Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Random Planet Table

Roll 2d10 and 1d4. Planet's level is the first d10 plus the d4. Results are assumed to be Telluric planets. Feel free to spice up systems with giant planets, asteroid belts and dwarf planets.
  1. Barren planet. Truly untouched planets are rare in this day and age. The coordinates of such a planet will fetch a good price from the right buyer, such as an organization looking to start a new colony project, or a hidden outpost.
  2. Tube forest. Covered in lumpy fungal growths that grow from spores that cling to spaceship hulls. The presence of tube forests is a good indicator of space travel. Infamously populated by cryptids, creatures that closely resemble popular urban legends. Most sapients find the air quality farty, but breathable.
Tiny little refueling station, visitors need the right clearance.
Small facilities across the planet, many home to clandestine activities.
One big spaceport. Home to many interesting people.
Numerous cities; all manner of space based industry.

  1. Gnomic planet . Level 1-4. Colonized by self-replicating robots. Much of the surface is covered by solar panels. Named after the nearly mythic Gnome Civilization that existed after the time of the bastards. The Gnomes built their automatic servants to last. Many Gnomic planets still participate in an automated trade network created by the now vanished Gnomes.
Planet completely covered in solar panels and little else beside a few mines and robot factories.
Large mining and construction facilities abound.
Sophisticated production chain making delicate and advanced products.
Sapient minder robots oversee operations. Planet is a hive of activity.

  1. Ruin planet. The remains of a dead civilization. Prized by scavengers.
Carbonized junk. Almost nothing remains. 1 in 10 chance that the planet is currently experiencing the rain of fish, a rare phenomenon where small animals fall from the sky and repopulate the world.
Ancient overgrown buildings.
Recent, fairly intact ruins, ripe for the plundering
Palimpsest, ruins on top of even older ruins. Advanced and weird.

  1. Wild planet. Covered in non-sapient life. Multiple biomes with a wide diversity of lifeforms. Despoiling these planets is illegal in most polities, but criminals do illegal things all the time.
Ecosystem created by automatic Tera former. Fauna kind of dopey
Average healthy biosphere.
Fantastic biodiversity. Many unusual and interesting organisms.
Dentata planet. Numerous hostile flora and fauna.

  1. Inhabited by non-spacefaring civilization. While they might have primitive spaceships and satellites, they lack any form of ftl. First contact is big business.
Neolithic. Stone tools and agriculture. 
Medieval. Metal working and  nation states.
Industrial. Mass Production and globalization.
Information. Computers and wmds.

  1. Spacefaring race. Has space flight and flt.
The culture is just taking its first baby steps off world. No major colonies or trading routes
Backwater power, has some influence in its corner of space.
Planet is the outpost of a major galactic power.
Planet is an important holding of a major galactic power.

  1.  living world. All life on the planet is connected , could be thought of as parts of a larger superorganism.
Rocky outer crust, gooey living inside. Is saving energy for a grand metamorphosis.
Simple planet sized space hippy. Is content to just sit back and bask in the glow of the universe.
Planetary consciousness is playing out a weird religious drama, using the inhabitants of the planet as actors.
Highly contagious and mundivorous. Will spread to other planets if it can.

  1. Deus planet. Is host to one or more god-like entities.  Visitors stand a high chance in being pulled into their schemes and intrigues.
Solitary supercomputer sits on a desolate planet, playing weird games.
A psychic crystalline entity is manipulating the local life forms for its own enigmatic ends.
Two competing demiurges try to perfect their vision for the cosmos on a small scale.
A pantheon of classically god-like beings engage in mortal folly.

  1. Bastard planet. A planet sized big dumb object left behind by the bastards.
Planet is just a big hunk of some amazing metamaterial.
Planet is a device capable of altering the fundamental laws of reality in inexplicable ways. Is currently behaving erratically. 
Planet is one huge abandoned "city" full of machines of unknown function.
Destroyer world. A berserk war machine from the Bastard era. Will attempt to destroy anything that enters its system.

