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ProfPotts

Trinity Universe: TEF OOC

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History:

It is the year 2120. More than one-hundred & twenty years have past since the near-godlike beings known as ‘novas’ first arose from the ranks of humanity with their empty promises of utopia. More than seventy years have past since those ‘novas’ sank to the depths of mutation & deprivation to become the ‘aberrants’ that long warred with humanity for the fate of the green Earth. It is nearly sixty years since China’s ‘Earth Strike Ultimatum’ ended that war, exiled the aberrants, & returned Earth to humanity. Less than fifty years have passed since the discovery of the ‘pseudo-graviton’ led to the development of gravcrystal grids which in turn signalled an end to global strife & warfare & heralded a new age of technological & scientific progression… & expansion into space.

Sixteen years ago the aberrants returned, attacking the intrasolar colonies & proving their on-going contempt for the efforts of humanity as it reaches for the stars. Fourteen years ago the psi orders were revealed to exist, & explorations previously only dreamt of in science fiction became possible. Through the collaborative efforts of clairsentients, telepaths, & teleporters humankind realised the long-held dream: exploration, & even colonisation, of far-flung star-systems began.

Thirteen years ago first contact was made, with the alien race now known as the ‘Qin’. All the formulas used to estimate the amount of life, & sentient life, that existed in the universe were based on the fact that life was only known to exist on Earth. The discovery that life had once existed on Mars increased the probability of life elsewhere greatly. The discovery of the Qin blew all the calculations out of the proverbial water. A paradigm shift in scientific thinking occurred overnight – not only does life exist out there, but the numbers now tell us that the universe should be teeming with life. Twelve years ago the next step was taken, diplomatic relations secured, & a Qin embassy established on Luna. Humanity is no longer alone.

History threatened to repeat itself eleven years ago, when the quantakinetic psi order was discovered to be in league with humanity’s aberrant enemies. Many saw parallels with the aberrants themselves, & their history as the nova heroes of humanity before their fall. Disaster was averted through the swift actions of the other psi orders, but feelings that the secretive orders might have hidden agendas were stirred.

Seven years ago first contact with the Chromatics was made, in less-than-pleasant circumstances. Humanity is no longer alone, but has to face the harsh lesson that not all life ‘out there’ is friendly.

One of the greatest tragedies in human history occurred six years ago when aberrants caused the Esperanza orbital station to crash, destroying France & resulting in the largest death toll from any one terrorist act in history. After the crash, with humanity at its lowest ebb since the aberrant war, the Psion teleporters vanished, cutting the Earth off from the extrasolar colonies & robbing mankind of the stars. Questions are still being asked: did the teleporters go rogue? Are they in league with the aberrants? Did they jump, or were they pushed?

Just last year biotechnology gave humankind the jumpship – a new bridge to the stars. Almost immediately contact was made with a ‘coalition’ of alien races, although so far little is known about them, their politics, origins, or goals.

Throughout recent history the Æon Trinity has worked towards human unity, bringing hope in the dark times, & sacrificing much for the sake of the future of us all. Not allied to any one government, order, or corporation; answering only to the needs of the people & their representatives in the United Nations, the Trinity, for many, represents the species as no other organisation can. With the jumpship program comes reconnection with the lost colonies, strategic deployment of military forces in defence of our race, but also the renewed chance to follow our dreams – to explore the stars. Unconcerned with terrestrial politics, the secretive manoeuvrings of the psi orders, or the economic gambits of corporate interests, the Trinity Exploration Force looks to the future & gathers the best & brightest humanity has to offer in the quest to expand human knowledge & understanding of the universe. The stars beckon, & the TEF aims to unlock their mysteries.

Trinity Exploration Force:

The TEF recruits the best & brightest from all walks of human life, both neutrals & those with psi-potential. Although those with psi-potential who wish to are sent to the appropriate psi order to be triggered, the TEF doesn’t recruit order members, but trains their own people. The TEF answers to the Trinity, & through them the UN & humanity as a whole, but is organised to be free of the petty squabbles that plague our society. The TEF embodies the Trinity’s principle of unity – they are unified in their drive to explore.

A young organisation, TEF members are also often quite youthful, ranging from cadets in their late teens, to officers in their mid-twenties to mid-thirties. Although its mission is a scientific one, the Force is organised along a military ranking system – after all, when alone on the fringes of known space, burdened with representing the whole of humanity, it’s often good to have an established chain-of-command. The TEF training academy educates cadets in a variety of specialised roles essential for the success of the group’s mission. Officers from these various branches join together in field survey units &, guided by information supplied (most often) from the clairsentients of the ISRA, are jumped to a target point in space, where they are dropped off to conduct their studies. With no more to go on than that, TEF officers need to be able to think on their feet, adapt to circumstances, & meet all challenges head-on. After all, they are the forefront in humankind’s challenge of the unknown.

Character Generation:

Attributes: 7/5/3 – this is for both psions & neutrals. TEF officers need to be fit, smart, & able to play nice with others. As such no character with any attributes at ‘1’ will make it through the TEF academy.

Abilities: psions get 10 Ability dots in their Ability Group Abilities, & a further 13 to spend anywhere they want. Neutrals, who don’t undergo the intensive training in the use psychic abilities that psions need to, receive 12 Ability Group dots, & 18 to spend anywhere. Neutral characters also receive one free speciality in each of their six Ability Group Abilities. All characters are required to have at least one dot in each of their six Ability Group Abilities, & no character can take an Ability at more than 3 dots at this stage.

Backgrounds: all characters receive one dot in Citizenship (to reflect their membership of the Trinity as well as their original country of origin), two dots of Influence (to reflect the prestige that goes with being a TEF member), & two dots of Resources (to reflect the fact that they’re paid). They also receive 2 dots of Backgrounds to spend as they like. In addition, neutral characters receive an extra dot of Status – whilst their psion counterparts are mastering the subtleties of the sub-quantum universe, the neutrals are out there putting their training to practical use & gaining experience.

Willpower: all characters start with 5 Willpower – the stellar frontier isn’t a place for the weak-willed.

Psi: neutrals have 1 Psi, which can’t be improved. Psions determined Psi as normal ([stamina + Wits + Charisma] /2, rounded up).

Modes: psion characters have the usual three dots in their Aptitude’s Modes. Neutrals, naturally, don’t have Mode ratings – their efforts have been put into developing other skills & abilities.

Bonus Points: psions characters have 15 bonus points to spend, since some of their potential has already been channelled into becoming psi-active. Neutrals, with less of their raw potential already defined, have 21 bonus points.

