View Full Version : Through Adversity, The Stars!

02-18-2010, 02:12 AM
So, yours truly has been working on a roleplaying game! Some of you may have seen me refer to it on other threads, but I've actually got enough of a mechanics base and fluff base to actually start really putting the system together and test it!

Right now, the project is at a pre-alpha stage, but with some elbow grease, I can work up to the Alpha Stage and start making real tests.

But first, I'm sure everyone is curious as to WHAT my RPG is!

Well, it is a table top (or pencil and paper) roleplaying game set in the distant future. Humanity has branched into six distinct species, and with the invention of faster than light travel, everyone is out creating colonies. Mixed race crews of Spacers are heading out and doing their thing...

Think EV Nova meets Mass Effect meets Serenity, with elements of Dune, Starship Troopers, the 1950s, Babylon 5, and...well, a ton of sci-fi and cultural things I think are neat.

And its name: Through Adversity, the Stars!

Which IS a reference to the phrase Ad Astra Per Aspura, but I changed for two reasons. Reason 1: The name Ad Astra is already in use. (http://www.google.com/search?q=Ad+Astra&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a)And Reason 2: TATS is a MUCH better shortening than AADA.

So, right now, the things I am working on are...

A full list of equipment, genetic modifications, cybernetic implants.

More specific combat rules (I have the generals down, but not some details like: How does grappling work? How do I handle crippling injuries?)

Starship combat (Have the fluff idea, don't know how to make it work with rules yet)

Generating Randomized Planets (For people who want to run exploration games)

Fluff Chapters (I know pretty much all the fluff...I just need to write it out).

Things I HAVE finished.

Skills and skill checks!



How to make a character

Racial Traits

Anywho, I'm posting this thread to

A) Bounce Ideas off people who play TTRPGs. I've played since middle school, but I'm no expert. I normally just play with buddies, ya know.
B) Update people on how I'm doing
C) Get beta testers when I'm...done, ya know.


Lets get started.

The very "base" of this system is, like with many systems, the dice system. I'm using a 1d10 system because...well, I like 10s. They're way better than 20s. So, statistics are between 1 and 10, with 1 being the worst and 10 being superhuman.

There are 8 statistics in all, split evenly between BODY and MIND.

So, we have...

Body | Mind
Strength | Intelligence
Dexterity | Wits
Endurance| Resolve
Beauty | Charisma

And you have 30 points to spend amongst these statistics at character creation.

But what do these stats do? Well, they all have their passive bonuses. For example, you add your strength to your melee damage, your wits to your initiate roll, your beauty to initial reactions, and your endurance / resolve determines how much genetic modification or cybernetic implantation you can get (respectively).

BUT the primary use of stats is in skill checks. Every skill you have is tied to a Primary and Secondary Stat. So, to figure out the number you need to roll under to succeed, you add your Primary Stat to ONE HALF of your secondary Stat.

So, if you are trying to stab someone in the throat with a knife, you'd make a Dex/Str check. If your dex is 4 and your strength is 3, then you'd add 4 + 1.5 (rounded down to make 1) and get a 5. You roll, get a six, and miss the throat with your knife.

Now, skill still matters: You can improve your skill bonus. So if you had Knife Stabbing Skill: +1 (I.E, you trained it up from +0 to +1), then you'd have to roll under a 6. Which means you would have hit the throat with your knife (doing 1d10+3 damage and most likely killing your target, as HP is = to your Endurance + 1/2 your strength).

So, improving your skill is CHEAPER than improving your stats, meaning its usually more expedient to get your skill up to +4 rather than improve your stats to get the same effect. However, improving your stats would give you a WIDER bonus, as it would effect ALL skills that use that stat.

What do you fellas think of that? And once I've gotten your reactions to the base mechanics, I can go into more details about things like Genetic Engineering, Cyberware, Modular Guns, Combat, and so on and so on.

And if you're interested in becoming a beta tester, just rep me your E-mail and I'll mark it down.

02-18-2010, 10:45 PM
And I have realized that my title is misspelled. DAMNIT!

Anywho, I've continued to lay out some basic rule foundations and am tip tapping away on the nutt grutty bolts and clunks.

But, I do notice that I rather neglected my fluff - which I am rather proud of!

So, let me describe to you the universe in which this game takes place.

It all began around the 23rd century. The Earth was reaping the benefits of the entire solar system and a new golden age had come. Environmental damage from the early 21st had finally been repaired and everyone celebrated the return of several extinct species through clever genetic engineering. Things seemed perfect.

Unfortunately, the golden veneer of the age had several serious cracks. At the fringes of society were several factions, each marginalized and demonized by the majority of the human race. Some wanted to experiment with human genetic engineering. Others wanted to link human minds together with cybertechnology. And worst of all, there were some who wanted to follow their religious practices without being persecuted for it.

These factions first tried protesting. They were ignored. They tried lobbying. They were ignored and booed. Then, the more extreme ones just went ahead and started to break the law. Crackdowns from Global Alliance followed and the factions responded with terrorist attacks. The Golden Age was starting to seriously crack.

