🎨 Creative [Setting Riff] Shadows in The Dark


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The origin of this setting started out from a 101 plots thread: What scenarios can you run in Ridley Scott's Alien(tm?) https://forum.rpg.net/showthread.ph...rios-can-you-run-in-Ridley-Scott-s-Alien(tm-) . It started being pretty true to the first source material, but then people started incorporating “head cannon” that linked various properties together. (Mostly because the scenarios based on the first source started to get repetitive IMO.) The head cannon and the borrowing opened up new options for drama and plots. Then it sort of took on a life of its own, combining science fiction setting events, science fiction plots, and appropriate noir components. It mixed in my head and something new rose up and became baked. That became this setting.

So with setting rift I am going to put down some foundation pieces and some basics. I am going to be adding to this for a while. Everyone can add suggestions or hopefully full features as they want.

Shadows in The DarkA technoir setting in the great dark of space

Mission Statement: To create a stellar future setting with a technoir feel, with a default set up and all the tools the GM will need with dials (adjustable points to customize a chronicle) allowing them to tell their stories.

Setting: Grounded Trans-stellar Scifi

Optimal Genre: Technoir – a mix of noir and science fiction.

The Setting is the physical places and props the characters will inhabit. This setting will have a very grounded stellar science fiction. That is to say there will be realistic pieces of plastic and metal that we will recognize directly in our day to day life and things of wonder – space ships, star ships, computers, rail guns, synthetic beings, alien lifeforms, and so on. Society is Trans-stellar, to mean across many star systems.

Given a setting, you can set any number of genre stories in it. In a science fiction setting you can have romances (that 80s spat of romance stories with aliens), adventures (et all), mysteries (Asimov’s robots), and even the science fiction (where the implications and impact of science upon people and culture) genre stories.

The ideal genre for this setting is technoir, a mix of noir (more of a style, than a genre – but emphasizes people of questionable virtue doing the best they can expressing a fatalistic mood leavened with provocative banter) and science fiction (fiction dealing principally with the impact of actual or imagined science on society or individuals or having a scientific factor as an essential orienting component). Technoir has a lot of cyberpunk tropes, as cyberpunk is all about how technology and people using technology will not save us. ( In technoir proper, technology does help or hinder you, it is in the background for the most part. ) However it shares the broken people trying to make the broken world better (at least for them). Your chronicle in this setting should be somewhere in the spectrum between deep dark gritty noir and science fiction.

The GM will set up a framework for the characters. This is how the characters are linked and why they are together on “this adventure”. The default campaign assumption has them as a crew of a starship, allowing them more exposure to a wider variety of things. However, they can be passengers on a ship that will take them from star to star. You can set a chronicle in a star system, travelling from planet to planet, or even just limit it to one world or one city, choice is yours. Like I said, the default consideration is that you are on a space ship.

Note: Since Film Noir comes from film (though there are novels that are noir… but we continue) and most of the inspiration for this setting are in film, I would think a cinematic play style would be ideal. This provides a less slavishly tie to mechanical realism. The story should be fast, highly descriptive (using movie terms and describing things with camera angles and so on, with the use of cut scenes, and other film tools), playing with scenes carefully framed rather than just following the characters around like a documentary, and the action in the scenes being “scripted” that is to a planned goal. (More on this later).

All things I post up will take these points into considerations.

There are going to be some foundation posts. These will include
1) A list of terms that will be used here and what they mean
2) A State of the Setting including Earth and Human Explored Space
3) There is not going to be an exact timeline, but a list of historical events that happened in the past that helped make up the State of the Setting. (The exact timing is unimportant as they happened far enough in the past, unless they are important to your chronicle.)
4) Technology overview
5) A list of planned Feature Entries
6) Some Style Points to running a better campaign in line with the basic ideas.

Everything else I post will either be a FEATURE or an edit/ refinement to a previous post.

