The Remnants

Background

Earth has been lost for over 500 years, by the best reckoning of human historians, such as they are. It was lost to some great disaster, either natural or man-made, and the only survivors were those humans who were off-planet at the time, most of them already in cryogenic suspension for mankind's first attempts at interstellar colonization and exploration. Remaining behind in the Sol system was untenable, so the fleets cast off into interstellar space at slower-than-light speeds to look for a new habitable world.

Two hundred years later the evacuation fleet arrived at the outer edges of the Taurus constellation and were arrested by the border guards of the Gossamer Concordat. After a tense stand-off, it was realized that the human refugee fleet did not, in fact, represent the first wave of a invading force, and the remnants of humankind were invited to join the Concordat on even terms with its many other client species. A suitable planet would be found for humanity's needs in time, or one would be terraformed for them if that was not an option, but like all the others of the Concordat, they would need to pay their way.

Thus, humanity was spread to the seven winds among the thousand worlds of the Concordat. Employed for hard labour, as security specialists, entertainment, servants, explorers and prospectors, in fact for almost any kind of hard and arduous labour that no one else wanted to tackle. While the Concordat had superior technology, humans were found to be hardier and better at surviving varied environments than most of the existing members, as well as having a comparatively non-selective diet and being good at recovering from injuries, especially when combined with the Concordat's advanced medical science.

Three hundred years after formally joining the Concordat, humanity remains scattered far and wide among the worlds, rarely gathered more than ten at a time, assured by their diplomats and representatives among the core worlds(as they have been for the last couple hundred years), that humanity's full accession and new home world are just around the corner, that stage-three feasibility studies are now under way to find a terraforming candidate, and then once that's found, it'll only be a few short centuries away.

But not everyone's happy to wait. The human rumour network is a fragile thing, as groups of human workers and employees only meet by chance around space ports or in deep space, often under the surveillance of the Concordat's elder species, but almost everyone has heard of those humans who aren't satisfied waiting to be given a world. Stories of renegades who engage in pirate activity along the space lanes, hijacking ships and butchering the crews, tales of their vicious pirate havens where humans once again have supremacy. Tales of heroic vigilantes seeking to construct a new refugee fleet, to once again carry humans into deep space away from what they perceive as slavery and indentured labour. Even of a foolhardy movement planning to overthrow the Concordat itself and place humanity on a new throne.

Map

EbrJiOt.png

Character Creation

Who are you in this world? A human, male or female, somewhere between 20 and 50 years of age, plying the space lanes under the auspices of a Concordat government or business interest. This ship is purely crewed by humans, the job is too dirty and dangerous, too lacking in luxuries, for any of the Concordat's prime movers and shakers to get anywhere near it.

You have four main stats: Intellect, Psyche, Physique and Motorics, which roughly map to Intelligence, Charisma, Strength/Constitution and Dexterity, though there's some crossover. Your stat in each of these is your starting score in each of its underlying skills. All of them start at a rating of 1, and from there on, you have eight points to distribute, with a max of 6 in any given stat. Your eventual max for a skill is twice that of its starting score. Then you pick a Signature Skill, which gets a +1 at chargen, and all skills associated with the same stat have their max level increased by 1 as well.

Then you pick your job aboard the ship(Captain, Pilot, Security, Medical, Engineer, Gunner, Cargo Specialist, etc.) which determines what equipment you start with.

You also have Morale(mental HP) equal to your Volition, and Health equal to your Endurance. If your Morale hits zero you give up and until you can be motivated, have a good night's rest or shoot up with some drugs. If your Health hits zero you're in a state of extreme physical peril and need medical attention quickly to avoid dying.

Skills

Some skills have a degree of overlap, like Drama and Savoir Faire both being used for dancing. In those cases, the skill used depends on how you want to accomplish the task or how it turns out in the end.

Intellect

Logic

Anything that can be crunched through with raw computing power, primarily mathematics. Completely useless for anything involving emotions or motivations, however.

