DaftNES VI: Of Light and Dust

Discussion in 'Never Ending Stories' started by Daftpanzer, Feb 7, 2020.

  1. Daftpanzer

    Daftpanzer canonically ambiguous

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2002
    Messages:
    6,633
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Portsmouth, England, UK
    Orders deadline: Friday Midnight GMT (6th March)



    Hello and welcome to the sixth official DaftNES. This is a ‘galaxy sandbox’ game, inspired mainly by GalaxyNES, Swirly Lights Yonder, as well as the computer game Stellaris. In this project, I want to give players more creative freedom, and take more time to listen to their input. There will be stats and rules, but I want the focus to be much more on events and worldbuilding.

    This is a universe that is tolerant of some exotic forms of life, and is a little fuzzy around the subject of technology. You may also encounter psionic powers, and strange interdimensional phenomena. Yet, this is still a universe with physics and internal logic. There will be rebellions, revolutions and NPC invasions to either join with or fight against...



    What we know about the Galaxy

    It’s an average-sized spiral galaxy in a universe about 14 billion years old, in a fairly average part of the universe. Several more galaxies lie close by, in relative terms..

    Our galaxy is teeming with intelligent life, though not quite as much as it once was. About 15,000 years ago, a ‘Crisis’ occured, perhaps just the most recent of several previous disasters. Details are not clear, but it seems something swept through the galaxy like a plague during a time of epic warfare between rival alliances. It is no exaggeration to say that entire worlds were torn apart in the process; the devastation and horror were apparently enough to send many of the ancient races fleeing from the physical realm altogether, transcending into higher planes of existence. The survivors of pre-Crisis civilisation fall into two camps: hardened survivalist bastions, deliberately cut off from the outside galaxy, versus shattered and traumatised enclaves, hanging on amidst crumbling remnants of their former civilization.

    But space being as big as it is, countless worlds remained off the radar even during the high of pre-Crisis civilization, and it seems only a fraction were ever substantially colonised; ultimately it seems the Crisis spared far more worlds than it claimed.

    Time has moved on, and many new intelligent races have been following a call towards the stars over the past millennia. One by one they have begun to break the bonds first of gravity, and then of classical physics itself, discovering how to glide their vessels through the boundary between the physical dimension and higher planes of existence. These new races often know or care little about what went before them.

    Much debris from pre-Crisis civilization still exists, though the fragments of high technology are often so advanced as to be hardly recognisable as such, even to those races that have conquered the laws of physics and achieved Faster Than Light (FTL) travel.

    Indeed, this is where technology and mysticism seem to collide. As the energy fields of FTL drives reach further into the planes of existence beyond the physical in the search of ever-greater speeds, they unknowingly intrude into a realm of energy and disembodied consciousness, rippling with collective psionic energy. Veteran interstellar voyagers sometimes report having lucid visions, and even experiencing paranormal activity aboard ship. Some individuals seem especially sensitive to these energies.

    Only some, or none of this will actually be known to your people. That depends on how you wish to play...



    Stating Scenarios

    Newly FTL-Capable
    Spoiler :
    You’ve just reached the tech to travel Faster Than Light (FTL) and one or more experimental exploration ships have been built. Your people look with enthusiasm to the great unknown.

    Whether your home planet is united or divided, in good shape or a post-apocalyptic wasteland, is up to you. You could have had a rapid development of technology, or a very slow and calm progress over many millennia. Perhaps your homeworld is even an abandoned colony of an ancient race, or even an abandoned ringworld or some other kind of giant space habitat. Perhaps your world is a super-abundant paradise that has left your people somewhat lazy and naive about the universe. Perhaps your people have just fought off an alien invasion, and retro-engineered their technology. Essentially, whatever you gain or sacrifice in your starting position, will be made up for in traits and civics affecting your faction.

    You also have the option to play as space nomads who have completely lost or abandoned their homeworld, and start with some kind of mothership instead.


    Pre-FTL
    Spoiler :
    In this starting scenario, your species is still on the path to the stars. IE, you don’t mind being stuck on your homeworld for the first few turns (or at least your home system). Exactly what level of technology you are at is up to you; it could be a couple of turns before FTL is available, or you could put yourself right back at the dawn of civilization. There’s nothing stopping other races visiting your home system in the meantime.

    It’s essentially a handicap, but you may want to choose this for your own roleplay, and to have a unique perspective on galactic events. Besides, some of the more ‘primitive’ species may be lucky enough to have powerful ancient guardians watching over them.


    Tributary
    Spoiler :
    You have lived for some years as a vassal, protectorate, subject, slave, or hunted prey species of some more advanced and powerful interstellar faction. The exact nature of this is up to you to decide. Either way, this relationship has gone on long enough to have profound effects on your culture and civilization.

    You have copied/stolen/been gifted technology of your ‘master’, at the expense of having some of your economy siphoned off. You will not be able to gain true independence on the galactic stage without some kind of struggle, including the possibility of loyalists among your own people. If successful, you may reap the rewards of greater unity, morale, and idealism. Or, you may decide that being a vassal has its advantages.

    It’s up to you whether you start with one planet or several systems, or even some kind of vassal nomadic fleet; your ‘liege’ will always be somewhat stronger.


    Advanced Race

    Spoiler :
    Although still relatively new to space, you have had FTL capabilities for some time, and have colonised or at least explored a large chunk of your galactic neighbourhood without falling prey to any outside power. It is likely that the shocks of discovering alien life, and the initial wonder of interstellar explorations, have already come and gone.

    Perhaps you have established tributaries or slaves of less advanced species, or perhaps you watch over them peacefully. Or it could be that you have yet to encounter any sentient aliens. Your people may even have chosen to take to the stars permanently as space nomads, starting with several large motherships.

    While you start with greater technology and development, you will also have more problems; maybe you’ve encountered an equally powerful rival on your borders, or perhaps you have pirates and rebel factions to deal with. Or it may be that your culture has headed into stagnation, decline, isolationism, or some kind of existential crisis, and is now in need of a new direction… This is up to you to decide.


    Crumbling Ancient
    Spoiler :
    You are a direct descendent of a once mighty pre-Crisis empire, but are but a shadow of your ancestors. Perhaps your kind bore the brunt of the Crisis and were never able to recover. Perhaps you were simply an outpost that lost contact with the homeworlds. Or perhaps a large chunk of your population have been locked in hibernation for millenia, awaiting some trigger to awaken, while their life-support systems slowly deteriorate. The Crisis itself may be barely remembered, shrouded in myth, or knowledge of it may have been deliberately deleted from databanks.

    You have only fragments of high technology, or perhaps are reliant on the last remnants of crumbling automated systems that no longer function properly, with no way to repair them. Still, you likely have access to firepower that makes any of the younger races fear you... At least for now. And whether through the development of psionic abilities or the use of quantum devices, you have been able to peer through the veil between dimensions.

    Perhaps you will find a way to repair the ancient systems, or accept a regression to a more primitive but sustainable level of technology. Or perhaps you’ll feel a call to completely transcend physical reality, and leave some kind of enigmatic legacy behind for the younger races to find. In the meantime, you may see yourselves as protective guardians, rightful overlords, or seekers of peaceful isolation. Whatever the case, It is likely that the other ancient remnants will be watching you, closely.

    Again, playing as a nomadic race is possible, perhaps clinging to life in vast mobile craftworlds of ancient origin.


    Ancient Bastion (non-playable)
    Spoiler :
    Clustered around ancient homeworlds, and gigantic enigmatic structures in space, some ancients with a more survivalist mentality have been able to preserve their technology in a fully-functional state, and may have progressed from pre-Crisis level.

    Their motives are unclear. They may not be pleased to greet outsiders.

    Given their overwhelming power and knowledge, they are not open to players...





    Life form classifications

    Mechanoids
    Spoiler :
    Artificial life forms, their defining characteristic being their ability to manufacture new bodies on demand, and freely transfer information. There is little or no barrier between themselves and their technology. They may share a collective consciousness, or be individuals; they may have ‘thinking machines’ in charge of countless worker droids, or be made up of roughly equal entities. They may have tough and resilient bodies, or they may be relatively delicate, or have different castes for different jobs. They are likely to be well suited for survival in space, needing only thermal and radiation shielding.

    Needless to say, mechanoids do not evolve naturally. Whether these mechanoids were created relatively recently, and are still comparatively crude, or have a more arcane origin in the pre-Crisis galaxy, is up to you to decide - as is the status of their creators. When it comes to technology, mechanoids will have a natural affinity with all things mechanical and electronic.

    For all their advantages over other life forms, their population has a high maintenance cost in terms of energy and industrial upkeep, and tend to be less adaptive to new situations. Though completely immune to disease, they may be vulnerable to errant programs and sabotage of other kinds.

    Cybernetic (sub-category)

    Not a seperate class as such, Cybernetic species are part Mechanoid and part something else (see following sections for ideas). They will have some benefits and drawbacks of each side; it is up to you to decide exactly what the mixture is.


    Lithoids
    Spoiler :
    Exotic life forms that are likely to thrive in hostile environments and to be extremely tough and durable in nature. Most likely, they have a rocky appearance and are fuelled by chemical reactions and the breakdown of raw minerals, but some may be more crystalline or metallic in nature. Lithoids may originate through unlikely evolution, or as a result of pre-Crisis experiments, but otherwise follow a familiar life cycle of birth and death. They will likely have a natural affinity for chemistry, smelting and mining, and some will be fully subterranean in nature.

    Lithoids will likely thrive in biomes that other beings find difficult or impossible to survive in, especially where they are rich in energy or mineral resources. By the same token, they will need to consume some of these resources to survive, leaving less to spare for industry. Most other biomes will be of lesser value to them; while being resistant to hostile environments, and possibly able to survive in vacuum for extended periods, they still require special conditions to grow and reproduce. Special kinds of exotic pathogens or mineral contaminants may also afflict these life forms.


    Animal
    Spoiler :
    Organic life-forms based around some kind of fluid (usually water) chemistry, and a need to consume some kind of food. This category is open to a huge amount of variation, including any equivalents of insectoid, mammalian, reptilian, arthropod, avian, mollusc or sea anemone that you can think of.

