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  • Interstellar Colonization

    I'm neck deep in the idea of a campaign saga about interstellar colonization. The idea I have is that a million plus colony ship leaves the Sol system and enters uncharted space where after a few years of travel they come upon a seven star grand system. A grand system with 26 Earth-like worlds (12 of which are actually terrestrial moons of a massive gas giant), 14 other planets, 7 gas giants, four asteroid belts of various sizes, and countless small inhospitable moons and moonlets.

    My idea is that the colony ship establishes twelve colonies at first, one on each of the twelve moons of the gas giant Atlas. Within a decade additional colonies are established both on each world and also elsewhere in the grand system.

    My other idea is that because the colonists were part of a single organization when they colonized the grand system they kept that order, which means that while local mayors with councils rule individual settlements and answer to provincial prefects for colonial regions and then planetary governors for each world they also understand they belong to a single nation-state. I figure that some of the more independent minded people go either to uninhabited worlds or to the asteroid belts. A few might even take a bunch of smaller spacecraft and establish small colonial outposts in systems beyond the grand system.

    My idea for the players is that they are part of a government sponsored roaming team of troubleshooters, representatives, and adventurers. They not only go where they wish but sometimes they are called by local groups asking for help or given an assignment by the government itself.

    My other note is that there is going to be a lot of monstrous lifeforms throughout the solar system. But even more there are the remnants and ruins of something ancient and alien.

    On character template I am not sure whether they will be Talents, Superiors, Psiads, or Psions. (Despite my love for them I don't think Nova fits, though I could see having the leader of the whole thing be a Nova for uniqueness sake.)

    Anyway, I would like to hear thoughts on setting, adventure, and character elements.

  • #2
    Interesting idea to have a 26 Earth System. Are they disconnected from Earth? How did they keep a centralized government, a situation like this without special oversight say from Earth or unique resources/Access in a central planet would naturally seem to become their own nations.

    Due to Planets not needing Terraforming just to breathe and survive Populations would explode fairly quickly. And with he tech level of the age Industrialization of the Astroid Belt and rocky planetoids would be established quick, as that is the nature of automation without some sort of specific obstacle.

    Do you plan to include intelligent Alien life?

    What are the cultures present? Do they have FTL travel?

    How long have they been there?

    Population, barring insane wartime conflict or crazy social regulations, would explode and they would easily support Hundreds of billions. Actually there is no reason they wouldn't grow to Trillions, especially when they start making Oneil Cylinders in the Astroid belt and the like. Such a hospitable system would also be perfectly suitable to begin construction of a Dyson Swarm. If all these things aren't at least beginning to take effect their should be a reason why.

    What is the biggest source of Conflict? The Monstrous Life you are considering?

    I think introducing a few intelligent species would be very interesting for the dynamics of such a setting. Maybe life native to the system, and some life that migrated there ages ago, apocalypsed themselves a couple times and are on the rise in different corners of the system. Think like the social Dynamics of Sakaar if you ever read Planet Hulk, they had the native insectoid species, then the Shadow Priest grey dudes, and then the Red King's Civilization as well as smaller enclaves of alien immigrants like the Hulk and Kronans.


    It is a time for great deeds!

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    • #3
      Firefly with AEon. Cool.

      What template you choose depends on what feel you’re going for. If you want the colonies somewhat separated with their own slight variations, then psions (especially teleporters) with FTL capabilities are going to threaten that. But if you want to keep psionics in the hands of the government ‘troubleshooters’, where the government controls the Chambers, psions are awesome choices because they can get in, deploy massive power against the problem, and get out again. Rogue psiads and other natural manifestations of power (in this case I’m including superiors here) could be frequent antagonists they’re up against.


      Writer. Developer. World of Darkness | Chronicles of Darkness | The Trinity Continuum

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      • #4
        Eldagusto thanks for the comments, I appreciate it.

        On disconnection from Earth, yeah, they are. My thought is that either they traveled a long time (like a decade or two) and so it would be difficult to get back or something happened to supercharge the engines on the journey that made what was supposed to be a colony mission to say Alpha Centauri become actually a trip to a star system some 60,000 ly away in what was the same time as they expected it to be. I'm not sure which seems more 'interesting'.

        I have the idea the expedition is going to be a few Jump capable megaships carrying thousands of smaller ships and a few million people.

        Well if there is either cultural or political unity then I guess the same command authority that served them during the journey (or before it, say the construction and organization) could keep things intact upon arrival. Especially if at the top of said structure is say one of the few Novas present.

