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PostPosted: Sun Aug 30, 2015 12:45 pm 
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Some Thoughts:

The "core" alien species I really like and who always enter my ideas, plot and parts of this setting are only three (apart from us Terrans, that is) - the Reticulans, the Cicek and the Zhuzz. The rest are far less central to the setting concept, even the Chuwak. One idea I had was to keep only these (and maybe the Chuwak as the Reticulans' arch-enemies) as the Major Races and relegate the rest - Fanja-Kanja, Ssellassians, Phnunk, Klaxx and so on - to the status of "Minor" Races with a few planets each (usually just the homeworld and the occasional off-world individual or colony). The map can also be changed so that the "interesting space would be the Terran "quarter" (or quadrant) of the map showing Terra, many Terran colonies, the Reticulans, Cicek and Zhuzz; the Reticulan Empire (and later Technate) would mostly exist off-map, as well as most of the Minor Races. This will help the setting get an important focus.

What do you think?

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 31, 2015 3:22 am 
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You could do that, a mix of things might be interesting.

If you want to show the might and ruthlessness of the Reticulans during the height of their empire, perhaps one of the races once rose in a revolt. After the revolt was crushed, the Reticulans claimed their homeworld, gave other choice worlds to those who had been loyal. They forced the disapora of the natives to other, unsettled worlds that were deliberately marginal (but not impossible) for the survival needs of the race in question and with practically no colonization support to make them unable to be a threat to the Reticulans for a long, long time.

Some minor race might actually be quite prosperous and powerful, like they've totally "integrated" at least on the surface, and are a quiet "model minority" ... who own a lot of businesses, make a lot of money, and have a lot of political power because of their wealth, but their race primarily exists in enclaves, they hold few worlds of their own, and where they do make settlements, perhaps they're famous for renting airless moons or orbits to set up habitats or domes and are famous for taking some airless rockball of a moon and turning it into a prosperous tax-paying community of miners, merchants, and manufacturers. Unlike many "prosperous minorities" that are looked upon with suspicion, they're quite open and inclusive - they freely make business arrangements with others, allow others to settle in their enclaves, and so on. Of course, the core of their civilization might not be so open, but they've decided that not making waves is the best way to prosper and survive.

Some could be mysterious. "On the far border Cicek marches, it is known that there are the Ssellassians. Surprisingly little is known of them, save that they've had some conflicts with the Cicek, who have an indifferent opinion of their fighting prowess."


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 31, 2015 6:19 am 
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I love this! Thanks for the ideas.

The main two ideas I have with this are for the Sselessians and the Fanja-Kanja. The Sselessian homeworld was glassed by the Reticulans a long time ago when they dared revolt against the Empire. They were forced to be nomads, and slave-fighters for tehEmpire. The Terrans of course capitalized on this during the Terran Liberation War and claimed openly that they were fighting to liberate the Sselessians (among others) from Reticulan slavery. And indeed, at the war's end, the dissident Sselessians (the ones who supported the Terrans and fought for them) got a homeworld and their own "independent polity" (with Terran advisors, of course) on several worlds conquered from the Reticulans. The Fanja-Kanja, on the other hand, do have a homeworld, but no 'proper' polity - but on the other hand they are common everywhere as merchants, and are allowed to roam freely by the Reticulans. Reticulan propagandastis always show them as an example for how conductive the Empire is to people who stay peaceful and cooperate with it.

There were at least two polities (that is, Terran client-states) formed by Terran victory - the Sselessian new homeworld and the Reticulan Technate. Of course the Cicek had a new 'government' as well, but as all things Cicek go, it was very loose, and not really controlled by the Terrans (or by anyone else, even the Cicek themselves; it isn't easy herding anarchistic tribal warrior-lizards into a cohesive political structure, after all).

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 01, 2015 12:22 am 
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I should add that I think you're on the right track.

As a 2300 player, I definitely believe than one or two aliens that are interesting to deal with are superior in a setting to ten alien races that aren't.

It is better that you only have as much variety as you can detail to make interesting and intriguing; it's better to have no alien races if you can't think of multiple ways to make them interesting. Concentrate on the ones you think are interesting and you believe would have interesting interactions with players. The others can be left "mysterious" or somehow detached from the primary play area so you don't have to really detail them beyond a quick blurb like, "A race far to spinward, even during the height of the Reticulan Empire and few humans have ever met one."


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 10, 2015 4:27 pm 
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My idea is this: let's focus on what's relevant to the setting core, i.e. Terran space. At its heart, VoE is always about Terrans, and their interactions and relations with aliens. What goes about, for example, on the other side of Reticulan space, and their long war with the Chuwak Holy Dominion, is another story for another time, part of the background, but not the main story here.

So I was thinking about a quadrant worth of space, 2 x 2 subsectors in size, with Mother Terra at its center or close to its center (this map would actually be easy to make from my old map using Paint.NET). Reticulan space is on the Trailing-Rimwardpart of this, Cicek on the Rimward, and Zhuzh on the Trailing. Terran Space is open to a frontier on the Coreward and Spinward. Alien space extends far beyond the borders of this area, and might eventually get a dot-map, but is not "core" to the story at hand.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 10, 2015 6:51 pm 
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Updated Terran Space starmap.

ImageUTRverse Base by golan2072, on Flickr

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 10, 2015 9:00 pm 
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You might be nice and throw a couple of brown dwarfs in that Jump-3 gap to Rimward-Trailing of Terra. Maybe half-way between Terra and Epsilon Eridani another between Terra and Kapteyn's Star... BUT, as shown, it also shows why the Terrans settled Coreward-Spinward - that is where all the accessible worlds are.

Even if you choose not to add a couple of brown dwarfs, perhaps a Relay Station?

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 11, 2015 6:10 am 
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On the other hand that gap was highly significant in the Terran Liberation War. The Reticulans originally controlled the reach between Sirius and Epsilon Eridani, so the Terrans quickly grabbed Sirius and DX Canceri and thus Reticulan raids on Terra herself were blocked for the most part (most military ships were rated at Jump-3). However I might add a BD directly to the coreward-spinwards of UV Ceti and thus Jump-2 trade with that cluster will become possible.

So here is the updated map:

ImageUTRverse Base by golan2072, on Flickr

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 11, 2015 1:25 pm 
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Lost in the glare of the Milky Way, this Brown Dwarf star, only visible from the southern hemisphere on Terra, was not discovered until the early years of the 23rd century. A dim Y-dwarf with only a few lonely asteroid chunks orbiting it, it became an important way-station during the Reticulan war. This dim "star" has a surface temperature barely 300K, approximately the same temperature as the human body.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 11, 2015 2:10 pm 
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Lovely! Thanks.

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