Hard Science

Hard-science games are set in a future with little or no "superscience." Blasters, bug-eyed aliens, faster-than-light travel, psionics, etc., are rare or nonexistent. Stories often take place entirely on near-future Earth or within the solar system.

This kind of campaign faces the same challenges as a modern-day game - notably, the superiority of guns to muscle-powered combat - without the up side of player familiarity with the game world. Still, hard science fiction can be a good place for the martial arts. Indeed, if the campaign is set in Earth's future, it would be difficult to justify the demise of the martial arts when they've already survived millennia of technological change!

Appropriate styles are as described for Modern Day (p. 246). Moreover, if martial-arts history is anything to go by, new needs will inspire fresh styles. For instance, if people live and fight in low gravity, they'll invent fighting arts for their environment. This is the logic behind Freefighting (p. 210), which doesn't require superscience or chi powers to be effective.

Such a campaign can still feature cinematic abilities. Consider William Gibson's near-future tale Neuromancer, which includes a ninja who seems to possess the Blind Fighting skill. Cybernetic implants, biotech, and advanced physical and psychological conditioning can all provide believable explanations.

Realism levels and campaign themes are as for Modern Day. Hard science generally favors a realistic game. The GM shouldn't feel bound by this, however.

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