Adapting a Universe

One of the fun and challenging things about writing the Dryden Universe RPG is how distinct the Universe is. It has been Joel Stottlemire’s stated goal to produce a universe as distinct and broad as those associated with titles like “Star Wars” and “Star Trek”. And I dare say when you start throwing around words like “insanity crystal” and “framing drive” or take a look at those flat-disc shaped star ships, you instantly get the feeling that this is indeed a very distinct universe. The key challenge then in writing this universe for Big Damn Sci-Fi is narrowing the possibilities the game already offers (which are as broad and varied as the imagination) and limiting them to a set of key options that evoke the look and feel of the Dryden stories. So… how is this being accomplished? The first thing that went was the Species Features. These were largely abandoned as the core “era” of the Dryden Universe features few aliens. Instead, we have opted for a series of features called “Skins” which help reflect the varied backgrounds, skill sets and histories of humans in the Dryden Universe. Secondly, both the armoury and starship listings and rules have been given an extensive overhaul with each item varied in triplicate based on which corporation manufactures them. Thirdly, a broader range and classification for NPCs and Extras has been created to better reflect the action in Dryden stories. Fourthly, using the Corporations and employment status to give focus to the characters and their actions we’ve added the notion of Cubies (freelance trouble-shooters working for a corporate patron) as the default position for player characters. Lastly, a write up of Dryden’s background is underway, along with the addition of certain, key, characters, ships and other features in their appropriate spaces.

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Adapting a Universe

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