Bonus Point Costs (standard for Trinity):

Attributes 5

Abilities 2

Specialities (max. of three per Ability) 1

Backgrounds 1

Willpower 2

Initiative 1

Psions Only:

Aptitude Modes 4

Auxiliary Modes (max. one dot in each) 6

Psi 5

Background Notes:

Set, for the most part, away from the mass of humanity, the game won’t focus much on Backgrounds. As such, they are mostly a guide to the character’s (duh!) background. Allies, Contacts, Followers, & Mentor represent the character’s interpersonal relationships, but usually won’t be available during missions. Cipher represents classified information in a character’s TEF files – those with high Status will be able to access it, others won’t. Citizenship, Influence, & Resources all work as per normal – but aren’t much use on the frontier. Devices work as normal, but won’t be allowed on a mission if they’re inappropriate (no trying to smuggle a VARG on-board in your personal effects…). Status represents rank within the TEF. It’s limited to field positions only (higher ranks exist, but would remove the character from the game), & for every dot of Status above 1 the character needs a minimum of 1 dot of Command (i.e. a character with Status 3 needs a minimum Command Ability of 2).

TEF Status:

X – Cadet. You are still a trainee from the academy, assigned to a field mission as the final stage of your training programme. You have zero authority, & are expected to do all the menial tasks that the rest of the crew had to do when they were cadets. You’re there to listen & learn from your elders & betters. Most likely you’re still aged between 18 & 21.

* - Ensign. A commissioned officer of the lowest rank, you get to boss any cadets around (& may well often be dumped with supervising them), but you’re mostly expected to follow orders. By this stage you’re also expected to be able to act on your own initiative, when needed, & can be given important tasks to complete on your own, or even as the head of a small team. You’re probably no more than 25-odd years old.

** - Lieutenant. On the first rung of the command structure your duties are often similar to those of an ensign, but with a little more authority. You are more often given leadership of small teams with specific tasks, & may be considered for promotion if you turn out to be a good prospect. You’re likely to be at least 21 years old, & anywhere up to mid-thirties.

*** - Lieutenant Commander. In charge of a branch or even the group’s second officer, you have some real pull. You get to boss plenty of people around, make command decisions of your own, & have an important input into mission planning. You’re unlikely to be younger than your mid-twenties, at an absolute minimum.

**** - Commander. Most likely a first officer you are second in rank only to the group’s Captain. You take charge when the Captain isn’t about, get to question his or her orders when a second perspective is needed, & get to write damning (or praising) reports on the rest of the crew. Chances are you’re on the road to having a command of your own some day.

***** - Captain. You’re the head honcho, the big cheese, the top dog. Cut off from the rest of the TEF & humanity in general, the buck stops with you. You represent humanity to the rest of the universe, & have all the responsibilities & privileges that implies. Final decisions, & final responsibility, for the mission lie with you. You say ‘jump’ the rest of the crew better already know how high… You also get quite a lot of say with TEF command as a whole, & ‘back home’ are most likely regarded as one of the leading lights of the human race. You’re going to be over thirty years of age by the time you get this high up the command structure, possible quite a bit older.

The new TPG Backgrounds aren’t used in the game. Clearance is part & parcel of Status, Identity is well-checked before being allowed into the academy (no double-agents please), & Requisition isn’t really an issue (the group gets standard issue equipment, plus whatever may be needed for a specific mission – no amount of ‘pull’ will get you that VARG you may lust after…).

Training Packages:

Each package consists of six ‘Ability Group’ Abilities that represent the focus, & the minimums, of the character’s training. All characters must take at least one dot in each of their six package Abilities.

General Skills:

These two skills are a part of all the training packages.

Awareness – explorers needs to be attentive to their surroundings. Awareness covers both the human senses, & the use of sensory equipment (although data collected may well need other Abilities, such as Science or Astrophysics, to actually interpret).

Survival – away from civilisation, TEF officers need to know how the natural world functions, & how to act within that environment. Officers who can’t cope with treks through the wilderness, swarms of insects, & similar complications aren’t going to get very far.

Specialised, or ‘branch’ training adds four more Abilities to the two listed above, & is divided into the following groups:

Command: You have been trained to keep the human resources of the mission functioning like a well-oiled machine. Part manager, part administrator, part leader, part diplomat, & part tactician, you keep the team together, motivated, & focused.

Bureaucracy – your duties involve administration, organising shifts & rotas, liaising with TEF command, & similar details that enable the mission to go ahead.

Command – you are a leader of men, & need to be able to organise a group so that they can work towards a common goal.

Military Science – it’s not the focus of the mission, but in dangerous situations you need to call upon your strategic & tactical training to insure the safety of the group.

Etiquette – as the representative of the group you’ve been trained in the fine art of diplomacy.

Pilot: The team needs to get where it’s going, & probably needs aerial surveillance & support when it gets there. It’s also kinda’ glamorous…

Pilot – well, duh!

Navigation – the ability to navigate across a planet’s surface helps make sure you get to the right spot.

Astrophysics – the ability to navigate through space helps in a similar way.

Gunnery – chances are you’ll need to, at some point, be able to fire your vehicle’s weapons.

Engineer: Things break; you fix ‘em. The technology expert of the group, you both maintain & repair the teams gear, & bring your expertise to bear with any tricky technological problems the team faces.

Engineering – the physical aspects of hardtech’ are yours to command.

Computer – training in the subtleties of 22nd century software allow you to program applications & avatars, diagnose errors, & even, when called for, bypass security measures & decrypt files.

Science – a strong grounding in physics, chemistry, & biology helps you understand the principles behind the hard & bio tech’ you work with.

Noetics – the non-physical principles of biotech are like the software of hardtech, & also need to be understood by a competent engineer.

Security: Someone needs to keep the rest of the team safe, & that someone is you. Probably the most athletic of the group, you’re also an expert in alien environments, such as micro-gravity – which means you’re the first choice for all the most dangerous jobs. For some reason old people often refer to you as a ‘red shirt’…

Brawl or Martial Arts – whichever style suits you, you’re trained in hand-to-hand combat.

Firearms – you know how to fire, maintain, adjust & utilise personal weaponry.

Gunnery – ditto for ship-board weaponry.

Athletics – physical fitness & training are essential.

Medical: A medic or a doctor your main job is to keep the human resources of the mission (i.e. the team) healthy. You’re also the person to call when new biology is discovered, & your training covers the various life sciences essential to survey missions.

Medicine – you’re a doctor, not a bricklayer.

Science – biology & its relatives are your area of expertise.

Noetics – with psions on the team it’s essential to know how their powers work & interact with the rest of the living world.

Rapport – a good bedside manner, & basic training in psychology, round out your essential skills.

Science: The mainstay of the mission you know a little of everything, although you may well have one or two specialities that you focus on. Your knowledge is often key in the success of the team’s efforts.

Science – you have a firm grounding of basic scientific principles.

Astrophysics – space phenomena are an obviously helpful area of study.

Xenology – with training in lateral thinking, & study of those few alien species already encountered by humanity, you are able to apply your skills to extra-terrestrial subjects.

Academics – you skills include all areas of scientific endeavour, including disciplines such as archaeology & philosophy, which are covered by this Ability.

New Abilities:

The following Abilities from the TPG are available in the game:

Strength: Heavy Weapons – man-portable heavy weapons. You won’t be issued any on a standard mission.

