The Setting.   Posted by Vizva.Group: 0
Vizva
 GM, 8 posts
 Universal
Sun 6 Nov 2016
at 23:31
The Setting
The outcome of this thread is to determine what setting the group wants to tackle.

Setting options

A. SWN Canon; Majority vote
sandbox;
Medium or Large, randomly generated sector;
Player factions could be anything reasonable;
No strict adherence to GM Faction Turns.

There is a detailed timeline of events in the SWN Free PDF that is recommended reading for this option. Not very heavy text; dot point list style.

B. Small Human colony looking to cement their position & expand;
sandbox with GM plot; limited to 1 or 2 hex;
Less randomly generated;
Player factions would be niche groups with human society.

C. Post-apocalyptic sci-fi;
sandbox;
limited to a small number of worlds/hex;
Less randomly generated;
Player factions would be communities trying to survive.

Thematic guides

Winning condition for the group: an interesting story.

Gritty, rough, edgy.

Space opera/adventures. Firefly meets Alistair Reynolds.

Tech flavours from 70s/80s/90s era films.

Mysteries, investigation, exploration. X-Files meets Stargate.

Focus on journey & growth of each character & faction.

I'm not interested in big military or army-based themes.

---

Ultimately I think it comes down to the scale we want to play at. Ie, a single city, or a world, or a few worlds.

If we start small, we can increase the scale over time. For example, starting in one city, the factions might strive to explore the system around them. It might take 20 turns to get there; so the early game would be about gaining resources, influence & assets at a city level to enable the step up to interplanetary scale.

Questions for players:

What is your preference of the 3 setting options listed above in Settings Options?

This message was last edited by the GM at 00:43, Tue 08 Nov 2016.

Ito Daisuke
 player, 2 posts
Sun 6 Nov 2016
at 23:40
The Setting
I personally prefer A, because I'm a Stars Without Number fanboy. Also, as a GM, I found the randomly generated planets/sectors incredibly fun.

For those not familiar, the setting in SWN is very loose, which is part of why it appeals to me. Basically humanity reached the stars using an invention called "the spike drive", which allows travel through "non-Euclidean" space or something like that. So FTL travel... but one that takes days to get to a different star system.

Traveling through these non-Euclidean dimensions left an imprint on the travelers' genetics. Later generations developed psychic powers, but these psychic powers were very dangerous and inevitably lead to the practitioner either burning out their brain or going dangerously insane. Over a long period of time, they discovered certain training protocols that allow psychics to use their power safely. Significantly, though, this training requires a human master: books, simulations and other media simply doesn't cut it.

So the spike drive was developed, which led to psychics being developed, which in turn lead to things called Jump Gates being developed. A bunch of specialized psychics could move spaceships between systems much more quickly and efficiently than the old spike drives ever could. This became the preferred method of transit, and humanity spread across the stars.

And then the Scream happened. The Scream was a sort of psychic surge that killed all living psychics... which of course meant no new psychics that were born could be trained, either. This also made the Jump Gates inoperable, and since spike drives have a limited range, entire star systems were effectively stranded from their rulers, benefactors, and vital resources. The game is set some time after (hundreds of years I think?), with humanity reverting to spike drives and trying to piece together their fragmented civilization. Psychics are still around, but are rare: a few worlds have managed to piece together some functional psychic training protocols, but not many.

Phew. Okay, that's longer than I anticipated but those are the broad strokes.

I would not at all be opposed to starting small and working to a bigger scale, and I think the SWN setting could be used to that purpose.

A significant element of the setting is that, since humanity is a giant diaspora, with certain planets more harshly affected by the Scream then others, each world has differing level of technology. Some are stone age, some are roughly contemporary with us, and others are super advanced, almost as if the Scream didn't happen. This might help us because pretty much any concept can fit in the sector: a nomadic tribe of brutal post-acalyptic scavengers of ancient technological ruins can live "right next door", so to speak, to a hyper-advanced technological utopia/dystopia.

This message was last edited by the player at 23:44, Sun 06 Nov 2016.

Vizva
 GM, 9 posts
 Universal
Sun 6 Nov 2016
at 23:45
The Setting
This is a great summary, Ito! Thanks for this write up :)

Also worth noting - characters can be pyschics. However, they need access to medicine to stop their brains from burning out... Also, generally speaking they are much physically weaker than the other 2 classes (Warrior, & Expert) at early levels.

This message was last edited by the GM at 23:53, Sun 06 Nov 2016.

Nameless One
 player, 3 posts
Mon 7 Nov 2016
at 06:18
The Setting
I would prefer setting A. Setting C is my secondary preference. SWN gives so much room for interesting things to happen through its randomly generated sectors and planets.
Vizva
 GM, 18 posts
 Universal
Tue 8 Nov 2016
at 00:47
The Setting
Ok; so we'll roll with the purer SWN setting.

