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Author Topic: The Imperial Question -- A space epic RPG / RTD+ [7/8]  (Read 2207 times)

Vivalas

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The Imperial Question -- A space epic RPG / RTD+ [7/8]
« on: January 10, 2021, 01:11:30 am »

The Imperial Question



PRELUDE

The year is 2076. Mankind has ventured into space, but at a cost.

Earth, now known as Terra, is ruled by an oppressive authoritarian regime known as the Imperium of Novus Terra. The power of the imperium is undisputed—in Imperial space.
The vast armies and fleets of the Emperor rule over the colonial provinces. Its an era of rapid expansion, marked by great disorder and lawlessness at the fringes of the Imperial periphery, and heavy and regimented policies at the interior of the Imperial core.

The Imperial Doctrine, the guiding principle of the expansion of the Imperium, calls for a two-step process:

Step One: Colonists venture out into space, either on colony ships or on smaller vessels as part of tramp merchants and free trading crews, exploring and documenting the expanse alongside the venerated Imperial Survey Corps, its veteran and salty crews in their brilliant blue-and-gold livery and expeditionary vessels leading the blind charge into infinite and insufferable darkness.

Step Two: Establish control. The most populous and economically viable systems are targeted as the center of Imperial military operations meant to bring them in line with the Emperor’s stark policies. Other systems are ignored, usually only protected by a token Colonial Security detachment that does the best that it can. These two guiding principles of expansion create a real divide between order and lawlessness. Resources are concentrated on keeping Core Systems in line, while everyone else is left with freedom to operate on their own, to an extent.

The Emperor is not without his enemies, chief of those his own people. Rebel groups abound in the Periphery, where they take refuge in the vastness of space. Some provinces and their magistrates are sympathizers themselves, long dissuaded from the political propaganda machine of the Imperium, for various reasons. The Council of Imperial Inquiry, the official name for the draconian internal secret police and intelligence bureau of the Imperium does its best to dismantle these internal threats, and is ruthlessly efficient at doing so.

The threats that it cannot dismantle are otherwise dealt with by military action. Crushed wholly and entirely by military force. With no mercy, and no recourse. So far this system works, although delicately. Most people comply because there is no better option known to them. In this universe, Earth never has known democracy before: the idea is foreign, criticized as nothing but the ideacrafting of anarchists. Imperial citizens, while mostly oppressed, enjoy the order and security that the authoritarian regime offers.

But change is coming. The advent of the Expanse Era, marked by new technology that allows jumps unconstrained by specific points and links between star systems, has heralded a new era of expansion that the Imperium’s now outdated model will be unable to adequately control. Imperial officials know that change is necessary to maintain security and order within the Empire, but nobody quite has an idea of exactly what.

Rebels conspire in the ever-expanding frontier, and on some distant sectors, unsettling discoveries are made. More and more evidence of alien civilization, though no contact with an active one—- yet. It is the age of exploration. It is the beginning of an answer. An answer, to The Imperial Question.


OVERVIEW

Heya, and welcome to The Imperial Question, a "RTD+" that will be ran using Traveller (Mongoose 2e). For those unfamiliar with Traveller, it's a very old school RPG system that in my opinion is amazing. Characters don't power level, people are very fragile, you can run chargen on autopilot, and it allows you to randomize a LOT of stuff.

As for why it's called a "RTD+", the emphasis will be on roleplay and story-telling over mechanics. I will simply use Traveller as an "engine" and interpret your actions in the system. You don't have to know anything at all about Traveller to play this, because the intent is a casual storytelling experience that can survive in the long-term. If you are experienced with traveller, and want to throw your own actions in there according to the system, or crack open a source book and learn, that's cool too. But the intent is that none of that is necessary. For all intensive purposes you can play this just like a typical RTD: submit your actions and wait for the turn to resolve.

The game will take place in a universe of my own creation that is a bastardization of a CK2 game I had, an Aurora 4x game I had, Warhammer 40K, and a lot of other miscellaneous themes. The Imperium can be loosely described as a mix between Victorian Britain, the Empire from Star Wars, with a few Imperium of Man vibes (although this is perhaps the lightest of the mix). Because of the character generation in Traveller, players can end up with characters that come from all walks of life, and they will be thrust together on a grand space adventure across the stars in this parallel universe where democratic government never formed, and where the political situation is dangerously precarious.