The President at the time, fearing that the Golden Age would fail and war would return for the first time in almost a century (all on her watch, too!), sought desperately to find some way to get the Factions to stop blowing up buildings and still appear to be working for her constituents...without actually starting a full scale war.

It seemed unsolvable...until she found an answer! Kill two birds with one stone: Solve the slight unemployment problem at the time and get rid of the factions without the mess or fuss of a war.

The Slowboats. Massive, generation star-ships, each built to safely carry an entire faction out of the solar system and to a pre-selected habitable planet in a different solar system. Poor people were put to work, the factions stopped blowing buildings up, and the President played the whole thing off as a grand human endeavor...the greatest in history, in fact.

She still didn't get reelected for a fourth term.

The Slowboats left SOL, each carrying their faction within. The Golden Age continued...and then, in the 24th century, something horrible happened. No one remembers quite what it was...natural disaster, nuclear war, nanotechnology gone arwy...no one knows. All the survivors knew was that in one moment, they had been living in splendor...and the next, billions were dead and billions more were dying. The scant millions that struggled to survive started to die...until the human race flickered close to extinction.

In deep space, the slowboats continued, generations living and dying in the same ship. One by one, they arrived on their new homes, unaware of what had happened to the Earth beyond some vague rumors and suspicions.

Meanwhile, the human race had started to rebuild back on Earth. The survivors evolved in this harsh new environment, producing a breed of sickly, cancer ridden people. They called themselves the Terrans and for most of their recorded history, no Terran lived much beyond thirty or forty. However, due to quite a LOT of breeding and hidden caches of information left over in the ruins, the Terrans managed to reclaim the Solar System, finding relics of humanities glory in the form of decaying mining stations and space ships parked on the moon.

It was then that a rather genius Terran named Xoshi Tsina Nau was born. She pioneered the equations that made possible the Xoshi Field Drive. An XFD allows for two equal amounts of matter to "trade places" instantaneously no matter how far apart they are. Unfortunately, the field also releases a burst of radiation - mostly cherenkov, with some exotic high energy particles that are only created when matter trades places.

Use on a planet is possible, but considered unwise.

However, an XFD can still be used to travel between stars. What one does is locate the star you wish to jump too, then watch the 'wobble' on the star. This wobble is actually caused by the orbit of gas giants around a star. With that wobble, you can accurately locate a gas giant. Then it is a simple matter of targeting the XFD on the upper atmosphere of the gas giant.

The visual effect is that of a sudden cyclone as gasses are sucked into a single point. A close observer could see the exact shape of your ship appearing, made of compressed gas, nanoseconds before your ship appears in a burst of blue light and hard radiation. Meanwhile, back in the solar system you left from, a burst of gasses will expand out from your location like a miniature explosion.

Now, what happens if your XFD grabs a vacuum or an area of space that does not have enough matter to replace your ship? Well, your ship releases the energy in a burst of hard radiation and you have to recharge your XFD then try again. If you grab matter that is...say...in the center of the gas giant, then you'll appear beneath an ocean of liquid hydrogen and instantly be crushed out of shape.

Anywho, the Terrans built a large ship called the Solian (which means 'from SOL') and set out to see if they could find the other branches of humanity...they did not know where or what they were, for only vague rumors and legends and fragments of data were recovered about the Golden Age.

In the next post, you will learn of First Contact, the Bioneer Kingdom and the Freegen Republic.

02-18-2010, 10:48 PM
Hey! I remember you were telling me this a while ago, glad to see you continue with it. :)

02-19-2010, 12:04 PM
I've worked out how droids work for the most part! Just so you know, you CAN build a Surrogate...if you have a HIGHLY illegal decking port. I do love how flexible my system (and setting) are being so far. Its a nice high level of technology that I hope is FAIRLY realistic...if Mass Effect is an 8 and Planetites or 2001 is a 10, then I'm aiming for a 7 or 6.

In terms of...sci-fi hardness, that is. Quality, I'm aiming for 11.


More fluff!


The Solian set out with great fanfare. At the edge of SOL, it targeted a gas giant in the Alpha Centauri star system, then winked out of existence. A bloom of gas appeared where the Solian had once been, and everyone waited with baited breath. Had they arrived in Alpha Centauri? Or had they gone somewhere else? Had they arrived in the upper atmosphere of gas giant or had they been crushed in its depths?

A signal through the Ansible showed that the Solian had arrived and the barrier between stars had been broken!


Fluff Pause: My brother and father have both pointed out that ansibles are, sadly, impossible because quantum fluctuations between two entangled photons will appear random unless you have the information on what the other photon is doing AS it is doing it. I.E, it will look like complete gibberish.

...but lets just...ignore that for now.


The Solian then set out to find the other human offshoots. They did not have a specific destination for each Slowboats...lots of information had been lost, and what fragments of information they did have were incomplete. But they had enough to make educated guesses, and after a mere month of exploration, the Solian stumbled on the first of the human colonies.

They found a warzone.

When the Bioneers left SOL, they had left with the intention of creating a genetic utopia, where everyone could be what they want, when they wanted, and how they wanted. Want to be a girl? Mod yourself with a quick retroviral injection! Want your children to be smarter? Modify them!

