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Setting tone with backstory

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You are a Conquistador, from the Kastaka family. Like you father, and his father before, your mission is to explore the vastness of the Galaxy, to discover new worlds, resources, civilizations... Many years ago, the Emperor administration gave your family a crew, a ship and the blessing of the Emperor. Then the never ending journey began.
For the last ten years, after your father''s death, you have been in charge of the Amarantha, an imperial cruiser, built specifically for the Conquistadors, and rarely possessed by any chapter of Space Marine. A month ago, your scientific crew observed a rare phenomenon, the appearance of a Supernova : the death of a star. The consequences are well known, but being able to observe the process is a inesperate chance that you decided to grab. Needless to say, the explosion itself was gigantic, and meant great risks during the approach, the ship took severe damages, but reached the outside of the system that we baptised Luciolla. One of the Astrogators died during the last moments of the approach, it seems that a Warp storm started as an aftershock of the tremendous eplosion of the star. But that was only the beginning of the troubles, as you discovered, not a pulsar, nor a black hole, but a white star in the center of the system... as if no supernova had ever exploded !
The explosion though, must have really happened, as the entire system had been transformed into a giant asteroid field.
Now the bad news is that the Warp drive was damaged during the final approach, your senior Astropath is dead, leaving you with a rookie.
The good news is that you are alone in the system, for now...
The questions : how are you gonna get out of here, what happened to this system, ravaged by a phantom Supernova, and is there anything good that could be gained from this accident ?

Mmmh, Ok, the style is utter crap, I won''t bother refining it, unless you ask more details. Jsut some thoughts.

To summarize : it''s your family tradition to explore, so you''ve all reasons to be there, or anywhere else. You had a scientific interest to be in the system, but now it''s more pure curiosity : what has happened here ? A supernova is the final stage of a star, where the remaining matter explodes, creating either another type of star (pulsar), or a black hole (or someting else as well, but my memory is unsure). But here you are, with a young star (white), as if nothing ever happened.
You are stuck in the system unless you can find a way to fix your machines, and wait until your navigator (Astropath/Astrogator/Navigator) has a level sufficient enough to get you out of there (the distance of warp travel depending on his abilities, they will allow faster and longer warp jumping). This implies trading/exchange with other protagonists.
I think i have some more ideas to have something slightly more interesting than jsut a massive asteroids field.
You have one of the best space ship the Imperial forges are able to build, and the number of sister ships in this quadrant is probably less than ten. This is because you are supposed to be as much of a scientific than a warrior, depending on your discoveries.
I leave the eventual races that would come to scavenge the now destroyed system in the vague as well, for now.

Well, any comments ?

I''ll probably come up with some other stuff for your enemies (the multiplayer aspects) later.

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Well, seems like ya'' can''t get away from your roots! Ahw, your setting describes my inspiration perfectly: My original inspirations were real-life conquistadores, the Hudson Bay Trading Company, and colonialism. My only problem: I **hate** the concept of colonialism!

What I wanted was a way to make the player so special that he could alter the political relationships between a bunch of organizations / gov''ts: Sort of how Hudson Bay could alter the balance by trading with one Native American tribe or another. But I also wanted the "tribes" themselves to be powerful (not victims), so that the player could run afoul and get his butt kicked by the equivalent of the Iroquois or Apache.

I turned to the free trader model because it was closer to the independent spirit I was looking for and didn''t have the same tainted feel of one higher tech government coming in and smashing a lower tech one. The player and asteroid "nations" are equal in power, it''s just that all the player''s power is wrapped up in his ship and gadgets.

Logically, of course, I have to __EXPLAIN__ why colonialism isn''t happening... A marooned conquistador will work, but the tone that''s set with that backstory is a bit more dark and brooding. I mean, it''s hard to be a hero when your goal is to commit genocide against a people.

I''m toying with the idea that, in terms of interstellar travel, only small ships can reach certain systems. This *might* make sense story-wise: You''re an independent trader (works for single / multiplayer), and the only reason __why__ the traditionaly colonialism isn''t happening is 1) it''s not your people''s style and 2) you couldn''t get battleships and troop transports into the system if you **wanted** to. Hence your need to trade and rely on the existing nations.

Just waiting for the mothership...

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Cool, I''ve always liked those ship / land exploration games (in principle at least, I''d like to get hold of Sid Meirs Pirates!).

One really cool idea that I''ve been thinking of recently (not that I actually make games ) was the way that when the early explorers set off to find new lands / eldorado etc. they only had these scary reports of monsters and humans with their heads in their chests! The other thing that was cool about those times was the Hand Drawn Maps with "here be monsters" and huge sea creatures drawn on them (although I don''t think that we can afford to have that many awesome maps in games). The game idea was that you would set off to explore, but most of these types of "monsters" (humans etc) would be REAL, it would be a really awesome experience to be exploring a strange, yet familiar new land. Not nothing what foul demonspawn you might find next.

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Well, I haven''t put all my ideas down yet, because it''s all very confused inside, so I guess it would be pointless.
But I always like to teach the people a lesson, so I would like to make the player realise that colonialism is bad. Not in the Hollywood way that would be to have a lieutnant at your side showing you all the bad sides of the power hungry colonialists, and you would be the good guy trying to help the natives, etc...
I''d rather like to have something like in 1492 (the movie by Ridley Scott, aaaaah, Ridley Scott !) where the poor Colombus his more the guy being used and abused by everybody, while he is supposed to be in charge. He tries to make contact with the natives, but his methods are biased ... the thing is that he doesn''t get a second chance.
What I''d like (and of course, that''s IMHO), is to have the player BE one of those colonialists that plunder a new world, taking the inhabitants for simple non intelligent animals, and then realise the horror of his mistake and *be able* to change the tide.
The setting I give allow as well to make this awareness happen through your crew, that you know very well, and that would be a perfect source of ''plot development'' (your Astropath, with his psychic abilities, discovers, when your ground station is attacked while he was in visit on the surface, that those "animals" are in fact a sentient species ... it''s one of those cliche you get in sci fi shows, where the threat is in fact a form of communication).

Also, I am against the "oh we shouldn''t show it, it''s a bad thing, rather we are gonna try to make more politically correct" bullsh!t. I''d rather do a game that actually uses slaves, and make the player aware of the horror of such a system, by making a plot around that (a bit like in "White Man" or something, the movie where whites are treated like black, with John Travolta. Suddenly, the black posh realise the difficulty of everyday life for all those poor white people...)

I say, choose my story

For the multiplayer aspect. I was thinking that it would be interesting to actually have only one capital ship (the Amarantha), and a plethora of wee fighters. While other factions could be of different organisations (a swarm of insect creatures ? a horde of a roaming species, a la Huns riders ...)
Of course, it all depends on which sides of the game you want to emphasize.

youpla :-P

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