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Battlestar Galactica 
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Post Battlestar Galactica
This post has no spoilers. Feel free to comment on BSG whether you liked it, hated it or like me have mixed feelings about it. You can expand and discuss specific aspects of the shows or relate it to sci-fi gaming.

Yesterday my friend and I finished watching Battlestar Galactica. After the miniseries a few years ago and watching season 1, we had decided to wait for the show to be near its end and watch the whole thing intensively for three or four months straight.

So we've been at it since January and watched the finale last night. The show gets progressively worse in all aspects, which is a shame since you do get to like those characters and the whole thing started very strong.

Once the credit rolled, we started talking about the whole thing and how it really confirmed that we want an epic sci-fi campaign. The basics of BSG are pretty cool. The premise is rock solid and very much "roleplaying friendly". The first season has episodes that play a lot like gaming adventures. It's a got a gritty feel to it, lots of drama. Plus I like that it has no ridiculous humano-aliens.

So while the story ended up being lamer and I'm not really interested in a campaign set in the BSG universe, it was an inspirational experience for me.

The one thing that BSG actually makes me reconsider is space battles. Originally, I was contemplating a setting exclusively with big spacecraft that are difficult to maneuvers and space as a dangerous environment. But seeing all these individual dogfights between raiders and vipers were exciting and brought me back to the good old times of Star Wars, the X-Wings and space as a battleground.

So I'm not sure. On one end I'd like a campaign where space is more than just a background. I like the idea of space being a character, much like it is in movies like Sunshine or 2001. On the other end, I really like the over-the-top space opera aspect of spaceship battles (small and large). I don't know how yet but I am going to try and reconcile the two notions.

So, what did people think of BSG?

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Wed Apr 08, 2009 5:50 pm
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Post Re: Battlestar Galactica
I liked the way the different factions interacted and the swings of allegiance that happened from time to time. I liked the plethora of characters in general. I liked that female characters weren't all stuck with stereotypical roles (Starbuck was especially refreshing). I liked the weird experiences Baltar was going through, with this ambiguity between reality and hallucination, a bit like a Philip K Dick novel slice.

Despite all these good points I couldn't care to rent DVDs further than the first season. The story was starting to be silly. The ratio action/drama was really not working for me. Compared to Firefly for instance, too many scenes stretch and stretch and... I could picture packing two episodes into one quite often too.

So not exactly my cup of tea. RPG material wise I like the theme. The execution of the whole endeavor managed to kill my initial enthusiasm though.


Wed Apr 08, 2009 7:49 pm
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Post Re: Battlestar Galactica
If the first season couldn't hold your interest, I doubt I could recommend the rest. Personally, I think much of the first season and several episodes from season 2 are quite good. Overall, I prefer the miniseries and the first season but some of the strongest moments of the show come in the second season.

Basically, if the story was getting too silly for you, I think you probably would not have enjoyed the rest. Also, I agree with you it was refreshing to see all the female roles. Unfortunately, in subsequent seasons, I think the mixed cast leads to a lot of silly romantic subplots. I don't object to romance but it has to be well done.

Crap. Re-reading this, I don't exactly pimp the show. Still, I can't deny I found it sufficiently entertaining and inspirational. I'm pumped up for a sci-fi campaign!

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Wed Apr 08, 2009 8:31 pm
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Post Re: Battlestar Galactica
I saw they were filming the entire thing using 'shaky cam' including the out of the ship space scenes and decided not to watch it. Yeah I know they were going for a certian 'feel' with it but the only feeling I got was 'damn would they take the Jack Daniels away from the camera man'.

Shaky cam has been way over used now. So c'mon and let real directors that use real camera techniques back in there.

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Wed Apr 08, 2009 8:33 pm
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Post Re: Battlestar Galactica
I concur with Mr Amthor's comments RE: "Shaky-Cam", although I did quite enjoy the first...I dunno, one-point=five or two seasons of BSG. I got a little tired of "I Know A Secret And I'm Gonna Tease You With It" shenanigans.

I also had enough of the show's "This Is GROWN-UP SCIENCE FICTION, with SEX and CANCER! LOOK AT ME I'M A GROWN-UP!!!!11!!!!!" attitude.

If not for those aspects, I'd've been able to enjoy the deep characterizations, complex plots, dense background and general awesomeness that was otherwise gettin' down therein.

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Thu Apr 09, 2009 6:33 am
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Post Re: Battlestar Galactica
Yeah, we tried, but we couldn't make it past season two. Too many people acting stupid for "character" reasons. It just got super frustrating that anybody would not immediately beat and interrogate the doctor. Instead he is made president?! We just felt sort of toyed with as an audience and it got too frustrating.

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Thu Apr 09, 2009 8:17 am
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Post Re: Battlestar Galactica
This is my favorite show, without qualifications. :)

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Thu Apr 09, 2009 8:52 am
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Post Re: Battlestar Galactica
So what's a good system for space dogfights?

As for the show, I haven't seen it, but I used to watch the old one when I was a kid in the 70s.

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Thu Apr 09, 2009 2:29 pm
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Post Re: Battlestar Galactica
I think a better title would be Battlerstar 90120.


Thu Apr 09, 2009 2:31 pm
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Post Re: Battlestar Galactica
droog wrote:
So what's a good system for space dogfights?


Depends on the level of detail you want. You can abstract the crap out of it with Story Engine or Primetime Adventure and keep things flowing.

For more details, I think you could get Silcore to work for this. I think the engine could work for both characters and ships. I haven't seen the BSG game but one can hope they have ship rules. The sweetspot if you want a good engine with details but not too much detail is probably Slag!

Image

But even that isn't abstract enough for my tastes. I'm thinking of getting into FATE with Starblazer. Based on the preview, I like how it describes a ship and I am hopeful that it will resolve these kind of conflicts to my liking.

EDIT: I should point out that Slag! is a ship combat self-contained game. It's not a roleplaying game, even though BTRC are also known for that.

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Thu Apr 09, 2009 3:08 pm
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