        (Honestly, for all that there could be fun, I am not so much interested in stories of balkanized states. So the idea of local government being overseen by a system wide government works for me.)

        As a note my idea is to either have a Campaign Start at Arrival. Maybe a mini saga where the ship arrives in the grand system and the players are dispatched to Solve Some Mystery! Once that is done said mini-campaign is done and we fast forward say ten years. By that time dozens of colonial settlements and outposts and stations exist throughout the Grand System.

        I figure at first out of the 27 (I added one more around a star) some are immediately habitable while most others need some basic to standard terraforming to be made fully stable. But that said yeah, once populations land there and begin preparing the ground living there will be much like living on Earth.

        On cultures while I figure that there might be a diverse collection of human cultures all are part of the socially dominate group that organized the structure. So basically minor differences and uniqueness exist but not enough to make anyone really think "hey lets go off on our own!!"

        Artificial yes, but in my head the orgnaization behind the expedition didn't simply open the door and let anyone in, they carefully steered things in the direction they wanted to go.

        On FTL my idea is that its Big Ship FTL, that is the engine isn't small enough to be on small ships. Rather the small ships hitch a ride on larger FTL capable ships that make a circuit around the seven stars of the Grand System.

        My idea on Alien Life is that while animal life is everpresent the only signs of sapient life is ruins. Ruins that aren't from one species, nor one tech base. At first. Then maybe a random caravan of aliens from Somewhere Else will arrive. This first group might be running from something or similar. Obviously the players would be one of the first to contact said alien ship.

        Your right, if I had the game start decades or centuries after colonization then potentially hundreds of billions or a trillion plus could be living within 7 earth-like worlds, a dozen or so inhabitable but still humans being humans potential sites, plus a number of asteroid belts (one of which is astronomically unlikely to be natural, especially when one considers it sheer mammoth size and resource richness). That's a lot of territory within less than a light-year in size.

        (By the way, a seven star solar system is astronomically possible, though rare, I checked before making it. hehe)

        While I don't mind life outside the area, and ruins within it, I don't want humans to be taking land from species that already inhabit the system. But yes, there is definitely signs that will be immediately spotted that Something is Going On.

        I should add that I doubt I would have the situation back at Sol be official Trinity history.

        Again, thanks for the comment. I really appreciate it. The ideas you present are awesome to read.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Bunyip View Post
          Firefly with AEon. Cool.

          What template you choose depends on what feel you’re going for. If you want the colonies somewhat separated with their own slight variations, then psions (especially teleporters) with FTL capabilities are going to threaten that. But if you want to keep psionics in the hands of the government ‘troubleshooters’, where the government controls the Chambers, psions are awesome choices because they can get in, deploy massive power against the problem, and get out again. Rogue psiads and other natural manifestations of power (in this case I’m including superiors here) could be frequent antagonists they’re up against.
          That's a good idea. The idea of using the whole government (as in Expedition Command, as in the secret nova) being the ones who have the Chambers potentially works well for me. Especially if the Psi Order (and its eight Guilds) are aspects of the central government, for all that individual psions are free citizens. As you say it would definitely help with why central organization within the Grand System has been maintained.

          Also, the whole idea of throwing on Talents, Psiads, and Superiors as various metahumans that exist within (some recognized others not so much) adds to matters as well.

          On teleport I totally could see creating some very clearly presented reason why Teleporting back to Earth is Not Possible. Throw in Quantum Field or Noetic Barrier or something and you have a reason why they can't go home.

          (I love teleporation but I have a love-hate relationship with it since my one Aberrant game ended with the players teleporting around my story traps to get to the center. hehe)

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          • #6
            If there were only around a million initial colonists, why split into 12 colonies and later more? Post industrial societies have trouble maintaining their populations.It doesn't sound like a political schism since you say they all have the same type of government under a central authority.

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            • #7
              If you keep the Psiads and leave the Psions behind the level of Teleportation will be considerable lower, only the most focused Psiad with Psi5 can get any Teleportation 4 (the needed to interstelar travel) but can still give them some utility teleport, like jumping to low orbit or something like that.

              Do you see the setting as part of the continuum or as a Nova Era lost colony? The reason for a above average number of Talents/Psiads/“Natural Superiors” can be the system it self, let’s say a Flux anomaly in the star or in the gas giant.