Technology Posts: They will define the technology and how it generally impacts the settings. It should also include some plotlines related to the technology and some less general impacts to the setting (places and events related to when the technology takes a different or more extreme drama).

Social Feature: This is like technology, but some social element and how it generally impacts the setting. Again, some possible plotlines and any special aspects of the social feature. This might include a historical event or trends.

Organizations: This is a group, organization, or even a corporation that is in the setting. Again including some plotlines related to the group and maybe some less impacts (where the organization has a different than general impact).

Worlds: These are posts that are either general categories of worlds or specific worlds. Again with plotlines and such.

Aliens: These are posts that define some form of xenomorph. Most aliens have radically different metabolisms so far. However we could have some other ones that are nearly earth organic.

So if you are posting an addition, try to keep it categorized and keep it in line with what came before and try to make sure there are plotlines built on it.
Defined Properties [These are our primary inspirations. Things from these settings will be adapted to this setting.
Alien series, Predator series, Outlander, Total Recall, Blade Runner, Soldier, Avatar - these are our foundations. I am adding a plant like Triffids because they are both fun and dangerous.

Technically Terminator saga is involved in this, but Skynet and the Rebels have managed to time trick their way out of existence. That would be in the past anyways. Nobody has invented time travel or if they have it is so regulated that nobody uses it. (or they treat time travel like Mercury Astronauts, perhaps Conundrum ). So Skynet was averted completely and that tech path was never developed. This allows us other AIs.

Additional inspirational properties to put into mix (these are dialable)
Starship Trooper (inspiring a Buglike race and armored military, remember all that about "
bughunt"? I like this explanation), Unreal and Quake, Robocop (movies and TV shows - as we should have a degree of cybernetics), and Wing Commander (because we need something for the Earth Gov to be fighting besides the Bugs) and Earth, Above and Beyond (TV).

Properties that could be additions: These are the cyberpunk properties, but they fit in as well.
Silent Running, Johnny Mnemonic and Silent Running, with Strange Days, Final Days, and Brainstorm as additions. Avalon, the 2001 film, would be a good option as well. Tek Wars could be a viable dial add on. Max Headroom would be a great addition, but only lightly.

Now unofficially, there are some other things you can add. Some optional ones are "old generation science fiction". They are not quite as dark or cyberpunk, but elements can be lifted. (Plus the entire universe can not be this dark, so the provide some contrast). As long as there is corporate controls or a overly oppressive Government Empire, it could be inserted. Some canidates are : Fuzzy series, Uplift Saga, a touch of Blue Planet, a touch of Planet of the Apes, Darkover would be a nice touch, as would Pern (Dragons can only jump about in system sorry), Foundation in the background (we are before the fall) and Asimov's Robot series comes along for the ride with the Foundation.

Note: the Inspirational Thread is a good source of material here. Much of it will be recycled here.
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Brain Sense – Brain Scan/ Brain Recording: The ability to make tapes of thoughts and memories. This used to be a recreational process, but it is too easy to become addicted to it. It has restrictions in most places. It is also the foundation for creating Synthetic Minds.

CITO aka Combined International Treaty Organization During the years of the last Human/zeno war (insert species of choice), Earth and the Corporate States formed CITO, a single government that might be more efficient at carrying out an interplanetary war. Deep space mining on planets and asteroids became the choice means of financing the war, with raw materials needed to continue the fight.

The Combine: The euphuism for organized crime.

Cyberlink: Augmented computer network Civilized Society is connected through the Cyberlink

Fringe: The Fringe is the outer edge of Human Explored/ known Space. It is a deep band of stars, forming a shell around the volume of HES. The Fringe is always moving a little every decade, as "civilization catches up". Mostly the Fringe is where Human Mining is done as well as where most of the wars with various Xeno-species

HCA aka Human Colonial Authority was established by the CITO to develop actual colonies in the edges of Human Explored Space and to uphold law and order peacefully on the fringe.

