NO SMEGGING ALIENS:
TheRed Dwarf Prime directive!
"Rimmer, there's nothing out there, you know. There's nobody out there. No alien monsters, no Zargon warships, no beautiful blondes with beehive hairdos who say, `Show me some more of this Earth thing called kissing.í There's just you, me, the Cat, and a lot of floating smegging rocks. That's it. Finito." Ė David Lister, Third Technician JMCRed Dwarf.
"For a period, ships full of astros in stasis booths were hurled out of our solar system, and interstellar travel enjoyed its golden age. The big hope, of course, was that they'd contact intelligent life. They didn't. Not even a moderately intelligent plant. Not even a stupid plant. Nothing. And it was surmised correctly, though it was not confirmed for a further two thousand years, that Mankind was completely and totally and inexplicably alone. In all of the universe, the planet Earth was the only planet with any life forms. That's all there was."
-Infinity Welcomes Careful Drivers" (part 1, chapter 14)
I have some good news & some bad news. The bad news is there are no Aliens for your Player Characters to fight or interact with inRed Dwarf. The good news is THERE ARE NO ALIENS for your Player Characters to fight or interact with in Red Dwarf! :-)
How can that be both good news and bad news? Well granted most of us who grew up on Science Fiction could always count on the Heroes of a particular saga to seek out "New Life forms" etc & they would ALWAYS find said Alien Life Forms without fail. We began to expect Aliens in Sci-fi. Yes even depend on them. Aliens that would either help humanity because they where benevolent saviors of our backward inferior race or they would be malignant monsters that would try to wipe us out. This would inevitably lead to the Human Race putting aside itís divisions in order to rally around the common goal of species preservation namely ours.
But I guess before I read the Red Dwarf novels & watched the TV shows it never occurred to me there was a third alternative.
Man is alone in an empty Universe & has to deal with his own smegging problems! This led me to discover a new breed of Sci-fi like THE FOUNDATION TRILOGY or PEBBEL IN THE SKY both by Asimov. No Aliens! The television series FIREFLY has no Aliens. The science fiction epic DUNE has no Intelligent Alien Life Forms.
Thus it is in my understanding the Prime Directive of allRed Dwarf Role-playing is that there must be no Aliens in the game! All strange & exotic creatures you may encounter can & must trace their ancestry back to Terra. Evolved Animals, GELFs, Mutants or Whatever: IT CAME FROM EARTH! Aliens are by definition living creatures that originated on a world other than Earth through natural/supernatural forces. Not by human intervention which doesnít really count you see! Seeding a water planet with Earth algae genetically manipulated to mutate & undergo accelerated evolution is NOT an example of true extraterrestrial life. Since the lifeforms in question have decent from Earth algae that has been manipulated by Earth Men. Itís just Earth life relocated. Nothing more.
Now granted the average RPGamer might just say "Smeg it! If I want Rimmer, Lister, The Cat & Kryten to find a Black Arthur C. Clark type Monolith on some strange world created by an Ancient pre-Human Alien Race & then afterwards join the alien Zargon Empire thatís my business!" True you can do what you want but before you do ask one question "Would it really beRed Dwarf?" Try to imagine doing a Star Wars RPG where the Jedi Knights can use Dark Side Powers with impunity never having to worry about falling to the Dark Side of the Force. Imagine playing a Babylon 5 RPG where the Shadows were really nice Super Aliens that played with fluffy bunny rabbits & the Narn & the Centauri just loved each other to death & the smegging Vorlons always gave you a straight answer to a question!
Where pray tell is the FUN in that? Suit yourself donít listen to MY sage advice! No you have made yourself quite clear. Gimboid! I wash my hands of you! ;-)
If you want a Star Trek analogy even in Star Trek there was an ancient humanoid race that first evolved in the galaxy billions of years before life on Earth. They were alone & seeded all the planets with their DNA before they died out, so that is the reason why there are so many humanoid aliens in Star Trek!
Well inRed Dwarf the human race IS that ancient race of Progenitors! The one exception I might see to the rule is crossovers. I think the idea of Dwarfscape is kind of funny. But letís not make a habit of it, Ok? :-)
So create whole civilizations of Giant Intelligent Spiders if you like. But just remember they Evolved from Earth Spiders after three million years after an Earth cargo ship carrying their original ancestors had crashed on some S3 planet. Or make them the descendants of some human scientistís genetic experiment gone wrong. Sure let your player characters fish on an ocean moon if they like. Just remember there are no fish in that ocean. If there are fish then remember they had been placed there by Man & after 3 million years became genetically modified horrors with many tentacles. Or maybe they where deliberately created by genetic engineers three thousand millennia ago who where smoking to much happy weed! No Aliens. Iím telling ya if you put Aliens in yourRed Dwarf RPG IíllÖIíllÖIíll TELL Mr. Fribble! Then Mr. Fribble will be very cross!
-Darth Jim Scott IV
Canary Team Bravo Delta has found the following archival footage stored on Disk at an ancient Subspace communication relay station. CAPTAINíS EYES ONLY. RUN FOOTAGE>
"This the premiere broadcast of the New & Improved Funky Channel 27 & now the News. With the invention of Subspace Faster Than Light Communication we would like to welcome our new affiliate stations on Alpha & Proxima Centauri as well as Bernardís Star & Sirius.
Now for the News; Labor Mechanoids at Sirius Colony SETI Research Institute have begun construction on a new Subspace Hyper Radio Telescope. They are confident that this SSHRT may be able to answer the age old question of "Are we or are we not alone in the Universe?" It has been estimated the Subspace Hyper Radio Telescope will take about two millennia to scan the whole Universe for artificial transmissions from other species & possibly make contact with them. The head of the Catholic Church Pope John Paul V hailed the building of the telescope as a "Heavenly gateway by which man can communicate with Godís other possible creations". It is rumored the High Priestess of the Cosmic Church of UFOs has provided partial funding for the project. The following quote has been attributed to her "At last we will soon have proof that we where right & Aliens did visit Earth & create life here & all that dogma nonsense taught by repressive fundamentalist about humans being in Godís image will be proven wrong. I safely predict within a year of going online the SSHRT should made first contact with in the first two months." END TRANSMISSION
Two Thousand Years LaterÖÖÖ.
"Welcome to the Galaxy wide broadcast of Grovey Funky Channel 27 now celebrating our 2,000th year! In local Interstellar news scientists from Sirius University have completed a scan of the entire Universe & have reported they failed to detect any artificial radio or subspace transmissions that are of true extra-terrestrial origin. So they have concluded that it is now very likely Earth is the sole originator of life in the whole of the cosmos. The Head of the Interstellar Apostolic Orthodox Catholic Church Pope John Paul XXV has been quoted as saying `Itís is a testimony that mankind really is Godís highest creation'. The office of the head of the Galactic Church of UFOs & True Alien Worship (Reformed) has issued a no comment at this time."