It went very well...until the Plagues came. Whether deliberate sabotage or accidental creation, the effect was the same: A series of horrific and deadly plagues started to sweep through the ship. The Bioneers almost went extinct, and they would have vanished completely if it were not for the Overseers. Men and women who stepped up and enforced draconian quarantine laws.

And thus ended the Bioneers grand dreams of a genetic utopia. From then on, the Overseers controlled everything. Needless modifications had gotten them into this mess, they said. Focused modifications would get them out of it. The Overseers divided up the population and set them to work creating modifications that could better equip people to handle the post-plague environment of the ship. Before people knew it, the Overseers controlled the oxygen, the water, the food. But to protect it, they recruited people who were loyal to them.

Those people started to be...modified in more extreme ways. Over generations, mistrust between Overseers saw the splintering of the ship into several areas. No open wars began, but fighting still happened between groups of spliced up bully boys. Some people were modified to be better at working the dull jobs, others were made to try and invent new ways of splicing, to be focused only on technical and genetic inventions. And there were dark rumors of men and women modified to be...pretty and...compliant.

A joke started to go around the more bitter lower classes: The Overseers might as well be Kings and Queens.

But after a few generations, the joke stopped being so funny and started getting serious. Public lashings for insubordination became common place. A style became popular amongst the "Lords": That of aping their namesakes. Rather than enforcers, they had knights. Rather than workers, they had serfs. Sex slaves got renamed Courtesans.

By the time the ship arrived at their homeworld - Utopia - the genetic caste system was fully in place. Lords were at the top, modified to be beautiful, intelligent, and control the other castes with pheromones. Knights were below them, modified to be tough and hard to kill. Priests to invent, create and venerate their Lords. Serfs to work the land, build, and be the plodding labor. And finally Courtesans. To...entertain.

The Lords landed on Utopia and there was a scramble for the best land, the best resources. Feuds that were impossible to enact on the ship burst into open conflict. And to further add to the chaos, a new faction arose. Free from the ship and able to finally flee and hide from their masters, these criminals and terrorists were called Gene-Hacks by the Lords. Gene-Hacks had kept their freedom through underground modifications and very very creative acting.

While Lord fought Lord, Gene-Hacks acted as a wild card...blowing up buildings, setting off auto-cannibalistic meme bombs in serf villages, infecting courtesans with STDs, and generally being...terrorists. Or freedom fighters, depending on how you see things.

After almost three centuries of the Dark Ages, the Solian arrived in the Utopia solar system and changed everything. Lords agreed to peace, meeting these strange new people. The Terrans were shown the shiny, happy, idealized version of Bioneer society...it was not until a Gene-Hack snuck into the castle the Terrans were staying at and showed them the darkness.

The Gene-Hacks pleaded with the Terrans. They pointed out that the knowledge that the Bioneers were not alone in the universe would set aside a great deal of their enmity with one another and make the Gene-Hacks a single target rather than one amongst many. With that advantage lost, they would surly perish.

And so, much to the consternation of the Bioneer Kingdom, the Terrans evacuated some ten million Gene-Hacks in over the course of a year. Despite the complaints, the Bioneers were unable to actually STOP the Terrans from doing so...as Utopia had not been fully developed, and the Bioneers were unable to do much more than launch aircraft...they were far away actual space flight.

The Terrans deposited the Gene-Hacks on a verdant world found about a hundred light years away from Utopia. The Gene-Hacks named it Arcadia, and renamed themselves the Freegens. They formed the Freegen Republic.

The Solian then returned home. The Terran Confederacy had decided that she was to be refitted as a warship, with more advanced weapons and sensor equipment. They figured that war was coming, with the Freegens and the Bioneers hating one another so. And both had their hands on XFD technology now...both were colonizing new planets left and right.

These three factions knew that war was coming...but none of them knew from which direction...

Coming up next: The Hive War begins!

02-19-2010, 02:17 PM
I go to a gaming club every monday where we play RPGs and Wargames all night long :p (Pizza and Diet Coke abound :p) and I might be able to generate some interest in this game :)

Contact me on my email: [email protected]

If you want me to help find people to play test the game, if you're worried about anyone stealing it I'll only be asking people who I trust and won't let them keep any of the material and on request get rid of it.

I have no interest in stealing someone else's game, I'd be a hypocrite for wanting people not to steal my game (Witch-Hunter) and then I steal yours.


02-19-2010, 08:39 PM

I'll mark your E-mail down so I don't forget it...cause, well, its gonna be a long time before this game finishes. Its taken me a while to realize just how much content is in a good RPG...but its a lot!

02-20-2010, 03:12 AM
I'd also be more than happy to write some modules when the time comes :)

02-20-2010, 09:06 AM
So, I bought a joystick AND I've worked out the basics of starship combat. Also, I have a good reason for why spaceships need wings!

Think about it: You vanish from your solar system and appear in the upper atmosphere of a gas giant. You better have wings and a real kicking awesome rocket to get yourself up and out before you fall down and get crushed like a tin can in a tin can crushing machine.

Also, limits the size of ships to something you can accelerate out of the gas giant.

Now...for more fluff!


