Jan 182011

Greetings from the sunset world.

Long time no chat. But worry not, development continues carefully, protected by layers of secrecy so deep and black in nature that, dear reader, for your own safety I cannot reveal anything. But having said that, against my better judgment, I reveal the elite mobile infantry unit: Incursion Unit November – Jandras’ Junkers.

Created for a nasty urban insurgency, the Gray Wolf ‘R’ series war strider was intended for drop into occupied zones, where its technological superiority and high mobility could be used for lightning strikes against enemy concentrations while avoiding roads and improvised explosives. November Unit has since gone rogue and now sells their services to the highest bidder.

4 squad members: Jer, Miki, Zendra, Vim; 1 fp each

Gray Wolf strider Series R

Mobile MEK Platform

Mobile Infantry Unit

4ap Lasers

1 right arm neural linked chain gun

1 left arm combat chain saw

Morale 2: OO

Move 4

T2

Skills: Direct fire 4, H-to-H 1, Movement(3)4, Veteran 2

Stunts: Cavalry-light (+1 movement), Agile, Scout

Aspect: Neural Linked Chain gun, Out-of-ammo

Leader: Jandras, 2 fp

Gray Wolf strider Series R1

Mobile MEK Platform – Leader1

Mobile Infantry Unit

4ap Lasers

1 right arm neural linked chain gun

1 left arm shoulder mount AA missile rack

Leader unit – 2 actions

Morale 2+2: OOOO

Move 4

T2

Skills: Direct fire 4, Anti-aircraft 1, Movement(3)4, Veteran 2

Stunts: Cavalry-light (+1 movement), Agile, Scout, Logistics Genius

Aspect: Neural Linked Chain gun, Agility Turbines, Out-of-ammo

As mercenaries they are forced to rely on their employers to provide battlefield support for signals warfare and retooling. Several times this “help” has fallen though. Jandras has earned a reputation for getting his troops through the roughest of scrapes. His current squad are ruthless slackers who despite their extreme laziness in camp are a by-the-book band of fanatical vets in the field. They are dedicated to closing a contract neatly and efficiently, so they can return to their boozing and carousing.

Posted by Lodger Tagged with: , , ,
Apr 052010

Greetings from the Internet’s secret back alley,

Earlier I promised to share some of the development I did for my Deluge campaign. So here’s a couple of things I’m using for my campaign.

I’ll be using Diaspora for characters and base system with a little bit of Star Blazers Adventures for survivor village statistics.

Diaspora is a hard science sort of game, so some of the skills don’t apply to a survival game. I removed the skills Energy Weapons, MicroG, Culture/Tech, and stripped the [space] trapping off Navigation, Gunnery, and Engineering. I added the skills Scuba and Ballistic Weapons (Bows, Crossbows, Slings).

This simple skill conversion covers all my requirements for the story I want to weave. The Profession skill acts as a catchall for player desires.

Character Generation Phases are an important part of Diaspora. They are no less so for my Deluge game.

Characters: 10 aspects, 3 stunts and everyone starts with 5 Fate points.

Phase 1: Growing up – You grew up in the hot wet ruins of Deluge. What did you learn?

Phase 2: Starting out – Village life. It takes a village to raise a child in the future. What was yours like? Choose a motivation as one of your two aspects.

Phase 3: Close encounter of the third kind – No one knows what they are. But, at some point everyone sees one. What did your glimpse teach you?

Phase 4: Disaster – It rains everyday. Some days are worse. What was your bad day?

Phase 5: Here and now – Why are you here? What are you doing? Choose a duty as one of your two aspects.

Note on the “Have a Thing” stunt: that advanced piece of equipment you wanted? It’s ancient tech from before the rain. That makes it T0 at the highest level (T-1 is normal for PCs, lower is always available). Usually these things are special versions of existing equipment. This stunt can now include modified ammo types or special loads because ammo is becoming increasingly scarce. When your special ammo is gone, though, it’s gone. Time to pick a new stunt.

Deluge has a sanity check; Diaspora doesn’t. But Fate has a way of simulating this.

