[Diaspora] Clusternomicon

Paka

Or call me Judd
Validated User
The data known as the Clusternomicon is a myth, like Earth, like the Lost Generation Ships and aliens and so many other bits of folk lore that come out of the void.

Here we will gather what we can, using Chapter 2. Clusters, page 13-30 of Diaspora and share what we know of the universe. Please share what you know about the clusters in your ship's navigational computers, so that we might make the void a little less cold.

The Trinity Cluster

3 known linked systems, Leviticus, Judges and Revelations with a fourth that is only rumored and whispered about but not found on any star-chart or cluster-map.

The Levite orthodoxy states that their high scientists have broken the code the angels of the Trinity System left behind so that mortals might build their own arks and follow them. In order to do so, the navies of the Leviticus system must marshal the resources from the Judges system and especially the rich Revelations system in order to reach Eden with the fabled faster than light travel.

The Gilead Confederacy of the Judges System does its best to thwart the Levite Navy but their space technology is not at all sufficient to do so. They occasionally score a lucky shot with their crude rockets against an Exodus class starship in the Levite Armada. These rocket successes rare and always means brutal and swift retaliation from Levite marines. Gilead soldiers are on every colony in the Judges system and they fight as best they can, often winning battles just because many Levite Navy Officers do not want to waste the resources it would take to truly fight them.

Between these space-worthy systems is the resources rich Revelations, seen in both other systems as war-mad barbarians, the Levite have begun now to take Revelationers to the Judges system and allow them to wage war with the Gilead Confederate Army, while they gather their material to fulfill their science-religion's prophecies.

Through intercepted transmissions, the government of the Judges system knows that within the Leviticus system is planet Molech, where the the technology-rich Levites keep their own heretics cut off from the rest of the galaxy. They are desperate to get into contact with Molech heretics, almost as desperate as they are for the metal resources they need for a Slipstream-worthy space navy.

Judges

Aspects:

  • Fight to the Last
  • Space is Our Trinity-given Right
  • Scarred by Levite Aggression

Technology: Exploring the System
Environment: One Garden and several survival worlds
Resources: Almost viable

Details:

Judges system is only in the past fifty years able to marshal enough of their resources to travel into space. The system is a trio of fine suns, distant enough to keep half of its 12 planets survivable, two of the six are lush gardens, like green gems. Jair and Jeph have communicated peacefully for centuries now, each in opposite orbit around the trio of suns. Together, Jair and Jeph have formed what they call the Gilead Confederacy, having placed colonies on all of the planets, even the harsh and brutal climates, in an effort to find the metals they need to make finer space ships.

Judges' most notable resource are the two slipknots in the system, allowing travel to Leviticus and Revelations to those with slipstream technology.

Revelations

Aspects:

  • Superstitious
  • Technology is for war
  • The Angels are Cruel

Technology: Metallurgy
Environment: Survivable
Resources: Sustainable

Details: Revelations is a brutal ice-world with enigmatic technologies left behind by the cruel angels that pervade the Revelationers' folk lore. It is said the system, made up of one dying white dwarf star, an accompanying ice world and several gas giants with hundreds of metal-rich moons, was once the colony of the fabled fourth system. Those left behind were cursed by the angels to never reach heaven. Now they are relegated to taking ancient t4 level technology and forging it into crude yet often effective weapons with which they make war upon anyone in their grasp, mostly each other.


Leviticus

  • Levite Orthodoxy
  • FTL is our prophesied destiny
  • Ashamed of Molech

Technology: Slip Mastery
Environment: One Garden, several survivable worlds
Resources: Sustainable

Details: Leviticus is a civilized metropolis of a system, with each of its 27 worlds colonized, one world for each letter in the Levite alphabet. The worlds are marvels, with only one planet, Molech, known to exist in open dissent from the Levite orthodoxy. Whether the Molechs were put on their planet for heresy or if the planet went renegade is lost to Leviticus history.

Sabbath is the garden world and all other worlds are survivable, though barely. To live on Sabbath is seen as a blessing, not a right. One must be working on a specific task to break the Eden Code, otherwise, the other Levites must serve their penance, doing what they can on less optimal worlds with harsher climates.
 

