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Author Topic: Under Sovereign's Sky - Custom System, Small Group, Sci-Fi, Players Needed  (Read 2933 times)

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Offline PeacethatPowerbringsTopic starter

Under Sovereign's Sky


The year is 440 A.P.
The world is harsh and barren, most of it too extreme to support much recognizable life.
Societies have formed from the small temperate zones, and then, civilizations.
Over all of these, Sovereign reigns from above.


As a brief introduction, this is a campaign setting that I've created, and I'll be GMing a story through, if there is enough interest. It does have sci-fi elements, though there is a lot of variety in this setting, ranging from fairly harsh, and almost post-apocalyptic settlements, to apparently idyllic cities. The story will depend greatly on the characters, and players involved. I'm quite happy to answer questions, so feel free to PM me, or post here with questions. I'll attempt to provide some background on the setting, and then a bit of information on the system I'll be using.

Setting
The setting is an extremely large desert world, populated by a variety of cities. The planet does have water bodies, though its oceans, and small seas cover little of the surface, comparatively. The technological level of these cities is known to be extremely diverse. At some point in the past, at least 440 years prior to the current date, many nations had emerged and were challenging each other in increasingly dangerous wars. The population at this time is known to have been much greater than it is now. From this conflict, several superpowers emerged, all of which entered an arms race. In some way, these parties all set above them, figuratively, and literally, the orbiting Sovereign. Sovereign is a network of orbiting satellites. This automated network became the ultimate force. At the time, drone warfare was the standard, with warfare claiming less lives than ever, Sovereign essentially co-opted the entire system. Sovereign was capable of linking with, and controlling, any deployed drone, and deploying weapons and drones of its own.

Between that time, and now, the world has changed greatly. Now, societies are organized using Sovereign as a tool. Cities are self-sufficient, usually isolated from the outside, so that most citizens never leave the place of their birth. Less advanced settlements eke out more meager existences. Inside cities, policing is done by a special class of citizen. All societies which make use of Sovereign, have Justices, which use a law system common among them. Sovereign provides the force for judgements made by Justices, and monitors these societies constantly. Settlements outside of Sovereign's operating zone, which do not use it, are organized in their own ways. These societies continue to exist because of their dislike of Sovereign, either because they dislike the concept, or the necessity of using its system of law.

The third kind of settlement which exists is one that actively opposes Sovereign. Sovereign's original purpose is still in effect, as it effectively eliminates any drones, or autonomous robots that it does not control. With the relatively low population in any individual settlement, this rule, the only one enforced outside of Sovereign's cities, ensures that life is very difficult for those not inside those cities. Without drones, even agricultural, and industrial ones, which those cities have, thanks to Sovereign, resources are very limited. Some settlements make use of old technology to shield themselves from Sovereign. These settlements promise a moderately comfortable living, without Sovereign's law. These settlements exist because Sovereign's coverage of the planet is not complete. Furthermore, in zones which have effectively escaped Sovereign, war has emerged once more.

Korvus City

This is the opening city for the characters, and one under the control of Sovereign. The city makes extensive use of drones, though its overall level of technology is low for cities, it nonetheless maintains a high standard of living for its citizens. The city has approximated 300,000 people, all of whom live in its three massive towers. The city itself is fairly idyllic inside, being sealed off from the harsh desert outside, the interior is comfortable, clean, and orderly thanks to the city's twelve Justices, and the fairly small police force of about a 200. Most jobs are in the service industry, wealth is more or less evenly distributed. Art and music are common professions, while more labour intensive jobs maintaining the city's infrastructure, engineers, doctors, computer technicians, are among the most wealthy of its citizens.

The majority of the population remains inside the city for their entire life, except for rare times during the year when an outdoor stroll might be reasonable. Korvus City is, however, quite some distance away from its main source of resources, the drone-run factory some ten miles from the city produces food, mines for ore, and produces textiles, all to be shipped back to the city. The most dangerous job in Korvus city is left up to Runners. Essentially soldiers, they escourt engineers, or technicians, even sometimes mechanics, to and from the factory when a problem arises with the drones, or the machinery. Given the prevalence of desert creatures small and large, this job pays extremely well, but is rarely done for long by a consistent group.

Although in some places the means for producing new tools and even drones exist, Korvus city is relegated to trading for replacements or reusing, and refurbishing old technology. Modifications to one's body are common, though more extreme replacements, like eyes, or limbs are very expensive.

The records of the city only detail the surrounding terrain as far as a hundred miles in all directions. The nearest known settlement is a small camp on the edge of the nearest low mountain range to the north. The nearest city is supposedly somewhere beyond that, but travel is rare, and when traders do arrive, the cost for information is usually much higher than that of the goods.

System
While I'm not usually partial to systems, this is one I'm hoping will serve to create challenge and balance in combat and roleplaying. More than anything good roleplaying will accomplish a great deal of what will happen in the game. However some restrictions will have to exist given the variety of what might be possible in the setting, and during the story.

The system follows a breakdown of four parts.

Tech - Covering interaction with, and understanding of, technology.

Survival - Covering interaction with, and understand of, the natural enviroment, and animals.

Combat - Covering interaction with, and understanding of, weaponry and fighting.

Social - Covering interaction with, and understanding of, cultures and interpersonal interaction.

These basically cover any eventuality of the story. Each character will get a score in each of these.

Modifiers for these attributes exist in the form of modifications directly to one's body, clothing, and tools. Items like tools, weapons, and other supplies interact in some ways with multiple attributes. For example, an artificial eye might grant a benefit to Tech, Survival, and Combat, but in some settlements could be a great hinderance to Social.

Items, like clothing, weapons, tools, and supplies, can have a required attribute score to use, and provide a benefit to attributes. Clothing, when worn, generally provides some benefit to Survival, and Combat, for example, but may be negative, positive or neutral in terms of Social, or Tech. Weapons provide both new means for attack, as well as additional power for attacks. Tools generally affect Tech score in circustances where they are useful, but may provide a penalty if used inappropriately.

