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Subject: Roles, jobs, classes and professions in a scifi setting rss

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Christopher Halbower
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I've been wracking my brain coming up with more ideas. I thought some users here might have some ideas.

What are some character classes or professions one might find in a sci fi game?

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Holger Doessing
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Perhaps you could describe the setting a bit more. What year are we in? Has the the world been through major conflicts? Are we stellar, perhaps even interstellar travelers? Is it an apocalyptic future? Is it a brave new world or a bright new world?
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Hector Cornejo
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Maybe watching the beginning of some Sci Fi movies would give you some help. Alternatively you could just look them up on IMDB and find out what the roles of the characters were in the movie. Some are very basic (soldiers, scientist), but other movies are fleshed out differently (like Gattaca for example) so may be able to give you some ideas that way.

Another notion is to write down jobs you know of in this world and consider how they may change in 50, 100, 1000 years from now. Will we still have social workers? lol...Some are boring jobs no one wants to do, but others may really be interesting enough to put into your game.
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Christopher Halbower
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Interstellar travel, warring factions

Some ideas I came up with already

1. Captain
2. General
3. Pilot
4. Navigator
5. Spy


The professions will be aboard starships. The starships will have various functions: military, pirate, exploration, etc.

So any profession/classes that would have a role on a starship

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Carl Nyberg
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Mechanic
Scientist
Doctor
Soldier
Mercenary
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Anthony Simons
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Engineer
Science Officer
Counsellor
Marine
Chef/Cook
Medical Officer
Administrative Officer
Scout
Helmsman
Gunner / Weapons Officer
Sensor Ops
Tactical Officer
Armourer
Xenologist
Communications Ops
Security Officer
Boarding Party
Ambassador
Robotics Officer
Avionics Engineer

...and many, many more.
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Hector Cornejo
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halbower wrote:
Interstellar travel, warring factions

Some ideas I came up with already

1. Captain
2. General
3. Pilot
4. Navigator
5. Spy


The professions will be aboard starships. The starships will have various functions: military, pirate, exploration, etc.

So any profession/classes that would have a role on a starship

:)


I would in that case heavily suggest the movie, "Alien" for secondary roles. Though its predominately a vessel used for mining, the crew hold a lot of positions in the ship itself that are not usually considered for action movies.
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Christopher Halbower
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Those are all excellent ideas. Thank you.

By the way: what is the difference between a helmsman and a navigator?
 
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Hector Cornejo
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halbower wrote:
Those are all excellent ideas. Thank you.

By the way: what is the difference between a helmsman and a navigator?


a navigator plots travel using navigation, a helmsman pilots the ship.
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Christopher Halbower
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I see. I had "Pilot". But maybe there is a difference between Helmsman and Pilot too...?
 
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Otherworldly Santa
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Medic
Engineer
Translator
Weapons Specialist
Political Officer
Ambassador
Ordinance Officer
Ground Support Specialist
Supply Officer
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Anthony Simons
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halbower wrote:
I see. I had "Pilot". But maybe there is a difference between Helmsman and Pilot too...?

There could be; a pilot might be somebody who can fly atmospheric-effect aircraft or shuttles, whilst a helmsman steers a huge starship. Alternatively, in the nautical tradition, a pilot would generally be tasked to haul a larger vessel (steered by a helmsman) into port; and smaller vessels would have a helmsman too.
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patrick somers
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Don't forget about plumbers... Plumbing makes all other things possible

7cool
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Christopher Halbower
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zombie plumber wrote:
Don't forget about plumbers... Plumbing makes all other things possible

7cool


Didn't the Nixon Whitehouse have enough plumbers to plug the leaks?
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James Hutchings
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Here's a list of options in the Mongoose version of Traveller. Each type except Psionic has three sub-types.

Agent (Law Enforcement, Intelligence, Corporate)
Army (Support, Infantry, Cavalry)
Citizen (Corporate, Worker, Colonist)
Drifter (Barbarian, Wanderer, Scavenger)
Entertainer (Artist, Journalist, Performer)
Marines (Support, Star Marine, Ground Assault)
Merchants (Merchant Marine, Free Trader, Broker)
Navy (Line/Crew, Engineering/Gunnery, Flight)
Nobility (Administrator, Diplomat, Dilettante)
Rogue (Thief, Enforcer, Pirate)
Scholar (Field Researcher, Scientist, Physician)
Scout (Courier, Survey, Exploration)
Psionic (Wild Talent, Adept, Psi-Warrior)

I just noticed they don't seem to have either asteroid miner or con artist.
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Joseph Larson
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Really? No Janitors. guys? Roger Wilco? Space Janitors? Come on, people.
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Derry Salewski
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Don't take this the wrong way: If you haven't watched/read enough science fiction to be able to answer this question in your sleep, I don't want your game.
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Christopher Halbower
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scifiantihero wrote:
Don't take this the wrong way: If you haven't watched/read enough science fiction to be able to answer this question in your sleep, I don't want your game.


I have about 160. But I was looking for a few more in case I overlooked some.
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Caroline Berg
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...124 to run fleeing from the mountain. ...125 to use a rope to climb the cliff. ...126 to quickly cast "summon stairs." ...127 to dodge under the falling rocks.
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You can get pretty specialized with the different sciences:

Xenolinguist to study alien languages
Xenobotanist to study alien plant life
Xenopathologist to study alien diseases.

Perhaps a Xenoanthropologist or xenosociologist to study alien cultures.

And if you do miners, asteroid miners would be different from people who mine gas giants, extracting the gases found there, which in turn would be different from planet miners, who have to have ships that can go through atmosphere.

