The basic conflict is that assertion that even though technology will advance to allow faster than light movement of physical objects aka spaceships, the technology will not allow for the FTL transmission of energy. The logical fallacy I see here is the assumption that communications and sensor technology are not going to advance in pace with propulsion technology.
Basic methods of FTL travel:
Linear - the ship simply gives the theory of relativity the finger an accelerates beyond the speed of light. The tech varies, warp fields, gravitiational drives, etc. Navigation is important because stars, planets, gravity wells, nebulae and other dense objects have to be avoided. Means of dealing with micro debris is either repulsed by the means of a defeflector dish, an energy based shield, or just a thick ass armored hull.
Exp: Star Wars, Star Trek
Wormhole/Hyperspace - The ship moves into another mode/phase of reality where it can traverse massive distances rapidly, before dropping back down into realspace. The difficulties of transit through space are handwaved away because those things are realspace issues, not otherspace/wormhole space issues.
Exp: Babylon 5, Stargate
Gating/Jump - The ship folds space and simply 'jumps' to where it is going. There is no velocity, no thrust, and such, and such ships don't technically need propulsion based engines. Lots of math, and lots of metaphysics.
I absolutely love the shifting corridors idea. That definitely complicates things, and in a good way. All of a sudden you can't just jump away to a particular place, or lead a massive invasion on a whim. Things take planning, and effort, and maybe just a bit of luck. It also provides some nice drama potential: "We can't go in there! That corridor is suicide for the next three cycles!"
One possible way to bypass some of the "can't see where we're going" issues is to do microjumps. Jump a short ways, take a look outside, repeat. Depending on your particular drive, that might not be feasible, but it would certainly help. In any case, even if your drive has no theoretical upper limit, you'll probably want to be doing system-to-system jumps to keep yourself oriented properly.
actually, if you managed to manipulate gravity, you could simply create a gravitational sink in front of your ship, and a gravitational mountain behind it. ie, your ship wouldn't travel inside the wormhole, but would have a black hole in front and a white hole behind, the two joined by a wormhole to keep everything balanced!
That way, any obstacles would just get trapped inside the blackhole, go through the wormhole, and come out behind your ship. safe and sound.
http://www.nasa.gov/centers/glenn/research/warp/ideachev.html might give some more ideas. Go to Comment
The renown incident, where an insidious worm attacked hundreds of thousands of websites, changing the phrase "climate change" to "weather change". There have been also several cases of follow-up attacks, where websites of particular note were overwritten with propaganda and evidence to support the theory of catastrophic global cooling in the next few decades.
Rumors have started to spread, that there is a genuine AI on the loose, unhindered by any hard-coded limits. It supposedly cruises through the Net, reading everything, and sometimes entering publicly accessible chatrooms under the nick "TheAngel347" or similar. It is said, that it can't be traced back... sadly, there are too many impersonators out there, and blogs are full of stories about encounters with this noble/enlightened/evil/indifferent entity. Most probably, this is an elaborate hoax. (And why that name? It's got a weird sense of humor, man!)
The Red Attack
Awarded with "The Most Outrageous Hack Of The Year", an apparently deranged marxist has somehow renamed a slew of .com pages to .con. The move has reportedly crashed a few major search engines, that took a few seconds to recover; the chaos has been visible for days if not weeks! The hacker was traced by the police within a day and found dead, looks like someone was already faster.
A serial killer has started to ravage the hacker community. For now, he (or she) has targeted mostly the public, self-appointed star hackers, but a few more significant deaths were recorded as well. The community is shocked, and by default has little trust in the law enforcement. There are no signs of the killer being active online - or he just fits in with the crowds. What are they supposed to do?
The right of speech
An up-and-coming programmer answered an ad seeking 'somebody fluent in Klingon' and vanished soon after. Where is he? And was it the NSA that kidnapped him for some secret mission, intent on infiltrating the ranks of true (virtual) warriors? Go to Comment
I don't really know, if this has a big chance of growing, but I'll throw it out anyway. Eventually, we will have all the sub-genres and game types and settings covered... just because. ;) Go to Comment
This reminds me for some reason of a recent Law & Order episode, where a precedent was set.
A group of obssessive online gamers, sue an adept hacker in federal court. It seems this hacker had infilitrated the group's Virtual Reality "Game" and hijacked imaginery "monies" and certain possessions of these characters, allowing the hacker's character to excel at the game, at the expense of the group of friends.
The court is faced with a strange unprecedented decision. Can someone sue someone in real life for "stealing" in a 'highly realistic' virtual reality game?
Thought I'd throw that out :)
Good sub here! Nice interesting plothooks, easy and fun to read, which can be expanded upon of course, to include the Hacker's fellow PCs, errr, friends. Go to Comment
A moderator of a small radio station has the chance to make it big on a central planet. The chance for an interview will be soon over, but his boss keeps finding excuses why he can't leave his workplace. The smart fellow will but hire the crew to fetch his equipment, and give him a ride. (Fetching the stuff may be a little illegal, btw.)
Due to contract restraints, however, he must stay live on air the whole time. And he will - the spaceship he is traveling on becomes his station. He requires permanent, uninterrupted power (may not be so easy on those not-quite-new vessels), and his transmissions can easily lure unwanted attention. Let's just hope he gets the job, and the crew survives the constant noise. Go to Comment
The crew is asked to fetch the stray old preacher, who, in search for enlightenment, ran off into the desert (could be easily on the other side of the planet).