              Now a comment on the setting: I can’t stop seeing it as Space Cowboys stile, not that the characters are cowboys, but they are travelling around to remote vastly empty planets, solving problems and getting bad guys to jail... pretty much Wild West stories on the space. Don’t get me wrong, I love it, I had a D20 Future all around it until they discovered they were in StarCraft and there were zergs around...

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              • #8
                Originally posted by muon View Post
                If there were only around a million initial colonists, why split into 12 colonies and later more? Post industrial societies have trouble maintaining their populations.It doesn't sound like a political schism since you say they all have the same type of government under a central authority.
                Mostly because I would like there to be multiple planets that have settlements on. But I could also see an internal benefit that by spreading out the humans a bit a single natural disaster won't wipe out the whole Expedition.

                My thought is that most of the colonial settlements have about a 100,000 people initially, plus a capital colony of say 250,000, and an orbital infrastructure of 50k or so. After ten years additional colonial settlements will be established on a few of the other worlds around the other stars of the Grand System.

                All in the name of allowing for there to be multiple locations that our player characters can travel to.

                Originally posted by Mateus Luz View Post
                If you keep the Psiads and leave the Psions behind the level of Teleportation will be considerable lower, only the most focused Psiad with Psi5 can get any Teleportation 4 (the needed to interstelar travel) but can still give them some utility teleport, like jumping to low orbit or something like that.

                Do you see the setting as part of the continuum or as a Nova Era lost colony? The reason for a above average number of Talents/Psiads/“Natural Superiors” can be the system it self, let’s say a Flux anomaly in the star or in the gas giant.

                Now a comment on the setting: I can’t stop seeing it as Space Cowboys stile, not that the characters are cowboys, but they are travelling around to remote vastly empty planets, solving problems and getting bad guys to jail... pretty much Wild West stories on the space. Don’t get me wrong, I love it, I had a D20 Future all around it until they discovered they were in StarCraft and there were zergs around...
                I would have never thought that the 'lower' power level of Psiads would actually benefit me in a setting campaign sense. hehe

                But yeah, having the metahuman be Psiads means lower level but also the lack of the need for artificial creation via Chambers, which in some ways benefits me. I do like the idea of there being a Psi Order that serves as a sort of training and oversight guild for noetic users.

                On its place in the Continuum, I'm not sure actually. I can say I doubt I would want it to be in the Aeon Trinity Era where Psions are everpresent or even the Nova Age where Novas are there. But I do want Psiads to be present, and also Talents.

                Hmm.

                The idea could be that on Earth there are Novas. One such Nova is the Expedition Leader who used his abilities to gather people, invent technologies, and build the colony fleet.

                While traveling through space something interacted with the enegines of the ships of the fleet causing them to be supercharged, resulting in the emitting of noetic particles which enhanced the genetic structure of the colonists, leading to a slow but steady awakening of Psiads. And maybe some Superiors as well. And of course also Talents.

                But yeah, there being Something (be it on the ship's journey or the system itself) that led to the increased awakenings of metahumans is brilliant to me.

                Honestly, that's sort of it. I mean I want there to be modern living, with cities and infrastructure and technologies, but I also like the idea of when crimes occur it is people like our players who are the ones that go and investigate. (I could call them Marshals or Rangers or maybe ironically Knights or Heralds.) So the wild west feel without the actual true nature of the wild west.

                While I wouldn't have there be Zerg (not that you are suggesting that, though I do admit the idea of a campaign that one things is something else changing into that when they appear is cool) I do like the idea of Something Alien arriving at some point.

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                • #9
                  Reason to place colonies on many/all earth-like worlds: 1> Exploration. I would assume that even if all the planets are able to support human life, they would still have vastly different flora and fauna. All the worlds would need exploring. Probably a single carefully chosen world would have the Largest Core settlement, but the sort of people who would GO on a long term colonization space trip would almost certainly be the same sort that would fist fight for the chance to explore new worlds.
                  2> Resources. Most likely, the mineral composition of each planet will be SLIGHTLY different. Likewise, each planet is likely to have different resource pockets. All habitable worlds would logically need to be scanned, and resource gathering bases set up to gather useful and needed natural resources like rare-earth metals, iron, gold, and other useful materials.


                  I personally would go with (for players) Talents, Superiors, and Psions. As a control, you could say that either A> they were able to bring COPIES of the Prometheus Chambers, but only some of them, or B> that they brought the original Prometheus Chambers, but the Teleportation Chamber was Lost when one of the colony ships suffered a failure. Perhaps the chamber is still intact, but the ship crashed on a non-habitable world, and the colonists must establish a lot of infrastructure before they can hope to build the sorts of ships and tools they need to recover it.