    Some animal species may have been uplifted to sentience by outside interference, but it seems that evolution readily leads these life-forms towards tool use and civilization if given enough time. Some may not even be a single species, but rather several symbionts working together. As a general rule, animals are likely to be more rowdy, chaotic, energetic and adaptable compared to other categories of life, but also more fragile.

    The average preferred biome would be temperate and somewhat moist. At the extremes, a few rare species may be specialised for very hot or very cold environments and have a more exotic biochemistry. Outside of their range of habitability, animals are heavily reliant on technology and a functioning society for survival.

    Aerial and Aquatic Animals (sub-categories)

    Species that evolved to live entirely in an aquatic environment, or in dense atmospheres separated from solid ground, will have a much harder time developing advanced technology and escaping their homeworld... But it would seem that every obstacle can be overcome with enough patience, and cooperation.

    Such species that make it to space are likely to be older, more stable cultures, with above-average intelligence and social cohesion. They also tend to make greater use of biotechnology to fabricate needed materials. However, the spacecraft and stations of these races tend to be heavier and/or expensive, due to the extra weight and pressure of their living spaces. This is compensated for somewhat by their pilot’s natural ability for navigating full-3D environments.

    Aerial animals will be able to thrive in certain high-pressure atmospheres that would crush other life forms. However, all other environments will be challenging for them, requiring pressurised habitats and vehicles. Aquatic races have similar problems out of water, but may be able to populate lakes and oceans passed over by other races.


    Plantoid
    Spoiler :
    Life forms that derive at least part of their energy from photosynthesis. They may be a single species, or complex organisms made of several plant and animal symbionts. Some kind of pre-Crisis intervention in their evolution is likely, but it is not impossible that some have evolved sentience naturally.

    They may have only a few sentients ruling over lower castes, or be all free-thinking individuals. They are likely to move, think and react at a much slower pace than other life forms, or may only be capable of short bursts of activity. However, they generally have lower food and life support needs than animals, and given the right conditions, may be able to grow large numbers of new individuals at a time. They may be tough and resilient, or fragile and delicate, but will likely have strong regenerative ability. Some may also have very resilient seeds or spores, that make their populations very difficult to eradicate from a planet once established.

    They are likely to have an affinity for solar power generation, as well as biology and biotechnology, with much of their infrastructure being grown rather than built.

    Aerial and Aquatic Plantoid (sub-categories)

    These beings share some of the same traits as aerial and aquatic animals (see section above). For these life-forms to achieve sentience and escape their homeworlds, they may have had to overcome the most challenges of all - truly playing on ‘hard mode’ in galactic terms.


    Fungoid
    Spoiler :
    These beings are roughly similar to plantoids in terms of characteristics, but derive their energy from ‘dark’ sources such as decaying organic matter, or even chemosynthesis. They likely share the same affinity for biotechnology, but are likely to shun sunlight for a more subterranean existence, for at least part of their life-cycle.
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2020
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  2. Daftpanzer

    Daftpanzer canonically ambiguous

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2002
    Messages:
    6,633
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Portsmouth, England, UK


    Galactic Mechanics


    Colonisation and Expansion

    Spoiler :
    In this galaxy, it’s not necessary to colonise every barren rock. There are a lot of stars and a lot of planets; the map will not show every system, as there are simply too many. Even a tiny section of a galactic arm can be assumed to contain hundreds of stars. Instead, only the most important star systems will be shown - major habitable worlds, and resource hotspots. Development will tend to focus on these systems.

    In between are countless 'average' star systems which may be officially claimed by some empire or other, but are simply not efficient to develop to any great degree. These systems will only rise to prominence if they emerge as important military bases, have scientific interest, or acquire some cultural or religious significance, etc etc. Or become the last refuge of an empire that has no other good options for development.


    Exploration
    Spoiler :
    In a single turn, an exploration ship can search an area for any obvious signs of abundant minerals, habitable worlds, or strange anomalies. But this will probably reveal only about half of what is really there. Doing a complete survey of an area could take many more turns. It will be up to you whether to commit your explorers to turn over every stone, or keep them moving to find the more obvious pickings over a wider area.

    Bear in mind that by default, explorers of each race will look for planets that suit their needs. Aliens may have passed over worlds that would be highly valuable to your own people, still lurking undiscovered on the map.

    A reminder that space is big, and there are many hiding places. Do not be surprised if secrets and mysteries may go undetected for a long time, even in areas close to major systems.


    Time and Interstellar Travel
    Spoiler :
    Turns will take place over several years or decades. There is no fixed distance that your fleets can travel on the map. It will depend heavily on your technology rating (especially any FTL drive specialisations), but also on the presence (or lack thereof) of friendly planets and stations along the route. The progress of explorers will also depend on finding useful resources along the way, and the lack of any mishaps.

    Generally, fleets within your borders (or those of allies) will be able to move over a much longer distance per turn, and should be able to cover all of your territory until you reach a very large size. Fleets outside your borders will move faster if they are following a known route.


    Space Warfare
    Spoiler :
    Even for the more advanced of the younger races, much remains unknown about fighting large campaigns in space. This is a huge area in itself, but to begin with, it will be an area of experimentation. Many different strategies are possible: maneuverability, armour, or shields derived from FTL technology? Will you prioritise accurate beam weapons, powerful projectile weapons, or guided missiles? Will you invest in fighter craft of some kind? Stealth or scanning technology? Perhaps you will also find ways to jam enemy systems, or even remotely hack their computers...


    Trade
    Spoiler :
    Trade with other empires will not be automatic ‘free money’; the best trade routes will be between economies that can offer each other something (such as a high-health, low-production empire trading with a low-heath, high-production empire), and where there is also stopping points and protection for traders along the route. Cultural / biological compatibility will also play a big role. This kind of trade will manifest as a bonus to your stats and income.

    The most profit will come from being able to control the trade routes between several different empires (think galactic silk road).

    Generic trade goods can also be built as one way to ‘bank’ surplus production. These can be sold locally, but you may earn more money from selling them to other empires, especially those at a lower tech rating than your own. Similarly, if your own markets are flooded by alien trade goods, especially from higher-tech empires, this can tank the price of your home-made goods.

    Trade will also be a doorway for cultural exchange and technological spread; also an avenue for spies, criminals, invasive species and deadly diseases. You have been warned!


    Culture, Prestige, Reputation...
    Spoiler :
    Some form of culture will have influence over almost all sentient beings. Talented leaders are likely to be drawn to more prestigious empires.

    Cultures will influence each other, often unequally. A culturally-minded empire may be able to sow dissent in the ranks of its more hard-nosed rivals, and may inspire a higher level of devotion from its own people. Spreading your influence over an area can also make it a lot easier to annex or incorporate peacefully.

    These concepts are hard to quantify and will not appear in the stats, so look out for hints in the updates...


    Stats

    The stats are fairly simple, but there is quite a lot to them. The intention is for the stats to act as a guideline and comparison. Not everything will be listed in the stats, a lot will be ‘blackboxed’. I’m even happy for players to ignore this whole side of the game, so long as they let me know what their priorities are.

    Stats will look something like this:

    Note that numbers in (brackets) are your underlying levels, before repairable damage or upkeep is taken into account.

    Factions are listed under the empire name - in the above example, Orderists promoting unity and obedience, and Economists promoting profit and materialism. These are the powerful forces behind your civics and politics. Factions can be asked for help at any time and will give certain bonuses, at the cost of increasing their influence, and other ‘wildcard’ effects...

    Health represents a mixture of population, unity, morale, stability, resources, and living conditions. You may think of it as the ‘hit points’ of your empire. You will have an easier time increasing other stats to match the level of your health, whereas it will be slightly harder to raise other stats beyond it. More Health also means greater chance of loyal militia spawning to help defend your worlds in the event of invasion. However, a high population can be a burden and a liability in some ways.

    Production is self-explanatory; more production means that more hardware, goods, and indeed more factories can be produced. Upkeep for your military and economy will consume part of your production, however.

    Technology is a mixture of your science output, high-tech industries, as well as your intelligence and counter-intel operations. Every time you start to research a new tech level, you’ll be able to specify a particular field (such as beam weapons, or biotechnology) that you are focusing on. Each Tech increase may give a general bonus to your stats, and will factor into combat.

    Fleets are your primary tools for exploring, contact, defence and attack; Armies take and hold planets and stations (maybe even disabled enemy ships), and can be used to suppress rebels and insurgents. Each point is generally made with 2 production points, and damage can be repaired for 1 point. Fleet and army concentrations will be indicated on the map.

    Note that it is up to you to decide what each point represents at the time of construction; a few heavy ships, or a flotilla of small ships? Are they dedicated warships, or specialised for exploration, trade etc? Similarly, army points may be masses of troops or large battlemechs. I’ll be keeping the stats simple, but tracking these details behind the scenes.

    Stations are large orbital platforms or deep-space facilities that play a supporting role in your space empire; acting as fleet anchorages, shipyards, trade ports, and habitats. Trade will flow much more easily between stations, local fleets will cost less to maintain, and local systems will gain a benefit. If you want a station to have a particular focus (military, economic, scientific or other) you can say so at the time of construction. Stations usually cost 4 production points, and 2 points to repair.

    Treasury represents accumulated strategic materials, components, and luxury goods. Measured in universal eco points (e), it can be spent in any amounts to help ‘nudge’ dice rolls your way, whether that’s in boosting stats, or in combat. ‘e’ can also be spent to temporarily boost production (your own, or a friend’s) by an equivalent amount, up to 2x normal max production. Keeping some ‘e’ as an emergency reserve is also a good idea, to limit the damage from any disasters or emergencies during the turn.


    Turn Orders

    Your orders should contain some, all or none of the following:
    Spoiler :
    Focus - as a free action, you can choose one or more stats you wish to increase (spreading focus will reduce chances of growth, however). This is on top of any other actions that may increase stats during the turn.

    Treasury (‘e’) spending - if any.

    Colonisation focus
    - If there’s a particular direction of colonial expansion, or a particular world you want to focus on developing, you should also mention that here. Only explored areas known to you can be colonised without extra risk.

