Boston Space VSS

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That is not dead which can eternal lie, and with strange aeons even death may die.

H.P. Lovecraft

In the years since the Silent War, the Strugni system has barely kept afloat. The Megacorps withdrew funding and exports have slowed while imports skyrocket; food, building materials, and labor are in more demand than ever.

House Nesheim has proudly taken up the mantle of the system, having leased rights from OMCon and Quantum Industries. They have promised to restore the Strugni system to its former glory and reignite a bustling trade economy.

The core of this plan lies not with the Station, despite it being the primary point of ingress and egress from the system; instead that distinction lies with [The Rock - Proper], colloquially known as The Rock. This planet has long been a source of raw materials in the system, though in recent years the local government has preferred to sequester those resources in storehouses for some unknown contingency.

At the center of the system, both literally and figuratively, lies the mystery of The Pulse; an event which dramatically changed the face of many planets and left an errant pulsar circling around the primary star.

Unrest is stirring in the Strugni system. Long ignored and nearly forgotten beings creep around the dark edges of civilization, and civil unrest is murmured in back alleyways. The powers that be seek unquestioning obedience with an iron fist.

And change *is* coming.



Boston NHMA VSS: A Sickly House

Domain Code: MA-003-D Shattered Antiquities

VST Name: Jed H.

VST E-mail: boston.vst.space@gmail.com

System Name: The Strugni System (orbiting Strugni-261)

Verge or Expanse: Expanse

System Number: MA-003-D-E

Theme: Oppression and Resistance, Exploring the Unknown

Mood: Surveillance vs Isolation, Alienation

Setting: Chronicles of Darkness: Changeling 2.0, Mage 2.0, Vampire 2.0, Werewolf 2.0, Bleeding Edge, Infinite Mirrors


Traditional Setting Elements

  • Action (Combat and challenges): 8/10
  • Character Development (Personal dilemmas and choices): 8/10
  • Darkness (PC Corruption): 3/10
  • Death (PC Death): 4/10
  • Drama (Ceremony and grand story): 7/10
  • Intrigue (Politics and negotiation): 6/10
  • Manners (Social etiquette and peer pressure): 4/10
  • Mystery (Enigmas and investigation): 9/10

IE Specific Elements

  • Politics (Spectrum of local political play): 3-4/5
  • Technology (Confluence of infrastructure and local tech level): 4/5
  • Science (“Soft” to “hard”) 2/5
  • Supernatural Tolerance (Level to which Supernaturals are integrated into society): 2/5


Primary Setting

Strugni Station, built around the looming Stygian Gate, is a testament to the resilience and ever-changing face of the Strugni system. It was built by Megacorps and now ruled by Aristocracy, built on the backs of the EDF and the huddled masses, and now serves as both a relic and a port authority. House Nesheim plays political chess with the OMCon and Quantum representatives while portions of the station go without electricity (or, sometimes, atmosphere). The Station-wide Artificial Intelligence Node Transactors (SAINTs) keep a watchful eye on the station - where their sensors remain functional, which is frequently only in Green- and Indigo-Zones. The layers of technology mix with the class stratification to form the personality of the Station itself; one of constant change and a seemingly infinite number of coats of paint.


Appendix I - System Timeline

  • SY 3000: Gate opens, and OmCon sends an exploratory fleet through the gate to determine the habitability and profitability of the system.
  • SY 3020: Initial reports indicate a number of worlds that either can support life or can be easily terraformed to support life, as well as planets rich in resources. These include U-2413ROC127 (The Rock) and U-2422FCI38 (Snowball)
  • SY 3050: Exploratory fleet recalled in preparation for colonization efforts.
  • SY 3075 - 3300: Phase 1 colonization efforts, including rapid-Quants and initial colonization ships for already-habitable worlds.
  • SY 3217: The Night Lords establish a government on The Rock
  • SY 3300 - 3500: Phase 2 colonization efforts, including resource ferrying and the establishment of trade lanes, rules, and regulations.
  • SY 3505: Outpost Vitas declared the primary outpost of Pantan
  • SY 3500 - 4000: Colonizations efforts cease, the system starts being ‘profitable’ for the Megacorps
  • SY 4040: The Silent come to the Strugni system.
  • SY 4055: The Event, and the Silent leave the Strugni system.
  • SY 4055: Numerous satellite stations on Pantan are lost.
  • SY 4056: The Homestead Treaty signed
  • SY 4057: The Unnamed declared restricted to InfraRed Clearance.
  • SY 4105: The first rebellion on Strugni Station occurs
  • SY 4017: The first rebellion is put down, at great cost
  • SY 4115: House Nesheim officially takes custody of the Strugni system.
  • ST 4116: House Nesheim begins sending troops and personnel into the Strugni system, establishing a foothold in Strugni Station.
  • SY 4117: Game Start

Appendix I.a - System Timeline Expanded (to be expanded)

  • SY 4055: The Event, and the Silent leave the Strugni system.