Sanity composure hits: terrifying things such as:

  1. The first time you get hit in a fight
  2. The first time a bear talks to you
  3. The first and every time you see an angel

These all cause Composure damage. The first damage rule is from Diaspora and I won’t be changing that. The other two (and anything else your Gm (I) wants) will call for the player to make a flat 4df roll to resist, modified by your Resolve.

Here’s my table:

  1. Talking bear: Sanity check = +1
  2. Seeing a giant octopus or intelligent squid: Sanity check = +2
  3. Alien angel creature: Sanity check = +3

Example: Billy Bob has ducked into a dark cave to avoid a cannibal raiding party. He should have checked better before entering. A deep gruff voice growls, “Who goes there?” Billy turns to find himself looking down the gaping maw of a massive shotgun held one-handed by the paw of a 10-foot tall grizzly. The GM calls for a flat roll of 4df. Billy rolls a -1. His Resolve is +2 and because it is greater then the bear’s +1 rating, it adds an additional +1 to his roll, making it a +0. Billy is about to take a 1-point hit to his Composure when the GM offers him a Fate point saying, “This is a creepy cave.” If Billy accepts the Fate point, he takes a 3-point hit to Composure. He may need to buy off this damage with a Consequence such as “I wet mah pants, dang.” He can also deny the compel at the cost of a Fate point he may need later. He’ll still take the one Composure if he does, though.

Villages are going to have a stat block, but I haven’t finished thinking about it yet. I’m thinking that the random tables will be providing some of the aspects that villages will be using. Possibly more on this later.

Diaspora recommends the use of imagery as a tool for delivering story points, so here are mine. I chose three to start with.

  1. An ancient stadium half-flooded with black sea water and wrapped in jungle creepers. A crowd screams for blood as twelve convicts are led to two oar-driven whale boats and armed with wicked harpoons. A ripple in the black water betrays the presence of something huge, intelligent, and many-armed as it races towards the boats. Jetting around the various floating debris and artificial islands dotting the arena, it closes in on its meal.
  2. An insane bear named Charlie standing many times the height of the humans it guides. Its thick fur scarred in ritual patterns. Its voice wrinkled by time and alien knowledge. It rambles and stares at its surroundings, seeing nothing and yet something more. A failed experiment given new and terrible potential.
  3. In the heat of the jungle, bacteria and fungus grow in infinite number. The old ways are gone forever. Those who embraced the ancient before the fall carried the future in their dreams of steam and independence. A village viewed from above is lit in brilliant blue-white arc lights. Freshly hand-wound generators turned by methane made in industrial anaerobic digesters. Anachronism made modern by a new order of brass and cog.

Weapons and equipment:

Anything could be justified with a stunt.

The state of the art varies by village from late Stone Age (T-4) to later industrial (T-1). The players’ starting tech will be decided by their home village. The average is crossbow, iron spear or sword, and leather armor. The typical vehicle is a cart and ox affair. In more elaborately supplied areas, the occasional cart and elephant will be seen.

Description: The Sundown World

The sunset world has passed into darkness and storm. The fall did not come as anticipated. Another intelligence has chosen our world for its home. As H. G. Wells once wrote, “Yet across an immense ethereal gulf, minds that are to our minds as ours are to the beasts in the jungle, intellects vast, cool and unsympathetic, regarded this earth with envious eyes and slowly and surely drew their plans against us.” They came unbidden and unnoticed and in the blink of an eye, our world fell to eternal storm. The rain became our master. One hundred and fifty years later a new human stalks the jungles. A hardier breed resistant to disease and wound. Lean and hungry, these new children stalk the ruins of the old world, searching for their heritage and building their new world on the bones of the sunset world.

Posted by Lodger Tagged with: , , ,
Feb 142010

Hello my Lodgers,

To begin, VSCA games has released Deluge, a systemless pdf-only experiment under the Creative Commons Non-Commercial Share Alike license.

“One hundred years ago it began to rain and never stopped.“

The document is 34 pages and covers the Deluge setting in a toolbox fashion. It is intended that the purchaser use the contents to “Delugify” their home town. Details and resources for how this works are included. I hope to detail this and provide some transparency for my design decisions in an upcoming entry.

The setting includes aliens, talking bears, killer squids and five character “classes,” all laid out with the idea that a GM will be splicing their favorite system to the setting. Personally, I like what I saw.

