SPACE PATROL RPG
While I am not against the use of Space Patrol as the context for an RPG, I really have no desire to partake at this time. I am, however, laying down a few rules.
THE WHY'S OF THE RULES THAT I AM LAYING DOWN
- Take Space Patrol for what it was, not for what it wasn't and follow that path, it was science fantasy. Science Fantasy is not science fiction. Science fantasy used things that were products of scinetific method but some the specific sciences that they relate to do not exist at the time of the writing, or the specific scientific principles did not exist at that time. In ohter words if your story relies on a new gadget, you have to explain that gadget. Now, there were certain things that were and are givens like atomic engines, nuclear batteris, Fusion power, dematerialization, suspended aninmation are part of the scene. An example of this is the Repello Ray caterpillar tread. I took the Repello Ray (generic SF term: "pressor beam") and set up emmitters along a long chain loop and run that like a tank tread. Given the Repello Ray the rest just fell into place.
- This is not to be just another half-baked Star Trek or Star Wars clone. It existed a dozen years before ST and a quarter century befor SW. As such about 85% of the Space Patrol Stories ought be restricted to the Solar System. At that time, Pluto is a planet and there are many habitable planetoids (small bodies). Recently we have a new category called "dwarf planets" and who knows how many of those there are. Not that it matters sicne in the tech manual, I describe a method of making even the smaller planetoids habitable by putting the aritifical extermely heavy element, Netronium in the core to increase the gravity to earth normal. So all in all you may have about one to two hundred inhabited bodies in the Solar System. Planety of room for adventure.
- This is not Lord of the Rings: Lady Diamond's miniature Atomo Space-O-wand notwithstanding and I am sure that when we bring her in, we shall find the explanation for that is quite natural.
- This is not Dr. Who although they did time travel a decade before the Good Doctor but keep it to a minimum the temptation to use it as a Deus Ex Machina may be a bit too much.
- Must be familiar with what is in this site, like my definition of science fantasy and how it differs from pure fantasy and science fiction
- must have seen at least 10 TV eps and gotten and heard one of the 100 radio episode CD's from eBay so that they know what' they're doing.
- Space Patrol was Science Fantsasy. No magic or supernatural beings or powers are allowed*
- No super-heroes or super-villains*
Hopefully, that will be enough to get you started.
- Where the radio version has something different from the television stories and they do not conflict, use both: In the television version, the Martian city is Canali, The radio version uses Lowell City. You can use both. If they conflict, use the one that makes more sense, if they conflict and it's a toss-up, the TV version has the edge.
- This website can be used as a venue in the game and the webtoys as props. If there is sufficient interest, I could be easily talked into make a zip or set of zips of the webtoys (I just might do it anyway)
- Space Patrol was a '50's show so keep the sex out of it. Though there were no black characters, that was an oversight and not essential to the story but keep the rap and hip-hop out of it. In other words, try acting like decent human beings with an IQ higher than your waist measurements in US inches.
- We are some time in the late thirtieth Century. Buzz Corry was Commander in Chief in c2977-'82.
- although the radio show did take Buzz and Happy 50,000 light years, that is patently absurd. What makes sense is that Algol at 93 lightyears is the practical limit and there are some interstellar settlements and exploration. Mostly to the nearby group within 20 lightyears. Although the Terra V did go to Alogol, that's about the practical limit at 93 light years so it's not something done on even a semi-regular basis.
- there is no real organized interstellar civilization yet although the radio version did have some kind of Galactic justice agent. and the Space Patrollers did allegedly go to another galaxy but the distances given do not support that.
- there is no significant inter-galactic doings, just occasional.
- The technology is as described on the TV and Radio but with some 20 years, so study this site before you roll the dice.
- The weapons are not the same as we have now except for bullet guns, used mostly as historical curiosities, which have been replaced by paralyzer ray guns, Cosmic Smoke Guns, Blast guns, shock rifles and "electrosonic" rifles.
- The periscope does not have any hyperspatial powers as was portrayed in the radio shows. That's a bit too much.
- Time Travel is in it's infancy. Don't let it become the cheap out.
- Unfortunately, as part of the attempt to be "futuristic", "advanced" and sound enlightened, criminality was treated as a midical problem but that was so vague as to be meaningless, Avoid it; even Behaviorism is not as deterministic as it once was*.
- While I list several of the old villains and a few new ones, Many Space Patrol villains were for one story only, like Captain Dagger, Ahyo, and a few others.
- I will have a Technical Reference Handbook: "tech manual" for those who need it translated into plain speech.
- This is really just a basic outline and as Space Patrol RPG's are done, we can fill this out. Many RPG players use yahoo groups.
*Space Patrol was a presentation of the heroic in the context of the mid twentieth century. This was the last stages of the civilization created by the Age of Reason, The rise of science, individualism and free enterprise and the Enlightenment. These things blur that by 1) making the universe, at the core, incomprehensible, which flies in the face of the Age of Reason, Science and the Enlightenment, 2) Space Patrol was a product of the primacy of objective reality which meant that cows don't fly without some kind of tehcnological device and wishing doesn't make it so, these are about wish-fullfillment 3) Space Patrol was a presentation of the heroic (and good and evil) the medical basis for "criminal tendencies" reduces human behavior to a non-choosable mish-mash of chemicals, viruses and bacteria. As such these are incompatable with Space Patrol.