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vanir
12-17-2009, 08:56 PM
A little over 25,000 years ago Coruscant was much like the Earth might be in say, two hundred years. They had good computer tech and rudimentary AI, budding energy weapons development, and electrostatic fusion-ion starship engines capable of scooting around the solar system or even nearby stars, if the crew went into hibernation for about a hundred years. But they had no idea there was other intelligent life in the galaxy, although it had been speculated.

The Ion Engine, you see changed everything. Here's what happened.

Duros traders had been visiting Coruscant secretly for centuries, using their comparatively advanced technologies to remain undetected and hitting hyperspace drives just outside of orbit so they were virtually impossible to intercept even if they were tracked. The blighters were harvesting certain rare elements (which require complex carbon molecules in system to produce).

As Ion Engines evolved the first colonies were being created at usable planetary systems near Coruscant, a process which took centuries. In the meantime at least in the sublight realm Coruscant interplanetary vessels had become as fast as the Duros scoutships. Eventually one was intercepted by planetary security forces and in one hit both Hyperdrive technology and confirmation of a galactic community at large were ascertained.

Over the next 5,000 years, a lifetime for many civilisations the Core Worlds of the Galactic Republic were created, with Coruscant as its capital, primarily populated by human colonists, whilst the the border region was formed of the most recent colonies, classed simply as the Colonial Region. Beyond this was the backwater Galactic Rim (dotted mostly with uninhabited, automated supply stations for emergency use, or isolated small mining settlements), Wildspace and the Unknown Regions.

Several alien empires abounded, Huttspace was discovered by scouts beyond the Rim and found ruthless to deal with. There were countless others, many only superficially encountered, treated with a mixture of fear and suspicion on both sides. The Republic was young and everything in a large galaxy was new to it.

There is a plot which will be revealed in due time, through the course of events, but the starting theme is a Star Trek style age of exploration and colonisation throughout the galaxy.

Available tech:
Blaster technology is only rudimentary at this stage. They are large, heavy and underpowered weapons. Think of it in these terms, the standard blaster is rifle sized with blaster pistol stats and a solid, heavy energy clip. Upgrading it is impossible without some kind of technological advance (or alien technology). Also they are prohibitively expensive and can't be found just anywhere.

Most people use firearms or railguns. Firearms are atypical, just make up a good name for it and use a standard calibre, say a 9mm, 10mm, .357", .44" or a .454" pistol cartridge and we all know how to quantise it and the basic frame type it would have to be (heavy, concealable, etc.). Same with rifle cartridges, 7.62mm, 5.56mm, 30/30, .600" Nitro Express, and we have a good idea of what the weapon is going to weigh and look like. The elephant gun calibre for example just isn't going to have more than a two or three round magazine if you want to carry it instead of mounting it on a truck.
Railguns are heavy weapons manned by two or three although can be carried by one combatant with a pack energy source. Suggesting one does massive damage is an understatement, it'll send a carbide projectile virtually through a starship hull...assuming no deflector shielding is involved. Different projectiles must be used for soft or hard targets or damage is the same as a firearm. Antipersonnel projectiles for example will desintegrate harmlessly on vehicle armour. Anti-armour projectiles will go through a human body so fast and easily that it does little damage with no energy release on the way through, unless a vital organ is hit.

Durasteel has been introduced but not many hyperalloys, so body armour is effective mostly against physical damage (non-energy weapons) but it is clumsy and heavy. Railguns and energy weapons however pretty much go straight through even the best body armour (about the only real value of using energy weapons).
Here's the thing, virtually all planetary militia use some amount of body armour, it's mandatory for any serious military and mercinaries, bounty hunters and Star Rangers are always very heavily armoured.

Starship weapons are invariably railguns firing various warhead projectiles or missile racks. Only cruiser sized vessels have the power requirements to fire energy weapons capable of doing any appreciable damage to other armoured vessels, and the beam degrades quickly.
Jedi technology (arcane technology such as the lightsabre) is presently unheard of. Nobody has ever seen anything like that before.

