Godbound is interesting, so I watched this video and ordered Stars Without Number. Once the book arrived, I went to this wonderful site, hit the Generator Sector button and then blinked a whole lot.
The information you get is a bit much. I concentrated on the systems and the planets in each system. I started reading through what the tags meant on each planet. I started ignoring the faction info that was randomly generated and writing up my own factions.
The planet tags started telling me a story.
The first planet to inspire me was Stavrakis with the tags Tomb World and Badlands World with the temperature, Burning with only an Outpost’s worth of population density. I saw a once beautiful world that was decimated by some ancient weapons. Now the space elevators along the equator that still work are controlled by a corporation. They deposit prisoners (and crazy salvage teams) who go onto the burning planet and bring back ancient tech.
Right in the middle of a cluster of systems is Guevara with the tags, Theocracy and Regional Hegemony. Uh-oh. I outlined those systems in red. Guevara has a 1 tech level. Huh! That is a head scratcher. I’m thinking that the theocratic space navy and marines are kept out on the planet’s moons but the planet itself is kept free of tech, some kind of religious stricture. People who use tech are seen as soiled – some kind of ancient way of guarding against mad AI that once ran rampant across the sector.
I am picturing a military caste that protects a holy planet that is free from technology’s corrupting touch.
“We know our holy leaders on Guevara are free from genetic manipulation and computer mind control that muddles the rest of us. They are blessed, free from these distractions from the pure human experience.” Meanwhile, people on the planet have a short average lifespan and die of preventable diseases.
Orithya is a police state with a psychic academy. Psychic cops. Love it. But it is a police state, so in my mind, there’s no difference between the police and the military. Psychic military legates with strikes teams around them. Of course the Oritheen Legacy is a police state; there is a regional hegemon breathing down their necks.
“Yes, we’re fascists but we HAVE to be. We’ll be a republic once we are safe from the threat from Guevaran theocratic menace.”
Kazimi has sectarian violence, a good place for mercenaries or war profiteers to make creds.
Jurre has ancient ruins and geological upheaval.
Hlif is a planet with Hatred, clearly they are rebels, hopelessly rebelling against the theocratic hegemony on Guevara.
Eriphyle has a Preceptor Archive in its planet tags. That is an ancient archive of knowledge from the first days of the human space exploration. It also has a 19th century tech level. Yes, I have librarians traveling the spaceways with books, old school printing press tomes, printed from ancient computers that the archivists are just figuring out how to access once again. The Ancient Order of the Librarians is born, a minor faction, struggling to survive.
And that’s 6 of 36 planets in 23 systems crammed into a 9×7 hex map.
Firefly/Expanse group of scoundrels:
- You are a group of convicts from all over the sector, dropped in a hot-suit to survive Stavrakis long enough to find enough salvage to get off this hot rock.
- You are a group of AWOL naval officers from the Guevara’s Holy Navy, ready to take to the spaceways for your own profit.
- You are mercenaries in a drop-ship, falling towards Kazimi’s latest bloody battlefield.
Or if you want to be in the bosom of a faction:
- You are a team from the Ancient Order of Librarians, sent with a library of tomes to help Jurre understand the geological upheaval that plagues its world.
- You are a Oritheen Legate’s team, tracking down a criminal across the sector.
The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Photography Collection, The New York Public Library. “Interior Post Office.” The New York Public Library Digital Collections. 1871. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47e0-5ed6-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99
Manuscripts and Archives Division, The New York Public Library. “Full-page miniature of God creating the stars.” The New York Public Library Digital Collections. 1445. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47da-e6a8-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99
Billy Rose Theatre Division, The New York Public Library. “Police-Act II” The New York Public Library Digital Collections. 1914. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/7b9b3c30-0de9-0131-1ff7-58d385a7bbd0
Check out this design and more in the Science Fiction collection…