No announcement yet.

Dust of Glories Past

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Dust of Glories Past

    This is not specifically a M&M setting, although it could certainly be played using these rules. The idea came to me after watching Jupiter Ascending - NOT recommended - and my subsequent desire to overload myself with decent sci-fi movies. Since I have a natural predilection for horror, I then mined the movie and others as well as some rpg settings for ideas for my own Space-Opera-Horror setting. It will have a dose of lovecraftian cosmic horror in it but also scenarios based on runaway (transhuman) science are very possible.

    Below is the basic pitch (similar to how 40k advertises itself with the page-long introduction in all related media) and my question is...does this sound interesting enough for players to want to learn more? Or is it a dud?

    Dust of Glories Past

    A setting of sci-fi horror

    For years, mankind contemplated the possibility of extraterrestrial life. We wondered if anything was out there and if so, what would it look like? What would it's beliefs be, what it's technology? What advances would such a species have made in the sciences and the humanities?
    Our questions were finally answered when, in 2024, a spaceship crashed in South Africa.
    Investigators sent there were astonished by the technology they found, but even more so by the fact that, of the four crewmembers, 3 were human.
    Before he was overcome by his injuries, the one surviving member told an epic tale of a galaxy-spanning galactic civilization, of an empire of mankind that had existed for more than a million years, of lost colonies, of which Earth was one...

    It was a tale that inflamed the imaginations of mankind anew. For years, we had been content to waste our dwindling resources, to dream only of the next paycheck or dividend – it could be justified to say that we had stopped truly dreaming and hoping.
    But now, things were changed. Replicating what technology we could understand from the salvage, we built new space shuttles, new spaceships and even a prototype FTL drive. Compared to what we'd found, it was shoddy work, barely capable of taking us beyond the borders of our solar system – but it was more than enough to make contact with galactic civilization.
    What they found was more magnificent than what they could have imagined – but at the same time quite disturbing, for the traveller had omitted a few key pieces of information.

    Mankind had conquered the stars a long time ago and mastered technology that was as close to godhood as possible. But this great empire had already fallen into decadence. Bored immortal nobles, their minds unhinged by sheer ennui, had started wars on a whim or had begun trafficking with otherdimensional horrors. Others had been consumed by a desire to learn, turning science itself into a blasphemy that made the dead walk or transform man into beast.
    Fearsome warrior races- many of them genetically engineered to fight man's wars – had been left alone for generations until they had become a scourge upon the galaxy.
    The lives of billions could be snuffed out on a whim and the ARGUS force, an independant police organization originally created to prevent these excesses, was beleaguered on all sides.
    People were made compliant and oblivious to the horrors either with mind-numbing drugs or through the sensationalist media, which subliminally enforced obedience while at the same time satisfying the basest urges of the populace.

    It has been 40 years since the scions of Earth joined galactic civilization...and so far, we have survived...but for how much longer?
    Last edited by Neo-Paladin; 03-06-2015, 08:11 AM.

  • #2
    Re: Dust of Glories Past

    Sounds a bit like the back story to the Traveller RPG when the humaniti homeworld, Terra is rediscovered as they reach out to neighbouring solar systems - 300.000 years ago the Ancients came to Earth and removed humans as servants. they fell into war leaving at least 40 colonies of humans spread across the galaxy. Then one of them the Vilani invent the ju8mp drive and discover the other settlements as well as alien races and creates a massive empire but becomes decadent. Then they find Earth, the homeworld with its vastly superior knowledge of genetics and eventually war breaks out. Ingenuity vs. a massive empire.


    • #3
      Re: Dust of Glories Past

      Okay...I have not read Traveller, but in the end, nearly every idea has been there before


      • #4
        Re: Dust of Glories Past

        Please accept my best wishes for the success of your setting Neo-Paladin.


        • #5
          Re: Dust of Glories Past

          Thanks...any specific comments and questions would also be appreciated. I will go into more detail on the Empire and it's factions over the next few days. Also, can I count on you, Libra, to keep reading?