You may have a starship, or be part of a starship crew but these are small courier vessels, essentially the size of a stock freighter or small corvette with early hyperdrive engines capable of only limited hyperspace travel. There are hyperlane beacons which must be normally adhered to, these are like space highways and this is how travel between the colonies or core worlds is accomplished. Breaking off the normal hyperspace routes results in greatly slowed travel times between planets and no small amount of danger. Most of the galaxy remains unexplored and anomalies are unpredictable at best.

Particle and ray shielding exists but are rudimentary, only a full sized capital class warship can hope to engage a serious space battle for any length of time. The energy requirements and construction needed to dish out and absorb real damage are simply too great for small, affordable vessels to handle.
There are heavily armed and armoured, small mercinary vessels (light cruisers or frigates typically, 30-200 crew) but these only last a few short rounds in combat with any military grade cruiser used by planetary securities. A heavy battlecruiser, of which there are few in the galaxy would have a crew of 1500 or more and board a variety of smaller vessels for point defence and interdiction.
All follow the same rules for hyperspace travel, although it is known there are individual alien vessels which seem to defy normal hyperspace travelling times and can't be tracked by the Republic system of Hyperlane beacons.

This is the Star Wars galaxy environment, but it is 20,000 years before Yavin. There has never been a Sith, there has never been a dark-Jedi, because there has never been any Jedi. Well...in a manner of speaking...

Special note on classes:
Yes you can play a Jedi but there are special rules.
No lightsabres, they haven't been invented yet. Currently all Jedi are essentially a small elite of Force Sensitive Star Rangers. Force powers are rudimentary, there are no Jedi Masters.
The role of the Jedi is taken presently by the Star Rangers of Coruscant. These are galactic peacekeepers, a semi-privatised corps of highly experienced combatants and law enforcers whom travel the hyperlanes with diplomatic authority as law enforcement officers given by Coruscant and the Republic Senate Commission.
Murdering a Star Ranger during the course of duty is considered by the Republic Senate to be an act of war. Everybody who's smart listens to them if they don't want a Republic Fleet rolling up to ask what their problem is.
But Star Rangers have a lot of enemies, particularly among criminals and assassination attempts aren't exactly isolated.
All Star Rangers have an ID card which cannot be easily forged, by that I mean you'd need something capable of defying genetic technology or bribe a Republic Senator.
Picture a man in Stormtrooper style armour, no helmet, and a heavy dark overcoat concealing it. They are given the very best weapons and equipment available, and are awarded an armed Courier-vessel, and enough of a budget to hire mercinaries or purchase supplies as needed. Most planetary governments simply stay out of their way and cooperate as necessary.
The amount of credits many systems spend on their entire security force, munitions and military is how much Coruscant spends on a cadre of about 350 Star Rangers and it is money well spent.


From the journal of Star Ranger Evahd Gran:
"I tracked the beast over the course of six months, always arriving in system just in time to hear of its passing. I wasn't going to let this one go so easily.

From Corellia to Caridia I followed where it had been, stepped in the puddles of blood left by its murderous wake, this aberrant thing. I paid informants, bribed underworld figures, roughed up associates and finally caught up with it at Commenor, a desert world of trade stations and gem mines in the outer colonies. It was a month off the main hyperlane plotted by the Hydian Scout Corps but in the Stellar Vassal I managed to do it in three weeks.

This was the creature's mistake and where I made up for lost time, with the best charts at my fingertips and the latest CorelliStarDrive Hyperdrive engines outfitted my quarry must've wasted at least two weeks over me navigating the sector. The look on his face was priceless as I entered the Spaceport Canteena.

The near-human was disgusting to look at, or perhaps it was my knowledge of its deeds. Its wont to kidnap young women and use them for its twisted games and gratification. How many families had been torn apart by this monster, the new breed of criminal who believed the galaxy was so large that he could do as he pleased and simply escape to the stars. The individual security organisations simply couldn't afford to hunt him down throughout the colonies. The quality of bounty hunters required to find him too expensive to procure. But it would never be far enough to escape from justice, this was not the sort of environment the Republic wanted to become, it was not what workers laboured to achieve, not what students schooled themselves expecting, not what parents cared to have happen, not what I would in any galaxy ever allow.