That’s about all I’m going to give away. I have another plan in mind for Deluge. The license (and VSCA permission) allows me to distribute it as long as I don’t make money off it. With that in mind, I will now announce the beginning of the Diaspora Weapons Testing Ground – Malfeasance Range. Here’s how it will work. Buy a copy of Diaspora, or if you’re still holding out (why? Don’t make me come over there), go to the system reference documents and create a unique weapon using the rules provided.

The rules:
1.Weapon must be original design. No grabbing stuff from the book. I own that as well and I’ll know. 😉
2.The Range’s format must be followed (see below). I insist on this because a weapon is more then the sum of its stats. Players don’t remember their first +1 sword. But they do remember the blackened steel blade and the hilt wrapped intricately with the hide of a shadow wolf: the +1 sword named Wolves’ Bane.
3.I’ll choose the winner. Actually my team will but I’ll be taking the blame.
4.Contest ends when I have ten entries. So speed counts in this instance.

The Format: (example)
Title: Grandpa’s Modified Mining Laser (T1)
Stats: Harm-0 Pen-1 Min Range-0 Max Range-1 Stunt:Civilian (4 Bp total)
Description: A large laser pistol modified from its original industrial purpose. Blunt-nosed, the barrel is cut away at the sides to reveal the focusing lens, which shines a translucent blue when not in use and brilliant red when being fired. The weapon is powered by a cable-fed belt pack. The underside of the barrel is decorated in tribal fashion by three fetishes: an Iron ship signifying home, a small white figure signifying easy targets, and an Iron hand signifying the Iron handshake.
History: Conflict among the tribes of the Triskadar Belt revolves around resources. One such battle occurred between the Iron Tribe and Copper Tribe. An Iron frigate/miner had been ambushed by three Copper vessels near a contested asteroid field. The Iron frigate, badly damaged, fled into the field and exploded. The Copper vessels, believing the threat had passed, tethered and prepared to recover their salvage and begin mining. They were taken completely by surprise by eleven Iron Tribe warriors disguised as debris. The attackers used breaching charges on the command cabin of the tethering vessel. What followed was a vicious corridor to corridor skirmish that would be remembered in legend. While the Iron warriors killed the retreating crew, their best hacker used the tethering controls to vent atmosphere and sabotage the other vessels. The helpless crews desperately struggled to disengage their tethers. Thus was the term “Iron handshake“ coined for the tactic they used that day.

The winner will receive a copy of Deluge for their personal use.

Please post you entries in the comments section for all to see.
I look forward to your entries.

Side note: While playing Diaspora, play the song “A Glorious Dawn” by Carl Sagan and Symphony of Science. I thought it captured the feeling of the farmer in the first pages of the book.

Posted by Lodger Tagged with: , , , , ,
Nov 192009

Sorry, sorry…I know I said I’d try for one post a week. But I have a really good excuse. You see, there was this monkey, a giant space monkey. He needed a ride home and I was heading that way so I said, “What the hell. Why not?” Well, you’ve probably noticed my bandages by now, right? No? Well, never mind then. Suffice it to say the monkey and I have gone our separate ways. I got bandages and he got tetanus. (Long story.)

So, how about two quick posts this week to make up for my negligence? I knew you’d agree.

Part 3 of my Diaspora adventure. I post here  my player’s writeup.

Diaspora, Iron Spiral’s first adventure, 11/14/09  Note: My player came up with a new name, so cool.