Combat is handled quickly, and hopefully will seem straightforward. Weapons are usually devastating, and defense is not much of an issue. Roleplaying is essential to combat. Each point in the Survival attribute is a point of health. Combat values determine the to-hit probability, taking into account distance, and the weapon used. Being closer to an enemy means that accuracy approaches point-blank guaruntee. If an attack hits, its value above the threshold of a hit determines the location of the hit. A critical hit is almost always an immediate kill, while grazing hit might not even take off a hitpoint, but might isntead impose an attribute penalty. The chance required to hit is calculated from the combat value.

Character Creation

Character Sheet:

Name: (Character's name)

Age: (Character's age)

Appearance: (Picture, Description, or both)

Bio: (Character history, personality.)

Stats
Level: (All characters are level 1 at creation)

Tech: (Minimum 1 at creation)
Survival: (Minimum 1 at creation)
Combat: (Minimum 1 at creation)
Social: (Minimum 1 at creation)

Speciality: (No minimum)

Weapons: (Types preferred, no stats available until game start)

(The follow section applies for modifications, clothing and items which provide bonuses and or penalties only.)

Modifications: (None at character creation without permission)

Clothing: (None at character creation without permission)

Items: (None at character creation without permission)






Character Creation follows from the system with attribute and speciality points. Attribute points can be distributed any way you wish. The values of each attribute is an automatic 1. You have six additional attribute points, when building a new character. Each attribute has corresponding specialities. These provide bonuses for more focused categories of activity.

Specialities requires certain attribute levels to be chosen. Each new character has one speciality point. The basic specialities available to starting characters are:

Tech: (Requires at least 4 Tech to choose basic Tech specialty)

Computer - Grants +2 to Tech when dealing with computers (identification, operation, repair, etc.)

Robotics - Grants +2 to Tech when dealing with robotic hardware (identification, operation, repair, etc.)

Survival: (Requires at least 4 Survival to choose basic Survival speciality)

Voyager - Grants +2 to Survival when dealing with animals, plants, and travel

Medicine - Grants +2 to Survival when healing or diagnosing injury, or +2 to Tech when operating medical instruments

Combat: (Requires at least 4 Survival to choose basic Survival speciality)

Close Combat - Grants +2 to Combat when attacking unarmed, or with a melee weapon
Short Range - Grants +2 to Combat when attacking with a short range weapon (basic pistol, thrown weapon, etc.)
Medium Range - Grants +2 to Combat when attacking with a medium range weapon (basic rifle, basic launcher, etc.)
Long Range - Grants +2 to Combat when attacking with a long range weapon (basic scoped rifle, etc.)


Social: (Requires at least 2 Social to choose basic Social speciality)

Merchant - Grants +2 to Social when bargaining

Deception Training - Grants +2 to Social when decieving, or detecting deception


Level is the evaluation of the advancement of a character, all characters start at level 1. Levels are gained through experience (though not by gaining points of experience) and each advancement grants additional attribute points, though specialty points are rarer and are granted only once every few levels.

When creating a character, the prime focus should be on roleplay. Your character cannot have an unjustified speciality. A character with the Voyager speciality, for example, must have travelled outside the city walls. While your character may not have been working in their area of speciality, your bio should reflect your character build, or your character build, your bio. See the section in Setting on Korvus City for information on the starting city.

Items

One of the concerns in this game is that there is a certain level of in-world realism that will be maintained. This includes making sure every character knows what they have with them, from items, to clothing, to tools and weapons. For this reason, the character creation is light on details in these areas, because the characters will, for the most part, start out on a basic, and even footing.

Commerce during the story will provide for the outfitting of all characters. In the weapon section you may note a weapon preference for your character. The opening storyline will provide much of the action in terms of outfitting characters with basic supplies, and a basic kit summary will be available then.

Endnote
This is, as you can see, a basic overview. I was thinking that a group of 3-4 would be preferable, depending on interest.

I have added the Character Creation Section to give the guidelines.

The opening will revolve around a job posting to send a new team to the Factory from Korvus City. This team will be looking for the last team sent, which didn't report back. Although there will be a lot of character choice involved in the story, it is necessary to have this job offer be the motivation for the characters to meet, and form a team. This team will be made up of professionals, someone with a speciality in technology, someone with a combat speciality, and others. As it is partially a search and rescue job, medically inclined characters are also useful. This is not meant to limit the options for character creation, given the work, and the nature of the city, they'd be happy to send someone off, ill-suited to any task, with a gun in hand, this is only meant to bring the characters together with their first goal.

-PtPb
« Last Edit: March 08, 2011, 04:15:29 PM by PeacethatPowerbrings »

Offline PeacethatPowerbringsTopic starter

Re: Under Sovereign's Sky - Custom System, Small Group, Sci-Fi
« Reply #1 on: March 06, 2011, 11:41:11 AM »
Setting Reference

This section should serve as an outline for the setting in more detail. Although it won't be comprehensive, I'm hoping to address major points, and if any questions arise, I can clarify this section, or add to it, as required.

World

The history of the world includes very little concentration on looking outward, though the pre-sovereign civilizations were clearly capable of putting satellites in orbit. The planet has no real name aside from "earth" or "the world." The main desert, located along a wide swath of the planet with the equator at its center. This desert is called Coros. The largest ocean body is the Lonn Sea. The Lonn Sea's widest point sits above the equator, making the easiest crossing in the south.

The desert is punctuated by small rocky hills, as well as larger rocky mountain ranges. Most larger mountin ranges tend to be focuses to the north and south of the desert proper. Most of the temperate zones are located between the poles and the mountains. The poles are cold, though the lack of moisture makes snow a rarity, and these cold regions are essentially wastelands of ice and stone. Most of the the large lakes and rivers are trapped in, and run inside the mountain ranges. The planet is extremely rich in metals but scarce of many other elements.

The failure of the systems which kept cities and settlements safe from the desert in pro-sovereign times has left much of those cities to be reclaimed by the desert. In many places, cities have a buried older ground-level section surrounding them. Many power-generation stations also disappeared over time, as their collection arrays were covered by sand, and fell into disrepair. The extent to which the planet had be made habitable by pre-sovereign civilizations is unknown, but assumed to be much greater than now exists.

