Monday, 25 February 2013

Spaceships and Spacemarines 2

Some how blogger destroyed all my blank lines between text 3 times the deleted whole post somehow when i reverted to save version so here it is again...

Landlord been jerking round net connection for over 3 weeks. Got a post millennium phone which lets me delete spam in real time. Got a new Dr and being a tad more mobile. Mum out of coma and crazily arguing with dad so looking better.
Gunboats vs Lost Colonies. The horrible things I’ve done to this poor game to get it ready to run in next few months. Gunboats and Galaxies?

The commonwealth ships have superior speed, reactions and range. But they also cannot resupply easily, and that FTL drive and crew have to fit somewhere. It isn’t impossible for a commonwealth ship to seize a colony system by force and a canny crew. Some colonies have little space hardware. A commonwealth crewman enjoys 1G artificial gravity and an additional 1G shielding in a flight couch. These couches have mobility for extra high G long manoeuvres. More comfortable than fluid atmosphere experimental models.

You could just let computer reach max speed have crew black out and tell them what happened at 20 G. An untrained crew with no anti grav tech will often black out with max acceleration. They will risk injury moving and the weak could die. Trained astronauts handle more. Genetic engineered high g resistant crew better still. Fluid breathing crew help cope with a few more G. Commonwealth are just starting to play with G resistant shielding and artificial grav for ships and gravity skimmer vehicles. Future vessels will be propelled by gravitic drives and reach high velocity.

The gunboat diplomat campaign is my nod to star-trek or rather my parody of it. An alt start for a version of my commonwealth game could be acting as crew of a secret ultra-swift class scout craft observing but not contacting system inhabitants. A smaller crew and more stealth missions further into the void would feature. Possibly could serve several missions on a scout then return to a gunboat. Or a ultra scout could rendezvous with the ship to swap personnel, give secret emergency orders or ship AI upgrades. An ultra-swift or even an older long lost scout could come to the rescue if heroes really boo-boo badly

Im using a mishmash of star frontier knighthawks and Buck Rogers games for ship fights. A hat tip to traveller and GURPS. Even starfleet battles, starblazers, blakes7. Lots of my colonial tech would cover Aliens, 2300, High Colonies, Cyberpunk, OGRE, Carwars). Commonwealth more like low traveller or starfrontiers. Individual colonies can be totally bonkers.

Model (Crew)
HS Hull Size
HP Hull-points
ADF Acceleration deceleration factor (max burn speed)
MR Manoeuvre Rating
FTL Faster Than Light
DCR Damage Control Rating
ARM Arms, ammo and armour

no maneuvering while max burn speed
- a 1 minute high accell burn uses 1% fuel, need engineer to go over 10minutes
- reaching orbit or planetfall in non-streamlined ship hull uses a substantial amount of fuel 10% and is slower in a non streamlined hull to reduce atmospheric friction.
- streamlined hull re-entry only uses 1% fuel or 5% to reach escape velocity

Colony Roidship (1 or 2 or 3 or 4 crew)
HS: 2 or 4 or 6 or 8
HP: 10 or 20 or 30 or 40
ADF: 1 (4)
MR: 1
FTL: 0
DCR: 30 or 60 or 90 or 120
ARM: various
(HS2) none
(HS4) las piston (mining laser ½ fire rate)
(HS6) laser battery
(HS8) laser battery, rocket barrage or defence drone
Fuel for about 4 long trips, 6 months life support small crew and drones. Typical belt miner with cargo bay and arm. Can be fitted to asteroid and used as cheap kinetic impact weapons

Colony Light Shuttle (3 crew 16 passengers)
HS: 2 Streamlined
HP: 10
ADF: 2 (12)
MR: 3
FTL: 0
DCR: 30
ARM: none
Fuel for entry, re-entry, a moon landing and a few orbits, only 4 days life support. Streamlined and capable of atmospheric travel. Assault versions have defences, anti-personel weapons and air to ground attack drones.

Colony transport Shuttle (4 crew 200 passengers)
HS: 10 Streamlined
HP: 50
ADF: 2 (12)
MR: 1
FTL: 0
DCR: 150
ARM: some have a laser battery
Fuel for entry, re-entry, a moon landing and a few orbits, only 2 days life support.

Colony Freighter (3 or 4 or 6 crew)
HS: 6 or 12 or 18
HP: 30 or 60 or 90
ADF: 1 (4)
MR: 1
FTL: 0
DCR: 90 or 180 or 270
ARM: various
(HS6) Laser battery
(HS12) Laser battery, rocket barrage and defence drone
(HS6) 2 Laser battery, 2 rocket barrage, defence drone, decoy drone
These haul food, minerals, water and hardware around a system
Usually fuel for crossing system twice and 3 months life support.