The Event was a major occurrence on SY4055 with as-of-yet unexplained causes. 15 years after the Silent came to the Strugni system, The Pulsar suddenly appeared near the primary star and changed the face of the system forever. Planets were stripped of atmosphere, Quants burned out compensating, and entire ecosystems were wiped out in a matter of minutes. The good news was that after fifteen years of intense war and skirmishing, the Silent left the system without another volley. The bad news was that the radiation nearly destroyed the already war torn planets. The Rock was nearly a lifeless husk, Snowball began to melt, Pantan underwent major ecological shifts, and The Unnamable was promptly quarantined. This was the exclamation point on fifteen years of mass destruction and casualties, and the future seemed incredibly bleak.

  • SY 4056: The Homestead Treaty signed

Fueled by the fears from the Silent War, Homestead (one of Pantan’s moons) proposes legislation to make the moon a more restricted, protected agri-world. In short, technology would be limited to non-invasive methods (no cybernetics) and supernaturals would be discouraged. Thanks to fresh fears about the SAINTs and the Silent, the treaty was passed with minimal inspection under the stipulation that The Homestead continue to produce high-quality foodstuffs and increase the system exports. Oversight was relegated to a single city with pre-existing docking stations, while the rest of the planet was allowed to remain a mixture of untamed wilderness and agriculture.


Appendix II - Solar System Composition

Stars

  • Strugni-261: The primary star of the system
  • The Pulsar: Occurred as part of The Event, dramatically changed much of the system

Planets

  • U-2413ROC127 (The Rock): Formerly a thriving megacity, much of the planet was blasted with radiation during The Event
  • U-2422FCI38 (Snowball): Formerly a planet of ice, the beginnings of an atmosphere from The Event has caused portions to melt more quickly than anticipated
  • U-2429MXT11 (The Unnamed): Warning: Toxic atmosphere due to [REDACTED]
  • U-2421GJN16 (Pantan): A lush planet with oversized flora and fauna

Moons

  • U-3002PCH06 (The Homestead): A moon of Pantan, this moon is equally lush but inhabited by a group of ‘Purists’ who avoid certain kinds of technology

Asteroid Belts

  • No asteroids or belts worthy of being called a Celestial Object

Other Elements

  • Strugni Station (Primary Location): The port authority of the system, built around the Gate
  • C-4055SLNT01 (The Graveyard): An alien station left from the Silent War, there are ships constantly exploding and re-forming around it


Appendix III - Other Important Features

THE STATION

Environmental Features

The Huddled Masses of the Station are more technically inclined than most; living in a wholly artificial environment that surrounds alien technology will do that. The atmosphere leaks and oxygen fires are dealt with quickly as long as you stay near the Fully Authorized areas - where the Corp Reps and House Reps live. It is a constantly oppressive environment; oppression comes from either the Reps, the void of space, or the tightly-packed masses.

Flora & Fauna

What would be expected of a wholly artificial, city-like construct. Pests, things brought in and forgotten, things lost and able to survive.

Culture

The Station was meant to be liminal, a hub of transportation and passage throughout the system. The Corps built it expecting constant churn and high volume, the EDF retrofitted it for storage of inorganic ordinance, and now the House is trying to make it into an opulent jewel of the system. The constant change meant the Station never developed an identity, but instead was an endless cycle of new coats of paint, new features, and half-finished ideas. The huddled masses grew to adapt to this, never expecting stability or continuity.

Economy

Most internal transactions use Station Merit Points, a local currency.

Governance

House Nesheim has taken the reins of the Station, but transition from the rulership of the Megacorps is a slow process. The ‘corps are mired in bureaucracy and paperwork, some are loathe to let go of their power even though the stewardship was granted in goodwill. The ‘corps still control many of the day-to-day functions of the station, even though they are bound by the laws that the House has laid down.

Travel

It is common courtesy (and law) to dock in the Station after entering the system via Gate or before leaving the system via Gate. Within the station most transportation is done by walking (for the huddled masses), moving walkways (for the preferred workers), or personal transport (for the upper crust). There are rumors of transport being done via spider-like constructs that scuttle around the outside of the station, but they may just be misidentified repair robots.

