Introduction Characters Equipment Known Space
Setting Ship Combat/Flight Ship Gear Ship Plans
Government People Files

Original Introduction

I'm thinking about starting up a new play-by-email game. Time to gauge interest.

Premise: The party will be all / part of a ship's crew, an explorer-class vessel converted to civilian duty, with a wide range of capabilities:

Inspirations: Firefly, original Star Wars (screw Jar Jar), Babylon 5, Traveller RPG, Eve online

Setting bullet points:

Turns: I'll be doing 2-4 turns a week and would like to get similiar turnaround from the players.

Much more detail if you care:


Fudge or some variation thereof. There will be some house-ruled system for ship to ship combat, possibly based on the Diaspora RPG. I'll be stealing heavily from Traveller for world generation / setting.


Mankind has gone to the stars. The exodus from Earth occured in three main waves:

The original wave of sub-light sleeper ships, carrying colonists to theoretically habitable planets. Only a few of these ships actually reached their destinations, fewer still survived. Some may still be in transit. Most of these ships were funded by the fragmented political and religious groups of the late 21st century, and have resulted in some... interesting colonies.

The second wave of relatively small vessels, using jump technology discovered in the mid 22nd century. The CL-drive allows a vessel contained within its projected field to warp space to effectively traveling at 100 times the speed of light. The CL-drive's chief weakness is the vast energy requirement, which increases geometrically relative to mass. CL-drive ships are powered by ship-board fusion reactors supplied with hydrogen-based fuels. The energy curve is such that most CL-drive ships can only carry three or four jumps worth of fuel. Most carry a hydrogen scoop system which allows refueling by skimming gas giants, though refined hydrogen sources are preferred.

The third expansion was driven by two scientific advances, jump gates and the solar tap energy technology required to power them. Jump gates open a short-term wormhole between two points, allowing near instantaneous transport of huge vessels between systems. Opening and maintaining these wormholes requires hideous amounts of energy, a demand that can only be met by a super-conducting capacitor system charged over the course of several days by a solar tap.

Unfortunately, early versions of solar tap technology were unstable, leading to the destruction by nova of several solar systems, including Sol itself. The resulting political collapse lead to the current situation.

Current Setting

Humanity's influence stretches across many star systems. Within this cluster there are numerous political entities, some spanning multiple systems, others controlling nothing more than an orbital station above a convenient gas giant. Some of the more notable:

The Core cleaves closest to old-Earth standards and controls the largest and most advanced colonies. Almost all systems in The Core are linked by jump gates supplemented by CL-drive shipping lanes. Systems in The Core are autonomous, though bound together by many layers of trade, treaty and blood. Local system governments vary widely, though each has one or more representatives at the United Systems Council, an overarching organization that serves as a forum for dispute resolution and controls the United Systems Fleet (USF), the Council's military arm.

The Interstellar Jump Commission (IJC) operates The Core's jump gate network. It is a huge corporation with close ties to every major governmental body in The Core.

The Outer Clusters are younger colonies with direct access to The Core's more advanced technologies, generally via an IJC controlled jump gate. The Outer Clusters are generally a single main system, perhaps with a few minor systems linked by CL-drive ships.

The Independents are very similar to The Outer Clusters, except they control their own jump gates, giving them both greater freedom and less access to The Core. The IJC regulates access from non-IJC gates -- there are very few Core gates that link to Independent gates.

The Fringes are systems beyond the jump gate network. It's difficult to draw a line separating some of the lesser Outer Cluster / Independents worlds from the Fringes. Most Fringe worlds are self-sufficient, though their technology tends to suffer as a result.

The Blackness refers to the systems near old Sol that were destroyed in the early solar tap disasters. The Blackness itself is uninhabited, but salvagers and scavengers pick through the shattered remains of these ruined worlds.

CL-drive Ships

The following are some representative ship types.


Explorer class - Crew of two to ten. Capable of making one to three consecutive jumps, depending on fuel status and distance. Capable of scooping and refining its own fuel. Explorer class ships can carry light cargo or passengers, be fitted for system exploration, or used as light combat craft.

Sleeper class - Crew of two or three. Optimized to support cryogenic sleeper modules for colonist transfer. Unlike Explorer class ships, Sleepers are reliant on refined fuel, having no scoop capability.

Courier class - Crew of one, optimized for speed. Couriers are used to move data between systems. These ships have the best jump capability but very limited space -- data crystals are tiny. A Courier can carry fuel for three to five jumps depending on distance, and have on-board refining capability.

Freighter class - Crew of two or three. These craft are optimized for cargo, carrying only limited fuel and relying on fueling stations. They are most often found plying established routes between known systems, carrying priority / high value goods that can't wait for the next jump gate activation.


Frigate class - Crew of one, optimized for rapid pursuit. Frigates are similiar to Couriers except they are fitted with military grade reactor cores, providing superior sub-light speed and maneverability. They give up some jump capability to make room for additional weapons and defenses.

Destroyer class - Crew of two, optimized for mayhem. Destroyer class ships have limited jump fuel and cannot reprocess. Their oversized reactor core provides superior sub-light speed and maneuverability, and they are usually well-armed with some defensive capabilities. Destroyers are primarily used for in system patrols, reserving their jump capability for deployment and recall maneuvers.

Battlecruiser class - The behemoths of the CL-drive world, battlecruisers use complex inter-linked CL-drive systems to move their massive bulk. Battlecruisers carry limited fuel but have superior onboard refining available, allowing them to quickly refuel. Battlecruisers carry a crew of eight to ten along with ten to fifty combatants. Depending on load out they can carry two or three sub-light fighter-class craft, one or two Frigate class ships, major firepower, or multiple Sleeper modules for troop transport.

Ship Combat

Ships can fit several main weapon types:

Defenses are also varied:


Day to day technology ranges from somewhat primitive (steam era) to advanced computing devices, working terraforming, underwater cities, semi-sentient robots, hand-held laser guns, and power armor.