A few remanants of pre-sovereign war still exist in the form of obvious landmarks. The two most obvious of these are the burnt plain, and the glass lake. The burnt plain is a swath of formerly temperate land which remains harsh an uninhabitable, more so even than the desert. Its land is hard stone, and punctuated by black stone spikes which all curve toward the mountains, and which all appear to be burnt, especially against the lighter stone of the mountains. The glass lake is massive crater in the desert, the inside of which is covered in a rough bowl of glass. Water tends to gather inside of it, and it is nearly full year round. Although created sometime before Sovereign, the lake remains uncovered, thanks to its relatively high elevation, though it now has a sandy lake-bed, the glass is still visible.

General Information

Energy

Clean energy technologies were the standard early on in the history of technological development. Although some fuels were used their variety and availability made their abandonment necessary and other forms of power generation arose. Fission reactors were the standard before more advanced means of collecting solar energy, and of more effective means of transmitting collected energy. In the current state, many settlements outside of Sovereign's control use fission reactors once more. Cities tend to rely on their original means of energy generation, though a few have augmented this since, depending on their ability to fabricate new collection panels for sunlight. The scarcity of material for fission reactors tends to promote some local combat among settlements using this method, and quite often, a loss of power means death, as power is the minimum requirement for running the systems used to grow hydroponic crops.

Cities

Cities are usually the most advanced remaining parts of pre-Sovereign world. Usually built upward, they can range from a few thousand to a few million inhabitants. Cites are usually run, and ordered by Justices. These are the eyes of the law, serving to provide evidence and judgements to Sovereign. Policing is done by Sovereign, despite the existence of a police force under the Justices, Sovereign serves both to punish criminals, and to protect the rights of civilians. On those instances when Justices have attempted to exert more authority over the population than allowed for, they are punished as swiftly, and usually more harshly, than common criminals. Justices communicate with Sovereign with a specialized form of terminal, which is implanted along their forearm. These terminals are limited in number, cities can become lawless, and have, due to a complete loss of working terminals.

Transportation

Most vehicles are ground-based, relying on wheeled or hovering movement to cross the sands, and other terrains. There are new vehicles, though most remain restored relics of pre-Sovereign years. Vehicles range from single-occupant cars, usually hovering, to mass-transport buses, and industrial vehicles. As hovering requires more power, these vehicles have fallen mostly out of use. Most vehicles are readapted for onboard power collection, to allow them to extend their normal range greatly, and with daylight rests, indefinately.

Lighter than air ships still exist, some of which are still in the sky, assumed to be kept on course automatically. No cities remain with an intact dock for one of these vessels.

The most common use for hovering, are nomadic settlements. Looking something like moving islands, these settlements are seen very rarely, but tend to be considered as the highest achievement of technology among settlements, as these settlements generate their own power, and manage to sustain themselves without any of the infrastructure which remains for the cities.

Clothing, Armor, and Protection

Clothing within cities is generally fashionable, and follows individual tastes. Made from natural textiles created in factories, this clothing is not useful for survival, but comes in almost any variety of colour and texture.

Armor can be physically hard, provide a more advanced more of energy field, or function to enhance individual abilities. Armor of the latter varieties is well-maintained though it becomes rarer as its complexity increases. Armor factories still exist in some places, which provide local cities with greatly enhanced protection. Furthermore, some types of armor are designed to greatly extend survival in extreme enviroments, and are invaluable to those travelling long distances.

Ruins

Most of the planet's cities are in ruins, and great deal of what was formerly part of current cities is lost to the desert. Savenging is profitable, though dangerous. Savengers provide for a lot of the more advanced technology available, and are usually rich, if still living.

Commerce

Commerce is conducted mostly through bartering. Within cities, offices exist to convert goods into city-currency. Currency is not useful outside of the cities, and so, valuable stones are a common form of item to use outside of a city. Stones are useful for many forms of technology though there is some risk that one's stones might not be as valuable in other places if one travels widely. In general stones are cut to "C" which is currency size, and one C is generally translated as 100 credits in cities which use that currency standard. C is a variable size for different gems, but all are cut to "C."

Local Stellar Bodies

The planet orbits a yellow dwarf star, and has two moons. These moons are Verda and Eria. Verda is by far the largest in the sky, though they are relatively the same size, Verda is closer to the planet, while Eria is further away. Verda has a relatively slow orbit, while Eria is much quicker. Verda orbits the planet fully once every sixty days, while Eria takes only ten.

The closest visible planet is Niera a planet which is visible for four days at a time, four times a year. Being in the same orbital path, Niera appears almost the same size as Eria in the sky when it is closest, but it is considerably further away. Niera has a blue tint, unlike the moons which are white.

Environment and Animal Life

Geography and Weather

Although most of the planet is an desert wasteland punctuated by rocky hills and some mountain ranges, there do exist some smaller temperate, and even forested zones. The desert is prone to long periods of very little activity, punctuated by powerful sandstorms. The storms come during the storm season, which usually lasts about half the year. During particularly powerful sandstorms, the danger of travelling is so extreme that even well-equipped travellers will avoid leaving the safety of a settlement, even with shelter, a vehicle at rest can be buried under sand and disappear quite easily.

The oceans and seas, though relatively small compared with the landmass, are quite calm. Rivers and streams are usually subterranean, and feed from higher, cooler mountain ranges in temperate zones, to the low-elevation of the oceans and seas.

The planet has a moderate level of volcanic activity, though most of the volcanic regions are uninhabited some temperate regions with standing cities have controlled their local volanic activity with engineered run-off, and geothermal energy generation.

Animal Life

Most large forms of life occupy the small temperate zones, and these zone function as eco-systems. Very few apex predators exist, however those which do are often still extremely dangerous. Most information on these species was lost, and what remains is mostly accumulated by experience, and common knowledge. The most dangerous creatures in the temperate zones are Arkosaurs, and Felin.

