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Re: Starship! and FT, from the author

From: Brad Carlson <7sg@l...>
Date: Wed, 06 Sep 2000 11:19:35 -0700
Subject: Re: Starship! and FT, from the author

My apologies if I have offended you.
Detailed comments below:

Oerjan Ohlson wrote:

> Brad Carlson wrote:
> >>The part I found really funny was when he asked me what system
> >>I play.  I told him I played Full Thrust.  He said that's okay as
> long as
> >>you stay in the universe they provide, but it doesn't let you create
> your
> >>own races.
> >>Obviously, he doesn't know Full Thrust, nor does he know about the
> >>cross-over battles with Federation Cruisers, Babylon 5 ships, and
> >>Battlestar Gallactica just to name a few.
> [snip]
> >I HAVE played full thrust. According to the books I have (Full
> >More Thrust), the allowed races are:
> >    "Standard" whatever that is
> >    "Kra'Vak"
> >    "Sa'vasku"
> "Allowed races"? I don't think so.
> The KV and SV, and nowadays the Phalons as well, are the only races
> which GZG has created specific rules. All other races fall under the
> "standard" rules, modified as desired by the "if you are not happy
> a rule or system, throw it out and use your own" clause (verbatim
> from the FT main rules, page 2, "Introduction and designer's notes").

My problem with this, and the point I was trying to make, is that these
alien races were each created "outside" of the standard rules, each
new weapons or defenses or other special rules.

I fully agree that FT allows and encourages people to create their own
modified versions of the game.

In Starship, however, creating your race is an intrinsic part of the
If I am running a tournament at a convention, I can tell people to bring
their own races and fleets, knowing that 20 people with 20 races and 20
fleets will all exist within the structure of the rules, and be
to all players.

If I tried the same thing with FT, chaos would ensue, as 20 people tried
justify the "balance" of their creations.

> Have I missed something?
> Yes. Actually I'd say that you've missed the entire, and explicitly
> stated, purpose with Full Thrust... specifically, you've missed the
> following very important section in the main rulebook (FT2 p.40, "The
> background and timeline"):
> [quote from book deleted]

I agree that their stated purpose was as you indicate.

What I have a problem with, is the assumption that every phaser,
ion cannon, etc., from all of the books and movies that I have seen can
be grouped into one weapon,"beams", with three different strengths.

And what about the special abilities? What are romulans without
or vorlons without bio-ships?

Obviously the creators of FT agree, since they gave such abilities to
Obviously the fans of FT agree, since they have written and published so
many articles on modifying the rules to fit specific races and genres.

> >Or were these Federation, B5, and Gallactica ships created "outside"
> >the rules.
> They were mostly created using the FT design system, in some cases
> amended with background-specific gadgets under the "if you are not
> happy with a rule or system, throw it out and use your own" clause -
> there are no stats given for Star Wars ion cannons in the published
> rules, for example, so the players wrote their own. According to the
> section quoted above ("...provided a rules framework for players to
> into whatever backgrouhnd they preferred - whether from a book, film,
> another game...") this is exactly what Full Thrust is all about, so
> these ships obviously weren't created "outside" the rules.

There it is a difference between giving you permission to do so, and
providing you with a framework within which to do so.

> >And I don't see any chapter anywhere on creating your own race, with
> >its own special abilities and unique weapons.
> You mean that *you* have provided detailed rules for how the players
> are supposed to invent their own house rules - or are you saying that
> you have provided such detailed rules that they players "won't need
> invent their own house rules?

We provided detailed rules that allow you to create several hundred
races, all of which lie with in the structure of the rules, and all of
which are balanced against each other, assuming the players are equally
skilled, and trying to win.

Obviously, we can not provide rules to cover every universe that has
or will ever exist. However, as an example, I could say: "I am running a
tournament in a Star Trek-like universe. Please bring your own race and
fleet. No missiles, physical torpedoes, fighters or Mecha are allowed.
races must have at least two special abilities."

When I arrived at the convention to run the tournament, I could expect
number of players, each with races that are unique, and yet within the
structure of the rules, and acceptable, without arguments, to each of
other players.

In the example above, the modifications to the rules in order to fit the
game into the Star Trek universe required only a few sentences, not
of additional material.

The same applies of course to running campaign games.

Please note that I am not trying to tear anyone away from FT or any
game. In fact I only began posting to this list in the order to respond
comments made about Starship within this forum.

I think that FT is a fine and admirable game, and is the game I would
likely be playing if not for Starship.

It is not going to hurt my feelings if you don't like Starship. Personal
tastes vary.



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