Nothing strange
Hidden pirate base
A bastard installation of unknown purpose
Solitary war-bot
Colony of berserkers, hostile self-replicating robots
Planet is protected by a Kaiju

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Bastard Galaxy, a cypher system setting

The Galaxy used to be a barren place, nearly devoid of life. This was because of the great filter, a vast and impersonal entity. The filter would snuff out any planet that developed intelligent life. It wasn't always 100% percent effective though. Sometimes some small remnant of a civilization would survive and escape. Having your entire world shot out from under you is a transformative experience and the survivors would remake themselves into stronger and stranger forms. These forgotten and misbegotten children would call themselves the Bastards and band together against the force that created them. After an inconceivable battle, the Great Filter was destroyed and the galaxy was made safe for intelligent life. At least that’s the story everyone tells.
Nowadays the galaxy is full of intelligent life, and even more unintelligent life. In many ways it resembles a loaf of bread left out on the counter,  all spots and weird colors. As far as anyone can tell, greater galactic culture stretches all the way back to the time of bastards, but no one civilization has lasted all that time. Records get spotty the further back they go, and no two accounts ever seem to agree. Good book-keeping was not the legacy of the Bastards; instead they left their legacy in the void for all to see. Big dumb objects liter the cosmos, incomprehensible monuments to an incomprehensible time. Their legacy walk among us as well; numerous races claim to be descendants of Bastards, some of these claims might even be true. There are tens of thousands of intelligent races and galactic culture throws them together in a big heap. Though faster than light travel exists, it's not fast enough to connect all the corners of the galaxy. These local corners are connected with their local region, and these local regions are connected to other regions. Galactic culture exists everywhere in continuous chunks, though this culture is a weird and tenuous thing. Misunderstandings and wars are common, as are plagues and autonomous weapons from an earlier age.

Now here's where you come in, captain. You and your colleagues have shiny new starships, and it's up to you what opportunities you want to exploit. You could become mercenaries,  selling your services to the highest bidder. You could become pirates, taking what you want from the undeserving. You could become scholars and explorers, joining the galaxy's seedy academic underworld and plumbing depths perhaps better left unplumbed. Or maybe you want to become merchants, plying rare goods across the cosmos, dodging pirates and space monsters.

Dame Alg 8(24)
Dame Alg is a knight of The Order of the Silent Sun.  She stands three meters tall on four legs. Her body is muscular, like a bear, and she has pale blue fur. Her head is an otherwise featureless maw of sharp teeth. Two long whip like Tendrils extend from her shoulders; she uses these for dexterous tasks. Between the tentacles is a ridge of waving hairs. Those are her sensory organs.
Like any member of the Silent Sun she is fastidious about fulfilling the letter of any contract she undertakes, and she is devoted to following her code of conduct, even to her detriment. Her specialty is the construction and destruction of orbital blockades, but she is also an excellent pilot, and more than capable in ship to ship combat. She is gregarious and merciful, only killing when she dictated by her contract, or when she is annoyed. The persona she uses when engaged in combat is flirty, but she will not broach the subject of marriage first. Once the subject is brought up, she will fully explain the terms and conditions of courtship.
Her starship, The Color Null is a heavy fighter about 30 meters long. Its most unusual feature is the Contradiction Engine, which allows the ship to stop existing, or at least that’s how Dame Alg describes it. An easier explanation is that the ship is shunted to a pocket dimension. The Color Null may spend a turn ceasing to exist. While it doesn't exist, it may not be affected in anyway. It can begin existing anywhere it could have conceivably traveled in the time it didn't exist. It may begin existing and attack in the same turn, and the difficulty of such attacks are increased by two steps
Usually, Dame Alg is accompanied by ten Auxiliary wives in fighters. They operate in two wings of five each. Treat each wing as a level 7 creature. Some pilots might have special abilities  

Her code of conduct is as follows
*She will only accept living things as payment and gifts
*she will agree to any marriage proposal she receives, on her terms and her definition of marriage
*Preceding the Marriage there is a courtship period, where the suitor may attempt to woo her with gifts, feats of strength, and poetry. The courtship is then graded, and the suitor is then assigned a wife rank. The lowest rank is meat wife, which are immediately eaten. Auxiliary wives assist her in battle to the best of their abilities. Full wives are free to live their lives independently of Dame Alg, conjugal relations optional but encouraged  
* Any wife may veto any contract Dame Alg makes.
*Dame Alg may divorce a wife who uses their veto power. Divorced wives are free to do as they wish, but strongly advised to fuck off
*Dame Alg will not attack any opponent with an odd number in their ship pool, leaving them for the auxiliary wives.

