So I've picked up this RPG book a while back and it's got some pretty interesting mechanics and tools for creating your own universe and characters to inhabit them. The overall awesome part is that the dice/crunchy/math parts are pretty simple, but still maintain a depth that allows for numerous possibilities. Before I get into the guts of this thread, no, Im not going to run a campaign. I simply dont have the time commitment for such a thing, as the players in my other dead games can attest.
What I *would* like to do, is create a universe or at least a few worlds with some other literary peeps. This is probably going to take the space of a couple of weeks to a month at *most*. At the end, we'll have made a universe that might be interesting to explore in our own stories or games here on Elliquiy
OK, so some ground rules for this thing:
1) The over all feel of this universe is a bit of hard science fiction. You cant tear ass through the galaxy like in Star Wars, or Star Trek. It takes days to burn fuel and traverse a solar system. Since we want to travel to other stars, but dont want to use generation ships or cryo-freezing other modes of hellaciously long travel, we will allow 'magic' technologies such as Warp Gates, Rift Nodes, Mass Effect Relays or what ever we decide to call them, which makes the giant leap across the voids near-instantly. You just have to travel out to solar LaGrange Points where they reside.
2) Humanity and Galaxy Life in general has risen and fallen so many times, everyone's lost count. No one knows where the original homeworld is/was and most likely dont even care. At some point in our past, all Rift nodes may have been connected but due to the vagueries of the universe or lost technology, they no longer do so. Every eon or so, rifts pinch off, stranding systems or connect to new ones. (This is a Diaspora mechanic to allow pretty much anyone to create their own piece of the universe)
3) All that said, anachronisms can/may be be everyday occurances. A bronze age society may see space travellers as Gods in Chariots of Fire or Medieval Knights clashing with laser weapons. Heck, maybe that system may be Off Limits as a Preserve and allowed to grow on it's own until its ready to step into the intersteller stage on it's own. There should be an interesting story behind why things are they way they are.
ONWARD TO THE CREATION SYSTEM!Please use Invisible Castle to generate the dice rolls and traits for your System.
**The dice mechanic used to produce a number between -4 and +4 can be expressed as 4d3-8. Roll four three-sided dice, total up all the pips, subtract 8 from that number.
(since it's impossible to make a three-sided die, a six-sided die would be: 1-2 equal 1. 3-4 equal 2. 5-6 equal 3)Each System has three broad characteristics: Technology Level, Environment, and Resources ranging in Levels from -4 to +4.
Technology is the leading trait of a System.
Its how the inhabitants get off their rock ball and into space.
T-4 is on par with the Stone Age. It could be a brand new sentient species, or humans may have suffered incredibly to be felled so low.
T-3 is on par with the Classical Age. Romans, Greeks, maybe medieval Europe.
T-2 is on par with the Reinesance. 15th to 16th Century Earth
T-1 is roughly 19th Century Earth. Locomotives, steam, coal, iron clads, etc.
T0 is roughly on par with Earth Technology as it is today. Ranging from WWII era to now where we are barely able to get off our planet.
T1 is a Pre-Stellar level. They can easily exploit their own system for resources, but have yet to create jump-drives. It is a Cusp Level as they are *just about* able to jump to different systems on their own.
T2 is a Fully Fledge Stellar tech Level. They can travel the stars and exert influence on neighboring systems.
T3 is everything that 2 is, but Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger, Cheaper, Awesom-er.
T4 is a Scarey Tech Level. It represents an incredibly advanced society of which the inhabitants view 'lesser societies' the same way we look at bugs or annoyances. Most importantly, it represents a Society on the verge of Collapse.
whether they see it as such or not is no concern of lessers. What looks like a major disaster like a Grey Goo incident, Solar Nova, Machine Intellect Transferance, God-hood, etc. may be what they intended all along...