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                  • #10
                    TiwazTyrsfist Yeah exactly. Between the 27 habitable worlds (be they already ready or they need some basic to standard terraforming), the various inhospitable worlds, the gas giants, the myriad moons, and the numerous many sized asteroids there is much to see, much to access, much to explore. Between all such sites there are much variety in terms of resources (be it plant, animal, mineral, or even gas) and interesting sites and ruins. Because of this, as you say, it benefited them to spread out a bit. (Plus its also a logical safety net for chances are a single diaster won't impact multiple moons or worlds at once.)

                    Plus, there is something really cool about the idea of exploring unique worlds and seeing interesting sites. Which means that if this ever became an actual game I would have to come up with planetary maps and unique sites for all seven stars of the Grand System. Which of course would be fun.

                    So yeah, I figure 11 of the initial moons would have say 100k, the twelth capital colony would have 250k, another 50k would be in orbital infrastructure, and maybe 150k would reside elsewhere within the Grand System. By 10 years Arrival I figure all 27 habitable worlds and the four asteroid belts within the seven stars would have some sort of permanent presence, plus various small outposts and bases.

                    On the thought of Psion vs Psiad, so you think Psion with the baggage of the Chambers would fit more than the natural formed Psiads? I am curious and interested in why.

                    As I am not limited to canon Trinity setting for what is going on on Earth I have a lot of freedom to set up a basic backstory of why the Director of the Expedition was able to get nearly 2 million people onboard a ship with the goal of heading into the great unknown.

                    By the way your idea of something in the Expedition being lost upon the journey is an interesting one, though I don't know if I would go all out and have it be a Chamber.

                    ---

                    As an interesting thing I have plans for Artificial Gravity to not exist on Earth before the Expedition left. My idea is that the Fleet using rotating cylinders for gravity. My other idea is that within a few years of Arrival enough alien information will be discovered that humanity will gain access to artificial gravity.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by muon View Post
                      If there were only around a million initial colonists, why split into 12 colonies and later more? Post industrial societies have trouble maintaining their populations.It doesn't sound like a political schism since you say they all have the same type of government under a central authority.
                      That’s not how that works, you can’t compare a futuristic colony whose whole point is to populate a brand new world to established nations with a growing elderly population and diminishing youth. That flat out isn’t how new colonies work. Population is steered a great deal by societal intent. China was stabilizing population growth before the one child policy, if over night they had twice as much land they would probably reverse their policy.

                      By your reasoning Australia shouldn’t have millions of people. A world with post scarcity fusion technology and literally over two dozen times the available prime real estate, that is crowded already on Earth, flat out wouldn’t have the same constraints that slows the population of say Belgium and Japan.

                      The reasons why people aren’t having children now wouldn’t one for one existing in that particular setting. Even if you had some revolutionary new religion and culture that emphasized guilt and population stagnation, it wouldn’t be universal “unless there was some sort of government mandated sterilization backed by a superior force of super robot sentinels”. Because I wouldn’t be universal those that emphasized not breeding would be supplant d quite efficiently by those with no compunction on population growth.

                      Fusion and fabricator technology combined with the lack of crowded (quite the inverse as it’s mostly likely going to have government incentive on population growth) conditions would mean a population growth bigger then what we saw in the baby boom post World War Two.


                      It is a time for great deeds!

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                      • #12
                        ^ that!

                        In fact population growth maybe eben higher if you add say artificial womb technology so parents can have children without loosing work time.

                        My campaign setting is not one where tech lebels degrade and so many advances exist to make life good, even in the unknown.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by LordHeru View Post
                          TiwazTyrsfist /snip

                          On the thought of Psion vs Psiad, so you think Psion with the baggage of the Chambers would fit more than the natural formed Psiads? I am curious and interested in why.

                          /snip
                          So, this is just my opinion, but I personally think that more limited (to a point) characters make better, more interesting, more fun to play characters.

                          I'm having trouble putting this into words right now, but I think I can best explain what I mean by citing Brandon Sanderson's essay about using magic/superpower systems in storytelling, which is the more specifically minutely defined a power system is, the more limited in it's effects, the better it is using it in a story to solve problems, while a wide open, broadly defined power system can't be used to solve problems because it ends up feeling lazy.