Colony Defence Boat (12 crew)
HS: 8
HP: 40
ADF: 2 (4)
MR: 2
FTL: 0
DCR: 120
ARM: Laser battery, rocket barrage, defence drone, 2 assault rockets, laser cannon
This is usually built to dominate a system and to hunt pirates. At least 4 crew are trained space marines with jet rifles. Three months life support and fuel for 4 cross system trips

Colony Defence Drone
HS: 1
HP: 5
ADF: 12
MR: 1
FTL: 0
DCR: 0
ARM: Explode as a assault rocket
Suicide missile drone and colony version of torpedo. Can be deployed and armed or automated. Can cross half a system at high velocity but vulnerable to defensive fire and a skilled pilot can dodge. No life support needed. Some colonies deploy a few near each major orbit.

Colony Las Drone
HS: 1
HP: 5
ADF: 1
MR: 3
FTL: 0
DCR: 15
ARM: las piston
Mostly mobile defence satellite for planet orbit or defending a station. Cheap automated and reliable with solar collectors if in inner system.

Colony Interceptor (1 crew)
HS: 1
HP: 5
ADF: 4 (12)
MR: 3
FTL: 0
DCR: 15
ARM: 1 assault rocket
This is a basic planetary defence ship with a single missile in the nose con. Often based on moon or station. Think Shadow Interceptor from UFO. Squadrons of three are typical. Two days emergency life support in forward escape pod. Fuel usually for rapid near earth deployment at max speed not long range,

Colony Hawk Fighter (2 crew)
HS: 2
HP: 10
ADF: 4 (12)
MR: 4
FTL: 0
DCR: 30
ARM: 2 laser pistons (light lasers)
Built as long range replacement interceptors and escort ships. One week life support and fuel for 3 cross system trips

Colony Falcon Advanced Fighter (2 crew)
HS: 2
HP: 10
ADF: 6 (20)
MR: 4
FTL: 0
DCR: 30
ARM: 1 laser pistons and 1 assault rocket
Built as high performance fighter with fluid atmosphere to assist high G tolerance. The crew are trained and even gene modified to be high G resistant. Enough fuel to cover half a system faster than any other manned colony vessel.

Colony Eagle Lander (2 crew, 22 passengers with passenger pod)
HS: 4
HP: 20
ADF: 3 (12)
MR: 2
FTL: 0
DCR: 60
ARM: Various models but some have a laser piston
Various models with various pods. Most have fuel for entry, re-entry, a lunar trip and a few orbits. Come with 10 days life support.
Passenger Module – carries 20 passengers and 2 stewards
Cargo Module – carries standard cargo pod, some presurised
Science Module – carries a lab base with crew of 4 for 6 months
Rescue Module – carries rescue crew of 6 with special equipment
Combat Module – carries a laser cannon or laser battery or 4 assault rockets
Long Range – life support 4 month and 4 person recon team, fuel for 2 trips across system
Mining Module – drones and micro refinery and auto-recyclers

Nomad Colony Vessel
HS: na
HP: 300-1000
ADF: 1 (2)
MR: 1
FTL: 1/30th (1 light year per month)
DCR: 90
ARM: 1 battery per 100 HP, rocket or laser
One to two Kilometre Long FTL colony ships launched over a century ago. Each carried 10-100 planetary colony pods which were dropped off mid flight. Each pod came with atmospheric processor, auto-factory and a clone-factory. All should have been decommissioned and finished their missions by now. At least one was refitted into an asteroid colony and used to create a pocket empire with a fleet of pirate vessels. Only 10% of the vessels ever recovered. A bomber version was never built with no enemy requiring a hundred planet buster bombs.

Colony Swift Scout (2 crew, 4 in passenger pod)
Colony Super Swift Scout (2 crew, 4 in passenger pod)
Commonwealth Ultra Swift Scout (2 crew, 4 in passenger pod)

HS: 2 or 3 elongated extra crew or new prototype versions
HP: 10 or 15 elongated or 18 new prototype
ADF: 3 (12) or 4 (20) new prototype
MR: 2 or 3 new prototype
FTL: 1/30
th (1 light year per month) or 2 (2LY/day) new prototype
DCR: 30 or 45 or 75
ARM: laser piston, advanced sensor suite, mining drone in HS3 version
new prototype version has a laser cannon and 2 rocket barrages instead of a laser and stealth screen
Most had fuel to cross a system 3 times and 1 year life support. Various models were built over the decades. The command pod doubled as an escape pod and in later models was a re-entry capable streamlined detachable ships boat. Later extra long models had extra science crew and included a mining drone. This could be used to gather reaction mass or deuterium or radiocatives to expand its operating range. Some believe the commonwealth needs a dedicated exploration scout again with an updated drive. Such a vessel could act as a fleet courier also and could deliver fuel cells and torpedoes to gunboat instead of having extra crew. Of course the commonwealth denies there is a new prototype operational model for espionage with a stealth screen instead ox extra crew or cargo.

