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TOPIC: Stars Without Number

Stars Without Number 2 weeks 2 days ago #3192

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Stars Without Number
In the Beginning
Humanity’s interstellar history began in a musty instafab laboratory on a remote coast in northern Greenland in the year 2108. A small army of jury-rigged microfab plants and hotwired autofacs had been churning for years, painstakingly realizing the plans of their creator. Dr. Tiberius Crohn was an insular lunatic of the first water, a laughingstock among physicists and a regular font of absurd claims. Were it not for his admitted talent at wrangling autofacs he would likely have vanished into the twenty-second century’s faceless proletarian mass without so much as a ripple. His talents had gotten him the parts and resources to establish his laboratory in the radioactive wilds of Greenland, not far from the hot zone left by a missile from the Russo-European War. The glow masked the peculiar emissions from his test units, but in 2108 his work finally reached fruition. Crohn had invented the spike drive, the faster-than-light engine that would lift humanity to the stars. Even now, a thousand years later, researchers still wonder how Crohn managed to devise the mathematics and theories that supported the spike drive’s creation. Widespread claims of “alien influence” were debunked by later Mandate historians, but rumors of these “Mentors” are still stock space legends.
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Stars Without Number 2 weeks 2 days ago #3193

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a T ImelIne of The fuTure
2108: The spike drive is discovered by crank scientist Dr. Tiberius Crohn. Humanity moves almost overnight from a handful of science stations on the solar system’s inner worlds to all-out interstellar exploration. Numerous Terran governments seek the resources of new worlds.
2110: Several scout craft are lost while learning the limits of the spike drive. The dangers of excessive frequency climbing are recorded by survivors. 2113: The first habitable extrasolar world is discovered by the scout ship Magellan. The ship’s patrons promptly claim the world for Greater Europe and name it Renaissance.
2120: Pranashakti, the first life-bearing alien world, is discovered by a Pan-Indian scout ship. The organisms consist solely of plant analogues and some primitive marine life, but a generation of xenobiologists finds work in analyzing it all.
2130: The development of asteroid mining technology provides vast amounts of raw materials to Earth’s orbital shipyards and factories. Ship prices plunge, and numerous smaller organizations and states become capable of stellar exploration.
2150: The ruins of an advanced alien species are discovered on Typhon, an otherwise unremarkable gas giant moon. Archaeologists date the ruins to approximately 40,000 BCE. Dubbed “the Watchers” for the eye-like circular motifs on the ruins, few details are learned about the species.
2200: The First Wave of human expansion reaches its peak. Most habitable planets within a year’s travel time from Earth have been successfully colonized, many by small religious or ideological groups. Terran nations begin to forbid further exploration for fear of being unable to maintain control over their offworld colonies over such distances. The Terran Mandate is organized by Earth’s superpowers in order to ensure that Terran control of the colonies continues.
2240: “Metadimensional Extroversion Syn drome” begins to manifest in certain fifth-generation spacers. Occurring most often around puberty, the abilities exhibited by MES victims seem flatly impossible by normal scientific measure: telepathy, teleportation, precognitive flashes, and other abilities that defy understanding. The syndrome is inevitably fatal unless the victim avoids all use of their uncanny abilities.
2260: Some colony worlds begin to grow restive, and there are incidents of skirmishing and piracy on the frontier. Few disputes are over resources, but ideological and religious conflicts become more common. The Terran Mandate struggles to deal with the twelve-month message delay between Earth and the farthest colony worlds.
2275: Researchers on several deep-space colonies begin to develop methods for controlling the advance of MES, allowing its victims to use their abilities without inflicting permanent brain damage on themselves. The lives lost in this research are never fully numbered, but Terran governments rapidly move to control the research and training under the aegis of the “Psionic Authority”.
2280: Properly-trained MES carriers, known commonly as “psychics”,or more casually, as “Messes”, begin to use their abilities to assist governments and private enterprise. Numerous fields begin to benefit from the assistance of MES subjects, ranging from telepathic mental health providers to precognitive industrial managers. The Psionic Authority begins to experiment with more focused, industrially-useful psionic disciplines. Again, the cost in lives is undisclosed.
2315: The Psionic Authority perfects the first jump gate. A massive ring of psitech placed at the periphery of the solar system, the gate employs a choir of over fifty master teleporters to instantly translate ships to a matching gate at Renaissance. Gate dispersal is slowed by a lack of master teleporters, but eventually the transit time between Earth and the frontier is reduced to two days. The Earth nations lift the ban on further exploration now that their effective control is enhanced.
2330: The Second Wave of human colonization begins. Spike drive ships become all but unknown within the core worlds as the jump gates allow cheaper system ships to travel between the older colonies.
2350: Psitech-enhanced manufactory abilities and precognitive surveyors vastly increase the rate of viable colonization. Almost two billion humans leave Earth for the wealth and freedom of the colony worlds. The Terran Mandate begins to realize that they now lack the manpower necessary to maintain control over so many colonies, even with the reduced transit time.
2400: Obedience to Terran governments is now a polite fiction on the frontier, in those cases when it is acknowledged at all. The first stellar unions begin to form. Some neighboring worlds resort to war, but most colonists see no need for fighting with so many unexploited resources.
2425: The Terran Mandate has become deeply corrupt and hopelessly decadent. Its Directors concern themselves exclusively with their own interests, rivalries, and ideological obsessions. Only the AI Maestros of Earth act as a check on their actions, as the Directors are unable to effectively control the Mandate without the help of their AI adjuncts. These AIs struggle to maintain a basic level of probity among their creators.
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Stars Without Number 2 weeks 2 days ago #3194

