Is a game set in the far future of the Solar system after a cataclysm event brought down the Golden Age. The players control each a fortified arcology called a Polis that had been waiting for the danger to past to emerge out and rebuild civilization in their likeness. Combat and military aesthetics veer towards the Gundam (Zeta) style of things. Shrike is making the military rules.
The Story so Far
The year is 4500 AD, one thousand and two hundred years after the collapse of post scarcity Solar Commonwealth and the thousand years after the arrival of Nemesis in the Solar System. 3000AD was celebrated as the golden age of humanity. War, want and conflict had vanished under the rising tide of superior technologies and great conquest of the solar system. The Commonwealth built on egalitarian principals and guided by the AI/Uploaded hybrid of LOGOS was prepared to deal with everything but doomsday. Sensors had detected that brown dwarf known as Nemesis was moving closer and it was estimated to send a deluge of cometary matter into the system far beyond anyone expectations. LOGOS suffered a critical failure when trying to figure out how to deal with it and splintered off into several waring factions on best method, soon the fighting went beyond the virtual realm into reality as planets and habitats and nations took sides on how to best survive. The civil war of the godlike Solar Commonwealth was brief and violent and in the end the only survivors who retained much of their tech level were those who had taken the Bunkerist approach to matters. Building and fortifying armored arcologies and stations across the solar system and closing themselves off to outside contact till the commentary bombardment stopped these bunkers soon gotten the nickname Polis and entered into their period of long isolation as the rest of the survivors attempted to scramble out of the way of doomsday.
Now Nemesis has left and commentary bombardment has ceased, the Polis are opening their doors to a much changed Solar System.
The Solar System
Mercury: Abandoned during the Long Night, it has been recently resettled as a pirate nests. There are rumors that buried in the core of Mercury was a complete data archive of the Solar Commonwealth at its height, hence alot of the pirate and other activity reactivating dead warrens and mining operations.
Venus: Failed terraforming and cometary bombardment has blown off much of its atmosphere, and now its a barely habitual rock full of Polis that awaken early and now in a state of cold wars and brush fire wars against each other. Already one nuclear war between polities has occurred.
Earth: Solar Commonwealth defenses deflected most of the damage till they inexplicably failed, now the world has been battered, with techno-barbarians ranging to nation states rivaling Polis level technology, however, general exploitation has left Earth poor and in need of resources from the outer-worlds. Of significant note, the Eurasian continent is particularly harsh wasteland of green goo, rogue nanobots that have gotten into the ecosystem creating a hybrid techno-organic life.
- Luna: is filled with colonists from Earth trying to send needed resources back to the mother planet
Mars: is the best of the inner-worlds, its grouping of Polis had it awakened a century ago and formed the Martian consortium, which had taken over via its superior technologies the advance but lesser tech survivors living on the terraformed surface. In orbit there are number of solar shades and mirrors to help with the terraforming project. Mount Olympus is also a no go zone full of Solar Commonwealth era combat automatons and defenses, guarding something within that vast mountain complex.
Belt: Full of bunkers and Polis, and pirates
Jupiter: Like the belt but filled with monsters, the automated self repairing warships of the LOGOS peace keeping force gone rogue. At the center of this rogue mass. Jovian Naval Command, the giant factory fortress that continues to replenish the numbers of the rogue automons.
Saturn: The energy hub of the system. Filled with warring tribes of helium miners
Uranus: The Pope lives here, along with the flock of the Great Solar Church.
Neptune and beyond: More like the Belt, though in orbit of Pluto there is the transformed moon of Charon which has seemingly built into a unknown "star gate" of some kind that remains unactivated and inscrutable. Some of the wilder theories suggest the gate dates back before the founding of the Commonwealth.
Beyond: Monster that failed in their duty to defend the planet, but still viewing anything near them as a threat to the commonwealth. Also the comet nomads, people who seem to have gain the ability to spoof the monsters IFF and can tame the smaller ones. Highly prone to shooting first and shooting again and again, and insular, they become a problem when the comet they're following goes into the inner system and they start raiding targets of opportunity.
