Thursday, February 14, 2013

Space Opera: The Basics

Working on fleshing out my Sharn Hack made me realize that there were a few ideas in that I would love to use in a slightly different way. Two different ways to be precise. The first would be to make a straight up DnD style hack. A hack that uses FATE to emulate the best bits of DnD in my mind. I will get to that HAck tomorrow. Today I will be focusing on the other thought I had. I want to do a game that is reminiscent of Star Wars, but is NOT Star Wars. What do I mean by this? Simply put I would like to use some of the themes that I see in Star Wars and put them into FATE. However this will not really be a hack, as I plan on doing actual world building. This will be a bit reminiscent of Traveller as well, in that the setting will be revealed in a series of adventure and through use of the rules(I hope). So this is going to be my own thing, but based on several other things. Other influences will be: Mass Effect(primarily the first one), Simon R. Green's Death Stalker, Saga of the Seven Suns, Guardians of the Galaxy, and just a touch of Buck Rogers and Farscape.

The game is High Space Fantasy. There is space magic(the force, biotics, psi, whatever) that can be learned by anyone. There are massive space fleets standing over single environment planets(ice planet, swamp, world, etc), habitable planets and sentient aliens abound, and everyone speaks english. The player will be playing members of a Space UN Task force that operates slightly outside the law to deal with threats to the galaxy.

Now, the Space UN only carries weight in a small percentage of the galaxy, there are two other general areas of space that are spoken of, the non-aligned worlds and Farspace. The Non-Aligned Worlds are the areas of space that refused to join Space UN when they were first met by explorers. this is usually a bunch of xenophobes, pirate clans, and petty warlords. Farspace is unexplored areas of space, the dark places in the galaxy. Here, they say, be dragons.

Rules
Aspect Generation
High Concept: You are the best of the best, a representative of your government and people to the galaxy at large. Keep this in mind when you are making this aspect.
Trouble: What is your greatest weakness? What causes you the most trouble in life? Are you aware of your flaw or is it a constant surprise?
Origin: Were you born planet side? What kind of planet was it? How did this affect your life and ambitions. A few sample planets will be added at the end of this, but feel free to make up your own.
Trial by fire: what was your great moment of recognition? what caused the powers that be to put your name forward as a possible candidate for the special task force? Are you proud of this act or moment? Or was it a terrible tragedy that you managed to survive? Perhaps it was stranger still than that.
Shakedown: once you were first assigned to the Task Force you were sent on a trial mission with an experienced agent overseeing your actions. Generally you are teamed up with other new recruits, these are the other player characters. THis is how you met and what you did. Talk it over with the other players and discuss what kind of mission it was, and how you went about dealing with that mission.

Skills
The basic skill list will remain largely the same, only the names have been changed(to protect the innocent).
Momentum(athletics)
Security(Burglary)
Contacts
Technology(Crafts)
Deceit(Renegade/dark side...well ok probably not)
Pilot(drive)
Insight(empathy)
Close Combat(fighting)
Intimidate(WAY Renegade/Dark side)
Investigate
Education(Lore)
Reconnoiter(Notice)
Physique
Rapport
Resources
Firefight(Shooting)
Stealth
Grit(Will)

Stunts: I think that space magic(whatever I decide to call it) will work a lot like my innate magic stunt from my Sharn Hack. So that is that. I will do more stunts as I go along in this design, should people want them.

Equipment
Weapons: each weapon has a rating, from one to four. if you would do less than your weapon rating then you do weapon rating in stress. If you roll higher then nothing changes. there are no lasers or blasters, most weapons are electrochemically driven or magnetically driven projectiles. Basically you fire a small shard of metal at incredible velocity toward your enemy. There are variants on this theme and not all cultures have the same level of weapons tech. There is also a preponderance of hand to hand weapons as Shields have made them viable on the battlefield once again.

Armor: Weapon technology has negated all traditional armors. The invention of The Shield has made many weapons untenable. If you have a shield it prevents stress over a certain amount from a given attack. basically it is the maximum stress you can take from an attack under normal circumstances. The Shield works by preventing objects moving at a certain speed or higher from passing it by. The shield can be bypassed by massed fire(shooting it till it collapses) or by slowing your attack(the slow blade cuts deep). Both of these are handled by creating advantages. If you use an advantage that negates the shield(overwhelming fire, slow blade, and the like) you can ignore the shield rating that round.

Weapons and ratings
Knife: 1
Sword/spear: 2
Axe/pick: 3
All ranged weapons: 4

Shields and ratings:
Civilian Shield: 2
Military' Grade Shield: 1

I think I may use some of the rules from my Aeon Trinity hack for space fighters and equipment(mostly for strange alien equipment(I like my Biotech rules and will probably use them for some alien tech)

Alien Races
Here are the primary Alien Races of Space UN(definitely need a better name for that) and a brief description of them. More information will be given as the adventures proceed.

Gura'oh: A militant meritocracy, the Gura'oh(Gura singular) are the living embodiment of survival of the fittest. They have several client races(read conquered races) they see Space UN as the best way to keep track of the rest of the galaxy and keep their space unmolested. They have the largest fleet, but most of it is spread out o each of its colony worlds. THey are large and fast semi-reptilians.

Taurai: Every member of this ancient and long lived race has access to space magic. they have a low birth rate but live for at least a thousand years. They are unified as a species only when dealing with outsiders, outside of that each is seen a a law unto themselves. They are relatively pacifistic, using ritual combat when dealing with serious areas of disagreement(generally over territory). They are a plant like species, tall and thin, there coloration blends into the background normally, shifting slightly from moment to moment to better match.

Tesh: Tesh are a short lived(forty years max) species. Matriarchal and masters of long term planning they have access to a racial memory of some kind, no one is quite sure how it works, but a Tesh has access to the memories of all those in its direct line. The further back the memory, the more difficult and hazy the memory. They are master manipulators, seeing the universe as one long game. Lineage is very important, as is mating. They are a short hairless race, delicate looking and wiry. They tend to react as though they new whatever was going to happen was in their plans all along, they have a very monotone voice.

Humans are newcomers to the galactic civilization. Their first interstellar colony was discovered by a galactic scout a mere hundred and twenty years ago. Humans are the most militant and expansionistic of the races of the Space UN. in the short time they have been a member they have colonized twenty new worlds. This has alienated some of the other Space UN races. The Humans get along the best with the Gra'oh, though that may just be a ploy by that species to keep ones enemies close, so to speak. Humans have been trying to unify for all those years but there are still many factions of humans who do not wish to be ruled by anyone, not even in the face of multitudes of alien species.

Planets
Thoth: planet of learning. this is the great library planet of the galaxy, all are welcome but no violence in word or action is allowed. The Librarians will brook no violation of that one law. the Librarians are Bio-androids designed to be the ultimate being, programmed  to care for the library and its residents. the citizens of Thoth are those how maintain the Librarians and those who are descended from such people.

Bagdao: A dismal swamp planet on the edge of civilized space. few live there and it only has a token membership in Space UN. There are rumors that Bagdao holds many secrets of ancient star faring peoples, so it tends to attract a certain kind of attention. Archeologists, treasure hunters, and the disenfranchised are the majority of inhabitants of this small planet. there are many dangers in the swamp, creatures, disease, and worse.

Silence: the pride of the Terran Majority( the largest government of humans), Silence is a paradise. Green hills, purple mountains, waves of grain, all that stuff. Its primary resources are tourism and farming. People are happy, bored but happy. There are no large predators on the planet and the few viruses and bacteria have been eradicated for nearly a century.

Next post will be the first adventure: Silence Falls.