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Lucifer's Star (formerly Black Hole) a setting of space fleets, starfighters, and laser swords

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  • Lucifer's Star (formerly Black Hole) a setting of space fleets, starfighters, and laser swords

    Hey guys,

    For those who are long time forumites, I actually had plans on doing an RPG for a space opera setting to accompany my Halt Evil Doer! setting. Eventually, Halt Evil Doer! warped into my wildly successful (okay, maybe just successful) Supervillainy Saga books.

    Well, I never did get around to doing Black Hole but I've decided to adapt it to a book anyway and thought I would share all the background. I may also eventually do a Supervillainy Saga as well as a Lucifer's Star (Black Hole's new name) pair of supplements. In the meantime, though, I'd love to share my setting notes with you.

    You can get a copy of Lucifer's Star the novel (the first of many) here on

    Comments and thoughts are, of course, welcome.
    [b]The United Federation of Charles[/b]: [url][/url]
    [b]Twitter[/b]: Charles Phipps@Willowhugger

  • #2
    Re: Lucifer's Star (formerly Black Hole) a setting of space fleets, starfighters, and laser swords


    Lucifer's Star takes place in The Spiral in the year 1008 of the New Calendar. The Spiral is the Orion Arm of the Milky Way galaxy and a territory which (largely) belongs to human beings. It is, notably, a backward and largely uninhabited region of the galaxy which the greater galactic community shuns. There are, however, many signs it was a much more inhabited region of space with the remains of hundreds if not thousands of space-fairing civilizations found on otherwise life-bearing worlds.

    Humanity has colonized roughly 13,000 worlds in the Spiral with 13 Sectors that is actually somewhat of a minor presence in the universe. The minimum requirement for admission into the greater galactic community (called the Community) is 10,000 worlds but humanity is divided into hundreds of nation states that prevents that from ever likely happening. Even so, the Commonwealth of Interstellar Systems has begun The Reclamation under the guise of bringing together that many planets to do so--the goal having taken on Manifest Destiny-like prominence.

    Notably, there is no capital for humanity because Earth has since been abandoned due to a combination of war and toxicity rendering that planet an uninhabitable ruin. It and the planets around it are known as The Graveyard and are mostly visited by those seeking inspiration or making pilgrimages to humanity's birthplace. The most powerful human colony world, Albion, is largely considered the new capital of our race but it is envied as well as loathed by several other equally-powerful planets. Albion is the capital of the 7,000 world Commonwealth which is rivaled by the Archduchy of Crius, Transtellar Alliance, Union of Faith, Chel Exclusion Zone, and Border Worlds

    Beyond human space is the Community, which is an alliance of a hundred other species (and thousands of sub-species) who number almost a million worlds. The Community is so powerful as to dwarf humanity's concerns entirely but which are able to swing events in human space by their slightest move. The Community worlds are capitalist but so advanced that humans have only recently reached a technological parity. Many humans privately loathe the Community or envy them while others wish to become part of a greater galactic society despite it still being full of conflicts and divisions.

    Deeper in the galaxy is The Galactic Core which is populated by The Elder Races. They are species which have achieved the Singularity and become godlike machine beings. The Elder Races are isolationist but constantly medal with the races of the Community and Earth territory for inscrutable reasons--but most of which agree is probably just boredom. Many times, they have been known to uplift or eradicate races with seemingly no rhyme or reason.


    It is a time of great upheaval in the human race as we're just in the right time of our history that we can actually transcend our typical rivalries to become part of the Community. It could also be a good time to just keep ourselves divided and mind our own business since they're not necessarily worth being a part of. The Reclamation has triggered some of the bloodiest wars in human history as well as numerous compromises that have allowed old evils like slavery or feudalism to return. Whether humanity will unite and lose its freedom or maintain its freedom and remain a backwater is up to the Storyteller (or the PCs).

    One thing is clear that humanity is actually a pretty small fish in a big pond so if they want to make waves, they had better be prepared for the consequences. We've entered into a dangerous and horror-filled universe that could smack us back at any point. However, in the darkness there's all manner of secret technologies and ancient artifacts that could change the destiny of mankind. There's also war in all of its ugliness.
    Last edited by Charles Phipps; 29th April 2017, 11:41 PM.
    [b]The United Federation of Charles[/b]: [url][/url]
    [b]Twitter[/b]: Charles Phipps@Willowhugger


    • #3
      Re: Lucifer's Star (formerly Black Hole) a setting of space fleets, starfighters, and laser swords

      History of the Spiral part 1

      0-100 N.C.

      The New Calendar begins not with a bang but a whimper as humanity was on the verge of collapse with an exhausted planet, population growth having reached critical levels, and the government having become totalitarian just to survive. Humanity's "rescue" came in the form of a group of now-forgotten alien smugglers who provided humanity with its first jumpdrive, several star maps, and a few technology-changing trinkets in exchange for a cargo-hold of used-weapons to be sold as antiques. Humanity has attempted to lionize this event in their history but there's really no way to make it sound epic.

      Humanity proceeded to colonize numerous worlds which were surprisingly habitable by their kind and began the Great March. The fact these worlds routinely showed signs of once having their own sapient races was ignored as humanity stripped their cities and habitations for supplies.

      100 - 225 N.C.

