M. Jared Swenson Productions

This blog chronicles my projects, developments, and all things related to tabletop gaming. I will try to avoid rants and reviews. Mostly games I'm developing, and progresses from my campaigns.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Star*Drive Saturday: A Brief History

In the 21st century, many tumultuous changes happened on earth. 2032 heralded the new Grid. A better internet. Everything in the world was linked electronically and included a life-like global virtual reality. It became a compete second life for social and business ventures. Also in the late 21st century global companies were beginning to accept independence from their countries, and you begin to see private companies with their own lands, militaries, and even citizenry.

More oddly was the increased awareness and acceptance of human psionics. Over the last century we have been noticing more and more strange cases and tales of supernatural abilities. These were before seen as hoaxes or just unexplainable events, but later as technology advanced more and more cases were documented, skepticism toward psionics started to quiet. Whether this was due to careful observation or a new evolution in humanity is unknown. Regardless, the tide of evidence became undeniable, but still the fraction of population with these talents remained very small.

In 2047 the invention of the fusion generator spawned the Fusion Age of man, and the energy crisis that plagued nations became a thing of the past. With fusion torch propulsion we got our first expansion into our local worlds. Colonies on the moon and mars started popping up around 2064.

Medical science started reaching great strides. Solving the mysteries of the human body caused the average human lifespan to reach 150 years. Cancer followed polio and typhoid into oblivion. Genetic engineering allowed for some of this, and some countries began producing clones en masse.

Then in 2106 the mass reactor is born. Studies in high-energy physics and advances in studying subatomic matter created this wonder. Utilizing dark matter this new generator had higher output than the fusion reactor, could be miniaturized, and never needed refueling. Ironically this invention rushed humanity forward in advancement and lead to our first interplanetary wars as we expanded further out into our system.

Despite all new advancements and strides in technology, anything beyond our system remained out of reach. We were still imprisoned within the confines of our solar system.

First contact negotiations.
In 2124, humanity made first contact with the old and wise alien race, the Fraal. They had been watching humanity for millennia, waiting for them to reach maturity. They had attempted contact before, giving rise to ancient myths of elves, thundering gods, and fiery chariots in the sky. We weren't ready for them.

The contact with the Fraal spurred many changes. Discovery that we aren't the only sentient life in the galaxy produced much turmoil as well as hope. All the Fraal really wanted is acceptance into our species and a home, and they would share with us their technology and guidance, especially in psionics, as they were a race all naturally gifted with the power.

With the 2 races combining technology, the stardrive is born in 2160. A powerful engine that moves ships into another dimension called drivespace, where physics and space travel are different.

With this technology, humanity expanded into the stars, and several stellar nations are formed, most based on corporations claiming planets. Stardrive also created the means for interstellar communication, as VoidCorp created the first drivespace communication satellite (called a drivesat) in 2193.

Need for expanding further and further out, spawned the first fortress ships. 3 kilometer long star vessels would house thousands of sentients and the galaxy's largest stardrive engines to date.
The great fortress ships ferry forth into the stars.
As expansion grew and prospered, the home nations of earth found their influence dwindling. Earth tried reclaiming its auxiliaries and formed the Terran Empire, but after enough declared independence, the first Galactic War happened in 2299. Many Stellar Nations newly formed and united under tenuous pacts to help end the 13 year long war in 2312, with the Terran Empire eventually losing its hold.

The Galactic War had ended, but the fighting didn't. Small skirmishes and tensions boiled between nations over minor disputes. But despite the conflict and aftermath, expansion continued further and further out.

Expansion continued into the verge, a distant cluster of systems far from the reaches of the rest of the stellar ring. Rich in resources and habitable worlds, this new frontier created a galactic gold rush as nations quickly claimed worlds in this far off region. But the distance was still vast, and linking the stellar ring (the old nations and worlds) to the verge was a single important drivesat relay called the Kendai station.

Back in the stellar ring, national conflicts were like a boiler building pressure waiting to explode with a second war. This explosion started with the Mutant Uprising on Tau Ceti in 2346. It sparked conflicts that escalated and all nations found themselves caught in a full fledged Second Galactic War. Everyone expected to return to the initial conflicts of the first war, but this was longer and deadlier, lasting over 100 years.

Humanity suffered several losses. During a deadly space battle, the Kendai relay station was destroyed, and the Verge found itself completely alone in its corner of the galaxy. Also as the group known as Insight freed itself from the clutches of its parent nation, VoidCorp, it caused the crash of the Grid, which became a great blow to information exchange.

The Galactic Concord
Near the end of the horrible war, a few of the more powerful nations got together to end it all. They created the Treaty of Concord, which would not only end the war, but give birth to the Galactic Concord, which may very well be humanities greatest achievement to date.

The treaty set forth several conditions that the stellar nations agreed to abide by. First, it divided human space into 12 distinct regions made up of the war's 12 surviving nations. The concord was given the responsibility of preserving peace, negotiating differences between the nations, and generally overseeing humanity and its befriended species throughout space.
The Stellar Ring and open space of 2501
The Concord had 3 qualities that placed it above the petty quarrels of even the best stellar nations: a grand purpose, a unity of vision, and a moral compass. It was a mix of individuals from all stellar nations that accepted the Concord as their new citizenship, cast off personal bias, and to maintain neutrality. If humanity was to survive as a collective force in the galaxy, this is what would be needed in the years ahead.

With a tentative peace now established, resources were used once again for repair, and after a 121 year silence, contact is made with the verge in 2496, but  much has changed in the time of silence for the far off worlds, and threats of something terrible and unknown begins to emerge.

The year is now 2501.

Paraphrased from: David Eckleberry, and Richard Baker. Star*Drive Campaign Setting. Wizards of the Coast, Inc. P.O. Box 707 Renton, WA. 98057-0707: Wizards of the Coast / TSR, 1998.


  1. Star*Drive Saturday...love it! Great foundation and background here, can't wait 'til next Saturday!

    1. Starting next saturday, ill go through the stellar nations. brief histories, and sample characters from those nations.

  2. Great start looking forward to seeing it develop each week!