“Radioverse” is the working title for a sci-fi setting I’ve been working on for a few years now… and, like most working titles, I’m probably not going to come up with anything better. At any rate, I could go on for pages about various aspects of the setting - and I intend to, in the lore compilation I’m currently in the process of writing - but I can only assume this description box has a character limit of some sort, so instead I’m going to give a brief run-down of the setting and, more importantly, the ideas behind it.
The first idea (and the inspiration for me trying to create a setting in the first place) is a retro-future aesthetic mixed with modern sensibilities. You know, the look and feel of Buck Rogers and other pulp sci-fi, with more modern storytelling conventions and such. So instead of “Laser Pistols”, characters use “Ray Guns”. “Vacc Suits” become “Space Suits”, “Starships” become “Spaceships” or “Rocket Ships”, and so on. Throw in radioactive mutants, weird mental powers, even weirder aliens, clones, and so on… If it helps, think of it like a more optimistic version of Fallout. Sound fun? I hope it does.
The second idea is that science and technology work a bit differently than they do in the modern world. No, not like steampunk-style alternate history science; more along the lines of “new” discoveries supplanting the modern or “real” ones. So instead of Einstein having never existed and his theories never having been proposed, it just turned out that some of his theories were wrong. I mean, has anybody ever actually tried to move near the speed of light? This ties into the retro sci-fi aesthetic, allowing for spaceships that move faster than light (without needing to come up with explanations like “hyperspace” or “warp fields”), personal energy weapons that work better than projectile weapons, cloning technology to resurrect dead people, and the like. Radioactive mutants are perhaps a bit sketchier, given that history has shown the decidedly lethal effects of radiation, but you know what? Just go with it.
The third and final primary idea is that humanoid life is NOT the most common form of life. As much as I enjoy Star Trek, I always found it silly that most sentient beings would look even remotely like humans. As a matter of fact, the dominant species in this setting is a race of three-headed reptilian quadrupeds with prehensile feet… which brings me to a run-down of the available player races.
Chimeran: The aforementioned three-headed lizards. The oldest living species in the galaxy (as far as anybody knows), with a knack for science and an innate curiosity about other species.
Mechanican: Self-replicating probes created by the extinct race known as the Creators, they eventually developed sentience and were the first intelligent species contacted by the chimerans.
Trolon: Hulking semi-bipeds around 9 feet tall and a thousand pounds, with thick greyish hide and elongated arms that can also be used as legs. Driven by instinct and easily angered.
Crystilian: Silicon-based, fivefold radial symmetry with five tentacles and armored yet flexible crystal plating. Blind, but can “see” using sonar. Emotionally cold and distant.
Human: Wondering why humans aren’t mentioned until now? That’s because they were the fifth (non-extinct) species to develop Overdrive technology (that’s what allows ships to go faster-than-light; you just need to divert enough power to the engines, and Overdrive does exactly that), with Chimerans being the first.
Equoid: The most recent species to develop Overdrive, the Equoids are pacifistic herbivorous quadrupeds with prismatic pelts and prehensile tongues.
There are rumors of other species, but none are confirmed yet.
Your Nature card must include both your species and profession in the title - “Human Soldier”, for example. If you don’t see a Nature that matches your desired character concept - either the combination doesn’t exist (“Equoid Soldier”) or the profession doesn’t exist (“Human Drifter”) - feel free to create a new one, as I only had the energy to include the most likely combinations. The exception to this is the “Radioactive Mutant” Nature; no profession requirement there. (Although, if you’d like to include one anyway, title your Nature card something along the lines of “Mutant Soldier”.)
Some Strengths and Weaknesses are species-specific. For example, “Self-Bickering” only applies to Chimerans (or maybe mutants with extra heads). The rules of common sense and Narrator approval apply here. Again, an exception is made for mutations - “Useful Mutation” and “Useless Mutation” may be chosen by any character. (For example, an otherwise normal Human Soldier with a third arm.)
This particular game will be a pretty standard “traveling merchant” story. (If you’ve ever watched Firefly or played Traveller, you know what I’m talking about.) Your characters will be newly-hired crew members aboard the chimeran transport Cyan, captained by Kithanek. Of course I have a few plot twists planned, but… spoilers.
Now that that’s out of the way, let’s go over some of the terminology:
c: From Einstein’s famous equation, E=mc^2, “c” is typically used to refer to the speed of a starship using Overdrive; for instance, 2c is equal to twice the speed of light, while 50c means fifty times the speed of light.
nanofactory: a machine that uses nano-fabrication techniques to create items from raw materials. Most spaceships have at least one on-board nanofactory.
Overnet: the galactic equivalent of the Internet, where data and messages are sent through microscopic wormholes in the form of modulated neutrino bursts .
uranium: The most widely-recognized galactic currency, sometimes abbreviated as “U”. Takes the form of coins coated in transparent aluminum to prevent radiation poisoning and subsequent mutation.
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Scenes played: 2
License: Community License