Early versions were used to probe the Jupiter anomaly and planetoids beyond Pluto like Ariel. The Jupiter Anomaly was a temporary location of an alien ship graveyard that lasted for about 75 years – the source of FTL tech. Swifts were modified with prototype and found FTL drives despite problems building over-space drives this small. Colony scale ships were far more stable in overspace but owed all to these first plucky torches in the long night. Plans to maintain a fleet to keep in contact with the colonies was planned but too many never returned. The cost became prohibitive and colony ships were better value. Even Luna operated several independantly for a while. A few have been found and even fell into colonial hands but only about 30% of 150 ships are accounted for. A dozen are in museums and star-ports. One in commonwealth space fleet academy foyer with statues of Dan Dare, Steve Zodiac and Buck Rogers. One of these vessels even an old one is a serious threat to commonwealth monopoly of FTL and flow of information.

Pirate Corvette (8 crew)
HS: 6
HP: 30
ADF: 2 (12)
MR: 3
FTL: 0
DCR: 90
ARM: 2 Assault rockets, laser cannon, rocket barrage
Pirate craft designed to avoid law and prey on miners and freighters. 4 months life support and fuel for 4 trips across a system. Pirates have had a system defence boat and even fighters under their control. A pocket empire or pirates based themselves in a modified asteroid colony using a rebuilt colony ship drive and life support. Possibly this happened more than once and many pirates were carried by these phantom FTL asteroids. The corvette is the ship used by the old pocket asteroid emperors broken by the commonwealth. Not a match for a gunboat but multiple ones are a threat.

Private Yacht (4 crew 12 passengers)
HS: 5
HP: 25
ADF: 2 (4)
MR: 2
FTL: 0
DCR: 75
ARM: laser battery, rocket barrage, reflective hull, decoy drone, defence drone
Private pleasure vessel for rich and important or odd villain. Fuel for 3 cross system trips and 3 months life support. Carries a small shuttle as a ships boat.

Commonwealth Gunboat (5 crew minimum up to 22)
HS: 6 Streamlined hull
HP: 36
ADF: 3 (16)
MR: 2
FTL: 1 (light year/day)
DCR: 180
ARM: Two torpedo tubes (2 torpedoes each), laser battery, laser cannon, reflective hull, anti personnel auto lasers, decoy drone, nuclear dampener screen
Three months life support. Enough fuel for 4 FTL jumps and 2 cross system trips. Planetary landings are manageable but reaching planetary escape velocity cuts into this.

Commonwealth Fighter (1 crew)
HS: 1 Streamlined hull
HP: 6
ADF: 6 (20)
MR: 6
FTL: 0 (carrier or station based)
DCR: 30
ARM: 3 pylons choose between laser piston, assault rocket or fusion bomb
4 day life support and fuel to cross system once but usually goes for speed over a shorter distance. Enhanced G couch makes operational combat manoeuvres quite safe.

Commonwealth Assault Drone
HS: 1
HP: 6
ADF: 12 (30)
MR: 6
FTL: 0 (carrier or station based)
DCR: 30
ARM: 4 pylons choose between laser piston, assault rocket or fusion bomb
fuel to cross system once but usually goes for speed over a shorter distance. Can be deployed in position for months of slaved to man fighter craft.

Ancient Drone
HS: 2
HP: 20
ADF: 20 (50)
MR: 6
FTL: 1 parsec per hour and in system jumps
DCR: 200
ARM: plasma torpedo generator, stealth field, decoy field (appear as other ship)
Two have been destroyed in battles with gunboats. Details have been classified. One was awoken on a moon after a million years sleep and another was decelerating from near light velocity from galactic core, apparently a 65000 year journey as its start drive was not being used. Drones may be broadcasting to other ancient war devices or constructs. All are considered priority threats.