Interplanetary space: Due to the aftermath of Nemesis and all the comets it brought into the solar system, combined with the Solar Commonwealth's defenses, interplanetary space is full of comet derbies cloud along with inactive and active anti cometary nanotech clouds that were launched during last spate of madness of the Commonwealth's civil war. Thus space travel is far more complex then what it used to be as there is rarely a straight course to the target, meaning multiple burns and course corrections are needed, slowing traveling down. Running into the clouds are dangerous at high speeds, and even at low speeds, they might be infected with the dissembler nanobots. There are reported clouds of ghost ships whose crews were killed by half functioning weapons, that left the ship. Some say that the weapons since died, but few are brave-hardy to travel into them.
Polis: A heavily armored and fortified self-contained super city/nation unto itself. Built in the waning days of the glory of humanity in a panic to save hope for humanity in face of Nemesis and the madness that was going around them. They were designed so that a single one could restart civilization at a high tech level, complete with factories, labs, data caches, cloning pods, and docked war machines and space craft. As it stands now each Polis is the most powerful force in its area, but its reach is limited due to the small number of ships and war machines they started off with that while outclass most of the post Nemesis opponents, do not outnumber them enough to make it painless. The main saving grace is the Polis itself highly defensible and the few attempts that saw outsiders try to take out one of the early awaken Polis saw them suffer heavy causalities for minor damaged that was repaired within a month.
Each PC will be playing a Polis, they give a general write up of what life was like in the Polis during the Long Night, what type of government, and they pick out two traits, either from below or approved by Silence. More trait can be bought up to 4 by taking a negative trait.
Making a Post-Nemesis nation
Assign your points to each of the categories until you run out. That'll give you the basis around which to write up the details of your nation.
Modifiers listed apply bonus points towards a particular rank, rather than directly modifying the Rank itself. For example, (Infrastructure +3) means that three bonus points are automatically added to the Infrastructure category, and (Growth -2) means that two points are subtracted from Growth. The player must make up the remainder to gain a new rank; if only part of the point cost is fulfilled; excess points are wasted.
Negative modifiers do not need to be bought up to zero, though values below 0 can be assumed to be particularly exaggerated.
- Minor Habitat (24 points to spend): A backwater nowhere bunker-habitat.
- Major Habitat (24 points to spend): A small alliance of bunkers, habitats and scavengers. Adds +1 Growth Potential.
- Minor Polis (28 points to spend): A lesser Polis, though one that cannot be ignored. Adds +1 to National Advantages.
- Midsized Polis (28 points to spend): A fairly typical midsized Polis. Adds an additional 125 Military Points and 150 Military Support.
- Major Polis (26 points to spend): A large Polis with a substantial, diverse population and possibly satellite habitats outside of the Polis proper. Adds an additional 250 Military Points, 300 Military Support, 25 Wealth and 25 Construction Rate but suffers -1 to Growth Potential.
- Consortium (26 points to spend): A top-tier state with a massive population. At this level your Polis is more like a capital city than a nation unto itself. At this level you're also playing by the Consortium's rules at penalty of interdicted like what happened to the poor chaps in Cydonia. Adds an additional 500 Military Points, 600 Military Support, 50 Wealth and 50 Construction Rate, but suffers -2 to Growth Potential.
- Rank 0 (0 points): Your nation has no advantages. Everyone should have something to feel special about :(
- Rank 1 (1 point): Your nation has a single National Advantage.
- Rank 2 (2 points): Your nation has two National Advantages.
- Rank 3 (4 points): Your nation has three National Advantages.
- Rank 4 (6 points): Your nation has four National Advantages.
- Rank 5 (9 points): Your nation has five National Advantages.
This field returns points, instead of costing points.
- Rank 0 (0 points): Your nation has no unusual flaws, just the usual minor problems.
- Rank 1 (+1 point): Your nation has a single National Disadvantage.
- Rank 2 (+2 points): Your nation has two National Disadvantages.
- Rank 3 (+3 points): Your nation has three National Disadvantages, plus one chosen by the GM (!)
- Rank 4 (+4 points): Your nation is a hellhole; expect to get hammered by whatever the GM feels to throw at you. It is entirely out of your control at this point.
- Rank 0 (0 points): Space Vikings take what they need. Wealth rating 20
- Rank 1 (1 point): Wealth Rating 45
- Rank 2 (2 points): Wealth Rating 70
- Rank 3 (3 points): Wealth Rating 90
- Rank 4 (4 points): Wealth Rating 110
- Rank 5 (5 points): The throbbing center of postmodern capitalism. Wealth Rating 125.
