The Expanse

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Premise

Have you ever woken up, maybe when away from home, and wondered, very briefly where you are? Now imagine if that feeling continued, you really had no idea where you’d woken up.

Now imagine you were a being who before this point had never been unconscious.

This is the situation your characters find themselves in, they have just woken up in what appear to be resurrection pods aboard some kind of abandoned starship with no memory of what has happened to them. What’s going on? Play and find out

Setting

The Expanse is an area of over twenty thousand systems somewhere in the orion arm some two thousand years in the future. All its inhabitants are female, and its technology is amazingly high. Faster than light vehicles are common, not just starship’s but also planes, hover craft and helicopters are capable of teleporting from one world to another, or one part of a world to another. Fabrication units have done away with scarcity, and most radically of all, transhumanism has done away with old age and death. Expanse people are biologically immortal, and even if they do die are simply resurrected into a new body.

Transhumanism is also everywhere, and has become an accepted part of every day life, robots, anthromorphs and the like walk the streets along side classic model humans, who are classic only in the way they look.

The Expanse was settled long ago by female separatist colonists, all people in the Expanse are female, and none of them have even seen a human male in the past two thousand years. Though expeditions have been sent out, earth remains out of contact, perhaps destroyed or simply lost. It doesn’t matter, to most people in the expanse such things are about as important as the struggle between Christians and pagans in dark-age Europe would be to people at the beginning of the 21st century.

The Expanse is not one nation but hundreds, united by trade, politics and by the (usually) benevolent touch of the White Flame organisation, the force behind the initial colonisation.

Currently, the politics of the Expanse are in turmoil, as its expanding edges have bought it into conflict with one of its own deep range colonies, which apparently founded a star nation of its own. This nation, which calls its self the Dark Rose Order apparently settled on a planet which was as a whole a single massive alien temple, built to worship some long forgotten deity. The colonists took to worshiping this deity also, imposing a radical eco-authoritarian regime to maintain the planet. They subsequently moved these ethics to apply to the whole universe, creating a code radically at odds with the rest of the Expanse and recruiting several dissatisfied nations of the Expanse proper to their cause.

Currently the Expanse is in a state of cold war, and it would only take a spark to set it off.

Alien Species
Politics and Polities
Technology
Technology_v2
The Athena: Party ship
Characters of the Expanse
Athena Armory
Active Quests
The Quiet
Enclaves of Civilization around the Quiet ZoC
Ys and its people
The Expanse: Nemesis

Your Character

Your character is female D:< You have 75 points to design your character. Any excess points can be saved for increase later.

Level 1 - 1 CP - Hobbyist
Level 2 - 3 CP - Amateur
Level 3 - 6 CP - Professional
Level 4 - 10 CP - Skilled Professional
Level 5 - 15 CP - Experienced Professional
Level 6 - 21 CP - Expert
Level 7 - 28 CP - Master
Level 8 - 36 CP - Ancient Master
Level 9 - 45 CP - Superlative
Level 10 - 55 CP - Unmatched

In short, to improve a stat costs (current level + 1)

Stats

Physical

How good you are at fighting, lifting and sneaking

Smarts

How much raw intelligence you have

Education

How well educated you are, including knowledge of academics and technology

Integrity

Your mental endurance, ability to resist torture and your ability to mentally survive resurrection

Perception

Your ability to notice things and track people

Charisma

Your likeability and skill with people, this ability is far more mental than physical, as everyone in the Expanse is beautiful.

Specialties

You may also buy Specialties, which are substats giving you additional strengths in one field. Each specialty is bought as per regular stats cost and adds during the appropriate situation. In especially appropriate situations, Specialties may add even more points to the stat.

Example for Physical: Sniper (gunmanship), Martial artist (unarmed combat), Big Guy (brawling, clobbering, not-dying), etc.

Expanse Races

Classic Humans

Classic model humans are, despite the name, not what they once were. The term classic human now refers to people with generally old style body plans and skin colour. Like all the Expanse’s inhabitants they are heavily augmented, most with both genetic and cybernetic upgrades to the original human body.

Most classic human families tend to be a little more conservative about upgrade than other clades, however, this conservatism allows classic model humans to gain a wide variety of upgrades rather than a specialist selection. As such they have +1 bonus to each stat.

Classic model humans are still the most common type of person in the Expanse, making up about 55% of the total population.

Gynoids

The gap between humans and machines has narrowed over since its high point around a millennia ago. Now, biological citizens of the Expanse can compete with their mechanical sisters on a near equal level. Gynoids are mostly created to resemble one of the other clades of the Expanse, but some have distinctive features of their own, such as antenna or metallic skin.

Metal is still stronger than most flesh, and machine brains are easier to make smart and quick on the up take, giving Gynoids a +2 bonus to physical, smarts and perception.

Sculpts

Once known as bioborgs or full conversion cyborgs, Sculpts are members of other clades who’ve radically changed their initial body pattern and abilities using cybernetics. Sculpts are a relatively new phenomena in the Expanse, at least as a distinct clade, and the idea of Sculpt children still attracts much philosophical debate.