For the next thirty years, the three powers that be colonized and developed their navies. Progress was slow, as many things about the XFD were not fully understood. In fact, it was a miracle that the Solian - which was now the flagship of the Terran Confederacy's fledgling fleet - had survived as long as it did.

Exploration and colonization continued, despite the dangers. Small, nimble scoutships would appear in a system - assuming they were not crushed due to a miscalculation or failure in their drive systems - and seek out planets that could be profitably exploited. Assuming they found it, ramshackle ships called Linkjacks were sent.

Linkjacks were little more than a chemical rocket strapped to a massive frame. Mostly automated, Linkjacks would use their XFD to arrive in a solar system and burn hard and fast to get into a stable orbit around the gas giant in question. Their frame would then extend into two parts: A long 'scoop' that would bleed up gas into the second half of the frame, a massive container. Once they had collected enough gas, the chemical rocket would fire one last time to stabilize their orbit...and then the colony ship would be sent through.

From there on, the colony was on its own - save for minor supply drops granted by smaller, more reusable scout ships. The Linkjack would supply a helium-3 or hydrogen mining platform as the colony strove to overcome the almost crippling debt they owed their homeworld.

Over thirty years, the Linkjacks became "Transfer Stations", which allowed for star-freighters to travel between worlds, facilitating trade. The colonies paid off their debts (though many were unwilling, persuaded only because naval ships from their homeworlds would preform "patrols" in their space) and soon space seemed to thrive with life.

But all was not well: The Bioneers and the Freegens held several small skirmishes, all of them inconclusive. Occasionally, a Bioneer colony would get pheromone bombed...and by the time any Bioneer authorities arrived, the local Lords had their throats slit, and their vassals were no where to be seen. In return, some Freegen colonies were mysteriously emptied of all life, their citizens vanishing as completely as though they were turned to atoms. During this all, the Terrans continued to develop their colonies in Alpha Centauri. Though they had fewer actual systems under their control, they had development completed...including the galaxy famous Centauri Shipyards, which could churn out completed ships in days, given enough materials and crew.

Then, on Day 104 of 036 P.F.C (Post First Contact), war finally came. Open war, not just the sniping and terrorist attacks.

A Freegen scout ship arrived in a solar system at the very edge of The Verge, a region of colonized space between the Freegen Republic and Bioneer Kingdom. They found a habitable planet in the very edge of the ecosphere of the star: A cold, icy planet.

However, it was a cold icy planet with several massive space stations, many gleaming cities, and bubbling - if incomprehensible - radio traffic coming from every inch of the planet.

The Freegens had discovered The Mind-Net.

The Mind-Net had begun as the Coalition for Neural Purification, believing that humanity could create a more perfect union through cybernetic enhancement. And they had succeeded. The Mind-Net numbered in almost one billion people, all linked into a glorious network. There was no crime, no war, no want, and amazing industry.

Discovering that faster than light travel was possible, the Mind-Net reevaluated their ideas on how to handle first contact. Originally, they had thought to slowly and peacefully expand through the galaxy, settling worlds with slowboats. It would take many many thousands of years, but they were anything if not patient.

However, hearing that there was a way to reach other civilizations in instants rather than millennium, the Mind-Net took fifteen minutes to change their plans from peaceful expansion to conquest and assimilation.

Afterall, who didn't want to be a part of their glorious Net?

Their population set to constructing warships and weapons and munitions with the chilling efficiency of an ant-hive.

The Hive War had begun.

Mind-Net ships appeared in a Bioneer system at the same time a three ship task force had arrived to collect the tithes due to the High King Michelangelo. The Lord of the planet had been...recalcitrant in paying up what he owed, and after bombing his cities from orbit, he was bending over backwards to accommodate the High King's knights.

The Bioneer ships, spotting the warships entering the system, opened fire first. Three Mind-Net ships were obliterated, smashed to bits by railgun shells. Each shell struck with the same force as a thirty megaton nuclear bomb, and each was aimed by the best computing systems the Bioneers could build.

The remaining Mind-Net ships opened fire, destroying two Bioneer ships...but not before the Bioneers fired another volley, which destroyed the remaining Netter vessels.

The remaining Bioneer ship immediately went home, to warn the High King that war, the war that everyone had been worrying about, had come.

Mind-Net ships began to appear in colony worlds across the Verge...and again and again, they met with greater resistance than previously anticipated. Bioneers and Freegens - prodded liberally by the Terrans - signed the Treaty of Three Stars, which created the Solian Alliance. The Allies then began to fight in earnest.

The Hive War dragged on for five brutally long years. In the end, it became little more than a money sink, dragging out lives and credits and throwing them into a seeming black hole. No battle could really be won through guile or trickery, skill and veterinary didn't matter.

All that did matter was who fired first. Who had the best technology. And who was more willing to sacrifice lives on the alter of victory.

Finally, at the end, the war did not so much end as...sigh and fade into the darkness. Mind-Net ships stopped appearing over colony worlds, and soon the leaders of the Allies were declaring this a victory.

But no one could feel too excited or happy about it. Millions dead, trillions of credits thrown down the hole, and Solian progress halted dead in its tracks...colonization efforts were forestalled as people turned their gaze inwards, away from the stars and to their faltering economies or their political dissatisfaction.