          • #6
            Re: Dust of Glories Past

            People of the Empire

            Despite being predominantly human, the Empire is home to a wide variety of sentient lifeforms, many of which have formed stable societies of their own. This list contains the most widespread species, but is by no means exclusive, however, as there may still be planets out there that have not been discovered or places simply forgotten by the Empire's nobility.
            Also, many alien races themselves have cultural divisions in their own societies as well as ethnic groups, but to list all of those would be far too extensive, so this section will focus on the dominant culture.

            Name: Ankari
            Homeworld: Dreylon IV, Helarii fiefdom
            Physical Description: Standing between 5'8'' and 6' 12'' high and displaying typical mammalian traits, Ankari have light green skin, although, unlike the Zhengar, this does not allow them to use photosynthesis and probably served camouflage reasons, given the makeup of their homeworld. They are divided into two genders, male and female, both human-compatible. They are hairless, although their skin has a light scale covering. They have no teeth, instead chewing their – exclusively plant-based food – with bony ridges extruded through the gums from their jawbones. Other than that, they are quite similar to humans.
            Lifespan: 80-120 years without genetic enhancement.
            Personality: Ankari tend to be very deliberate about their decisions, preferring to think things through before embarking on any new endeavor. While this makes them seem slow, it helps in their scientific endeavors, which is what the species is known for. Ankari are loathe to wage war, but tend to respond to aggression with as much force as possible in order to keep the attacker from trying again – often using genesmithed biological weaponry.

            The Ankari - the word simply meaning „the people“ in their main language – are masters of the genetic code. A species dedicated to science and spirituality, they helped found the Church of the Sacred Helix and, to this day, make up a significant portion of genesmiths and medical professionals in the Empire. Their forested homeworld, lush and pristine as it might seem, hosts not a single species that was not at one point or another genetically changed by them.
            They also helped the nascent Empire with its need for warriors, changing whole species on a genetic level to be more suitable to the task.
            The Ankari deny it to this day, but there are rumours in abundance about a genetic kill-switch that either can wipe out every single species the Ankari ever meddled with...or that could instill absolute obedience to the genesmiths in all treated subjects.
            While the Ankari are very vigilant against the threat of genetic abominations rising from their laboratories, the slow decline of the Empire has caused a few Ankari genesmiths to go rogue, committing blasphemies against their species' code of honor and the commandments of the Church....
            Last edited by Neo-Paladin; 03-26-2015, 09:45 AM.


            • #7
              Re: Dust of Glories Past

              Ah this is a fun setting. BSG 13th colony Earth meets Space Humanity as Dark Eldar.
              Impeach the peach!

              Completed Games:
              Crinoverse - Avengers
              Crinoverse - Young Avengers
              Crinoverse - Bay City Sentinels
              Crinoverse - Time After Time
              Crinoverse - San Antonio Avengers
              Crinoverse - Honnounji Academy
              Extreme Unction


              • #8
                Re: Dust of Glories Past

                Glad you like it I will flesh this out further over the next days. I have most of the background already figured out, but building at least somewhat interesting alien races is harder than I thought...any help would be appreciated


