dark future - Wrought in Ash
Campaign genesis e-mail
>>>Yes, this is worse and less accurate than the other one if that is even possible.<<<
ok, here it is, some of you may not have heard a peep of what is going on, and this is just gonna show up. Well, read it, and let me know if you are interested. Any questions or comments, please contact me….
First of all, lets get the props and atmosphere together first. Think gritty, hard sci-fi, with just a touch science fantasy. The universe is a big, dark, and uncaring place, that hides it’s secrets however it can. Humanity is just a speck, even less than that, a lonely molecule drifting through the void. Technology is advanced, but not star trek or star wars by any stretch of the imagination, it’s usually gray, pipes leak, ships are dark and either too warm or too cold, they hum and rattle. They barely have figured out how to make color monitors, so everything is either green or shades of gray, that kind of thing…it’s reliable, but it’s bulky and not sleek, or refined, everything is made from metal, or concrete. Look at the Alien series, 2010, Blade Runner, you know the feel… Now, High Technology exists, cybernetics are known, even bioware and nanotechnology are known, but the expense is so great, few could ever afford it, it is within the realm of the monstrous Industrials to produce and use. At their discretion.
The political atmosphere is equally dark, like everything else in this place. The government, and other controlling bodies have two agendas, the public one, and the one they are truly following. Look at any one of the ‘techno-thrillers’ or political/espionage type books(especially by the guy that wrote “the Bourne Identity”, I always forget his name, Robert Ludlum), the Manchurian Candidate, and all the Presidents Men, Kafka, the Hunt for Red October, Clear and Present Danger, Jacob’s Ladder, any movie that has an “oh shit, they knew all along” kind of feel…X-Files, and the few episodes of Babylon-5 that I’ve seen, seem to have some of the same feeling.
Socially, on the personal scale, things are tough, people on earth are unfriendly and keep to themselves, even in the heart of an Arcology with fifty million people around you. This is a holdout from the plague days when personal contact was suicidal. On the large scale, the nightmarish society on earth would make any modern day sociologist curl up into a ball and cry for weeks, and psych types(either ologists or iatrists) would either rub their clammy hands together at the thought of the business they could generate, or simply go mad themselves. It is a dark brutal world…any dark future world you could imagine has a place here, somehow. Offworld, things are better, but not by much, where on earth the nightmare is imposed by the controlling governments, and the people themselves, anywhere else it is simply hardship that takes people’s spirits and slowly grinds them into the cold steel grating of the floor.
Character can be just about anything you want, except some people just don’t fit in well in this universe, Han Solo types, Captain Kirk, or any real Space Opera type character is just too damn happy, or unreal to fit in here…instead look for grit, conflict, human strength and weakness. Good places to find character ideas would be any of the above movies, TV shows or books. Other places to look would be the Predator movies, Apocalypse Now, well, I think you may have the idea now. Anyone who is just trying to survive, and maybe make a bit of difference, or not. People who can’t see the world for all the mist, and dark, or those who were blinded by it’s hopelessness, this is what I’m looking for….harsh people for a harsh world kinda thing….don’t get me wrong here, I wanna have fun too. I’m am thinking along the lines of military types, or corporate ‘advisors’ who seem to be more that they claim. Right now, all I can think of are characters from Aliens, but please don’t limit yourself to that. I warn you now, expect blatant plagiarism, names and faces were changed to protect the innocent etc etc….ok here is some background
This is the thumbnail version, it may or may not get more detailed: The year is 2238, mankind is just entering the second century of interstellar travel. Our tiny earthborn race has a toe hold in the vast black void. There are maybe 3 to 5 fairly well established colonies, and perhaps ten times as many frontier worlds and planetary outposts. Other than that there are probably countless mining stations, research platforms, fuel dumps, etc. scattered all over known space.
Earth was shredded by environmental disaster during the mid-2000’s, the population took a header from about 21 billion to a mere 9 in about a generation, and slowly tapered from there. Combinations of plague, ecodisaster, and famine killed everyone without discrimination. Political bodies, for the most part, crumbled. Leaving large, loosely governed states that cover the still habitable regions of the planet. The equatorial region of earth is a barren waste, as are the greater majority of the central African and South American continents. These states are all members of the GCES, the General Council of Earth States, the ruling body of human influence. In actuality the GCES is the pawn of any one of the large Industrials, or MegaCorps, huge companies that span the length and breadth of know space. These Industrials for the most part, are based completely in the Sol system, either in the sky swallowing Orbitals or the LaGrange stations scattered around the solar system. Beyond the Oort cloud, the central earth powers do their best to control humanity, but unrest is common. And they tend to let the colonies do what they wish, reigning them in with the power of economic sanction, or in extreme cases, with military force, but star travel is expensive. Getting a sizable force together of any real effectiveness could take months.
For the most part, military units are divided into platoons each with their own base of operations, resources, and some degree of autonomy. Typically, each has a starship, and a set of fairly loose orders which are typically updated every three to six months. Some units are part of the ‘Frozen Watch’ a group of either low ranking soldiers, or mercenaries who are put in suspended animation for the duration of a trip, or tour of duty, and are revived at the captains discretion, to do what he tells them, and only what he tells them. The idea behind this is to have a reinforcements available at any time, or in case of mutiny or piracy or any one of a number of other things. Keep the travel time in mind here, trips over a light year or two could take months, and usually an average ship only has provisions for the crew for three months at most, the majority of the time the crew is in hibernation except for the rotating duty roster where people will be revived for a few hours to a few days to perform routine maintenance or whatever.
Your typical military cruiser or destroyer class ship will have a crew of 16 to 24. Usually 12-18 ground pounder/general crew types, common soldiers really, with both shipboard and combat duties. The remainder of the crew is usually the command staff, the captain of the ship is also considered the commander of surface operations, although usually a lieutenant will take over for such duties. There will be 2 or 3 command/logistical staff including the lieutenant, and a sergeant or two. One of these two is usually a pilot for the atmospheric drop ships, Usually there is also a quartermaster who is in charge of supplies and such, but not always. On larger ships, sometimes there is a an advisor, or special operations officer. These are the guys who can act as political officers, or covert operations commander. This is person they include to remind the crew who they work for when things get hairy, some of these guys are nice, some of them are not.
Every crewman has his story about their personal spec. ops comm. nightmare. Just for reference, in 2098, Marina Bowman, and her research team developed the Bowman Field Effect, in essence, it allows a region of space to straddle N-Space and deeper levels of the time/space fabric. This allows certain universal laws to be stretched or broken, like the light barrier. Through the invention of the Bowman Effect Device, it allowed ships to accelerate beyond C. Thus opening the expanse of the Void to humanity. To this day Bowman Theoretical remains a powerful Industrial, one of the five or six who are thought to control humanities destiny. The others are Coherent Light Limited, psiCom: Universal, Tetsu no Oni Corporate, Far Jewel Systems, Itzamna Technologies, and General Electric-Sinclair Inc. These corporations started out producing technology that was related to interstellar travel, and the outgrowths of the technology that resulted. These are by no means the only Industrials around, there are hundreds of companies that are of nearly the same size and power.
ok, well, enough for now, I hope this gives you an idea of what you want to do, I think I’m sticking with the military idea, so try to keep the ideas within that framework, if you have a really good idea, lemme know and we can talk about it.