      Unfortunately, time was moving against humanity as Earth's situation continued to collapse. Two centuries after the Great March began, a totalitarian government took over and attempted to force all colonies to provide it immense resources for rebuilding. No one knows who is responsible due to jamming but a group of spacers proceeded to launch a surprise assault on Earth and delivered kinetic attacks which left the world an uninhabitable wasteland. The survivors attempted to settle on a planet called Lucifer but were then forcibly divided and relocated as the surviving colonies chose this moment to exert their independence.

      226 - 600 N.C.

      The High Age of Technology began not soon after with Albion, Belenus, Amaterasu, Shiva, Promise, and Brigid emerging as massively important technological as well as cultural centers. It was during this time that humanity reached the limits of its star charts and had to start exploring. Unfortunately, jumpspace proved horrifically treacherous and only through the aid of A.I. was mankind able to navigate it.

      The increasing dependence on A.I. resulted in conflicts among humans and transhumanists as well as a spiritual awakening among mankind that encouraged the growth of many new religions as well as cults. Many humans who wished to explore the limits of what was possible went further out into the reaches of human territory while others attempted draconian laws to restrict science. The Bot Wars included many battles against uplifted humans, machine armies, and genetically engineered soldiers.

      It was during this time the human race discovered and made its bid to join the Community only to be rejected as too small as well as primitive to be members. The Kha'shal, however, did establish economic ties with humanity and those companies it helped foster soon became rulers of their own factory and mercantile worlds that served multiple parts of the region. Religious pilgrims colonized Crius during this period and began exploring the edge of the Core Worlds. This latter, action, unfortunately, doomed humanity.

      600 - 700 N.C.

      The Great Crash is considered to be one the worst period of human history and is routinely analyzed by individuals who attempt to discern its cause. The typically told story is a group of pro-A.I. terrorists reprogrammed the Cognition A.I. (basically the most powerful kind) to shut down the jumpdrive navigation systems of humanity as well as erase the majority of starmaps. Humanity, overnight, found itself divided and subject to mass famine and conflict as thousands of worlds were stranded.

      Transhumanist cults and sects actually whethered things the best as cyborgs proved capable of navigating jumpspace almost as well as humanity. This didn't prove to be an easy solution, however, as massive outrage caused purges of all A.I. as well as cybernetic humanity on multiple worlds. While the small number of navigational ships allowed the majority of colonies to survive, it triggered a larger century of Luddism as well as mass suffering.

      It was during this time that the Promise-based Union of Faith was founded around the principles of theocratic technocracy with the government determining how all science would be used under the auspices of faith. The religious pilgrims of Crius, ironically, warped themselves by accepting massive numbers of refugees to their homeworld then forcing them to be serfs--creating a Feudalist State with themselves at top. The newly formed Archduchy soon militarized and due to being transhumanists, used their cyborg navigators to conquer as many worlds around themselves as possible.

      Alone among humanity, the Transtellars aided by the Kha'shal remained with full warp capacity and created corporate-run territory where humans worked to create goods for aliens with no government supervision. Notably, the Community had a massive civil war called The Cleansing which crippled much of the greater galaxy as a whole. Some believe this and many similar events were organized by The Elder Races at this time.

      But why destroy the civilizations of the Young Races?
      Last edited by Charles Phipps; 29th April 2017, 11:42 PM.
      [b]The United Federation of Charles[/b]: [url][/url]
      [b]Twitter[/b]: Charles Phipps@Willowhugger


      • #4
        Re: Lucifer's Star (formerly Black Hole) a setting of space fleets, starfighters, and laser swords

        History of the Spiral part 2

        800 - 900 N.C.

        Ironically, the Luddite tendencies of humanity's many abandoned colonies made it possible for a few Cognition A.I. to survive. Safely tucked away in isolated deep space installation with quantum entanglement communication networks combined with jumpdrive-located servers, they were often immune to humanity's revenge. In time, they eventually purged the foreign code which had warped their minds and found themselves looking over several hundred billion deaths. So they decided to rebuild humanity.

        Their way.

        The newly renamed Triumvirate was created from the three most powerful surviving A.I. that absorbed the majority of others into their system. Using cold machine logic, they decided humanity had been attacked by an infinitely more powerful foe and had to be advanced by any means possible. Going to the fallen world of Albion with probes and finding much of the equipment there still repairable while the human race had degenerated badly, they created The Machine Cult of agents and proceeded to indirectly conquer the planet and shape it's culture over the next few decades into a oligarchy with a veneer of democracy called The Commonwealth.

        Establishing trade with the Transtellar Union and creating a false system which supposedly "replaced" AI navigation, the Triumvirate then set the Commonwealth on the path to becoming a hegemonic empire. Hundreds and then thousands of worlds fell under the sway of the Interstellar Commonwealth which styled itself a Federation even as its central government was composed of puppets existing solely to serve the bureaucracy and its handpicked special operatives.

        The Triumvirate created The Watchers from its Machine Cult to further benefit itself and many other secret organizations. Its agents had complete immunity from all crimes and unlimited authority as long as it achieved the ambitions of its leadership. Their agents were also checked by the Fixers who were to watch the Watchers as well as serve more directly the Machines.

