Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Update 10-4-2011


The Androids are well underway at this point, and I am really excited about the direction that they are going.  Check out the World Notes for the full details, but here are some of the more relevant points:

Androids (as distinguished from Robots) were increasingly common during the Utopian era, and the technology improved so much that, by the time of the Exodus, fully-functional ‘Human-like’ Androids were prevalent, especially in spaceflight and other areas which require spending time in places which are inhospitable for organic life.  Near-perfect replicas of human beings freely walked among humans, eventually participating in the political and economic systems alongside  their organic counterparts.

Unfortunately, public opinion regarding these artificial life forms was always shaky even at the best of times.  The proverbial shit hit the fan in 2266, when the Federated Nations unanimously agreed to classify ‘Artificial Entities’ as equal to human beings in every single respect.  Several political parties were formed to protest and appeal the decision, but were defeated time and time again, eventually shrinking to a tiny minority of the general population.

Things changed for Androids yet again in 2323, just before the Great Exodus.  As they were being constructed in Norway, two Generation Ships were destroyed at the exact same time, each exploding with the equivalent of a fifty-megaton nuclear warhead.  Implicated as saboteurs was a small group of ‘rogue’ Androids known as ‘Silicon Fist’.  This incident helped to sow distrust of Artificial Life Forms amongst the population, leading many to believe that there were inherent flaws in all A.I. which made them more likely to display unwanted behaviors.

Today, distrust of Androids and other Artificial Intelligence is rampant across the planet, and there are two major factions who focus their attention on them.

Androids can be seen as the culmination of human robotic engineering, and as such, all Androids have instilled in them a fundamental set of tenets, or imperatives.  These imperatives were put in place for various reasons, but primarily these have been implemented as ‘fail-safe’ or ‘fault-tolerance’ systems. One such system, perhaps the most important object to any Android, is their Memory Core.

The Android Memory Core

As technological descendants of more primitive robots, all Androids are designed and built with a heavily shielded ‘black box’, called a Memory Core.  In certain circumstances, usually when an Android’s body has been damaged beyond function, a built-in beacon will begin transmitting within a certain radius.  Due to one of the Android imperatives, any Android who detects this Core Beacon will instantly re-prioritize their thought processes, and the imperative will take priority.  Faced with such a situation, most Androids will not be able to focus processing power on any goal until the Memory Core has been retrieved, identified, and the contents uploaded to the Cloud for processing.  The ultimate fate of an Android’s Memory Core is determined by the individual, such as being placed in a sort of ‘Resurrection Queue’ to be downloaded into a new body, or being aggregated into the virtual network, thus allowing the individual to continue existing in a very real form.  In some rare cases, Androids have even chosen to have their Memory Core deleted completely.

“I don’t believe in the Cloud.”  - Atheist Android

Monday, October 3, 2011

Earth: Exodus - Savage Worlds Setting

Earth: Exodus is an upcoming Setting Book for the Savage Worlds roleplaying system (http://www.peginc.com).  Basically, this is a quasi-post-apocalyptic sci-fi setting which takes place on Earth in 2412, almost 100 years after a mass evacuation of the planet.

Essentially, mankind had created a Global Climate Control System which was linked by orbital satellites, and this system was online for over 150 years.  Scientists figure out that a long period of Solar Flare activity is likely to disable or destroy the majority of those satellites, which is going to lead to unpredictable climate change and wipe out most of the human population on the planet.  The only realistic answer is to build a fleet of starships and evacuate as many people as possible.  There are several twists and turns, but ultimately about 90% of the population leaves the planet, and then the proverbial #$%^ hits the fan.

The game setting actually takes place almost 100 years after the Exodus.  The Earth is very, very different than it once was.  Climate and weather patterns have completely changed, and stable environments are uncommon.  A massive desert known as "Anhudo Azoth" actually moves across the face of the planet, often leaving death and destruction behind as it slowly crawls away to a new area.  Other bizarre weather patterns and changes are the rule rather than the exception these days.

The people who have been left behind have a lot of struggles and obstacles before them.  Pre-Exodus technology is fairly common and often still works, leading to many opportunities for scavengers and explorers who are willing and able to risk the unpredictable weather, the strange animals which have survived and evolved over the past hundred years, and more.

We will be starting a Kickstarter project for this setting as soon as we have some nice content to show off, so keep your eyes peeled for that.  Also, open discussion and commentary is very much welcome!

Check out the 'World Notes' tab for the working document on this setting.

Good Gaming!

- Chris