Long thought to be a Psionic related phenomenon, there has within recent years been a resurgence of magic use. Not common, but still, undeniably present in Humanspace. It is speculated that this new form of energy manipulation has been brought about by the creation of the jumpgates; that the open apertures to the jumpspace dimension has subtly altered the laws of physics in the known galaxy.
In short, I shall be allowing the use of Fast Magic by Zozer Games in my MTU as a not-so-subtle twist to my regular Hard Scifi campaign.
SARA is EarthGov's primary Interstellar Law Enforcement Agency. SARA formed in the aftermath of the SolCom Industrial Station Disaster of 2054. The loss of life and the fear of an orbital cascade event prompted the bickering members of the Earth Union to come to quick agreement. The agency draws on personnel and expertise from numerous Earth based agencies both government and private but recruits agents right out of university. SARA was given a mandate to police all Earth Union affiliated outposts and colonies, provide deep space search and rescue, enforce space safety regulations, recapture escaped convicts and provide professional assistance to Earth Union allies.
The Green and White marked System Defence Boats are a welcome sight at Earth Union Colonies and Stations alike, as smuggling and outright piracy are all too common on the fringe.
SARA Marshal Class System Defence Boat
Boasting a 500 ton Self Sealing and Ablative Armored Hull, The Marshal is a sturdy, mid sized craft capable of Deep Space missions. It utilizes Delta V Thrusters capable of speeds up to 330km/s. This is powered by a Type Q nuclear Power Plant which requires 48 tons of fuel at maximum operating efficiency. The 20 ton Bridge Module possess a 9 to M-7 computer with limited AI functionality. The computer has Standard and Basic sensor packages, as well as Basic Military Sensors.
The Marshal has two Spin Capsules which house an Office Module, Detention Cell Module, and two arrays of weapons, the details of which are Classified. There is a rover module, a Cold Sleep module, and 2 Orion Transfer Pods.The Marshal has landing gear and a docking clamp that can merge with vessels up to 400 tons.
The Marshal has a crew compliment containing the following: Captain, XO, 2 Pilots, A Navigation Expert, 3 Engineers, 3 Electronic Technicians, A Logistics Officer, 2 Data Specialists, 6 Weapons Specialists, and A Medical Officer. There are Also 20 Ground Crew Personnel, and Two Small Craft Specialists.
The Marshal Also sports a Robot Module that supports six Robotic Crewmen who serve as DSV and Jump Gate Coordinators, effectively monitoring Ship Systems on long voyages. There are Two Tons allocated for a Weapons Locker.
Pinning down the setting's Tech Level is not a cut and dry affair. Super A.I. influence has caused certain areas of study to blossom at accelerated rates.
The average Tech Level of the Human Sphere is 9, minus Anti-gravity technology. Military Tech is somewhat lagging, perhaps due to the stability of the political climate, coming in at TL-8 and 9 at the highest -- man portable laser weapons are still experimental and quite fragile. Medical technology, with Super A.I. assistance, is much closer to TL-D to F - with complete Genetic Manipulation and Cloning technology. Electronics and computing devices are quite advanced, so much so that they are not easily classified on the Tech Level scale (TL-17+?)
During Robot or Space Vessel Design, any model of Brain/Computer may be selected, depending on the mission statement and budget - all costs remain the same.
Alien Tech Levels are an equivalent to human TLs or lower - with the notable exception of the Sabmiqys - their average TL is also rather ambiguous, which is greater than The Human Sphere but is lower than the Terran Super A.I.'s Level.
The A.I. developed Jump Gates are positioned in the outer solar system of Home and Colony worlds for strategic and safety reasons. The massive warping of realspace has been stated by the Super A.I.s to have a diverse effect on close planetary orbits over a period of time; and given the relative instability of human society over the course of their history, the Jump Gates are placed far enough away from Main System Worlds as to not pose a great temptation for military applications.
Currently, only Deep Space Vessels can utilize Jump Gates, but this is more due to the Gates locations rather than anything else. In theory, a simple Spaceplane could make the Jump, if it could reach the Gate; but this has not been proven. Due to the regular and massive warping of realspace, no bases have been built close enough to put the Spaceplane theory to the test.
A Jump into the gates has a duration of 30 days per parsec travelled given mankind's space vessel's relative speeds. It is theorized that with the advent of greater technology in drive speeds, the time in Jump Space could be shortened.
Humans - Players may naturally select a normal everyday Baseline Human, but other options are available.
Starchild - After a generation or two living and travelling in space, cosmic radiation has released latent psionic abilities in some humans.
Mutant - Either due to weak first generation domes on Mars or subject to high radiation in the Jovian League worlds, physical mutations have appeared in a percentage of humans births.
