Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Ad Astra mapping

I'm actually starting to think that even though I haven't (yet) filled in as much as I originally planned to on my New Alderamin sector map—or even the reduced plan of doing a few subsectors worth of mapping and then letting the rest be, I do think that I've got more than enough to actually start doing something with it.  Rather than tinkering around with setting development, when I've got more than enough setting to get to work, I need to either 1) start running a game, or 2) start writing some fiction.

My old gaming group has largely imploded.  The last three of our campaigns ended up stillborn when attendance and scheduling just became too difficult and interest waned.  I could maybe cobble together a new group using some iteration of a portion of the old group, but I'd be better off, almost finding an all new group.  Of course, that's also a challenging proposition, and getting a new group together of guys and being lucky enough to hit gold the first time out without a fair bit of trial and error seems unlikely.  Unless I discover that some of my preexisting non-gamer friends are actually interested in gaming and I just never knew it, this sounds like a poor way to get some AD ASTRA action in place.

On the other hand, I've been kicking myself for years that I haven't tried to take writing seriously.  I'm not a great talent, but years ago I whipped up a novella length Street Fighter fan fiction that is actually not bad.  I should know; I re-read it recently expecting to be very critical, and found that much of it still works very well.  Even though I wrote it on a whim, without any planning, during slow moments while finishing my undergrad degree a good twenty+ years ago.  If I could do that, then I can certainly do better now, with some planning.

I just need to buckle down and do it.  I've been threatening to do the same thing with DARK•HERITAGE for the better part of ten years and haven't.  But now is the time.  Time to set a few serious goals and keep them.  (By the way, I'm going to get serious about losing weight and getting in better shape this summer too. While I'm at it; any other big goals that I've had on the back of my mind but not done anything serious about? A few, yeah.)

So I'm going to do a few things:
  • Go through the map and add some system names but no other detail to some of the hexes.  I've got big system name lists; assigning them will be easy.  But I don't need to detail any system that I'm not going to have anyone visit in the near-term.  I've got lots of work with already.  Probably already more than I can conceivably use in the short-term as it is.  Then, I'll crop the image and post the map here, for fun.  Either that or whip up a new map using Traveller mapping software or something. 
  • Decide on a character model.  By this, I mean—what are my iconics doing to look like, and how will that drive potential story plots?  The earlier AD ASTRA iconics I came up with look a little bit like a D&D party in space.  No doubt, they'd be compared by many fans to the crew of the Firefly TV show (although that's not at all deliberate, since I'm not a fan and have only watched an episode or two of that show ever.)  Two other potential character models come to mind; the James Bond in space (Dominic Flandry in Star Wars?) or the buddy movie (for gamer fans, the most iconic example here would be Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser, but the concept is an old one.  Bob Hope and Bing Crosby did it in a number of movies in the 40s mostly and even then Laurel and Hardy had already paved the way.  The 80s brought us a bunch of more action oriented buddy movies: Lethal Weapon, 48 Hours, Tango & Cash, and many more.
I'll probably whip up a bunch of sample iconic characters just for the heckuvit and then decide which (if any) I want to use down the line.

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