Kit-bashing the future: Centauri Knights + Blue Planet + 2300

jsnead

Social Justice Dragon
Validated User
#1
There's a lot to love about 2300 AD – a setting where humanity is expanding out to the stars, with vast wonders like the AGRA Intelligence in Bayern, ancient mysteries like Medusa in the Nyotekundu Sourcebook, aliens like the Pentapods, the Klaxun, and the Xiang, that are actually alien, and even the more humanoid aliens (the Ebers and the Sung) are considerably more alien than is typical in SF RPGs. However, the politics are outdated and vastly unlikely, the tech is ludicrously retro, and both the Kafers and the Ylii are far too humanoid.

So, the first step is to toss out the Kafer war and the Kafers – I've never been fond of military SF, and the loss is minimal. However, the rest of the problems remain. In considering how to remake this world into something that looks more like modern (or even 90s or 80s) SF, I naturally considered my favorite SF RPG setting – Centauri Knights for BESM. Solid and fascinating technological speculation that isn't as far out or unmanageable as THS, interesting (if somewhat too humanoid) aliens, and nifty mysteries. So, the obvious answer is to include Osiris and all the rest of the elements of Centauri Knights (including all of the human tech) in this revised 2300 kitbash. Now, we have a mildly transhuman setting, which suits me perfectly. Of course, we know almost nothing about the solar system in Centauri Knights, so that's still up in the air. Clearly the Twilight War won't work with the addition of Centauri Knights, but the Twilight War was stupid anyhow, so no loss there. However, using anything like 2300 demands some sort of war or other catastrophe.

Then, I thought of another setting that had a somewhat more reasonable catastrophe, as well as vastly more reasonable politics – Blue Planet. Even better, the technology in Blue Planet and Centauri Knights are essentially compatible. I like the tech in CK a bit better, but the most reasonable answer is to combine the two and use the better of two where they overlap. So, we have the Fischer Virus instead of the Twilight War.

So, a bit of fitting and adjustment is necessary to make these settings work together. Here are my thoughts:

Keep the timeline from Centauri Knights, except set it back 20 years, so the population of the Centauri system reaches 100,000 in 2111. Also, advance the date of the outbreak of the Fisher Virus and the launching of the first colony ship to Poseidon by 15 years, so that the first outbreak is in 2105, and the ship arrives in 2102 (simply assume that the wormhole wasn't discovered until 2093. Then, both the Centauri system and Poseidon are cut off from outside contact until 2180. Amidst the chaos of in the Solar System, the first demonstration of stutterwarp occurred in 2150, and the first new starships where launched in 2180, one to Osiris, another to Poseidon.

Set the game somewhere between 2270 and 2300, you can assume progress has slowed a bit, both because the easiest discoveries have all been made, and because rebuilding the Earth has taken up lots of effort.

On Osiris: By the time of the campaign, I would assume that one continent of Osiris (Nekhebet) is in the process of being terraformed (by this time, the project is well underway), and the other continent (Edjo) is being seeded with native Orisan life (which is also thriving). Also, the Resurrectionists cloned a few hundred Osirans in 2160, and there are now three generations of Osirans living on the Osiran-formed continent, being aided by humans with extensive xenomods. Many of the Osirans and the xeno-formed humans are fog-witches, and an Osiran factory capable of creating new dream jewels. Some of the more radical resurrectionists consider the terraforming of Nekhebet to be an abomination and there are still protests and occasional violence. Meanwhile, stories of spontaneous activity by the ghost-fog are still considered to be legends, but are becoming more common – Synthesis seems to be gradually noticing the human and biological Osiran presence on Osiris, but is not yet taking any organized action. Researchers continue to study the ghost fog and every year promise that breakthroughs leading to the manufacture and distribution of human-made and controlled ghost fog are on the horizon, but no such breakthroughs have yet occurred.

On Poseidon: The Aborigines struck back in 2228, working with more than 5,000 thousand human-aborigine hybrids (ie humans engineered to be more like the aborigines), and 20,000 soldier drones, they wiped out most Long-John mining facilities and destroyed several dozen small newcomer settlements. Human settlements in the Pacifica Archipelago were untouched and the majority of the non-native humans (as well as more than half of the native population) retreated there. Long John mining operations (as well as all undersea voyages) were also immediately suspended. GEO troops struck back, but were hampered by the lack of obvious targets. Eventually, hybrid ambassadors served as intermediaries and attempted to negotiate a settlement. Eventually, a settlement was negotiated – human settlements were to be limited to the Pacifica Archipelago, the only exceptions being hybrids or individuals who were willing to live in harmony with Poseidon and to eventually transform or have their children be hybrids. Also, Long John mining was suspended, except for very limited and carefully regulated mining of the few deposits known to be no longer needed. Illegal mining and illegal settlements are still a problem, as is discontent among the lower classes in the Pacifica Archipelago. Humans have also petitioned the hybrids for permission to study Creator artifacts, but have so far received only a handful of carefully supervised archeological expeditions that were allowed to study artifacts in situ, but were not permitted to remove any artifacts. Illegal archeological expeditions that both photograph and occasionally steal Creator artifacts is a continuing problem, but one that GEO officials often turn a blind eye to. Relations between the human colonists and the aborigines are not openly hostile, but trust is a rare commodity on either side and renewed conflict is a constant possibility.