CHARACTER GENERATION

Character generation will be handled on the first turn, and will be ran entirely by me using Traveller's system. This differs from most roleplaying games since you don't have direct control over the build of your character, instead your character's early life is simulated. Instead of defining your character's starting skills / stats etc., you will write a series of parameters which will affect how your character evolves pre-campaign. If this sounds difficult or complicated, don't worry. You're simply writing as much as you want about your starting character's personality, desired careers, and stat preferences so that I can model the decisions they make in char gen to your liking. You can provide as much or as little info as you like. If you don't care what character you end up with, you don't even have to provide me with much other than a name (and maybe not even that if you choose not to).

Using the standard Traveller connection system, depending on your age (since the game has a fixed start-date, being older means you will interact with other players when you are quite possibly much older than them), career choice, and personality, you might end up with relationships and connections to other players before the game starts.

Characters can join the adventure at any time, and I will find ways to weave them in to the story naturally. At the start, the player limit will be 8 players and a standard waitlist system will be used if interest exceeds the capacity of the game.


THE GAME

The game will take place over the forums. I was planning on leaving it up to vote whether to run it over the forums or do dedicated sessions, but my interest is more in a long-term, epic story, and less in the time it takes to get there. I want this to be a casual game where people with strenuous time demands can participate as well. It will be party-oriented and at game start your characters might not necessarily all know each other, but you will all be thrust in to the same unfortunate situation. Turn lengths will be 2-3 days on average which will vary with my schedule. If I have to go a bit earlier when I am free, I will, and if I get caught a little behind, that could happen too. The format is typical RTD format. Type dialogue and typical roleplay actions as it makes sense in the context, and use turns for combat and actions that need skill checks.

I will be using the Encyclopedia feature from one of my previous suggestion games. The purpose of this is to emulate that while you, the player, may not know every little detail of the universe, your character knows a lot more. If there is any part of the gameworld or lore that you want to know more about, simply bold "Encylopedia:" and then your request.

Example: "Encylopedia: What are the laws on importing Mercurian Wine to Madraib 5?" Your inner monologue will help you out.

The game will be generic and freeform in nature. The party can either be freelancers, loyalists, rebels, or anything in between depending on their affiliations, decisions, and reaction to plot events. There will be a few over-arching plotlines in the game but the party won't be forced to follow them. Wherever they go, however, trouble will be sure to follow.

TEMPLATE

Spoiler (click to show/hide)


EXTENDED BACKGROUND INFO

Spoiler (click to show/hide)
« Last Edit: January 12, 2021, 09:01:32 pm by Vivalas »
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The Imperial Question | Stranded Among Stars

Vivalas

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Re: The Imperial Question -- An epic space RPG / RTD+
« Reply #1 on: January 10, 2021, 01:12:15 am »

PLAYER LIST
1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

6.

7.

8.

TURN LIST

Turn 1
Turn 2
Turn 3

Current Turn (Prologue, Turn 3)
« Last Edit: February 13, 2021, 03:13:11 am by Vivalas »
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"On two occasions I have been asked,—"Pray, Mr. Babbage, if you put into the machine wrong figures, will the right answers come out?" I am not able rightly to apprehend the kind of confusion of ideas that could provoke such a question."
- Charles Babbage

The Imperial Question | Stranded Among Stars

ConscriptFive

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Re: The Imperial Question -- A space epic RPG / RTD+
« Reply #2 on: January 10, 2021, 01:54:48 am »

Great choice of game system and setting (did you know Traveller actually predates D&D?).

One quick question before char gen, what kinda of party are we trying to do?  Are we freelancer mercs or something more governmental/rebel aligned?