Arkosaurs are dominant reptiles with massive crushing jaws, covered entirely in hard armor plates, they inhabit rivers and streams, and lakes, attacking anything which enters the water, although their legs can propel them quite a distanct out of the water, their bulk makes pursuit inviable, and if they don't initially suceed in attack, they will usually relent.

Felin are a flying, and running bird. Mostly keeping to gliding at low-altitude, the Felin are group-hunting predators with large hook-like claws which simultaneously cut and grab, allowing them to carry off, and kill, smaller prey simultaneously, while they generally attack vital spots on larger prey, such as the neck, or legs, searching for major arteries. They have adapted to avoid humans for the most part, but not all of them are accustomed to human presence, and so may remain dangerous.

The desert regions are inhabited mostly by insects. Although not particularly dangerous to humans in general, they may be poisonous, or too numerous to deal with if directly disturbed. Further, their hives create certain problems for travel, as although their hives remain relatively immune from the desert, they collapse quite easily if overburdened from above, if not avoided, they can sink an entire vehicle.

The dominant desert insect is the Sandlords. These social insects  account for most insect life. Being fiercely territorial, and extremely adept builders, their hives can rise above the sands to considerable height, and dig deep enough to access subterranean lakes and rivers. Their intelligence as a group is considerable, allowing them to mimic nearby structures, and even form three-dimensional maps, with which to direct commands to the swarm. Queens are numerous, and although there is always a Empress of a hive, these are replacable by any one of the queens. The Sandlord is seen as useful to travellers for two reasons. First, they have a propensity for finding buried ruins. Sandlords have been known to build into ruins, filling the open halls with ramps, and buildings of their own, and making use of the stability inside to house their queens. Thankfully, most Sandlords tend not to invade the ruins too deeply, preferring to build upward, instead of downward, as sandstorms sometimes leave hives with only the tips of their tallest spires as their new exits. The second benefit of Sandlords are their water-seeking habits. Because their hives require a great deal of water, both for construction and breeding, the quickest way to know where to bore for water is by finding a Sandlord hive. More than a few settlements were created this way, in unlikely locations, because they had previously undiscovered subterranean lakes, indicated by Sandlord presence. Though only rarely encroaching on human activity, Sandlords are dealt with as a pest when they do, the easiest way to deal with them is burial flooding. Unless a Sandlord hive is situated over a ruin, sufficient water can flood its tunnels and destroy its foundations, destroying the hive from the bottom up, by sinking it into its subterranean water source.

The largest creature on the planet, and the dominant sea creature are Baronn. These massive creatures have multiple forms of defence, and massive jaws. Close in size to an airship, these creatures are built from the competitive environment of the ocean. Most animals in the ocean are hunters. Although ocean-floor plants do provide a great deal of nutrition, they are hunted, as remaining alive requires power or speed. Bottom feeding fish are quick, small, and tend to keep moving. The Baronn passively ingest everything they come across by "breathing" ocean water, through wide-gapped jaws, and "exhaling" through a dense set of hard ribs, which trap anything large enough to provide the Baronn food. Having a set of three pairs of side-fins, and a double dorsal fin, with a massive shark-like tail, the Baronn is mostly a smooth blue coloured fish. Though actually a fish, it does tend to swim close to the surface, as it allows marine birds to clean its back, and to expose, and therefore defeat, smaller (but still quite large) predatory fish which sometimes attack its dorsal fins.

Barron are found in almost every large body of water on the planet, but can only migrate in rivers and lakes in their infancy, adults are far too large.

Computers and Personal Technology

Holographics provide the standard displays for all computers. Emitters for these displays are extremely efficient, small, and are capable of acting in response to touch, even though they are insubstantial, their emmitters are both projectors, and recievers. Personal versions of computers are usually implanted, in the wrist or forearm, and called 'terminals.' Computing is very powerful, for those with the knowledge to use it, however, most actual data from the pre-Sovereign era, and even early Sovereign years is gone. Cities are run by their own local super-computers, which are in turn governed by Sovereign.

Artificial intelligence is uncommon, but not unknown. Although lacking personalities, and emotions, artificial intelligences are powerful tools for computers capable of running them. Usually, hardware is the limiting factor in artificial intelligence capability, but a small computer, the size of an apple, configured properly, could run an AI many times more powerful in function than a city super-computer. Malfunctions in AI systems are common, and require a great deal of programming and hardware expertise to maintain beyond their normal operational life.

Computers are an ever-present reality. Within cities they do the heavy-lifting of local organization, providing the network for commerce, and communication. Although the actual interface has changed very little in a very long time, even since pre-sovereign times, the underlying architecture was radically different from earlier computers by the year 0 A.P. Computers are built up from the nanometre scale, providing for extreme miniaturization of powerful computers. However, for the storage and computation necessary for larger tasks, like co-ordinating power systems in a city, larger machines usually no larger than a small room located somewhere near the center of a city. Storage hardware comes in the form of clear crystals. These crystals are grown, quite commonly inside of cities, as their creation is automated, and requires no drones. They serve as a form of holographic storage, where data is written in three dimensions inside of the crystal. Crystals are extremely hard, and very resilient when it comes to disruptions of data, and their contents may be recovered even when broken.

The difference between personal (wrist terminal, or portable terminal) and full size terminals tend to differ from so-called full-size terminals only in their ability to read crystals. Full-size terminals have the cradle which can read crystals. Although a wrist terminalís projector/receiver can identify one layer of data on a crystal, a reader is required for its ability to read on all the levels required for the data storage, and also has the system required to write new data onto a crystal.

Crystals cannot be erased, though if they have remaining storage they can continue to be written on.

Computers are usually accessed on their own terminal displays, or if they have none, by connecting to it with a personal terminal. Computers do not require physical connection to communicate, though physical connections are often faster, and preferable when hacking or modifying programming, as a wireless connection can be terminated by either computer, and this is often the first automated defence against tampering.