Rhetoric

Generally the skill used for having intellectual debates involving five-dollar words and big, sweeping statements about the fundamental truths of reality. Any time you use Rhetoric, assume that it will piss someone off.

Encyclopedia

The generalized trait of knowing things, from memorizing license plates to remembering the correct order that you're supposed to cut the wires in or which of these organs you're supposed to be fixing that's actually the liver. A lot of intellectual, medical and maintenance tasks will start off with an Encyclopedia check to determine if you actually know enough to start, though someone with a high Encyclopedia could, theoretically, guide someone with, say, a high Interfacing through a tricky bit of brain surgery or plumbing work.

Drama

Dancing, acting and lying, as well as recognizing when someone else is employing these skills against you. Also covers most kinds of distractions and feints in combat situations.

Conceptualization

Covers art and imagination in the creative sense, where Inland Empire's imagination is in the "Time Cube ramblings and conspiracies"-type of imagination.

Visual Calculus

The art of calculating trajectories and physical movements, a must-have for a pilot, artillerist or long-range sniper. Also tends to be very useful at crime scenes to have a fundamental understanding of just where that blood spatter came from, where the shooter was standing…

Psyche

Volition

Your general self-control. Resists fear, mental domination and urges to do anything self-destructive(like drugs). Your Morale score(i.e. your mental HP) is equal to your Volition. Generally only rolled if you're trying to do something extremely terrifying or trying to resist psychic assault.

Inland Empire

If Conceptualization allows you to think slightly out of the box, Inland Empire is used for thinking out of your mind. An important skill for cult leaders, occult writers and the thoroughly insane, though sometimes it allows you to come up with ideas that no one in their right mind would, and in an infinite universe, sometimes those ideas are correct. Inland Empire is generally used when you switch off all the logic in your mind and let it run loose, it tends to create extremely elegant solutions that are beguiling to the creative, but usually extremely wrong. But also very powerful when they're not wrong.

Empathy

For understanding the emotions of others and reading their subtler physical cues.

Authority

Used for pushing others around verbally by asserting yourself as an important figure.

Suggestion

While Authority lets you make others do what they don't want to, Suggestion helps you change what they want so they'll cooperate without knowing they're being manipulated.

Esprit de Terra

Your connection to the wider human diaspora, your knowledge about their politics, feelings, locations and projects(hidden or not). Great if you want to be a Concordat collaborator or a pro-human saboteur.

Physique

Physical Instrument

If there's something that requires a raw application of physical force, like yanking a stuck lever, kicking open a door or clobbering someone with a heavy object, Physical Instrument is likely to be the skill used.

Electrochemistry

Governs your drug tolerance, determining how much you can use them to gain stat boosts without overwhelming negative effects. Every point of Electrochemistry is one more time you can use drugs between rest periods without suffering any Health or Morale loss. Also governs your knowledge of drugs and their effects.

Endurance

Your Health pool is equal to your Endurance, aside from that, Endurance is rarely rolled. Great stat to invest in if you intend to put yourself regularly in dangerous situations, however.

Half Light

A combination of danger sense and reaction speed. If someone suddenly draws a knife, Half Light is what determines whether you react quickly enough to snap his wrist back and stab him with it, or whether he gets the first move in. Sufficient Half Light also determines whether you notice that he's carrying a knife at all, by letting you read subtle cues that hint at impending violence.

Pain Threshold

Allows you to keep going through immense pain and ignore its effects, for instance if someone needs to reach in and yank the electrified lever to shut down the generator without giving up like a wuss the first time 5000 volts course through them? Then it's time to call the guy with a high Pain Threshold.

Shivers

The closest thing to a supernatural power among the skills. It lets you tune in to your environment and reach out with your mind, understanding the atmosphere, sometimes sensing the past or what an object has been used for. It involves opening all the mind's metaphysical doors and passively letting knowledge and feelings come to you, however, so you never know it'll pick up. Or who.