    Production orders - if any. 'e' can be used to boost production at a 1:1 ratio. Default fallback option is building goods, sold for more ‘e’. Production can also be used to build more factories, this will generally cost 3 points of production for +1 production / turn.

    Tech focus - some combination of research, covert ops, counter-intelligence, supporting your fleet in combat, or perhaps investigating a special project? Be aware that researching a new tech level will usually take your whole Tech effort for the turn (even then it isn’t guaranteed), or use part of your Tech over several turns.

    Fleet orders - either a general plan, or fleet-by-fleet orders, it’s up to you. Fleets can be tasked with everything from supporting colonisation, trade, diplomacy, intelligence gathering and salvaging, as well as their primary roles in exploration and combat. You can of course deliberately build fleets to be specifically good at one of these things.

    Fleets can also be mothballed, reducing upkeep; it will take a while to bring them back up to full readiness, however.

    Army orders - invasion or defence? Hunting down insurgents, suppressing the population or protecting vital installations? Active training, or demobilisation?

    Note that planetary invasions will need fleet support; you will only be able to invade a planet with one Army for every point of Fleet strength you assign to help. Armies can freely relocate within your borders, however.


    Extra Projects

    Where the big boys play

    Spoiler :
    Capital Ships
    You may be able to experiment with building very large vessels, costing at least 4 production points, but no theoretical maximum. These will likely need to be constructed from a Station of some kind.

    Galactic Wonders
    It will be possible to assemble great wonders of technology and industry. These will be expensive - at least 20 production points or equivalent ‘e’ - and may require reaching a certain tech level before activating.

    Rather than just boosting stats (which can be done with other means), Wonders will unlock some kind of bonus ability of your design, at the same time as giving a large boost to your prestige. You may wish to message your friendly GM to discuss ideas and get some idea of the costs before committing.


    Technical Notes

    More on Faster Than Light (FTL) Travel
    Spoiler :
    Species that are not content to sail through space for many tens of thousands of years will be in need of some form of FTL travel.

    In this universe, the most common solution is one that involves using powerful energy fields to alter the quantum state of matter, such that it resonates slightly out of alignment with the rest of physical reality. It will be discovered, though careful manipulation of these fields, that matter can be made to dance - essentially re-programming its quantum state with slightly different information about its location in 3D space, thousands of times per second.

    Though the effect is microscopic at first, once the fundamentals are figured out, the effect can be rapidly scaled up. The first obstacle is expanding the field of effect beyond the generator itself. The next obstacle is increasing the rate of movement to useful speeds for interstellar travel - beyond the speed of light.

    However, for all its miraculous properties, this method of travel has a few quirks. Firstly, it does not alter an object’s inertia, so objects exiting FTL will continue on the same trajectory and speed as before the FTL field was activated. Given the differences between relative trajectories of planets and stars in the galaxy, this may lead to some extreme course-correction; IE, a ship may have to slow down by several hundred kilometres per second at its destination, or simply fly off again into deep space - or worse, crash headlong into something. This means powerful sub-light engines are still needed to achieve stable orbits or soft landings. Wise navigators will also use the gravity of stars and planets to slingshot their ships into more useful trajectories, saving huge amounts of fuel.

    Secondly, the FTL field is greatly weakened by being close to a massive, dense object such as a planet. With basic drives, FTL can only be maintained at a safe distance - in the case of earth, this would be a little beyond the orbit of the moon. This means that a ship that ends up on an unstable orbit may be unable to use FTL to escape. It also means that surprise raids or attacks on an enemy planet are more difficult.

    Thirdly, the FTL field will take a huge amount of energy to power up, but somewhat less energy to maintain. IE, exiting FTL will be much easier than entering it, which could be a problem for ships needing to make a quick escape.

    Naturally, as technology improves, FTL drives will be built that can go faster and further than before. These drives will also push the resonant state of matter further and further beyond standard physical reality, opening doors to a whole range of other phenomena...

    Meanwhile, experiments will continue into ‘warping’ local space, or generating artificial wormholes. The more advanced races may make some use of these technologies alongside the standard FTL drives.
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2020
    Danwar likes this.
  3. Daftpanzer

    Daftpanzer canonically ambiguous

    Joined:
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    Last edited: Feb 29, 2020
  4. Daftpanzer

    Daftpanzer canonically ambiguous

    Joined:
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    Male
    Location:
    Portsmouth, England, UK
    Q & A

    Spoiler :
    > How realistic do I have to be?

    This galaxy allows some extreme biology, and a little hand-wavey on technology. But I won’t allow anything too fantastical, or anything that completely breaks the laws of physics. Alien races should make sense as something that could survive and thrive against the forces of nature - unless being uplifted by outsiders is part of your story, or being the degenerate offspring of an ancient race.

    Basically if it would work in a game of Stellaris, it will probably work here.

    > Can I start with physics / psionic powers?

    To a certain extent, especially if playing as a fallen ancient race. Younger races may have individuals with a few unexplained abilities, such as instances of telepathy or intuitive visions. But I’d rather this is something that develops through the course of the game.

    > Can I play as Humans from Earth?

    Is this the Milky Way? I want to leave that deliberately ambiguous. So I’m saying no to Humans from Earth... Unless you have an idea you feel very strongly about (feel free to discuss in PM’s).

    > OK, can I be a Human-like race?

    Sure thing. Hopefully not everyone will be humanoids, though!

    > I want to cut and paste a species or faction from an existing sci-fi franchise, can I do this?


    Sorry, but this may not be the game for you. This project is about creating something collaboratively, so some creativity is required. A variation on a common trope is acceptable, however.

    > I want to re-use an existing concept that I used in another game...

    That is fine, I am actually doing the same with the NPC race posted below. So long as it is your own creation to begin with.

    > I don’t get the rules?

    Feel free to ask me anything anytime, I am also on discord @ Daftpanzer#0926.

    > I don’t want to deal with the rules!

    That’s actually fine, I can work with knowing your general ideas, if you’re willing to interact with players and maybe write some stories/background.

    > I want to do something not mentioned in the rules...

    That should be fine, I didn’t want to try covering every base. Just include it in your orders and/or message me we’ll work it out.

    > Is there a story bonus?


    I don’t want to penalise players who can’t commit time to writing stories. So there won’t be a ‘hard’ story bonus, but you can help me (and other players) understand your ideas better and get more of a feel for your race and its culture, which will help me make better decisions…



    Joining the Game

    Template below:

    Spoiler :
    Empire Name: please select an empire name.

    Starting Scenario: please select a scenario from the list of options in the rules.

    Homeworld: please give a brief description of your homeworld, and any notable facts of your home system (leave blank to let dice rolls decide). For an advanced start, you may want to give a very brief description of a couple of colony worlds.

    Location Preference:
    please choose your preference for a quiet or busy part of the galaxy to start in, and/or a preference for distance from the galactic center (leave blank to let dice rolls decide everything).

    !NEW! Colour Preference: your choice for map colour.

    Physical description: please give a brief physical description of your race(s). See the above life form classifications section for some ideas.

    Suggested traits: please describe the basic traits - strengths and weaknesses - of your race(s). You may want to look at the list of traits used in Stellaris for ideas.

    Alien contacts: if you want to have existing alien contacts, please describe them here (depending on your starting scenario).

    Brief History: please give a very brief recent history of your civilization.

    Government system: please give a brief description of your government system, and any dominant civics or political views.

    Stance towards aliens:
    please describe your default stance towards aliens.

    This can all be expanded upon later; I’d rather make sure all of the above checks out before anyone commits to long bios or backstories. It’s possible I’ll have objections to something, so please don’t dive in the deep end! A brief signup (shorter than my example below) is absolutely fine.
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2020
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  5. Daftpanzer

    Daftpanzer canonically ambiguous

    Joined:
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    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Portsmouth, England, UK
    Empire Name: Hurrunn Agreement

    Starting Scenario: Newly FTL-Capable

    Homeworld: Hmmaia
    , a relatively-small terrestrial moon of the massive gas giant Urrue, orbiting a gentle orange K-type star. Climate averages to arid and temperate, much of the surface is made of eroded mesa regions. There is seasonal extreme weather. There is a distinct orange-red tint from space, dotted with bright blue blobs of seas and salt lakes, and only a scattering of dark forests. Several sister moons orbit nearby, but smaller and lacking protective atmospheres, are all icy and rocky. The star system is one of the oldest in the galaxy.

    Location Preference:
    relatively quiet, 2/3 of the way out from the galactic center.

    Physical description
    : Hurrunn are fairly large (cow-sized), squat beings with rounded bodies and six multi-purpose limbs, somewhat resembling a greatly-upscaled water bear crossed with a jumping spider. There is no head as such; the front of the body has two main eyes and a complex set of mouthparts, which double as fingers for fine object manipulation. Very thick, folded skin gives these beings an arthropod-like appearance, though they have internal skeletons and give birth to live young. Metabolism and movement is slow. individuals can live for centuries, and will regularly morph between male and female throughout their lives.

    Suggested traits: slow, semi-subterranean, eccentric, obsessive, solitary, long-lived, slow breeders, resilient. Omnivorous diet. Preference for temperate/arid climate and mountainous/rocky biomes.

    Alien contacts: none, though garbled legends hint at some kind of alien visitation in the distant past.

    Brief History: Hurrunn civilization traces back over 100,000 years, and has already been capable of basic spaceflight for over 1,000. These beings have been in no hurry to develop high technology, and still seem unsure about living together in any numbers; only a few city-states exist, built mostly underground to protect against violent mega-storms that scour Hmmaia once a year. Some colonies have also been built on nearby sister moons. Violence is rare, and there have been no significant armed conflicts.

    Government system:
    The Agreement is an intricate web of contracts between different scientific-industrial cooperatives, with the aim of managing the exploration of space beyond the home system; stable but inefficient and slow, not helped by reliance on centuries-old computer systems. Meetings of the Agreement Council are notoriously long, lasting days or even weeks at a time.

    Stance towards aliens: Hurrunn are likely to be very curious and naive.