Level 4 Technology is roughly the same as Level 3 except in that one area of expertise that is Scarey. It's completely up to you what this aspect of Technology is, be it nano-tech, Artificial Intelligence, Matter Transferance, Immortality (imagine trying to deal with an eight-year old that uses plasma toys that can blow up your ship!) Environment is the trait for the livability of the System
E-4 is a harsh system to live in. If there is material in the system, it's largest body only exerts maybe 0.1 Earth G's.
E-3 maintains one planet that is barren. Like Mercury, or Earth's Moon.
E-2 has one planet that is Hostile to the Human biology. Like Venus, Mars, Titan. Livable, but not without some apparatus to breathe or survive in.
E-1 has one planet that is Survivable. A Survivable world is an extreme that Humans can live in. A water world, a desert, an ice ball, thin atmosphere, etc.
E0 maintains one Garden World. This is Earth like, with comfortable habitation zones tinged with extremes (like... Earth)
E1 has one Garden World and a few barren worlds
E2 has one Garden World, and a few hostile worlds
E3 has one Garden World, and a few Survivable Worlds
E4 Multiple Garden Worlds. With any +4 that is rolled, go nuts on why/how this was to be. Maybe it's an actual ring world that makes a halo around the star, a rosarius of perfectly placed planets in the same orbital line. This system is a Prized jewel of the galaxy, make it good!Resources represents what the System has for raw materials.
R-4 There is largely nothing useful in this system save rocks and dirt... and even that is low in nutrients for growing stuff...
R-3 There is a large or multiple deficiencies in this system. Maybe it doesnt have copper (for electronics) or water (so thirsty!) or rare earths (no nuclear missles or fission power)
R-2 There are a couple major deficiencies.
R-1 There is one major deficiency
R0 There are no deficiencies, nor are there surpluses of supplies
R1 This system has one major surplus
R2 This system has a couple major surpluses
R3 This system has many surplus resources
R4 This system is glutted with shinies. Even though everyone could be rich, it's rarely the case, given human nature. It is possible though...
----------------------------------------To Provide an example...
Earth would be a T0 E1 R2 System. We rely heavily on fossil fuels and nuclear power to provide energy for our world, and we can barely get off our planet unless we use incredibly expensive and inefficient rockets to blast into orbit. What exploration we have done in the system has been largely robotic, save a few trips to the moon. The Sol system has one garden world (Earth) and multiple hostile ones (Venus, Mars, Titan, Europa) and we have a large supply of Water and Water-Ice in the system and Helium-3 in the outer planets.
As for Aspects, we could use:Heavily Balkanized Possibly All-Alone
Both of those phrases evoke many possibilities and ideas on how to use them in the game or even generate story arcs. Dealing with this world could be very hard with no recognized world government. Also, what might happen if this world or some organization found out it *wasn't* alone?
Even though each trait has a bit of detail for each value, they are only guidelines to help you along and give you constraints when creating a system. When creating your System, you will also add two Aspects to it. Aspects are short phrases that help differentiate a world beyond what the traits provide. In the Diaspora mechanics, they allow players, and the GM to compel certain effects in the game to the betterment or detriment of the inhabitants of the game. Other writers can help with creating Aspects if need be, what may be unwieldly to you, someone else may have the perfect word for you to use.[/size]For now, when you create your System, write between 3 and 5 paragraphs. Dont worry about interstellar relationships just yet. When we figure out what we have, then we can go on to connecting systems and writing how we influence each other's systems.
Since we will be working together in a collaborative effort, please do respect each other. Constructive criticism is always welcomed, but dont feel slighted when someone doesnt use your criticism either.
I will accept between six and eight writers for Systems.
C. NotoriusBEN Technology3 Environment0 Resource1 Cruscis Prime
D. Tomalak Technology0 Environment-2 Resource-3 The Umodyne System
E. Polymorph Technology1 Environment3 Resource-2 Athena
F. Wraith Technology-3 Environment0 Resource-2 Sheng
G. Athos Technology-1 Environment1 Resources2 Midgard
H. TheDon Technology2 Environment2 Resources-4 Chirea
I. Ironwolf85 Technology1 Environment1 Resources-2 Solaris