                • #9
                  Re: Dust of Glories Past

                  Name: Celduans
                  Homeworld: Celdua, Thunam fiefdom
                  Physical Description: Basically humanoid,Celduans are shorter than the average human, ranging from 4'6'' to 5'6'' in height. Their skin has a light blue tinge and a fine covering of scales. They are hairless, although their scalps are covered with a thick layer of cilia-like protrusions which allow them to detect, among other things, variances and changes in the magnetic fields around them. They also serve as extremely sensitive ears, granting Celduans the ability to use echolocation.
                  Their eyes, usually of a red colour, are functional, although eyesight is significantly less acute than in humans. Their mouths open vertically, not horizontally, and are filled with two rows of sharp, inwardly-facing teeth, which may seem disturbing to those not familiar with the sight.
                  Celduans communicate using a mixture of hissing sounds, some of them within the ultra- and infrasound range as well as limited pheromone emission.
                  Celduans are amphibious, with a breathing apparatus capable switching between air-and water breathing.
                  They are a two-gendered species, with females being slightly larger than males, although there are no other visible differences between the genders. Celduans can, however, always tell the gender of another Celduan. Eggs are fertilized outside of the body in a manner reminiscent of earthly fish. Fertilization can only occur in a body of salt water and usually occurs once every year on their homeworld. Interestingly, fertilization attempts outside of the waters of Celdua almost always fail and the few eggs that do get fertilized produce either malformed or insane children.
                  Lifespan: 100-140 years
                  Personality: Despite their bizarre appearance, Celduans are quite friendly and outgoing. Their sensory apparatus is capable of perceiving more nuances in their environment than ordinary eyesight, allowing them to easily pick up the pheromone emissions of others as well as variations in pitch and steadiness of voice, making them very capable of discovering lies. Towards humans, they trust in this ability, making them seem almost naive. Their language is also more nuanced, causing them to sometimes see human languages as dull and simple.
                  Celduans have no concept of marriage or of forming lasting pair bonds in general. Children are reared by the elders, who remain on the planet after their last reproductive cycle at around 90 years.
                  In general, this leads to them being rather conservative in their outlook, preferring tried-and-true traditions over innovation.

                  The Celduans are one of the last races to be discovered by the Empire, having gained the ability for FTL only within the last 1000 years. Most of them have never seen the Empire in it's glory days. Still, they proved eager to join galactiv civilization and even established a few colonies. Travel to their homeworld by outsiders is extremely limited, while the colonies can be freely visited. Given their love for tradition and order, several Celduans have joined ARGUS, where their abilities to detect lies has prove a great asset.
                  However, Celduans also lead the fourth-largest criminal organization, which managed to establish itself within only 1000 years – quite an accomplishment, given the size of the Empire. The 'Thulaa-Khe Aratch' - „Blood of Our People“ - or ThuKa for short, is a ruthless group that mostly deals in drugs – among them an algae-based psychostimulant drug called Krazon - and the smuggling of ancient and proscribed artifacts. They are extremely loyal to one another and demand that of others as well. While the leadership consists of Celduans only, they prefer to hire human underlings since this eliminates the risk of betrayal.


                  • #10
                    Re: Dust of Glories Past

                    Name: Primals

                    Homeworld: Trellion II (interdicted), Kuzani fiefdom
                    Physical Description: Primals are uniformly around 8 feet tall. Their physical appearance is extremely human-like, although upon closer examination, their proportions seem a bit off. Their faces in particular appear somewhat more rough, with sloping foreheads and heavy brow ridges, giving them a primitive look further emphasized by their heavily muscled bodies. They usually wear a biological version of power armor that is centuries ahead of even Ankari genesmithing.
                    Their entire technology appears to be a strange biomechanical fusion of technology and grown organisms that has baffled any attempt to understand it by the Empire's scientists.
                    Primals' skin colours range from grey to pale white while their eyes are solid black.
                    They are completely immune to psychic intrusion and any attempt to read their minds carries with it the risk of the telepath developing severe schizophrenia.
                    Lifespan: Unknown, most likely naturally immortal
                    Personality: Inexplicably hostile most of the time, with surprising acts of gentleness in between, especially towards children and animals. What kind of society or overall personality these beings have is unknown, as all attempts to question them were met with either indifference or outright violence.