Anyhow, this should be a pretty versatile character:

Quote from: Corbin Fresno Char Sheet

Name: Corbin Fresno
Age: 38
Stat Priority: INT, END, EDU, DEX, STR, SOC

Background: Corbin Fresno was always a climber.  A smart middle-class kid, he knew he didn't have the familial connections to make Ministry of State.  But everyone knows the real power behind the Imperium was in the Ministry of Security.  Smart kids with flexible morals were always in high demand among the spooky IIA corners.  More of a thinker than a fighter, Corbin wrangled himself into the Naval Academy as opposed to becoming a mere jarhead at the various Guard Academies.  If he worked hard at the Naval Academy, surely an IIA talent scout would find him.

Personality: Unassuming, polite, yet quietly highly judgemental.  While not outwardly violent, he will carve himself a place in space, and isn't afraid who he has to manipulate to do so.  He was born a nobody, but his children won't be.

Career Choice:  Naval Academy tracked as a Commissioned Naval Intelligence Officer as a means to work his way into the cloak and dagger realm of the IIA.  If that fails, parlay his Naval Intelligence Commission into corporate intelligence agencies where an ambitious individual can stake out his own claim.  Once his intelligence career wraps up, he can always set himself up as a merchant broker who's willing to use his intelligence tradecraft to launder funds and trade illicit goods.  Why spy for the profit of others, when you can spy for your own profit?
« Last Edit: January 10, 2021, 02:38:41 am by ConscriptFive »
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Vivalas

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Re: The Imperial Question -- A space epic RPG / RTD+
« Reply #3 on: January 10, 2021, 02:02:52 am »

Great choice of game system and setting (did you know Traveller actually predates D&D?).

One quick question before char gen, what kinda of party are we trying to do?  Are we freelancer mercs or something more governmental/rebel aligned?

I used to love GURPS but I've recently fallen in love with Traveller. It's my favorite system now and I'm debating finding a dedicated group to referee or play with but atm I just am using it to explore my writing and to create a cool story. I didn't know that but from some of the graphics I read in the original traveller books I can definitely see that!

I suppose I should add that to the game info. The game will start with all of you riding a freighter for passage, for various reasons that depend on your character, but the plot will start there and quickly draw everyone together. The campaign will be largely freeform, but will probably be more freelancer unless most of the players have a particular affiliation. Since I'm trying to tell a story here for the most part, I wouldn't mind if a few people part ways with the party and form their own secondary parties, but I'm also wary of splintering the players too much and having some issues with cohering the story and having enough player-player interaction. But if that does happen I will find a way to tie everything together.
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"On two occasions I have been asked,—"Pray, Mr. Babbage, if you put into the machine wrong figures, will the right answers come out?" I am not able rightly to apprehend the kind of confusion of ideas that could provoke such a question."
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The Imperial Question | Stranded Among Stars

The Canadian kitten

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Re: The Imperial Question -- A space epic RPG / RTD+
« Reply #4 on: January 10, 2021, 02:06:26 am »

Name: John

Age: 40

Stats: Strong STR, average DEX, strong END, average INT, low END, low SOC

Background: Born in the world of Garthen, a very rural farming world not considered important by the Imperium of Novus Terra. He was a farmer, son of two farming parents. Not much happened other than fighting off the local fauna that sometimes tries to eat the crops, but he did dream of having an adventure and fighting for the Imperium in the imperial guard. So, he went to the nearest recruiting station and joined up. If ever failing that, he would join up at the police force at the little cities that dot the planet filled with the elite of Garthen.


Personality: Likes keeping close to people, and a desire to serve the empire. Very very afraid of heights. Tries to pause and consider actions before charging in but it sometimes fails.


Career Choice: Foot soldier, if rejected then Policeman


Good enough?
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Naturegirl1999

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Re: The Imperial Question -- A space epic RPG / RTD+
« Reply #5 on: January 10, 2021, 03:21:22 am »

Interested, character preference: female, stat preferences are EDU and INT being high
Interested in learning about aliens and possible diplomacy
« Last Edit: January 10, 2021, 08:05:35 am by Naturegirl1999 »
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Ghazkull

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Re: The Imperial Question -- A space epic RPG / RTD+
« Reply #6 on: January 10, 2021, 07:20:25 am »