A grim time had come to the galaxy.

Coming up next, the Grim Time, the Freegen secessions, Bioneer Civil War, and Terran market crash.

02-20-2010, 08:51 PM
So, I've finished the Perk List!

See, there are 4 types of skills and 4 kinds of perks: Combat, Space, Technology and Social.

Combat skills are things like stabbing weapons, slashing weapons, pistols, heavy weapons, combat hardsuit training, brawling. Combat perks are things like Silent Slayer, Sniper, or my personal favorite, Catch!.

Space skills are things like Heat Management, zero gravity training, probability predictions, and so on. Space perks are things like space sickness immunity, rebound, and tube-rat.

Tech skills are things like Craft, Repair, Rigging, Decking, and so on. Tech perks are things like Tinkerer, Born in Cyberspace, and Scrounger.

Social skills are the more obvious talents of haggling, convincing, charm, seduce. Perks are things like sex appeal, skilled negotiator and contact.

Anywho, time for more fluff, am I right? I'm right.


High King Michelangelo was shot during the victory parade throughout his Kingdom. The bullet slammed through his chest and killed him nearly instantly, despite the best efforts of his Priests to resuscitate him. The assassin was caught and hanged, but not after they were revealed to be a Knight, working for one of the major noble houses. The house in question - Atilia - declared that any king that could so bungle something as simple as total intersteller war deserved to die.

It was true that Michelangelo had not been the finest leader during wartime. His three sons had died early in the conflict, leaving him a broken and sad man, leaving most of the actual leading to the Lords that made up his cabinet. Before the war he had been unpopular for trying to forge closer relations with the Freegen Republic and the Terran Confederacy.

The assassination proved to be too much for the already strained fabric of the Kingdom...Civil War had begun, split evenly down the middle between the Royalists - those who were loyal to High King Michelangelo and his ideas - and the Loyalists -those were followed the Family Atilia and their promises of new glory for the Bioneer people.

As the Bioneer civil war continued, the Freegen Republic suffered from its own internal conflict. A great debate was raging through their Hall of Representatives, a debate centered around the issue of secession. Almost every colony world was voting itself out of the Union! The minorities that wanted to stay in the Union were fleeing back to Arcadia and the other worlds that were staying with the Republic. Even their oldest and largest colony, Coda, was voting to leave.

What should be done? The many many MANY political parties of the Freegen argued and debated. One by one, they agreed that they would be betraying the very ideals of their Republic if they tried to keep their colonies in by force.

Well, all but the Unified Brotherhood. A small, fringe party made up of people who had lost family to the Bioneers and the Mind-Net and had decided that the only thing to do was to bolster their naval defenses, civil defenses, and...defense in general.

They were voted down, and the Freegen Republic shrunk to almost nothing, with its colonies turning themselves into various nations unto themselves.

But the real killer, which was about to put the squeeze on Solian space for almost two decades, was happening in the Alpha Centauri space docks. What had once been the pride and joy of the Terran economic machine was now...slowing down. Why? Because automation has limits, and those limits were straining as the full causality list of the Hive War became apparent.

Due to the large size of the Terran fleet at the START of the war, they had suffered some of the worst casualties. Facing a massive depopulation, the Terran Confederacy tried to fix the situation with incentives and tax rebates for people who had many children. But the problem was not with people not TRYING to have children...it was simply that having children, for Terrans, is hard!

Finally, the tension broke. The Alpha Centauri shipyards were forced to admit that they simply didn't have enough workers...and the true economic problems across Terran space became apparent. No more workers. Less money in circulation. Less economic growth.

And the growth just started dropping, and it kept dropping, following the stock markets of the Freegen and Bioneers down into the shitter.

The next twenty years was known by two primary names: The Grim Times, by those that lived through it, and the Slump by those that were born afterwards.

The Civil War ended with a victory in the Loyalist camp. A woman named Regina Atilia crowned herself High Queen Atilia and cracked the whip, executing many Lords that didn't bow to her. She also began Uplifting Knights that were particularly skilled in battle, genetically modifying them to become psudo-Lords, with the promise that their children would be Lords in fact.

The Freegen Republic was a sullen ember, where once it had been a bright flame. Many of the colony worlds, though, were having a grand old time. Free from the economic tarrifs and taxes that their homeworld had placed on them, they started developing rapidly. Sure, a few of them starved to death when their crops failed, but more succeeded than those that didn't.

The finest example of this was Coda. Coda had been colonized ten years after Arcadia, making it one of the oldest colony worlds out there. Under the stewardship of Amelia Rynholt - their elected leader - Coda thrived and flourished and even started building their own moderate navy.

The Terrans finally pushed their way up and out of the depopulation issues by taking...drastic...steps. Steps that would remain a dark secret in Terran civilian life for many years before being revealed. This secret shame...the Breeding Camps, where viable women were taken the instant it was found they could regularly produce offspring...were responsible for bringing the Terran economy up to speed.

But the real fire and thunder that would test the galaxy had not yet come.