HES aka Human Explored Space: This is the volume of space where Humans have explored and colonized. So far they have yet to lose any of their explored space to another species or government. During wars, there will be Human Controlled Space. A space Humans/ Terrans actually control/rule, which will be less than the HES.

ILEA aka International Law Enforcement Agency: The main policing force for the CITO

Klonemorphs: Synthetics that are created with brain structures that match a specific person (usually requiring genetic samples). They are used for Rider Technology.

Marshalls of the ILEA International Law Enforcement Agency and TSLEA Trans-stellar Law Enforcement Agency. These are the people who enforce the civilian laws.

PMC aka Private Military Company – Private military units that are either a division of a corporation or a company of their own contracting out to various groups.

PSC aka Private Security Companies are those that provide more policing/ security for corporate areas than a PMC.

Reaches: There are several Reaches, stars grouped by FTL paths together – usually colonized at roughly the same time.

Rider Technology: (aka Avatar Technology) Taking the Brain Scan Technology, it allows a mind to be projected into a Klonemorph or other bio-synthetic. Full Transfers are possible, but never perfect. Where ever there is a Rider, there is a body in a stasis tube somewhere comatose. Note: If a morph dies while a person riding, there is a chance the core mind can die.

Robos: Robots which are autonomous or Human guided robots.

Silicates or Silicons: AIs programs which are often housed in humanoid/ humanesk roboforms.

Stasis tubes – able to preserve a biologic entity for protracted time. It will also protect them from the forces of FTL

Synthetics: Biomechanical to near biologic products that seem to be living organisms. Straight biologics are impossible event with x-materials.

Tethering technology: Like Rider technology but allows you to run robos/ remotes. Most biologic things can not be teathered.

Ticket bond It allows a ticket for a flight off world whenever they want. Maybe there will be a law about Human retrieval, the government will pay for the return ticket from any world not a B-level colony or better.

The Tournament – The Sport of a Combat Tournament prevalent in the Fringe using Rider Technology.

TSLEA aka Tran-Stellar Law Enforcement Agency – the subdirectorate for non colonial world and space.

UAF aka United Allied Forces: The Joint Military Force of the CITO – There is a High Navy (which includes star ships and fighters), Limited Wet Navy, Marine Corp (and their forces), Cavalry (Hover Tanks) and Armor (Mecha Suits).

Unobtanium, an X-lith or X-maerial with exotic properties that we need for some kind of hyper science.

Wave Coils and Wave Engines: They are the key to FTL

Wave Flow: The FTL paths and pseudo subspace that allows the FTL.

X- the abbreviation for xeno/space/ alien, much the way I or E is used for electronics iTool or eTool. So an alien tool (or tool specifically to deal with something alien is xtool

Xeno-liths or Xeno-materials, materials from other planets or stars with special properties.

Xenoforms: Aliens from other worlds/ biologies.

X-Morph Alien form, often with different biologies. Zetium: an Unobtainium with exotic properties.

Rename these Names are changed to protect the author
Aliens: Bugs: The scary alien race we have spent most of the time we fight. X121s might be the evolved form of Bugs.
Aliens: Felinoids : Cat beings the military are currently or recently have fought. Pehaps some day they will not be out to kill us all, but no. Religious fantatics
Alien: Fuzzies
Alien: Hunters from the predator movies
Alien: Nephlim: Giant Engineers
Alien: Temple Builder Culture
X221: endoparasitoid extraterrestrial arthropodal species- perhaps the most dangerous lifeform ever encounter. This species is being used for bioweapons and its biology could revolutionize our understanding of bioscience. They may be the solution to the Fermi Paradox in this region of space.
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State of the Setting

Earth is a dystopian, overpopulated, over polluted, global urban slum wrecked by corrupt, nature-destroying industrialism; the background has cyberpunk themes. Lets call this the 23nd century timeframe.

Earth has suffered serious natural and man-made disasters, such as an intra-continental conflict and tsunamis hitting everywhere. Toxic backlash makes the atmosphere less your friend. Technology is scrubbing the air, but can only do so much. Nature is mostly gone now, with synthetic life taking its place where aesthetic.