Dexterity: VARG – piloting & fighting with the huge war-machines. Again, you’re unlikely to ever get to use one.

Perception: Artillery – the fine art of indirect fire (indirect fire in space uses Gunnery & Navigation rather than this Ability), from grenades to mortars to missiles. Demolitions – the finer art of blowing things up. Navigation – how to map & to get to where you’re going in a planetary environment.

Intelligence: Astrophysics – orbital mechanics, space navigation, cosmic radiation, black holes, & similar phenomena. Computer – the software aspects of computer systems. Military Science – strategy, tactics, military recognition (units, equipment, etc.) & military history. Noetics – the non-physical aspects of psion powers, biotech, & the nature of the subquantum universe. Xenology – the study of non-human life: often not so much an Ability in itself, but rather a limit on other Abilities when they’re applied to aliens (e.g. a character with Medicine 5 & Xenology 2 would only be able to use 2 dots of Medicine when treating an injured Chromatic).

Wits: Gunnery – the use of vehicle mounted weaponry. Not only combat targeting, but adjustments & other uses as well (such as using a ship’s laser beam weapons to mine a mineral from an asteroid).

Manipulation: Xenorelations – the social equivalent of the Xenology Ability, this limits any attempt to socially influence aliens, as well as granting insights into alien social behaviour.

Charisma: Instruction – useful for getting the cadets up to speed, & passing on your years of wisdom & experience. Vital if you want to retire to a nice academy teaching job... Sentience Relations – social interactions with artificial intelligence this skill is programming, psychology, & diplomacy all rolled into one & applied to really smart computers.

Linguistics Note:

Every character starts by being able to speak & read their native tongue. Linguistics grants a varied number of ‘slots’ to further develop a character’s language skills. One slot grants an extra language group the character can understand (both written & verbal), or adds a ‘literature’ comprehension to an already understood language group (i.e. knowledge of classic written works & styles, historical dialects, & the principles behind the language). Two slots are needed for the alien Qin language, & three for the Chromatic’s ‘colour-language’. Post chargen language slots are purchased individually with XP, the next dot of overall Linguistics being gained when the minimum number of slots for that level is known.

* - 1 slot

** - 2 slots

*** - 4 slots

**** - 8 slots

***** - 12 slots

Standard Issue Equipment:

Uniform:

Field suit – a tight-fitting black monofibre weave jumpsuit with ceramic inserts the standard field suit is cool in warm weather, warm in cool weather, offers perfect mobility & comfort; when completed with uniform gloves, boots, & helmet, it counts as a sealed chemical-biological-genetic threat protection suit. A sealed uniform can even act as a short term environmental suit in semi-harsh conditions. [1/3, 0 armour, 6 kg]

Boots – heavy reinforced boots with side fasteners, suitable & comfortable for trekking across all sorts of terrain. [1.5 kg]

Gloves – optional accessories for the uniform, these are reinforced polymer gloves that offer hand-protection, extra impact to punches, & good tactile sensitivity. [0/1 armour on the hands, +1 die to punch damage, 0.5 kg]

Helmet – an optional feature using a clamshell design that fits snugly over the whole head, with a tint-adjusting face-plate that reacts to light (going from clear to black in moments). Not only does the uniform helmet offer protection, but it also includes an air filter, a 30 minute air supply, HUD display, light amplification, UV & IR vision, 10x telescopic & microscopic magnification, & a 10x sound amplification directional microphone system. Like the rest of the uniform, it’s black. [2/2 armour on the head, 1.7 kg]

Belt – the standard uniform uses a utility belt rather than pockets, for ease of carrying & accessing personal equipment. The belt sports a holster on the right thigh (for right handers) for the standard-issue sonic pistol.

Harsh Weather Overcoat – an optional extra layer for extreme weather conditions, the HWO is a tough, acid-resistant, full-length overcoat of black leather-like material. It sports a high collar & buckle fasteners down the front & fits over the standard uniform & equipment. [0/2 extra armour, 2 kg]

Insignia – rank pips (equal to dots in Status) are displayed on the uniform collar. Trinity patch is displayed on the right shoulder, branch patch on the left (with an additional indication for psi-actives), & TEF letters on the left breast. Name (surname) & assigned ship are written in smaller font & are positioned over & under the TEF letters respectively.

Environmental Suit – when the standard uniform isn’t enough, each team member has a vacuum environmental suit available. Built-in computer & dedicated agent, emergency transponder, & 14 hours of life support. [1/2, 1 armour, 3 kg]

Link:

An important piece of kit, the ‘link’ is a combination communicator & translator that fits behind the character’s ear. The black plastic device follows the curve of the ear, with a small plug into the ear itself, & a small bone-conducting microphone curving down to touch the side of the jaw. The device is comfortable, & most TEF officers wear theirs at all times, except when sleeping. The link can transmit & receive on a dozen channels with a 10 kilometre range by itself, with a greatly extended range when relayed through more powerful comm.’s gear (like that in a vehicle). Most link functions are voice activated, but can also be accessed via simple tactile controls on the device’s surface. The link’s language database can translate any known language (human, & those few alien languages humans have so far discovered). A pinhead lens in the front of the device can transmit a visual image (basically of what the wearer is looking at) & the sound pick-ups can transmit any nearby noise. The visual lens also enables the device to provide verbal transcriptions of written material. In addition the link has a built-in beacon, as well as an internal inertial compass & (where orbital relays are in place) GPS – the wearer can access these features via verbal report, & the unit’s exact position can be tracked remotely. [negligible mass]

Minicomp:

A rounded box that straps onto the character’s left arm (for right-handers), with a few simple tactile controls & a circular black lens for holo-projection on the surface – some students of the colour-coded antics of late twentieth century children’s television heroes have been known to refer to the thing as a ‘morpher’, but no-one seems to know why… The TEF minicomp is a top-of-the-line model optimised for exploration duties. It’s peripheral slots are taken up with complex built-in sensory gear that allow the unit to actively & passively detect along the EM spectrum, as well as movements & sounds, & to analyse the chemical properties of substances in contact with the unit (such as the atmosphere). Normal sensing range is 30 meters, with an extreme range of 60 meters (at a +2 difficulty), & a short range of 2 meters (at +2 bonus dice). The unit is armoured [3/3, 0], & has a failsafe rating of 7. Connected to the Link via bodynet technology the unit’s holo-display is set to show a real-time head & shoulders image of anyone communicated with, when engaged, & can also show images from a team-mate’s Link, or own minicomp, or otherwise transmit & exchange data.