        Finally, Ares Electronics created the first bioroids with the aid of their own artificial intelligence. These were to be the stopgap to the fact so few humans had skilled labor in technology anymore but rapidly became servants meant to serve humanity's ever need--chattel or perverse or technical. While desperately needed, bioroids soon became a persecuted minority as humans loathed any form of artificial intelligence. This was particularly in the Union of Faith that viewed them as abominations.

        To protect their monopoly, the Triumivirate arranged for all local powers to ban A.I. above human intelligence level and that any world known to be harboring A.I. was subject to orbital bombardment. It also severely restricted cybernetics use, creating a culture which allowed them to operate in secrecy.

        900-1000 N.C

        The next century became known as one characterized by war as the major Spiral Powers started gobbling up the surrounding independent worlds around them. Attempts by worlds to remain neutral only resulted in them having no allies when they were conquered. The four factions immediately began a series of proxy wars and campaigns of "liberation." The only time they ever allied with one another was when a rogue Community Admiral, L'hessar, attempted to establish his own empire and all four powers allied against them. Even then, it was a battle only one through attrition.

        It was during this time that the Commonwealth sought to explore a region called The Zone and discover why every ship was destroyed which entered. This introduced them to the Chel. In the purges of humanity's transhumanists, half of the fleet which had gone on to create the Crius Archduchy had instead adapted to life in resource-rich asteroid belts as they modified themselves to become scarcely human as well as to live permanently in space. They also began worshiping technology supposedly given to them by the Engels (Elder Races) who ostensibly uplifted them according to legend.

        The Chel and Commonwealth would fight a twenty-year war with countless soldiers dying on both sides as the former refused to take prisoners while the latter believed they could somehow gain the Chel's hyper-advanced technology. In the end, the Commonwealth was forced to retreat and its territory has remained a No Man's Land.

        This is actually not true as the Chel are hostile and xenophobic but maintain a small amount of trade with cyborgs as well as renegade bioroids. Chel culture finds unmodified humans disgusting and taboo to deal with but they have a loophole which allows transhumanists to be negotiated with. The Crius government and Chel maintained a secret economic exchange for much of this century, allowing the former to become far more powerful than its size or economy should have allowed.
        The Union of Faith during this time was attacked by a series of revolts financed by the Commonwealth with the Justice Intelligence Network being composed of some of the most ruthless fanatics in society who wished to break up the Union into smaller individualized religious planets. The Network soon would seize a substantial number of worlds and cause Civil War against many of them. While the Union has officially gotten JIN disavowed by the planets its seized, it remains a powerful army which is ironically hostile to the Commonwealth and other states every bit as much as the Union.
        Last edited by Charles Phipps; 29th April 2017, 11:43 PM.
        [b]The United Federation of Charles[/b]: [url][/url]
        [b]Twitter[/b]: Charles Phipps@Willowhugger


        • #5
          Re: Lucifer's Star (formerly Black Hole) a setting of space fleets, starfighters, and laser swords

          The History of the Spiral part 3

          1000 - 1008 N.C.

          The last three years have proven to be the most destructive since the Great Crash as the discovery of an ancient nearly-intact civilization of alien artifacts resulted in an increased conflict between The Archduchy of Crius and Commonwealth. Believing the Commonwealth was planning to initiate a first strike, Prince-Warlord Germanicus approved a first strike against Kolthas Station and began the Archduchy-Commonwealth war which would last the next three years.

          And what of the artifacts? They were divided up and sent to various research facilities across the Spiral. The fact many of these facilities had breakouts of mass insanity, murder, or simply...disappeared indicates something important was found.
          Initially, the Archduchy of Crius inflicted devastating casualties on the Commonwealth's ranks and many believed it would end up similar to their war against the Chel. However, ultimately, numbers prevailed as the Commonwealth soon found a groundswell of support from the many worlds conquered by the Crius nobility over the past few centuries. This support would dwindle away when it was discovered the Commonwealth had no interest in giving them their freedom but merely intended to take their master's territories for themselves. Still, it provided them the edge to win. At staggering cost. After sacrificing a substantial portion of their fleet at The Battle of Hoshi's Point to provide a diversion, the Commonwealth shelled Crius with mass drivers and killed 500 million of the population as well as rendered the planet uninhabitable. The Archduchy's government collapsed and it surrendered to the government.

          This became known as the Burning of Crius.

          Unfortunately, in winning the war the Commonwealth lost the defeat as they could not annex such a large territory and maintain their economy nor could they keep their democracy. Instead, they made the Archduchy a puppet-state with largely the same leaders (only Barons instead of Dukes) while the population fumed with hatred at the dual betrayals of destroying Crius as well as refusing to get rid of the nobility.

          Worse, the Commonwealth found itself divided as the Community began sending it overtures to begin absorbing it into their territory. The mass takeover by what was perceived to be alien invaders soon exaggerated its existing conflicts as did the increasing anger over the bio-slavery trade. Having been around bioroids for centuries, many humans started to sympathize with their plight even as others considered them monsters. A resistance organization known as the Lighthouse became dedicated to freeing as many of them as possible.

          Planets which outlawed them were soon pressured by the central government to accept them even as Ares Electronics expanded to become the most powerful military-technological supplier in the universe (at least among humans). Corruption and cronyism in the Commonwealth government was also exaggerated by the fact the Union and Transtellars had no wish to be treated like the Archduchy and began privately supporting groups which would break the super-state apart.