Earth faces a worldwide economic/energy crisis due to the depletion of natural resources. Governments are held in stasis, paralyzed by conflicting laws. The Governments have lost power to the groups that have power - wealth and resources - the corporations. The Corporations have monopolized public services, for their employees and those indentured to them. Since they have resources and power, they have control over areas the governments can't control - like space. There is governmental forces out here, part of the CITO. The organizational table is big and dispersed, but they try to inflict the ways of law between the Corporations.

Mostly the CITO thought the UAF is spending its time defending Earth from various xeno-threats. The CITO spends much of its effort into defending the Human Explored Space aka HES. There are core worlds, various Reaches (of fairly developed and lawful colony worlds), and the Fringe. The Fringe is the outer edge of Human Explored/ known Space. It is a deep band of stars, forming a shell around the volume of HES. The Fringe is always moving a little every decade, as "civilization catches up". Mostly the Fringe is where Human Mining is done as well as where most of the wars with various zenospecies (There are so darn few non-zenophobic zenospecies).

Note: Earth is so politically unstable that the services of private security contractors and the militaries of Earth's nations are highly active. There is open warfare between "local" (national) governments and covert war between corporations.

Society is very split between haves and have nots, Full Corporates and those not. (There are some lesser corporates between the two). It is very Blade Runner in terms of the look and feel of things.

In our technology we have a variety of bioscience - able to make life forms. Thus we have synthetics of all sorts – from androids to bio-tools to replacants to clones and so on. With Brain Transference they can transfer a mind into a klone (tm) via the Rider process. There is null gravity and vtol tech. In more civilized areas, the cyberlink provides advanced communication and computing. There are limited mind connection via cyberlink. Of course, we have FTL which still makes people sleep in stasis chambers.

There are possible technical miracles out there. We just need to get through the greed and corruption (and tweak of science) to unleash them.

Each Stellar Region or Reach will have different tech manifestations because of different companies have the license to operate inside the zone. So while humanesk synthetics are common in some area, robotoforms or simian protohumans are prevalent in others. In some places rejuvenation technology is possible, in others you will do surrogates (avatar process) while your body is in support tubes. It all depends on the amount of unobtainium and other x-metals. (In short, you can design your own Reach or area of the Fringe for your chronicle which will be “its way” because of the Corporations and their licensed tech.)
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History Bits

FTL happened about the same time as Humans started to expand into the system. They basically bypassed most of the system and went FTL.

Humans have been exploring space for a while. They are very comfortable with their trans stellar society. They managed to advance before they encountered their first aliens... and their first alien war. Society has become more formal and more ritual than today, one of those natural cycles of things. Then the war happened.

We need a recent war, one that was a long grind with no clear winner and morals were compromised to win. This is where we can have broken men who fill noir stories. (Pick an alien or AIs. I think Aliens would be better for the recent battle. I nominate Bugs

Synthetics need to come into play between the AI event and the Last War.

AIs need to have become a "Threat in the past", if there wasn't an actual war. (This may just be a definitinal war or police action or something else they want to call it).

The AIs are responsible for Biomed advances, including super intelligent psionic humans. This association is one of the reasons that biomed advances tend not to be used.


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Technology Highlights:

This is mostly Humans science fiction, with limited to no "miracle tech".

There may be aliens out here, but The Xenos and The Bugs might be the explanation for the lack of Aliens in our area (Drake's Equasion Modifier). Still we have aliens who want to fight us in space and with armor and cavalry on the grounds. I like adding Fuzzys showing us that there are some things in space not trying to kill us.

Computer Systems The reason computers don't seem that powerful is that the AI Revolution occurred. AIs become as smart as the system they are on. Thus the stupid computers of all space/star ships and restrictions of Now Computers are now allowed beyond a certain level of complexity to prevent AIS from moving through space or evolving again. And lets face it, the computers that took us to the moon were less powerful than most smart children's toys these days. It takes surprisingly little computing power to do FTL once you have the base information and algorithms.