I strolled directly to its chair and slapped the warrants on the table. I knew I was being watched, knew it had associates at the sabbac tables and knew quite a few others didn't appreciate a Ranger in their Canteena. I was prepared for a fight, wanted it in fact. I stood there expectantly, not a word spoken, only a thin slip of armour visible beneath my overcoat, kinked where my sidearms lay.

It did both the dumbest and smartest thing it could've and went for its own gun under the table. Its friends were already on their way over. How some monster like this ever got any friends is just beyond me.

A KSE particle accelerator leapt to my hand from its holster, the instinctive blast shattered both the table and the creature's torso, but I was already diving, avoiding automatic fire from two of his associates. One round glanced off my leg plate as I tucked and rolled, another thudded uselessly against my back, many more injured other patrons. It was no trouble, but I was beginning to enter a rage, the broken bodies of the murderer's victims firmly etched into my memory.

I cartwheeled to the first assailant and smashed the hot barrel of my particle accelerator into his face, my other hand drew the vibroblade many of us carried and with this, in a backhanded swing I cut the second in half at his waist. The time it took to take a breath had barely passed.

Now I turned my attention back to the first, laying with his hands clutched to a smashed and bleeding, burned face I gripped him by the collar and held his eyes close to mine. I was calm, but I knew my intent level was high. I said to him, "You choose friends poorly."
"I choose friends poorly," he replied.
"You will abandon this life of crime and learn to choose better friends," I told him.
"I will abandon this life of crime and learn to choose better friends."

Something in his eyes told me he was listening.


Other major classes include mercinary/soldier, bounty hunter, scout, scoundrel, Force Adept (of which the Republic Star Ranger is a type, as are Ithorian Healers, Baran Do Savants, etc. but they are rarely encountered or heard of).

Aliens are still exotic within Republic Space (the Core Worlds although more commonly encountered among the colonies or the edges of Wildspace known as the Galactic Rim). Most give bonuses, Ithorians +1 Wisdom, Rodians +1 Dex, Duros +1 Intelligence, etc.
Numerical values aren't used in this style of RP but it gives an average impression of what to expect during encounters and conflict resolution.

General rules:
No godmoding.

Reasonable explanations and backstory must be given for any special character equipment such as starships or unusual weapons. No unique "artefact" equipment as these are awarded in gameplay and may serve as the objective of a mission or sidequest. An example of an artefact is a piece of arcane technology, alien technology or custom technology. Existing tech can be modified and upgraded depending on the quality of base item as in Kotor, but it's not cheap or it takes contacts or personal skills.

Balance is key, if you want bonuses which stand out about your character or his/her equipment then offer penalties for other circumstance, for example the Millenium Falcon was a very powerful vessel but hardly ever worked properly unless maintained by a Fleet force of professional military logistics. It was 500% more powerful than even any military grade vessel in the same class, but worked as desired basically 20% of the time and never at full capacity on the skeleton crew of 2 (but oh man it was the toughest starfighter-class vessel at Endor). Balance.

A note on hyperspace travel times. In this era the typical Hyperdrive is class 10 engine. A journey which would take two weeks in the time of Darth Vader takes ten weeks in this period. Also only large military cruisers have Hyperdrive backups, generally if you have a breakdown and you aren't on a major Hyperlane (trade route) you're stranded and unless you can find some means of repair, somebody will discover the bodies a few millenia from now, when the galaxy is better explored.

The Expansion Region, Mid-Rim and Outer Rim basically don't exist. These are the Unknown regions and Wildspace. It is known there are alien civilisations out there, some colony ships have even struck out to find homes out there...but they have never been heard from again.

Scouting new Hyperlanes is a major industry. Possibly the easiest way for a starting character who has enough credits to purchase a scout-class vessel to get by is to explore some of the Unknown regions of space and return star charts to Coruscant. Eventually Hyperlane beacons may be laid on these new routes, if there are usable system resources or planets suitable for colonisation on the paths.