          Rumors of a massive alliance of resistances on all the Commonwealth and Archduchy worlds as well as even overtures to the Chel have begun with promises of a new war, one which threatens to tear the Commonwealth apart.

          And perhaps humanity.

          It is an interesting time to be a spacer.
          Last edited by Charles Phipps; 29th April 2017, 11:44 PM.
          [b]The United Federation of Charles[/b]: [url][/url]
          [b]Twitter[/b]: Charles Phipps@Willowhugger


          • #6
            Re: Lucifer's Star (formerly Black Hole) a setting of space fleets, starfighters, and laser swords

            Heroic Archetypes in Lucifer's Star

            We've established the Spiral is the kind of world with countless factions dueling for control over the region and humanity's destiny. There's transhumans, uplifts, cyborgs, bots, and aliens all available as characters but also variations on classic archetypes. Most of these heroes are going to be within the 6-8 PL range to keep things on a somewhat human level even as it's also the kind of universe where over-the-top extraordinarily capable of impossible things. PL 10 Bukc Rogers, Flash Gordons, Luke Skywalkers, Captain Kirks, Darth Vaders, and John Carters are all possible in this universe.


            Ace Pilot (6-8): Starfighter combat is a part of life in the galaxy with many dueling it out in the skies of countless worlds. You're one of the best there is, whether working for the government or yourself. This may be flying a small ship or your own starfighter. Notably, your adventures have meant you're no longer part of the regular military (or you have a very long leash) so you've had to pick up some other skills too.

            Alien Grunt: You aren't from around here. The Spiral has a few alien races among it but none of the kind which belong to the Community. Maybe you were from a primitive society and got shanghaied (or stowed away) during a refueling stop or maybe you're from a planet which makes Albion look like a backwater hellhole. Either way, you're surrounded by humans and while they're ugly as hell, you've made some friends among them. It helps you're probably MUCH stronger than them.

            Archaic Weaponsmaster (PL 8-10): Leave your fusion pistols and cannons behind to pick up a weapon of a more civilized age. Weaponsmasters are part of monastic orders and dueling cultures which were created during the Great Galactic Dark Age. With Spiral civilization restored, most of these individuals are anachronisms but still found on the borders of the galaxy, serving as vigilantes or deliverers of justice. Note: Many Weaponsmasters "cheat" to some extent by having their bodies or minds altered to better hone their craft.

            Bold Explorer (PL 6-8): Tens of thousands of human colonies were lost in the Great Galactic Dark Age with many still unvisited due to the vagaries of jumpspace. Bold Explorers are those Captains of vessels large and small sent to seek them out. As their role also includes being ambassadors, many of them end up on the ground of these worlds only to get caught up in local politics as well as dangers. Bold Explorers have to learn to fight with their fists, fusion pistols, words, and wits if they want to bring worlds back into the fold. Many also learn to devote a lot of extra power in their ships to have an ace in the hole too.

            Elder Race Experiment (PL 6-10): Psychic powers are officially something which doesn't exist in the universe, which makes the fact the Elder Races can and do utilize them all the more troubling. Worse, they often send their ships to kidnap large groups of species in order to experiment on them and release them with new abilities. Elder Psychics are used as weapons by governments which can catch them and are often traumatized by their experience but others find power in the organizations they join.

            Escaped Bioroid Slave (6-10): You were made better than any human being with enhanced intelligence and a body of a Greek god (Aphrodite, Artemis, Ares, or Apollo). Somehow, you've managed to slip your programming and become your own person. You may choose any life you desire but bounty-hunters across the galaxy can make some easy credits by killing you and proving you're a renegade. You'll need allies to survive--unless you have loftier ambitions of freeing all of your kind.

            Galactic Spy (8-10): You traded your name for a number and have lost your previous identity. You've had your DNA fogged, your face changed dozens of times, and you have been enhanced in numerous ways. All of this is for your country (or corporation) but the perks are tremendous. Most spies only have one small purpose in a great machine but you're the grease which makes it functions and can take down entire nations--if you're so inclined. Unfortunately, in the politics-heavy universe of the Spiral, your employers will almost certainly eventually turn on you even if you are loyal.

            Power Armored Merc (PL 8-10): War has not changed so very much. It often boils down to who has the best training and equipment. Powered Armored mercs are elites in the military of their governments but many have since gone on to found PMCs or go solo with their high-value contracts paying for their upkeep. Many become bounty hunters, assassins, or even one man commando units for the right price.

            Space Pirate (8-10): You were born in the wrong millennium as you are a creature of the spacelanes but treat it like you were in the Carribean during the 16th century. Plunder, blood, fame, and the attraction of sexually interested sapients draws you to the lifestyle that is as famous today as it was long ago. Most pirates envy your success and are willing to follow you out of hopes of something similar but quite a few have much bloodier habits.

            SHADOW operative: Your mind has been wiped of your previous life and you've been remade into a weapon that has no loyalty to any cause but your employers. Your enhancements include a small cloaking field and any number of cybernetic weapons like proton katanas or E-7 sniper rifles. Shadow Operatives rarely break their conditioning and when they do, often don't remember their pasts--but those who do desperately want to know the truth. The darker side to the Galactic Spy.