C-Squares Modules for running information systems (computer). Ships can be run on two or three of them. Various programs are plugged into the C-Square program boards. This keeps the concept of AI take over to a minimum as you can pull the cartridge or the C-Chip. This prevents virus/computer corruption and AI infection. These chips are normally light blue and grey. The color determines the base use. Program chips are small cartridges that insert into a program board, allowing for stable and unmodified programs (perhaps with a system adjustment chip).

Civilized Society is connected through the Cyberlink. All communication and monetary transactions occur within its sphere. The Cyberlink records the identities of all legalized citizens. Most of this is biometric, but in can include genetic materials... and implanted chips are used in some places (more secure and more useful).

Cyberlink is your fairly wireless computer network (lots of wires or maybe IR projection, as wireless allows for AI access). It does everything you would expect it to do, only a few years ahead of where we are now. (It could of done more, but not allow access to AIs). Programs are chipped to preventing AI invasions and development. The Cyberlink in more sophisticated area will include brain tape and brain sensories. Padds are common tools of cyberlinks, but you can have vGoggle to provide you input.

Note: There is a mail transfer via the CITO which includes cyberlink downloads to bring various Reaches’ cyberlinks up to date.

Biomods The AIs helped create enhanced humans. They created improved humans which might of lead to a limited Eugenics war. Psionics Humans were the byproduct of Humans Enhancements that were as smart or nearly as smart as an AI. (Dial). Psionic Synthetics don’t function real well. Psionic modded Humans work very well, but become indentured servants to the corporation. Genetic therapy can remove the Psi Advancement, but it basically cripples their intelligence to below average (-3from the PSI’s well above average +6).

Biomod II Gene Modding exists but is highly monitored. Thus you could have humans with modifications – self made aliens – (cat people, a few winged humans, a dolphin esk people, and a few other phenotypes you don't immediately recognize). It seems that since there are no "friendly aliens", the people could make their own. However, the law restricts them highly (left over laws from the AI wars). There is one catch for this, it is kinda illegal in many places to be this genemodded and be a "person". Most things that are gene modded are synthetics and can be owned.

FTL in all our source materials seem to be "speed of plot". It does seem that FTL needs stasis pods for acceleration and deceleration (and for the time between pods... perhaps FTL is possible but in the reverse of general relativity.... Thus two weeks happens outside the ship and two years happens inside... Perhaps jump gates required unless the ship is really big and has its own generator. FTL. Speed of plot via the various waves and valleys of vibrational space. Hyperspace valleys and torques allow for spacial transference. However people can not survive the acceleration and deceleration without stasis tubes. They are hard pressed to survive in the environment with the engines runings even between the tubes.

Power Sources: Arc Reactors: Small sources, lots of power. Hockey Puck sized generators.

Gravity Tech: 1G only, so anti-gravity and near null gravity, allowing for efficient vector jets and flying cars. .

Plasma weapons: Gravity Tech helps has generate and control plasma bolts and those cool tech weapons.

Nano-Tech does not really exist. It is micro-tech, very small machines that don’t quiet do atomic assembly, but do molecular assembly.

Brain Sense technology This is brain taping technology. It also allows it to be replayed back to a human mind. Primarily this is Memory Tools (it was a fad a while back, but has taken a back bench). It is the foundation of the Synthetic Minds. Fighting for the copyright or the ability to use a given anchor piece of brain tape is the reason why minds are different on various synthetics.

Rider Technology - The Avatar Process more formally - allows a Human Mind to be projected into a bio construct made from compatible DNA. Thus Klonemorphs can be created, often identical to the person's real body (only tweaked a bit to be better, and naturally stronger, faster, healthier because it did not have to live under less than perfect conditions).
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Planned Feature Posts

I am going to do the (*) posts. Others are up for grabs. PM me if you want to do a (*) post. If you come up with a feature that is not listed, feel free.