AI computers are intelligent to the extent that they can learn and adapt to new non pre-programmed circumstances, without outside input. However, AIs are not sentient, not being able to feel, or even possess self-awareness. Given their rarity, the theory that sentience might develop as a emergent property of multiple AIís working together, has not been tested.

Weaponry

Personal Weapons

Personal weapons are generally of two types.

The first are rail guns, which fire solid iron projectiles. Given the minaturization of the rail-gun systems in these weapons, most weapons are of this type. These weapons make very little noise in their action, but their supersonic projectiles still make these weapons quite loud when fired. These weapons come in many varieties, from pistols, to high-powered rifles, and even including shotguns.

The second type is directed energy weapons, in both lethal and non-lethal varieties. Lethal weapons include laser rifles, and particle beam weapons. By far more destructive are particle beam weapons, but these consume far more power. Laser rifles tend to be less lethal than projectile weapons, as many types of armor and the short time of contact between beam and target mean that although they retain effectiveness across their range, their use is usually a trade-off of accuracy and efficiency over power.

As rail-gun weapons produce little to no noise, aside from the small sonic boom of the projectile, subsonic weapons, effectively silent, do exist. These weapons are also generally smaller, and less effective against any kind of armored target, but are popular as personal defence weapons.

Pistols tend to be quite heavy, and considerable in size when conventionally powered, however, as the reduction in size in subsonic pistols makes them preferable for personal non-military use, they also carry and fire less, and smaller, ammunition.

Heavy Weapons

Heavy weapons come in many varieties.

Generally, heavy weapons are launchers, as in grenade or missile launchers. These weapons are rare, and ammunition is even scarcer, but these are generally the most fearsome weapons, as both grenades and missiles are generally very powerful.

Some larger rail-gun and energy weapons still exist, usually for vehicle mounts. These weapons have fallen out of common use. However, fast-tracking and fast-firing rail-gun cannons can be devastating when kept functional. Large energy weapons are mostly infeasible, as they require far more energy collection than can be provided in a reasonable length of time, they are considered one-shot weapons, usually used for effect.

Drones are the warmachines, and workers, of the pre-sovereign world.

Armed with a variety of weaponry, Drones are extremely dangerous. Although heavily regulated by Sovereign, drones outside of the coverage zone are still in operation. Drones operate as powerful single-units, or as packs of smaller more mobile units. Drones are semi-autonomous, although they take direction, they retain a great deal of on-board capability. Both ground, hovering, and flying drones exist, however the most common remain ground drones, used for work to maintain cities.

Melee Weapons

Although melee weapons tend to be underused in conventional combat, their effectiveness is actually considerable, in the right hands. Many marauders use melee weapons in an effort to bolster their ability to armor themselves against attack. Heavily armored marauders may be very difficult to take down at range with small arms fire, and at close range, may be quite capable of killing as surely and effectively with a blade as with a gun.

Bladed weapons do come in two varieties. All blades, and most basic tools are made from advanced carbon fiber, which requires less factory space for drones to make, as opposed to large scale smelting. The result are low-weight, high-strength blades which almost never need sharpening. Basic bladed weapons may be a completely carbon-fiber, or have a heavier metallic core for additional weight, in either case these blades cut flesh as quickly and smoothly as scalpels.

The second variety of blades are AF blades, or active-frequency blades. These blades require an integral power source, and may be attached to a power-pack on the user. Unpowered, these blades are conventionally useful. When powered, however, the AF system allows the blades to cut through almost anything. By adjusting a high-frequency pulse in the blade, automatically, the blade will essentially melt, at the atomic level, whatever it comes in contact with, creating clean, smooth, and highly precise cuts through solid stone, metal, or even heavy armor. However, the blades take a moment to adjust to the surface they are cutting, and so, are less useful in quick combat than as tools.

Modifications

Modifications to one's body are difficult to come by, but generally enhance personal abilities greatly. These modificiations can be anywhere from minor, as an eye, or major, as a limb. Wrist terminals are considered modifications, but this one is common. Other modifications are less so, and tend to be frowned upon in city life. Modifications are of limited quantity and need to be re-used. Only a very few cities have new modifications, but even these are very rare, and produce new units slowly. Their cost is extreme, and happening across one can be a great find.

Thanks to more extensive modifications, some modified persons recieve extraordianry lifespan and resilience while their parts continue to operate. The active replacement of organs, and limbs has made the few wishing to attempt it social pariahs even in places where modifications are otherwise accepted.

Neural Interface Modification

Directly connecting the mind with computers, and other devices is an uncommon, but well understood process. These connections, attached to to brain stem by surgery, can enable incredible feats of computational mastery, enhancing both the modified person, and their ability to interact with computers. However, this system requires an overload switch, to ensure that the human mind is not traumatized by connection.

As an extension of Neural Interface Modification, a poorly-understood, and somewhat experimental pre-Sovereign technology has re-emerged in the form of complete Neural Adaptation. This is a form of Neural inferface which radically alters the user. Requiring extensive modification and surgery to the brain, as well as the spinal cord, and arms, the NAS (Neural Adaptation System) allows the user to operate powerful magnetic field generators. These generators can act as a shield against attack, and is radically more efficient than any kind of armor in that field. Further, they can allow the user to move and manipulate metal, and fucntion as a directed energy weapon. This modification is so dangerous, and expensive, that it is only known to have been attempted three times. In one case, it resulted in death. The second resulted in extreme madness, and the necessary destruction of the subject. The third was a success, but the subject's identity is unknown.

Less radical forms of the modication do exist, requiring less complete modification, and providing a lesser degree of utility in the end result. It is known that at least two prominent warlords, and one marauder have undergone this less invasive procedure.

General Knowledge Reference

This section is to adress some of the points of general knowledge that characters may, or may not be familiar with, depending on their areas of interest. All of these are well-known, some of them facts, some rumors, but in any case they do not require any particular specialization to be familiar with.

Places

Aerlan City - Rumored to be the largest of the moving settlements. Aerlan City does not travel like the others. It is rumored to move quite widely, but never travels through the desert, instead relegating itself to the ocean. Aerlan City travels between bridge-like ports which allow it to remain away from the shore, and allow it to retreat to safety whenever it needs to. As such, it is one of the few settlements which is safe from raiders, while maintaining a large degree of internal freedom. It is unknown how Aerlan City maintains resources.