Paka

Or call me Judd
Validated User
I decided on 3 systems in the cluster but other than that, I rolled up the stats for each system randomly. It is really fun. I have only read that much of the book so far.
 
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Brad J. Murray

VSCA
RPGnet Member
Validated User
Honestly I don't think we saw the cluster system as being a viable "lonely fun" game -- the interplay at the table really made it howl for us -- so this is very cool to see. Qualifies for dice too, if you want some sent your way!
 

Paka

Or call me Judd
Validated User
Honestly I don't think we saw the cluster system as being a viable "lonely fun" game -- the interplay at the table really made it howl for us -- so this is very cool to see. Qualifies for dice too, if you want some sent your way!
I can totally see how the group vibe at the table is what makes it really hum but after reading the chapter last night I could not help myself.
 

iago

www.evilhat.com
Validated User
Yeah, I can definitely see how the cluster thing could be a "lonely fun" tool. Honestly anything with a random generation element often *can* be.

I'm wondering if we shouldn't do a separate thread (or not separate, here or on a blog) -- with a "Let's generate a cluster" theme. Start out the post with a cluster of 4 to 8 systems and the connections all generated, then each person to respond claims one system, makes the rolls to determine the Tech/Resources/Environment stuff, and details it.

The trick is getting enough of the early Diaspora adopters to find the thread and get involved. :)
 

Paka

Or call me Judd
Validated User
Yeah, I can definitely see how the cluster thing could be a "lonely fun" tool. Honestly anything with a random generation element often *can* be.
What interested me was the question of would the random generation offer me enough situation to create a fun setting. It did.


I'm wondering if we shouldn't do a separate thread (or not separate, here or on a blog) -- with a "Let's generate a cluster" theme. Start out the post with a cluster of 4 to 8 systems and the connections all generated, then each person to respond claims one system, makes the rolls to determine the Tech/Resources/Environment stuff, and details it.

The trick is getting enough of the early Diaspora adopters to find the thread and get involved. :)
I was thinking the same thing, creating a cluster would be a fun online activity for a different thread or blog somewhere.
 

Uruush

Registered User
Validated User
I'm in. Maybe we should make our rolls in a thread over on Snail's Pace.

Diaspora is probably one of my groups' next game. But the prospective GM has my copy! :)
 

Paka

Or call me Judd
Validated User
I'm in. Maybe we should make our rolls in a thread over on Snail's Pace.

Diaspora is probably one of my groups' next game. But the prospective GM has my copy! :)
How's about we just make the system itself on one of our livejournal accounts and post the finished copy here?

Drop me a PM or e-mail and we'll suss it out.
 

Brad J. Murray

VSCA
RPGnet Member
Validated User
I'll cheat and post a cluster that's part of a recent game.


Note: for the first time we didn't use the "slipstream guarantee" which means that currently no world is jump-capable. Any FTL is part of an archaic technology, and not able to be supported by government technologies. Slipships are few between, and the need to supply Tantalus is perhaps paramount for turning a profit. All are private, all are unsupported, all could fall apart at any moment.

Kameroon Cluster

Aspire
T1 E2 R2
Aspire is one of the most advanced worlds in the cluster and one of two that is improving. Being completely self-sufficient doesn't hurt any — whoever lived here before the current human colonies didn't appear to need a lot of the local resources and certainly left the air clear and sweet. The Aspirons are dedicated to elevating all of the cultures in the cluster, and gives away the technology it has. No strings attached.

Really!

As you look at the edifices that served as homes for the bugs (for that is what we have to call them, since the archaeologists have no sense that they ever wrote anything down, not even their name) you'd think that the hideous towers were the result of some unnatural construction process, vomited up and left to harden under the sun of Aspire. I'm told that's not so — that the buildings are shaped artificially, with tools, and we know they are hard, reinforced with something that makes even cutting a window impossible. Yet there they are, spattered across the landscape every half kilometer or so, covering the planet. These were their homes, before they went away. And now they are our homes.

I don't know where they went — I'm not sure anyone does, really. But the ships they left behind — as if they were garbage, thrown away with the other trash — are better than anything anyone else can build. And if you want to go faster than light, you need a ship that is part bug.


