What is Blueshift About?

What is Blueshift About?

Postby Maugh » Tue Jan 07, 2014 11:10 pm

Blueshift is a sci-fi adventure game, about exploration, fast-paced combat, and treasure hunting. It is about a small ship's crew, (a la firefly, star wars, or classic trek (discounting extras)), who work together to survive and to explore. Groups will pull together based on their own strengths, filling niches among the crew, (pilot, gunner, commander, engineer, etc,) from a variety of alien species, including our own.

The setting is a (relatively) small nebula where a handful of species have been gathered by a god-alien race. Each race, (including humans,) ranges in the tens of thousands, rather than the billions, and each has brought their own brands of tech and their own idea of civilization. No one knows for certain why they were put here, but they're each trying to make the best of it, in their own way.

Serious FTL interstellar travel isn't really available, (except to the god-aliens, who aren't really interested in conversation,) so the 30ish species that are here are just a little stranded. There are hundreds of small moons, asteroids, and other similar locations to explore, most of which have been outfitted, (or can be outfitted) with gravity devices which attract breathable atmospheres and gravity suitable to the various species. Similarly, most ships are equipped with grav-tech, which in a similar way traps atmosphere and keeps life supportable even on the exterior of a ship. (Basically, we want to do ship-to-ship and even deck-to-deck combat, with boardings and such. It also helps to make people in space not -quite- so fragile.)

Basically, it's mimicking a very "island pirate," sort of feel, but with a sci-fi skin. Human tech is not much more advanced than our own, with electronics, computers, internal combustion, and firearms, (nuclear tech? >=] ) but we're not the only transplants, and our tech isn't the only tech. Others have brought advanced Electro-magnetics, lasers, crystalline technology, and even biotech, which all kind of mixes together in a hodge-podge of styles. Short-range space travel is very common, and trade and piracy are only secondary to exploration. This also doesn't appear to be the first time that the god-aliens have done this, because there are ruins scattered about, with treasures of advanced technologies, spectacular ores, gems, or other fancy gear.

That's the idea, anyway.
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Re: What is Blueshift About

Postby Maugh » Wed Jan 08, 2014 4:07 pm

More on the world, since I've got a few minutes.

FTL and Treasure
Advanced tech is tantamount to treasure. Some of it comes from the species that have been transplanted in this time period, (roughly 180 years,) and some of it is much older, and consequently stronger. It is generally assumed that the previous iteration of species was eradicated, leaving the ruins that are present now, although the exact cause of this, whether internal strife, re-location, or outright annihilation by the god-alien race, is uncertain. There are rumors that previous species had access to FTL space travel, which is essentially the Holy Grail of space-faring treasure-hunters. Evidence of this tech, or the secrets of how it might be viable, are the stuff that drive scientists mad and make adventurers salivate. The value of such tech would be incalculable, and the fact that the god-aliens have done it proves that it is out there.

In the meanwhile, there is plenty of other fantastic tech and treasure just waiting to be found.

Why Blueshift?
The game is called blueshift due to an anomaly in the way that sub-FTL space travel works. When an object is moving toward you at very high velocity, the compression of light bends that light toward the blue color of the spectrum, which give advancing ships a blue tone. (conversely, ships moving away tend to look red, but redshift didn't sound as good, and honestly, I like blue better anyway.)

The God-Aliens
They exist. Some people claim to have met them. Most of those people are probably full of poop. They don't talk to people, they don't explain their actions, but stories from past generations, (and maybe a few of the really old, long-lived aliens) say that they scooped up entire cities and colonies of other races, and brought them here. Most people simply went to bed at home and woken up in the Nebula. Some claim to have seen the actual aliens, or remember details of what their ships looked like. Again, most of those people were probably full of poop. (people are like that.)