The unit’s standard avatar is powerful, but lacks the sugar-coating of most commercial or executive models, being limited to a pleasant female voice with no image, & little personality (it’s a functional tool, not a best-buddy). The avatar has a Performance of 5 & applications to enable the unit to act as a communications, sensory, & recording device. Standard use of the TEF minicomp would be to ‘scan’ for life signs, movement, energy sources, or similar things, to initiate communications & data exchange (via the Link), to record mission data, to map an area, & similar functions. Individual officers often customise their minicomps to aid in their work (such as a doctor adding a medical database). [3 kg]

Sonic Pistol:

A versatile tool & weapon for protection the standard TEF sidearm uses a variable-frequency infra-sonic pulse (visible as a ring-like distortion in the air) to damage its target. Commonly set to ‘stun’ the pulse passes through armour to bruise & batter organic tissue. Set to a more lethal frequency the pulse can pass through armour to crush bone & rupture internal organs. Varying the weapon’s frequency & output enables it, when correctly calibrated, to damage most targets – organic or otherwise – encountered. Sometimes these pistols are referred to as ‘whump guns’, due to the distinctive dull thudding noise they produce when fired. [6D10 Bashing or Lethal, 50 meter medium range, Ms & Tw manoeuvres, rate of fire 1, 20 shot clip, concealable under a jacket, 1 kg]

Laser Carbine:

The team have laser carbines available, for situations where the sonic pistol isn’t enough (e.g. sonic weapons aren’t much use in a vacuum), although they’re only issued in special situations. The Voss 63K is the TEF weapon of choice.

Kits:

Engineers usually carry appropriate toolkits or emergency kits, medics carry medical kits, & any team member can be assigned appropriate survival, scientific, or other equipment. A common extra item of equipment is a variable beam flashlight that attaches to the right wrist.

Biotech:

The game uses the ‘zero tolerance’ rules for unformatted bioware – only formatted devices add to tolerance. Psion team members can be formatted to the group’s Scarab frigate (optimally there’s one formatted pilot & four formatted gunners – the device’s limit is 5 formatted users in total) for 5 tolerance, one of the two Locust fighters for 4 tolerance, or may have an appropriate assigned biotech device or two. Psi gauntlets & other similar, & potentially mission-helpful, devices are usually available.

The Ship:

The team’s base of operations is a Scarab frigate outfitted as an explorer. The galley is used as a common room, meeting room, & recreation area. The sick bay is outfitted with all general medical gear, a medstation, & enough equipment for field surgery, if the need arises. The cargo area houses several ‘probes’ (drone vehicles that act in a similar manner to a smart missile, but are packed with sensory equipment) & their launching gear – probes are usually shot into orbit around a target planet where they act as satellites, fuelled by solar panels, recording data for return missions, & aiding the team when they’re exploring the surface. The rest of the cargo area is divided into storage (for food, supplies, spare parts, etc.) & laboratories (bio-lab, physics-lab, chem-lab, astro-lab, & cartography) packed with equipment, sample storage areas, analysis devices, server-level computers, etc. Crew are assigned small double-bunk quarters.

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I love it, Prof. ::smiley10

I have one question, though, have the 'porters returned yet?

I have an idea for a Starcrossed Scientist if they have.

Either way, I want to join.

Robb Ramshaw

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I have one question, though, have the 'porters returned yet?

No - that would make the basic premise of the game a bit pointless.

Question: Does AIs exist?

In theory, yes, although the only Earth-tech that is considered 'AI' (as opposed to 'SI') are the jumpship tessers. Sentience Relations isn't gonna' be a common Ability - it's mostly theory at this stage.

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Do you have a problem with my creating a character to add to the pile I'll already be handing over to you for a month when July rolls around?

If not, vague ideas are forming of a Rex of the more spiritual persuasion and with a background in biology and botany, who acts as a science officer and, in addition to normal duties as medic, sees to it that nothing of indescribable medical or scientific value is idly passed over by a layman crew..

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Hmm, since nobody has said anything yet, I’m actually interested in playing the Captain, or barring that the First Officer.

I’ve pretty much already worked up a neutral Command specialist, so let me know if anyone else was thinking of playing the Captain and we’ll work it out.

Couple of questions/comments for the Prof:

1) How long has the TEF been around? Based on my interpretation of your history, they weren’t formed until the jumpships were designed a year ago. That being the case, only cadets and possibly ensigns would have actually gone through the TEF academy, so is it safe to assume that the other characters (ie. The Captain) could have transferred over from the military, or other arms of Trinity?

2) How many of each specialty are you looking for? I know it’s important for everyone to make the character concept they want, but it would kind of suck if we ended up with 7 engineers and no pilots. Maybe you could just post a rough estimate of how you see the 16-man crew fleshing out and people could start signing up for what interests them? That at least gives us something to deviate from.

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Ok, I realize this is probably more detail than anyone real cares about, but as the Prof, Heritage and Malk know, I like to build fairly detailed backgrounds. That being said, I’ve come up with a proposed timeline for rank promotions to help you flesh out character age and whatnot. I basically based it on the officer promotion timelines in the US military (since that’s what I know), but it seems to fall in line pretty closely with what the Prof put in his status writeups.

As always this is all subject to the Prof’s approval:

Rank – Date of rank (ie. When they became that rank)

ENS – (starting point, = X in the below formulas)

LT – X+4

LT CDR – X+8

CDR – X+13-15 (you basically get three shots to make CDR)

CAPT – X+19-21 (again, three chances)

So, as an example CAPT Bryan O’Malley (may change the name between now and start time), was commissioned as an Ensign at 21, promoted to LT at 25, LT CDR at 29, CDR at 35 and CAPT at 40.

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I think I'll work on a ISRA Cartographer/Geologist.
... vague ideas are forming of a Rex...

Characters cannot be order members. They can be Psions, of any Aptitude except Teleportation or Quantakinesis, but none will be members of the actual psi orders. There's a lot of 'baggage' that comes with order membership that I'm trying to avoid.

Do you have a problem with my creating a character to add to the pile I'll already be handing over to you for a month when July rolls around?

Hey - chances are I won't be ready by then anyway... ::wink

1) How long has the TEF been around? Based on my interpretation of your history, they weren’t formed until the jumpships were designed a year ago. That being the case, only cadets and possibly ensigns would have actually gone through the TEF academy, so is it safe to assume that the other characters (ie. The Captain) could have transferred over from the military, or other arms of Trinity?

The TEF has been around for 14 years - ever since psi powers enabled exploration of the universe. Their methods have changed recently, due to the new jumpship tech' & the 'porters going AWOL, but they are established. Older TEF members are likely to have strong opinions about the 'porters one way or another (fondly recalled buddies or traitors to the race). Of course, in the early days things were likely less organised & formalised - but by 2120 the TEF pretty much knows what it's doing.

2) How many of each specialty are you looking for? I know it’s important for everyone to make the character concept they want, but it would kind of suck if we ended up with 7 engineers and no pilots. Maybe you could just post a rough estimate of how you see the 16-man crew fleshing out and people could start signing up for what interests them? That at least gives us something to deviate from.