    You may now post :salute:
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2020
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  6. Immaculate

    Immaculate unerring

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2003
    Messages:
    7,620
    Psilomedusoza

    Empire Name:


    'Psilomedusoza'
    (our real name is based on a pattern of lights and cannot be 'heard' or vocalized)

    Starting Scenario:

    Advanced race. We use biological ships to traverse the stars with some regularity and may have small colonies where appropriate.

    Homeworld:

    Oceanic moon of a radiation-prone gas giant. Huge seasonal differences due to axial tilt and effect of planet's gravity and orbit. Great warm seas full of kelp-like forests. Volcanic and seismic activity. Many deep undersea rifts. At the surface, raging storms and frequent volcanic activity. Thick atmosphere and at the poles, surface ice, which shield against planet's radiation.

    Location Preference:


    Busier, more central place in the galaxy please.

    Physical description:

    Similar to our siphonophorae here on earth.

    Individuals exhibit septifold radial symmetry characterized by long muscled tendrils. They exhibit extremely active bioluminescence and plentiful optical sensor arrays. They are amphibious but more comfortable in water. As individuals they exhibit relatively limited animal-like intelligence governed by instinct and do not have a sense of 'self', though they do have memory.

    Individuals will arrange in linear and branching colonies, sharing nutritional and photo-neuronal communication as a colony. Here they exhibit higher conciousness, with larger colonies exhibiting more conciousness but very large colonies having difficulty integrating 'self' due to the nano-scale delay in neuronal impulse leading to fragmentation of thought and identity.
    Within colonies, some individuals may specialize more morphologically but all can revert this specialization if separated from the colony.

    They reproduce rapidly by dispersing larval planulae which will anchor on solid objects, mature to become polyps where they mature quickly via filter-feeding on sea currents and finally mature intellectually and physically into free-floating Psilomedusoza. These will then seek to join or form new colonies and gain greater intellectual capacity and true sentience.

    Physically they might look something like this though thicker and more muscled:


    or this:


    Ultimately they extremely morphologically variable according to the needs of the colony.

    Technology:

    All our race's technology has at least some biological or cybernetic elements incorporated and almost all have a photo-neuronal (artificial) interface so that our 'machines' act like additional, more specialized individuals that can be incorporated into our colonies. Bioluminescence and extensive optical arrays are the norm for almost all of our bio and cybermachinery.

    Military, they have an aptitude for beam-based weapons due to focus on light-based communications.

    Suggested traits:

    Shared intelligence, Lacks individuals, Consensual, Perfect memory, Aquatic, Weakly amphibious on land, Resistance to electrical storms and radiation, Fast breeding (at the individual level anyway), Biology- and cybernetic- based technology, Physically weak

    Alien contacts:

    Yes please. Generally curious.

    Brief History:

    Evolved from a moon with multiple sentient species, they have obtained primacy but maintain semi-sentient 'pets' almost all of which share an evolutionary ancestor and act as Siphonophorae-like in their communal and individual structures. Occasional violent conflict across species but generally very rare to have conflict, especially violent conflict, within the species.

    Government system:


    Consensual between colonies based on sharing individuals and the memories they have so we all share common memories even if we have distinct 'colonial' individuality.

    Stance towards aliens:


    Selectively curious. Naive on occasion. Generally non-violent but decisively lethal when threatened.
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2020
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  7. thomas.berubeg

    thomas.berubeg Wandering the World

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2006
    Messages:
    9,077
    Location:
    Ft. Lauderdale
    Empire Name: The United Colonies

    Starting Scenario: Newly (re)FTl

    Homeworld: The United Colonies, despite what the name suggests, is not really yet a multi-system polity. Instead, by grace of luck or divine intervention, the system the Parhelion found itself in after the event had not one, not two, not three, but four small habitable worlds.
    The United Colonies parliament is itself housed on a great station that was built around what was once the Parhelion.
    The four worlds are, in order of habitability, though I’ll leave the details blank
    Horizon
    Aurora
    Journey
    Hope
    The system itself is called Utopia.

    Location Preference: Quiet corner of the galaxy, but distance from galactic core left blank

    Physical description: The Lost are animalian, with a bilateral symmetry. They do not have much sexual dimorphism, though of the two genders, males are slightly bigger. Their skin, hair, and eyes come in nearly every color in the spectrum, though ancient literature from before the transition indicates that that was not the case of their ancestors. The three subspecies which result from the are genetically very similar, in fact able to interbreed, with the result being a random member of the three species, without an impact by parents. Thus, while two members of the same species will always produce their own, a Bolter and Swimmer may have a Shiner Child.


    Suggested traits:
    Shiners
    : Those who would eventually be known as angels found that they aged significantly slower than their peers. Taller, and generally paler of eyes than the others, Shiners have a subtle “otherness” or “ethereal beauty” to them. Though they are the rarest of the species, they tend to learn skills more deeply than others, and some even claim to be able to see into the souls of the stars themselves, often taking leadership positions, as the other races tend to defer to them naturally.
    Bolters: Bolters are the most common of the races of the Lost. Unlike the others, who are generally of a greater beauty, boltersfind themselves utterly unremarkable to look upon, aside for an odd pattern of cartilaginous ridges on their arms and heads. Quicker lived, but with a greater strength and mechanical aptitude than their peers, Bolters form most of the Lost society. Many Bolter youth spend years of their childhood working on the derelicts finding lost and new tech, and hundreds of small bolter homesteads drift in the asteroid belts, or under the oceans of the
    Shephards: are stubborn and gregarious. Having survived the transition when so many others haven’t, and finding safe planets has given them a certain spirituality and arrogance, convincing themselves the lost are a chosen people. Despite this, they find themselves happiest working the land, or tending animals. They find themselves most at home in water or damp areas.
    (Broken: ) though officially, broken don’t exist, some claim to occasionally receive warnings, or be rescued, by a race that looks like dessicated versions of the lost, in ships that are shadowed husks of those of the lost, and that appear and disappear without warning. The seem benevolent, if they exist, and many assume they are the souls of those who vanished during the event.

    Alien contacts: Yes, please. The system is scattered with remnants of dead alien ships, stations, and constructions, though as far as we know, none of them successfully made the transit through whatever the anomaly was. We are unique. Some of the ships are full of frozen corpses, some full of dead mutants, and some are empty.

    Brief History: Not much is remembered from before the Transition, and many historical records were scrambled. What is known is that Parhelion was a colony ship from an advanced civilization, probably with many species under it’s aegis. The ship itself was a cryo-ship, traveling at slow FTL to a nearby system. As it drifted through space, manned by a skeleton crew, SOMETHING grabbed it, and ripped it from space time, removing nearly a third of the sleepers and crew, and deposited the ship (and it’s remaining passengers - changed) in an unknown system. As the fires were put out, and the emergency lights flickered on, the crew worked tirelessly, even as they came to terms with their changed bodies. Their relief at finding that the system had habitable planets was second only to their dismay at finding that the Warp engines of the Parhelion were burnt out, as were most of the data-cores and archives, and that the stars matched nothing in their charts. The crew had no idea whether they were still in the same galaxy, time, or even dimension. In the centuries since, the Lost, as they have come to refer themselves, colonized the planets they could, and the asteroids they could, and have come to know themselves as the “United Colonies.”

    Government system: Parliamentary.

    Stance towards Aliens: We’re all a bit different, aliens are cool.
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2020
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  8. ork75

    ork75 Prince

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2012
    Messages:
    544
    Love this! Will throw in a full app soon
     
  9. Jehoshua

    Jehoshua Catholic

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2009
    Messages:
    7,240
    Good job - application shortly.
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2020
  10. Jehoshua

    Jehoshua Catholic

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2009
    Messages:
    7,240
    Empire Name: Ieldra Imperium [note: ieldra is the species - name derived from the old English word for elder ;) ]

    Starting Scenario: Crumbling Ancient

    Homeworld: Urath - While the original homeworld of the Ieldra is lost to time, Old Urath is the spiritual and material heart of the Ieldra domain and the seat of the pure ones. It is a verdant tropical verging to temperate world hidden from the primitive ocular sensors of lesser species by the local spacial topography [whether that is a nebula or some other feature is up to the gm], this world is scattered with the beautiful and monolithic architecture of the ancient Ieldra which strives for harmony with the natural environment and serves in many cases to aid the Ieldra in their meditations. Many ancient relics are to be found here. The wildlife is diverse reflecting the handiwork of the worlds masters in ages past, and to the reckoning of biological life can be said to be nothing less than a paradise.

    Urghaal [colony] - A temperate shrine world, the key feature of this world is its proximity to an unusually dense cluster of uplifted races from just prior to the calamity. Thus the Ieldra make use of it to oversee these species development and protect them from undue interference from lesser races. The Temple of Awakening, a great aedifice of arcane magi-tech serves to assist the worlds congregation of masters in this task, and in their own contemplation of the heavens and is a key architectural marvel/technological feature of the world, and indeed it is inhabited by an archilect that serves as a repository of much wisdom. Intriguingly the capital city of this world, Ilanura of the crystal towers, is mythologically held as the very city of heaven itself by some of primitive uplifted races in the vicinity.

    Urenuel [colony] - An outpost tomb world, notable for a local dimensional anomaly. This has led Ieldra to settle the world to pursue the study of higher and lower dimensions in pursuit of ascension. Strange monoliths of a design disturbing to lesser minds are to be found on this worlds surface in strangely disconcerting patterns and serve to facilitate the manipulation of space-time and secure the stability of the space-time continuum within the local region of the galaxy and ward off extra-dimensional intrusion into realspace. Many artifacts of the ancient Ieldra are said to be scattered in the wastelands in this place while its remaining Ieldric residents conduct their inquiries in hidden subterranean redoubts in order to avoid the travails of the hostile surface, and to remain hidden from pestiferous interlopers.

    Location Preference:
    - Quiet corner of the galaxy [hidden from lesser races if possible] - distance from the galactic centre random.