Technology

The technology on the station is an amalgamation. It is Megacorp-inspired efficiency underneath wartime repairs / retrofits underneath scavenged, neglected extensions underneath a pretty new coat of paint for the pretty new boss. Everything is keyed back to a Station-wide Artificial Intelligence Node Transactors (SAINTs). People swipe key cards for hot ramen and hunt rats with pipes if they’re low on credits. Walls are as likely to have exposed piping as an interactive display. The cracks in the windows don’t start until you’re near the Blast Zone though.

Area Ranking

  • UltraViolet Zones - Areas that have been deemed ‘off-limits’ due to sensitivity. This includes the quarters of visiting House or Megacorp representatives, physical access to the Gate, and SAINT core.
  • Indigo Zones - Requires station registration, fully checked and vetted (the 'nice' areas)
  • Green Zones - Most things require station registration, generally 'borrows' some services from Indigo zones (first responders, some materials). The 'helpful' huddled masses live here, which is generally geographically near the Indigo zones.
  • Red Zones - The fringes of the station, many things that would normally require station registration are hacked or old and malfunctioning. Only essential repairs, minimal police presence.
  • InfraRed Zones - Areas that have been deemed 'off-limits' for reasons of safety; gas leak, monster infestation, black project, you name it. May have a police presence, may just be on SAINT lockdown, sometimes shoot-on-sight.


PANTAN

Technology

The more advanced technology on Pantan tends to be restricted; the diagnostic machines that can heal any injury tend to be out of medi-gel, the cybernetics and robots tend to break down with unusual frequency, and the energy weapons tend to be low on energy packs. Instead people rely on kinetic weaponry and locally available resources.

Environment

The environment of Pantan is lush and oversized. Leaves the size of a human body are common, as are animals that tower over 10’ tall. Pantan is often described as ‘deadly and beautiful’, with many coming to the planet for vacations. The weather can be erratic, with massive firestorms sweeping dried-out portions of forest before torrential rains put them out.

Society

Pantan is primarily a survivalist collective. The outposts are in a constant state of preparation for the next major disaster. Death is an old friend on Pantan, and many have become numb to loss; mourning is done with redoubled effort and battle cries.

Flora & Fauna

Think big. Many of the common animals are seen on Pantan, but significantly larger in size. This includes everything from [bears] to [insects].

Culture

Pantan is, in many ways, highly tribal. The various outposts are isolated due to the hazards between them.

Economy

Much of Pantan is focused on a barter economy. They handle trade with external entities by exporting goods that can be harvested (meat, fruit, pelts, and timber are common), but internally there is a common theme of survivalism and goodwill.

Governance

Each outpost has its own slightly different governance style, with most being modelled after Outpost Vitas. OV is run as something between a tribe and martial law, where those who are most capable of keeping the outpost safe being awarded more respect and deference.

Travel

Travel between the outposts is rare and heavily outfitted. Those that have enough clear space for ship landings prefer those as a method for transfer, but those that cannot often utilize heavy, mounted weaponry and reinforced armor.


THE HOMESTEAD

Technology

The technology on The Homestead is advanced, but utilized in very specific manners. Cybernetics are discouraged to the point of ostracization, as is genetic engineering. Technology is used primarily for farming, and anything approaching AI is both hated and feared. Primarily an agri-world for high-end ‘real’ cuisine, the livestock and crops are monitored by both machine and man.

Environment

The Homestead is almost always perfectly calm. Rain seems to come when it is needed, with plenty of sun to keep crops alive though never making things too warm. The occasional drought or flood tends to be due to mis-management rather than natural disasters. The soil is fertile and the winds pleasantly cool, so long as you stay in the civilized areas.

Society

Most of The Homestead is rural farming lands, with a few population centers and one major capital. The capital is where the local EDF garrison and major landing stations are, but due to an old treaty only select individuals are allowed to leave the capital or the large towns (‘city’ would be an overstatement). Generally, individuals with obvious synthetic aspects are not allowed to roam free - this includes Synths as well as those with cybernetics.

Flora & Fauna

Largely livestock and crops, with the cities having more urban animals. The forests have a more eclectic collection of animals.

Culture

In a word, residents of The Homestead tend to be xenophobic. In small towns where everyone knows everyone, outsiders are regarded with wonder and suspicion - but mostly the latter, as the quality of their exports means greedy pirates occasionally attempt to acquire their goods by force.

Economy

Where Pantan exports bulk game and The Rock exports mass-grown hydroponics, The Homestead exports quality, farm-raised, hand-crafted, organic, authentic foodstuffs. Homestead Corn and Homestead Meat tend to be hand-picked, hand-cut, and hand-packed. This leads to fantastic quality, slight differences in the end product, and an incredibly high demand.

Governance

Most of the towns are run by an individual or small council, often an elected official or the local elders. The EDF garrison is allowed a certain amount of meddling, but tend to stay in their city as long as export quotas are met.

