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April 3, 2010 / jadettman

Diaspora: Cluster Generation

Last night we had our first session of Diaspora during which we did cluster generation and started on characters.

Diaspora is a SF iteration of FATE with the implied setting that thousands of years ago humanity left Earth for the stars, settling on countless worlds throughout the universe. FTL travel is limited, AI and anti-gravity technologies never appeared, and humans have not changed beyond recognition. Also, humanity has taken a few steps back in some places. Accidents happen and a high-level of technological culture can’t always be maintained.

Part of setting up a game of Diaspora is building a setting for your group. Each player (including the GM) rolls a few random stats and then uses those numbers to brainstorm a stellar system which will be connected to the systems of the other players. That collection of connected systems is the cluster.

Here’s what we came up with last night:

  • Baln: [-1T, 0E, -2R] this system has one inhabited, hippie planet with no indigenous animal life but lots of plant life. Some of those plants move around under their own power and some of them, if you aren’t careful, eat people. The people of Baln have leveraged the biodiversity of their world into a pharmaceuticals export business. Did I mention that they also live in cities built among the branches of giant mobile trees?
  • New Hawaii: [0T, +1E, +2R] one inhabited planet with lots of oceans, two continents, and lots of islands. The locals revere their ancestors and try to maintain their cultural heritage. New Hawaii is the richest system in the cluster and the primary exporter, sending raw materials to all the other systems. The inhabited world is a beautiful garden world where wealthy tourists are welcomed.
  • Ianus: [-1T, 0E, -1R] one inhabited world, torn by war. In the past, the people of Ianus were united under one Imperialist government, possibly with British roots. Unfortunately, many of the technologically savvy among the commoners weren’t happy with the status quo and there was rebellion. The New Technocrats weaponized a terraforming device and, perhaps inadvertently, set it off. The surface of Ianus is a beautiful, unspoiled garden where few people live. Most of the inhabitants live in the ancient underground city-bunkers. Much of Ianus’s population were killed when the bomb was dropped and now those who remain are engaged in a cold war between the Imperialists and the New Technocrats.
  • Jian Wu: [+2T, 0E, -1R] the people of Jian Wu collect trash. While they are the most technological society in the cluster, they do not use their tech-superiority militarily. They control much of the cluster by controlling the slipstream technology that allows for travel between systems. You can lease a Slip-Ship but it costs a pretty penny. At the same time, Jian Wu is paid by the other systems to take their trash and to transport their goods. Jian Wu also invests heavily in archaeology, mining the past in the hope of maintaining their tech-superiority.
  • New Newfoundland: [0T, -1E, -2R] founded by Canadians, the planet of Newfoundland is a rocky world unsuited for farming. The New Newfies import nearly all of their vegetable matter from Baln. They are a hearty, hard drinking people who enjoy sports and do a brisk business among the tourist set that doesn’t want to pay the astronomical prices to vacation on New Hawaii.
  • Seraph: [+1T, +1E, -1R] the Seraph system has one inhabited planet. The populace live in relative comfort while their government imports criminals from other systems to work their mining interests on the barren outer worlds of the system. Seraph is the penal system of the cluster, taking those that the other systems don’t want and putting them to work.
  • Staavor: [-3T, +2E, -1R] the Staavor system is home to several inhabited worlds. In the distant past, the system was much more prosperous but an unexpected incident with their binary star rendered their original colonies on the rich inner worlds uninhabitable and destroyed much of the their technological base. Now the inhabitants of the Staavor worlds live subsistence lifestyles on less than ideal worlds. They are the best warriors in the cluster, though, so some of them leave their home planets to see the universe.

[When I get time, I’ll post our cluster configuration.]

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