Newman Republic - A large area created in a desert basin between an almost complete encirciling ring of low rocky hills, the Newman Republic is the closest place to Korvus City that can't be monitored by Sovereign. The inhabitants of the Republic maintain a local democratic government, and maintain a standard of living through the use of repurposed, and rebuilt drones from elsewhere. Inside the Republic, however, infighting is common, and the freedom to use drones has left them a powerhouse in the region, defensively, as the drones cannot leave the protection of the basin (how this basin is protected is unknown) without being taken over once more by Sovereign, the Republic is safe from invasion, but projects very little force outside of its borders.

Vetten Carrrier - A large mobile settlement, the Vetten Carrier operates in the desert. The closest thing to a battleship operating in the area around the Newman Republic and Korvus City. Its dealings are usually heavily one-sided, and it maintains both a vehicle and mounted-weapon armament which is uniquely powerful in the region. Active opponents of pirates and marauders, the officials of the Vetten Carrier are closer to a para-military organization, and although the Carrier has a civilian population, it is also an extremely well-armed civilian population. The Vetten Carrier is known to have a fleet of inactive combat drones at its disposal. Inactive, they are technically under Sovereign's control, however, the Carrier has been known to use them when inside the borders of a zone outside of Sovereign's control, to great effect.

Market City - Not so much a city as a factory, Market City's above-ground city is mostly destroyed and overtaken by desert. The underground factory still remains, however. Market City was abandoned at some point, but a group of travellers took up residence during one of the planet's more fearsome storms. Finding the factory still intact, and the drones inactive, the travellers re-established the link with Sovereign, by appointing Justices, and started a more permanent settlement. Thanks to a variety of factors, Market City became the second most prominent example of repurposing factory technology, aside from the RIG corporation. By dividing up the factory in living, and working quarters, and limiting the drones in movement and material, they began to create a series of small shops, all based on their own production. Although the drones couldn't be reprogrammed to produce unique items, by controlling what drones had access to what materials, many storeowners managed to produce goods which were of different function or design than the drones were intended to produce. Market City, has, therefore, become a hub for trade, and production. Wholly underground, only the lifts to and from the surface were maintained, and above-ground only a relatively small vehicle depot shows where Markey city is. Many trade caravans leave from, and make stops at, Market City.

People

Daniel Ryan - Industrialist and well-known arms merchant, Daniel Ryan is well know for his absolute amoralist attitude. One of the richest men in the world, Daniel Ryan's name is well known in almost all circles, and the "RIG" stamp on all the products of the Ryan Industrial Group are easy to find anywhere. Although his origins are unknown, what is known is that his wealth and success rely on his personal ownership of a drone-operated factory, and apparently, his control thereof. How Sovereign, which oversees all drone production in factories, factors into this is unknown, though his ability to modify designs speaks of a considerable wealth of technological information either of his own, or of his corporation.

Jean Arne - Well known pirate and marauder, Jean is a butcher and a widely-travelling criminal. Well known to attack even in cities and against enemies who can operate drones. Renowned for swiftness of attack, and retreat, never caught, and supposedly never wounded, Jean Arne is someone to avoid. Several bounties are issued for her capture, in several cities, though given the difficulty of cashing in a bounty even if she were caught, she will likely die before she is put on trial. Jean flies a small high-speed hovering ship, the Nomad. The Nomad is supposedly outfitted with a pair of heavy cannons, and some manner of stealth system.

Wells - A dangerous and enigmatic sniper, familiar name unknown. Wells is known as a contract-killer, and a deadly and efficient one at that. Known as a sniper thanks to his usual MO. He is known for walking great distances across the desert on foot, to avoid his transportation being seen, and firing at extreme range, with patience to match the precise nature of his shots. Considered to be within the law, or at least on the side of right, if only barely, in many places, his usual quarry are criminals, and bandits, though almost any time someone is killed at range, it is attributed to Wells, if the real killer can't be found. Wells appearence is unknown, he wears a heavy survival suit to survive alone in the desert, and never brings his transportation into cities.

Law

Many settlements follow varying and often simple legal systems. This section is meant to overview only the law of Sovereign. Sovereign's law is the only one which can be comprehensively studied since it never changes. Although many consider this to be a fault, in that the law is never modified to suit changing circumstances, it does afford an order and predictability to cities within which this code is used.

Sovereign's legal code is predicated upon only criminal law. Civil matters like contracts, and legal complaints from citizen to citizen are handled criminally, such that only an official may charge a citizen.

Only contracts made in presence of, and recorded by, a Justice are legally valid, breaking a contract that has been made this way is an offence. All others are considered void. However, in most instances, transactions proceed on trust, or with an immediate exchange of goods, and very little intervention is required. Public offers within cities, as those on bounty notices, are regularly recorded, and may be considred an open contract, binding only the offerer if they fail to pay.

Most crimes are covered, assault, murder, theft, kidnapping, destruction of property, fraud, etc. Under Sovereign's laws, the legal age of majority is 16, under this age, all citizens are considered to be under the care of their parents, who are held responsible for their actions, however, before this age, they cannot legally own property and do not have the freedom of movement, so their parents may commit what otherwise would be considered minor crimes, in their parenting.

There are two sections to a criminal proceeding under Sovereign. First, a crime must have taken place. This requires that a reasonable burden of proof be met by the Justice asked to investigate. If the Justice cannot find proof to reasonably establish that a crime has taken place, the evaluation of guilt will not proceed.

The second part, if a crime has taken place, is to establish guilt. Evidence is weighed, by Sovereign, against the possible suspects, and if the liklihood of guilt is over the threshold for doubt, then guilt is established. No judgements are made by a Justice in these matters, they are responsible only for gathering evidence, and taking statements.