The ship-board stations that are manned in emergencies are as follows, along with the Abilities usually needed for the post:

2x Locust fighters [pilot, astophysics, navigation, gunnery]

2x Primary gunner stations (all 4 gunnery stations can control any or all of the ship's weapons, but individual systems are usually assigned to specific stations to avoid confusion) [gunnery]

2x Secondary gunner stations (also known as 'shotgun' stations, often given responsibility for point defense or similar functions) [gunnery]

1x Command station (where the Captain sits - this station can monitor &, if needed, access any system on the ship) [command, although all are useful]

1x Auxiliary command station (where the first officer sits, smaller than the command station, but duplicates it's functions) [command, although all are useful]

1x Pilot station (flies the ship) [pilot, although astrophysics & navigation are almost critical as well]

1x Astrogation station (navigation & course plotting) [astrophysics, navigation]

1x Environmental station (monitors & adjusts internal ship environement & life support) [medicine, science]

1x Damage control station (monitors damage to the ship, & activates features such as fire suppression & emergency bulkheads) [engineering]

1x Sensor station (the eyes & ears of the ship) [awareness, although science & astrophysics are also useful]

1x Engineering station (mostly monitors & controls the ship's two hyper-fusion reactors & power distribution throughout the vessel) [engineering]

1x Communications station (communications & certain electronic warfare functions, such as blocking enemy transmissions & the like) [engineering]

1x Biotech station (monitors & adjusts the 'health' of the biotech elements of the ship) [medicine, noetics]

In the course of normal operations only 5 crew are needed to operate the ship: commander, pilot / astrogator, gunner, sensor / communications, & systems (environmental / damage control / engineering / biotech).

These positions are assigned to the crew & are their 'red alert' posts - they don't represent other functions the crew have. For example, a ship's doctor may be assigned to the biotech station in an alert, but still has a primary function as the ship's doctor. As such, a character assigned to, for example, the communications station doesn't need to be an engineer - just to have at least one dot in the Engineering Ability.

The ship will have three 'command' officers - Captain, First Officer & Second Officer. The Captain & First Officer will usually have taken the 'command' branch training, but the Second Officer may well have taken other training (& will have other duties as well in any case).

There will usually be three characters with pilot training - both so there's someone at the helm for all three standard shifts, & so that the Scarab, & both Locusts, can be flown at the same time.

Generally it's expected that there'll be at least one character from each 'branch' of TEF training.

Within those guidelines, anything goes.

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So so far there's:

Engineer - Bahamut

ISRA cartographer/geologist - ConcreteDragon (I'm guessing scientist/xenologist kinda thing)

Port-Au-Prince Rex - Phoenix

Captain / 1st officer - Prince of Boredom

I'll probably opt for a second-officer / Security position. Lt. Commander Roshenkoe or Yar or something... ::tongue I'll determine the name later..:P

Dunno if I'll make a psion or not yet. I might make a Legionnaire, else it'll be a neutral.

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Characters cannot be order members. They can be Psions, of any Aptitude except Teleportation or Quantakinesis, but none will be members of the actual psi orders. There's a lot of 'baggage' that comes with order membership that I'm trying to avoid.

Yeah, I wasn't planning on retaining my citizenship of Aesculapia.

So how much Status would be appropriate for a field medic?

Also, what degree of education would be appropriate? Are Rexes full-blown doctors, or is it similar to being an EMT, or what?

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Backgrounds: all characters receive one dot in Citizenship (to reflect their membership of the Trinity as well as their original country of origin), two dots of Influence (to reflect the prestige that goes with being a TEF member), & two dots of Resources (to reflect the fact that they’re paid). They also receive 2 dots of Backgrounds to spend as they like. In addition, neutral characters receive an extra dot of Status – whilst their psion counterparts are mastering the subtleties of the sub-quantum universe, the neutrals are out there putting their training to practical use & gaining experience.

Wait, is this in addition to, or in place of, the 7 that you get ordinarily?

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Alright, since nobody has chimed in yet, I'll claim the Captain position (pending Prof approval). I've already sent the stats to the Prof and will be working up a character background shortly. Once I do, and the Prof approves, I'll post it here in maybe in another forum, the idea being that senior officers generally have bios of where they've been assigned and major awards, and all of the officers on board would definately have access to it.

On another note, one of my ideas is to have the Captain designate another position, Senior Psion. I know it seems strange, but I figure if the Captain is a neutral, he just doesn't totally understand any specific requirements the gifted may need (ie. meditation, training, etc). They would be in charge of bringing those things to the Captain's attention, and ensuring all needs are met. Ideally, that person would be the First Officer, but if not it would simply go by rank, and be an additional duty. The only reason I bring this up is that it might be an iteresting idea if someone is looking for a character concept.

Let me know if I'm taking this Captain thing too seriously.... ::devilangel

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Re: head psion:

I like your thinking, but it sounds to me both slightly informal and the kind of thing that would only be consulted occassionally, or who would feel free to come with advice. That said, perhaps it would work best as a simple friendship with a psion crewmember - or indeed, the entire psion crew, since one would hope that each crewmember is comfortable talking to their captain on a 14-man crew.

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I'll say this again - no characters are going to be members, or even ex-members, of the orders. The TEF trains its own people - the only part of the process the orders are involved with is the actual 'dunking' / triggering. There will be no Rexs, Legionnaires, ISRAns, or any of the others on the TEF teams. I'm not sure how I can make that any clearer? ::confused

To clarify the history of the TEF: the TEF was formed in 2106 when the psi orders were first revealed. At that point it was more of a 'project' within the Trinity that drew qualified people from all three branches with the mission / mandate to explore the universe. Between 2106 & 2114 the TEF expanded & formalised &, looking to the future, founded a training academy for the explorers of tomorrow. When the teleporters vanished, some TEF members were stranded on far-off worlds, others were isolated on Earth. Most proved worthy of their training & dedication by continuing with their assigned mandate to further human knowledge (e.g. it's likely that at least a few TEF explorers were part of the Far Nyumba efforts to study the 'zep' alien artifacts). Those stuck in the solar system both continued to explore in-system, & (with a typical Trinity view looking towards the future - &, it's now realised, the higher-ups' knowledge of the jumpship program) train new TEF members at the academy. Now that the jumpships are on-line, the 'next generation' of TEF officers - armed with the latest technology & training - are ready to take the giant set into the cosmos once more. Even older TEF officers have now gone through academy training - refresher courses to make sure that everyone is up to speed, & working from the same page.

Why does the TEF train it's own people? Because at its core it's a group that's about transcending the petty differences of human politics & working together to further human knowledge & understanding of the universe. Those with dual-loyalties only serve to undermine that goal. It's also becoming obvious that the reputations of the orders have been tarnished by recent events - & the TEF can't afford for those stains to rub off on them. The orders are chock-full of politics, secrets, double-dealing, & hidden agendas (hey, it's a WW game after all - it really is 'Vampire in space'... ::wink ) - the TEF want no part of that. Maybe it's part Trinity propaganda - they realise that humanity needs heroes that everyone can look up to - shining examples of what humankind can achieve when they unify towards a common shared goal. In any case, it seems to work.