Sculpts use the stats of one of the other clades but with a +2 to physical and a +1 smarts and a -2 to integrity

Sidhe

It was perhaps inevitable, given humanities long love affair with the concept of Elves that once the technology of transhumanism became widespread, someone would decide to remake themselves and their children that way. Sidhe are an old combination, having been through countless upgrades over the years, and one that has reached a high state of maturity.

This age has also means many Sidhe families are forty second century equivalent of old money. Current generation Sidhe enhancements do not make them smarter than the norm for the Expanse but do give them better upkeep of education than most classic model human clades. Sidhe gain +2 each in integrity, education and charisma.

Splices

The first splices were the ever popular catgirls, but since then humans with moth antenna, dog ears or a whole host of other animal features have appeared from the genetic laboratories of the Expanse. As well as the cosmetic reasons, these modifications tend to give their user considerably enhanced perception. A side effect of the splicing process seems to be a much higher degree of personality integrity than the norm, which has found many splices a place in combat units.

Splices receive a +2 bonus to integrity, perception and charisma


Valkyries

Tall, buxom combat models, Valkyries look a bit like classic model humans except somewhat taller, standing two meters tall. Valkyries were originally, and continue to be, a specialist warrior clade, many of them going on to join a military force, white flame mercenaries or the like.

While their mental augmentations are by modern standards limited, Valkyries are by far the physically strongest clade in the Expanse, and are also some of the best loved, making extremely good combat leaders if less brilliant staff officers.

Valkyries gain +3 physical +2 charisma +1 Smarts

Minor Clades

These subraces are quite a bit less common compared to the major races, but can still be found in the vast genetic diversity of the Expanse

Anthromorphs

The distant descendents of uplifted mammals and humans who used far more animal genes than did splices, Anthromorphs are one of the least human looking of the Expanse’s clades. While humanoid in form, many have digitigrade legs, and somewhat animal like faces. All have fur.

While they once had an advantage in survival, advances in biotech has eroded that, however, Anthromorph brain structure tends to take well to perceptual, intelligence and learning enhancements, they gain +2 smarts +2 perception +2 Education


Baseline Uplifts

Contact with the NNU has brought the Expanse into the position of being vastly superior to other sentient humans. A number of joint projects have produced reliable programs for uplifting NNU humans to level closer to Expanse standard. Because of the centuries of specialization in female genetic modifications, only female uplifts have been fully successful, though the males of the NNU can enjoy a much longer lifespan and other improvements. Uplifts still lag behind Expanse standard, but are drawn from the best the NNU has to offer and benefit from the latest in training and mods. All Uplifts have two -1 to their stats, which are allocated by the player, but receive +2 to all skills, and receive Backing free of charge.

Malachim

The fascination of many ancient religious movements with winged celestial beings, along with the persistent desire to fly like a bird, led to the creations of the Malachim. Malachim have agile, yet powerful wings on their backs, with the gracefully muscular physique of a gymnast. They can fly in moderate to low gravity, being able to glide even in higher gravity. Their somewhat avian characteristics extend to their senses and lightning reactions. Malachim gain +2 Physical, +2 Perception, +2 Smarts


Neotenics

While most of the Expanse has eternally youth, some take this further. When being cloned into a new body, some women decide to experience childhood a second time. Neotenics, also known as Neverlanders, never enter puberty or age past a certain threshold, usually the late primary school age. These girls often find employment working with actual children as teachers, caretakers, and even bodyguards. As they have all the mental faculties of an adult, save for the lack of sex drive, they are seen doing just about anything. Commonly, the process makes their minds more adaptable and resilient. They start with a normal clade, but apply +1 Integrity, +2 Education, -2 Physical.

Professions

Operative

Police officers, secret agents and the like, Operatives are not usually front line fighters (though some are) but prefer to work from the shadows, sneaking around and beating security systems then destroying their enemies by surprise at the last moment. Operatives get +1 perception and can access the secondary skills of Conditioning, Intrusion and Contacts.

Diplomat

Professional negotiators, lawyers, ambassadors and the like, diplomats of the expanse bring to bear over a thousand years of psychological and decision making research to the negotiating table with them. Most of them have mastered the strange arts of Empathy, and many have useful contacts and conditioning, they also gain +1 Charisma.

Field Technologist

Scientists and technicians who work with technology outside the lab, field technologists are often employed for various more complicated mechanical tasks by military and paramilitary organisations. Many are vehicle crews, especially on particularly complex vehicles such as space craft.

Field technologists gain +1 smarts and can access the secondary skills piloting, technology and conditioning

I-tech

Another brand of technology users, I-techs tend to be sneakier than Field techs, and are often employed by commandos or infantry teams rather than in vehicles, bought in to crack open captured enemy systems and physically accessed enemy networks. They have access to the secondary skills Intrusion, technology, and conditioning and gain a +1 education.

Trooper

Line combat troops, SWAT officers, mercenaries and the like, Troopers are almost always heavily augmented physically, usually far more so then officers and staffers who command them from behind the line. Troopers come from a variety of background and have access to the intrusion and conditioning (and later command) secondary skills, as well as a +2 on their physical stat.