For in the year 060 P.F.C, the Mind-Net returned, ushering in the Second Hive War.

Coming up next, The Second Hive War begins!

02-21-2010, 04:20 AM
This is awesome dude! I WANT MORE!

02-21-2010, 07:10 AM
And this is just the history!

I'll write more when I am more free.

02-21-2010, 09:36 AM
I have a love for fluff. I'm getting pretty busy writing down the detailed timeline of my world presented in the game Witch-Hunter: Demon Within which is currently in development :D

02-21-2010, 09:55 AM
The Second Hive War began with a bang. The colony Pearl, a Freegen/Terran mining operation near the edge of the Verge, was woken from its slumber by a flash of blue light and hard radiation. A ship appeared in the upper atmosphere of the planet, gliding over the colony. As it sped overhead, drop pods fired, landing troops across the city. As those pods fired, a high energy microwave laser stabbed down again and again and again, striking power stations and communications towers. The ship hit its rockets and boosted into orbit as the drop pods opened and Mind-Net troops swarmed out.

They acted as a single mind, moving and cutting off the shell shocked garrison forces in the colony before anyone even knew what was happening.

Pearl was conquered within two hours. An hour after that the local trade station was taken and the Mind-Net had jacked into the FTL network.

Even with the Slump in progress, transfer stations were still built. They were slower to expand than predicted, but they still came. But what were they? Imagine a single central cylinder that has a large wheel around the center, with spokes connecting inwards. These spokes enclose large hanger bays that are either empty or filled with high pressure gas. When a ship wants to transfer from one trade station to another, they get the coordinates (via an ansible contained within the central cylinder) and they vanish. In their place is an equal amount of gas. This gas is then kept in the chamber, which is now set to "incoming" traffic.

Now, the Pearl station was taken before the Allies even knew a war was going on. Though they had viral protection and firewalls and other countermesures in place...they did not have anything that could stand up to the Mind-Net probes and programs.

Before anyone knew it, the FTL network was co-opted and the Mind-Netters were jumping ships into trade station after trade station, bursting out and conquering colony after colony. Within a day, they had expanded through the Verge...and the Allies were mobilizing.

The Bioneer and Terran navies scrambled out, and the remains of the Freegen navy joined them. Every un-compromised trade station shut down their ansible and moved position. The scrambled coordinates prevented any more rapid expansion from the Mind-Net, but they simply sent ships through gas giants. They did not do a repeat of the Pearl surprise attack, if only because planets were prepared now with aerial defenses that could shred an unprepared starship.

But the Mind-Net did not mind...they had gained more in a week than they had in the entire First Hive War.

And they had a few tricks up their sleeves.

In the Freegen capitol, the chairperson of the Unified Brotherhood party - a man named Aldous Xao - used the war as proof that they were right and the Freegen NEEDED to protect themselves. Aldous Xao, being a fine public speaker, managed to jack up the Unified Brotherhood's popularity from 2% to almost 50% in a mere week.

Minds change fast in the Freegen Republic.

The Allied Navy struck fast, attacking a Mind-Net fleet that entered into the solar system containing one of the Bioneer Primeworlds.

A Primeworld is a colony world that has been settled for more than fifty years. Developed and self sufficient, but not as venerable as a Homeworld.

The Mind-Net fleet appeared to be only three ships strong, as opposed to the ten ships in the Allied navy. Expecting an easy victory, they moved in...and suddenly, there were ONE HUNDRED Mind-Net ships in the area. The dumbfounded Allied captains started to retreat, but shell after shell struck home, obliterating all but two ships that managed to plot courses away in time.

It was not until the sensor data of the ships were looked at in great detail that the secret was discovered: Somehow, the Mind-Net was able to project perfectly convincing illusions with small, six foot by six foot drones. These drones were controlled by remote, producing the convincing recreation of a starship!

The problem was...rather than firing at a single ship making maneuvers, you have to fire at one ship in a twenty or fifty or a hundred and hope that that ship is the real ship.

Obviously, the Allies could not defeat the Mind-Net in space, not like that. The battle plan was changed, dramatically, from one of space battles to one of land battles. Navies would appear, drop troops on a contested planet, then flee before the Mind-Net ships could show up and destroy them. But this was merely a way of holding off the Net, rather than actually stopping or reversing them.

Ground battles were fast, furious, and fluid. Drones and rapid reaction aerial movements flowed like water, transporting rapid moving infantry and light armor from place to place. The intensity of combat often left cities and colonies burning rubble, with collateral damage skyrocketing. The Mind-Net simply did not care. The Allies knew they had nothing to lose.

The Allies continued to fall back as the Mind-Net pushed inwards, through the Verge. They planned to break the enemies moral and shipbuilding strength with a deadly one two invasion: First, Alpha Centauri...then Earth itself.

Then the Mind-Net ran into Coda.

Coda, the only Primeworld in the Verge. Coda, an objectivist utopia lead by Amelia Rynholt. Coda, the site of the biggest land battle in the first stages of the Hive War. It was here that everything changed.