Wait, is this in addition to, or in place of, the 7 that you get ordinarily?

In place of - chargen is just as I've spelt out in my first post on this thread. Don't forget stuff like the character's Nature & Qualities for those Attributes at 4 or 5 as well (someone always does).

Basically I'd ask everyone wishing to play to make the effort to carefully read what I've posted. There are changes from 'basic' Trinity, & I think I've spelt them all out in my original post.

So how much Status would be appropriate for a field medic?

Also, what degree of education would be appropriate? Are Rexes full-blown doctors, or is it similar to being an EMT, or what?

Branch / training package & Status aren't really related - a medically trained character could be anything from a cadet to the Captain. The only real exception would be the command package - such characters usually rise through the ranks quicker than most (it's what they're trained to do, after all) - but even then Status isn't automatic (a low-status command branch character is just an administrator more than a leader).

Education is via the TEF academy. Any character with enough formal training to have a Medicine score of 3 or more would be considered a Doctor (although some level of related Abilities, such as Science, would also be usual). 'Doctor' is, of course, a level of qualification, not an indication of Status / rank within the TEF.

I'm not really at the stage of accepting any characters yet, but do feel free to continue to work out amongst yourselves who's gonna' be in which positions. For your characters you want to be thinking about:

Origins (who you were before you joined the TEF) - this could be anything without prior political baggage: from a rich undergraduate xenologist from a prominant UAN university, to a teenager rescued from aberrant oppression on Khantze Lu Ge, to a character who grew up in an undersea colony, to pretty much anything else. In all cases the character should have entered the academy at a pretty young age (i.e. they haven't had any other previous careers), even if they're now older (thanks to years of TEF experience).

Record (what missions you've been on) - older characters could also think about what they've been doing for the last 6 years: did they lecture at the academy, chomping at the bit to 'get back out there'; or were they forced to survive as best they could on the desolate moon they were studying when the teleporters abandoned them?

Branch - which of the TEF training packages did the character study?

Aptitude - is the character psi-active or neutral? If a psion, which of the 6 available Aptitudes are they active in (Biokinesis, Clairsentience, Electrokinesis, Psychokinesis, Telepathy, or Vitakinesis)?

Specialities - neutral characters get several free specialities, & any character can buy more with Bonus Points. What are the character's special areas of interest & expertise? What skills is he known for?

Position - which of the sixteen available ship positions is the character's role in an emergency?

Rank - what's the character's rank? Is he a fresh-faced cadet, a hot-shot liutenant with command prospects, or an experienced Captain?

This stuff is the essence of the character, & will be helpful to share with others before actual stats are written up - we don't want to end up with sixteen Captains, after all... ::wink

In the case of two players wanting a similar character, I'm thinking that first-come, first-served (as posted on this thread) is the fairest & easiest rule; although I'm pretty sure that everyone on this site is mature enough to discuss & cooperate like civilized people ::lookaround ::halo .

I've got some more OOC info' to post eventually (a tour of the ship for a start), & I'll start a character bio' thread myself when the time comes (I'd prefer to establish a standard format for such 'files' that others can then follow).

In theory there are sixteen places available in the game - but I strongly doubt we'll ever get that many players. Once people have established which positions they're keen to play, I'll work up the NPC crewmembers. I'm toying with the idea of having a pair of (NPC) Qin crewmembers to compliment the human crew (as part of, not in addidtion to, the 16) - does anyone have any thoughts on such a thing either way?

On another note, one of my ideas is to have the Captain designate another position, Senior Psion.

The ship positions listed are practical ones (i.e the available seats), rather than mission specific ones. The Captain could, naturally, give any crewmemer any reasonable responsibilities - although that wouldn't mean a new official position was created. To be honest dividing the psion & neutral crew in such a way tends to go against the grain of the TEF goals / approach. It's more likely that one of the team science or medical guys would happen to be a noetics specialist, rather than have a seperate guy in charge of psionic activity. The First Officer, in any case, is traditionally responsible for the needs of the crew - & bringing those needs to the attention of the big cheese. That would include all essential requirements - there'd be no real need to seperate those with psi-related needs from those with more mundane needs: doing so would just serve to create a two-tier system that wouldn't help the team's sense of unity & equality.

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I'll say this again - no characters are going to be members, or even ex-members, of the orders. The TEF trains its own people - the only part of the process the orders are involved with is the actual 'dunking' / triggering. There will be no Rexs, Legionnaires, ISRAns, or any of the others on the TEF teams. I'm not sure how I can make that any clearer?

Oooooohh.... ::closedeyes Sorry about that.

I'm toying with the idea of having a pair of (NPC) Qin crewmembers to complement the human crew (as part of, not in addidtion to, the 16) - does anyone have any thoughts on such a thing either way?

Other than "Can I play one?" ( ::wink ), no, though I thought they were a bit rarer than that.

Aptitude - is the character psi-active or neutral? If a psion, which of the 6 available Aptitudes are they active in (Biokinesis, Clairsentience, Electrokinesis, Psychokinesis, Telepathy, or Vitakinesis)?

Question: why are biokinesis and telepathy allowed if Del Fuego and Bu Li do not engage in "horse trading" with the other Orders or the ::aeon ?

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Ok, folks, here's what I was thinking---

Lt. Rhianna Logan, Clairsentient

a petite, energetic Science Officer

specialty in Planetary Survey/Geology/Cartography(map making)

also has strong Awareness w/spec on Sensor Ops.

Feedback?

p.s. Prof. a two dot Device, a Scryin (LR pg. 122) with a Wi-Fi output to my minicomp for recording and analysis, please? ::prof1

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Question: why are biokinesis and telepathy allowed if Del Fuego and Bu Li do not engage in "horse trading" with the other Orders or the Trinity?

Basically because I see no good game-related reason for PCs not to have those powers. Teleporters are out because their presence would mean I couldn't tell the types of stories I'm aiming at. If I was trying to run a game based on classic murder-mystery style plots, then I'd probably ban Telepathy & Clairsentience, since those powers would make the whole point of such a game null-&-void. As it is I don't see Biokinesis or Telepathy as being any more disruptive than any of the other available Psi powers. It's about which elements make a good story, rather than inter-order politics.

If you really insist on a 'reason', then the Trinity have a special deal going or something - personally I don't really care much as to the 'why' of it, I'm more interested in allowing the PCs options within the structure of the game.

The point of this game is a little different from standard Trinity - in fact, I'm kinda' thinking of it as 'Trinity for people who aren't really into Trinity'. Standard Trinity is very much designed within the usual WW mold: PCs get to be a single type of 'super' character, split into several groups with distinct powers & chock-full of politics & intrigue - the guys meant to be the good guys turn out to really be bad guys - there are no real 'pure' heroes, & everyone has their own agenda. In that respect it is 'Vampire' in space - or any of the WoD games.