    Physical description: The Ieldra are a tall, noble and extremely long lived [counting in the millennia at least] race. Indeed some amongst the younger races say they live nearly forever and that the most powerful masters have touched upon the secrets of immortality [see the pure ones in governance]. They are however slow-breeding, which the masters say is a sign of Gods providence, lest their kind overrun the stars. They are in appearance beautiful in form, humanoid animalian species bearing four arms and two legs and bearing a luminous complexion [such that they have been called the Golden Ieldra in days gone by]. Their species technological advancements in the past as well as the simple length of their races existence has resulted in several evolutionary advancements beyond younger races. The Ieldra are highly intelligent with their minds moving swiftly and deeply with a clarity of thought far beyond the muddle-headed insights of younger sentient beings, and their bodies possess limited regenerative abilities which not only hold back the progress of time, but also enable the Ieldra able to overcome wounds which might in a lesser species be crippling. Psionically the Ieldra are potent, able to commune telepathically, effect the minds of lesser species, manipulate the material world with the power of their thought and, it is said in hushed whispers, the most sagacious of the old masters can even see future possibilities in order to scry the future [although true divination is said to be impossible]. This advanced biological capacity, bright intelligence, wealth of knowledge and psionic might render them strong in battle and it is a rare warrior of a lesser race who can best a warmaster of the Ieldra in the field.

    While the species, perhaps due to its longevity and slow breeding rate finds it naturally difficult to adapt to live in environments outside of their natural biome, they have somewhat ameliorated this prior to the crisis through bio-engineering modest adaptive traits into the race in order to better research life on harsh alien worlds and this technologically accessed tolerance for harsh conditions has only been further enhanced in recent times through the experiences suffered by the Ieldra race during the calamity. Surviving the crisis that swept the galaxy all those thousands of years ago resulted in the species learning methods of survival in order to preserve their legacy [ and their lives should they find themselves consumed by the flood that swept the galaxy ] intact. Methods that enable them to endure even on the most inhospitable of planets.

    Suggested traits: Venerable, Intelligent, Strong, Psionic, Bio-adaptability, Limited Regeneration, Survivor, Non-adaptive, Slow Breeders, Solitary [habitat preference tropical]

    Alien contacts: The Ieldra have uplifted species in the past, long prior to the calamity and may have some contacts, be it as distant gods, figures of half-forgotten memory or revered progenitors. In the present contact with lesser species is rare due to the races overarching doctrine [see below] and the general state of the galaxy, although perhaps such situations are increasing as the crisis recedes ever further into the past.

    Brief History: Long ago the ancient Ieldra, one of the oldest races in the galaxy, stood astride the myriad worlds as a colossus, sailing the sea of stars in great light ships and seeding life on a million worlds. As their work bore fruit, the Ieldra sages and techno-magi uplifted sentient races through the mysteries of noetic science and arcane bio-engineering for the joy of creation and for the purpose of accelerating the spiritual evolution of the universe through the propagation of sentience in order to some day understand the mind of God through the shared enlightenment and ascension of the Ieldra and those they had fashioned. These primitive races however oft worshipped their creators as deities, and marvelled at the Ieldras mystic knowledge, psionic power and miraculous technology. Thus with time the greater part of the race, tempted by the worship of those they had created strayed from the pure and holy doctrines which guided them in this errand from time immemorial, and turned towards the low doctrine of materialism. These fallen Ieldra came to rule over a great portion of the galaxy crafting robotic life-forms to serve them in their pleasures as the beings they uplifted from the dust of a thousand worlds processed unto their golden courts in reverence and in the pursuit of the fruits of knowledge the Ieldra had obtained, rather than seeking knowledge and wisdom of their own in fulfilment of the purpose for which they were made. Thus were the Ieldra split in twain, with the greater part falling into vice and corruption, while the smaller and purer part became ever more isolated and less in number on isolated shrine-worlds far from the short-sighted circle of galactic life.

    Thus it was that they were spared when the calamity rushed through the galaxy like a flood. While their materialist brethren collapsed and disappeared from the sight of the worlds, seemingly into extinction, when their servite automata were laid waste and throne-worlds cast down, those who remained fixed on the path of enlightenment and understanding continued as they always had as the crisis passed them by. Yet even they bore a cost, for while millennia after the calamity the Ieldra maintain arts and technology beyond the comprehension of lesser races, the pursuit of enlightenment and focus on the occult and the spiritual to peer into the very vaults of heaven, as well as their final separation from their mundane brethren [when they supposedly perished] has resulted in the loss of much of what they once possessed. Nonetheless now that the galaxy stirs from its slumber some amongst the Ieldra strive to recover these fragments of the past in order to advance once more to the fulfilment of their holy errand of spreading light, life and wisdom across the stars and to seek thereby the ineffable flame of ascension not only for themselves, but for all sentience.

    Government system: The Ieldra are loosely ruled overall by three ancient spiritual masters [The Three Pure Ones] who reincarnate through psionic soul transference [perhaps or perhaps not aided by relics of the past] to perpetually guide their brethren through the aeons, although the death of these mighty beings is nearly unheard of due given the millennia of life available to powerful Ieldra psychics. Beneath them, various Ieldra communities and worlds are ruled by conclaves of enlightened sages, with communion facilitated by the races psionic abilities. Additionally certain worlds may be ruled by "schools of thought" parallel to the general Ieldric governing system, for the Ieldra delight in diversity of thought to better avail themselves of the mysteries of the cosmos.

    Stance towards aliens: Benevolent isolationists, the Ieldra favour remaining aloof from galactic politics to concentrate on the path of spiritual enlightenment and the restoration of their race, that said they dabble in the mundane affairs of other races on occasion if its serves their mysterious objectives, or if said affairs come knocking on their door. On the whole they are benevolent and aloof unless threatened.

    -

    ooc: sorry about the double post, internet cut out so when I submitted the app it made me re-log and hence created a new entry on the thread.
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2020
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  11. Danwar

    Danwar Warlord

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2017
    Messages:
    241
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Right under your nose
    Empire Name: The Celestial Mandate of Telanas

    Starting Scenario: Advanced Race

    Homeworld: The Holiest Telanas, the planet which the empire is named for and its spiritual and political center, is a roughly Earthlike world sharing many of the same characteristics - a large area covered by water and the rest a distribution of open plains, rugged hills, and mountainous areas. However, the principal difference is the amount of it encased by cold and ice - its temperatures, even after the native species' ascension to the modern era, remained very low, and in fact, the Tenalans benefited from their global warming - with much larger areas capable of farming, the freeing up of coastal areas for ports, and sufficient heat to discover more advanced materials - but this trend was stopped by climate activists wanting to stop it from going too far. Nevertheless, food production is concentrated primarily around the equator which contains most of the fertile land on the planet, and as much it is the most developed area of the planet. It orbits a relatively weak white dwarf and has two moons, both roughly equal in size.

    Location Preference:
    Quiet, only by virtue of most initial neighbors being conquered already - one or two other powers is acceptable though

    Physical description: The Tenalians, or 'Iceborn' as they are known more commonly among the other species of the Empire and those outside of it, are slow-to-reproduce, warm-blooded but roughly reptilian organics. Their body, when standing at full height, has a rather curved shape, their knees bent inward instead of out and equipped with a tail as well. They're covered in a sheen of scales but the skin underneath is slightly thicker than most animals of similar size and contains a layer of insulative fat to protect against the cold as well as armed with talons and claws, but in modern society, these become more of a hindrance than a benefit. However, these cumbersome vestiges are more than made up for by their seemingly naturally high hand-eye coordination, capable of idle tricks of the hand that most other species might take months or years to learn to pull off. They are warm-blooded as well so as to be able to withstand the cold of their homeworld, and these traits overall serve them nearly as well in the chilly vacuum of deep space as on their frigid homeworld. They do reproduce sexually, but the dimorphism between the two genders is far less prominent than many other species.

    However, most curious is the unique power their brains have. While not significantly more intelligent than whatever rough average there is in the galaxy, these brains are far more active, enough so that, through a somewhat phenomenon known to other races as 'Psionics', many are capable of influencing the world around them with mere thoughts, lifting and moving objects as well as communicating telepathically when unable to orally, though this is too intensive to maintain for too long. Their psionics are somewhat less developed than those of other races, and the majority can only utilize the stronger abilities like telekenesis sporadically; however, there is an extremely rare artifact that seemingly renders Tenalians and them alone as a sort of mysterious, psychic 'conduit' for some being, something that their entire state religion and administration is centered around - and will as such be explained in later sections.

    Suggested traits: (Latent) Psionic, Slow Breeders, Cold Preference, Dexterous (+5% Worker Output and +10% Army Damage if this was Stellaris - essentially like Strong except for more resource production than army damage), Durable (+5% Habitability and +10% Army Health), and Conduit (If it was Stellaris it would give every ruler a special trait that scales with the number of worlds following the state religion and temples of the state religion owned, gaining more Global Happiness, Administrative Capacity, and Worker Output the more pops there are in the empire following the state religion - explanation below)

    Alien contacts: Aside from a few already-conquered alien races which I am fine with being somewhat randomly generated, they're not all that much in contact with other species, although perhaps they've encountered one or two new rival powers able to exploit their current internal strife...

    Brief History: While one could go on for hours if not days simply giving an abridged version of this species' perception of its origins and all the history and beliefs about their earlier, pre-Mandate times and the origin of the artifact that they've consecrated, what is known is that at midnight when both the world's moons were aligned, a great ruler of one of the at the time smaller kingdoms of the Tenalians discovered a mysterious artifact hidden deep within her modest citadel embedded with a purple gemstone, seeming to somehow call to her. The monarch took the crown and donned it, and was soon given great and supposedly divine wisdom and power, reaching the upper limits of the knowledge a mortal can have. Upon seeing this great wisdom, many soon began to say that the discovery of the crown was divine intervention, and a cult around it and the one who wore it formed that the queen entrenched within her state. Years passed and the realms of Tenalia were united under the banner of this new empire, and for each new convert to the Faith and city gained by the Mandate, it seemed the wisdom and authority of the monarchy grew yet more and more.