IS (Iron Spiral) was selling lichen at some market somewhere, when the GM decided to try the social mini game. There was one other salesperson there, a woman also selling lichen. We had one customer, a man who to start with wasn’t looking at either of our stalls; he was checking out refractory materials nearby. IS decided to say to him, “Hey, what do you think of that near miss between two ships last week that almost caused a political scandal between Gemma and Demon Rock?” or something close to that, because she recognized that he was a pilot from his clothing. He said he was a pilot, but hadn’t been there. She said, “But I saw you on the news!” That caused him to say he hadn’t been there, but he had been on the news before. The other saleswoman said something like “Come get your lichen cakes while they’re hot,” which failed to grip him. IS turned out to have a fancy lichen sculpture/painting of two fleets of ships in front of a nebula. The ships were made out of iron, the rest out of variously colored and textured lichen (IS has a high Art skill). The pilot came over and admired the artwork. He said he was a Gemman pilot of a trade ship, and then he lowered his voice and said they had a goddess on board. IS asked what she was the goddess of, and he said the goddess of light and shadows, which turned out to mean that she could use a technology that could create impressive light-based phenomena. He said he’d buy all her lichen if she sold it for half off. There was a little haggling and he eventually agreed to buy the lichen at 47% off, which wasn’t really much of a deal, but what the hell. At the same time the other saleswoman had put on some weird music to try to get his attention, but gave up when she saw that he’d bought from IS. (End of social mini-game.) Oh yes, part of the 47% off deal was that IS would also get to meet the goddess. The pilot’s name was Gene-G(Gene) asked when IS would be free to meet the goddess, and IS said, “Well, since you bought all my stock, how about right now?” IS took down her stall and helped him carry the lichen to his ship, which was named the Cloudburst. The ship was very impressive. It also had gold decorations befitting a goddess. It had an odd smell coming from deeper inside. G led IS to a strange, large room which he said was called the ship “park.” This was where the smell was coming from, for it had grass and trees and a stream, all of which IS had heard about but never seen personally. Sometime while they were talking, during which G became quite animated when IS told him she was also a pilot and he started rattling on about the Cloudburst’s engines, G mentioned that the goddess had a “pet savage” who turned out to be a man from Demon Rock. This man had what G called a “thing” that G believed should be locked up because it was so dangerous, but that the goddess said would probably then break loose and kill people, so no, it got to stay free. G said he’d make an offering to the goddess of the lichen, and then IS could meet her. They headed toward the goddess’ office. IS thought she saw something metallic following them, but wasn’t sure. She mentioned this to G and he said he didn’t see anything. Then a voice said, “She’s right,” and a huge man in an antique armored vac suit with a horned helmet suddenly appeared, along with a very large granite boar. This was Deng, the “pet savage,” and his granite boar, whose name was Snaps and Drools (Snaps for short). G was extremely startled. D(Deng) said to G that the goddess wanted to see him, alone. It was about letting unauthorized people onto the ship. G hurried off to her office. D said he was the ship security officer, and asked why IS was there. She told him. He said, “Well, you’re here, so you might as well get the rest of the tour of the ship.” She petted S(Snaps) and it licked her. D said, “He thinks you taste good.” While D escorted IS, he told her that there was a vacancy on board for a secondary pilot, because the secondary pilot had gotten injured by S (he shouldn’t have tried to play with S). IS got to meet the goddess, Tu-Anon-Romten, who G had said was the least popular in her family, and that her father (also a god) had given her the Cloudburst in order to get her out of his hair. T(Tu-Anon-Romten) appeared backed by a godlike glow, and offered IS the pilot job. IS accepted. IS had a tearful farewell with her parents. Her father gave her an energy gun that had belonged to her grandfather. T also arrived and gave IS’s family gifts, which had been tribute given to her by some worshippers. IS boarded the ship. After she familiarized herself with the bridge, T appeared by hologram and gave commands. T also revealed that IS was the new captain, replacing G, who’d been demoted to secondary pilot. T ordered that they fly to Plug. It took a day to get to Demon Rock, at which one had to refuel in order to get to Plug. Actually IS took the ship to the Demon Rock refueling station, not the planet. The administrator assigned the Cloudburst one of the last to be refuelled, which pissed off T. T had D, S and IS come with her on a visit to the administrator. Inside the station, two Demon Rock guards saw them and reached for their weapons, but D made signs at them, and they saluted and stood aside. The station actually had Gemmans and Demon Rockans working there, plus I think a few visitors from Plug. T had D order S to burrow/eat through the administrator’s door. Inside was a terrified Gemman administrator. S started eating some of the furniture in the room. T and IS convinced the administrator to move the Cloudburst up to #5 in the list, out of about 180 ships. The administrator claimed he didn’t know the Cloudburst had a goddess on board. T wanted the #1 spot, but the administrator told her that was taken by the God of Heavy Weapons and Machine Guns, so T backed off. So now it wasn’t going to take weeks to get refuelled; only a few days. As they were returning to the ship, they noticed that they’d turned up on the news. D was not happy. T gave D and IS the day off and thanked them for their support. IS asked to meet D at the park, where she asked why he was unhappy about being on the news, and he said it was because he was something of a celebrity on Demon Rock because of his saving that warren from rogue granite boars and taming a wild one, which isn’t something normally done (taming a wild granite boar, that is). He said he preferred to lead a low-key life. He asked IS out to dinner on the station. Said he knew a good restaurant, which was owned by his foster mother, and he wanted IS to meet her. On the way to, and during dinner, S had taken the form of a large walking stick that D held. D explained that normal granite boars eventually decided to stop shapeshifting and settled on a preferred shape, but not S. D’s foster mom was a tall, tough blonde named Ping. She and IS liked each other. She chastised D for not writing, then they started talking about life on Demon Rock, which was better because there hadn’t been any recent granite boar attacks. IS, feeling paranoid, noticed four young vac-suited Demon Rock women at another table watching, but they seemed to be only interested in staring at D. IS commented how much she liked the view of the Hyathis nebula from Demon Rock, because at the Triskidar Belt, all you could see was the nebula’s top left tendril. P(Ping) said she’d like to visit the Triskidar Belt again because she hadn’t in a long time, and IS encouraged her because now happened to be the regular but infrequent occurrence in which the Hyathis tendril would move, as seen from the Belt. It was an altogether pleasant dinner, after which, back at the ship, IS went to bed. Okay, nothing adrenaline-pumping happened, but I had fun.