However - as GM I can get overloaded very quickly if the scale of the game is too vast.

I'd love to start off in 1 system, 2 systems max.

I'll be rolling up 'opposing' factions for each of yours that gets created.

Too many GM factions = too much of a time-leech on me. So I need to strike a good balance. Otherwise I'll lose interest/burn out, or at least the post rate will grind to snail's pace.

Thoughts?
Nameless One
 player, 5 posts
Tue 8 Nov 2016
at 05:14
The Setting
Sounds good to me.
Ito Daisuke
 player, 5 posts
Tue 8 Nov 2016
at 05:52
The Setting
Setting sounds great to me, as does "co-op until we have reason not to "co-op."

To reduce your workload a bit, maybe have just one or two opposing factions, and up their starting power level / size?

Having a superior foe would give the disparate factions a pretty organic reason to cooperate, after all.
Maidens
 player, 2 posts
Tue 8 Nov 2016
at 06:40
The Setting
I'm happy with Setting A. Thanks for the intro to it, Ito.
I'm not familiar with SWN or Fate, so that was useful. I'm sure I'll pick them up as we go.
A couple of bigger GM factions might be harder to figure out initially, but I agree, they could be easier to run than a host of little ones in the longer term - especially as they all grow.
Vizva
 GM, 23 posts
 Universal
Thu 10 Nov 2016
at 22:39
The Setting
Could everyone please give me 2 names suitable for planets & systems?

Lurky, you too if you want to play the meta game :P
Nameless One
 player, 8 posts
Fri 11 Nov 2016
at 06:28
The Setting
Here's two names:

Utraxis
Vizva Lieter
Ito Daisuke
 player, 6 posts
Fri 11 Nov 2016
at 22:21
The Setting
Here's my two names:
Heimdallr
Yuki-Onna
Maidens
 player, 4 posts
Sat 12 Nov 2016
at 12:20
The Setting
Aster
Pelion
Vizva
 GM, 48 posts
 Universal
Mon 21 Nov 2016
at 13:37
The Setting
Ok; so I'm thinking about a hook that brings your factions together to interact... A few ideas have floated around:

- Planetary Council (Government): Where the boss' have been elected to represent their people/followers

- Planetary Trade Guild: A collection of factions/organisations with a vested interest in healthy trade (+2 Votes)

- Secret Society/Alliance: An enclave of factions who may (or may not) need help from each other to gain momentum (+1 vote)

Please float your own ideas; or vote for one of the above.

This message was last edited by the GM at 00:15, Tue 22 Nov 2016.

Maidens
 player, 12 posts
Mon 21 Nov 2016
at 17:23
The Setting
The trade guild fits best with my faction.
Ito Daisuke
 player, 15 posts
Mon 21 Nov 2016
at 18:13
The Setting
Yeah, I'd say the reason that makes the most sense will depend a lot on what the Factions are. Is there any compelling reason our Factions should start out secret from one another? I don't see any. So, presuming not...

I'm playing the Chirurgeon Industrial Concern, a secretive corporation specializing in cyberware. I'm going for a very Shadowrun-feel with my Faction, right down to the Japanese guys with cybernetic limbs engaging in corporate espionage stuff.

As such, I think they'd fit in just fine with a trade guild or a secret society. I don't think they'd be open about being on a Planetary Council, but they might be there in lobbying or "advisory" capacity. They're all about being underhanded, after all.
He who hasn't been named
 player, 11 posts
Tue 22 Nov 2016
at 02:43
The Setting
Is it too wishy-washy to vote for all three?  I think that all of the groups have potential, and  if members are part of one or more groups, it creates a chance for more dynamic interactions, as well as some room for information and influence brokering within each of the different "theaters."

So my organization, an academic think tank, could be attached to the Trade Guild as a commercial entity, but also be involved in the government as an advisory body, or the "secret society" as a tech broker.
Nameless One
 player, 13 posts
Tue 22 Nov 2016
at 03:02
The Setting
My organization is a church, so a trade guild doesn't really have much to do with it. The planetary government also seems like too much of a stretch at the moment. I'd have to cast my vote for the secret society.

As a small aside, there's nothing to say that we can't all form into a government council later on, if it's in our interests. Same with a trade agreement.
Maidens
 player, 19 posts
Tue 22 Nov 2016
at 20:59
The Setting
Since we're doing revelations, my faction is a group of female New Age peaceniks who are into organic farming. However, they are not typical Greenpeace types, they're sort of Amazon Shaolin warrior peaceniks...
Vizva
 GM, 53 posts
 Universal
Tue 22 Nov 2016
at 21:12
The Setting
It seems the secret alliance is the leading option.

Now... This sets us up to have your factions share a common goal of some kind or simple reason for being in an enclave amidst a bustling planet/system.

Common enemy?
Bosses are school friends who grew up together?

Any ideas to make this cohesive?
Randomise the reason with a roll?