- Every additional Rank of Economy adds 15 to the Wealth Rating.
- Rank 0 (0 points): Well, you could probably rearm a warship . . . Construction Rating 20
- Rank 1 (1 point): Construction Rating 45
- Rank 2 (2 points): Construction Rating 70
- Rank 3 (3 points): Construction Rating 90
- Rank 4 (4 points): Construction Rating 110
- Rank 5 (5 points): Massive, well developed planetary and spaceborn industry. Construction Rating 125
- Every additional Rank of Infrastructure adds 15 to the Construction Rating.
- Rank 0 (0 points): Overcrowding and resource shortages are chronic; you need relief and now! x6 Infrastructure cost.
- Rank 1 (1 point): Either planning or natural growth has put you at a comfortable maximum, but you have nowhere to grow. x5 Infrastructure cost.
- Rank 2 (2 points): You have room to grow, but not much. x4 Infrastructure cost.
- Rank 3 (3 points): Most of your resources have been set up to be exploited but you haven't even begun to do so yet. x3 Infrastructure cost.
- Rank 4 (4 points): So many natural resources you're probably selling them to people. x2 Infrastructure cost.
- Rank 5 (5 points): The Frontier. Resources are plentiful, with plenty you probably haven’t even begun to tap yet. x1 Infrastructure cost.
- Rank 0 (0 points): 50 military points
- Rank 1 (1 point): 200 military points
- Rank 2 (2 points): 350 military points
- Rank 3 (3 points): 490 military points
- Rank 4 (4 points): 620 military points
- Rank 5 (5 points): 740 military points
- Every Rank past 5 adds +100 military points.
- Rank 0 (0 points): Your nation simply sees little need for a large military; 100 military support
- Rank 1 (1 point): 300 military support
- Rank 2 (2 points): 500 military support
- Rank 3 (3 points): 675 military support
- Rank 4 (4 points): 825 military support
- Rank 5 (5 points): 950 military support
- Every Rank past 5 adds +100 additional military support.
- Rank 0 (0 points): No real military, more like a glorified police force if not an armed rabble.
- Rank 1 (1 point): Below average, your soldiers are probably decent enough on the personal level but your high-level doctrines and organization is undoutedly weak.
- Rank 2 (3 points): Average armed forces, nothing special but no glaring weaknesses.
- Rank 3 (5 points): A respectable military force, definately something to be reckoned with.
- Rank 4 (8 points): Best of the best, your military is well trained.
Superweapons For full Superweapon rules, see the relevant section below.
- Rank 0 (0 points): Your nation sees no real value in superweapons and may never have more than a single tactical superweapon in service at any time (note: even Nazi engineering won't improve this). Thankfully, the shoestring budget your Office of Impractical Engineering receives means they actually have to work efficiently, and this weapon has no cost modifier.
- Rank 1 (1 point): While your nation sees superweapons as something to acquire, your engineers are just insufficiently crazy to build them well (or the projects are plagued by mismanagement). Superweapons cost 150% of normal cost.
- Rank 2 (2 points): While a bit laggard, your nation has a decent stock of superweaponry. You have a second Tactical Superweapon slot but superweapons still cost 125% of base cost.
- Rank 3 (3 points): Your superweaponry is an important part of your military arsenal. You have three Tactical Superweapon slots and no cost modifiers to superweapons.
- Rank 4 (5 points): You have as many superweapons as a typical evil overlord. In addition to three Tactical Superweapon slots, you have two Strategic Superweapon slots and a cost multiplier of 75%.
- Rank 5 (8 points): Really? Fine. You have unlimited superweapon slots - Tactical, Strategic and National and a cost multiplier of 50%. Go crazy.
- Rank 0 (0 points): Sensitive information regularly gets lost on laptops.
- Rank 1 (1 point): Typical hypercorp security measures.
- Rank 2 (2 points): Run of the mill intelligence apparatus.
- Rank 3 (4 points): Many Bothans died to bring us this information.
- Rank 4 (6 points): Sure, I can get the information you want chummer. Got the nuyen?
- Rank 0 (0 points): Your nation’s overall advancement level in fundamental fields such as energy generation, metallurgy, etc has undoutedly slid in the dark ages, perhaps due to improperly recovered data. The norm for groups without access to the vast data-repositories of the Polis.
