Laurefindel

A Twilight Imperium-inspierd RPG game

18 posts in this topic

Posted (edited)

I intend to propose a Twilight Imperium-inspired RPG to our group this fall. I know there was one published a few years back but from what I heard, it wasn't that good nor really well written. I'm not sure what system to use yet (and although suggestions would be appreciated) but that isn't what I'd like to ask this forum.

 

I'm aiming for a certain amount of meta-gaming, having elements of the TI3 board game transpire through the (RPG) games, and I would appreciate suggestions.

 

Players are going to start as an independent party in a fragile galaxy (a mercenary and its crew perhaps?). The galaxy is not in all-out war yet, but everyone has an eye for the throne. The 10 races included in the basic box are the big players, the Great Races, while the races of Shattered Empire will play a lesser role. Races of Shards of the Throne are unlikely to come up at all. The main plot revolves around the return of the L1Z1X as the main antagonists.

 

I intend to make it a mini campaign played in 8 chapters, one for each (you guessed it) Strategy Card roughly divided as such:

Chapter 1 - Initiative / Leadership: Introduction of players and introduction adventure. The Great Races skirmish in border systems as they have for centuries.

Chapter 2 - Diplomacy: The L1Z1X are introduced, tension rises in the galaxy and truces are being made. Players may side with one of the Great Races.

Chapter 3 - Political / Assembly: L1Z1X proclaim their right to the throne at the galactic council, old enmity among the great races are declared. The Winnu are voted out of Mecatol's custody and the galaxy is officially at war.

Chapter 4 - Logistics / Production: The Great Races are producing and dispatching their fleets; tension is at its peak.

Chapter 5 - Trade: The Great Races renew their alliances through commerce to fund their production. Implication of Mercenaries as allies/villains.

Chapter 6 - Warfare: The Great Races clash against each other throughout the galaxy. The L1Z1X are advancing on Mecatol Rex.

Chapter 7 - Technology: This chapter is about the War Sun; potential implication of Muat here. Undecided if the War Sun is in the hand of the L1Z1X or the secret weapon to defeat them. Possibly both.

Chapter 8 - Imperial / Bureaucracy: Epic showdown at Mecatol Rex and coronation of the new Emperor (potential alliance of the 6 original races that originally rebelled against the Lazax?).

 

I have a significant amount of material prepared, especially for Chapter 1, 2 and 3 (the rest depends too much the previous actions of the players), but I'm looking for bits of the board game to drop in the RPG game, either as cameo, easter eggs, main characters, action cards that could influence the game somehow, artifacts and prophecies mentioned on political cards, known friendship or enmity among the races according to the game's lore etc. I have some, but suggestions would be welcomed!

 

'findel

Edited by Laurefindel

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For a system to use, you might keep an eye on FFGs upcoming "Genysis" system. It's a generic system based on the engine in their Star Wars games and hopefully they will be producing official TI supplements for it. 

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1 hour ago, Forgottenlore said:

For a system to use, you might keep an eye on FFGs upcoming "Genysis" system. It's a generic system based on the engine in their Star Wars games and hopefully they will be producing official TI supplements for it. 

Interesting.

 

I was considering using Edge of the Empire and de-Star Wars it for that game. A generic "edge" would work great.

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Posted (edited)

I strongly suspect you've read them already but the instruction books have stories in them that flesh out the universe a bit. Also, the rulebook for the Shards of the Throne expansion has the "historic" scenario about the breakout of the Twilight Wars. Might be a good source of starmap materials. (Spoiler: the Sol started the war...). And of course the backside of all the race sheets goes without saying.

Edited by Fnoffen

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Posted (edited)

10 hours ago, Fnoffen said:

I strongly suspect you've read them already but the instruction books have stories in them that flesh out the universe a bit. Also, the rulebook for the Shards of the Throne expansion has the "historic" scenario about the breakout of the Twilight Wars. Might be a good source of starmap materials. (Spoiler: the Sol started the war...). And of course the backside of all the race sheets goes without saying.

Yes, those are my primary source of inspiration, but the game has obscure bits of lore (which I'm sure were never developed)  all over the place. For example, two political cards refer to Ixth, two more are named crown or some artifact of some sort. I'm sure I missed many.