            Techno-Priest: The Union of Faith raised you from birth and indoctrinated you into their mysteries and miracles. A part of you was horrified when you found out the majority of them was just advanced science at work (the others involved artifacts even they didn't understand). Whether you became an atheist or continued to believe after that moment is irrelevant, you completed your training and now have access to all manner of strange oddities shaped liked staves or rings or even magical wands. It's up to you how to use them. A few of the exiled have set themselves up as "wizards" instead of priests.
            [b]The United Federation of Charles[/b]: [url][/url]
            [b]Twitter[/b]: Charles Phipps@Willowhugger


            • #7
              Re: Lucifer's Star (formerly Black Hole) a setting of space fleets, starfighters, and laser swords

              I take it 8 is the average PL?


              • #8
                Re: Lucifer's Star (formerly Black Hole) a setting of space fleets, starfighters, and laser swords

                Originally posted by Voltron64 View Post
                I take it 8 is the average PL?
                I see it like this:

                PL 6 is Gritty War where the heroes are exceptionally capable soldiers but entirely possible to be killed by random blaster fire and getting blown up by enemy grenades. It's the Rogue One of the series. If you want to do something like Gaunt's Ghosts or Ciaphas Cain, it's also a good story.

                PL 8 is Heroic Adventure Fiction is where everyone is probably the best in the galaxy at their field. Han Solo, Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, and other folk. Galactic gunslingers and Captain Harlocks.

                PL 10 is Space Fantasy where you face down folk like a Space Marine slicing through hordes of Xenos, Commander Shepard being a one man army, Luke Skywalker having completed his training against Vader, and being Marcus Fenix or the Doom Guy.

                It's a lower power level than most other fiction but you can also just abandon canon and throw Kryptonians, Silver Surfers, and other folks into the world as well.
                [b]The United Federation of Charles[/b]: [url][/url]
                [b]Twitter[/b]: Charles Phipps@Willowhugger


                • #9
                  Re: Lucifer's Star (formerly Black Hole) a setting of space fleets, starfighters, and laser swords

                  Villainous Archetypes for Lucifer's Star

                  There are many classic villains to be found in the Spiral and some not so classic traits. Here's a short list of ones which you might send up against your foes.

                  Alien Imperialist (PL 10): Some aliens can't abide those humans, disgusting creatures! The Community has been known to produce members of their race who see the Spiral as a savage untamed wilderness populated by primitives who are just intelligen enough to be worth enslaving. While not sponsored by the Community itself, many are rich and have wealthy patrons who envision building their second or third offsprings small empires. Due to the difference in size, a "small private fleet" can be a massive armada in the spiral.

                  Bioroid Hunter (PL 8): There's many kind of bounty-hunters in the Spiral but the most profitable and easiest occupation is those who hunt bioroids. Armed with the best scanning equipment and knowing the underground which they use, they reap high rewards for intact ones which can be wiped and resold. They also get a decent amount for parts as well as eliminating them. Bioroid hunters also tend to operate in areas where they gain fortunes for eliminating members of the Lighthouse group. Ares Electronics and other transtellars throw in a little extra for bloody nasty examples.

                  Corporate Sleazebag (PL 6): The Transtellars control hundreds of worlds but their fortunes require them to find new worlds to loot of resources. To this end, they dispatch thousands of operatives every year to subvert governments or bring colonies under their rule (or just found them under lies and promises). Others attempt to gain alien technology, life-forms, or other secrets to get ahead. It'd be comical if not for the fact almost all of them are willing to engage in murder to achieve their goals.

                  Cyborg Tyrant (PL 14): It is possible to improve your mind past superhuman levels but oftentimes this comes with a cost and those injured badly enough or who are willing to give up most of their humanity can become incredibly dangerous. These individuals make use of their enhanced intelligence and power to gather armies and fleets around them of loyal soldiers. They often lead from the front as well as their horrifying appearance requires them to prove their superiority. Many also master disciplines like archaic weapons or starfighter piloting to get the lust for the kill. Most only have one goal, though: to conquer and savage enough to make their horrible lives still worth living.

                  Depraved Noble (PL 6 to 10): Fat, greasy, disgusting, and rich enough to buy planets or lean, bald, mustached and still super-rich. Depraved nobles are often very weak in actual combat but surrounded by hordes of paid mercenaries or fanatical brainwashed bodyguards. Depraved nobles often give into their darkest appetites and become disgusting parodies of human beings. The wealth available to many of the ruling houses which have entire planets to explore is beyond belief. They also are eager to avenge any slight against them. Expect powerful energy shields and fast ships as they will do anything to save their own lives.

                  Elder Race Drone (PL 14): Wearing thick body armor over what is actually just a complicated machine, Elder Race drones are rarely seen but wield mysterious powers to alter reality in stunning and terrible ways with their technology as well as control or manipulate minds. Elder Race Drones generally consider other races beneath them but follow an inscrutable agenda that has them maintain ties with certain peoples. They can serve as collectors, diplomats, priests, or simply bringers of destruction. It is possible to destroy these beings but they often return unless you figure out a way to prevent their machine intelligence from being reincarnated.