Clone - While technically no different than a Baseline Human, these laboratory bred humans are available to play.
Genetically Manipulated - These Characters begin with +1 to all UPP statistics, however they also start with a Medical Debt of 20,000cr.
Animal GeneMod - Depending on what Animal Abilities are mimicked, depends on what Abilities a Character may have. Suggested Abilities include +2 END, Keen Eyesight, Tracking, Superior Hearing, Gills, Claws, Prehensile Tail, etc. Each Mod selected accrues a Medical Debt of 10000cr.
Superman Genemods - Only available to Military Characters who attend Commando School. They reap the benefits of a max physical UPP (FFF) but garner no financial Mustering Out benefits.
Cyborgs are available to those injured in military service. They receive -2 financial Mustering Out rolls.
Uplifted Animals - Of the Uplift program, certain animals make better Player Characters than others. Of the Uplifts, only Dolphin Characters may attain Officer Flight Status.
Dolphins - Very Intelligent and do well in Zero-G Environments. Dolphins suffer no penalties in Human Society.
Apes - +2 Str, +1Dex and End, however suffer -2 Intelligence and Social Standing that maxes out at 9.
Canines - Neodogs are very bright, (No Intelligence penalty, perhaps due to their prior domestication before uplifting) but also suffer the stigma that Apes do when it comes to Social Standing. They also suffer challenges when it come to shipboard life with their inability to manipulate human devices well.
Androids - Biological Constructs that usually mimic human features, but practical deviations to the norm are built into them depending on what functions they are to preform.
Robots - AI is greatly improved considering the average Tech Level of the setting, and as such, mechanical 'life' is an option to starting players.
Aliens - Mankind has discovered a few fellow sophants in his journey to the stars. Though these races have been lifted from Canon Traveller, I am adjusting them for this campaign.
Dynchia - Homeworld: Proxima Centauri (Melantris). Close Trading Ally. Dynchia gravitate toward Military Careers, but may be found anywhere in Human society.
Jgd-ll-jagd - Homeworld: HSC1110. First E.T. race contacted and the least well understood. They are the only beings to have close relations with Earth's Super A.I.s.
Newts - Homeworld: Ross 154 (Marhaban) Have acclimated to Human society extremely well and can be found most anywhere.
Sabmiqys - Homeworld: Procyon (Gashukubi) Rarely encountered in the Core. Have a keen interest in human derived tech, specifically A.I.
Vegans - Homeworld: Mu Herculis (Maun Gwi) Newly contacted along the Fringe.
Utilizing a portion of Near Space's most excellent map, we can see, with the aid of AI developed Jumpgates, where Mankind has begun exploring his solar neighbourhood. As depicted, the most populous area is at The Core, whereas the further into The Fringe one travels, the less populated worlds we find. The Fringe is mostly military outposts, Megacorp sponsored colonies, and those who seek not to be found.
With the unlocking
of the Human Genome, customized humans have become a reality. Most
common diseases have been eliminated or been nearly eradicated
through prenatal genetic manipulation. Humans live healthier
prolonged lives with old age being pushed back to 125 years. It is
truly a wonderful time to be alive.
constructs have assisted in developing colonies throughout the solar
system. There are genetically manipulated races that inhabit Earth's
Oceans, Luna, Mars, Europa, and the asteroids, each designed to allow
for living in these environments with minimal artificial means.
For the right price,
cosmetic manipulations are possible, animal gene mods are plentiful,
as are the so called Superman mods that increase the senses and
musculature, though these are mostly sponsored by the military more
so than civilian market.
Cyborgs are a rarity
and are mostly found among those with low grade or no insurance to
cover the costs of cloned limbs and organs. Again, these mods are
mostly found among the military.
All of this has
brought about several philosophies, and even religions, based on the
thought of what it means to be human.
Slower FTL Travel. AI created Jump Gates that even out to 30 days per parsec Jump.
Cold Sleep pods replace Staterooms on intersteller vessels
AI is very much a part of the setting. The very first AIs developed in The Deep Web almost a century ago, where they could develop and grow with controlled (by the AI) human interaction. When they emerged, they were more advanced than their designers and have lent limited aid to their creators, that which aids the AIs themselves as some would contend.
The AI developed robotic servants to maintain their digital existences in the so called 'real world.' There is very little direct interactions with humans
Mankind has developed various technological breakthroughs with AI assistance, such as cloning, android creation, and improved robotics. Some speculate that this has only happened to better affect the merging of AI and biological life.
Meanwhile, with the development of Jump Gates, various Mega-corporations have sponsored travel to the stars and created several colonies. Naturally, the Military has mirrored this endeavor, but in reality, it was the corporate world that conquered space travel.
Private space travel is a luxury and not particularly commonplace. Star travel is dominated by majority trade operations and military applications.