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2450: The Second Wave is at its peak; it is the Golden Age of Man. The Terran Mandate has largely given up on exerting control over the frontier colonies, and now concentrates simply on neutralizing threats to the core worlds. Every description of human civilization and ideology can be found somewhere in human space, and cultures experiment with new forms of social organization.
2460: Human gengineering becomes common on some worlds as societies attempt to improve their members. Advances in longevity and health spread widely, but attempts to significantly improve human capabilities invariably bring serious drawbacks from system strain and unanticipated side effects. Still, some of the more zealous cultures are willing to accept these consequences in pursuit of the “perfect human”.
2500: Jump Gates begin to reach the frontier. Major systems are the first to receive them, while most of the minor worlds are still reliant on spike drive ships.
2550: Certain remote sectors of space have begun to embrace both gengineering and advanced AI integration to recreate humanity in ways more suitable to local ambitions. Some of these sectors continue to interact with their baseline human neighbors, while other transhumans are dangerously aggressive in their proselytization.
2600: Spike drive ships are now somewhat antiquated, serving a vastly reduced exploratory effort and as militia ships for the defense of local systems. Almost all core systems of importance are now linked with jump gates. Psitech has permeated even very basic technology on these worlds.
2665: The Scream erupts from somewhere within the Veil Nebula. Reconstructions of the event suggest that it was some form of faster-than-light psychic emanation, the wave propagating from one end of human space to the other within seventeen minutes. The Scream inevitably rendered a psychic either dead or hopelessly insane. The Jump Gate network collapses. A period of stellar isolation and chaos begins, now commonly called “the Silence”.
2665: On Earth, the maddened arch-psions known as the Crazed annihilate the planet’s infrastructure, destroy many AI Maestros, and pervert the Highshine nanite recovery system. The solar system’s defense grid is activated and made universally hostile to all starships. Earth vanishes from all surviving records.
2700: Countless core worlds die as they are cut off from vital food and technical supplies. Psitech manufactories are crippled, and only a relative handful of spike drive ships can be fabricated before the industrial base erodes. These ships band together for security.
2705: Frontier worlds fare better than core planets. More spike drive ships are available, and those worlds that have yet to receive Jump Gates were still devoting effort to autonomous agriculture and industry. Even so, the sudden loss of every human psychic leaves their many frontier worlds at survival-level subsistence.
2710: The last easily-salvaged remnants of Mandate pretech begin to wear out or become used up. The most useful or effective tech was often explicitly designed to be irreplaceable by frontier worlds in order to maintain the Mandate core’s monopoly on the technology. With the core worlds dead or consumed by struggle, this technology can now be found only in lost caches and Mandate ruins. Some worlds go to desperate extremes to maintain vital pretech infrastructure, utilizing dangerous methods or unstable repurposed tech.
2900: Attempts are made to recover the techniques of psychic training. The complete absence of any experienced psychic trainers hampers this effort, and the cost in psychic lives to recreate this training is enormous.
3050: The Silence starts to lift. Those worlds that did not experience a terminal collapse after the Scream finally begin to perfect techniques of large-scale manufacturing that do not rely on psitech.
3100: Spike drive ships begin the remapping of drill courses between stars. With almost five centuries of neglect, the pre-Silence rutters have become useless. The steady shifting of dimensional layers has rendered old course soundings dangerously inaccurate. All of the drill courses must be rediscovered through trial and potentially fatal error. Few Scavenger Fleets cooperate in sharing their course data due to fears of competition.
3150: Stellar unions start to form around the strongest worlds. Exploration continues, often in the hands of small traders and scout crews who are willing to risk all for the chance to open a route to an unplundered tomb world. Warfare erupts between unions contesting control over lost worlds and space installations.
3200: The present day.
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Stars Without Number 5 days 7 hours ago #3221

