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Subject: Story/Timeline? rss

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Ed
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In another thread here on the General board, I was able to get some inside info on the races in the game, and now I was wondering if I could get some similar insights into the story or timeline of the game as a whole. Just like before, I'm going to ask my question, and then supply my own version of an answer before giving anyone else a chance for input.

I know, I'm a bother.

Anywho, is there a set timeline or a definite reason for Sol's death? I ask because in the game Sol is shown as a white dwarf, an event that is not supposed to happen for about another 6.5 billion years.

I think that the races and technology presented in the game do not match up with that much time having passed: the human subspecies do not seem derived enough for that much time apart, and the technology they have seems plausible from a modern standpoint, whereas I think technology from beyond a billion years in the future would seem absolutely miraculous and incomprehensible.

That of course is all subjective and not really based in fact, and also based on the very sparse amount of information about the setting that is available. But from my standpoint, billions of years in the future just seems way much. I wouldn't say any more than about 10 MILLION years, and even that might be a bit high.

I do think the situation could be reconciled, however. The mysterious alien race that has left behind all the clues on the artifact planets is a great wild card that could be used to explain most anything. I think it would work if one of the subspecies accidentally activated an ancient device that turned out to be much more powerful than they anticipated. They may have used it incorrectly, or it may have been its purpose to accelerate the lifecycle of Sol; either way, it happened.

Typically a white dwarf is the remnant of a star that had previously been a red giant, but if Sol had gone to red giant, all the subspecies likely would have abandoned the system THEN (especially if the changes really did occur over the 6.5 billions years in Sol's actual projected cycle). So then we might suppose that whatever this ancient technology is, it turned Sol DIRECTLY into a white dwarf. I'm no astrophysicist, so I can't really speak of any real-world analogues for that, but like I said, the whole ancient alien technology thing is a pretty good lampshade for any explanations.

In its normal lifecycle, I'm pretty sure Sol isn't expected to go nova, but if it was unnaturally brought to the white dwarf stage, that could again be on the table as a possibility. The threat of a supernova would be a fantastic reason to want to leave the system, and fast.

Also, the whole activation thing could deepen the story by creating some tension among the subspecies towards the one that effectively killed the sun. In my personal musings about the different races (about which I go into detail in the Races thread on this board), I think either the Grey Dudes or the Green Dudes would be good candidates, with my personal preference tilting toward the Grey Dudes.

In my vision of them, they got their powers from the alien artifacts or are at least very interested in them after gaining their newfound brainpower, and so it might stand to reason that they stumbled upon and used whatever killed Sol. I think this would add some real drama, since in my musings, they're sort of an aloof race that is much smarter than the rest, and likes to point that out. In this scenario of mine, the Green Dudes, with their analytical minds, might have run the odds and figured this would happen eventually, and then set themselves up on the edge of the system and prepared to move on, without bothering to inform any of the other races.

So anyway, there's some more aimless rambling for you. In the absence of any official plot, either brought to light in this thread or further down the line, my own personal story for Ad Astra will likely be what I described above or something very close to it. What do you all think?
 
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Roberto Di Meglio
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The idea for the storyline concept that the jump to the star was a necessity due to Sol dwarfing came when we got the art piece for the starting system - which looked not much like the Sun but more like a dying star.

The evolutionary scope depicted definitely seems to range in the thousands of years, but given that most of the changes could well have been genetically engineered, I think that even hundreds of year could be a possibility.

I also think it's unlikely to think that the life and death of Sol have been what we expect now. Whether it was humanity itself tweaking with forces outside of our control, or some external force, we did not really decide.
Or maybe our current predictions about the death of Sol are completely off the mark?

All considered, it could just be that Vogons needed the Sol
energy to fuel some device of theirs


But of course it's interesting to tie this in with the extinct Alien civilization as you are doing here!

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Ed
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So in lieu of various other responsibilities over the past couple days, I've typed up a summary of my personal vision of the Ad Astra backstory. Input is welcome, and of course anyone who wants to adopt it or any part of it for their personal gaming group as the backdrop to their games is welcome to.

The PDF is 6 pages long. The first 4.5 are an overall history of humanity beginning with the colonization of the Moon until the point when the five human races are forced to seek refuge outside the Solar system. The last page contains brief summaries of each individual subspecies' history and traits. I tried to incorporate some of what Roberto said about the original visions for the races (including the use of "Omag" as the name of the Grey Dudes, a slight twist on his "Ogam").

For me, the story will likely be a springboard for a set of house rules in which each race plays slightly differently, but I won't start making those up yet since the game won't have arrived until tomorrow.

The PDF here on the 'Geek

Also, for those unfamiliar with Latin, the phrase in the story says (or at least should say if I was able to correctly remember my tenses and moods) "The sun will set. Fly to the stars."

It's more than a little derivative, but I tried to throw in some twists and compelling concepts. I also made sure not to explain every little detail, and left some ambiguity for folks to fill in as they please. Hope you enjoy!
 
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Adrian Montoya
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The boardgame will be mine next week...
With this background I can do an RPG campaign with Thousand Suns...
Great ideas man!thumbsup
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Ed
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Thanks!

I myself am brainstorming ways to make it the setting for a GURPS campaign.
 
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