 

Good idea about maps however.

Edited by Laurefindel

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You could always try contacting Chriatian T. Petersen (TI3's creator) through FFG to see if he might be inclined to divulge any tidbits about his universe such as the importance of Ixth or The Crown of Thalnos (if memory serves).

As for ideas based on Action Cards, Maybe the players could get employed to do some Signal Jamming or to test a new Experimental Weapon System? Or maybe steal the plans for the Death Sta... erm I mean War Sun?

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17 hours ago, Fnoffen said:

You could always try contacting Chriatian T. Petersen (TI3's creator) through FFG

Christian is at the moment CEO of Asmodee North America, so I doubt he's still active answering rules questions or general questions about specific settings. It's easier shooting an email to customer service, and they will redirect it to the responsible of the line, and they might eventually back in contact with an answer

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I simply meant that since Petersen created Twilight Imperium he's probably the most knowledgable about it how all the bits and pieces of lore are interconnected.

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On 8/8/2017 at 6:01 PM, Fnoffen said:

I simply meant that since Petersen created Twilight Imperium he's probably the most knowledgable about it how all the bits and pieces of lore are interconnected.

Yeah, I get that, and you're certainly right, it's just that I don't see him having time to answer fan emails, that's all. There's certainly someone in charge of the line (the guys answering rules questions and stuff), so, the best way to reach the developer responsible for TI is going through customer service

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On a different yet relevant topic...

 

How big are that capital ships? The cover art on the box shows a trio of dreadnoughts that seem quite big. What I assume is a War Sun is enormous. How about cruisers and destroyer? Cruisers ought to be large enough to carry a full battalion of cryogenized  soldiers (and probably support vehicles).

 

How much time does a "game turn" represents for the inhabitants of the galaxy?  I estimate about 1 year per turn, but is that too much or not enough?

 

How fast do ships travel. Based on a 1-year turn, it would be reasonable to assume that traveling trough one system to another takes months, but it could also represents the logistics of assembling, supplying and moving fleets.

 

opinions?

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A lot of that is probably up to personal preference, I don't think it has been specified (though they are promising new bits of fluff in the new edition).

I would expect a war sun to be the size of a small moon though, and a dreadnought to be around 1.6km long :D

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You could probably find inspiration for ship sizes and such from sites pertaining to a certain George Lucas production...

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Ended-up adapting Cubicle 7's The One Ring's system to sci fi... which worked remarkably well.

I was wondering about FTL travel in the Twilight Imperium universe

Ships presumably use a warp-type engine to move form systems to systems.

There are wormhole of course, but if we make abstraction of the Creuss they seem to be pretty immobile and impossible to recreate. Interestingly, wormholes seem to to have forks and junctions rather than a straight tunnel.

Are Transit Diodes teleportation devices? The fact that you need to control the destination planet seems to suggest that you need both an "emitter" and a "receiver"

The Jol-Nar Spatial conduits Network seems to be a slipstream network of some sort, again most likely with an entering and exit gate.

Anything I'm forgetting?

 

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I'd have to check my copy of the Twilight Imperium RPG books, but I believe FTL travel was accomplished via Flux Space.

Flux Space was a big part of the technology in the universe.  It is a medium of reality, like the subspace from Star Trek, that can be manipulated and used in different ways.  It can be used to create pockets of extra space inside a ship, so that the cargo bays were larger on the inside than the outside (like a Bag of Holding from D&D, or the Dr. Who Tardis).  The RPG just provided tidbits, so I expanded on it wrote up a pretty good description of how it worked.  I'll have to see if I can find my old content... it should be buried on my hard drive somewhere.

If memory serves, traveling FTL in my game was a matter of using Flux Space to warp two points in space to create a wormhole.  The jump is technically instantaneous once it actually happens, but it takes time to warp the space.  The longer the distance you're traveling, the longer it takes to make the jump.  While this is happening, your ship is hanging out in a pocket of flux space.  It's a little tricky to describe.

If you send me a PM with your email, I can send you whatever information I find on my hard drive.  Or I can post it here (or in the TI4 forum?) if you think other people would be interested.