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Character Stats: 18, 14, 13, 12, 10, 9.

Character Classes:

Heroic Adventurers
Can take three partial classes or one full normal and one partial

Heroic Experts
As normal but once per scene they can take 12 non combat non psychic check, experts and partial experts roll 1d6 for fray dice

Heroic Psychics
Gain one bonus point of maximum effort one extra skill point to spend on psychic skills and techniques each time they advance a character level, and can pick four psychic disciplines as bonus skills at first level instead of two. As usual, no single psychic skill can start higher than level-1 during character creation. Psychics and Partial Psychics roll 1d4 for their Fray die, but can apply it to any enemy, and not just lesser foes.

Heroic Warriors
As the normal Warrior class, but their attack rolls always hit lesser foes, those enemies with equal or fewer hit dice than the PC has character levels. Heroic Warriors always win initiative in combat unless surprised or facing other Heroic Warriors. In the latter case, both roll normally and act before other combatants. Warriors and Partial Warriors roll 1d8 for their Fray die.

Heroic Arcanists
As the normal Arcanist class, but gain one extra spell preparation slot for every level you are capable of casting. In addition, gain bonus slots equal to your character level; you can use these bonus slots to cast any spell you know, whether or not you’ve prepared the spell and regardless of the spell’s level. If used to fuel abilities that require burning spell slots, treat them as slots of the highest level the Arcanist can cast. Arcanists and Partial Arcanists roll 1d4 for their Fray die, but can apply it to any enemy, and not just lesser foes

Heroic Magisters
As the normal Magister class, but you learn one extra spell per level you are capable of casting. In addition, choose one spell from every level you are capable of casting; you may cast these chosen spells as often as you wish, though you can’t use them to fuel foci or abilities that require you to burn spell slots. You can change which spells you nominate for free casting with a day’s work. Magisters and Partial Magisters roll 1d4 for their Fray die, but can apply it to any enemy, and not just lesser foes.

Heroic Adepts
Because an Adept class tends to have so many unique and specific powers, it’s not possible to provide a single easy template for scaling it upwards. Some GMs will be able to boost a given Adept class relatively easily, giving it additional abilities or giving them access to higher-level powers at a lower PC level. Other Adept classes are resistant to such changes. In most cases, the simplest solution is to let such a PC be a Heroic Adventurer, taking the full normal Adept class and then a partial class appropriate to their general concept. If the Adept’s magical abilities are mainly combat-oriented, their Fray die is 1d6. If the Adept’s abilities are less martially-focused, their Fray die is 1d4. In both cases, they can apply the damage to any target, and not only those who are lesser foes.
Last Edit: 4 days 15 hours ago by Sarge.
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Sarge - Thu 16 Aug - 18:50

I won’t be there tonight as Mel has cancelled. See you next week

Sant - Thu 9 Aug - 18:57

Lvl 5 5e

mikeawmids - Thu 9 Aug - 16:31

Sant, what game / level ?

Sant - Thu 9 Aug - 16:10

Mike you can join in your game

TheRanger - Thu 9 Aug - 15:45

Of course ya can mike. Just bring a lvl 1 character along :) same to anyone else whos lacking a game tonight :)

Inept - Thu 9 Aug - 14:23

allAs Garuda concluded the SK stuff last week, I wont be there tonight. enjoy!

mikeawmids - Thu 9 Aug - 12:25

I am at a loose end tonight if I can get in on some of that sweet D&D action, plz?

TheRanger - Wed 8 Aug - 23:40

No worries Bane. and just so its out there, for anyone who doesnt have a game tomorrow, ill be running a one shot dnd campaign. if interested just bring a lvl 1 character :)

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