Would you like to play a game?Exaltica
is a space opera-themed, character-driven role play that I shall be running. It is set in an original universe and will prioritize interesting storytelling and the development of inter-character relationships. Let's take a brief look at the setting.1200 years ago
, humanity made an innovation that changed the course of history irrevocably: The Nexus. The Nexus is a method of tunneling through space in a way that defies the conventional laws of physics, allowing journeys which would normally take untold millenia to take only a few days. Almost immediately after the Nexus Network became operational, humanity dispersed throughout the stars and began populating the universe. Good timing, too, because not long after, humanity's homeworld -- what was its name again? -- and everything within twelve lightyears of it fell silent, never to be heard from again.
Fast forward to the present. Countless planets throughout the universe have been populated by humans. Although we've searched long and hard for signs of intelligent extraterrestrial life, we've so far had no such luck. Maybe we really are alone out here. Anyways, we're governed loosely by the United Federation
, which administers the Nexus Nodes and occasionally mediates in particularly nasty conflicts. Aside from that, most worlds are self-governing and their cultures are widely varying.
Sound like fun? Excellent! Read on.
I should start by outlining a very important rule:
I am God.
I reserve the right to force things to happen, to resolve conflicts, to kick you out, to exploit your character's backstory, and to assume control of your character if you abandon the game or get kicked out. That said, I am a fair and just god and will not exercise my divine power unless necessary. My primary goal is to facilitate the creation of an engaging and interesting story, so everything I do will be in the interests of that objective.
I'm going to expect a certain degree of maturity and effort on behalf of you if you choose to play. You must be able to distinguish between what you know, what your character knows, and what other characters should know. I can and will hide information from you if your character has no way of knowing this -- and I encourage you to do the same to other people
. In other words, if your character does or says something that you don't want other players to know about (or don't think that they should), then tell me privately. This is to create dramatic tension. After all, what's the fun if you know everything before it's revealed?
In addendum to what I just said, I will also be cooperating with you to develop your character's backstory in order to weave it in with the story of the world and with other characters'.
That being said, I'm going to treat you all respectfully and assume you're competent unless you prove otherwise. If you do something that bothers me, I'll alert you--in that case, please don't do it again.
I won't bother to enumerate rules about things like godmoding and post length because those are petty and honestly, I expect that you're all mature enough that you don't need to be told what not to do. Respect other people. No post length requirement as long as you contribute something interesting
There is one rule I forgot to mention. If you're going to be absent for two weeks or more, say something ahead of time! If you do not post for two weeks or more without a reason, I will assume you've left the game and I will seize control of your character.
Now, let's get to the fun part! Character creation! Read this section very carefully
. There are two parts to a character profile: public and private. The public part of your profile will be posted here for everyone to see. The private part of your profile will be PMed or IMed to me directly. You are not
to share the details in your private profile with other people unless their characters have some way of knowing that piece of information!
Put some thought into this. Once the game has started and your profile has been cemented, I will
hold you to it if you contradict it -- especially when it comes to moral and belief.For more information about the world/setting, read the below section.
Race: Are you a naturally- or artificially-born human? (See next post for details)
Family: What is/was your family like? Do you get along with them? Do you live with them? Are you still in touch?
Education: How much schooling or professional training have you had? Are you still in school?
Occupation: What's your job? Are you still in school? Do you have a part-time job? Do you have a professional career? See next post for ideas.
Hobbies: What do you like to do?
Talents: What are you good at?
History: Describe your past.
Moral: Name one thing you will always act on, regardless of how much of a bad idea it is at the time. (Examples: "I will always accept free food", "I will always protect the lives of children")
Belief: What one thing will you always believe to be true, regardless of any evidence to the contrary? (Examples: "People are genuinely good", "Anything is possible through hard work")
Fear: What's one thing that will always make you tremble in terror?
Turn-on: What's one thing that will always excite you?
Hope: What one thing do you really look forward to in the future?
Dread: What one thing do you really not looking forward to in the future?
Regret: What one thing do you wish you could change about your past?
Accomplishment: What one thing have you done that you're most proud of?
Crime: Name one reason you should be in prison.
It's okay if you're having trouble coming up with ideas for some of the fields. In that case, ask me for ideas! I'd be glad to collaborate with you to help you build a character. Remember
not to post your private profile!Trueborns
An unfortunate consequence of humanity's evolution into space has been the subjection of the body to a constant barrage of potentially-harmful cosmic radiation. Although preventative measures were taken, it wasn't enough. What started as isolated incidents a couple hundred years ago has erupted into an epidemic that has had a crippling effect on human civilization: infertility. The vast majority of humans are incapable of having children (and even fewer are capable of having live
Well, crap. That kind of puts a stopper on that whole manifest destiny thing, huh?