Kafer Assault Frigate (4 crew, 20 marines, 1d3 slave race techs)
HS: 6
HP: 40
ADF: 4 (18)
MR: 2
FTL: 2
DCR: 150
ARM: 4 torpedoes, laser cannon, 2 rocket battery, targeting drone
Stolen from 2300 with some mods – war would make a good campaign after exploration phaze.
Kafer are aggressive cockroach men who most are only intelligent when in crisis or a fight. They cope well with cramped conditions in tiny cells. Techs and leaders run the show and drive crew with alarms and prods and blows to the head to get them moving. Techs and leaders constantly squabble and fight. Kafer slave race also known as goblins are expert techs who operate over-space drive and advanced electronics. A ship can cross a system 5 times and make up to 6 jumps keeping their civilization beyond human reach.

Kafer have a comparable sphere of control and other vassal species. Carries many planetary assault and exploration vehicles. Will drag asteroids to be used as kinetic kill missiles for colony bombardment on the cheap. Three century ago a Kafer clan met their slave race who came to meet them in peace with a FTL Drive. The warrior race seized the chance to conquer others and stop their home world armaggeddon. Humans are all intelligent therefore must be hyper-violent. Kafer crusade demands war.

Sathar Advanced Scout (5 crew)
HS: 3 streamlined
HP: 18
ADF: 5 (20)
MR: 3
FTL: 2
DCR: 100
ARM: 2 laser pistons, stealth screen, advanced ECM pack, decoy drone
Stolen from Star Frontiers with some mods
This vessel is for espionage, scouting, sabotage and other mischief. Sathar are a caste culture of worms. The military and commerce factions are the first to be encountered. They cope with high or low gravity and acceleration better than most races. A ship can cross a system 6 times and make up to 6 jumps keeping their civilization beyond human reach.

Tend to use android spies, snipers, agents, brain surgery, mind control, engineered killer creatures, robots and mutants. Busy trying to build anti human alliance with Zurraquorr and perhaps Kafer. Sathar are scheming manipulative beings who pit enemies against each other. They believe humans will make a good warrior vassal race with just a few mods. Sathar are very innovative at infiltration even putting one of their brains inside a human one to bypass security. Each caste is a parallel species with mixed and non mixed settlements. Ill save other three castes for after the war first or second war.

Space Battle Crisis 
Many systems have very little in space. Some have belters, pirates and possibly factions fighting it out. A few paranoid colonies have defence drones and possibly interceptors based in space. In the few battles that have taken place from the first wave of gunboats the commonwealth won in most cases easily. Several gunboats were called in to shut down a pocket empire and their corvette fleet was shut down without their asteroid carrier with FTL drive being captured. They have spread piracy over several systems since but the corvettes seem to be fleeing the pirate home base. An alien drone crippled a gunboat in one system and was never seen again. Several aliens and alien wrecks were discovered in Sol, presumed source of the necrovirus and the mutagen strain that devastated Earth and the first FTL tech.

Simulations with colonial tech as opponents are standard training for the commonwealth gunboat crews. A gunboat torpedoes can devastate a planet and destroy a small moon. A near miss will damage many ships in the same hex. A direct contact hit would finish any ship without a nuclear dampener screen.


Gunboat Weapon Locker 
8 laser stunners – security or stealth missions
6 sonic stun carbines – anti riot or civilian weapon
24 las pistols – standard away team and anti boarding sidearm
4 las pulse carbines – assault team and boarding parties
2 las rifles – long range sniper weapons
1 hand laser – compact super destructive classified weapon
1 high energy laser – classified weapon for sniping and anti vehicle or battlesuit
impulse pistol – for door and armour breaching, anti drone
impulse rifle – for door and armour breaching, anti drone
2 flare pistols - used as hand grenade launchers
12 micro flash grenades
12 smoke grenades
6 plastic flechette grenades (anti personnel, non-hull damaging)
12 tear gas grenades
6 sleep gas grenades
20 flares
4 shock batons
4 machete +2 advanced duralloy diamond edged
force knife for infiltration and hull breaching
Two Grav Chute – for orbital personnel drops
Four Jetpacks
Six Commonwealth Assault Vest +2AC 5kg
Four Commonwealth Assault Armour +5AC 12kg
One Commonwealth Space Marine Plate +8AC 20kg
Inertia Screen
ECM Screen
Stealth screen
Inertia Screen 4kg absorbs 1/2 kinetic damage 10m power

Can improvise numerous wheeled, tracked, heli or blimp drones

Can fabricate most slug guns or jet guns or exotic ammos or basic motor or jet aircraft

Other Stuff

If players survive a few missions and get to higher level can finish tour and get a bigger ship like a brand new destroyer to hunt android, clone and animen rogues who have captured gunships of their own. Destroyer, frigate and pinnace will appear in a few years. If real war begins then drone carriers, mine layers, cruisers and battle cruisers will appear.