Punishments are of three kinds. First, are fines. These can be seizure of property or monetary. Fines may be waged against future earnings if they cannot be paid in full. Second, is exile. This punishment follows from a finding of guilt in the matter of a crime which renders the person effectively anti-social in Sovereign's judgement, crimes like rape, grievous assault, and severe destruction of property fall into this category. Exile removes the guilty party from all Sovereign controlled societies. The final punishment is death. This punishment follows from murder, and is carried out by Sovereign's drones.

Certain crimes can be incepted in progress by police, or defended against by the victim. These are, murder, rape, kidnapping, and greivous assault. However, using a weapon, unathorized, within a city is a charge in itself, and can become a legal mess if reported.

Surveillance within cities, for the benefit of Sovereign's ability to administer law and order usually has very broad coverage. Every doorway is monitored by cameras in both directions, and all public areas have full coverage.

The role of Justices is still quite important. The only punishment for a crime above the level of minor assault, carried out by Justice, is death. However, Justices are therefore allowed far more leniency in thier administration of the powers for which they cannot be punished. Corruption is common, however, since they can only, at best, take private property, even corrupt Justices are considered to be bearable. Justices serve the dual role of assisting in Sovereign's administration of justice, and maintaining local rules, usually, cities will have some specific local regulations, enforced by the power of the Justice for search and seizure. Police are granted the ability to carry out Justices' orders as long as they too, do not overstep the restrictions placed upon Justices.

Sovereign

Although very little concrete information remains about what Sovereign actually is, it remains the object of much concern on the planet's surface. Thanks to its continued operation in administering law and order, as well as control of drone technology the world over, it is still known to be operational, though how its capabilities have decreased, if at all, since its comissioning, is unknown.

Occassionally cults arise which worship Sovereign, though these are usually targeted by marauders, as they often accompany an unjustified faith in Sovereign to provide for their personal security. Sovereign's actions are rarely ever felt outside of the cities which use its administration, however, it does, in fact, intervene under certain circumstance. What the threshold for intervention is, is unknown, however, in the few occasion where armies, even those without drones, have left the safety of protected zones, and moved to attack other settlements, the reprisal was severe. It is assumed that Sovereign still maintains a ban on warfare, though its failure to intervene in marauder and pirate attacks indicates that there is a defintion by which it guages warfare, as opposed to mere criminality.

There is often an assumed connection between Sovereign and those pieces of pre-Sovereign technology which remain in operation. Airships usually fall under this category, as they occasionally change course without warning, and may suddenly take up a new flight-path which can remain unaltered for years.

Claims that Sovereign might have developed consciousness as an emergent property of multiple networked AI cores is unsubstantiated, but a common theory among those who believe Sovereign to be an oppressor.
« Last Edit: March 11, 2011, 10:54:23 PM by PeacethatPowerbrings »

Offline PeacethatPowerbringsTopic starter

Re: Under Sovereign's Sky - Custom System, Small Group, Sci-Fi
« Reply #2 on: March 06, 2011, 05:53:47 PM »
Accepted Characters

Colin "Miles" Walker - Aiden

(Combat speciality, Long Range.)

Dawn Becker - Amelia

(Survival speciality, Medicine.)
« Last Edit: March 09, 2011, 06:12:45 PM by PeacethatPowerbrings »

Offline PeacethatPowerbringsTopic starter

Added a setting reference for more setting information. Anything that need clarification, or if you'd like to know more about something, just drop me a note, and I'll expand or clarify.

Offline Aiden

Posting interest!



Character Sheet:

Name: Colin "Miles" Walker

Age: 32

Appearance:




Colin stands at 6'1 with a tall but fairly lithe physique forged from a life time of travel. His musculature is  minimal but compact, underestimating him would be a fatal mistake. He carries a sun baked tan, it is obvious that he spends very little time within the protection of the large cities. Both of his eyes are hazel but one flickers multiple colors, those who get close enough notice his left eye is a prosthetic cybernetic eye that was the result of a accident in his child hood.

Bio:

Colin was born to become an engineer, his father was a middle man in one of the large companies that specialized in mining drones. As a young boy he went on numerous "field" expeditions to the mining sites protected by "guards" to inspect and administer repairs. He learned to love the open desolate land instead of the sterile and steel enclosure of the cities. Set on becoming an engineer himself he joined his family on any trip until they grew wealthy enough to retire in one of the finer cities.

He was in his pre-teens when a malfunction sent a piece of shrapnel in his eye, his parents spent all they could to get him a prosthetic. The device is modified to enhance his vision and future upgrades (over the years) have allowed him to have heighten vision in the dark, and a accurate distance reader. The colors of the eye flicker depending on the "mode" making it quite easy to read if one pays attention to him long enough.

In his mid 20's he was well underway to be a rising engineer when his team was ambushed on a routine equipment inspection. Over those years they had foolishly fell into a blanket of safety and began to hire less security. The land pirates ended up stealing valuable equipment and tools, killed their two guardsmen and two of his coworkers. Three of the female engineers where raped and taken, never found again  and Colin himself was beaten within an inch of his life and left to die. He lived only when a rescue mission was sent out, finding him and three survivors over a week later.

From that day he stopped his career as an engineer and focused on private security for caravans that leave the city. Along with his cybernetic eye he found wielding a sniper rifle a simple transition and he quickly earned a deadly reputation as a very effective guard.

Colin has taken out (Pirate) scouts from over a mile away, while moving and protecting his employers while en route to work sites. With a rifle in his hand he is not a man you want to find yourself within his cross hairs.

Personality:
Colin is not the one to dream of a high rise apartment in the sky (the modern day equivalent of a white picket fence). He enjoys a stiff drink a good game of poker and a romp with a busty female (pair for or not). He takes on any job as long as he is allowed to kill any threats without second thought, his hatred for "pirates" and hijackers is well known. When on the job he wears a black bandanna across his face mostly to hide the smirk on his face when he takes someone out from a mile away.