Travel

Travel around The Homestead is frequently accomplished via specifically-bred animals [horses]. Mechanized travel is regarded with distaste if it has emissions and distrust if it does not. Ships are used only in bulk transport, and only when necessary.


THE ROCK

Technology

The technology on The Rock is roughly what one would expect from a megacity. Districts like those belonging to the Night Lords and the Megacorps flirt with TL4 while the poorer districts (relegated to ‘expendable’ miners) are on the low end of TL3. The atmospheric shields give a slight glint to the otherwise black sky.

Environment

One half of the planet is sun-scorched wasteland, baked by radiation from the pulsar and heat from the sun. The other half of the planet is largely manufactured; manufactured atmosphere, synthetic food, and what many consider to be ‘fake people’ - be they ghouls or synths. The belt in-between fluctuates slightly, and while the temperatures are still extremes they tend to be survivable (for moderate periods of time).

Society

The society on The Rock is highly stratified. The Night Lords reside in an upscale area with their servants (and ghouls), the Megacorps bleed the huddled masses dry in the Resort District, and everyone else is largely left to rot. Many die young or fall ill due to the mining operations and retire to street-vendor or, if they have the appropriate air about them, greeter at one of the many Resorts. This has put an air of fatalism over the entirety of the planet.

Flora & Fauna

The flora in The Rock is mostly mass-grown hydroponics to feed the local populace. With an abundance of energy but a minimal amount of space, vertical grow-farms are a common sight. Fauna is largely restricted to animals that can dwell in tightly-packed markets or be hidden in small living quarters.

Culture

The huddled masses on The Rock expect to work until they die, hoping that future generations can live a little more comfortably. Those that rebel from this endless millstone tend to drink themselves to death or join an organization - be it authoritative, rebellious, or a local gang. Crime is as frequent as commerce in some areas, and it is accepted as an unfortunate truth of life - like smog or acid rain.

Economy

The Rock exports some of its mass-grown foodstuffs as tasteless Nutrient Snacks, mostly focusing on turning its energy towards heavy mining operations that have been ongoing since the planet was first colonized. Some of these are below large city structures, leading to the occasional rumble throughout the city, while others are in the light-filled deserts, hoping to extract something before they overheat and have to shut off for an indefinite period of time.

Governance

The Night Lords rule much of The Rock with a tactful iron fist. Enforcement is used selectively, always careful to convey the appropriate message restrained enough to never push anyone towards open rebellion. Many times the gangs are made up of ghouls, and those with a penchant for fighting can find themselves press-ganged into service with the blood bond making them more compliant.

Travel

Methods of travel are many and varied on The Rock. Flying cars and skyways spiderweb between skyscrapers, while street vendors walk push carts along busy streets. The occasional mass-transport vehicle can be seen lugging dozens if not hundreds of workers across the city to a job that wears on their soul as much as their bones.


Appendix IV - Supernatural Considerations:

Leadership Structure

Many supernatural groups have declared one planet their ‘primary residence.’ Vampires thrive in the megacity on The Rock, Werewolves tend towards the naturalistic thrill of Pantan, the Changelings find odd comfort in the rituals in The Homestead, and the Mages… try to fit in wherever they can. Strugni Station, by virtue of being the ingress and egress point for the system, tends to be where inter-group meetings occur and is claimed by no one faction.

Storytelling Mechanics

None at this time.

Venue Emphasis

No unique emphasis at this time.

Proxy Rules

All proxies must be received at least 48 hours in advance of the game. Proxies must include:

  • Complete character sheet, preferably in Excel format
  • Full xp log
  • Detailing of what the character intends to accomplish and how they intend to do it
  • Player’s presiding VST contact information

Travel Risks

As Strugni Station is built around the local Stygian Gate, all incoming and outgoing ships are subject to scanning, inspection, and logging. Attempting to outrun or outmaneuver station defenses is inadvisable, but bribery is not a foreign concept to ‘corp mooks.

No other significant risks at this time.

Experience Award Guidelines

(Note: According to released documents as of Sept 27, 2017 maximum XP is 3/mo)

XP awards are as follows:

  • 1XP for attending game in-person
  • 1XP for submitting downtimes
  • 1XP per downtime scene (ST discretion)
  • 1XP for exceptional costuming (ST discretion)

Prestige (and possibly VIP? Who knows!) may be rewarded for NPCing.

Other Policies

Please see related documents for other policies. Of special note: while prop weapons are encouraged, they should be obviously fantastical. Additionally, the venue has a strict no-firing policy for such weapons; while the likelihood of damage from foam ammo is low, it is still disallowed in this venue.