The Mind-Net warped into the system and immediately moved on Coda, only to run into a field of nuclear mines placed around Coda's one and only gas giant. The nukes flared and destroyed several Mind-Net ships, even as the survivors scanned Coda and saw it was a resource rich, industrious planet that was producing several star-ships to defend itself with. The Mind-Net pressed the attack and soon Coda was swarming with Mind-Net troops!

The Codese fought back with vigor and mines and booby traps. The Mind-Net had conquered Freegen colonies before, but not one that was as inundated with weapons, small arms and chemistry kits that could be turned to bomb making. They had met fanaticism before...but never before had fanaticism been married to such firepower.

At the center of it all was Amelia Rynholt, leading and exhorting the Codese to more and more grandiose acts of bravery and valor.

The Mind-Net expected Coda to fall in a day.

It lasted the whole war.

The Mind-Net's thrust at Earth and Alpha Centauri was blocked with mine-fields and sacrificial naval actions. They were simply unable to fight at Coda AND attack Earth...and so Coda was abandoned.

But not before leaving behind 100,000 troops, programmed to form their own insulated Mind-Net. These troops, named Node 000, were enlisted to keep Coda from contributing to the war effort for as long as possible.

The war paused, if only for a month...as the Mind-Net consolidated their position and planned for their next attack: Invade Utopia and turn High Queen Regina Atilia into a willing member of the Net.

Coming up next: The Battle for Utopia, The Templar's arrival, and The Slow March.

02-24-2010, 04:35 AM
With their push to Earth having failed, and Coda written off as a lost cause, the Mind-Net turned their attention to what they saw as the true weak link in the Allied defense. The Freegen were down for the count, most of their fleet having withdrawn and almost all their former colonies conquered. The Terrans had dug their heels in and set up nuclear mine fields about their prime jump worlds, making assaults far too costly even with the Mind-Nets numerical and technological superiority.

The Mind-Net debated. Sending troops in to conquer and crush the Freegens completely, or use their fleets to bring the Bioneers to heel...the decision was finally made when the Freegen sent up the white flag: They would surrender.

The Mind-Net sent the bulk of its forced on a beeline for Utopia, planning to take the Bioneer Kingdom out of the equation, even as a smaller group of ships arrived in the Freegen star-system, where they were met by a Freegen delegation. A representative from every political party arrived, with the exception of the Unified Brotherhood who had declared that any attempt to surrender.

You see, the Freegen political climate had been tumultuous even through the war. The Unified Brotherhood had taken their initial position of power and popularity and used it to marshal up the Freegen response to the Mind-Net threat. But as the war dragged on and casualties mounted, the political opponents of the Unified Brotherhood marshaled their counter points and arguments and managed to undermine the Unified Brotherhood's political support.

And thus, the surrender came. But the Freegen Republic had not counted on two things. Firstly, the Unified Brotherhood drew its members primarily from the volunteer military. And secondly, the Mind-Net no longer quite *understood* the concept of internal strife. They saw it from the outside, but had a gap of understanding beyond the most simplistic concepts.

And so, when a task force of Unified Brotherhood naval starships preformed one of the most astounding high-gee burns in Solian history, managing to get several dozen short range shuttles within launching range of the Mind-Net occupation flotilla before the Mind-Net destroyed more than 75% of the ships approaching. The shuttles weaved amongst the Mind-Net ships, latching onto the real ships and frantically cutting their way onboard.

Freegen Marines would either fight till they reached the center of the Mind-Net ship, or would set off det charges on vital pieces of equipment if they were pinned down. One by one, the Mind-Net ships were either captured or destroyed utterly.

The Mind-Net took this as an orchestrated surprise attack by the entire Freegen Republic and resumed their state of war. The Freegen political leaders, aghast, had to stand behind the Unified Brotherhood, even as the Mind-Net ships were split between Terran and Freegen scientists.

Meanwhile, the Battle for Utopia had begun.

The Mind-Net ships arrived in the Utopia jump points and immediately ran into fierce resistance. Nuclear mines, seeded in the upper atmosphere of the gas giants Agrippa and Apollo were set off, boiling away massive banks of hydrogen gas, setting alight huge fires that screamed across the gas giant. But the Mind-Net persisted, their ships screaming out of the firestorms, firing at will. The Bioneer navy was decimated and the Mind-Net still had what they thought were enough troops to land on Utopia itself.

Their ships took orbital positions over Utopia and began a preliminary bombardment, targeting high value, low damage targets: Train yards, airports, power stations...attempting to avoid civilian casualties. They peppered civilian districts with specially made pheromone bombs, hoping to capitalize on the Bioneer's perchance for controlling their lower Castes with pheromones.

The Mind-Net troops landed. Knights fought them, using laser carbines and rail guns and grenades and napalm and flame throwers and swords and bayonets and their bare hands. The Mind-Net responded with more stern orbital bombardments: Missile strikes, tactical nuclear warheads, armored drones dropped behind the front lines for terror strikes and disruption attacks.

The death toll in the first few days skyrocketed into the millions, as High Queen Atilia kept broadcasting from an undisclosed location. Her eternal words: Fight to the last!

After a month of confused fighting, the Mind-Net finally took control of the Capitol. The High Queen was no where to be found, but her cabinet, daughters, and two generals were killed in the fighting.

