. If you see a rockman close to the artefact, it may be a good idea to let them be, because they won't go down easily.
-Slugs: They will usually come out of nowhere, steal the artefact from nowhere and go back to nowhere. They are dangerous and fast, picking vulnerable targets or lone artefacts before retreating to the nebulas. If they nab it, you may want to take a detour and take them out before they hinder your quest any further.
-Rebels: The rebels are the only faction who are actively seeking you out from the get-go and will prioritize eliminating you and the engi above everything else.

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