As you might have guessed, there is quite a lot of player-based story being added here. My GM style is to create realistic NPCs with goals (usually clearer stated in their aspects). Each NPC will follow their goal to its logical conclusion if the players are willing to follow that course. This allows me the flexibility to drop story threads as they become uninteresting to players. It also creates an organic “lived-in” feeling for the universe, which some players respond to. It has its complications as well. A large group (I’ve run up to twelve players at once) will immediately start splitting off to pursue their characters’ interests. This can be a challenge for a GM and all that parallel processing can bog a game down. There is also a certain player type who will take advantage of loopholes in the system, derail the adventure, or attack apparently important NPCs. These players are flummoxed by this method of driving a story. Since each NPC carries a goal he or she is trying to reach, exclusive of the players, they are quickly outnumbered and neutralized, usually, by other players.

That’s how I do it anyway.

Posted by Lodger Tagged with: , , ,
Oct 122009

I’m trying for one post a week here. No promises though, this isn’t the back alley of the internet for no reason.

I wanted to post a couple of quick additions to my diaspora game. The gadgets. Diaspora includes a framework to build technologies from scratch. I’ve mentioned this before, but I think it’s a neat technique so I’ll begin.

My players should be forewarned. Possible spoiler alert.

Meet their new employer, Tu-Anon-Romten. A Gemman aspiring to goddesshood.

Gemman culture is unique in that the disparity between the haves and have-nots is so vast that those at the top of the chain decided to play deity. They get away with this largely because at some level everyone in their culture plays along. Think of this as celebrity culture gone nuts. The gemma system is littered with ancient tech. This has allowed them to advance rapidly. However, there are pockets of technology even above the one they have achieved. These trinkets are what have empowered the “gods of gemma.” Each “pantheon” is a family or corporate structure supported at the top by an individual who controls some extremely high tech. The gods take their titles from the equipment they control. For example, the “god of military excursions” controls an armed interface vehicle (shuttle) of T3 level.

Having described the world she comes from, here is Tu-Anon-Romten, least popular daughter of the Romten pantheon.

