Princesses of the Cosmos

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Character Design

Stats

  • Body
  • Intellect
  • Charisma
  • Leadership

Skills

Rulership
Courtly Manners
Warfare
Academics
Skullduggery
Elan


Family

  • Born to the Purple: All Rulership skills start at 1 and get +1 to all Rulership skill checks.
  • Court Family: All Courtly Manners skills start at 1 and get +1 to all Courtly Manners skill checks.
  • Service Family: All Warfare or Academics skills start at 1 and get +1 to all skill checks of the selected skill group.
  • Social Climbers: All Skullduggery skills start at 1 and get +1 to all Skullduggery skill checks.
  • Commoner: All Elan skills start at 1 and get +1 to all Elan skill checks.

Formative

  • Heir Apparent: Leadership starts at 3 and get +1 to all Leadership skill checks.
  • Military Brat: Body starts at 3 and get +1 to all Body skill checks.
  • Finishing School: Intellect starts at 3 and get +1 to all Intellect skill checks.
  • Wild Child: Charisma starts at 3 and get +1 to all Charisma skill checks.

Fortune


Fundamental Concepts

  • This is a clean-slate reboot of Space Princesses, returning to the very dawn of that game.
  • It is focussed more on character adventures, intrigues with imperial cliques and managing the character's demesne.
  • The party will also be more coherent as opposed to instant atomization; every PC will likely have some tie to the 'home' system/systems likely by Demesne.
  • Ongoing discussion: D20 vs 2D10 vs D10

Character Design

  • Characters will be generated with two pools of points
  • XP is used for character stats and skills (or just ability-only system?)
  • Assets is used for 'mega-aspects' such as a warship, family demesnes or standing, etc
Assets can be converted to XP/used to buy character-level abilities (Rifter gene-hax!)
  • Characters will have solid starting values and in-game growth will be slow.
  • Variable ability cost depending on usefulness
Suggested abilities
  • 'Eye for Talent': Boosts ship stats if you get an opportunity to roll out and find good crew

Demesne

One of the key elements of the campaign is Demesne. These provide important resources and need to be managed - essentially nation gameplay (very) lite.

  • Resources:
  • Wealth: This is mostly money, but also represents attention taken by your factors, etc. It is the main currency of the Demesne level. Wealth is used for buying stuff ranging from ships to personal equipment.
  • Industry: This is used for building things (warships mostly!). Demesnes may or may not generate industry, in which case you'll need to pay for the industry too.
  • Characters are assumed to have access to effectively unlimited 'common' gear because nobles are rich enough to buy as many M16s as they want, but Wealth is needed for stuff that provides actual bonuses; a Mk XXIV pattern blast-fusil made by Sir Kendrick the Robin-Faced, Master Armsmith of the VI Regency is no easy object to find.
  • All actual (bonus-giving) gear should come with names and maybe a history.
  • Budget cycle is undefined as of yet
  • Characters may take their Demesne' wealth as taxes or may instead take it as loans which have interest but provide much more wealth.
  • Welp you're in debt. Keep adventuring!
  • Other noble characters might have estates in that situation, so you can squeeze them

Reputation

Reputation is a vitally important 'soft' stat; it is how well you are liked (or DISliked) by various factions and cliques in the Empire or outside. I'm using the term 'Clique' for all of these.

  • Each Rep is tracked individually
  • Rep can be used in two ways; to provide passive bonuses as levels increase or 'burnt' to provide immediate effects.
  • Track both current and absolute (amount added over all time) Reputation. Having very high absolute Rep can still provide some passive bonuses but requires much more than current Rep.
  • Rep effects could be getting some money (borrowing against your name to keep your estate working), having an extra warship present, getting an audience, etc.
  • Friendly and opposed cliques can also gain or lose prestige as a relative percent. Doing stuff for the Forward Clique might also give you 20% Rep in Outwander Clique but will cost you -100% Rep in the Conservative Clique.
  • Derived prestige only comes in after a certain threshold; below that you're still a nobody.
  • Baseline family prestige? TBD
  • That blonde brat!

Ship Combat

Ship combat is intended that PCs will have a single ship or at most a small squadron of light ships.

  • Specific rolling TBD
  • Probably lightly detailed, with several weapon systems per ship.
  • Weapons are simple but will have individual stats - a bit more detailed than Space Princesses the First.
  • Armor acts as a damage reducer.
  • Shields are TBD (similar to armor? bubble HP?)
  • Upon hitting a ship, roll on the location.
  • Different locations have different armor values
  • Void locations represent smaller ships that are simply not there. Guess you didn't hit that DD after all.
  • Several standard hit tables will be generated. Most ships will fall into a small number of templates.
Once Structure HP is exhausted the ship is into Vital HP. Hits to Vital HP automatically cause critical hits. A ship that loses all Vital HP is completely destroyed.
  • Small ships such as Dragoons, fighters and mecha will operate in groups; one token representing multiple ships.


