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, October 13, 2012

Star*Drive Saturday: VoidCorp

Last week it was the cultural Union of Sol, this week it is:

If you are born and raised in a cold and brutal corporation, seeing life as a ladder to climb for higher status, then you might be a VoidCorp Employee.
  • Population: 964 Billion Sentients
  • Founding Year: Independence from Microtel in 2299
  • GW2 Alliance: Expansion Pentad
  • Capital World: Catalog
  • Dominant Faith: Religion is outlawed in VoidCorp space.
  • Notable Locations: Sheya (Inside VoidCorp borders, homeworld to the Sesheyan, their slave alien race) Grith, Corrivale System (Verge system, contains a colony of free Sesheyan, which VoidCorp is still attempting to reclaim hold to) Redcrown, Aegis System, and Iphus, Corrivale System (Verge systems, among others that VoidCorp is attempting to exploit for resources) Bhruusil, Karnath System (Verge system, has a primitive alien race, the Bhruu, that VoidCorp is attempting to acquire under a similar contract to the Sesheyans, this one however is being met with more resistance and backing by the Galactic Concord)
During the late 20th century, Microtel (just think Microsoft) grew to be one of Earth's most powerful corporations. With the expansion into space, Microtel formed a corporate division called VoidCorp. It's purpose was to carry the companies influence into space. It was met with great success as the corporation claimed and settled several systems with skilled employees. VoidCorp pioneered the technology of interstellar information exchange by creating the first drivesats and holding a near monopoly on it. VoidCorp wealth and influence grew exponentially. In 2274 a VoidCorp owned vessel discovered the jungle world of Sheya, and through a carefully worded contract the Sesheyans found themselves under the permanent employ of the company. Every child, human or Sesheyan, is a VoidCorp Employee from moment of birth. When the First Galactic War erupted in 2299 VoidCorp took sides with many colonies and declared independence from its parent company, Microtel. With its own nation formed it was able to dictate policies and laws unimpeded. It decreed that Employees were company property and forbidden from ever leaving the company, even death was no exception. Such aggressive inclinations led indirectly to the Second Galactic War, which went mostly in their favor except for the betrayal of their Insight division, which fed tactical information to the FreeSpace Alliance. That and the great Grid crash brought on by Insight dealt many blows to VoidCorp infrastructure. But undaunted, VoidCorp continued to survive, albeit halted progress. Even to this day, VoidCorp refuses to recognize Insight's independence.

Today VoidCorp remains unchanged. Its centuries old focus is on computer software, hardware, and the Grid. Its Draconian practices still form the most regimented way of life known to man. To VoidCorp management, this structure is the most advantageous avenue for profit, and VoidCorp employees raised in it accept it as a fact of life. At the lowest level, employees are little more than slaves. Over 70% of the population fits this mold. Once in a skilled or managerial position, employees grow intensely competitive. The society succeeds, evolves, and holds itself together through struggle. When a superior is gone, machinations to gain position take over. Political maneuvering, favoritism, and backstabbing are well established; informers are rewarded. Deaths of superiors that remain unexplained guarantee promotion. Officers of vice president rank and above live anonymously. As Machiavellian as it sounds, the system works. The company is still recovering from the Grid crash and rebellion of Insight but doing well in spite of it. The war with Insight still rages on but in the unseen battlefield of the Grid, but VoidCorp continues to deny being either the instigator or victim of any act of sabotage.

Rank is everything. Stop at nothing to get it. Among employees, such statements are common, even accepted. It's survival of the fittest, a form of corporate Darwinism. Employees can be found in every corner of human space, often following orders they don't fully understand, or even orders that contradict another Employee's. Despite this reputation for faceless interaction, VoidCorp does not permit retirement. Employees must work until death. When found, escapees (called "absentees") can expect harsh discipline, if not literal termination.

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.

Rogue Space Character Ideas
VoidCorp takes steps to insure that all of its Employees are prepared for a life in the harsh realities of interstellar business. Employees are therefore quite competitive. A player may choose to be an Employee for his/her race (human only) during character creation. They gain a +1 bonus to business tests, and when competing 1 on 1 in games and other competitions.

Character Background: Grid Technician
High Attributes: Repairing and Scientific
Archetype: Technician
You know drivesats and the Grid better than anyone. Your company invented the technology. You have decades of vocational training and service experience with drivesats allover space. Your ability to manipulate the Grid to work in your favor is unparalleled. But no matter where you go, you always work some way to impede the progress of Insight. Your deep prejudice toward Inseers shows when you hardwire and program things that make Insight programming faulty when using your hardware. But you have been called away from working at the VoidCorp/Insight border, and have been tasked to service the drivesats in the Verge, and make sure they are up to par with company standards, and to continue your Insight sabotage in the new frontier.

Corporate Agent
Character Background: Spy
High Attributes: Acquiring and Fighting
Archetype: Rogue
You have a unique set of skills and moral flexibility, which makes you an asset for VoidCorp goals. The verge has just opened up and the company has many plans. Often never seeing your superior, or who gives the orders, you follow them unquestioned as long as the proper confirmation codes are passed along. The reason for these tasks are never given, and they may range from trivial, to ridiculous, to government-shattering, and often may have no correlation with each other. Occasionally your task may bring you against other Employees, but it is not your place to question why, only carry out the command, because you know the price for failure.

A note on naming an Employee
It is no surprise that the company sees its Employees as nothing more than numbers. It's a testament to VoidCorp's rigid corporate structure. An Employee is identified with a double-letter code, then an alphanumeric 8 digit code, and the Employee's actual name in parenthesis. By force of habit any Employee, no matter where they are, generally identify themselves by their full number and name.

The double-letter code ranges from AA, AB, to ZZ. Most employees never rise above CM status, though valuable, skilled laborers reach L ranks. At ranks of M and above, Employees accept management positions whose exact duties vary depending on local departmental and division needs. Directors usually rate at least an S rank, while the anonymous executive officers-vice presidents and above-merit a Z. Rumors claim that a single CEO holds ZZ rank, but his or her identity remains a mystery. The remaining 8 letters and numbers in the identity system can be random. This would be the equivalent of a Social Security number, and changes slightly depending on job description. As an example, the Corporate Agent above may be named thusly: LF128 68VFR(Raymond Hertzfeldt). The L rank puts him in the skilled laborers category.

No comments:

Post a Comment