Status: Refugee – Perspective Selection

One thing that was bugging me about this game was that which we’ve discussed on a number of occasions about different games: scope. If you are playing refugees with only a small number of worlds available to you, the sheer scope for play is mind-boggling. This then probably requires either a lot of work on the part of the GM, or a lot of background information in the form of source books – or more likely both.

Reducing the character roles available (at least in the initial version of the game) would help give this game better focus. It occurred to me that having the players take on the role of police / enforcement would create a lot of interesting roleplaying situations. What happens when a group of refugees on a particular planet start getting angry at their conditions and decide to become militant? What if two large groups of refugees who had rivalries on Earth get transplanted to the same planet? … and so on.

Giving the focus to policing allows me as a game designer to focus on the things that are important to that sort of role. E.g. what are the laws in different alien societies, how many planets are there and how many humans to each, etc. I can more easily create rules of thumb for large numbers of planets, because I’m viewing them from a particular perspective.

For now, as I continue work on this game, I’m going to assume that the players are humans working for this agency. Expect to see some more background information and fictional snippets over the coming weeks.

About AJ

Gamist: 14%, Simulationist: 29%, Narrativist: 57%. Ah, the irony.
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10 Responses to Status: Refugee – Perspective Selection

  1. matt says:

    I think, in terms of limiting scope, it would be worthwhile looking at the players being “Troubleshooters” for the “Earth-Galactic Alliance” Liaison.

    There’s been a lot of interest in “the Intarweb” for a planet generating game…for SciFi. End of the day the “planets/societies” are the interesting part of the game and therefore the players are less interesting (this is the process of “deprotagonsiation” and it becomes most important to define the “human refugees” and the societies in which they are living.

  2. aidan says:


    Potentially, you could say that different areas of the world were allocated to certain planets. It could then be up to roleplayers in that area of the world to define what those planets were like.

  3. paulk says:

    Sorry, I’m confused.

    My understanding was that people were fleeing earth to a new planet (one of a number), are we now suggesting that a large number of planets are all fleeing to several safe planets?

  4. matt says:

    I like the idea that there’s “geographies” across the Galaxy that might be for development by Western europe (as the refugees were seeded there), others might be the US, Latin America, India, China…This would almost necessitate an online database of stuff…ooooh….contributory!

  5. aidan says:

    Paul: Your initial understanding was correct. What I’m now saying is that different areas of Earth would be relocated to particular planets. That way, we could potentially have many planets available for relocation, and (as Matt says) have an online database full of information about what geographic locations migrated where, to allow interested GMs and players to contribute information.

  6. Gav says:

    In the ‘Night’s Dawn’ trilogy of sci-fi novels human space is mostly made of up of planets colonised by people of a particular ethnic or national persuasion. ‘New California’ for example is a direct descendent of the United States while ‘Norfolk’ is populated by rural English folk.

    The story goes that when humans first began colonising space they went for mixed planets, but these where riven by conflict and ultimately unsuccessful.

    Anyway, the point is it’s quite a well thought out portrayal of ‘nations in space’.

  7. matt says:

    Well, I think that it might be incredibly contrived. But the reasons for these migrations would be for ease of loading the people onto the refugee ships. The planet holding the USA people would not have the same “power” as they have now. I think that Alien Nation provides a very interesting background source here. What happens when members of an international crime cartel manage to get onto different planets….

  8. paulk says:

    What about those left behind?
    I can’t think of any escape or disaster movie where some people aren’t left behind.

    Also, whilst each planet is habitable for life, it stands to reason that some will be more tolerable than others. One of the tasks of this group you discuss may be dealing with people smuggling?

  9. aidan says:

    Paul: Those left behind are destroyed by the supernova. Of course, conspiracy theories are bound to spring up …

    As for people smuggling, I think that’s very likely to happen. Especially if different alien races are easier/harder to get along with than others.

    I’m glad to see so much interest in this.

  10. paulk says:

    Yeah, but when?

    I’m guessing that there will be a couple of different types of people left behind, from the “my home is my castle” types, through the mid-west militia survuvalists anti government types right up to the lost and forgotten.

    On top of all these you’re going to have the people who hang on trying to get an advantage to take with them – 1 more kilo of weed…..just one more kilo

    I’m not suggesting its a major element of the idea, but it is an interesting (to me at least) side plot.

    Its kind of similar to a Morrow Project idea I’ve been throwing around – what if you were on your way to your Bunker when the world went poop….. What would you do?

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