Fortunately, if there's one thing that people are good at, it's reproducing. The problem has been sidestepped by advancements in artificial birth technology, which became commercially viable and brought to the mass market by Tetracorp
. Nowadays, it's the norm that two parents go to a Tetracorp-sponsored doctor's office to have DNA taken and return 9 months later to pick up their machine-birthed newborn.
Although not as romantic an idea as the natural process, artificial birth does come with its benefits. Parnts can pick and choose certain genes that get passed on, causing the effective annihilation of most genetic disorders. As a result, artificially-born children are on average healthier and have greater longevity.
The societal benefits can't be ignored, either. Women don't have to take maternity leave and don't suffer from the potential health risks of childbearing. The practice is so common now that some doctors don't even know how to perform a natural delivery due to its increasing rarity.
Children who are born naturally are referred to as trueborns, although there is no way to distinguish them by sight. In fact, it's hard to distinguish them even from a DNA sample. That doesn't change the fact that there has been some discrimination against trueborns, though. It's commonplace for employers to demand genetic records when one applies for a job, which some trueborns argue enables them to unfairly judge applicants by their genes rather than by their talent.
It goes both ways, though. Just as there are some who think of natural childbirth and the children who result from it to be antiquated and disgusting, there are those who think see artificial birthing as unnatural and an abomination. People always need something to fight about.Callback chips
Every child birthed by Tetracorp is fitted with a microchip called a callback chip. This chip contains detailed information about the child's medical information and can be used as a transmitter to track their location in case of an emergency.Sin
Officially known as the NSA Effect
, Sin is a bizarre manifestation of energy which appears to transcend the laws of physics. Certain individuals are capable of producing Sin to create effects such as heating, freezing, artificial gravity, and so on. Its practice is universally illegal, although there are some questionably legal job offers for people who can do it.
Assume your character is incapable of this unless I inform you otherwise.Utrecht syndrome
A mental disorder associated with lethargy, depression, social isolation, and a deterioration of the sense of self. An unusually high number of Utrecht syndrome sufferers turn to substance addiction in order to compensate for the emptiness this disease causes. Because of its strong association with illegal substances, suicide, and social detachment, people look down on sufferers as being lazy or good-for-nothings. There is no known treatment.
This condition is rare and is known only to manifest itself in trueborns.The Nexus Network
The technology that made all of this possible. Most people don't understand the science behind it. Basically, a Nexus Node is a kind of gateway connected to another Nexus Node. Traveling into one transports you into a Nexus tunnel in an extraspatial dimension, enabling you to make "shortcuts" through the universe.
The UF owns and runs all of the Nexus Nodes. Because so few planets are inhabitable and they're spread so far apart, the Nexus Network is integral to traveling between them. The infrastructure built around them is kind of dated and there has been pressure on the UF to update it for ages, but you know how fast the government is to get anything done. Because Nexus tunnels exist only between two points, each Node only has a single destination. For example, imagine you have two sets of nodes, A/B and C/D. A can travel to and from B by Nexus and C can travel to and from D, but you cant use the Nexus to get from B to C or from A to D. Because of the convoluted layout of the Nexus Nodes, it can sometimes be very inconvenient (and expensive) to get where you want to go.
Oh yeah, and you want to make sure that if you're traveling by Nexus that you're on the right kind of ship. Did I mention that exposure to the Nexus is lethal? Not only is it legal, but it will disintegrate matter the instant it enters the Nexus tunnel. Fortunately, a special kind of protection called ER shielding protects most ships from the effects of Nexus exposure.
We found that out the hard way.The Moon of Morgan
This is where our story begins. Morgan is the small inhabited moon of gas giant Archimedes and has recently recently been in the news for its contraversial new law banning artificial births. It has a large population of trueborns and has been historically a center of trueborn rights. Currently, the government of Morgan is facing immense political pressure from a number of groups, including Tetracorp and has had to dispatch troops to put down riots.The United Federation
The government. It's a representative democracy that doesn't interfere much, preferring to delegate responsibilities to individual worlds. It does, however, manage the Nexus Nodes and occasionally interferes in civil rights issues. On rare occasions, it sends the military to intercede in conflict between worlds.
The UF also owns a secret organization that everyone knows about called Oraph
, which develops and tests experimental military technology, including the Nexus. Oraph's headquarters is on the planet Erza. Culture
Times have changed, but people haven't. There are still schools, universities, libraries, labs, theaters, movies, and music. You can get a job in teaching, researching, cooking, cleaning, and more. Of course, there are also more exciting jobs; perhaps you're an officer in the UF military or the captain of a cargo ship. Maybe you're a colonist exploring new worlds to populate or a pop star known throughout the universe. Your only limit as to what you can do is your own imagination. Of course, I might punch you for suggesting something, but that's always a looming possibility.
This post has been edited by Sailerius: Mar 23 2011, 05:22 PM