Formed of nuclear fire, blazing with light and life, held together by the spiteful pull of gravity, the sixty stars of the Starscape Cluster are a powder keg. Intelligent life has long lived on these stars, peacefully unaware of each other. But now that comes to a close; the Light Barrier is broken, and suddenly the thick, overpopulated Homeworlds look out, and see realms they can colonize. But they also see enemies, competition, those who would stamp out their species and claim the realm for themselves. And now, you command your species. Will they conquer the stars by laser, sword, and railgun? Or will they be peaceful, colonizing and growing free of war? The choice is up to you.
Starscape is an RTSRPG, where players control and roleplay an entire species in a thickly populated Star Cluster. The RTSRPG format has its own dedicated following, but that’s all the more reason to get into it; if you have any questions, one of the regulars will be happy to help.
Interacting With An Entire Universe
Controlling an entire species may seem hard at first, but it's simple to get the hang of. Here's a quick example of a normal fight between ships.
Alarms sounded aboard the Skelvan Battleship as radar signatures from the edge of the trojan belt came in; four ships, Alansik by their configuration, had appeared some two million miles away. Knowing that was far outside missile range, the Skelvan Captain gave the order to sight in with his Frigate's laser. A kill at this range would be the wildest stroke of luck, but he had to try, knowing reinforcements would be arriving as soon as they could, since the planet's warning system sent out the alert the moment the radar signatures came in.
“Transition successful, all systems nominal, wait.” A lieutenant on the Alansik lead cruiser reported. “Laser damage to the outer skin of the ship. Looks like they're hitting us already. Minimal damage, but that means they've found us.” The Alansik Captain sighed, and gave the order to move at full burn towards the Skelvan planet.
Now, the important part here is that the player controlling the Alansik let the Skelvan player have the hit; if he'd just declared the Laser was an outright miss, it wouldn't be fair. But by ensuring the Skelvan's laser didn't do much damage, and it wouldn't at that range, he kept it fair for both sides but still sensible. And that's the most important part, keep it fair but sensible. Don't go breaking too many laws of physics.
Building Your Empire
The first step to playing the game is to design your species. This is a very open-ended process, but drawing inspiration from your favorite science fiction series can be a good idea. Once you have a basic idea down, take a look at the Advances post. You get six points to spend. These points are spent on physical advantages, advanced technologies, the setup of your system before the game begins, your species’ society and, most importantly, which form(s) of Faster-Than-Light travel you use. If you have ideas for another trait you want for your species, feel free to drop me a PM. There’s also technologies that everyone has, in the Common Technologies post.
Once you’ve created your species, they need a Homeworld. Drop me a PM, and I’ll create a star system for you; the maps, linked below, show both what type of star each system has, and which species owns which stars.
After that, you’ll need to design your starships; check out the Ship Design post; it’s a good explanation of how Starships ought to be set up.
Once you have that, your empire should be good and ready to go.
In Starscape, every species’ economy is built on two resources; Money and CHON. Money is an abstract idea of value, representing whatever your species use for currency. It’s mostly used for buying metals and paying your spaceship’s crews. CHON, by contrast, is four chemical elements; Carbon, Hydrogen, Oxygen, and Nitrogen. These six chemicals are used in nearly every form of life, and are highly useful for other functions. It it helps, think of CHON as a Food resource.
CHON and Money are both produced by Planets; a planet that has been civilized for a long time produces more than a fresh colony. This is explained in depth in the post on Resources.
Colonizing a planet is a long, expensive process. The first step to it is building a Colony Ship. If you’re colonizing something in a solar system you already have a planet in, a colony ship is basically a steel can with engines, a radar, and the materials you need to start your colony. If you’re headed to another star system, you can do just as well by slapping a Faster Than Light drive on the ship and call it a day. Colonizers can be reusable, or they can disassemble on use to give the colony extra raw materials to work with. Once your colony is set up, it produces the resources listed for its planet type in the Resources post.
The Ancient Past
Civilizations rise and fall. With the terrifying, destructive weapons utilized in war among the stars, this is even more true for spacefaring civilizations. The current set of races in the Starscape Cluster are hardly the first. Previous civilizations left great ruins, but most have decayed. Only a few, held in Stasis Fields, have escaped the rush of time, These Stasis Fields, thus, are very valuable, containing ancient technologies, powerful and sometimes beyond comprehension, or other secrets of the far past.
The Outsiders are a species in the Starscape cluster who do not own any planets, or any other central power base. They live entirely on starships, and never pass the speed of light, preferring the cold darkness to the reckless terrors of high-speed travel. An Outsider ship will occasionally drop into a system, often looking to replenish its resources by selling technological oddities before heading out again.
1: BZP Rules Apply
2: Use IC and OOC
3: No godmoding, auto-hitting, or auto dodging
5: Be respectful of myself, Rover, and especially your fellow players. These are other people's thoughts, work, and in a lot of cases, opinions out in text, so be nice.
6: If you don't know of a scientific or practical reason you couldn't do it, you can try it. It might get shot down by the GMs, though. Try anyway, we might be asleep
7: Anyone who invokes Godwin's Law by making deliberate parallels to Nazis, Fascist Italy, or WWII Era Imperial Japan will have a -1 penalty to all their planets’ Money and CHON production for three days. Calling someone Hitler or a Nazi(even jokingly) is -2 for one week.
The process for joining is simple; Fill out this form, and PM it to me.
Species Name: (Make it interesting!)
Biology: What do they look like? What chemicals are their bodies built on? Do they have DNA, or some other way to pass genes on? What do they eat?
Government: Generally, by the time it reaches space, a species will have tried enough systems to figure out what works best for them. So what do your guys use? Democracy? Theocracy? Communism? Democratic Communist Theocracy?
Psychology: Species can have wildly different ideas of thought. A human, finding an ancient superweapon that once destroyed all life, might think "How terrible if any race but mine should find this" But a Kzinti, on the other hand, would think "Now I can conquer the galaxy, as is my right." So how do your people think?
History: (Why are they in space? Why do they use the government they do? Details like that)
Homeworld Name: (Humans call our planet Earth for a reason. Why do these people call their world what they do?)
Homeworld Location: (Try for one that's not taken.)
Map Color: (So we can see what you own)
Advances Taken: (You get six points worth)
Now get out there, conquer the stars, and have fun!
Note: Everyone gets a free, small, scout style ship to explore with at the start of the game. However, your Treasuries do begin empty.
Edited by Xomeron, Apr 21 2013 - 12:10 PM.