Tu-Anon-RomTen

Aspects: Gemma Godlet, Romten Pantheon, The Art of war, The Holo Orb, Work the scene, Drama’vore, Unmade Beauty, Drones’ Rights advocate, Unpopular daughter, Politically necessary to Daddy

Stunts:

MG-Art (Allow the use of the Holo-Orb, Art operates as psych war. Culture is never a limiting factor

Have a thing: Holo-Orb (T3)

Swap a Skill: Physical Presence – Swap Art for Charm 3 (She is an expert in holo art, dance, music, poetry few can resist her attention)

Superb: Arts

Great: Assets, Brokerage

Good: Agility, Stamina, Resolve

Decent: Energy Weapon, Brawl, Intimidate, Tactics

Average: Pilot, Aircraft, Engineer, C/T (Demon rock), Computer

The Holo-Orb – Given as a toy to his least favored daughter the patriarch of the Romten Pantheon inadvertently handed a potent weapon to Tu-Anon.  The Orb can be used to create holographic art around the user, shaping the mood and lighting of a room at the users whim. This allows Tu-Anon to use her Art to place temporary aspects at will. Something her Father has come to rely on due to his poor oratory skills. It is also a potent weapon, its holograms can have a “solidity” allowing them to attack as an energy weapon. Tu refers to these hard images as elementals.

T3 gives an energy weapon 10 build points.

Harm 2 (4bp)

Penetration 2 (2bp)

Min Range: 0 (4bp)

Max Range: 1 (-3 bp)

Dispersed fire (1 bp) (area attack)

Transfer aspect [Holographic Art] (1bp)

Undetectable (1bp)

Low recoil (free)

More later,

The Lodger

Posted by Lodger Tagged with: , , , ,
Oct 072009

Diaspora, Hard Science-Fiction Role-Playing With FATE
by B. Murray, C. W. Marshall, T. Dyke, and B. Kerr
ISBN: 9780981171005

Intro

Hello, it’s been a long time since my last review. So, I have some catching up to do. The FATE system seems to be spawning a variety of offshoots. In terms of diversity, I see this as a good thing. These games are supported by FATE’s use of the Open Gaming License. Diaspora is one of these offshoots. Offered as a hard science game, it names Traveller specifically as one of its inspirations.

Hard science fiction means, among other things: no gravity without some form of acceleration (no magical artificial gravity), FTL is not possible without a wormhole (slipstream), and spacecraft are big cans which will never see the surface of a planet (unless they’re crashing).

The general setting is one of collapse and renewal. In the distant past, the ancestors on Earth mastered a level of technology which allowed the traversing of slipknots. This technology led them to colonize the stars and systems which were connected, and then from these colonies to locate still more systems to colonize until something happened, when the connections were broken and rearranged. Then comes a dark age period followed by a resurgence of technology and society. It is this second period that is being explored in Diaspora.

System Creation

Step One is to create a cluster of systems connected by naturally occurring slipknots. The system for this is to randomly generate 3 stats for each system in the cluster: Technology (T-4 to T4), Environment (E-4 to E4), Resources (R-4 to R4).

The number of systems is chosen by a table or group of players including the GM: roughly 6 to 12 systems. Each system is given 2 aspects based on its stats and one aspect concerning the system’s relationship with the other systems.

The random generation of these systems affects the characters as they are generated. I’ll include my group’s generated system and characters near the end as an example. My group created a set of systems that I found personally fascinating. The direction of the campaign quickly shaped itself around the combined desires of the player and GM. This approach to campaign building might cause a more traditional group some ideological problems. I encourage these groups to give this a try. I believe they will find the differences rewarding.

Character Generation

Players use a system of generation very similar to Spirit of the Century by Evil Hat. The typical mechanic is to tie characters together at generation. An interesting note is that in Diaspora the characters are indirectly affected by the random generation of the various systems.

Skills

The skill list has been tightened up and focused on the hard science genre from its SOTC background. The FATE ladder has some minor changes to it; nothing major really.

Stunts

Each character has three to pick. The stunts are very different from those in SOTC. They are very roughly built around the character that will use them. As such, they have a very customized feeling which adds to the feeling of uniqueness of the characters.

Mini-Games

Another unique development for the FATE system found in Diaspora, the mini-games, are designed to break conflict down into a mapped area in which the combatants maneuver for advantage. This mechanic could bridge between D&D4e and FATE. It provides a way to use figures and a visual aid for all types of conflict up to platoon level combat. I personally haven’t been able to use it yet but it looks really interesting. I am particularly interested in the space combat version.

The scope of the mini-game is the following:
Personal Combat
Space Combat
Social Combat
Platoon Combat

The book covers the setup, mapping, etc. required for the mini-game.