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Posted (edited)

If anyone is curious, I made a hack of Cubicle 7's the One Ring's system for my TI3 RPG. Going from Lord of the Ring to Twilight Imperium sounds counter-intuitive at first, but the two universes have a few points in common. Both share a very old history including a defunct Golden Age, a "Dark Age" of some sort in between and the story takes place a the dawn of a new age. Also, people in LotR, like in Twilight Imperium, tend to be very insular. Hobbits live amongst hobbits, elves only care about other elvish matters, dwarves only do business with few trusted "friends" etc. The settings have their differences, chief among those is the lack of a universal villain (or villainous culture) in TI3, but the L1Z1X or the Necro Virus could fill that role if the GM is inclined to do so.

The way The One ring defines races as cultures (rather than diverse mechanical boni) fitted the state of the galaxy in TI in my opinion, and the system is made for exploration as much as social encounters and combat. With only 3 "stats" that don't have a big impact on play, the The One Ring system doesn't have many fiddly parts and could be easily adapted. Change medieval skills for sci-fi skills, and voilà!

The One Ring is an asymmetrical exception-based system, meaning the rules are simple but player-characters get abilities allowing them to do more. Instead of listing abilities per culture (as per TOR), I made talent trees not unlike the way technologies work in TI3 (with entry talents, some needing prerequisites etc). Instead of the four different tech colours, I made five talent trees, each one after one of the five Leader roles in TI3 (Admiral, Agent, Diplomat, General, and Scientist). These roles also replace the callings in TOR. In addition, each race has three racial talent, echoing racial technologies. (I know TI only has two racial techs, but I'm hesitating going down to two racial talents). Many such abilities are inspired from TI3 mechanics. For example, Admiral have an ability allowing them to shoot twice with a ship, and a "Direct Hit" talent. Agents have a "In The Silence of Space" analogue, Scientist have a "Recheck" ability, etc.

Oh yeah, and instead of spending Hope points, players get to spend Command Counters as the in-game ability currency. Characters gain two back at the beginning of a game session, except for humans who get three.

Anyhow, chances are this RPG will never get to be played, but making this is a lot of fun!

 

Edited by Laurefindel

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On 8/23/2017 at 2:18 PM, Laurefindel said:

Also, people .... in Twilight Imperium, tend to be very insular. Hobbits live amongst hobbits, elves only care about other elvish matters, dwarves only do business with few trusted "friends" etc.

For what it's worth, I'm not sure how true that actually is in the TI verse. Just recently got through the lore got TI4 and there is a bit about how only (some really low percentage, 20% maybe) of humans actually live in or have any loyalty toward Jord, it's just that the ones that don't are spread out across the rest of the galaxy and don't have a measurable impact on other nations actions. 

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21 hours ago, Forgottenlore said:

For what it's worth, I'm not sure how true that actually is in the TI verse. Just recently got through the lore got TI4 and there is a bit about how only (some really low percentage, 20% maybe) of humans actually live in or have any loyalty toward Jord, it's just that the ones that don't are spread out across the rest of the galaxy and don't have a measurable impact on other nations actions. 

True

Even in TI3, it is stated that humans are the most diversified and populous in the galaxy, and that only a fraction of them feel any kinship with their Sol ancestors, and that yet a smaller portion are actual members of the Federation. But still, being (culturally) diversified is a strong human trait and one that doesn't appear to be shared with many of the galactic races. Most home systems are actually closed to foreigners, or else visitors are limited to a single station/city/quarter. I think we can expect major space stations and galactic hubs (like Mecatol) to be pretty cosmopolitan, but it feels like these are exceptions more than the norm.

That being said, for the sake of making a RPG (as opposed to a faction-oriented board game), I'm willing to make the galaxy a bit more multicultural than what I read out of the "canon" TI-verse.

To do it right, I would have to create several human cultures like they did in TOR. The Winnu could most likely need two as well (Mecatol Winnarans and Winnu Winnarans). Perhaps as a full published game that would be necessary, but I'm happy with my generic (if cliché) Human race for my basement RPG project.

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