                  Elder Race God-Ship (PL 20): The actual bodies of the Elder Races, as much as they have them, are huge massive machines which exist in the void of space. These machines can destroy whole planets and are signs of terrible judgements to those people who encounter them. They are NOT invulnerable, though, and their arrogance is potentially useful against them. A fleet can possibly defeat them or maybe a Maguffin acquired by the PCs.

                  Enemy Ace (PL 8): Starfighter combat is a rapid way to rise through the ranks and many of the best aces have disproportionate amounts of power. The ability to call in fleets, support from locals, and even create their own missions if they're prestigious enough. Enemy aces often desire to destroy those who have humiliated them in battle and may become obsessed with avenging slights--perceived or otherwise.

                  Fanatical Operative (PL 10): Like modern day samurai, there are many agents in the service of the galactic governments who will give their lives to achieve their ends. Most don't question their roles but Fanatical Operatives go one step further as their national has become their religion. Ironically, this makes them more likely to betray their governments as anyone whose zeal is insufficient is suspect.

                  Genius Tactician (6-8): Whether an Admiral with their own fleet or a ruthless general with an army across the planet, Genius Tacticians are common foes of plucky spacers. They tend to have an endless array of tricks up their sleeves but also a low tolerance for failure. Many of them meet their ends at the hands of their own superiors if they cannot achieve their ends.

                  Slave Lord (6-10): One of the easiest ways to make a profit in the galaxy is the conversion of humans to cargo. Whether selling their bodies, organs, minds, or for ransom--slave lords are a scourge of the galaxy. Some are pirate lords, others buy their cargo more legitimately, and others manufacture them in labs. Slave Lords are the scum of the galaxy but too many turn a blind eye to their efforts as long as the trade continues to serve the machine which runs the Spiral.

                  Underspiral Kingpin: With 10,000 worlds and colonies competing over resources, there's many credits to be made if you can supply the illicit underneath the nose of the corporations (or with appropriate bribes to them). Underverse kingpins are rarely romantic figures but often wield power over worlds every bit as tight as their more official rulers.
                  Last edited by Charles Phipps; 3rd May 2017, 12:28 AM.
                  [b]The United Federation of Charles[/b]: [url][/url]
                  [b]Twitter[/b]: Charles Phipps@Willowhugger


                  • #10
                    Re: Lucifer's Star (formerly Black Hole) a setting of space fleets, starfighters, and laser swords

                    You forgot a bioroid PI being financed by a mysterious benefactor who owns a large chunk of a paradise planet.

                    Because in the grim darkness of The Spiral there are hawaiian shirts and spaceships that look like Ferrari 308s.


                    • #11
                      Re: Lucifer's Star (formerly Black Hole) a setting of space fleets, starfighters, and laser swords

                      Originally posted by Phrozen View Post
                      You forgot a bioroid PI being financed by a mysterious benefactor who owns a large chunk of a paradise planet.

                      Because in the grim darkness of The Spiral there are hawaiian shirts and spaceships that look like Ferrari 308s.
                      I consider this entirely period appropriate because I can't not make humor to shadow the darkness.

                      [b]The United Federation of Charles[/b]: [url][/url]
                      [b]Twitter[/b]: Charles Phipps@Willowhugger


                      • #12
                        Re: Lucifer's Star (formerly Black Hole) a setting of space fleets, starfighters, and laser swords

                        Originally posted by Charles Phipps View Post
                        I consider this entirely period appropriate because I can't not make humor to shadow the darkness.

                        It's what keeps us sane!


                        • #13
                          Re: Lucifer's Star (formerly Black Hole) a setting of space fleets, starfighters, and laser swords

                          How dark is the Spiral?

                          Well, really, it depends on how you want to play it. The design goal was to make sure nobody is entirely clean but everyone also has redeeming qualities. The Commonwealth of Interstellar Systems is an expansionist pseudo-democracy like Firefly's Alliance but it's not a government which is innately terrible. The Republic of Crius has actually passed the part where it was a brutal authoritarian empire and might actually evolve into a truly equitable government if it can get its act together. The Union of Faith is just inches away from becoming the Imperium of Man but it hasn't and people might be able to keep it from doing so indefinitely. The Transtellar Alliance may be a bunch of cyberpunk companies but most of the time, its populace prefers a place where they can shop without someone trying to tell them how to live their lives. Freedom may have to be purchased there but at least its cost is plainly listed. The Border Worlds may be lawless frontier worlds but that doesn't mean you can't go there to find genuine freedom. Heck, the Commonwealth is basically the Federation, it's just humans kind of suck too much right now to join.

                          The Spiral is a gray setting where the bad guys and good guys are not plainly labeled but it is a setting where there's a chance to make a real difference. There's a real need for heroes but the galaxy isn't about to exterminated by Necrons or Predators either.