- Rank 1 (4 points): Average advancement, no glaring weaknesses or strong points. Most Polis are on this level.
- Rank 2 (8 points): An impressive display of technological aptitude that puts you above most of your peers. Basically, you’re The Star Kingdom of Manticore.
Your diplomats are tireless and your leaders routinely expect to get Nobel Peace Prizes every year they're in power.
Lacus Cylne is my idol
Pop in space, your Polis has significant soft power and general good will to it from your consumer culture or post future version of it.
While various body-modification technologies have been used since the Exodus - to the point that cyberware, cloning, biomods and the like is as taken for as granted as ubiquitous computation, communications and space travel, many of the more out-there modifications were strictly subcultural and rare until the arrival of Nemesis where some places got a bit weird.
Your nation's research and development complex may not be efficient but it is sure creative. Prototypes and weird one-offs for all manner of situations abound in your military. Some of them may even work properly. Note that this does not mean your overall technology level is superior, just that you combine what you have in more weird ways. It also gives you an additional Tactical Superweapon slot, or you may instead 'upgrade' one of your existing slots one level (Tactical to Strategic or Strategic to National)
The rediscovery of ancient treasures is a national pastime - sometimes these are culturally significant, sometimes valuable.
Burden of the Polis
Your people have a intense desire to spread civilization of your type across the solar system, as such you have memetics to tend deal with conquer people better and co-opt into your system.
While the practice of personal firearm possession did not normally take hold in early off-Earth colonies - nobody wants holes punched in the life support - many later colonies became increasingly robust and more than capable of withstanding any plausible damage from small arms. In some of these, an armed populace reestablished itself, making them much harder to occupy by invaders.
A Game of Enders
Ethics has never stopped your nation when it comes to making the better warfighter. Your battle schools churn out universal soldiers to lead your fleets and strike your enemies.
Your country has a particular strength in one general field, improving their effective advancement level by one in it. Broad fields such as 'weapons', 'armor', etc are acceptable. This trait is incompatible with Rank 2 General Advancement - you're superior everywhere.
You have access to non Polis ally that will generally support you with some troops for a variety of reasons.
Thanks to some past (or current) actions, your state is quite unpopular among the greater community of nations. Most others will treat you with suspicion and bad assumptions are paramount.
You are not a Polis at all, but a collection of techno-barb survivors that managed to claw their way back to stability, strength and national unity. You must have Rank 0 technology and you do not have a fortified Polis as a central citadel. Obviously, you should probably be in a place that can reasonably support life without too many problems . . . generally Earth, Mars and Venus.
You have a problem with the various techno-barbarians, reavers and pirates that haunt the solar system and need to dedicate not-insignificant resources simply to keeping them away from the very gates of your Polis. While they likely can't get inside they will certainly be a major annoyance.
Social Contract Dispute
Your state doesn't work as it should. Cultural and social norms are often violated, radical voices drown out those of moderates and there is a lack of trust across all levels of society. While the government has managed to keep a lid on this - so far - the situation is volatile and gives foreign actors plenty of room to make problems.
All Children Left Behind
Unfortunately, your nation's educational and R&D infrastructure is not what it should be. Acquiring or development new technologies is slow and difficult. This Disadvantage is incompatible with any top-rank technology-related category.
Very Super Weapons
Your military (or civilian) leaders are enamoured with the idea of achieving military dominance via superweaponry. While this means you have one additional of each Superweapon slot, the cost to build all conventional military weapons is doubled.
The Scourge of Space
The Inhuman, the Unnatural, the Perverse - all of these were the casualties of the Scourge. But even as that era has faded, your nation has kept that mindset alive, internalizing it. Your citizens have little time for those that deviant substantially from the basic human body- and mindplan.
Your country has a particular weakness in a broad field, such as weapons, electronics, etc, making them operate at one rank lower in that field. This trait is incompatible with Rank 0 General Advancement - you're inferior everywhere.
All military units (both Regiments and Warships) are built up from a pool of points equal to their purchase cost. These points must be distributed among various attributes which determine how the unit performs. Note that in general, as larger craft or vehicles are slower, for every 3 points of cost there is the equivalent of a -1 to speed - for those who want to make destroyer-speed battleships, you know how much speed you need to stuff in.