    It was merely a millennium and two centuries since the discovery of the Crown that the world itself was united, despite several succession crises, civil wars, rebellions, and conflict all around. Somehow, the monarchy seemed to win nearly all of the wars it faced, both internal and external, and so all the planet bowed down to the Mandate's authority. And so the planet developed for another four hundred years, slowly stabilizing under the authority of the new government and faith, and an era of peace and prosperity brought a blooming to the Mandate's culture and sciences. Industrialization allowed the Mandate to better administrate the world's holdings, and it became gradually more and more centralized under the Mandate, the population booming (compared to previous periods: rough estimates that the population only increased by 1.5x throughout the entire Golden Age, compared to the growth rate of other, more fertile species) and Telania developing into the developed yet well-planned world it is today. However, this peace could not last forever - FTL was discovered, and the Mandate, its people behind them, set out unto the stars. Three different species of heretics and heathens faced them in their initial expansion, but through a combination of advanced technology, a wave of remilitarization, psionic abilities, and material wealth, all were subdued under the holy Mandate.

    Initially, the Telanaian conquerors were harsh and cruel to their 'heathen' alien subjects, but the throne, showing wisdom beyond that of their subjects and even of the monarchs before ascending to the throne, decreed that all conquered aliens were to be treated as equals to the Telanians provided they converted to the true faith. At first, there was a great deal of backlash to this from the Telanians, but the immense spiritual and political power of the government suppressed most of this biological discrimination in favor of religious evangelism, and now these conquered species are somewhat integrated into Telanian society, following their religion and gradually accepting bits and pieces of their standardized language and intricate culture: However, there are smaller, rebellious pockets of these species that have yet to fully embrace the Faith, and now, rumors of a pretender having hidden among the conquered populace and built up a power base from one if not several of these species, conspiring to take the Throne and the Mandate for himself.

    Government system: Theocratic absolute monarchy; monarchs that, supposedly thanks to a mysterious crown jealously guarded by the current monarchs, are free from the normal amounts of incompetent and unqualified candidates and generally allowing it to maintain a course for the ship of state despite successions. An immense bureaucracy is of course required to manage this interstellar, multispecies empire, especially with the level of centralization the Mandate currently has. Ultimately, the monarch's word is law in every sense however, and any bureaucrat's decision can be overruled by the ruler at a moment's notice. There is a marked lack of religious toleration, and most rights and legal protections only apply to those who follow the state religion.

    Stance towards aliens:
    The Mandate's official stance is that any being able to understand the True Faith is considered to be equal to any other, and so bigotry on basis of species is banned in the Mandate. However, there is still some lingering tension between the Telanian founders and the newer species that have joined the Mandate, and it will take time for them to go from their current halfway integrated state to an integral part of the Mandate.
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2020
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  12. Daftpanzer

    Daftpanzer canonically ambiguous

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2002
    Messages:
    6,633
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Portsmouth, England, UK
    Thank you guys, loving this so far. Just a reminder for anyone else thinking of joining, that short signups are fine with me at this point, it doesn't have to be fully fleshed out yet.

    I've talked to a couple of people in chat and I'm generally fine with everything that's been posted. Just a couple of thoughts to bring this together -

    I'm thinking the United Colonies could start with higher tech but reduced economy, to reflect the fact that their population is still relatively low. Their origin may be outside the galaxy, or may be one of the earliest post-Crisis civilizations, but either way they don't seem to reference the 'Crisis' and it seems they don't go so far back, so I wouldn't put them in league as the ancient remnants. The shipwrecks in the system could be a treasure-trove of discoveries and a long term project to investigate. I have some ideas for the nature of the 'anomoly'...

    The Ieldra may or may not have been as influencial as the history suggests. Certainly they seem to have been one of the major ancient races. Technology, though still very advanced, has dwindled as their minds turn to spiritual matters. Whether or not The Three Pure Ones are actually reincarnations will also be a matter of faith. Several Uplifted races will be populated around Urghaal system, they will need shepherding if you intend to keep them confined to the area and focused on the spiritual path.

    I'd like to tone down the psionic ability of the Tenalians; full-on telekensis (moving objects) is something I'd reserve for ancient races. But there could be sporadic uncontrolled instances of these powers, which can be developed with the aid of greater knowledge further down the line. The Crown can be assumed to be some kind of ancient artefact, and there may be a price for its continued use.
     
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  13. LordArgon

    LordArgon King

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2019
    Messages:
    844
    Gender:
    Male
    Empire Name: Miskatoni Combine

    Starting Scenario: Advanced Race

    Homeworld:
    Attrios- A turbulent, storm wracked birthplace of the Miskatoni Combine. It is a hot, jungle covered world teeming with life.
    Ulandi- A temperate world with grasslands covering a majority of the planet. Major agricultural colony for the combine.
    Cathan- Mineral rich world with high amounts of tectonic activity. Massive ships serve as living quarters for the workers in order to minimize casualties from the many earthquakes.

    Location Preference: Middle of the rim with at least a few neighbors.

    Physical description: The Naharyi were originally two separate species, a parasite and a host. Overtime they have fused together although it is easy to see traces of the original two in their appearance. The Naharyi have a sturdy oblong outer shell with four equally spaced legs. A stubby, articulated tail juts out of the rear with a locustlike mouth on the opposite end. Two small clawed arms are on either side of the mouth to help with eating. Rising from an opening in the top of the head is a mass of tentacles, another mouth, and sensory stalks. The second mouth is used for communication and air intake, while the first mouth is for nutrition intake. The color of the body ranges from a light red to a deep purple. The tentacles are mostly white, but some Naharyi have slightly green tinted ones. On average they are a meter in length, three quarters of a meter in width, and a meter and a half tall when not counting the tentacles.

    Suggested traits: Prefers Humid environment, weak to cold, adaptable, resilient , slow, decadent, long-lived, slow maturing, intelligent, cunning.

    Alien contacts: Trade contacts. Possibly some eyes on some preFTL civilizations conquered.

    Brief History: After a series of wars and treaties united their people, the Naharyi people formed the Miskatoni Combine and headed for the stars. They started small mining outposts own their own system before the first FTL was made. It only allowed for short jumps with a cooldown period in between, but it allowed the Combine to expand to other systems. Around one of the worlds they discovered the ruins of an ancient space station and a much more powerful FTL drive. Using the ancient technology, the Combine has started to expand their interstellar empire.

    Government system: Oligarchy. Entry into the ruling elders is based on financial or military backing and seniority. The ruling council holds inductions every five years or upon five deaths or retirements of sitting members. Majority votes decide policy, with any ties being broken by the eldest member.

    Stance towards aliens:
    Seen as useful organisms for continued advancement of the combine.
     
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  14. Angst

    Angst Rambling and inconsistent

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2007
    Messages:
    14,272
    Location:
    A Silver Mt. Zion
    I have a civ concept. It would consist of several species of different kinds that live in a kind of symbiosis and that also both consider their society's dead matter an extension of themselves, including some funghi that reanimate its species' corpses. The civilization is basically an embodiment of the Gaia hypothesis, living as individual subjects but as expression of the same biological system as one common society. While they consider themselves individuals they don't really have a concept of species, they identify primarily as part of their ecosystem and then secondarily as whatever creature they are. The whole planet would be infected by a species of fungus that doesn't have sapience or even sentience. The fungus can be really invasive to their bodies and is the factor that kills by far the most people on the planet, but its society doesn't care about this, as they consider the fungus and its death part of themselves. In addition, as they die to things in general, the fungus invades and takes over their nerve systems and brain functions to basically reanimate the dead as functional, unintelligent husks. These do the bulk of the civilization's menial work and are considered as natural part of their life cycle as being alive. The fungus has been part of the world for many millions of years, far preceding the rise of the planet's intelligent life (which happened on a couple of continents in some different animal humanoids). So the planet's individuals just consider this fungus and its nerve manipulation as part of their life, and due to the genetic base of the planet's life, the fungus would not (at this point) be able to overtake creatures from other planets. The civilization, in extension, considers life from other planets "essentially different", so to say, and have difficulties relating to aliens.

    The architecture would be really old and be full of rot and grime and vast plant growth, not at all pleasant for more hygienic civilizations that are more averse to sickness and death. This is a world where dying from anything gets you reanimated for a while, after all, even if you become a will-less drone.

    Is it appropriate, and what species should I designate myself as? The fungus is important to the identity, but it will really be a collection of different things, some being very humanoid, some being its domesticated "inhabitants", some being plants and some being really alien, roaming shambles of fungus. All are part of the society's understanding of itself and are not secondary to it.

    Everything else in the entry section, I'm more indifferent to. I think I prefer advanced FTL or something of the equivalent to get things going (since you say we expect to not interact with much for the few first turns of regular FTL).

    EDIT A few pictures (from Magic the Gathering, so it's fantasy-esque) about what kind of things that could be considered part of the civilization.

    Spoiler :






     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2020
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  15. Lord_Iggy

    Lord_Iggy Tsesk'ihe

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2005
    Messages:
    24,580
    Location:
    Yukon
    Empire Name: Hello, I am Suuf

    Starting Scenario: I am Pre-FTL

    Homeworld: I live on Anuu, the largest of three moons around a small, cool gas giant planet named Guur, in the solar system of the star Atuunaui. Anuu has a thin atmosphere of nitrogen and methane and deep oceans of a eutectic water-ammonia mixture. It is tectonically and tidally active, due to its close proximity to Guur. Anuu has two sibling moons of similar size, Daduu and Muuna, as well as 29 smaller satellites and Guur's asteroid belt.

    Location Preference:
    I exist mid-way out from the galactic core.

    Physical description: I am Anuu. I am Suuf. As Suuf, I am a carbon-based organism comprised largely of carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, arsenic, and sulphur, with a large variety of trace compounds. I am sessile, although my transport tissues allow me to move parts of myself around my body. I grow in one place, which currently is all of Anuu. I have specialized tissues which collect chemical and electromagnetic resources, which I use to maintain my existence and adjust my existence in response to my surroundings.

    Physically, as Suuf I resemble a large, fringed growth covering all of Anuu, and also all of Daduu and Muuna. I prefer to make fan-like shapes in orientations that fit appropriately into the shape of the world. What is the appropriate shape? This is a complex matter of aesthetics upon which I ponder at great length. As Anuu, I often discuss this with my siblings on Daduu and Muuna. I would happily discuss aesthetics with you.

