Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Mini-Project: Pre-Cluster

I've decided. I'm going to do a setting for SC3 based on the Solar System as it existed before the coming disaster that caused the Diaspora was dicovered. This may include the extrasolar colony in Alpha Centauri, but not the other colony ships, as they had not yet established themselves by this time. I am tempted to only refer to the extrasolar colonies in passing though. Setting up a viable Tech Level 8 society will be job enough.

I will use the random tables in SC3 to an extent - we know where the planets and moons of the Solar system are, their natural Conditions, and that Earth will be the most heavily populated world, but the details may be best determined randomly. It may be that Mars is not a popular place, and that Europa or Ceres are far more heavily settled. using an element of random generation will result in my having to come up with reasons *why*, which is always more interesting than doing the expected.

There should also be a heavy contingent of orbitals and stations, which are not there at this time. The cheap energy of fusion coupled with the cheap resources of in-system space make such a development likely.

Politically, the UN and it's member nations will be the prototype of the Leagues of the Cluster, with their member worlds. The UN does not rule worlds, but it regulates the space between them. A closer model for the Leagues than the current UN would be an amalgam of NATO and the EU, but the UN may grow into that - or absorb these entities - by the time of the setting, so I will go that way.

One thing I can do is add in a bioengineered solution for calcium loss in zero g. I have always assumed it, but it's best to place it front and center for this setting.

This would not be at all post-human. TL 8 bioscience is pretty much limited to non-visible changes in humanity. There will be early uplifts, and simple - but still sapient - robots, but the setting will be mostly human.

Average PSI will be 0, not the current -2, or the Cluster's 2. This is a result of early bioengineering, and the fact that the people sent to the Cluster later would not only be of a somewhat later generation, but be their best and brightest.

This culture will be shattered by the news of the impending disaster, and the culture that girds up its loins and sends ship after ship out into the unknown in faint hope of some of them surviving will be a different beast altogether - more like the US Home Front in WW II. This may be remembered by those refugees as a golden age, fraught with both danger and opportunity.

Any ideas you'd like to see implemented?



  1. Late to the party as normal.
    A pre-history of the future Cluster setting exploring the reasons for the Earth's exodus would be very interesting to develop to filling in the gaps and maybe spin off from.

  2. Thanks Roger! I've meant to do this since StarCluster 1 came out, way back in 2002. :D


  3. It also gives your the chance to revisit and address anything that you feel need tweaking or adjusting.

    I like the idea of an early history setting as the theme can be more gritty and "real" than a say far future setting myself, guns more than energy weapons and limited or no grav drives and primitive low range explorer FTL's.

    You have my ears pricked now !

  4. If this is to be a real prequel to StarCluster, there can no grav devices at all. :D

    Yeah - should be much grittier than the default SC setting. Very low baseline genetic modification. Fusion drives, but also light sails for stuff where time doesn't matter. There may even be some Atomic Rockets out in the boonies of the solar system. They's use monatomic hydrogen for reaction mass, which is basically waste from processing for Deuterium, so that's pretty cheap to run. :D


  5. There is a different way of explaining the early history is to tell the story of the first extra solar colonies like Centauri.
    As this colony later moved on again to escape the nova blast you could set the pre-history setting at the time of either that colonies early years or its later expansion drive(s).
    I could see that as time moved on they may have instead of moving as a whole off that instead they set expansion stages to prep for scouting and knowledge.
    Maybe event when they got as far as the 60LY barrier some could have stayed behind not wanting to move anymore, sort of a lost colony.

  6. The 60 LY radius isn't a barrier, it's the point where the wave of destruction becomes tenuous enough that life - if well shielded - can survive its effects. In the StarCluster 2 version of the setting, when the wave-front hit the Cluster, 300 LYs distant from Sol, it was still powerful enough that the advanced civilization of the Etvar was toppled, though they weren't destroyed.

    The Diasporan fleet were well enough shielded inside their ships to survive intact. The closer you were to that 60 LY radius from Sol when you were hit by the wave-front, the harsher its effects were.