Setting

Keels

Keels are the foundation of interstellar travel, what allows ships to traverse the star lanes in an efficient, timely manner. In addition to this wondrous if, by by contemporary standards mundane, ability, they also provide ample excess power and sublight propulsion. Each keel emits a unique resonance frequency; this is the keel's 'signature' and all navies maintain large databases tracking keel signatures of both civilian and military ships. While any common standard keel is often not terribly difficult to confuse with another, at any given time there may be only be a dozen Dragon or Phoenixkeels in service, each with their own entirely unique signature.

One quirk of keels is that they have very consistent speeds; singlecore (ie standard keels) keels all operate in more or less the same speed band. Keels with more than one core are more variable, but depending on if they are set up in parellel or in series they will either have low speed and extremely high motive tonnage or significantly improved speed but relatively minimal increased motive tonnage respectively. Keels featuring even greater number of cores are also possible but while immensely powerful parallel multicore drags do exist to transport huge quantities of cargo (generally semirefined asteroid ore), most multicore keels are used for flagships and similar large, powerful warships.

All keels are built - forged - in keelforges and are then supplied to shipyards for installation in ships. Keels (which in fact have no real relation to the keel of a wet-navy ship) may also be dismounted and it is quite common for any given keel to have an entire history of ships it was fitted to. Actually setting up a keelforge is not particularly difficult and within the means of even a relatively modest world, but because forging superior keels is often as much of an art as it is a science a relatively few long-established and long-reknowned keelforges provide much of the higher-capability keels for national fleets while smaller forges generally provide instead for the massive civilian fleets of the great stats. A third group of keelforges exists in the Phoenix Empire, a number of small artisan forges that provide superior keels to the nobility. While arguably even more skilled than the great fleet forges their output is vastly less - with prices to match.

Some ships such as Dragoons are not fitted with keels and are thus incapable of FTL flight; as a consequence they must be towed between the stars on motherships. Keels are also unnecessary for wormhole transits and many high-capacity and high-efficiency merchant ships are built without keels and travel only between wormhole-connected systems. Finally, the Rifters have managed to develop (or perhaps redevelop) an FTL propulsion method that does not require a keel, but given that it seems to be derived from the fruits of the Abominable Intelligences the requisite technologies to ape it are generally illegal if not outright proscribed.

Singlecore Keels

Singlecore keels are the most common type, mass-produced for freighters and for the massed formations of warships used by all the known states.
  • Impkeel
Heavy loss of tonnage
  • Goblinkeel
Heavy loss of power
  • Gnomekeel
Loss of speed and power
  • (Standard) Keel
Bog standard keel. Used for light freighters and warships of the wall.
  • Yetikeel
  • Ogrekeel
  • Goliathkeel
  • Jotunkeel


Dualcore Keels

Light Twins
  • Mulekeel
Loss of power and speed, increase in tonnage. Typical light liner keel.
  • Jennetkeel
Standard dualcore keel
  • Palfreykeel
Increase in power and speed
  • Pegasuskeel
Increase in power, major increase in speed
Charger Twins
  • Rounceykeel
Standard charger dualcore keel
  • Courserkeel
Increase in power and tonnage
  • Destrierkeel
Major increase in power and tonnage
Heavy Twins
  • Oxkeel
Slow and low power but extremely large tonnage. Standard heavy freighter keel.
  • Bearkeel
Slow, high tonnage, improved power.

Multicore Keels

  • Griffinkeel
  • Mantikeel (Manti-core lol)
  • Dragonkeel
  • Phoenikeel


Because every keel is unique, each will have one (or more) rolls on a Keel Quirk table. This may result in (small) benefits or (small) penalties, or simply interesting quirks that have no stat effect.

Forging a keel

Keels have an upfront cost to forge, this cost depending on what family (single core, light/charger/heavy dualcore, multicore) of keel is being made. The actual grade of keel is determined by the forging skill check, with a bonus from forge quality, smith quality, any extra costs (high quality material) and any bonuses from a character. It is very difficult for a keel forging to outright fail but in many cases the desired product is not as powerful as desired. These 'seconds' or 'discards' are downrated and sold, generally at a discount.


Fleet Overview

The nature of keel propulsion and the two speed bands from single and dual core arrangements has led to the broad differentiation between single and dual core-powered ships; in combatant service the former are known as Ships of the Wall and the latter are Ships of the Charge. No matter the specifics of the particular type of keel, each of these can be understood from general traits both in their favor and against. These are the two main types of warcraft, though a number of others exist.