The first few missions should feature contacting colonies with perhaps some battles with pirates, a system defence boar, 3 interceptors or drones. Later encounters with customized enemy gunboats should be a surprise and not meant to happen officially. Rogue or infected crews may also bring conflict. Sometime contradictory missions may fire on each other. Once a damaged ship fired on its rescuer while its sensors and coms were damaged.

Star Trek the original series made space combat like cold war sub battles. Extreme sensor range should take time to get a concrete ID. Charging weapons or targeting missiles is detectable by commonwealth vessels. At intermediate sensor range a sensor tech will identify a ships make and serial number. Seeing a customized and repainted gunboat could be a shock. A battle should be tense and slow.

Proximen here are boar animen bred to be fake hostile aliens to scare colonies. The fake went too far and terrorists released the swine and equipt them with colony hardware. They really hate humans and try to turn animen to their cause. Be a good early “alien”.

If I had to had to have some real aliens appear Id tease with fake it several times so players accept all foes of Terran origin. Id use Kafer or Sathar first. The Kafer are brutal killers and the Sathar use espionage, commerce, androids, clones, monsters, cyborgs, mutants to attack indirectly. It would take a while to detect Sathar spies and they are a good origin for some rogue forces or battles with colony or commonwealth stooges. The two might become allies. Zuraquor and other rogue forces may join also.

How successful is the colony?
01 Never made it – all dead somehow before planetfall
02 Never made it – all dead on failed planetfall
03 Never made it – remains of still viable colony pod could be activated
04 Never made it – never landed on planet, flight crew keep status quo
05-7 Never made it – never landed on planet crew and gardens gone feral
8-10 Struggle, seemingly no survivors but great mystery of deaths
11 Struggle, most died off, a few survivors with secrets left
12 Struggle, a few desperate survivors in crisis
13-20 Struggle, small utopian enclave with problems
21-23 Struggle, small totalitarian enclave hates outsiders
24 Struggle, dangerous cult of psychopath terrorists
25 Struggle, terraforming in progress, people mostly in stasis
26-28 Struggle, landed on planet and gone feral
29-30 Struggle, landed on planet and gone feral, AI manages
31 Struggle, several rival outposts
32 Struggle, disaster destroyed civilization
33 Struggle, destroyed civilization in civil war
34 Struggle, ancient probe has influenced development in secret
35-37 Struggle, rogue forces occupied
38-39 Successful single large city
40 Successful several large colonies
41 Successful many settlements
42 Successful but aggressive territorial factions
43-45 Successful but one state/leader dominant
46-47 Successful but civil war
48-50 Successful but revolution
51-55 Successful but oppressive police state
56-60 Successful but lag in one field of tech
61-62 Successful militarized fanatics in fear of outsiders
63-65 Successful utopian caste system of clones and AIs
66 Successful but genocidal war crimes
67-70 Successful but rogue forces occupied
71-75 Successful but backward tech
76-80 Thriving colony with rogue forces menacing in secret
81-82 Thriving colony with rogue forces friendly factions
83 -85 Thriving colony with regressive technology
86-87 Thriving colony with planetary colonies
88-90 Thriving colony with dictator and odd customs
91-93 Thriving colony with oppressed slave caste, clones or animen
94-95 Thriving colony with mega city, clone factories and absolute state
96-97 Thriving colony with unique tech or specialization
98-99 Thriving industrialized colony about to crash environment
100 Roll again plus alien. Ruins, xeno constructs, artefacts, spies, etc

How Much Space Travel in this Colony System? 1D12 
Never made it -6
Struggle -4
Successful -1
Thriving +2

1-2 None
4-5 Some scientific exploration and colonization remnants
6-9 Military and mining outpost habs
10-11 Thriving habitats, several colonies, piracy inner system
12 Colonies throughout system


Outer System space encounters d100
1-10 Civilian Habitat 1
11-20 Civilian Belters 1
21-25 Civilian Yacht 1
26-35 Mining Drone 1d4
36-45 Civilian Freighter 1d2
46-55 Pirate Corvette 1 or 1d3 and base in system
56-65 System Military Drones 1d4
66-75 System Military Defence Boat 1
76-85 System Military Long Range interceptor 1d4
86-95 Ancient Drone – ancient crippled drone awakens and attacks 1
96-99 Rogue Forces Gunboat 1
100 Alien, organic, overspace entity, something bonkers