There are religions that revere these beings as omnipotents, the manifestation of a real and living god figure. Others fear them, having seen the devastation caused when previous civilizations ended, and assuming that they were the culprits. Some people fantasize about what great tech or magic or whatever they might have had to bring them here. Most people just get on with their lives, preferring to deal with more immediate concerns, like "what am I going to eat tomorrow." and "How can I avoid getting blasted by pirates?"

At any rate, the only common agreement is that these beings are responsible for bringing us to the Nebula, and are also most likely responsible for the basics of grav-tech and solar-tech that makes the nebula a viable habitat without a solar system.

This stuff requires a specific, super-dense mineral that human (and humanoid) science has yet to fully understand. It doesn't require external power, but there is a certain circuitry to it to manipulate the shapes of the gravity fields, something akin to electronics. It's far too heavy to be carried around by a person, but can be fitted to ships or asteroids to create a gravity-effective environment. As a product of this gravity, ships and settlements can attract and keep breathable, warm atmosphere without vacuum containment. You -can- chill on the outside of a ship without a space-suit, and if you get boarded by pirates, people -can- hear you scream. Best we can tell, Grav Tech is a product left behind by the God-Aliens.

In a similar manner, gravity compression technology has been utilized to create a number of relatively small stars, that heat the Nebula and provide light. The actual gravity well of these objects is limited in space, not enough to create orbital systems, but internally enough to sustain active fusion. Although it is commonly assumed that the God-aliens made these handy mini-stars and left them here, Contained, miniaturized fusion on that scale has not been replicated by the import species. Unlike Grav-Tech, which we can replicate with enough of the right minerals, Solartech is limited to the number of pre-existing mini-stars in the Nebula. Don't fly too close. You will burn, Icarus.
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Re: What is Blueshift About?

Postby TheMatt » Mon Feb 17, 2014 2:38 am

Was reading up on the St. Valentines day Massacre, and it occurred to me one of the essential characteristics of noir: A big war. In a well-run, well-regulated society, you don't have a big criminal underclass. It's when national governments are distracted that they let their 'monopoly on violence' slip. It can be in the run up to the war, during the war, or after the war.

Before the war...
Rebels: All sorts of law-breaking is possible, as neither side is interested in full legal cooperation, and may shelter rebels and raiders. Both the American Civil war and the age of pirates fits this setting.

During the war.....
Bandit Kings: During the war, it is an age of bandit kings, nominally allied to one side or the other. Militarily too strong to be swept aside, but of too little strategic significance to bother with.

Strange alliances: Otherwise reprehensible kings, tyrants, and dictators are supported and aided. The 'Cold War' is a fine example of this.

Strange Enemies: Men who could otherwise be friends and comrades are on opposite sides during the conflict.

Organized crime: The exigencies of war requires dealing with sketchy people. Smugglers at the least, but all sorts of organized criminals can prove helpful.

After the war .....
War Surplus: There is lots of surplus war material, all of it suddenly less valuable (and cheap). 'Serenity' is such material.

The Dead: After the conflict, the defeated are no longer enemies, but not quite equals either. After the war, the losers are inferior. They aren't quite criminals, but not quite acceptable either.

Dark Past: Terrible things happen during wars. Sometimes, these are terrible things done by good people, in dire necessity. And sometimes, war brings out the terrible in terrible people. Both have good cause to keep a low profile.

Unique Skillset: After any war, there are a lot of surviving veterans, many of whom are experienced with risk, violence, and hardship. And desperate, knowing no other trade. They are frequently recruited as mercenaries or as thugs.

My Own Private War: Many veterans are prone to being outlaws. Being on the losing side doesn't help. Already experienced with risk, violence and hardship, thence driven to desperation, and alienated from civil society. And still hostile towards the victor in the war. (MAL MAL MAL MAL).

Wretched hive of scum and villany: These naturally emerge, peopled by some combination of the above: Pirates who don't want to quit, disposed bandit kings, war surplus, veterans of all types (dead, thugs, mercenaries), and a few with a dark past or three. (Mos Eisley).
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