Technology Posts:
Brain Sense (*)
Cyberlink and computers Overview (*)
Miracle Tech – Overview (*)
Rider Tech
Robos (*)
Silicons (*)
Stasis Tubes (*)
Synthetics Overview (*)
Wave Engines and FTL (*)
Weapon Tech (ala Aliens and these movies)

Social Feature:
Bio modification pre and post natal limits, rules (*)
Fashion Style (*)
HES (*)
Longevity treatments
Psionics – Dial (*)
Simiamorph - A planet has been lost to them… (Planet of the Apes)
Tournament (*)

Bounty Hunters
CITO and its units (*)
Corporations: I need to do Nec-On and Elysium
The Combine
Marshalls (*)
United Allied Forces: Overview (*)
Reaches (I will write up one with things I like)

Aliens: Bugs: The scary alien race we have spent most of the time we fight. X121s might be the evolved form of Bugs.
Aliens: Felinoids : Cat beings the military are currently or recently have fought. Pehaps some day they will not be out to kill us all, but no. Religious fantatics
Alien: Fuzzies
Alien: Hunters from the predator movies
Alien: Nephlim: Giant Engineers
Alien: Temple Builder Culture

Film Noir/ Noir (*)
Cinematic (What we mean by that) (*)
Character Archetypes (*) Basic. There will be more with each "scene".
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First Listings for Style Points:

*Tech is not here to make problems or solve problems, it is here for the drama and the types of stories/ situations it can make up. People make the problems (and given this setting people and alien lifeforms).

*The Noir aspect of the setting is about the people making decisions, often bad decisions, because they feel they have no other choice.

*Heroes in Noir are often cynical, often broken by previous experiences where their previous ideals and honor codes did not help when times were tough. In the movies, iconic, whiskey-stained antiheroes, sharp-eyed femme fatales, world-weary techs and trigger-happy gangsters; giving us fatalistic tales soundtracked by the screech of tires and the bark of gunshots. In tech noir, add some pilots, scientists, investigators, medias, and you are there.

*When GMing, you can have multiple flashbacks with voiceover narration, and scenes/ settings/ events dramatically shadowed and described. Character history (and from the player's point of view, retcon or additions to said) wil be shown by the flashbacks.


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Some Possible Archetypes

Agents Spies and operatives working for governments or corps.
Deception, Communication, Influence

Arranger the well-connected fencers, smugglers, and information brokers who apply their trade on the black market
Contact, Communication, Knowledge.

Bodyguard They protect their clients.
Combative, Athletic, and Contacts

Couriers They who make sure things get where they are supposed to.
Athletics, Perception, and Knowledge

Doctors Medical Staff of all stripes.
Science, Deduction, and Knowledge

Engineers Run the Engines
Science, Tech, and Deduction

Escort They are companions
Style, Perforance, Communication

Investigator Cops, Private Eyes, and Analyst
Deduction, Perception, Knowledge

Medias They who provide content to the Worlds or Cyberlink
Communication, Contacts, Deduction or Performance

Pilot Flying the ship or other vehicle
Vehicle, Special Vehicle, Perception.

Science, Focused Science, Knowledge.

Soldier One of the oldest professions - they who fight
Athletic, Combative, Perception

Suit Corporates, Politicians, and Administrators
Influence, Communication, Perception

Technician They put together all the little things in our technical society.
Technology, Contacts, and either Science or Knowledge.

Thief Stainless Steel Rats?
Deception, Athletics, Contacts

Marshalls are either investigators or soldiers or suits.

There will be more, often attached to a feature, but these are the generics.
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Entry 8 HES - Human Explored Space - this is the volume of space - of stars, planets, and exo-bodies - that humans have surveyed.