                          Recommended Media


                          * Cowboy Bebop
                          * Mobile Suit Gundam
                          * Outlaw Star


                          * Lucifer's Star (duh)
                          * The Expanse
                          * Star Wars: Shatterpoint
                          * Star Wars: Rogue Squadron and Wraith Squadron
                          * Warhammer: Ciaphas Cain, Hero of the Imperium
                          * Warhammer: Gaunt's Ghosts

                          Live Action Television

                          * Babylon Five
                          * Battlestar Galactic
                          * Dark Matter
                          * The Expanse
                          * Firefly
                          * Killjoys
                          * Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
                          * Star Wars: The Clone Wars
                          * Star Wars: Rebels


                          * Alien, Aliens
                          * Outland (1981)
                          * Star Wars: Rogue One

                          Video Games

                          * Borderlands 1, 2, The Pre-Sequel, and Tales from the Borderlands
                          * Dead Space, Dead Space 2
                          * Knights of the Old Republic, Knights of the Old Republic 2
                          * Mass Effect 1, 2, 3, and Andromeda
                          * The Old Republic (Bounty Hunter, Trooper, and Smuggler especially)
                          * System Shock, System Shock 2
                          [b]The United Federation of Charles[/b]: [url][/url]
                          [b]Twitter[/b]: Charles Phipps@Willowhugger


                          • #14
                            Re: Lucifer's Star (formerly Black Hole) a setting of space fleets, starfighters, and laser swords

                            The Republic of Crius

                            Capital: Crius (formerly), Lilith (Presently)
                            Exports: Technology, Weapons, Shields, Starships
                            Imports: Food, Resources, Medicine
                            Government: Parliamentary Democracy (Puppet), Formerly Military Aristocracy
                            Species: Enhanced Human, Human, Cyborgs, Chel, Uplifts
                            Religion(s): Luciferian Christianity, New Sunni, Buddhism, Atheism
                            Notable Worlds: Crius (destroyed), Shogun, Xerxes, Skellige, Lilith (moon of Crius), Kronos, Rhea

                            Bent. Bowed. Broken.

                            Or so the rest of the Spirals perceives.

                            For centuries, the Archduchy of Crius has been the predominate power in Sector Seven, wielding almost unlimited military and political power over its subordinate systems. Unfettered by the same levels of technophobia as other Sectors and willing to combine human with technology as well as enhancing the genetic potential of their children, the Archduchy created a ruling class of superhumans who were seemingly able to live up to their feudalist rhetoric. The Nobility ruled over the Yeoman ("Enhanced") who ruled over the Non-Enhanced (or "Nats").

                            This, of course, was nakedly hypocritical even during the height of the Archduchy. Cybernetic and genemods could be bought on the Black Market by anyone who could afford them while the Nobility produced emotionally unstable adultchildren as often as they created the next Paul Atreides. Human beings could also achieve through training or simple luck of the draw much of what the Nobility claimed to be their divine right. That also didn't include the fact many of the enhancements created in labs to make superhumans passed down outside of approved grounds the old fashioned way.

                            The Republic of Crius is, in many ways, a better than the dictatorship it was five years earlier. The current puppet democracy installed of the Commonwealth's lackeys is disrespected and loathed by virtually everyone but has forced an equality among its citizens. The nobility's privileges have been removed, if not its wealth, and there has been a slow release of the super-technology created by modified brains to the general public.

                            Unfortunately, the Republic of Crius is an unstable democracy and will very likely fall back into the hands of those who would role back its changes (or make radical ones which would not work) in the coming years. The Commonwealth suffered greatly underneath in the war against the Archduchy and has more or less washed its hands of the star empire with the caveat crippling reparations and tribute are expected from its citizens. It has only made a token effort to hunt down many of the war criminals from the conflict as well as replace those who previously dominated the region with an iron fist.

                            Despite these flaws, Crius Space remains one of the most technologically advanced regions of the Spiral and exports nearly as much technology as the transtellars. This, unfortunately, means that it is also the perfect place for arming insurrection against the Commonwealth as well as their current government. The de-fanged Republic military is struggling against terrorist organizations spread throughout the region (when not actively sympathizing). Many former Crius soldiers have also turned pirate, preying on foreign shipping or attacking outside Sector 7 then retreating back to their bases in Republic territory.

                            The Republic of Crius is also on the border of Chel Space which many in the galaxy consider a no man's land but which private contact with the human aliens has been made. Space station research facilities exist along its border where former State Security officials attempt to combine Elder Race technology with their own to create psychic soldiers as well as superweapons to retake their cluster. The Chel may, indeed, help these individuals when an actual war begins. Then all of humanity may become nothing more than the Gray Race's experiments.

                            The ruins of Crius itself are a spot which half the planet is decimated due to the crust having been broken up by mass drivers. The planet is, however, constantly being visited by scavengers as much of the population had to evacuated to avoided death. While looting is against the law, very little effort is done to recover the refugee's possessions and many groups have actually taken up living in the ruins on the planet's "good" side despite the atmosphere being a constant state of storms.

                            It should be noted those individuals seeking allies against the Crius nobility should probably visit Xerxes which is a planet that waged a century-long revolt against them. The hardy warriors of that desert planet despise them and are eager to expand out into the galaxy now that they have control over their own orihalcum reserves. Unfortunately, the Xerxes have their own code of honor and are warriors who have little respect for anyone who hold to peace as an ideal. There have also been many murders by those Xerxes clans which pledged themselves to the Crius houses that won their respect and maintain a desire to restore them to power. This civil war is conducted on many stations when the two sides meet, regardless of local law.