Starship classes:
Courier Ship. Requires 1-3 skeleton crew and 2-4 full compliment, typically up to 8 passengers in comfort. These are corvette sized starships (up to about 80 metres or 260' length) with good stocks of consumables and freight space, small crews and some defensive weaponry. Any long distance intergalactic travel must be accomplished by a Courier Ship minimum, small freighters simply do not have the consumables and fuel stocks to travel any further than within the sector due to travel times. They are too small to mount much in the way of backup systems and must be maintained by the crew or a well equipped starport at regular intervals. Many systems are automated. A typical Courier Ship might have 50 tons of free cargo space and excellent accommodations for all crew and passengers.

Scout Vessel. Requires 1 skeleton crew and 2-3 full compliment, typically up to 2 passengers. Similar to a Courier Ship in appearance but cargo space is taken up by further stocks of fuel and consumables and some backup systems. Scoutships can venture out into Wildspace for as long as most cruisers or take something like a ten man crew across Republic Space and back again. Twice. They are low maintenance but expensive and frequently customised for a particular mission description (mining scout, hyperlane scout, scientific expedition, etc.). They are not very well armed nor particularly manoeuvrable (in military terms), and although shielding is weak it frequently runs the full spectrum of radiation and particle types. Many systems are operated by droids. A typical Scout Vessel might have 10 tons of cargo space, usually filled with mission-specific scouting equipment. Accommodations are workmanlike but suitable for long journeys.

Stock Freighter. Requires 1-2 skeleton crew and 2-4 full compliment, typically up to 6 passengers. These are more compact than Courier Ships and designed for local sector freight transport. More than one has disappeared trying to travel between sectors or venturing into poorly charted territory. They are the most affordable starship, with only rudimentary accommodations, poor defensive capabilities and dramatic variations in layout. Most owners customise them so that performance and capabilities also vary dramatically. Cargo capacity starts off at 100 tons average, but goes down with certain customisations. Only basic particle shielding is ever fitted from the manufacturer (for micormeteorites and the like), but planetary security organisations on a tight budget have been known to trick out stock freighters to such an extent as to turn it into an assault shuttle.

Cruisers, forget it. They require a small army of personnel to crew so while you can travel on one (whether domestic heavy transport like a starliner, or a military battlecruiser to see the inside of its brig), Players cannot start off with a cruiser of any kind. They're also difficult to procure and cost a fortune anyway.


I'll wait to see what kind of group joins the recruitment before laying out the opening adventure.

MutantMix
12-21-2009, 11:36 AM
Is there some kind of character sheet skeleton?

vanir
12-28-2009, 12:34 AM
Name: you character name goes here
Class: any SWRPG based class, examples include (but are not limited to) Soldier, Scout, Scoundrel, Tech Specialist, Force Adept and Republic/Coruscant Star Ranger (approximately similar to a Jedi Sentinel without the lightsabre). Technically the Star Ranger is a prestige class of Force Adept, and Bounty Hunter is a prestige class of Scout, Soldier or Scoundrel.
Race: humanoid species or near human here, such as Near-Human (Zabrak) or Alien (Baran Do).
Appearance: what do you look like?
Special abilities: Any species or class related abilities here, these must be balanced and reasonably canon, for example Miraluka are Force Sensitive so may take the Soldier class and still have some (very) rudimentary use of the Force but are prone to superstition, if you can pull that off, or Duros are exceptionally intelligent but also tend to be ruthless and apathetic traders and capitalists.
Equipped items: what are you wearing/carrying?
Pack equipment: what will you be bringing with you as luggage?
Base: do you have a starship, wander the galaxy as a passenger or operate from a specific planet when you can?
Bio: give us a little background, tell us about yourself.


The purpose of the adventure will largely be to introduce Jedi/lightsabres to the galaxy. But it is not a galaxy which was inert until the Jedi appeared, lots of stuff was going on, and somewhere along the way a religion and some arcane technology appeared.