Build Tech System

The very back of the book discusses the building of various science fiction tropes using a build point system. The system allows the GM to build up various tech levels of hard science fiction equipment including a discussion of psionics and nonhuman lifeforms. Their example is a blaster staff from the base tech level required to support that type of technology to the high tech version available to a culture nearing collapse(T4).

Conclusions

Diaspora has been referred to as dystopian. That is certainly a possible path cluster generation could take. The actual interpretation of a system’s stats is left to the table. So, while a dystopian direction could be created it is not a requirement. I personally found the prevailing theme to be one of rebirth. As systems reach T4 (collapse level technology) the people there effectively cease to matter to the affairs of the local cluster, for a variety of possible reasons. Those that are left behind restart the process of reaching for a golden age while alternatively suppressing or destroying their neighbors. The cycle of civilization begins again.

In short, I found Diaspora to be very cool.

Example Cluster: 6 Systems
Zeb’s Folly: T0, E1, R1; Slipknots[Gemma]
Aspects: Zeb Screwed Up, Jealous of Gemma, Haunted
Description: Zeb’s Folly was founded by a settler from Gemma. Seeking a fortune in rediscovered technology, Zeb crashed on a garden planet. The settlers that followed him promptly awoke something very old which has been suppressing their population. The population has stabilized at a fixed number and any birth not accompanied by a death results in a random citizen vanishing. For this reason there are no visitors allowed on the planet and a very thorough census is kept.

Gemma: T2, E1, R-2; Slipknots[Zeb’s Folly, Triskidar Belt, Demonrock, Plug]
Aspects: Think They Are Gods, Insecure, Lucky Find(tech field)
Description: Gemma clawed its way back into its solar system only to discover that someone had already been there and vanished. Whoever it had been had left stockpiles of resources and equipment behind. Gemma became the first and only system in the cluster to have slipstream drives. They decided to try passing themselves off as gods to the lower tech peoples of the cluster with mixed success until the Triskidar Belt.

Triskidar Belt: T1, E-4, R-1; Slipknots[Gemma, Demonrock]
Aspects: Scraping To Survive, This Is What’s Left, Ruled By the Tribes
Description: The tribes are an aggressive culture completely divorced from terrestrial life. Living in massive Home ships, they have the most experienced crews and pilots and the second highest technology developed. The Belters quickly resorted to piracy of Gemma’s shipping and began trading slip drive to other systems. They embargoed their side of the slipknots and established trade posts. The Tribes of Iron, Steel, and Copper claimed the northern slipknot, and Zinc, Hematite, and Silicon claimed the southern. The remaining tribes, Tin, Granite, Zinc, and Diamond,  have to be content with either raids or trade with the two power blocs. The Belters were not amused by what Gemma did to Demonrock, and their vessels are very carefully searched upon arrival.

Demonrock: T-3, E-2, R-3; Slipknots[Triskidar Belt, Plug]
Aspects: Benighted, Hopeful, Gemma’s Hostile Failed Experiment
Description: Life exists only in the warrens deep in the planet. Gemma tested some biological technology recovered from an earlier age. The granite boars were supposed to strip a planet of its resources and then die out. All resources, even the people living there would be reduced to usable neat bundles for processing. The boars turned out to be T3 technology and beyond Gemma’s ability to deal with. Strong, intelligent (for animals), and resistant to weaponry, the boars would have wiped out human life, but the warriors of Warren A12 performed an act of bravery bordering on insanity, with spectacular results. They captured a nest of unborn young and developed techniques for indoctrinating the granite boars. Using their soldiers and breeding to domestication, they created an army called the Packs. The Packs quickly broke up the larger concentrations of boars and drove Gemma from the system. They are now allied with Triskidar Belters.

Plug: T-1, E-3, R-1; Slipknots[Demonrock, Krim]
Aspects: Cold Rock, Cold Hearts; Insular Freaks; Bought and Paid For By Gemma
Description: Before Demonrock had been liberated, the people of Plug had begun selling their system off to Gemma. The ultra-rich elites quickly sold off anyone and anything of value to reach Gemma and live there in a life of luxury unequaled even by native Gemmans. Those that remain have a profit motive and xenophobia unmatched in the cluster.