Stars and many heavy bodies can be determined by observation and science - readings from ships and planets. It is correlated by the CITO Ministry of Astrogation and Stellar Flows. The Cito Ministry gathers information from all sources. They produce stellar maps, determine where navigation buoys must be place, where communication repeaters are to be located, Cykler Wave Monitor placement, and other infrastructure for trans stellar transportation. They produce the path maps so required for efficient FTL travel and monitor wave monitors for "weather" and "tremors" and "slides" that could change a path map. These paths help determine Reaches and the determining of a new ministry. The MoASF advises local planetary and system ministries on space ports and space lanes, but are secondary to the Ministry of Survey.

To gain any real detail about a star, planet, or exo-mass, closer examination/ study must take place. The cursory level two survey determines locations, vectors/ orbits, rotations, and basic chemical compositions. A proper level two survey takes in the entire solar system and all the planetary bodies (Major and Minor) and all notable comets and eccentric orbit masses.

The Ministry pays a bounty for level two system surveys or excellent level three surveys (Excellent surveys show possible habitability or commercial uses). These bounties will go to the independent survey teams out there, corporate survey teams, military units that just happen to have the time, and the over worked, underfunded, and chronically understaffed Scout Division. The Ministry pays for these bounties and its own maintance by selling level four survey rights and related commercial rights to various bodies.

Note: Scout division vie with various corporate teams for exploring and properly surveying of wave flows. Eighty percent of this thankless task is done by the scount division. This helps them determine new warp ways and possibly access points to new Reaches. Scout Division also does a lot of buoy placement and maintance, which is how it helps pay for its existance.

The HES is everywhere that a Human has done a level two (system range) or three (orbit range) or level four (surface and invasive internal ranges) that isn't obviously coveted, buoyed or colonized by another space born power. Given the fluid nature of wave flows, direct stellar geography done simply by visual observation (as would be assumed by a non-efficient ftl society). Still some "emotional boundries" and "safety boundries" might be in effect.

Human colonization or even commercial ventures are only allowed on bodies that have had level four surveys. Even there there will be surprises. (Three standard years of exploration or habitation will allow for a level five survey - well explored (and all the surprises should of been found/ neturalized or anticipated.) Level Five survey worlds have fewer, if any, restrictions on travel too or from.

So far, the HES has been efficiently defended. Any place that Humans have explored and have not been contended are all currently part of the HES (after the end of any conflict). There are some systems and exo-bodies that have had military surveys done, but they are "owned" by another trans-stellar groups.

There are worlds and reaches that are still expanding out. The edges are the Fringes... the edges of Human Volume. Fringes are usually where the mining is happening, as colonies out that far might be dangerous (that is to say, might be attacked by x-forms).
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Entry 9 CITO

Earth, to put it simply, is a mess. The planet has a number of economic and energy crises due to the depletion and competition for natural resources and environments. Old Governments continue to think in old ways, settling old score, and dealing with old crises. They are paralyzed in many cases by conflicting laws, restricted mandates, treaties, and just Old Government thinking. Even though the political map is different, these new combined states are still working in the same patterns. The Old Govs have lost power - wealth and resources to other groups: The Corporations. They are free to work beyond borders and into space. The Corporations have monopolized public services for their employees and those indentured to them. Since they have resources and power, they have control over areas the governments can't control - like space.

Eventually there were Xeno Wars (Bugs and...). Corporations were unequipped to handle such conflicts on large scales, Old Govs had issues with cooperation and treaties. A new agency was generated: The Combined International Treaty Organization or CITO. This became an overlay over existing Govs and Corporate holdings. It allowed for greater coordination and resource marshalling. It also created a far reaching governmental agency that could handle all of Human explored space.

CITO's primary concern is the safety of Human Explored Space, from the Fringes to Earth. It is the governing body that controls the United Allied Forces, the primary military force for Humanity. (The UAF was the larges part of hodgepodge of Old Government forces, in which all proper military forces have been folded into, to be run by CITO) It keeps Human and Corporate interests safe from Xeno incursions.

They are behind the colonial drives (though a few Old Govs are trying to be relavent and do some on their own).