Of course, you might not have anything so specialized in mind...
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John Breckenridge
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Just take any job and put "space" in front of it.

Space Jockey
Space Hooker
Space Mailman
Space Plumber
Space Travel Agent
Space Poodle Groomer
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James Graham
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I think the setting is important here. From the sounds of it, you seem to be leaning towards a miltaristic theme which is common to a lot of movie and TV SF but you'll find a much broader and interesting range of ideas in classic SF and contemporary speculative fiction.

Many of the 'professions' talked about so far adhere fairly closely to the Star Trek mode of transplanting US Navy or other military positions in to a science fiction setting. Personally, I find the idea that an advanced, post-scarcity society of supposed equals would sustain and promote a model of 'yes-sir!' martial order rather strange (and a little depressing).

Why do you need professions at all? Some clue-in as to the type of game you are hoping to create may be of use here. If you are aiming for a harder SF feel, rather than a movie-like science fantasy, then why would you need all of those people with special titles to fly a starship? Who would trust navigation across vast distances and at incredible speeds to a human? Not even the Space Shuttle was 'flown' by humans in the 80's. Everything was pre-programmed on tape. Similarly, why would you cripple weapons by slaving them to the response times and flawed decision making of a human? Again, all of this depends on your setting but one could postulate that the citizens of an advanced civilisation - with access to vast amounts of information, personal augmentation and pervasive AI, may not conform to any concept of profession.

For unusual roles you could look to the 'Culture' novels of Iain M Banks and his hyper-intelligent ship 'minds' - in these novels the ships are fully aware, completely autonomous and often only carry 'crew' or passengers just for the sheer pleasure of having those fleshy, little goofballs around. The humans (and other races of the Culture) often have purpose - and even sometimes jobs - but those definitions are extremely flexible and often the implication is that many of those roles are a benign indulgence of the AI.

Alternatively, Vernor Vinge's Zones of Thought novels find interesting ways to limit the extent of technological progress and so allow for an interesting mix of speculative tech and exciting professions.

I could go on... and on. I'll spare you that although I'll give you my first reaction to this question:

You say, space profession. I say PSYCHOHISTORIAN.
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Michael Bonet
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Timothyp103 wrote:
I always liked the term "Slicer" (from Zahn's Star Wars "Empire" trilogy). Basically they are computer hackers but with a fancier name...sounds more 'spacey'. :P

Quote:
Just take any job and put "space" in front of it.

Space Jockey
Space Hooker
Space Mailman
Space Plumber
Space Travel Agent
Space Poodle Groomer


You forgot "Space Cowboy" ;)


Also Gangster of Love and Maurice. These would be your space pirate roles.

Laser Swordsman

Space Junkie

Cosmic Encounterer (he finds cosmic things and then encounters them)

Red Shirt

Space Monkey

Space Stowaway

Space Princess

Space Surfer

Galactic Jiggalo

Interstellar Interim President

Watch Battlestar Galactica again because there are lots of jobs on that show.
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Gabriel Forster
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They may want to eat. So you may consider someone to produce the food and someone to prepare it. That could be some crazy spaceship agriculture and a cook or some pre-packaged, rehydrated thing.

Janitors, plumbers, electricians, etc. are also important and often overlooked.

I would think of what jobs there are in other vessels that travel in remote, hostile environments. A submarine crew comes to mind.
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Mike Urban
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Starship settings are really just naval vessels (military or civilian, or elements of both, as in Star Trek Next Generation) with painted-on tech. If you have some particular new tech you want to emphasize, make that a profession ('Fusion Coil Service Tech'). Realize that it is impossible to predict the jobs of the future in detail; but people will still do the same _types_ of jobs, if mechanized slaves aren't doing them. Think of all the horse-related jobs of the past - blacksmith, coachman, cavalry officer - nobody is doing these jobs, but they are still doing the same maintenance/operation/military tasks [the blacksmith shop in my dad's rural hometown in Iowa became the local auto mechanic].

Then too, there are novel jobs that have nothing to do with technology per se. It is a sad commentary that someone can make a living today as a professional ethicist, for example.

 
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Christopher Halbower
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Here is my list so far.

There are some naval-esque jobs. But player may not want to play a naval ship so there are smuggler or merchant jobs available.

1st Officer
2nd Officer
Admiral
Agri Bot
Alchemist
Ambassador
Apothecary
Archeologist
Arms Dealer
Assassin
Astro mech
Astrophysicist
Baron
Biochemist
Boatswain
Bounty Hunter
Broker
CAG
Captain
Chancellor
Chaplin
Commadant
Commisar
Communications officer
Concerige
Condottieri
Constable
Courier
Cyborg
Doctor
Engineer
Ensign
Field marshall
Flight Chief
General
Govenor
Guard
Guerrilla
Guildmaster
Gunner
Helmsman
Inquisitor
Inspector
Journalist
Librarian
Major
Master of Arms
Maverick
Merchant
Miner
Nanobots
Navigator
Operations Officer
Petty Officer
Petty Officer
Philospher
Pilgrim
Precursor survivor
Priest
Prophet
Protocol Droid
Quartermaster
Ranger
Rogue
Sage
Scavenger
Science Officer
Scout
Security Officer
Senator
Seneschal
Sentry Droid
Service droid
Slaver
Smuggler
Spy
Squadron Pilot
Supply Officer
Tactical Officer
Technician
Technomage
Telepath
Tribune
Vizier
Warrant Officer
Weapons Officer
Yeoman
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