                          So, a character whose power set is Pyrokinesis, they can Make Fire, Shape Fire, etc., and that's IT, is always going to be MORE interesting than a character whose power set is Control Fire, Fly, Teleport, Heal, Read minds, See the Future, Mind interface with Computers, Turn into a bear, octopus, or pterodactyl at will, and Alter the Fundamental Forces of the Universe with A Thought.
                          Character 1 faced with a locked steel door has to use their power thoughtfully to get past. Do they try to burn through? Do they set off the Fire Alarm hoping that safety measures will open the door? Do they try to burn out the electric lock hoping that will let them force the door?
                          Character 2 has to decide which of their 47 powers to bypass this obstacle without any effort they want to use this time.

                          This is just my opinion mind you, and there are certainly times when Psiads would be a good choice, but to me Psiads belong in games with Novas. I know that by the rules Psiads are lower tier than Novas, but to me their ability to be a Swiss Army Knife of powers means they should be with other character types that have that option like Novas.

                          And of course, depending HOW far you are willing to deviate from Æon canon, you can allow some method other than the Prometheus Chambers for people to become Psions vs Psiads.

                          Lastly, I just like the idea of having a limited set of Prometheus Chambers (or whatever) to act as an in-universe limit on what TYPES of Psions are available for play.

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                          • #14
                            I agree with Tiwaz to a certain level.

                            Psions are designed for the game, a game of multiple characters working together to solve problems. For that game Psions are far superior to Psiads as characters, as team members.

                            But I disagree on the part that a Psiad is a Swiss army knife. First because on a regular game in trinity, there are so much tech available that you end up with almost any character being an Swiss Army Knife, that’s part of the game in a SciFi setting, if there is no tech to solve problems it’s not that much SciFi. Second point is while a Psiad CAN have many powers, their evolution is very limited in all, it requires much more experience to level, the limits are lower and, as I said, a Psiad is unable to Long Jump unless it’s his absolute focus and unless it’s being 200 XP after character creation.

                            It means, a psiad will not reach the power of a Psion on his aptitude unless the Psion is much less experienced, the variety of powers will not be that much to be able to pick several ways to solve the problems. As result, a team of Psions will have a much larger variety and potency in powers than a team of Psiads, and you must think about the team when creating the story and not the individuals (never split the party, otherwise the DM will get crazy).

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by TiwazTyrsfist View Post

                              So, this is just my opinion, but I personally think that more limited (to a point) characters make better, more interesting, more fun to play characters.

                              /snip
                              Interesting, very interesting. While I do admit to not entirely agreeing with the premise I can see the benefits that a set of restricted powers can bring to a story or setting. If characters can only do x, y, and z then you don't need to find a way to magically counter a. So yeah, its very interesting.

                              Thanks for giving your reason, its good to hear.

                              As far as this campaign idea is concerned, I am willing to mess with pretty much anything Trinity Continuum. Which means, for example, I could have Psions be naturally manifesting noetic users. I could even have there be two tiers of them - one tier is restricted to a single Aptitude while the second tier is no longer bound to such thing. There are many tier one psions (maybe in the hundreds) for every tier two psions. Even more I can see that through intense development a tier one can become a tier two.

                              I also have the interesting option of deciding that either -
                              A) Metahumans existed on Earth in widespread numbers.
                              B) Metahumans on Earth were rare and secretive, and not well known.

                              If I go with A then said metahumans probably joined with the Expedition, and that explains there presence.

                              But if I go with B, then I could say there are a few secretive Talents, Superiors, Psiads, and maybe a Nova or two (the Director being one) from Earth but Psions only appear in a more public light after Something occurs either during the journey (the energies that rush over the engines, supercharging them and causing a few light year long trip to become a 60,000 ly long trip) that basically imbued human genetics with a deeper noetic connection, allowing for the manifestation of Psions. Due to how new humanity is to this enhanced state said individuals are restricted, at this time, to roughly a single Aptitude.

                              So many thoughts.

                              For example, I might need to think about how widespread human civilization is back on Sol before the Expedition departed. Were we bound to Earth only or did we have colonies elsewhere in the solar system, or even were were expanding into the local cluster of stars. I do know that Jump Tech is present and that its only usable on big starships at this time due to mechancial, energy, and information difficulties. I also know that we do not have artificial gravity at this point, being restricted to the use of rotation for that purpose.

                              It is from those roots that the Director announced his plans to shift the resources of his megacorp towards the development, construction, recruitment, and launch of a massive multi-million population interstellar expedition.

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