The issue that a lot of potential players have with that approach is that it's not what they want from a sci-fi game. The sci-fi genre is generally about looking at modern issues through the lens of an imagined future. Most people are more familiar with Star Trek & Stargate than they are with the ins & outs of which proxy is screwing over which other proxy & making deals with alien species X. That sort of thing is fine for fans of WW metaplot, but it's not what this game is gonna' be about.

It's still gonna' be set in the Trinity universe, but with a different focus. Anyone who's read the core rule book, or even just has a basic knowledge of the setting, should feel comfortable in this game - no in-depth knowledge of the various orders or metaplot events will be needed.

So, I guess the answer is 'screw the proxies - who cares?' ::tongue ::wink .

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So, I guess the answer is 'screw the proxies - who cares?'

Amen to that. Thanks for clearing it up. ::thumbsup

I note with a certain sense of tingling that the role of pilot is not yet spoken for.. Hmm... ::smokin (One-man Phoenix squadron, anybody?)

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Origins (who you were before you joined the TEF) - this could be anything without prior political baggage: from a rich undergraduate xenologist from a prominant UAN university, to a teenager rescued from aberrant oppression on Khantze Lu Ge, to a character who grew up in an undersea colony, to pretty much anything else. In all cases the character should have entered the academy at a pretty young age (i.e. they haven't had any other previous careers), even if they're now older (thanks to years of TEF experience).

Prof, not trying to raise your ire, but got a quick question. The character I'm working on is likely to be around 40-41 at the start of the game, meaning he was around 27 at the time the TEF was formed. I wanted to have started his career around 21, which obviously leaves a 6 year gap. So the question is, what could he have been doing. My idea originally was for him to have been in the military, or perhaps a more militant arm of Trinity (perhaps even involved in the fighting when the Aberrants returned) and then transferred into the fledgling TEF (I would think they would want some people experienced in command and leadership to lead the new cadets). Obviously he would still go through the TEF academy and learn everything he needed.

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If he was one of the 'original' few TEF officers then he'd have already been a member of the Trinity - one with skills & experiences that lent themselves to extrasolar exploration - rather than being a guy with any non-Trinity alligience beforehand.

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I'll say this again - no characters are going to be members, or even ex-members, of the orders. The TEF trains its own people - the only part of the process the orders are involved with is the actual 'dunking' / triggering. There will be no Rexs, Legionnaires, ISRAns, or any of the others on the TEF teams. I'm not sure how I can make that any clearer?

I feel some pressure here... ::rolleyes my distribution of the taken roles is just based on their powers. To me a "spiritual vitakinetic doctor" is a stereotypical Port-Au-Prince Rex even if he isn't Aesculapian. My saying I might play a "Legionnaire" means I'm considering playing a Psychokinetic. Yes I got it and yes it was clear...

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Funny you should mention the pilot.. I was thinking about that very role... Got busy the last few days... (OK readdicted to a game.. I even forgot to do a couple posts I meant to...) But tonight I was gonna make a character and do some other Eon stuff :)

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Funny you should mention the pilot.. I was thinking about that very role...

::thumbsup Thanks to the locust fighters, there can be more than one pilot. ::music

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My saying I might play a "Legionnaire" means I'm considering playing a Psychokinetic.

That's kinda' the point - in this game there's no reason why a Psychokinetic has to be a combat-orientated character. You can be a Psychokinetic scientist, or a Vitakinetic engineer. In that respect the order 'labels' are counter-productive. Personally I feel it's best to start as we mean to go on, in order to avoid confusion if for no other reason, and reserve the order-related labels for the people who are actually in the orders (since they still exist in the game, they just aren't TEF members). Let's not forget either that you don't have to be a psion to be a 'Legionnaire'.

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That's kinda' the point - in this game there's no reason why a Psychokinetic has to be a combat-orientated character. You can be a Psychokinetic scientist, or a Vitakinetic engineer. In that respect the order 'labels' are counter-productive. Personally I feel it's best to start as we mean to go on, in order to avoid confusion if for no other reason, and reserve the order-related labels for the people who are actually in the orders (since they still exist in the game, they just aren't TEF members). Let's not forget either that you don't have to be a psion to be a 'Legionnaire'.

Yesyesyes I got all that, silly me. ::wink Point taken though from now on they'll be referred to as Rex's, Clears, Psychers, Scanners, Morphers and Zappers...(I made up some of those, dunno if they're used in the books.)

I think I might wanna be the scout/combat guy, maybe an officer. Any of you folks got that yet?

I was thinking of something like that. Maybe a Leg...I mean Psychokinetic Military minded kinda guy...or maybe a Biokinetic Combat Scientist since I have Terra Verde on my computer so can actually have some powers to choose from. (I also have a scanned version of the PG but since we're not allowed Freeform I don't really know which powers are from the core book.) or just a plain old neutral Officer. Not sure yet. 'Course, its not like the ship can only use one badass...

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Just thought I'd do another recap, so everyone knows where we are at for possible characters:

Captain (Neutral) - Me

First Officer - <empty>

Doctor - <empty>

Pilot (?) - Malkboy

Pilot (?) - Phoenix

Pilot - <empty>

Security/Second Officer (Psion?) - Ezekiel

Security (?) - Archer

Engineer (Clear) - Bahamut

Science Officer (Clear) - ConcreteDragon

? - Qin (NPC)

? - Qin (NPC)

Ok, that's 13 of the 16 positions. I put the <empty> ones up there because I think we should probably have those filled (by PC or NPC).

I also need so help from the rest of you Trinity smart folks. I'm trying to work out what the Captain did before the TEF (basically between 2100 and 2106). My initial thought was for him to be in the military, but based on the Prof's comments, it doesn't sound like that's an option. So, was there any combat type of arm to Trinity at that time that he could have been a part of? I kind of wanted to have him be a part of the fighting when the Aberrants returned and don't know how to fit that in as a member of Trinity. Thanks.

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I wanted to suggest making him an ex-Legionnaire before I remembered that he couldn't be. ::rolleyes

Anyway Prince, the arms of the Trinity (I think) are Neptune (information gathering), Triton (administration) and Proteus (operations). So Proteus is probably what you're looking for. It's not anywhere near as sketchy as it was in Aberrant - these days it's more like the F.B.I. without the actual jurisdiction.

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Ill probably be a Clear...and I could moonlight as the pilot for the actual ship if you would like.

Well actually, we probably need you more as an engineer to man the engineering station during emergencies and the engineering section at all other times.

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Thass kool. I think ill make a down southern guy named smithy.

"Well...I guess'n Ill a ga doun dere and fix me some shiap eng'n now."

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Prof, just say when on the character submission. I've got a complete background and an ever-so-close to complete character sheet for you. ::smokin

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Prince, my SciOfficer is turning out to have pretty strong awarness with spec. in sensor ops. I think I would like to take the first chair in the Sensor position and mabey the second chair in Navigator.

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Rex's, Clears, Psychers, Scanners, Morphers and Zappers...(I made up some of those, dunno if they're used in the books.)...