    (Xenobiologist's Note: The entity 'Suuf' could be best compared to a lichen- a type of fungus which houses symbiotic algae for photosynthesis. 'Suuf' is a superorganism, having grown to cover the entire surface of its planet, as well as having thoroughly perforated its home planet's crust. Genetically, 'Suuf' is many individual organisms from one species, although its mental processes appear to function as a unified whole, akin to a planet-wide nervous system. Due to the nature of its biology and the cold, low-energy nature of its home moon, its thought processes happen an order of magnitude more slowly than those of animal or artificial intelligences.)

    Suggested traits: Sessile, Slow-Thinking, Slow-Growing, Biologically Immortal. Planetary preference is for cold worlds with nitrogen-methane atmospheres and ammonia-water seas.

    (Xenobiologist's Note: The entity 'Suuf' has a decision-making process which operates orders of magnitude more slowly than that of a typical sentient animal. It moves at an imperceptibly slow speed and lacks any sort of musculature beyond the expansion and contraction of its cells. However, in spite of its slow reaction times, 'Suuf' has the potential for vast intelligence and practical wisdom, and claims to hold a memory extending back tens, if not hundreds of thousands of years. However, its intelligence is limited by the fact that there are only three true 'Suuf' intelligences, one on each of the moons the species inhabits.)

    Alien contacts: I only have contact with my siblings, Daduu and Muuna, which also orbit the gas giant Guur. They are also Suuf.

    Brief History: I evolved on Anuu from ancestors who used photosynthetic symbiotes to generate energy, alongside my innate chemosynthesis. My precursors were large colonial organisms who became the dominant lifeforms on Anuu. My earliest memories are in the consolidation of myself, and the unification of Anuu's biosphere. I developed a self-aware understanding of myself, and the world, and ultimately of aesthetics, during this period. Contemplating and experimenting, I was able to propel small disseminules to some of the other nearby moons. After a long wait, my siblings responded to me, and I, as Suuf, existed across multiple spheres for the first time. I have since sent many disseminules to places far more distant, but it shall be a great many cycles before they arrive, and even longer before we are able to speak once more.

    Government system: I do not fully understand what is meant by civics or political views. As Anuu, I direct my own growth and maintain homeostasis. Daduu and Muuna do the same for themselves. As Suuf, I interact between my constituent parts by using rocketry and gravity assists to send messages between Anuu, Daduu and Muuna.

    Stance towards aliens:
    I am presently of the understanding that any aliens I will meet are likely to be planetary intelligences. I have not yet detected the existence of any alien beings that are not Suuf. Should I find them, I would wish to meet them and determine their understanding of the shape of the world.

    It is implausible that sentient aliens could be found in other forms. While life is well known to exist down to microscopic scales, it is not clear how an animal, with its motile body, limited mind, ephemeral lifespan and subsequently tiny potential for knowledge accumulation, could ever hope to understand the history of a planet or the nature of reality, in the brief instant between hatching and withering.
     
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  16. Daftpanzer

    Daftpanzer canonically ambiguous

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2002
    Messages:
    6,633
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Portsmouth, England, UK
    Awesome guys, I've talked to Angst and Iggy about their ideas and happy to get started.

    I'll be working on Update 0 and populating the galactic map.

    If anyone else wants to jump, please feel free to do so. I'll be happy to wait a bit if you want, just let me know.

    :salute:
     
  17. Immaculate

    Immaculate unerring

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2003
    Messages:
    7,620
    I'll finish my stuff by tonight. I had a bit of a chat about it with Thomas last night and hammered out some ideas. I'm going to explore themes of self and non self as well as conciousness and self awareness relative to individuality.
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2020
  18. North King

    North King blech

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2004
    Messages:
    18,165
    Empire Name: Truth-Seeker Fleet (or, bursts of: radio, UV... red blue white… … IR-green-green)

    *Note: White would be the most appropriate map color for the fleet (but it'd be understandable if you need that color for other purposes). Otherwise… a super pale, soft green?


    Starting Scenario: Early FTL.


    Homeworld: Unknown. All (or at least all known) Truth-Seekers dwell in a nomadic fleet of ships, some of them created by the swarm (mostly carved from the interiors of asteroids) -- others scavenged derelict ships from other species. Truth-Seekers tend to find derelicts/ruins and reuse them as combination functional ships and museum ships. The result is an extremely quixotic armada.


    Location Preference: Busy, rimward.


    Physical description: A robotic species of varying size and shapes, but mostly distributed consciousnesses spread across swarms of millions of dust-mote-sized bots. The largest consciousnesses pilot entire ships. They are not, strictly speaking, a hive mind, but can "swarm" when needed to become one; the boundaries between one consciousness and the next is "fuzzy" and thoughts tend to bleed over. Computing, memory, and thought patterns are distributed across bots.


    Suggested traits: Nomadic, Intelligent, Artistic, Pacifist, Reckless.


    Alien contacts: Various contacts in a long trail. Truth-Seekers see it as their mission to collect all information on the history, culture, and art of every species in the galaxy, so they rarely get into fights unless others are picking them.


    Brief History: The purpose and origin of the Truth-Seeker fleet is unknown. Who built them, where, when, and why -- all unknown. They were built, some time ago, and abandoned in this universe with no more purpose than any other people, among an asteroid field in a dead system. The Truth-Seekers, a naturally curious species, about three hundred years ago, decided upon their name and their mission -- to gather every piece of information they could find with the ultimate purpose of letting no species go truly extinct. The asteroid bases were retooled into ships, FTL invented, and the Long Trek begun. Various species were met in these few centuries, and the Truth-Seekers, where possible, learned what they could, added it to their catalogs and records, reveled in the new arts and culture that they discovered, built a few new zoo and museum ships, and moved on. The flotilla has been slowly circling the galaxy in a outward spiral trajectory (slowly as in -- it hasn't yet made a single circle), and once the outermost reaches are explored, it will slowly circle in again, the ultimate purpose being constructing a Great Library/Performance Hall at the core. Seventeen different spacefaring species have been found in some form or another, as the Fleet consists of eighteen different kinds of ships. (Ten of these, however, were derelicts with no survivors or information.)


    Museum ships, it should be noted, are constantly searched to try and discover new clues as to the alien races who have passed.


    Government system: Consensus democracy -- negotiations occur across the entire fleet (at light speed) to find solutions that every member of the fleet is willing to assent to. There is little internal dissent, although some minds, whom we might term the "Patients", maintain that the Library is a distant goal only, whereas others (the "Impulsives", perhaps?) are considering plans to find a planet and turn it into a traveling part of the flotilla to begin building the library there.


    Stance towards aliens: Curious. Never unfriendly.
     
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  19. Angst

    Angst Rambling and inconsistent

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2007
    Messages:
    14,272
    Location:
    A Silver Mt. Zion
    I prefer dark green if you're using colors!

    EDIT: A bunch of people seem to want green, if you want more leeway, a dark purple can look reasonably sickly, so that would work too.

    Empire Name: Doszob Orub

    Short name: Orub
    Adjective: Doszob
    Name of its people: Doszob
    [Sa] Doszob Orub translates into Lifeforms [from] Growth, although not quite literally. Similar to how we refer to Earth by referring to the ground, the planet name Orub means something akin to Growth, and instead of "humans", the word Lifeforms derives from the fact that the Doszob are a plurality of different sapient and even nonintelligent species. Also, the translation isn't quite literal; "orub" necessarily infers some idea of decay; growth in their worldview isn't an antithesis to decay or death, but contains it as a natural extension. Orub is also the root word for the dominant fungus Oros that is so influential to Doszob life.

    Starting Scenario: Newly FTL capable
    The Doszob use "standard" technology mostly, even if the users are strange and grotesque to us. That said, there are elements of post-humanism used, where the Doszob directly connect to the ship systems through biological wirings. Unlike us, they don't really have that much of a concern over the living self's right for sovereignty, as long as their society as a whole isn't compromised, which they primarily identify as.

    Homeworld: Orub is similar to Earth, although it is cooler and has vastly more rain. Most biomes and sectors of production are similar to ours, although in general the wet world has massive blooms of plant life, mold and fungus we ourselves try to keep out of the cityscape. Both the agricultural sector and metropolitan areas are as such very different. Agriculture is done without much of our industrial intervention, with "invasive" wildlife being a natural part of the production; it is overgrown with nonproduce plants and crawling with insects. If you buy a cabbage head on Orub, you would expect quite a few larvae in it. The cities are large but rather than being sterile wastes of steel, Doszob cities are covered with plant life and exploding mold. Organic waste is left on the street for whoever wants to take it, and the smell is unbearable to some aliens.

    Location Preference:
    Medium to busy, depending on what suits you the most.

    Physical description: This has to be a little long, sorry. The Doszob leadership consists primarily of a few different intelligent races that evolved within the same span of 30,000 years on three different continents. First, the Alaszob, a hunched omnivore species of mammal-like humanoids with uncannily long arms; secondly the Buluwob, a coastal-dwelling amphibious omnivore species of froglike quadripeds that use their elongated tongues for tool use etc.; thirdly the Mox, a reasonably large insectile race based around hives; and fourthly, the Selob, a mammal-like small flying species that originated in mountains but are now mostly cosmopolitan. Beyond that, the Doszob consider their livestock and agriculture as inherent parts of their own society, they utilize it like we do but identify as part of it. Basically, the Doszob, while being several species, identify primarily with the ecosystem, secondarily as part of their political affliations, and a as a distant third as part of their own species. The ecosystem is themselves and is their society; dying within it doesn't remove you as an individual but is an extension of your own life cycle. Death, as such, isn't an antithesis to the individual, but an extension of it, as long as the biomatter is kept within the cycle.

