As promised at the end of part one, we’re going to take a look at how religion and magic might work if and when Questing Heroes gets converted into a futuristic set of rules with a futuristic, space-exploration-style setting in which it would be set.
Before we get to that, there is one thing we forgot to get into under the subject of monsters. The immediate topic needs to be that of undead creatures in a futuristic setting. The typical thinking for a futuristic setting, or a setting in which science and space exploration plays the greatest role, is that magic and supernatural occurrances simply do not happen. There is always some sort of rational explanation behind anything that might happen. And so, we would have to come up with a rational explanation for why seemingly undead creatures might exist in a Questing Heroes Space Adventures setting. The solution for this is fairly simple: The Nature of being Undead is the result of a virus. There are several different strains of the virus, some of which causes the flesh to rot and decay, creating zombies, while some cause the flesh to drop off completely (horribly disgusting and painful to enure, I assure you), creating skeletal creatures. Some strains would create the undead state, but would inspire a great hunger for brains and/or flesh, creating other, hungry types of undead. It would be up to individual GM’s and their gaming groups to decide whether there is any cure for the undead state, or if the virus is permanently fatal.
Okay, now that the last little bit on monsters is out of the way, we can move on to other things.
As you either already know or might have guess, Questing Heroes is based in a fantasy world. That is, there are adventurers, elves and dwarves, dragons, monstrous creatures, and magic. Some of these things – elves, dwarves, monstrous creatures, and in some small cases, even dragons – can still fit nicely into a futuristic setting. Magic, however, is one of those things that doesn’t always fit well in science fiction. It can, of course, but that is an entirely separate genre. What we are looking at, specifically, is putting Questing Heroes into a more science fiction setting, and so we’re going to have to figure out a way to get rid of the quote-unquote magic.
Now, it is probably no surprise that we game designers might cheat when it comes to designing, and that’s what we’ve done in this case. Instead of having Magic Users that cast magical spells, we decided that, if Questing Heroes gets turned into a futuristic, science fiction set of rules, the magic will be replaced by something we call Tech Casting. That’s right, we kept the term “casting” and simply added “tech” to it. I told you, we like to cheat. It works perfectly, though. Imagine a magical spell that translates languages. Now there is a small device that fits around the ear of the user and translates the languages. We haven’t come up with a great name for this yet, but we know that it can hold a few different chips, which determines how many languages it can translate – the chips determine the languages. Is there a magical spell that can place a silence over an area, allowing someone to walk through without being heard, or that can keep another spell caster from casting a spell properly? Now there would be a device called a Son-Disrupter (short for Sonic Disrupter). It disrupts sound waves, creating an area of silence around the device. Instead of healing spells, there are now Med Units. These inject a liquid filled with nano-sized robots that move through the body fixing bodily damage.
All of these futuristic equivalencies for magic would be called Tech Units. They come in three sizes, based on what they do and how much of that action they perform. Some could be the size of an injection needle. Some could be the size of a small paperback book. Larger Units would be there size of a backpack or a suitcase with wheels. And just like Magic Users in Questing Heroes, the knowledge of Tech Units has required levels of learning and required fields of learning, so that not just anyone can make use of them. It takes a trained Tech Caster to use Tech Units.
That leaves only one final subject that would need to be addressed, really, and that is the topic of religion. Many fantasy role playing game systems make use of large numbers of deities, and Questing Heroes is not so different. There is one over-all powerful god, there are five minor gods, and there are mortals who have been granted god-like powers. There is no reason this couldn’t be left as is in a futuristic setting, though it might be more difficult to explain how the truth about these gods is spread to all of the different planets in a solar system or galaxy, however large you wish to make your futuristic setting. You may desire to have each solar system have its own set of gods, and that is just fine, but it would require a good deal of work coming up with the names for all of them and making sure their spheres of power are outlined properly. You could treat religion as something akin to the ancient Greek Pantheon, where there are many, many gods, and they are very human-like in their attitudes and actions, and so each planet could a set of human-like, petty gods that fight over power.
You could simply go the route of some modern science fiction settings and say there are no gods at all. People within the setting might follow powerful alien beings as a god, or they might follow a philosophy and way of thinking, but none of these means are able to give them any benefits or powers. It is simply a way of living their lives…it gives them a guide to follow, perhaps a set of rules that lets them bond together in groups who follow the same way of thinking.
So, as you can see, changing Questing Heroes into a futuristic, science fiction set of rules would not be that hard. As I stated, we actually have plans for doing that, one day, when we have more writers and more time to do so. Now, if there are any really ambitious individuals who would like to work with us on this, feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, using the subject “Questing Heroes Science Fiction” and let us know you’d like to work on this conversion. We’ll give you all the information you need, we’ll give you some freedom, and we’ll give you credit and royalties on the finished product. Until then, anyone who is anxious about using Questing Heroes for a futuristic campaign will have to make due with what we’ve provided here.