Krim: T-1, E2, R1; Slipknots[Plug]
Aspects: Deluded Non-Conservationists, About to Be Visited by Aliens, Constantly Disappointed By the Wrong Type of Aliens (i.e., Tourists)
Description: The people of Krim live in a system of garden worlds and riches. They have no concept of restraint and very little conflict. Anyone who disagrees simply moves to another world and builds a life there. Often they strip mine living worlds to gain capital for their frivolous projects. These projects are largely based around when the next aliens will arrive and give them more resources. So far, the only aliens to arrive have been the annoying Gemmans, but everyone is sure the enlightened superaliens will arrive any day. The people of Krim are mostly crazy. Government is a system of competing alien worship cults. Conflict has been avoided because of the many garden worlds and the more extreme cults’ tendency to kill themselves off to greet their alien masters.

Example Characters:
Deng of Demonrock
Phase 1
Aspects: Deng distinguishes himself in battle and becomes a Boar Master in training.
The Battle for Warren D5
Natural Born handler

Phase 2
Aspects: Deng and his pack singlehandedly drive a pack of rogue boars from Warren E2. The trainers guild recognizes him for official membership.
Boar Guild Membership
Savior of Warren E2

Phase 3
Aspects: Deng’s pack is shattered after a prolonged guerrilla war in Warren B6. Only Deng and the alpha of the rogue pack survive. Deng decides to rebuild his pack around this aggressive alpha boar. No one trusts an ex-rogue, but a Triskidar Belter caught in the battle offers him a place offworld.
Twin Combatants
Gnashes Fangs and Drools Is My Alpha

Phase 4
Aspects: Rescuing a Triskidar lichen trader has many rewards.
This Pilot is Hot!
War Is In the Heavens

Phase 5
Aspects: Deng met a crazed Gemman. She needs security on her ship. She pays well, but everyone has to call her “Goddess.”
Dealing in Delusion
Well Paid

Skills:
Superb: Animal Handler
Great: Alertness,Intimidation
Good: Agility, Stamina, Slugthrower
Decent: Stealth, Survival, Tactics, Assets
Average: Brokerage, Resolve, Culture Tech(Gemma), Charm, MicroG

Stunts:
Military Grade: Animal Handler–Handle animals at a subconscious level. Get them to perform feats outside their normal ability
Have a Thing: Engineered Lifeform (T3): Granite Boar–Basically a tool allowing Animal Handling to make attacks
Swap a Skill: Beast Lord–Swap tactics for Animal Handling

Health [] [] [] [] []
Composure [] [] [] [] []
Wealth [] [] [] []


Iron Tiger of the Triskidar Belt
Phase 1
Aspects: Tiger is a member of the Iron tribe. She longs for freedom from her home ship.
Iron Tribe
Cramped By the Home Ship

Phase 2
Aspects: Tiger is assigned to harvest lichens from asteroid farms. This is not good for her social skills.
Harvesting Lichen By Pre-Programmed Seasons
Hopeful, Yet Boring

Phase 3
Aspects: Brought to Demonrock to trade rare lichens for stolen goods, Tiger is caught up in a vicious granite boar attack and barely survives.
Peddling My Lichen
Why Is It My Turn?

Phase 4
Aspects: Assisting the extremely fit Deng come to terms with the loss of his pack. She suggests he train the rogue boar.
Cat and Mouse
Run!!!

Phase 5
Aspects: Tiger met a crazed Gemman. She needs a pilot on her ship. She pays well, but everyone has to call her “Goddess.”
Saving For a Ship of My Own
Gemmans Are Weird

Skills:
Superb: Pilot
Great: Art (Lichen Cooking), Navigation
Good: Repair, MicroG, Energy Weapon
Decent: Computer, Culture Tech(Gemma), Alertness, Aircraft
Average: Engineering, EVA, Agility, Medical, Science

Stunts:
Military Grade: Piloting
Have a Thing: Robotic PDA (T3)–Mobile communications equipment
Swap a Skill: War Pilot–Swap Communications for Piloting

Health [] [] []
Composure [] [] []
Wealth [] [] []

Note: The diaspora people are offering a free die set for a posted AP. Those who are interested should do so. I did. But, quantities are limited so no dawdling.

Posted by Lodger Tagged with: , , , , ,