Friday, June 22, 2012

Science and discoveries (Terminal Space / Bandits & Battlecruisers)

Taken from Terminal Space:

Discoveries of ancient technologies, created either by the alien or humanity in the times of long forgotten past may come with a reward in experience points given by the Referee, as well as scientific publications or documentation, released about previously unknown species or worlds. Of course creation of a proper publication requires certain data to be collected, such as sample analysis or – in case of alien creatures – carrying out an autopsy. Of course these activities may be very expensive and time-consuming, but because of great diversity of species inhabiting the universe it’s impossible to create detailed rules covering time and cost needed to succeed. Access to advanced science labs can really speed up the process but can greatly increase the cost.
 
The amount of experience points given for this kind of activities can be higher than for slaying a monster or finding a treasure. This of course depends on the weight of the discovery. For instance the discovery of a mutated breed of semi-intelligent cockroaches inhabiting an abandoned space station placed in the most remote area in the sector may be rewarded with several dozen XP. On the other hand coordinates of planet that has been forgotten for thousands of years that is habitable and is literally littered with ruins left by an unknown, intelligent civilization can be rewarded with several thousand experience points, not even taking into account how valuable such information could be.

And some new ideas - general guidelines for the Referee how he / she can reward PCs for their discoveries:
  • Usefulness of the discovered species (are they potential threat or can be used as food?);
  • Usefulness of the discovered site (is it just abandoned station or lifeless rock, or maybe exotic gas giant or habitable planet?);
  • How detailed the publication is (just photos of species or planet's coordinates, or maybe captured living specimens or results of analysis of planet's surface and atmosphere plus some physical samples?);
  • Where it is published (sold to half-drunk governor of backwater colony or presented during meeting at Galactic University?);
  • Rediscoveries of the lost wisdom may also be awarded;
  • Also, Referee may increase XP reward if discovery was made "for science only" without any financial benefits.

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