Thursday, September 25, 2014

The Necklace

My next product will be a setting for StarCluster 3, with Klaxon and Albert Bailey. It will be The Necklace - a natural/artificial construct gas torus a la Niven's Integral Trees/Smoke Ring. The natural part is the torus itself - an oxy/nitro ring around a neutron star, which is itself in a goldilocks zone orbit around a normal star, with the gas tidally ripped from a gas giant within the ring, and transformed by the abundant free-fall plant life, orbiting the neutron star. It's a gravity free but livable environment. It has been artificially enhanced with an asteroid belt, and The River.

The River is a ribbon of water which loops around the torus perpetually, captured and propelled by artificial gravity, and designed to actively avoid the gas giant, Mister Doom. The River is navigable by ship and boat, and provides both transport and gravity to those sailing it. The gravity gradient of The River is shallow, and easily broken, so you can fly off from it.

The asteroid belt is green - covered by plant life - and there are cities and towns built on them, using artificial gravity. This makes mini-worlds like in the Little Prince, swimming through the gas torus. Each green asteroid would have its own society, Transport between asteroids would be by aircraft and/or by The River. There are also nomadic societies which ply The River forever, and people who live in the free fall areas, among the plants and animals adapted to that zone.

The Necklace was built by a disappeared alien species, and is currently inhabited by humans, human offshoots, uplifted animals, and a few aliens, in typical StarCluster fashion. There would be example asteroids and societies in the game book, but also there would be lots of setting creation tools to create your own. There would also be setting specific professions and backgrounds, and the full StarCluster ruleset, as that's not a lot of overhead, and you wouldn't need StarCluster to play it.

I am about to get real serious on this very soon, once I put High Strung out for beta testing. If you are interested and have some ideas, comment away!

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