I am a bit confused here are we playing as a party DnD style or is this more of a Space Opera with us doing our own things across the empire or is this supposed to be kind of Grand Strategy were we take positions in the Imperial Hierarchy/Opposition?
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Naturegirl1999

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Re: The Imperial Question -- A space epic RPG / RTD+
« Reply #7 on: January 10, 2021, 07:37:56 am »

TBH, either of the 3 sounds cool
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King Zultan

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Re: The Imperial Question -- A space epic RPG / RTD+
« Reply #8 on: January 10, 2021, 07:55:56 am »

I'm interested and I'll take what ever randomly generated dude you make.
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chaotick21

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Re: The Imperial Question -- A space epic RPG / RTD+
« Reply #9 on: January 10, 2021, 12:34:46 pm »

PTW
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Vivalas

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Re: The Imperial Question -- A space epic RPG / RTD+
« Reply #10 on: January 10, 2021, 02:41:31 pm »

Great choice of game system and setting (did you know Traveller actually predates D&D?).

One quick question before char gen, what kinda of party are we trying to do?  Are we freelancer mercs or something more governmental/rebel aligned?

Anyhow, this should be a pretty versatile character:

Quote from: Corbin Fresno Char Sheet

-Corbin Snip-

Looks goods, nice intelligence spook character.


Name: John

Age: 40

Stats: Strong STR, average DEX, strong END, average INT, low END, low SOC

Background: Born in the world of Garthen, a very rural farming world not considered important by the Imperium of Novus Terra. He was a farmer, son of two farming parents. Not much happened other than fighting off the local fauna that sometimes tries to eat the crops, but he did dream of having an adventure and fighting for the Imperium in the imperial guard. So, he went to the nearest recruiting station and joined up. If ever failing that, he would join up at the police force at the little cities that dot the planet filled with the elite of Garthen.


Personality: Likes keeping close to people, and a desire to serve the empire. Very very afraid of heights. Tries to pause and consider actions before charging in but it sometimes fails.


Career Choice: Foot soldier, if rejected then Policeman


Good enough?

Looks good! I will note that the primary culture of the Empire is a mixture of Irish, English, and Castillian/Spanish (because CK2 shenanigans). I will add that somewhere in the extended info but I will be adapting planet names and any part of names that are left out (like your last name) to fit the theme.



Interested, character preference: female, stat preferences are EDU and INT being high
Interested in learning about aliens and possible diplomacy

Got it. I'll probably roll with a Survey Corps career or otherwise academic research / pursuits for you, if that sounds good.


I am a bit confused here are we playing as a party DnD style or is this more of a Space Opera with us doing our own things across the empire or is this supposed to be kind of Grand Strategy were we take positions in the Imperial Hierarchy/Opposition?

It's a party-style game but I won't mind deviations and people striking it out on their own, so long as the entire party doesn't fragment, but the emphasis will be on all of you somewhat working together. The other things do sound cool, though, and I plan on fleshing out this universe in other styles of games in the far future.


I'm interested and I'll take what ever randomly generated dude you make.

K'chonk.

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- Charles Babbage

The Imperial Question | Stranded Among Stars

Naturegirl1999

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Re: The Imperial Question -- A space epic RPG / RTD+ [4/8]
« Reply #11 on: January 10, 2021, 02:44:12 pm »

Sounds good to me
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WyrdByrd

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Re: The Imperial Question -- A space epic RPG / RTD+ [4/8]
« Reply #12 on: January 11, 2021, 01:25:31 pm »

Name: Anton Ferguson

Age: 66


Strength (STR): Low. Though agnastics have kept Anton in a functional shape, one can't deny the procession of time.
Dexterity (DEX): Low. Anton was never the most coordinated, and the infirmities of old age have only served to aggravate this unfortunate  situation.
Endurance (END): Average. The Ferguson line holds true, and their fortitude as helped Anton considerably through his twilight years.

Intellect (INT): High. Careful matchmaking and the occasional genetic pruning have left Anton's faculties unimpeded by the common genetic pitfalls,
 a circumstance bolstered by Corredor enhancements.
Education (EDU): Average. Though aggressively schooled in a terrestrial education,  House Ferguson had admittedly underestimated the prevalence and relevance that the interstellar world would provide.
Social Standing (SOC): High. Anton is a Ferguson, with all that comes with it.