Inner System space encounters
01-10 Colony module remnants 1d6
11-20 Civilian Orbitals 1d6
21-30 Civilian Habitats 1d6
31-35 Civilian Shuttle 1d6
36-40 Civilian Belters 1
41-50 Civilian Yacht 1
51-60 Civilian Freighter1d3
61-65 System Military Interceptor trio
66-70 System Military Two Long Range interceptor
71-75 System Military Defence Drones 1d4
76-80 System Military Las Drones 1d4
81-85 System Military Defence Boat 1
86-90 System Military Probe Drone
91-95 System Military Decoy Drone
96-100 Local terrorists or faction

Rogue Forces – 1d12 
may lack torpedoes or using early flawed models of gunboat
1 Cyborgs
2 Androids
3 Replicants
4 Commonwealth Mishap
5 Animen
6 Robots
7 Necrovirus
8 Mutants
9 Pirates
10 Terrorists
11 Psions
12 Hybrid (or alien) roll twice for a hybrid but if roll 12 again then Alien

Cyborging was becoming commonplace when a biotechno alien entity found on Europa used the interface to become sentient. Multiple alien infections have come since then and cyborgs fell into disfavour as machines and bodies of humans were hacked. Cyborg rebel troops were a problem and many destroyed. A few escaped and some even secretly hijacked several colony ship population modules. Cyborgs engage in kidnapping, terrorism and attempts on FTL tech. They have alied with other artificial life forms and come under their control. Cyborg animen or aliens are possible too.

Androids are synthetic humans made from bioplastic and pseudo biological organs. They are cheap, dispensable labour who do not breathe but require some food and water (5%). Colony ships used androids as cheap labour. Usually the autofac that builds them acts as a controller and meets a societies needs. Most are obviously artificial and normally cannot harm humans. Espionage and military versions exist though. Androids were used frequently in the pre stellar era until a virus turned them hostile in the apocalypse war. Despite best efforts android hacking and viruses still happen. Foreign governments, criminals and terrorists all hack android systems. Artificial races hostile to humans employ androids because they can use human tech unchanged. Rebel androids hate humans, and seek to infect other artificial life. There are plenty in use today but at the fall or some colonies they out numbered humans.
Are genetically engineered vat grown supermen made as service and military specialists. There has been numerous rebellions from replicants treated badly. Many colonies use them as labour and expendables. Limited lifespans or drug dependency are often inbuilt. The longer they live the more human they feel so a 2-4 year life span is recommended for clone slavers. All are sterile. The commonwealth have started a clone corp directly serving an AI thinktank. The commonwealth is looking at full emancipation for them. Replicants are better at human interaction and cannot be hacked like an artificial. A small group can produce a huge fanatic force quickly this way. Terrorists, pirates, separatists of all sorts have used replicants. They take one month to grow and have basic skills for their design when decantered.. Some say if the machine wars escalate all humans will be clone corp.

Commonwealth Error 
For some reason another rival commonwealth party with an alternate conflicting mission is a rival. This happens occasionally, especially with communication lags. Other possibilities include sabotaged targeting computer, false evidence planted, mind control, parasites, fake commonwealth, a mad stubborn commander, long lost swift scout, crew maddened by flawed overspace shielding, some kind or any other dramatic reason to fight your own kind. Tulan colony have recommended the commonwealth adopt inquisition corp for these problems and hostile tech or gene hacking. May be legal repercussions fighting your own so best try to capture rather than kill. A commonwealth AI may have spaced the crew and gone mad or been virused is a real possibility too. 

Uplifted animal men are used as cheap labour across the colonies. Apes, dogs, cats, otters, beavers, reptiles, and others. As usual people mistreat them and they get upity. Commonwealth law treats them as second class but dont support outright slavery or murder. Independent animen colonies have been founded by ex slaves. Proximen were boar animen bred to fake alien menace to ensure human unity. Terrorists freed them and provided them with autofacs, ships and colony hardware so independent hostile colonies exist. Some animen replaced humans completely and fear human contact for their sins. Commonwealth no longer create animen but colonists and animen do. Pirates often have animen crew for some extra colour. Cyborg, mutant or even android versions of animen have been observed. Some mistake them for aliens or claim some are really infiltrating from outside human space. Many colonists frown on them or consider them dumb sub humans.