Other Developments: The first sentient computers were developed in 2092. They soon petitioned for and were granted the rights of citizens. However, because they are clearly modeled on human psychologies, it has proven impossible to create successful AIs that are significantly more intelligent than the smartest humans. Also, many of the smartest are unstable and become unresponsive to external stimuli or delete themselves. As a result, semi-sentient AIs are ubiquitous, but fully-sentient AIs remain relatively rare and the promise (or threat) of hyperintelligent AIs remains in the realm of fiction.

In 2260, a team of humans researchers working with pentapod biotechnicians managed to synthesize a low-grade xenosilicate. While it works more slowly than Long John (double all times for treatments and transformation), it is half the price that Long John was before the human-aborigine war and one tenth the current price. Noting gravitational anomalies in the Pleiades similar to those around the wormholes in the Sol and Lambda Serpentis systems, as well as other significant anomalies, the research starship Bayern is preparing to leave on an extended mission to the Pleiades. Also, in the past five years two ships exploring outward from the newly created Arcturus station have failed to return, and most recently a third returned badly damaged, after an attack by an unknown space ship. The attacker was destroyed, and analysis indicates that it was a purely robotic ship that was more than 5,000 years old. Remains were insufficient to indicate if it was simply a programmed attack ship or if it contained a sentient or near-sentient AI.

Does this sound like fun? What other changes would you make to blend these three settings together?
 

PTiKachu

Damaramu will regret this
Validated User
#2
Know nothing about Centauri Knights and I only have passing familiarity with 2300, but as a BP fan I heartily welcome attempts to meld it into other settings.

Jovian Chronicles is another setting around the same era and tech level - I've pondered merging it with BP myself.

That's all I've got to say, really. Let us know what kinds of adventures come out of your idea. :)
 

Steffworthington

Cartographer & Publisher
#3
Strange. You said you loved a lot about 2300AD and then slated almost everything that makes it 2300AD. I vaguely agree with the outdated tech (it is 20 years old after all) but 2320 should put paid to that. LOVE the Kafers... and the twilight war. so in essence...couldnt disagree with you more.
 

Jiawen

漂浮少女
Validated User
#4
Can I humbly recommend my SF RPG setting, Spheres? In some ways, you could consider it to be like 2300 but with more plausible social structures and a less jingoistic/19th century imperialist history.
 

Bira

Registered User
Validated User
#5
I liked it. I don't know a whole lot about 2300, but I like the other two settings, and you managed to mesh them really well.
 

jsnead

Social Justice Dragon
Validated User
#6
Strange. You said you loved a lot about 2300AD and then slated almost everything that makes it 2300AD. I vaguely agree with the outdated tech (it is 20 years old after all) but 2320 should put paid to that. LOVE the Kafers... and the twilight war. so in essence...couldnt disagree with you more.
In addition to ignoring all of the nifty transhuman technologies (except for the very poorly done cyberware in the Earth sourcebook) the tech was unrealisticaly low when the game was introduced, much less now. I have my doubts that 2320 will aid this. As for the Kafer War - the first edition (Traveller 2300) did not even feature the Kafer war in its base setting. 2300 was always a mixture of space exploration SF & space war SF, but sadly the war elements became more popular over time. I dislike military SF and so prefer to remove those elements, but that doesn't make the setting not 2300, it simply focuses on one of the two parts of the game.
 

jsnead

Social Justice Dragon
Validated User
#7
Can I humbly recommend my SF RPG setting, Spheres? In some ways, you could consider it to be like 2300 but with more plausible social structures and a less jingoistic/19th century imperialist history.
It's quite nifty (I like the aliens), but I prefer the more obviously (low level) transhuman tech of Blue Planet (and especially) Centauri Knights.
 

Anfelas

Registered User
Validated User
#8
I always wish they'd provided more detail on the provolutionists(?) - the terrorist group that was into cyberware, bio-tech, and genetic engineering.
 

Jiawen

漂浮少女
Validated User
#9
It's quite nifty (I like the aliens), but I prefer the more obviously (low level) transhuman tech of Blue Planet (and especially) Centauri Knights.
Yep, Spheres is decidedly non-transhuman (thought there are possibilities peeking through). Thanks for the compliment, anyway. :)
 

AJFixer

Writer
Validated User
#10
I have very little to add, but I would like to mention that my very first game of BESM was a melding of Centauri Knights and Blue Planet. It was a hoot. :D
 
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