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chandergovind November 24, 2019 08:17

Any Space themed variants?
I play Vanilla (currently 4.1) and have only simply tried out some of the variants.

Steamband is nice, but are there any variants that go further into Sci-Fi/Space themes?

Gwarl November 24, 2019 12:32

I'm working on one at present. 'Starband'. Long way off a playable 0.0.1 yet but it's coming

Here's a teaser:


The Imperial Battlefleet maintains a supremacy in interstellar warfare so unrivalled that all human worlds must remain under her protection or risk succumbing to the unnumbered calamities that may befall an abandoned world.

Prioritisation for the defense of citizens is ultimately conducted according to needs and interests far abstracted from concerns for the citizens themselves. At a basic level an unprofitable world is by laws of economics, upon which grand ethical dilemmas are often solved, a detriment to Empire, and beneath the expression of movement of such a hand to effectively preserve or destroy. However such trifles are often swept aside in the grand scheme of Galactic politics, whereby profitable worlds may become abandoned along with an entire tempoprarily problematic Galactic wing.

Abandonment does not cease the progress of human activity on a planet. But it becomes subject to exospecies interference. Worlds have become destroyed, corrupted or worse once exposed to the alien forces beyond the interstellar void. Some quickly, others slowly - terrestrial means of defense are available to the populations who endeavour to survive without Battlefleet protection.

Occassionally, a world will thrive under alien assault as valuable components, technologies and opportunities for scientific study not found on protected worlds enter the economies of a planet under siege. In such cases, political shifts are less likely to bring a world back under Battlefleet protection, and it becomes a designated frontier world. Financial incentives are provided by means of credit loans by which destitute citizens become indentured as bounty hunters following the debt incurred by transfer to a frontier world, an occupation de facto open to any native inhabitants who could not or would not take an off-world warp jet once the Battlefleet's superdestroyers left orbit.

Imperial presence in frontier worlds is typically limited to a single fortified palace compound where transaction between wholesale scrap dealers and artifact merchants are conducted with the Imperial representatives, along with a dead matter warp-station for the off-world transport of the goods. Existing political and governance structures typically survive abandonment, but measures of lawlessness and unrest invariably rise in the wake of the decision. Planetary laws may be sprodically enforced, and entire multicities of several billions may be overrun with mercenaries, scavengers, and gang rule.
There are some questions of IP vs non-IP/original content that I'm still brooding over.for example I think I want daleks that are actual daleks called daleks but I find zerg and tyranids inappropriate, pseudo-arachnids unwieldy, and selenites unsuitable for warfare, so we may end up with 'Ceratids' instead of anything recogniseable.

chandergovind November 29, 2019 13:08

Let us know when it's ready.

I hadn't even thought of Daleks..., now I'm really interested.

Gwarl November 29, 2019 13:34

Like I say, a long way off.. I would check back in March or so next year.

I will say that part of creating this variant will involve reading a lot of sci fi novels. Last week I managed three in three days.

Angband celebrates the work of Tolkein, Zangband celebrates the writing of various fantasy authors (i.e. Zelazny and Moorcock), steamband draws from (and actually includes excerpts from) Victorian literature, particularly HG Wells and Jules Verne.

I've previously read Asimov's Foundation series and (parts of the) Robot series, and I'm well steeped in Duneiverse lore despite having only read one of the actual novels (and am shying away from the Dune setting as being a little too detailed and encompassing), but I have a hit list of authors for source material and inspiration, in no particular order:

Harry Harrison
Jack Vance
John Brunner
Arthur C Clarke
Roger Zelazny (I much prefer his sci-fi writing)
Robert Heinlein
Philip K Dick

And maybe others. For source material I'm deliberately sticking to an anachronistic, pre-Gibson vision of the future where faster than light travel was invented before the smartphone, and then make the connecting glue out of ideas more palatable to a modern mind with floating scraps of 90's kitsch (cyborgs, hacking, night vision goggles and glowing banks of computer terminals).

I think source material wise we're going with literature up to around the 70s, but points to consider are also 80s movie (mostly starring Arnie - Total Recall, Predator, Terminator...) and early 90's games (Doom, X-Com). Referencing other games seems a faux pas but Doom is special..

Derakon November 29, 2019 15:45

I'm a little surprised that, given all those other authors, you haven't included Ursula K Le Guin or Larry Niven. I guess the former isn't particularly full of monsters and technology, so not that useful to the game, but her works are foundational classics of the genre. For that matter, A Wizard of Earthsea is a really good fantasy series by Le Guin.

Niven mostly came up with cool settings (I'm personally fond of the Smoke Ring setting), but you need to have kzinti in your game, like, that's a glaring omission if you don't. A weapon that teaches the Kzinti Lesson would also be good.

HugoTheGreat2011 November 29, 2019 16:30

I'm kind of surprised Isaac Asimov isn't on the list

CyclopsSlayer November 29, 2019 16:56

Ursula K LeGuin is more concerned with the monsters and aliens that are ourselves. But, that would be a fun addition.

Other classic authors that deal with hard SciFi,

John W. Campbell
E.E. 'Doc' Smith
Alan Dead Foster (Humanx)
David Brin (Uplift)

Even maybe - Andre Norton


Originally Posted by HugoTheGreat2011 (Post 141483)
I'm kind of surprised Isaac Asimov isn't on the list

Mentioned in the body text

Derakon November 29, 2019 17:26

Oh, including some Bolos (giant sentient tanks) is also basically mandatory. They range from Ratte-sized to starship-sized so you have a nice spread of enemies to work with.

debo November 29, 2019 19:02

Will there be rockets?!?

Also, to OP: it's not an angband variant, but zapm is a pretty great scifi roguelike. There's a later variant of it that goes by a different name, but I can't remember that one off the top of my head.

CyclopsSlayer November 29, 2019 19:03


Originally Posted by Derakon (Post 141485)
Oh, including some Bolos (giant sentient tanks) is also basically mandatory. They range from Ratte-sized to starship-sized so you have a nice spread of enemies to work with.

You, with dagger and pistol, against a CSU 'Continental Siege Unit' LOL!

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