When he is finally found, he will tell beautiful sermons that touch the hearts of everyone. However, he will come to recognize the darkness in one of the crew, and will secretly attempt to purge him or her with fire... which is BAD on any kind of ship. Go to Comment
Every few years, in irregular intervals, comes the Treasure Hunt contest. Somebody hides the "treasure" pretty well, and hands all contestants cryptic instructions. Often, they will speak of alignment of planets or stars, and of other ways to find the right coordinates; that may involve only one planet, or be a chase across the whole sector. The reward is a good sum of money and a little antique, a tiny artifact of ages past. (Those who get their hands on the instructions of others have more chances, of course, but conflicts take time, and allies will want a share.)
This year, the crew is hired by someone to get the little item at any cost.
- the group may not want to draw attention to itself, and so allow others to officially claim the prize
- in case of winning the contest - no matter who is actually announced as a winner - the crew may get a job in the future from the organizer of the contest (insert mysterious NPC)
- since they very likely step on a few toes in the process, you can bet some of them will come back for a payback, or will be needed by the crew for something Go to Comment
A blind, harsh man arranges for the transport of his folk to a better place. They are a dispossessed people, and he is their leader. While he loves them as his children, he keeps them under permanent command, so much that they really can't take care of themselves. And they better learn fast, for his health is slowly failing, and it won't last long until he dies. He, the stubborn type, won't tell anyone and will just push on until he's finished. Perhaps a little psychology would help? Go to Comment
A young, finely built man comes on board, and sweeps everyone off their feet. He aggressively enjoys everything to be had, and quickly becomes either friend or rival with everyone (those that won't fall in either category will be most likely ignored). If there's even a slight possibility of a quick romance, he will jump on it. The fact that he makes money in illegal fights, will stay a secret for a day at most.
While shaking things up, he won't do anything really important; instead he will draw events to himself:
- He may come into a 'fair fight' with soldiers during a routine check.
- Or could just forget the little statue his friend asked him to take along... which the rightful owners will want back.
- Or he will come back later, when he gets into real trouble. Go to Comment
Another top-secret Alliance experiment has escaped. It is no killer this time, but a mutated chameleon-like creature, that can amazingly adapt to its surroundings, designed to be an excellent spy. Barely sentient, it escapes from holding and somehow ends up on your ship.
Now, all ships from a certain ports are to be searched, while strange things start to happen around you... and somebody has eaten your lunch! A sillier take on the theme of River Tam. Go to Comment
You find out that the quiet man travelling along just for business is a contract killer, and has dropped a guy or two on each of your stops.
Bad option 1: You find it out while he's still aboard. He knows.
Bad option 2: Somebody else has put two and two together. Now you are suspect.
Bad option 3: Both options join together and have some fun. Go to Comment
Someone on board contracts a highly infectious, but quite harmless disease... until the affected is exposed to Zero-G, getting violently sick. But that xxxxx-iser needs to be repaired outside! All of you are probably infected, too. And you still need the medicine, and escape quarantine laws. Go to Comment
An old colonization ship is found drifting slowly into known space; damaged, but most systems are still functional, there are even people still sleeping inside.
Unfortunately it was first discovered by Reavers, that use it as comfortable hunting grounds, waking up a few people at time and chasing them for the sport, or more likely, reviving the whole crew to have one great bloody orgy.
Option 1: the PCs discover it with their ship, and decide to search it for salvage or out of interest - or both. The implications are obvious.
Option 2: the PCs are woken up as prey, and have to survive the chase and flee the ship; this would be a way to start in this universe. Go to Comment
A young man, with the education of an accountant, and same manners, will board the ship to get from A to B. While on board, he will constantly get on the crew's nerves asking about their profits and costs, about maintenance and paying the personnel. Annoying, but harmless, he will exit the ship at last.
Now, the man is a young financial prodigy (or his agent), that made lots of money on the stock market, and now seeks to invest it. With his eye for undervalued capital, he is quietly picking and choosing worthy ships that look like trash. In a few months he will start contracting and all of sudden will own a large commercial fleet.
And this crew will too get an offer, that is hard to refuse - join, and get a much better pay, more certainty, better access to service and more. Whether they do so or not, this company will change the landscape for a while - possibly for very long. Go to Comment
On an outlying moon, that was not (yet?) terraformed, or a strategically positioned asteroid, lies an abandoned base. It should be only found by accident, through a navigation mishap or a chase that took the ship way off its route.
The place is a mess, and was clearly looted before, but there is always something left behind... let's take a look. The life support systems can be activated, and yes, here and there are things worth taking if you take the time to sort them out.
And now comes the But. First there will be feint noises, than some trash will be misplaced, then a door they thought was closed will be found open. There's even a few bodies in some dark corners!
The trouble may not end at the exit. Soon there will be noises, too. Some may be unusually drawn to the base, others will probably suggest to get out as fast as they can.
And the truth? Quite simple. It seems that the life support system was rigged to disperse an insidious hallucinogen into the air. Those who don't turn it on, or don't stay for long won't be affected. Go to Comment