    The reason is that the common denominator for the Doszob is the Oros fungus species. It has infected practically all life on the planet; you are born with the fungus in you. The Oros fungus isn't sentient, but slowly overtakes all bodies, eventually putting them into a coma while it invades their nerve systems and brains. After a while, the body starts moving again as a mindless husk, which is usually used for manual labor. The fungus is many, many millions of years old and predate Orub's intelligent life to a massive degree, probably being part of the first signs of life; it has always been part of their world. Intelligent Doszob as such consider it part of their bodies, and by extension think of themselves a part of the planet more than being their own, discrete bodies. Still, they are individuals and do individual actions. Your dad just becomes a husk as you grow up. Interestingly, the Doszob don't really have a word for the husks, but have a few legal designations to define the workforce. Even if your dad becomes a husk and can't think or speak, he's still the same person to you.

    Also, the Oros can't by default infect aliens. Not at this point, at least. The biology is too different.

    Suggested traits:
    Adaptable - due to the numerous intelligent species of the Doszob, they can easily colonize more environments than normally. If the planet in question is a vast wetland, they can deploy the Buluwob. If the planet is mountaineous, the Selob can lead the colony. And so on.
    Immunity - when you live in a world of decay, you are constantly bombarded by many more different bacteria than normally. This evolutionary pressure has made it so that the Doszob are incredibly resistant to infection and sickness. The xenobiology scientific consensus - both on Orub and outside - believe that the Oros fungus has some connections to the immune systems of the planet's lifeforms. The fungus is so dominant that it gives the dominant animals incredible protections against a large roster of illnesses that otherwise threaten the systems.
    Decaying - with the Oros fungus infecting you and turning you to a husk over time, your intelligent life span is effectively cut in half. While this does add for some easily manipulated worker drones, it means that more creative solutions to the universe's problems have to be done very early in an organism's life. Wizened sages are practically unheard of on Orub.
    Unified - the Doszob consider themselves part of the same whole, as they are part of the same ecosystem. There are no divisions over nations, practically no hurtful racism to speak of, as the division of groups is so different to the Doszob.
    Easy labor - older Doszob naturally become husks and are directly instilled into the hard labor workforce. This ensures that they always have cheap labour available, even if unskilled and slow - they only need food.
    Squabbling - however, one problem for Doszob Orub is their relation to death. I don't ever expect any de jure splits of the Doszob Orub, since they identify so heavily as the same thing, however that doesn't mean they won't be stupid, and they often get bogged down due to their arbitrary relation to violence. If something eats the grand senator, that's just part of how things are, predation within the system isn't seen as a loss. It's not abnormal for citizens to devour each other, and this makes their politics infuriating and entertaining to follow; that's an extension of the logic of considering your cattle part of your people. When a politician becomes a husk, that's real, concrete gridlock, and while there are laws to put the person out of power when they lose their mind, this artificially bogs up the system with musts and maybes of procedures that would be unheard of on Earth. Murder for example is not truly illegal for the Doszob, but has a bunch of situations where it's considered part of nature. In our world, murder is much more preventable, since we much more commonly consider it wrong and legislate against it, in a much more consistent, universal way. So there are no real internal wars, but everything drags, as people are still individuals with opinions of how things should be done.

    Alien contacts: I'd like a few for some early game diplomacy, but I have no preferences. Seat me wherever you find is the most interesting, as long as I gain some contacts early on.

    Brief History: Very shortly said, Doszob civilization developed at the same speed as ours, but with no large scale wars. This meant that there were much less problems with violence and destruction, but on the other hand, the short effective lifespans of intelligent life meant that there was much less innovation. Cooperation was plentiful and done through voting of different populations towards a larger system, meaning that the current Senate has millenia of history.

    Government system: Doszob Orub uses a parliamentary system, with individuals becoming candidates for parties. While people identify as part of the same system, there are still fundamental disagreements of how Orub should be run, how to utilize its resources, etc. Voting happens every ten years, where people vote for their local constituents and their regional representation at the same time. Constituents then vote for politicians to attend the Senate. The Senate then has representation both from their constituents and their regional electors and appoint a Grand Senator. The Grand Senator rules for life, however with the short span of intelligence in Doszob life and the high number of deaths in the system, the Grand Senator usually only has their position for 2-6 years. Interestingly, everyone on Orub has the right to vote and to get elected; the intelligent species, the unintelligent species and the husks. Effectively, only the intelligent species participate (because most other groups don't understand the concept of democracy, let alone voting or politics), but there are a few lesser beings that sometimes influence the elections.

    Stance towards aliens:
    The Doszob Orub have a strange relation to aliens. They are by default effectively neutral to them, having a vast array of opportunities depending on the situation, being able to utilize a disposition of both war and cooperation. However, they don't consider other aliens "real" life, as aliens don't have the Oros fungus in them, which may be chilling to the relations with some aliens. Still, the Doszob understand the pragmatism of working together with unliving aliens - similar to how you have to follow certain rules of the earth to mine iron effectively.
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2020
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  20. ork75

    ork75 Prince

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2012
    Messages:
    544
    Empire Name: Set (the Set)

    Color: terminal text green, electric blue, or something that looks like it could be the color of a font on a dark-theme IDE

    Starting Scenario: Tributary. Set is one of a number of races controlled and managed by a hegemonic coreward empire, known as the Lataren.

    Homeworld: Zan, once a vaguely Terran world, now a patchwork of dense megacities (largely self contained) and vast areas of open space and biodiversity. Numerous space stations orbit it.

    Location Preference: On the border of a busy locale: coreward, aliens and the Lataren and general bustle, rimward, much less density, but perhaps ruins, resources, and interesting things

    Physical description:
    Animal, semi-cybernetic.
    Spoiler Details :
    A very densely populated humanoid species, with all the diversity that entails. Cybernetic enhancements and interfaces exist, and most individuals have them. However, the overwhelming majority of enhancements are one of the following two varieties: first, and almost universal among the species, are comm links and nodes in the Set, a species-wide neural net (which crucially shares information, but does not control individuals), second, extensions to these nodes including small numbers of nanobots (used for manipulation and uplink with certain technologies). Some specialized workers may have other enhancements, in some subcultures cosmetic enhancements are common, but the majority only have the network nodes.


    Suggested traits: non-adaptive, industrious/technical, intelligent, integrated, communal (i.e. anti-solitary), novelty-seeking, radically diverse, headstrong

    Alien contacts:
    Spoiler Details :
    The Lataren are, naturally, an alien contact, as are the other species and substates in the Lataren hegemony. Even as this system is slowing down and spinning apart, these contacts remain, and the Lataren are a powerful master. Still, the Lataren are the primary point of contact and the only real trade partner at this point: while the other tributaries are known, the Lataren attempt to limit communication between them.


    Brief History:
    Spoiler Details :
    At some point in the deep past, the Set lived on Zan alone. Perhaps they attained their own FTL capability, perhaps not -- even the deepest Set records do not say. However, whatever their deep past, thousands of years of Lataren influence have resulted in dramatic changes to the Set and their capabilities.

    It is unclear whether the Set network itself was a Lataren introduction or an indigenous innovation, or even a combination.

    The Lataren practice of rule is based largely on guiding their dominated species into niches which they need to fill. The Set's outlying location and their networked intelligence meant that they were suited to deep exploration missions, as well as scouting and colonization (alternatively, the Set network was introduced to aid this purpose). The Set species, perhaps already living in dense and self-contained urban environments, and operating heavy industry and space elevators, was also suited to constitute an industrial base for various heavy industrial processes. The Lataren seized on this, too. Heavy industrial settlements, often sited near relevant resource deposits, are scattered throughout Set space. The Set also maintain the knowledge to build and operate large orbital construction facilities, and may possess a working example or two.

    FTL capabilities among the Set are specialized in two different directions, without much crossover. The first is fast, light drivers which can shoot relatively small and dense exploration vessels far and fast across the galaxy. These are generally ship-based, and do not require gates. The second is large, bulk shipping, capable of sending colony ships and industrial products (or even completed ships) to the Lataren. This technology is generally gate-based, and is closer to the Lataren norm.

    The Set is vast and impossible to navigate fully. As such, there are corners where discussion can exist more or less freely. While the Lataren attempt to monitor it, it's not exactly easy, especially for non-Set beings.

    Recently, the Lataren system has begun to weaken, slightly. There are some internal conflicts, and cross-contact between the various dominated species are increasing. Furthermore, these species, while highly specialized after millennia of influence campaigns, are all beginning to improve their strength.


    Government system:
    Spoiler Details :

    The most important thing to understand about the Set, at least as concerns government and settlement, is that they have overwhelmingly strong preference for a technical, urban setting. They thrive in density and diversity: this is even reflected on the tight knit crews of exploration vessels, and even in the furthest-afield industrial colonies, an urban environment can be simulated at least on a small scale.

    Among the Set, the central conflict of character is almost universally that between the zeitgeist of the Set network and the will and characteristics of the individual. Government is essentially a fiat, controlled by popular will. However, numerous subcultures exist. If there were to be divides, they would broadly be between the Individualists and the Communitarians.

    The Individualists are archetypally urban subcultures, black- and grey-market economies and participants, and, crucially, explorers and industrial colonists. These are the people who thrive on the corners of the Set, and want a longer leash from authority. They often get it.

    Communitarians are those who buy into non-alternative lifestyles among cities. Some are bedraggled, some are Lataren loyalists, most just enjoy the peace and stability that can come from being in the Set. They are industrious, fastidious, often educated and capable, and don't mind living inside a system.

    Well organized government structures are strongest at lower levels of society: individual megacity blocks and buildings are generally run by democratic associations, and these are quite effective and broadly well liked. Even the smallest industrial colonies follow this model, although there may only be one relevant association. The same applies to exploration ships, or any Set ship, although the numbers involved are smaller.

    An alternate government method exists within educational institutions, trading corporations, industrial plants, and research bodies. This is a slightly more hierarchical system.

    Generally, the Set allows for rapid and effective interest aggregation and coordination. This is widely recognized and utilized among all governing structures.

    There is a single diplomatic body, comparable to a corporation, which runs diplomatic relations with the Lataren. With the aid of the Set, however, species-wide sentiments can be rapidly and effectively aggregated, so it is a largely representative body.


    Stance towards aliens: To the Lataren, familiar, weary, and inferior. To other Lataren tributaries, curious, cautious of connection, but also familiar and eager to create new links. To others, deeply, deeply curious, though perhaps reserved at first.
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2020
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