                    The Primals are an enigma to the Empire. Their homeworld, Trellion II, was discovered quite early in the Empire's history, but all attempts to land there were met with deadly force of a magnitude that horrified even hardened military officers. After the seventh attempt to land on the planet was vanquished, the Emperor placed and interdict on the planet, forbidding any sort of contact with it.
                    It was a few millennia later that the Primals began to make forays into the Empire at large. On these trips, they rarely initiated contact with other sentient species and in fact, met every attempt to initiate communications either with indifference or violence. Attempts to stop their ships were often too disastrous to be a long-term solution, which is why Empire forces are told to stay clear of the Primals unless they actively threaten galactic stability.
                    What they want is a mystery. They often show up unexpectedly, take something from a place or leave strange artifacts somewhere else and then leave again. Only rarely have their missions been violent in and of themselves, such as when they obliterated the research facility on the ice moon Verac I or when they destroyed a fleet of three ARGUS ships after they came back from an investigation of the Hallix Singularity.
                    Some scholars speculate that the Primals are indeed the oldest sentient species in the universe, possibly even a precursor race to humans. If that is true, then they might have a connection to Those Who Were, the possibility of which makes a lot of people in the know very very nervous...

                    And yes, these are a blatant rip-off of the precursor race from the Alien franchise (if one includes Prometheus) I just loved the idea and design too much to just ignore them...


                    • #11
                      Re: Dust of Glories Past

                      Please be assured that I'm keeping an eye on this setting Neo-Paladin.


                      • #12
                        Re: Dust of Glories Past

                        I am glad that I have piqued your interest, Libra, given that you are one of the best setting writers on these boards and that I cannot even come close to you in regards to quality.


                        • #13
                          Re: Dust of Glories Past

                          Well now I appreciate the compliment, but suspect that you are selling yourself far too short - consider all the help I've had from peers like yourself and my own superiors (such as Mr Phipps and Grey Crusader).


                          • #14
                            Re: Dust of Glories Past

                            Name: Khrell
                            Homeworld: Landris II, Helarii fiefdom
                            Physical Description: Khrell are diminutive, their maximum height being about 4 feet. They have larger than average heads, large pupilless eyes, usually either milky white or black and pale white skin that easily succumbs to sunburn since it contains almost no protective pigments.
                            They have no endoskeleton, their bodies supported by an internal lattice-like structure that provides great flexibility, albeit at the cost of protection from serious injuries. Also, they find it hard to move on high-gravity worlds.
                            Khrell are non-gendered, although this, like many of their other features, is a result of Ankari genetic tampering. They can only procreate artificially and have no sexual drives to speak of.
                            Lifespan: 200-300 years
                            Personality: Logic-driven, with an insatiable appetite for new data. Khrell do have emotions, although they appear stunted. Their entire society is based around the acquisition of new data and the storage of such, be it through exploration or experimentation.

                            If one were to look for examples for the genesmith's art, they would not need to look further than the Khrell. During the early expansion of the Empire, the Khrell were discovered by the explorator fleets and found to possess not only a high degree of intelligence but a peculiar genetic makeup that made splicing and artificial mutation particularly easy. The Khrell, still a primitive hunter-gatherer species by then, were taken en masse to the science vessels where Ankari scientists began their work, slowly warping them into the form they have today. Improving upon the already high capacity for data storage and problem-solving, the Ankari turned the Khrell into living computers, capable of amazing feats of computation and analysis. Of course, some things had to be sacrificed, among them the Khrell's capacity for emotional expression and sexual procreation – although there are rumours that the reduction of their emotional spectrum serves to protect the Ankari, for they basically utterly obliterated ancient Khrell society and culture when they forced the race into their new shape.

                            However, as masterful as they might be, the Ankari's work is never flawless. Like other races they had a hand in engineering, the Khrell do suffer from a peculiar flaw. Sometimes, newly-gestated Khrell exhibit an atavistic brain structure that does not fully allow them to store the massive amounts of data they acquire. At the same time, those Khrell do have a greater range of emotions than the others, which inevitably leads to bouts of madness. This usually expresses itself in the afflicted Khrell migrating aimlessly, occasionally attempting to perform strange and ineffective experiments to reacquire lost data.
                            There are theories that these deviant Khrell have visited earth before and performed experiments on humans, but the Khrell, who attempt to slay the atavistic members of their species on sight, deny this.