"I know what you're thinkin"



Stats: 0

Level: 1(??)
Tech: 2 ///Survival: 2 ///Combat: 6 (1+4 +1) ///Social:    0 (1-1*)
Specialty: Long Range Combat


Modifications-
Cybernetic (prosthetic) Eye-   +1 Combat /// -1 Social
*-1 on Social
« Last Edit: March 07, 2011, 11:28:47 PM by Aiden »

Offline PeacethatPowerbringsTopic starter

Accepted, for our first character.

Also, I've added a brief section on items.

Offline Aiden

Sweet!

Come on, let's get some more players!

Offline Sasha


 This looks interesting ....still reading .  Smiles ..

Offline PeacethatPowerbringsTopic starter

Hope you like it.

Added a section for general knowledge below the Setting Reference.

Offline PeacethatPowerbringsTopic starter

Added a section on environment in the Setting Reference, an entry for Market City under Places, and reference for Law.

Offline PeacethatPowerbringsTopic starter

Added a section with some World info to the Setting Reference.

Offline Amelita

This looks awesome, tickles my tabletop-nerd-side from teenage years and the setting looks like lots of fun. I'm definitely interested. I'm gonna read the whole thing over again and see if some fun girl pops up in my head ;D

Offline Kendra

  • don't miss me ... I'll be back before you know it
  • On Hiatus
  • Addict
  • *
  • Join Date: Oct 2010
  • Location: ... in your thoughts, your heart, running around playing havoc with your mind
  • I'll be thinking of you
  • My Role Play Preferences
  • View My Rolls
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Peace I'm going to keep this on the backburner if you don't mind. What with real life as it is and trying to catch up with games I already have still and researching a new one , time is very limited.
But the setting is brilliant and I would love at some point to get involved when things are less chaotic.
Good luck with it in the mean time and I hope you get the gamers you deserve
*hugs*

K

Offline Amelita

Here we go! Every part of this is flexible right now (aside from her gender) so please do make any comments :)



Name: Dawn Becker

Age: 28

Bio: Dawn grew up in double bladed luxury, the daughter of a wealthy merchant who got the greater part of his profits from illegal trading of various (normally) unobtainable goods. She was kept blissfully unaware of that side of the business for years and spend her days training to be a paramedic and her nights 'on display' in her father's dinner parties and events. She was his favorite and most affective tool to gain new business and seal deals that were moving too slowly for his taste. Dawn was dolled up, swept into the room and sat down with one of the men who needed a little persuasion. It was never physical, merely conversation and perhaps a little flirting if she was in the mood, but her charm made a difference and got other responses than the relentless pressing forward of her father.

She learned to use her looks and youth to get what she wanted, but as her father drilled that into her head her mother did her best to make a difference in other aspects of Dawn's life. It was her mother who encouraged her to study when that caught her interest as an adult, who reminded her that brains and skills were what mattered in the end, who imprinted the idea that perhaps her father's way of things wasn't always the best one even if it was the quickest.

When Dawn was in her late twenties, she stumbled upon the darker side of her father's trades. She secretly witnessed him deal with a man, fight over prizes and shoot that man in the back when he turned to walk away with the goods. When the man's body hit the floor it was as if something shifted in her mind. Suddenly she understood her father's obsession to have her learn how to handle a gun. Slowly but surely she started to hate her father and after a year and a half of digging and prying she had enough in her hands to turn him over to Justice.

By that time her mother had found out what was going on with her and convinced her to drop the matter. To focus on her own future instead of her father's. Dawn finished her training but when her father realized she had every intention of working as a paramedic he was furious. A work as lowly as that was nothing for his daughter and she would do as he told her or never set foot in his house again. Her mother stepped between them as the fighting got serious and both father and daughter backed off. Later that night Dawn heard them fighting and when she woke up she found her mother dead. It looked like an accident, like a trip down stairs caused by unfortunate placing of a vase in the first step from the third floor, but there was no doubt in Dawn's mind as to what had happened.

She grabbed what little money she had in her room and the necklace from around her mother's neck. It was a simple locket with a holographic image of the two of them when she was just a baby. Originally a gift from her father to her mother, but to Dawn it was as if taking a piece of her mother with her. She left the house and threaded the streets, ending at the address from a job posting she remembered. It was silly, but it was all she could pull from her exhausted mind at that moment. She was leaving anyway. Why not leave the city?



Stats
Level: 1

Tech: 1
Survival: 1+3
Combat: 1
Social: 1+3

Speciality: Medicine

Weapons: small handguns and knives

Modifications: A wrist terminal

Offline Aiden

Ohhh a silver spooned princess, awesome character Ame.  XD

Offline Amelita

Thank you ;D And yes, she should be much fun to write! 

Offline PeacethatPowerbringsTopic starter

Thats great, and absolutely accepted as our second character.

Offline PeacethatPowerbringsTopic starter

Peace I'm going to keep this on the backburner if you don't mind. What with real life as it is and trying to catch up with games I already have still and researching a new one , time is very limited.
But the setting is brilliant and I would love at some point to get involved when things are less chaotic.
Good luck with it in the mean time and I hope you get the gamers you deserve
*hugs*

K

Well, I'll be happy to have you involved when you're not as busy, we all know what a bit of chaos is like.

*Also, just separated and added to the Weapons section in the Setting Reference.

Offline PeacethatPowerbringsTopic starter

Added a note on Local Stellar Bodies, in the Setting Reference, seemed like it would be good to know. Also, added another short section under Modifications.

Offline Amelita

-bounces happily-

I so want this to work out! ;D

Offline PeacethatPowerbringsTopic starter

I had intended it to be a small group. One more character would be enough to start.

Offline PeacethatPowerbringsTopic starter

Added a short section on Sovereign itself in the Setting Reference.

Offline Sasha


 working on Character ...computer hacker ....that is what I am thinking anyways .

 

Offline PeacethatPowerbringsTopic starter

Having someone specializing in tech would certainly round out the characters.

Offline Sasha

Having someone specializing in tech would certainly round out the characters.

 Yes indeed ....don't get to excited . I am already preparing the sacrifices to be given to the dice roller ....for I know . I either have that character the dice roller loves or ....one that botches and fails to such an extreme that it becomes most comical . One never knows ......