Particularly cheap ground and space units can be organized into Divisions or Squadrons, respectively. These have a maximum cost of 10 each, ignore the speed penalty from increased cost and are made up not of single ships (or relatively small groups of troops/vehicles), but a number of small units. This is to allow for a greater amount of customization on the bottom end.
Standard attributes (with some subtypes):
- Air Defense
- Fighter Complement
- Bomber Complement
- Survey Equipment
Example Ground Regiments
- Light Infantry Division: 4
- Marines: 3
- Light Battlemechs: 3
- Heavy Battlemechs: 6
- Super Battlemechs: 12
- Land Dreadnought: 20
- Destroyer Squadron: 6
- Cruiser: 10
- Capital Ship: 30
- Tactical Superweapon: 24
- Strategic Superweapon: 100
- National Superweapon: 400
All nations have a certain ability to support fleets of warships and armies of ground troops. This is their Military Support, and military units fill it at a 1:1 ratio. Due to the cost of large militaries, when a nation's military exceeds its support, all prices are increased by 100%. If a nation's military exceeds more than twice its support, all prices by increased by 200%. For every additional multiple of a nation's base support, cost increases by another 100%.
If the nation is at war and has suffered sufficient losses that its military is less than half of its support level, all military items cost half as much.
Superweapons are weapons of uprecedented and often unusual power, beyond the usual guns-and-armor fare that dominates conventional militaries. Rarely are any two identical. Because of this Superweapons have their own specific rules. They are as follows:
- All superweapons are paid for and consume upkeep like conventional military units.
- All superweapons have a number of points to assign to attributes equal to their BASE cost just like normal military units.
- There are three tiers of superweapons; Tactical, Strategic and National. Each is progressively larger and more powerful, but also more expensive.
- Each tier of superweapon is most effective against superweapons of the next lower tier - A small squad of Valkyrie fighters will exploit the Death Star's two-meter weakness, while the Death Star will vaporise the Argama with its superlaser and the Argama and its mobile suit team will delay, drive off or shoot down the outnumbered Valkyries.
- All superweapons have a number of abilities; each starts with two and every additional increases cost by 50% of base cost. These substantially improve the performance in the selected are, or grant unusual abilities. Deficiencies can be taken to gain an additional ability at no cost, though deficiencies should be meaningful and potentially crippling if something can take advantage of them.
- Every nation has three superweapon 'slots' - one each of Tactical, Strategic and National. Lower tier types may fill higher tier slots; ie it is acceptable to have three Tactical superweapons without penalty (see below), but having three Strategic superweapons will always invoke a penalty.
- For every superweapon that a nation possesses in excess of their slots, the cost and upkeep of ALL superweapons they possess is increased by 10%, cumulative. Thus a nation with three Strategic superweapons (two in excess of the slot limit) increases the cost/upkeep of all of its superweapons by 20%. Building a fourth would increase this to 30%. Note that the cost increase comes in to effect as of construction, not after - Death Star #4 would cost +30%, not +20%.
Tactical superweapons are the most diverse and versatile of the lot. They can range from the usual Gundam or experimental Valkyrie fare to supersoldiers (Master Chief or Raptor Team in nanosuits) or even superspies (James Bond or Jason Bourne). The specific abilities they have should reflect what they are - supersoldiers should have Infiltration, etc. Overall Tactical superweapons are not especially powerful but they have strong character shields and should be considered major plot elements.
Strategic superweapons are more powerful and more critical - high mobility battleships with (or without) onboard mecha complement, Bolos, ballistic missile submarines, overpowered mobile armors, etc. At the most archetypical, they are the 'cool hero ship'. While it is entirely acceptable for a strategic superweapon to include a set of high-end aerospace craft or the like as part of its concept, a large force of superior aircraft or tanks with no obvious 'core' goes against the fundamental concept of superweapons and is not acceptable. Strategic superweapons still have a certain degree of character shielding but as powerful military assets they are not as free to shrug off minor irritations - they have firepower and defenses for that. 'Planetbound' is an acceptable deficiency for Strategic superweapons
The largest and most powerful of superweapons, and the one that best deserves the title SUPERweapon, National superweapons can range from mile-long transforming city-ships armed with fleet-busting beam cannons to (semi-)mobile fortresses to vast and ridiculously powerful defensive complexes. National superweapons have no character shields, they are instead obscenely powerful.