Outline for creating a gaming universe

As I talked about in my Plan for 2013 post, I want to create one or more “universes” to game in. The first one to tackle is a near future setting which may or may not develop into a Traveller style high tech. Empire of Man.

General ideas

What I want to create is a setting where

  1. Human compatible planets are very frequent.
  2. A single Earth overlord government that is corrupt and starting to destroy itself from within.
  3. Several hundred years of colonisation to allow for some significant planetary populations but a relatively low technology level outside of space travel.
  4. A U.K. centric campaign without it being the dominant political entity.

This is going to be a setting for gaming in, not a simulation so I’ll be playing as fast and loose with reality as a tabloid journalist.

1. Human Compatible Planets

In real life, finding a planet that humans could easily colonise would be unlikely. First you need a compatible atmosphere, then there is the local flora and fauna and all those nasty microbes ready to dissolve a human from the inside out! All of that will be deliberately ignored.

Suspension of belief time no. 1 – Aliens. Along the same lines as The Ancients in Traveller, a race of aliens have terraformed a vast swathe of the galaxy for their own reasons. One of these planets was Earth which was slowly manipulated to suit their own environmental needs. Along the way humans were created. We weren’t the only ones created by “The Primaries” but in the time-frame of this setting they are unknown about.

The Primaries are known to the top levels of human government and are actively in contact with them but this information is suppressed. I’d like to throw UFO’s/Grey aliens into the mix, they will be a race who are subservient to The Primaries and possibly genetically created by them.

The Greys are the ones who do all the terraforming work which I will use to explain the UFO sightings that have apparently happened throughout human history.

2. Evil Overlord Government

What I am aiming for here is something as brutal and factional as the Co-Dominium created by Jerry Pournelle for his Falkenberg series of novels. This is where my own personal opinions come into it. I have a strong dislike of  massive, faceless corporate machines who only exist to make a profit.

Earth is governed not by nations or a unified political entity but by a council of the most powerful corporations with constant political in-fighting and power games. The most powerful superpowers on earth have been broken up and the bigger political powers have had their claws clipped. The official title is The United Terran Federation but it is essentialy a Corporate oligarchy. [1]

As the Federation’s power diminishes, it starts to abandon the outer colonies to try and hold on to power in the more powerful inner colonies. Corruption and burocracy have become rife. The political and sometimes military fighting between the major corporations is ripping the Federation apart.

But it doesn’t loose interest in the outer colonies, trying to keep their power at a manageable level without directly ruling over them. Technological research is covertly suppressed  the Federation Navy and Army still maintain bases in the outer colonies and will intervene when they see fit.

The corporations still have assets in the outer colonies and maintain their own armed forces to protect their interests and will also use political power to manipulate governments as well as using the Federation armed forces.