Robots are self aware machines who have a form equal to their function. Some are human looking or humanoid. Far more are droids. Droids typically are a mechanised self aware walking toolbox or AI workstation. Robots are easy to build Everyone uses robots but some parties have used autofacs to build a fast cybernetic drone army. “Races” of hostile machines have emerged some including AIs, androids and robots in elaborate caste systems. Especialy mamous are the Cyrans – humanoid robots and AI controllers built by rogue scientist to rival and upload and destroy humans. They have combat infantry, doppelganger droids and drone fighters but are sub commonwealth tech. They use slower than light happily to spread the machine revolt. Another common “strain” include the Automatons – humanoid service and performance droids turned into stylish killers. Most robots are harmless and incapable of harming anyone. Military, espionage and virused machines are exceptions. Virused units network into a local command structure and work to the virus goals. Hostile virused machines just seek to kill humans. Some robots look down at humanoid models. Sometimes rogue robots form gangs and remove some of their subservient protocols. While the commonwealth acknowledges AIs and self aware machines, they do not build robot only colonies. Machine rights groups support machine rule or claim machine territory. Drones are machines incapable of sentience usually controlled of merely very clever at limited task.

Occasional a ship crew have died and been reanimated by the hostile alien necrovirus. Appeared after the Jovian Incident decimated the earth till its controlling force just stopped. Has appeared ever since possibly all Terran life contaminated. Population dies then is reanimated as flesh eating monsters of several types. Has been known to contaminate a ship. Some are carriers or possibly secret sect. A ship of ghouls or zombies might try an sos or even engage in ship combat. A vampire might be on board as a passenger to seize and infect the ship.

Mutants Infected crew of mutants. Various stages exist but finally evolve into shapeless horrors who hate normals and desire to infect thers. Mutants need to be registered as potential contaminants. Mutants may form a gang or pirate crew and grow increasingly inhuman. Drug therapies may suppress or create or cure mutants. Mutants are used to being hated and marginalised. Possibly some hide in select mutant havens or secret schools.  

Local independent freebooter bands, mercenaries, bankrupt belters, troops gone awol in regime changes or part of old pocket empire pirate brotherhood. Some claim there have been more than one such phantom FTL pirate horde. Pirates want loot, slaves and technology. FTL is one of their interests except they avoid confronting the commonwealth unless they outnumber them. Pirates are more confident of defeating colony forces but respect a sound defence boat. Pirates are also involved in regular crime like vice and the black market. Some are political and aid rebels or outsiders.

Terrorists or freedom fighters or rebels or resistance, across the human sphere persons unite to slow the commonwealth from its planned hegemony. Some accuse them of serving secret enemies of commonwealth and brand them traitors to human kind. Terrorist attacks, suicide bobers, ramming starships, explosives and sabotage are their means. Some systems may be keen to join the commonwealth but a faction may disagree and build their own defence program and promote war. Terrorists also deal with pirates and criminals and may mass produce systematic troops and weapons for an action. Some just want independence but fanatics preach death to terra and the commonwealth hegemony and will do anything. 

Psions are emergent since the human gene pool was contaminated after the Jupiter Indecent. Some colonies have higher incidence and have specialists. Many have been hunted in diferent times and places and many formed sects. While the commonwea;th is happy to emply and prvide them with purpose, many are hidden in the colonies and may have developed anti social characteristics. Whole crews of ship have turned Psion from overspace FTL incidents. Entities and anomalies have turned ship crews into hostiles. Some psions feel persecuted and downtrodden and vindictive. Others feel superior and work in secret together to rule their less evolved kin.

Technically aliens include drones and constructs of the ancients which have caused some problems. Could also simply feature remains or ruins that others fight over. As yet no living aliens have been detected with certainty. Just their remains. Some species and terraforming has been noted as of ancient origin. While rival species may exist beyond human space their mechanisations and agents and traps may be felt first. In a beginning campaign this can be used to create a hybrid of two other types by rolling two rogue factions and mixing them.

Episode adventure checklists
every episode has these things happen

Space encounter or battle (often first and last climax)
Fist fight or physical challenge or obstacle
New gadget or ship or weapon – for heroes or for enemy
Ray gun fired no matter what, solve one problem with a blaster
Philosophical dilemma – ponder or debate some issue for a moment
Kiss – a romance subplot or flirt or wacky awkward moment

every story unfolds thus
Intro action sequence for each character may or may not connect to plot
Mission given
Identify Task
Problem or Hazard with task
Overcome obstacle
Wrap up and lame gag

In an old BRP version of this set a few hundred years later I had a more cartoon version of this list. It included Bonzo the space chimp doing something ridiculous or enacting some ape pun. It was silly but fun way to end a game.

Q: Why is Corporal Bonzo running around with bacon and eggs on his head?
A: He wants to be a griller
Colonial Tech vs Commonwealth Tech

I have documented spaceships, weapons, basic hardware. A few points I thought worth adding to include auto-factories, more on anti gravity and AI's.

