This page is for important game rules and additional information that's too long for the game description on the homepage.
Roles, Departments, and Positions
The duty of each department is headed by an officer of 0-4 Lieutenant-Commander, with (if given extra personnel) an 0-3 Lieutenant as an assistant. Depending on skill training, and ability, crew are assigned as needed to departments around the ship.
The size of the ranking list is a WIP, so for the time being, simply email me if you need any answers.
The departments for the Archangel are as follow.
Due to the nature of being on a naval vessel, the crew uses military hours to tell time.
Shifts onboard the Archangel and any other Mandate ship regulated to Watches. By custom, spacers shifts are usually one on and two watches off, rotating through all seven watches of the day.
1600-1800: First Dog
1800-2000: Second Dog
Before the Scream, humanity has united under the banner of the Terran Mandate. Two waves of colonization occurred up to this point, the First Wave and Second Wave.
The First Wave was Earth's first true attempt at colonizing other worlds beyond our solar system. Initial attempts were dangerous, as the spike drive (FTL drive) was not fully understood or experimented with. However, with often reckless abandon and persistence, the first boots upon a habitable world was achieved in 2113 A.D. by the Greater European powers on Earth. Seven years later, Pan-Indian explorers find and colonize the first alien inhabited world, Pranashakti. Though not sentient creatures and little more than plant and marine life, nevertheless Earth had finally found life amongst the stars.
By 2200 A.D., humanity has reached its limit for expansion, with most worlds colonized within a year's travel from Earth. The nations of Earth could not possibly control all of her colonies and began a retrenchment policy. A colonization ban was made at this point, culminating in the creation of the Terran Mandate. Between 2200 and 2330 A.D., the Mandate focused on regaining control of far-flung colonies. However, there was new variable added to humanity.
Fifth generation spacers had begun to give birth to children who were affected by the metadimensional energies of the spike drive, developing reality bending powers of precognition, teleportation, telepathy, telekinesis, and other inhuman powers. Over time, the Psionic Authority came to power to learn, use, and eventually teach psychic disciplines to these psychics. Without formal training, psychics would either be driven permanently and dangerously insane or be killed, as metadimensional energies burned channels deep within their brains from usage. Many question the early experiments with the first psychics; whether they were humane or not in retrospect, the death toll of humans with what was now officially dubbed "Metadimensional Extroversion Syndrome" , or MES, would have been much higher as untrained psychics burnt their brains out using their new powers.
Organizations such as the Bureau of Harmony, Psionic Authority, and Perimeter Agency came into being and full power around this time. The Bureau of Harmony focused inwards to correct "social upheaval" and "religious feuding", often bearing a frightening resemblance to Earth's past superiority/secret police groups such as the National Socialist German Workers' Party and Russian Committee for State Security. The Psionic Authority continued numerous experimentations upon psychics within the shadows, culminating with the invention of psitech and the first Jump Gates. And the Perimeter Agency would keep a watchful eye on both the frontier and alien life that threatened humanity, quickly eradicating eugenics cults and hostile lifeforms with the deployment of the Mandate fleet.
The Mandate would lift the colony ban in 2330 A.D. With the creation of the Jump Gates, now the frontier could be reached in two days or less. This marked the Second Wave, also known as the Golden Age of Man. In this era, mankind would develop great wonders with the use of psitech. Precognitive manufacturing plants pumped out new materials made from psychic mixings, new stimulants and drugs that could heal most of all injuries, and new weapons were all brought forth by the seemingly limitless potential of psychic powers. Jump Gates began to phase out the use of spike drives in the core sectors, being thought as an outdated method of travel for only for the new colonies and the frontier.
Psychic abilities had brought about this Golden Age of Man, yet this era was now suffering as the First Wave did; too many colonies spread too far. Though human gengineering had advanced beyond what imaginations existed in the twenty-first century, many deviations existed on the frontiers. This "maltech" suffused some planets, forcing the Perimeter Agency to spread the Mandate's forces even more.
Despite this, 2450 A.D. saw the Second Wave at its peak. By 2600 A.D., the Mandate would be at the height of its power, as Jump Gates began to appear on the frontier. Psitech now permeated almost all basic technologies, and large-scale conflict between worlds was largely unheard of. All of the core sectors were linked by the Gates now, the sight of massive system barges being a common sight in the trade lanes.
None could possibly see what would occur in 2665 A.D. A massive metadimensional wave erupted from one end of human space to the other, what is now called the Scream. How it happened, why it happened, no one could know. But its effects were devastating.
All known psychics, from the trained to the newly discovered, either died instantly as their minds burned with wild and untamed metadimensional energy or were rendered incurably insane by it. Those who did survive began to create swaths of death and carnage. And above all else the most valued powers were now gone or in the hands of homicidal psychics, making psitech useless.
Quickly, explosively, the Terran Mandate was destroyed. Without psychics to power the Jump Gates, worlds upon worlds starved to death or fell to taking supplies from their neighbors. Even those ended with lifeless ships and planets, their people killed or starved to death from lack of supplies. Some worlds managed to survive, using preexisting agriculture and industrial facilities to weather the galactic apocalypse. Other worlds were blasted back to the Stone Age, forced to reclaim technology the old fashioned way.
By the time of 2700 A.D., the last vestiges of the Mandate were no more, beginning a 600-year period known as the Silence.
The Setting And Us
All of this simply exists to set our scenes. What happens throughout the years of 2665 to 3200 is largely left to the imagination. Stars Without Number begins after the Silence, with its sister game Other Dust set on Earth 200 years into the Silence. Our game takes place just before the Scream and the Silence, with the intent to see how far out characters are willing to go to survive. Our crew will be out on the fringe, in service to the great Terran Mandate. While we are starting just before the Scream, I will recommend that no one make a psychic as plot WILL kill your character or make them insane (however, if you wish to roleplay what happens, you are free to!)
If you insist on psychics, one fact not mentioned in most of the "fluff" of this game is which psychics went insane and which died instantly. Psychics who have nearly or have completely developed the powers of precognition were able to do a power simply known as "Not My Time". The definition simply states that the psychic survives... somehow, and not necessarily in their favor. Those maddened by the Scream were predominantly precogs, saved by their powers from certain death but warped beyond saving by this.
The Terran Mandate is not the picture of utopia it tries to paint itself by this time. Token obedience is given at best to the Mandate on the frontier worlds, and none at all on some of the more rebellious and far-flung worlds. While it is stated that large-scale conflict is almost unheard of, almost is the word that makes it a reality. Only one A.I. uprising happened yet it was enough to scare many people, alien influences corrupted the Mandate's worlds, and infighting cause by old wounds and tempers flared. It falls to the Mandate fleet to keep the peace, which is why we are out there in the first place. Though, these forces too often follow in the footsteps of the colonies, disavowing the Mandate and making their own destiny. Some still try to uphold the values of the Mandate and many conflicting interests makes some of these captains and crews either the bravest or the most foolhardy.