Ships of the Wall

Colloquially known as 'wallers', the first and most important trait of ships of the wall is that they are slow and (relatively) affordable; a great portion of known space's merchant traffic travels on singlecore keels making them easy to acquire en masse. Many system lords will maintain a number of wallers in ordinary with their keels installed on ships on merchant service. Once the call to war is made, these will be installed in the wallers and sent into battle. In this way a lord can discharge his duty while not unduly affecting his ability to maintain a functioning economy in times of peace. While this may suggest that wallers are always crewed by untrained reservists, this is far from universal - while indeed true in some cases, in others (particularly ships fitted with high-end keels) they are equally well trained as crews found on ships of the charge.

Due to their lack of battle speed, wallers are generally armed with standoff weapons; long-focus beams and missile banks dominate. This choice of weapon (extended ranges coming at the cost of significant mass and/or power demands) means that their individual firepower tends to be low but most waller tactics involve relatively large, rigid formations that make up for this with volume.

Wallers do have some other more situational advantages. The first of these is that the drive signature of a singlecore keel is notably less than that of a dualcore keel. As such is it possible to make a relatively low-signature spacecraft, something pirates and magistrates are all too aware of. The other is that singlecore keels tend to handle mendacious space weather with more aplomb than dualcore keels; there are several notorious starzones that are effectively impassible to ships of the charge but ships of the wall can still forge a path. The stereotypical corsair takes advantage of both of these to end up with a ship that is not particularly fast in the straightaways but can make good an escape or ambush in favorable locales.

Ships of the Charge

Ships of the charge - chargers, colloquially - are the stereotypical 'warship'. Dualcore keels are expensive to purchase and operate, greatly limiting their civilian value to little more than liners and couriers. More than 90% of all dualcore keels are used in war - or at least government - ships. While wallers generally all operate the same way, several different sorts of ships of the charge exist. Each will be discussed individually.

The first are those using light keels. These are typically known as frigates or carracks and perform many of the important support tasks for the fleet; lone patrols, picketing and scouting, fast skirmishing, pursuit. Many noble houses maintain at least a small squadron of these ships, both for the above roles and for anti-piracy duties. Depending on the design, some will be armed similarly to wallers while others will have a bevy of brawl weapons such as short-focus beams, plasma casters and shock lances.

Chargerkeels are the eponymous 'fast warship', combining high speed with a great tonnage and power budget than most wallers. As such they are often called Ships of the Battle, or simply Battleships. The price of battleships means they are rarely built for anything other than heavy void combat and as such will typically be both well-defended and well-armed for the brawl. Additionally, their ample tonnage often means they can carry one or more salvos worth of missiles or similar long-distance weapons so as to not totally concede the outer ranges to other ships. Variations do exist though; the Free Star League has long used 'arsenal ships', battleships loaded with a vast number of missiles. More conventional military doctrine considers these tactically unstable; if they work they work well, but if they do not work they are a very valuable ship not pulling its weight - or outright lost.

Multicore keels are the rarest and greatest of the chargers and are generally classed as flagships. Any ship built with such a powerplant is leagues superior to more conventional mass-produced ships and are inevitably fitted with the highest quality machinery and the best crews. Variable-focus beam weapons, antimatter buster cannons and gravity blades are some of the artisan weapons these ships are commonly fitted with. Many are fitted to utterly dominate any brawl they may find themselves in where their advantages in tonnage and power are most significant.

Other Shiptypes

Volleyships are one of the most common 'other' shiptype. Essentially massive spacegoing cannons, volleyships are slow and clumsy due to the bulk of the extremely long ranged weapons fitted to them. While capable of firing at other warships they are instead normally used to bombard enemy star forts into submission.

Maulers are a famous albeit specialized and rare type of warship. Commissioned specifically for the rough and hugely fortified pair of corridors between the Empire and the Jardin Republic, these massive ships are seemingly endless slabs of armor, shields and weapons more like mobile star forts than conventional starcraft. Far too clumsy to use anywhere else they are some of the few ships that could reasonably survive a major battle in the Two Ways.

Over the past half-century or so the use of Rifter combatants as auxiliaries has spread through the Empire; combining some of the benefits of wallers and light drives they are intrinsically capable scouts, something only bolstered by the high quality of Rifter electronics. These come in two main types; Strike Cruisers and Omnicruisers. The former are true warships while the latter are more generalists. By and large, Rifter ships are very capable skirmishers with devastating missiles but quite unsuitable for any brawl past singleship dueling.