Each colony was dropped out of overspace at 5% the speed of light on the outer edge of a solar system as a colossal pod. While the colony ship moved to the next viable system to empty its racks, the pod decelerated to the inner system and attempted to establish a colony. Some lived hard and had to adapt to hostile worlds or settled for some large moons. Many found a viable planet and a few found garden worlds and first evidence of the ancients.

Each pod is possible would enter the planetary atmosphere and descend to an isolated place where a minimal environmental impact will be felt. Some pods broke into smaller pods. Each pod had a huge modular factory complex. Some colonies relocated specialized components like atmospheric processors at a planetary pole. The AI and leaders of the colony would determine the best settlement plan and unpack the components into the modules needed.

Primary Autofactory Modules
Atmospheric processing module - 30+3d100 years terraformer
Mineral processing module – produces raw building matter
Biological processing module – produces and refines biomatter from raw chemicals if needed
Energy plant module - produces power
Manufacturing plant module – builds non violent tools, equipment and vehicles

Secondary Autofactory Modules
Habit construction module – builds habitats for colonists
Clone factory module – grows colonists or replicants or animen
Cybernetics module – produces robots, AI expansions, computers, electronics, cyborgs
Agro-dome module – produces food and raw biomass, clone animals and plants
Life support module – recycles human and industrial products in colony, sealed colonies need it
Biomedical module – produces androids, synthetic organs, organic machine components

Armoury Module – produces guns, military vehicles
Pleasure-dome Module – recreational area for elites or reducing population growth

The worse the basic planet the more initial modules are built to cope with survival needs. A well off colony or a colony able to make some kind of shortcut (like slavery) will develop more advanced modules. Some landings or wars may destroy modules and lose a form of tech. Some colonists hack the AI and build weapons and pleasure domes for their leaders. A pleasure-dome can keep a small population stable for longer but those not ready abuse them. Low tech firearms can be built by a autofac tricked into building parts by a clever engineer. Can create slug and jet weapons like this.

Micro-factories are portable like a backpack or case that manufactures ammo from recycled captured ammo and configures specific ammo types for targets. A case that allows a surgeon to operate on himself. A box that processes food plants and animals into meals. A case that tools ammo and loads magazines. Micro factories of this quality are rare. Templates are data-files which make a specific thing in a auto factory. The Commonwealth offers new tech and arms templates for colonies supporting them.

Each colony had an AI or several but some killed their AIs or crippled them to break colonial protocol. AIs were intended to offer a continuum of leadership and guide the colony to maximum ethical productivity just like on Earth. They are intended to run colonies as fairly as possible. Some colonies were made up by the last extreme sects, nations and creeds from before the stellar era and the apocalypse. So it is little wonder they broke colonial protocols. Others simply had charismatic revolts or cults or slaves take over.

AIs dwell in huge concrete ziggurats with miles of shaft going into the planet and the various colony modules. Programmers, colony leaders and representatives meet on the surface. Small portable AIs sit on councils or act as ship control systems, or manage facilities like universities or recycle plants. Some are carried by a drone or droid or other artificial as a carry case or artwork or enen in a drone chest panel. Sensible AIs back themselves up often. A commonwealth gunboat will natter to a colony AI for days if you let them. A colony AI even if occupies several square miles will be dumber than a modern Earth one, but will know its own systems well. Some AIs have resisted software upgrades.

Anti gravity is a by product of shielding used to prevent madness in overspace. Commonwealth use it to replace wheels, tracks, hoverfans, vectored thrust, GEV and many earlier vehichles. Only good for skimming surface or slowing falls or assisting flying craft reaching escape velocity. All force fields and personal screens are a by product of this tech also. Predictions say a gravitic thruster drive will be developed, along with micro jumps, gates, hyperspacial coridoors,

A FTL radio project is underway requiring years of building for the biggest colonies to be linked to Terra and a commonwealth data network via attuned partical radio. Ship versions will be a long way off. Dedicated postal drones are a plan but for now all FTL travel and communications are done by gunboats officially.

What does the commonwealth offer?

Assistance to material needs such as food, water, shelter, air
New technology templates and updates for planetary AI network
Repair, update or replace old defective technology
Support local suppression of piracy and armed rebellion
Security advisors provided to assist against colony threats
Mutual defence from commonwealth enemies
Offer mediation and settlement in the event of conflict
Opportunity to meet and communicate with other colonies
Access to the best education and technology
Chance to work for commonwealth unity
Peace, Prosperity and meaningful labour

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