Staffer

Someone who works behind the military lines, Staffers tend to be less physically active than there line trooper sisters, but never the less are extensively trained in military arts and science which it might take many adventurers for a Trooper to acquire. They have basic military training and so access to Intrusion, and conditioning skill, as well as command and gain +1 to their physical stat.

Path Finder

Scouts, private detectives and spies of a more outdoors nature Path Finders maybe at home in either the wilds or the big city depending on inclination. They are often the point women on military teams, and tend to augment their abilities with a ton of good sensor equipment. Path Finders have access to the Intrusion, Empathy and Conditioning skills and get a +1 bonus to perception.

Sneak Thief

Even in an environment of post scarcity there are still things that can be stolen, for instance, data, objects of great cultural value, art and other treasures. There are also security specialists with the same skills as a thief sent to catch them.

Sneak Thieves gain access to the intrusion, technology and contacts secondary skills and a +1 to their smarts

Pilot

Operating everything from hover tanks to gunships to starships, pilots are pretty vital for life in the modern expanse, even with how good automatic systems have gone. A properly practiced pilot can give a considerable edge to any craft she flies. Pilots also tend to be very experience with brain uploading due to the necessity of it in some combat vehicles.

Pilots gain the Pilot, Technology and Conditioning secondary skills and a +1 bonus to their integrity.

Secondary Stats

Secondary Statistics are linked to professions and can only be bought if you are of a particular profession. They provide more useful and specialist abilities than primary statistics

Conditioning

Conditioning is the process of psychological reprogramming that many professionals in the Expanse go through to enhance their performance. The most notable type of conditioning is combat conditioning, which causes a tightly controlled fear reaction when entering a combat zone (making the conditioned more alert) then makes the world extremely clear and removes fear when the enemy is sighted.

Other conditionings exist, such as diplomatic conditioning that allows small social nuances to be picked up, and technologist conditioning that allows concentrating under any circumstances.

When conditioning the situation being conditioned for needs to be specified (IE combat, diplomatic etc.) as each gives different bonuses.

Contacts

Contacts are useful people you know, who will be willing to help you out in a pinch. They are not just ordinary NPCs but important people who you design to help you. Each dot of contact represents one highly influential person who’s willing to help you out.

Note, you do not have to define all your contacts at the start, but can create them based on a situation, within reason.

Intrusion

Intrusion is the knack of beating high tech surveillance systems that are a common part of most civilised worlds, as well as high tech battlefield sensors. It’s a vital skill for military personnel and stealth minded civilians.

Piloting

Gunships! Deltas! Space Ships! Piloting will let you fly them all, and with far more fineness than can be done with physical or smarts

Empathy

The skill of reading another’s emotions, Empathy is a much practiced art in the Expanse; at high levels it can become almost telepathic.

Technology

The ability to make more than normal use of technology, including advanced programming, AI design, advanced programming and the like

Command

The skill of leading people and robots into battle, and picking the right tactics and strategies to win.

Traits

Traits are advantages and disadvantages your character has not covered by statistics

Advantage

Extra Senses
3 points
You have extra senses beyond the normal sight, hearing, vision, taste, touch, smell and infra-red. This can include vibration (faz) sense, magnetic sense or an inbuilt radar or lidar array. You must specify what extra sense you possess.

Obscure knowledge
1 point
You have knowledge of some obscure area of skills such as 20th century earth, precursor computer systems, white flame eating habits or something else most people wouldn’t know how ever well educated they are.

Dare Devil
5 points
You thrive in risky situations, and somehow usually manage to pull through or at least fail in a way that looks spectacular and won’t kill you.

Backing
5 points
You’re a member of a powerful organisation such as the Yakuza, the White Flame, or a government. This advantage assumes you’re a relatively detached agent but they might help you, or ask you to do things for them.

Friends and Favours
3 points per level
While not as powerful as contacts, you have several friends and favours outstanding so you won’t be completely without NPC allies. This background trait is essentially a weaker version of Contacts available to anyone.

Disadvantage

Amnesia
Bonus 3
Your memories of your past life are limited or non-existant, even more so than not knowing why you woke up in your pod at the start of the game. Prepare to be surprised.

Obsessed
Bonus 3
You’re obsessed with something, perhaps you want to find out who destroyed your home colony, perhaps your desperate to find the fate of your little sister, or gain the hand of a princess in marriage. Either way, you’ll drop everything for your obsession if you need too.

Trouble Magnet
Bonus 6
Trouble seems to follow you, I hope you have understanding friends.

Code of Honour
Bonus 5
You abide by a code of honor consisting either of one huge schtick (never kill anyone –even if they’ll come back) or a general mode of behaviour, such as being polite at all times, not taking advantage of people when they're down and so on.

Dark Past
Bonus 5
There’s something in your past that you’d rather there wasn’t, maybe something as simple as a bad love affair or as complicated as the crime of the century. Either way, it’ll come back to bite

Rules 2.0

Expanse 2.0 combat rules