Background: House Ferguson has existed, in one form or another, since the Imperium's inception. Despite, or perhaps because, of this venerable history,  they were blindsided by the rapid ascent of space travel.  Anton bore witness to his House's decline, and the subsequent rise of their rivals, erstwhile vassals, and, worst of all, the bourgeoise.  By the time he had left the creche, the House was simply one of many 'Earthbound' clans,  their authority beginning and ending at the atmosphere.  Not that Anton  ever had trouble deciding what to do. Shunted into the role of Corredor early in his life, educated (in an Earthly sense), and enhanced, the Ministry of State was ready to welcome him with open arms.
Personality:
Anton remembers a time when Earth was at the center of Imperial affairs, and the Fergusons had the ear of royalty. Though that time has long since passed, he sees it as a personal obligation to ensure that it does not fade, though his approach on the matter is far more bitter than the younger aspirants of the house.
In his heart, Anton still desires to serve the people of the Imperium. He has also come to recognize that, in many instances, the people are not able, willing, or ready to serve themselves. Until a better system presents itself, or this situation changes,  stewardship upon their behalf seems to be the only feasible option.
Career Choice:
Anton is a consummate member of the Ministry, and will do his utmost to govern, advance, and improve the estates granted to him. However, he concedes that the younger, 'un-Earthly' scions in the family have a better understanding of the new frontier's uncultured minds.  The path of the Diplomat or Minister would suit him far better. If all else fails, Anton has  considered service in a brokerage.
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The_Two_Eternities

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Re: The Imperial Question -- A space epic RPG / RTD+ [4/8]
« Reply #13 on: January 11, 2021, 02:33:07 pm »

Name: Lucas Aphor Brennan

Age: 26

Stat preferences: SOC, EDU, INT, DEX, END, STR

Background: Born on Mars into a minor noble house, Lucas knew since adolescence that he wanted more than to stay on one planet his whole life, fighting duels and getting in trysts. As a second son of a second son on the second-greatest planet, that wouldn't get him as far as he wanted to go. He had done well in his schooling, and a position suitable for his standing in one of the many corporations wouldn't be out of the question... But there was no excitement there, no thrill. And so, he sought out a command position in the Imperial Guard...
(note: I don't really know how nobility works in this, so it's possible that this might not make sense to you.)

Personality: Pragmatic and moderately ambitious with a touch of glory-hound. Does not anger easily, but is perhaps too quick to consider violence as a solution. Reluctant to put lives in unnecessary danger, but - as is typical for some parts of the nobility - has multiple definitions of the word "unnecessary", depending on which life you're talking about.

Career Choice: Imperial Guard officer. If that doesn't work, I'll try to use whatever connections I have to get a managerial position somewhere.
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Vivalas

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Re: The Imperial Question -- A space epic RPG / RTD+ [4/8]
« Reply #14 on: January 12, 2021, 03:11:11 am »

Name: Anton Ferguson

Very nice. This should be an interesting one to run in chargen :P

Name: Lucas Aphor Brennan


Also looking good.

As far as nobility goes, since you touch on a similar background, it's about right. Although the Imperium is far removed from feudalism and "proper" nobility, being a monolithic Imperial bureaucracy that has centralized and consolidated enough to remove itself from its feudal origins, the concept of a ruling class very much persists. The Imperial government doesn't exactly go around appointing outsiders to the ministries and governorships, and a substantial number of families that find themselves in these powerful positions tend to cling to them, jockeying for power amongst each other and strengthening their hold on their political power and influence. The term "nobility" tends to be used, rather excessively, to describe the families of high-ranking ministers, officers, and directors of the Imperial government, which often hold generous protections and distinctions under Imperial law that ordinary citizens do not possess.
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"On two occasions I have been asked,—"Pray, Mr. Babbage, if you put into the machine wrong figures, will the right answers come out?" I am not able rightly to apprehend the kind of confusion of ideas that could provoke such a question."
- Charles Babbage

The Imperial Question | Stranded Among Stars
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