Sunday, April 3, 2011

Tempest in a Teaspoon

So all the entries for the 2011 One Page Dungeon Contest are now in and available for viewing. I'm once again blown away by some of the entries and I'm glad to be able to peruse through these awesome adventures.
My entry is called Tempest in a Teaspoon and is not fantasy but actually a sci-fi adventure.  When I sat down to make an entry, and realizing that I'm not a great artist, I figured out what I wanted to do was work out a feeling instead.  The feeling that came to mind was the feeling I had when I read Stephen R Donaldson's Gap series.  Now these books were not great books due to some really terrible plot and characterization problems (my opinion), but they did have a few great moments and I really liked how he dealt with spaceships, space stations and combat.  The way that energy and gravity constrain the options availabe to the characters in the story was really interesting.  There are some really neat scenes in there, including some asteroid chase scenes, EVA, and illegal space lab stuff.
The adventure title references a popular metaphor of neutron stars and the idea that a very small amount of this dense stellar material has a huge effect on the space around it  - but it also references the idea that this small little job to collect some data has a lot of complications.   I also had in mind a particular Television show from the 70's that dealt with the salvage business and really wanted to work that in as well.  While I was working on fleshing out the encounters I also mashed in a pretty obvious theme from literature so it turned into a real mixture of influences in the end.  I'll leave it up to you to figure it out and how they are referenced.
So that's the feeling I wanted to pack into the adventure - dirty space stations and dirty spacers, radiation and rocks flying by, proximity alarms flashing and double crossing drug dealers.   I didn't have any particular system in mind for this (Beacon/Microlite wouldn't be a very good rule set for space adventure in my opinon) but I think it would work best in something designed for more sciency sci-fi like Traveller or a Star Trek RPG, rather than the more fantastic space operas.

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