Motorics

Hand/Eye Coordination

For aiming small arms and throwing/catching items. Generally important if you want to be real cool and also shoot people a lot.

Reaction Speed

Primarily used for dodging incoming danger.

Perception

Noticing things, big and small, though not necessarily understanding what they mean.

Savoir Faire

Stealth, acrobatics and dancing.

Composure

Composure allows you both to hide your own emotional state and to read the emotional state of others.

Interfacing

Your fine digital dexterity. Used for surgery and small repairs, as well as painting pewter miniatures, if that's your thing.

Thoughts

Thoughts are optional ideas and concepts that characters may choose to buy in to after encountering them on adventures. Characters may learn one and/or unlearn a thought once per adventure, and have an upper cap of five learned thoughts at once.

A Pirate's Life For Me!

There's something alluring and romantic about the life of a space lane raider. Speaking with a funny accent, wearing a flamboyant hat, making outrageous threats and possibly having a heart of gold under it all. Maybe the pirates are on to something…

Effects: Allows Drama to be used in place of Authority and Reaction Speed for asserting yourself and close quarters duelling respectively. -1 Morale if you engage in physical violence without appropriate dramatic threats and posturing.

One For All

Helping out others gives you sort of a good feeling, even if there's no tangible reward, it's enough to know that you bailed someone else out of a tough spot. It does mean opening up your heart to others, though, and that can hurt sometimes.

Effects: Allows a reroll on any roll that's directly related to helping someone else. -1 Morale if a failed roll results in an ally getting killed or hurt.

The Thrill of Danger

Danger gets your blood pumping. The moment you realize that there's something on the line, especially your own skin, you can't help but dive in deeper.

Effects: If you lose a point of Health, gain +1 Morale and a re-roll on your next attempted roll. You can only bank one re-roll at a time.

System

All checks are 2d6+stat, vs a TN, with 10 being the normal target number. Rolling two 1's is always a failure, and rolling two 6's is always a success. Equipment or special training may provide additional bonuses.

Some checks may require two rolls, for instance if someone needs an appendectomy, Encyclopedia lets you know where to cut, and Interfacing allows you to actually make the cut.

The Ship

Specifications

Name: The Rocket Punch
Size: 80m(Length)
Power Plant: Cold Fusion Reactor
Propulsion: Neo-Alcubierre Drive, Frameshift Generator
Paint Job: TBD
Ownership: Captain TBD(on lease from Kwaas Shipping & Security)
Crew: 3
Passenger Space: Variable
Cargo Space: Variable
Armaments: 2x Railgun(Turreted, Ventral), 2x Railgun(Turreted, Dorsal)
Current Fuel Supply: 2 Jumps

Crew

Harry Nguyen Winks
Position: Captain
Equipment: Stiff Uniform(+1 Authority, -1 Reaction Speed), Captain's Hat(+1 Drama, -1 Perception)

Calico Daewoo
Position: Gunner
Equipment: Targeting Monocle(+1 Visual Calculus, -1 Drama), Quickdraw Holster(+1 Reaction Speed, +1 Half-Light, -1 Authority, -1 Logic)

Messi
Position: Janitorial
Equipment: Mop & Bucket(+1 Savoir Faire, -1 Authority), Overly Large Wrench(+1 Physical Instrument, -1 Reaction Speed)

Cargo Manifest

Drugs

Hrok Toxins, Concentrated(A jelly-like substance with a rainbow sheen to it. Applied by skin contact.): +2 to next Shivers, Conceptualization or Inland Empire roll, -1 Morale
Scolopendran Gland Excretions, Dried(An odourless, rusty-red powder. Snort to apply.): +2 to next roll of any Motorics skill, -1 Morale

Equipment

Ortworg Magazines(+1 Encyclopedia, -1 Drama)

Advancement

Mission 1:
+1 to a chosen skill.
Learn/Unlearn one Idea

Mission 2, Midpoint:
+1 to a chosen skill.

Other Relevant Pages

Concordant Species
Sarajevo Station Bulletin Board

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License