Monday, May 9, 2016

The Republic of Sea Serpents

The Republic of Sea Serpents is a nation united by hunger. Its constituents are all the monsters of the deep smart enough to understand politics and lawful enough to want a government. According to those senators old enough to remember the Republics founding, it was originally a way for alpha predators to resolve territory deputes, but since then it has grown into a world power, albeit a shadowy and enigmatic one. The prevailing political ideology is one of stewardship. Most of the monsters are the keystone predators of their home ecosystem. By devouring the right animals at the right time, they ensure the health and well being of all within their domain. Stewardship takes this idea a step farther and applies it the planet as a whole. They see the world as a set of interconnected systems; currents of energy that flow in grand patterns. They manipulate these patterns with the goal of increasing efficiency and maximizing yield. To see this as altruism would be a mistake, because ultimately all energy flows up to the top.
The Republic is split into territories, each of which is ruled by a senator. Every being living in a senator's territory is theoretically her subject, but the vast majority of intelligent beings live somewhere that has been claimed by a senator, and they are largely ignorant of their status. The senators of the Republic maintain a web of communication that stretches across the world. For the most part, the Republic doesn't deal in laws and pronouncements, rather senators hash out agreements whenever their plots would reach across borders. Major disputes are brought to the annual conclave, which meets in a sunken coliseum in a forgotten city. Most senators send trusted proxies instead of attending personally, because they have difficulty controlling their aggression in person.

Senator Graka – a pyrokinetic alligator. She prides herself on bringing creative destruction to the works of man. Her current project is fomenting unrest in the subterranean city of Goreck, which in her opinion is disgusting hive of vermin. After her rebel ichor clan minions burn the place down, it will be a lovely underground swamp, the perfect place to raise her brood.

Senator Strahvalar is a furred serpent that lives in a sparsely populated polar region. Shy and aloof even by sea monster standards, she is the Republic's premier historian. She favors epic poems and oral history over rigorous treatises. She inscribes the poems on sea stars, urchins, and other underwater vermin using bio-sorcery. Her lair is crawling with multicolored creatures, carefully cataloged and cared for by a tribe of semi-human bards, whose ancestors were kidnapped by Strahvalar long ago. New poems come in from the village of Hrosdar, who have an annual poetry recital on their fishing boats over a particular spot in the harbor. If the poems aren’t up to snuff, there is a marked uptick of deaths at sea. The true nature of the poetry festival and its curse are known to few in the village.

Senator Ghujaeret is a massive 5 limbed sea star. Her specialty is diversity, which she creates with her tremendous mental powers. She can reach out and touch the dreams of mortals, inspiring all sorts of heresy. The point isn't the violence and instability that can break out, the point is to make the whole noosphere richer and more diverse. Every couple of hundred of years she destroys a dogmatically pure city, mostly for fun. She is very slow over land, but her very presence causes organisms to split into autonomous organisms. In the new lifeforms' confusion, they are easy prey for her tube feet, which grab them and pass them to her mouth. After a few days of slow moving carnage, she slips back into the ocean, leaving only flattened buildings and gibbering mutants.

Senator Halahed is rumored to have been born human, but through study and great effort she has overcome this handicap. In her human guise she is a middle aged noble woman of obvious wealth and status. Her true form is a rainbow-scaled serpent. As a human noble, she owns a fleet of merchant ships that travel through an infamously dangerous route with only minimal loses. Her competitors trying to break up her monopoly are never as lucky, frequently losing ships under mysterious circumstances. Sometimes she sees fit to remove obstacles to her shipping empire by assassination in person. She isolates her target, then shifts to her serpent form, devours them whole, then shifts back, leaving only a handful of rainbow scales and the odor of salt-water.