Sci-Fi Clichés

Sci-Fi Clichés

What exactly is Science Fiction?

Science Fiction is a ridiculously wide genre. Generally, it involves futuristic technologies and skills.

Cliches used by characters in all science fiction environments:

May contain mundane cliches that are particularly useful in a SciFi setting.

  • Engineer (SciFi): You can repair stuff, draw up technological-looking blueprints, and such.

  • Computer Whiz: Writes programs, troubleshoots, gains access to high-security digital vaults, has high caffeine tolerance.

  • Brainy Researcher: Collects data, compiles it into a useful format.

Anime/Manga-style SciFi cliches:

  • Mecha Pilot: Drives giant Robots, has post-traumatic stress angst which scares people away.
    You must take a specialization with this cliche. An Evangelion is not a Gundam is not a Nirvash is not an Aestivalis is not Voltron is not ... whatever the Power Rangers use. Be Specific!

  • Alter: The character can change the molecular composition of his immediate surroundings into a specific pattern.
    You must specialize with this cliche. Different people have different Alter powers, and they need not all be combat-related.

"Mad Scientist" subcliches (with brief philosophies):

  • Genome Engineer: I control the power of life itself. I can create new creatures or modify them as I please.

  • Quantum Physycist: the laws of physics are mere playthings. Free energy is only a garage project.

  • Reality Programmer: we are but lines of code in a machine. With a little time, I can make fools of all of you, and disappear.

Science Fantasy cliches:

A combination of SciFi and Fantasy. Showcased in Shadowrun and Final Fantasy.

  • Airship Pilot: driving an airship, smoking cheap cigarettes, cursing under his breath.

  • Gunner: gunslinging, looking cool, having nervous breakdowns.

Clichés Liberated from Galactos Barrier

The following clichés were liberated from TSR's Galactos Barrier (a star wars inspired sci fi setting) which was part of the Amazing Engine system.

  • Diplomat - represents a culture as a go-between, reconcilliator, and representative.

  • Doctor - trained in medicine (poor doctors are medics or interns).

  • Idle Rich - inherited a fortune and out to spend it.

  • Military (Enlisted) - one of the grunt squad - knowledgeable about weapons.

  • Military Officer - leader of troops, master of tactics.

  • Inventor/Scientist - devoted to understanding the universe and the way things work.

  • Mechanic - a poor inventor interested in building and repairing.

  • Mercenary - a gun-for-hire.

  • Merchant/Trader - a traveler of the stars looking to make a living through commerce.

  • Pilot - drive ships for a living.

  • Pirate - one who preys on those who travel the spaceways.

  • Questor - someone learning the mysteries of the universe.

  • Savage - a survivor of a crash on a distant world that had to "go native" to survive.

  • Smuggler - a merchant/trader dealing with illegal goods.

  • Bureaucrat - a servant of a given culture.