Still HES is very big and this disperses much of CITOs conventional power and resources trying to maintain proper lawful conduct everywhere. It expanded the International Law Enforcement Agency (ILEA) beyond the Earth, to be the main policing force in all Human Explored Space. While their jurisdiction is limited in Corporate Spaces, their Marshalls still manage to protect and serve Humanity to some degree in those spaces. The Marshalls monitor the activies of the various PMC and PSCs that are hired by Old Govs, New Govs, and Corporates to protect their interests, sometimes intervening - sometimes bringing in the UAF.

The CITO is modeled after the Government of France of the current age (Due to some quirks of History, was once again a primary world power for a few decades).

It starts with The Council which has a representative from every Old Gov state (some elected, some appointed), every AAA or AAAA (trans stellar AAA corps) Corporate Board, Mars, and each Reach (until such time as the population reaches a certain level, then individual worlds would have their own seat). The Council elects the Prime Minister who serves for 10 years a term (or less if the council votes him out). There are 305 full Council Members at this time, with 14 Prime Councillor representing the largest blocks/ corporations where the real power lies.

The PM is in charge of the direction and daily governmental processes. Council is in charge of general policy, some laws, and significant actions (such as approving wars). The Council just follows the direction of the Prime Councillors (who meet in their Star Chamber).

The PM appoints, with council approval, Ministers (technically Ministers of State). Each Minster runs a Governmental Ministry, who is then is supported by various Secretaries of State. The Minsters form a Ministry Board that supports the PM in following Government Direction. Minsters are also not supposed to have any professional position or jobs at this time, to avoid conflicts. Secretaries are not under this restraint and are often Corporate employees.

The names of ministries change often in CITO. This is a list of currently extant ministries:

*Ministry of Agriculture, Agrifood and Forestry
*Ministry of Astrogation and Stellar Flows
*Ministry of Civil Service and Licensing
*Ministry of Colonial Services - They provide incentives for people to move out into space, especially to civil colonies. However, they arrange for people to move out into space in various corporate work sites.
*Ministry of the Corporate Affairs and Economy, Industry -Includes (CITO and Corporation interaction).
*Ministry of Culture, Cyberlink, and Communication
*Ministry of Energy
*Ministry of the Environment, Weather, and Infrastructure (The ministry attempting to support Earth and do terraforming on other worlds).
*Ministry of Finance and Public Accounts - after the last PM, the ministry will be the bastion of good faith and ethics. The cleaning of house was extensive.
*Ministry of Govermental Interface (CITO and Old Gov interaction)
*Ministry of Health
*Ministry of Housing and Archologies
*Ministry of Labour and Employment, and Vocational Training
*Ministry of Justice (Dealing with Courts and various Law Enforcement Agencies, including International Law Enforcement Agency. )
*Ministry of Martial Affairs - UAF
*Ministry of National Education, Higher Education and Research
*Ministry of Synthetic Affairs (includes Clone Legal Rights)
*Ministry of System Affairs - dealing with SOL planets, system traffic control, mining in the belt.

*Ministry of a Reach - There are 14 Reaches at the moment (insert the number that fit your world). The Ministries provide the services of other ministries that are not present. They follow existing policies set down by those ministries. They provide services of all the ministries to the best of their abilities, excluding ministries of Astrogation and Stellar Flows or Martial Affairs. The Ministry of Civil Service does it sets to actually be out in the Reaches.

*Ministry of a Core - This ministry provides the services of the various ministries to worlds near Earth - that are reached by under-efficient FTL - that do not have full resources of the various ministries on their worlds. Most of these world actually receive full ministries service and are quite developed. As the fringes expand, so does the core (though at a slower rate).

The main problem with the CITO is that it is spread too thin. Even with improved resources from Corporate Taxes and Governmental Contributions, there are not enough bodies with enough gear to do everything. "Government by Comm". One agent or secretary, often of the Ministry of The Reach or Civil Service, is the only representative in a system or a planet.
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