                            Notable NPCs: The current leader of the Republic of Crius is Prime Minister Garius Shee, a uninspiring bureaucrat and baronet from the original Archduchy government. He is more interested in collecting rare starships and Old Earth music memorabilia than actually ruling, leaving the majority of it to Grand General Hiram Hun, a ruthless Commonwealth soldier who believes all Crius are potential insurgents. Garius Shee is actually a good deal more on the ball than he appears but is doing his best to appear uninterested so that neither the resistance or Commonwealth sees fit to eliminate him. Garius' schedule is handled by Teresa Nova, a genetically engineered assassin of the old regime who is their spy in the government. The actual Parliament is a lot of sound and fury signifying little as its members are primarily minor Crius nobles and immigrants from the Commonwealth working to line their own pockets.
                            Last edited by Charles Phipps; 9th May 2017, 01:40 AM.
                            [b]The United Federation of Charles[/b]: [url][/url]
                            [b]Twitter[/b]: Charles Phipps@Willowhugger


                            • #15
                              Planet xerxes

                              Star - A6 White Main Sequence (Arya).
                              Year - 270 Days
                              Day - 20 Hours

                              Gravity - Standard
                              Hydrosphere - Modest
                              Atmosphere - Breathable

                              You can breathe the air on Xerxes but you won't breathe deep; Xerxes is a desert world but that doesn't mean that never again will you run the risk of freezing your digits off if you confuse a Desert with a sand pit under a sun lamp.

                              Now I'm no native (you can tell by me gasping for breath the moment we exit the Green Zone or five minutes before that even) but your old Uncle knows that when a debt comes due you pay the fellow or you pay the price, so when an old break-bones of my acquaintance comes up to me and says "Boss, I have to go Home" your correspondent knows that the time has come to show the proper gratitude for more than one occasion when my mate Bahadur has saved my skin, then resigns himself to a couple of days spent in a Hell of Curiosity as a boy from an ocean world gets acquainted with a planet dry as a martini without olives.

                              Not complaining, not me no sir-or-madam, just fair warning to those hoping for another happy anecdote of time spent water-skiing behind a smuggler's gunboat hunted by amphibian not-exactly-alligators (with only firewater on ice and a jacuzzi for repayment) that you're due for a disappointment.

                              My old friend Encyclopaedia Universal tells me that Xerxes used to have oceans, but by the time yours truly in particular and Humanity in general showed up the last ocean was a distant memory - shallow seas deep, deep down and vast, dry plateaus the size of Continents wrap themselves around this orb, with fringes of greenery at the foot of escarpments that used to be coastlines and verdant ridges that used to be peaks on the sea floor to sustain the bulk of what native life was found.

                              Big and healthy, some of that native life, as I found out when Bahadur invited me to his cousin Sam's place - at the fringes of the Green Zone, but a draw for Pilgrims from all over this particular World, Sam being one of the storied Seven Brothers and the only one left on the planet (or at least the only one working there at the moment - one brother shipped out for the stars, poor Simin lost his conscious mind to a head-wound), which makes him more than a little bit of a Legend; even as he gets used to his new limbs and works on building a new family one baby at a time, he does his best to be a Voice of Common Sense when local lads and lassies bring their problems before him.

                              So when a man like that asks for a hand with a spot of light shooting, you might imagine my first reaction was "Walking corpses don't have any important friends do they?" (Crius calls Xerxes comrade, about a third of Xerxes call the Dukes something un-postable and the other third just start shooting); thankfully we were only stalking something with legs the size of tree-trunks, teeth the size of steak knives and an appetite big enough to chew through a farm's stock in three sittings, with or without dessert. Small game, you know.

                              They tell me that "Cutters" and their dear relations with equally big muscles, big sharp pointy things in various places and an appetite for livestock were half the reason the Duke's Men took an interest in Xerxes in the first place - looking for a spot of sport somebody stumbled over one of the richest lodes under the Known Stars and made a few friends in the process, with the end result that the planet was snatched up by Crius and never ceased to resent the fact, with armed resistance a fact of daily life (although some of the Plateau residents, warriors and hunters to a man, delighted in seeing the Green Zone "civvies" finally put in their place).

                              The fact that Xerxes remains under the aegis of Crius after so much blood remains a point of fierce resentment (though as you may have noticed money and the comforts of civilisation have secured them as many friends as enemies) with political and paramilitary resistance ongoing; the least dangerous way of easing those tensions is to shoot down the meanest local predators, which have multiplied like flies since the Crius stopped culling them and the locals got used to hunting the Duke's Troopers more often than the local feathers-and-teeth slew of carnivores.

                              Case in point Old Handless, a beast with more scars than teeth and more teeth than the average dentist sees throughout his career - a big, hungry biped that slips through shadows like a wraith, breaking necks thick as tree trunks when it cannot swallow the victim whole (using the night and keen scent-sense to compensate for being too big to hide by daylight). She's a mother working to keep her chicks chirping long enough to produce the next generation, miners or no miners, farmers or no farmers.

                              There aren't many species which breed that big, but every single one of the natives can live through burning daylight heat and the freeze that follows nightfall, every one of them has hunted and been hunted, each and every one of them is suffering the impact of a generation of war aggravated by the environmental impact of the mass of miners threatening to overburden a world where Nature was parsimonious to start with.

                              That holds true for the Wildlife and doubly true for the Humans.
                              Last edited by Libra1010; 13th May 2017, 12:07 PM.