  • Last guys here were bugs
  • Shaped stone towers
  • We're here to help

Tantalus
T-2 E1 R-2
  • Sooty optimism
  • Just enough people
  • Handshake deals

Ballast
T1 E-1 R0
There's one habitable world in the Ballast system and it varies between chilly and oxygen-condensing-cold. The planet itself is very active seismically, however, and this crust-borne heat creates a rich layer of life that start a few meters below the crust of ices and stone. Huge seas under ten meters of ice teem with life that has never known light; vast eyeless pale monsters that fit no Earth-imported classification system. Humanity lives all over this world as well as in orbit around it. The most efficient habitats are sprawling shallow underground cities no more than a coupe of stories deep that use the geo-thermal gradient to generate power and heat where possible and atomic reactors where not. And man has been here a long time. The system is littered with debris from six known technological dynasties and recycling these historical layers is part of how Ballast survives, re-using what it can and melting down the rest for raw materials.

The culture on Ballast is predominantly one of self-sufficiency. While there are many highly organized enclaves on the world that border on communist in their structure, there is a deep suspicion of anything given without expectation of compensation. The most effective charities require payment in work, though more to offset suspicion and deliver their good will than to extract a profit.

  • Sifting through eons of garbage
  • Bitter cold
  • Suspicious of handouts

New Detroit
T-1 E1 R3
  • Closed shipbuilding facilities
  • Recent pandemic
  • Attractive nuisance

Lacrosse
T1 E0 R-1
Lacrosse never had a lot of heavy metals or other essential material for advanced industry. The star is an ancient one in a relatively static region of space and so there's never been the chaotic jumble of new stars that make for heavy elements. The sky is cold and simple, sprinkled with other old, stable stars.

History here is extremely well documented, going back through three Cycles, though failing to document the original colonization. The pinnacle of each cycle used up more and more of the scarce materiel of the system and now, in the slow crawl up again, the system finds that it has missed the window. There is no longer sufficient resources here to support a high technology industry. It will never again develop slipdrives or participate in an interstellar economy.

But it is comfortable here and though the population is expanding rapidly, creating a great many challenges at home on this city-strewn garden world, there is no longer a drive outwards. The nearest features in the system are mined, but no further, and the system no longer controls its own slipknots. Instead, Aspire has established stations here that are leased by Tantalus interests.

  • Missed the window
  • Enough to do at home — why spend on space?
  • Tantalus-controlled slipknot

Obsidian Line
T-3 E-1 R1

  • War is too expensive
  • The Wreck provides
  • Automated defenses of a former age

Glen Brannaught
T0 E1 R1
  • Just one rock
  • Very few stars
  • Clan-based government

Underhill
T0 E-2 R1
The sky in Underhill is filled with the our sun, which gives warmth enough for the life here. Our close orbit means that it remains warm, and dark, and the sky is filled with the superdense body the size of a gas giant. The algae that grows in Underhill is edible, and surprisingly takes on the tastes of spices it is served with so that on some worlds, I'm told, it's a delicacy. Not here. Here, it is familiar, a constant source of nutrients on a world that can grow nothing else. Periodically — usually every few months, though occasionally only a week or so apart — the electro-magnetic activity from the dwarf goes haywire, and we need to stay indoors, below the rocky surface shielded from the radiation. The scientists can predict these well enough that we normally have a few hours to get underhill, and when we emerge there is always the marvelous bloom on the algae fields, as the bright yellows and oranges burst forth on the surface, as if a rich merchant has tossed down a bag of rubies and topaz haphazardly on a dark silk.

Underhill is not an origin colony. Which is to say, its origins are precisely known. It linked to the cluster within recorded history and was established as a colony by Aspire. The relationship between these two systems is weak, however, as mobility between systems is now at an all-time low, with no world capable of constructing slipcraft. Underhill must make do, and it does.

  • Brown dwarf
  • Intermittent pulses
  • Colony of Aspire
 

Paka

Or call me Judd
Validated User
I'll cheat and post a cluster that's part of a recent game.
That is not cheating. The Clusternomicon welcomes all information that broadens our knowledge of the clusters connect by slipstreams.
 
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