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Varient Campagin Setting: There and Back Again

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Zoombie Zoombie's picture
Varient Campagin Setting: There and Back Again
This setting is a shout out to Vinge. This is just a rough project idea. Feel free to chime in with advice, comments, support! ### There is one rule about computers: The only way to make a perfect one is to go extinct. Humanity had barely escaped the one planet trap before they found this out. A machine intelligence bloomed with horrific speed on Old Earth, consuming the entire solar system. It was hideously advanced, intelligent, [i]alien[/i]. But humanity had escaped the trap. And after then, it was only a matter of time... Eight million years into our future, and the diaspora continues. Humanity has colonized a hundred thousand stars. But there is a sweep of worlds that no one goes: Machine Intelligences, blooming by accident or by mad design. But they are merely one of the many ways sessile civilizations can fall, even with nanotechnology and other fruits of the Age of Singularity (roughly 2045-2100, when we didn't have a superintelligence, but we were having incredibly transhuman advancements). And so, human civilizations collapse, implode, mutate, change, grow, recolonize, invade, and destroy. The only things that last forever are the Explorers, the Trekkers. These solitary people live aboard massive star-ships called Lighthuggers. This is a misnomer. They tend to barely hit 30% the speed of light. But their design culls from the most advanced humanity has produced. They have advanced nanotechnology, vats for the growth of new bodies, organs, what have you. And at the heart of each Lighthugger is the Quantum Communication Device. A radical innovation that allows faster than light communication between multiple star systems, the QCD connects Explorers to Sessile Civilizations. And thus, the Show is played out again and again. Trillions of people, across hundreds of years of time, tune in again and again to watch Explorers set foot on strange new worlds, to find startling new scientific knowledge, to make contact with the truly alien. In exchange, Explorers get beamed over new technical information, new (and usually minute) breakthroughs in science and engineering. They also tend to have a few new-crew and outgoing retirees. Some people just want to retire and settle down with a civilization that suits their temperament. And people always want to see the stars, even if that means leaving behind everything... Will you go There and Back again? ### And so, you have the basic idea of the game. The players take the roll of transhumans who set foot on alien worlds, with every instant of their efforts being beamed back to countless people. They can come from every walk of life, from any kind of civilization at any time, as there is plenty of in/out travel through the QCD. Any kind of alien world, and any kind of threat opens up before you. And I'm thinking of expanding it. Just as Firewall is the main focus for baseline Eclipse Phase, there are loads of things one can do in this setting. Trans-solar system spies and operators, who go from world to world in QCD to steal information, change ideologies, or disrupt inter-solar trading (Which is mostly banked on complex biologicals, but I'm not sure how feasible that is). And that's just one idea! So, I'm going to sleep (as it is really late) and tomorrow, I'm going to think of the backgrounds/factions you could pick, and some of the exploration tech! Comments appreciated!
Arenamontanus Arenamontanus's picture
Re: Varient Campagin Setting: There and Back Again
I like it! And of course, the ETI could well be Vingean Powers. One problem might be that the lighthuggers are unlikely to find human-colonized worlds if they are moving outwards, mainly exoplanets. Since weird human-descended societies are a good source of stories this is a (minor) problem. Still, we could postulate an occasional faster colonization mechanisms using rapid colony ships, essentially a starwisp housing enough nanotech and memory storage to build a base and then activate stored infomorphs (who in turn starts building a civilization). If they travel 50% of c and in a straight line (lighthuggers will stop at many destinations) then they could have had centuries to develop into weird cultures. If the lighthuggers are in contact with the civilizations back home they might get unwelcome infections and threats through the QE too. "Oh dear, looks like New Rwanda went and transcended. The firewall blew up the infochannel in time, but shame on such a nice system." Your idea all reminds me of some snippets Peter Watts was writing on his blog. Ah, here are a few: http://www.rifters.com/crawl/?p=143 http://www.rifters.com/crawl/?p=147 http://www.rifters.com/crawl/?p=152 http://www.rifters.com/crawl/?p=157 http://www.rifters.com/crawl/?p=165