However, during that month, the Terrans and the Freegens had mobilized and came into the fray. The Mind-Net fleet, in a defensive position, turned to these new ships...and were far from surprised to see the Allies had Illusion Drone technology. The Mind-Net returned fire and the battle became the first truly protracted conflict in space.

The battle wore on for a week, with ships being pegged through luck and mistakes. Heat sinks burned, ships radiating their waste heat into hard gamma, and more than a few ships were forced to shut down their drones to try and cool off before cooking their crews.

In the end, even with the equalizing Illusion Drones, the Allied fleet still had to scramble and retreat, pushed back by the sheer firepower and mathematics capacities of the Mind-Net ships.

The Battle for Utopia had ended...victory for the Mind-Net. The Bioneer Kingdom was no more.

However...when a ship flees a battle, it chooses its own location from the many thousands of millions of stars in the Milky Way. From that position, they then plot a course to the staging area set up. This way, no ship could be captured and have its navigational computers scanned, revealing the staging areas to the Mind-Net.

One ship in the Terran fleet had fled to a star-system they picked out of the sky a month before the battle even began. When they arrived in this system, the captain and crew were shocked to find that, despite them being several hundred light years outside of the colonized sphere of space...their radio was picking up communications from the surface of the planet.

The Terran ship moved into orbit around the planet and made contact with the third faction to leave SOL....

On Utopia, the first pictures of a world occupied by the Mind-Net were released, secretly and carefully.

These pictures showed a black walled camp, in which were crammed dozens of Bioneer serfs. Machine gun turrets mounted the corners of the camps, ushering the serfs towards rectangular, matte black buildings. They waked into the buildings...but Mind-Net drones walked out. The secret behind the Mind-Nets seemingly inexhaustible numbers had been discovered.

With these pictures, the Unified Brotherhood passed the War-Time Constitution Act, ceding themselves unprecedented power.

With these pictures, the Terrans had no qualms with uplifting and giving XFD technology to their newest contacts: The Templar Federation.

Of the Factions that left SOL, the Templar had what seemed to be the worst luck. An collection of Mormon extremists, they had left SOL due to simmering resentment and bigotry spawned by their actions in the Second American Civil War. They had traveled through space and found a barren, inhospitable world called Bounty.

They had landed, settled, and started to terraform the land. But when they dragged and dropped an ice-asteroid into one of Bounty's oceans. They hoped to spread the water through the atmosphere and create a more hospital environment.

What they did was awaken the *original* settlers of Bounty. From the ground burst legions of semi-sentient buglike creatures that immediately set on the Mormons - who they saw as a threat. The Mormons fought back, but were pushed back and back and back, until they were contained within a single walled settlement.

And, amazingly, they held the line...if only because at the moment where the bugs were about to crest over their wall...the Rocs arrived. Rocs, massive birdlike creatures that primarly hunted on the other side of the world, had been drawn to the site of the conflict by the massive amount of FOOD (I.E, bugs) swarming on the surface.

With the arrival of the Rocs, the beleaguered Mormons renewed their offensive. Over two centuries passed as they fought inch by bloody inch, until their soldiers had rolled the bugs up into the poles. Then they went into the underground and exterminated the bugs to the very last egg.

It was during these last years of the conflict that the Templar - as they now called themselves, basing the name off misremembered myths from Earth - leadership were having a bit of a problem.

They had an army of almost 10 million strong, and an economy that depended entirely on the production of wartime material and weapons. And the war, the all consuming, never ending war that they had been fighting for centuries was about to END.

It was another miracle, or so they thought, when the Terran ship arrived in orbit. Bleeding off waste heat, bearing advanced technology, and startling news: Disparate branches of humanity, an entire way of life under attack by a merciless, pitiless, immoral hive mind, and a titanic war larger than any the Templar could imagine.

The Templar immediateness signed up to the Alliance of the Three Stars...now the Alliance of Four Stars.

Their economy kicked into full gear, their soldiers read up on every inch of data about the Mind-Netters, and soon the Templar were taking to interstellar war the way a mice took to cheese.

Their first push began at the edge of the Verge, the plan being to take up the Mind-Net in their weakest link.

That would mean leaving Utopia in their hands for longer...but it was decided that this would be the safer, faster way to end the war.

And so, the Long March began. THe Templar, supported by Terran and Freegen fleets, would arrive in a starsystem. Their troops would land on a planet owned by the Mind-Net, and they would liberate it, their attacks spear headed by the fearsome Paladins: Clad in power armor, wielding heavy anti-tank weapons as though they were children toys, with a life times worth of training against the more vicious biological fighters in the galaxy...Paladins cut through Mind-Net troops as though they were butter.

Meanwhile, on Utopia, the Bioneer resistance continued to fight, rebellious forces blowing up and resisting and causing trouble wherever they could manage...their call to resistance spray painted on every wall of every city: FIGHT TO THE LAST!

Coming up next: The Battle of Null, the Liberation of Utopia, and the Elephant in the Room.

04-20-2010, 02:00 AM
Blah blah, life is busy, I've worked out the fluff pretty much, but now I'm working on the rules, this project is NOT DEAD!