No. Please just refer to them by their proper names.

Maybe a Leg...I mean Psychokinetic Military minded kinda guy...
I wanted to suggest making him an ex-Legionnaire before I remembered that he couldn't be. ::rolleyes

If you guys feel that disallowing order members as characters is too restrictive, or just silly or something, then that's your opinion & you're entitled to it. But I don't run these games looking for arguments (honestly ::halo ) - there's plenty of space on the rest of the site for that sort of thing. I think I've made the simple premise for the game clear enough &, where appropriate, explained my reasons for the choices I've made. Do me a favour & respect that, please - I don't think that's too much to ask.

... or maybe a Biokinetic Combat Scientist since I have Terra Verde on my computer so can actually have some powers to choose from...

Just to make it clear, only the powers in the core book are going to be used. If you need a list I can send one to you, but I'm not about to write out the entire section if you don't have the book - WW wouldn't like me much ::wink , & I don't have that much spare time.

A Tour of the Ship:

Looking at the illustration of a Scarab in the core book (p. 287), this is how I'm seeing the layout:

First of all the front of the ship is towards the bottom of the page - why, I don't know (ask WW). That's the fore. The rear of the ship is the aft. If you were standing on the bridge & facing forward the port side would be to your left, & the starboard side to your right - thanks to WW printing the thing 'upside down' as you look at the picture the port side is to the right of the page, the starboard side is to the left. Clear as mud, right? If the ship was level (as in the 'side' or 'front' views) the top surface would be the dorsal side, the bottom the ventral side.

Looking at the section marked 'cockpit' you'll see 14 little 'chairs'. These, plus the two locust fighters, make up the 'emergency positions' on the ship.

From the bottom of the page the first four chairs are the port & starboard gunnery bays. These are actually on a level below the cockpit proper, & aren't connected to the cockpit. In order to reach the gunnery bays one must head down to the cargo level, then move forwards, down one of the two parallel corridors that lead to the bays. In each bay the seat closest the centre line of the craft of the primary gunner's position, the other seat - further back & out - is the 'shotgun' seat.

Moving up to the cockpit proper we have 10 chairs. The centre chair towards the bottom of the page (the fore of the ship) is the pilot's station. The centre chair behind that is the command station - this has an extensive control & display interface in front of it & is also, by tradition, a bigger, more comfortable 'Captain's chair'. Slightly above & to the right (on the picture) of the command station is the auxiliary command station - with the same essential functions, but a smaller display (& less comfortable seat). Starting from the pilot's station & moving round the right side (or port side) of the picture we have the astrogation station, the sensor station, & then the communications station. Starting again from the pilot station & moving in the opposite direction we have the damage control station, the environmental station, the engineering station, & the biotech station.

Each station sports a control interface & a holographic display. Like most of the ship the stations are a blend of hard- & bio-tech. The design of the vessel is pretty holistic, that is to say that, in theory, any of the stations could be reprogrammed with the functions of any of the others - & relevant information & displays can be moved between the stations with ease. However, only the two command stations are designed to display data & controls from the other stations as a basic part of their functions; & only those two stations can multi-task displays & controls from several other stations at once. The two command stations also function as tactical displays when needed. In front of all the stations, to the fore of the ship, is the 'main screen' - a display that is holographic in the sense that it has 'depth', although it basically functions as a 'window' most of the time. All sorts of exterior angles can be displayed on the main screen, as well as relevant data from any of the stations.

Exiting the cockpit & walking towards the aft of the vessel (towards the top of the page) there are three corridors.

Those to the left & right lead to the port & starboard nacelles. Each nacelle houses a hyperfusion reactor & engine, as well as a hanger for a Locust fighter, & various miscellanious systems & sensors. Down each of these corrdidors you'll see a 'C' shape across the corridor. These are lifts that access the various sections of the nacelle - the hanger sections are on the top level (the Locusts lift up & away when they detatch), whilst engineering access is on a lower level.

Walking the central corridor & heading aft we first encounter, to the right (port) the galley. This room has a single large table as a centre piece & a small kitchenette area beyond. The galley has an automated refridgeration / oven system common to 22nd century houses, although the selection is usually pretty poor (& all seems to taste like chicken). The galley table has a holovid system - used for both entertainment & occassional mission briefings & the like. Generally the galley is the ship's 'common room' - a place for the crew to gather together - & functions as a recreation room & meeting room as well.

To the left (starboard) side of the central corridor, opposite the galley, we have the head (actually just off the starboard corridor) - toilet & shower facilities, divided into male & female sections. They're pretty small, but an efficient crew & shift rotation keeps queing to a minimum. Further aft from the head (still opposite the galley) is the ship's sick bay. This is quite advanced, & sports an area for field surgery, as well as all sorts of medical equipment, a medstation, dispensery, etc..

The rest of the rooms off the central corridor are the crew's cabins. The larger, angled, room next to the galley is the senior officer's quarters which is divided into a shared office as well as the usual bunk-bed quarters. The other rooms each house two crewmembers & sport a bunkbed, a single fold-down desk, & two fold-down seats. Possessions are kept in footlockers. Otherwise the small cabins tend to end up decorated in a manner that befits their occupants, which can vary quite a bit (& depend somewhat on how well the two officers get along). As much as is possible officers of the same rank share the rooms - although final room assignments are up to the first officer (although the Captain can, as always, veto such things).

At the aft end of the central corridor is a lift down to the cargo area. The lift-shaft also contains ladder-steps recessed into the wall for emergencies. The lift descends to the centre of a ring-shaped corridor that allows access to the various labs & rooms that take-up the cargo area of the explorer-class Scarab. Leading off from this corridor, heading towards the fore section of the ship, is the corridor that eventually divides into two for access to the gunnery bays. The floor of this deck is level, despite the appearance of the side-view of the Scarab. The extra space beneath the deck is used for general storage, & can be accessed by hatches in several of the rooms on the lower deck.

The rooms on the lower deck are roughly wedge-shaped sections radiating off from the centre point where the lift descends from the upper deck. The rear-most of these houses the unfortunately named 'Probe Room' which includes access to the probe-launching system as well as storing the probes themselves. Each probe (ten are carried as standard) resembles a smart missile, but is packed with computers & sensory equipment, instead of explosives. Once deployed a probe has both an internal hyperfusion power source & solar collectors with which to keep it functioning - the devices are designed so that they can be deployed & left for a return mission months, or years, later to collect their accumulated data. The computer systems aboard a probe are server-level & can record & analyse data for many years. Their SIs are smart enough to respond to required changes in position & several types of threats - mostly by moving via thrusters (the probes are built tough to withstand environmental conditions, but aren't armed, & wouldn't withstand an actual military assault). Generally probes are launched into orbit around a target body, acting as satallites (which a team on the surface can access via their Links).

The 'Cartography' room contains a powerful holographic display as a centre-piece, as well as enough computer power to hold on file every map available to the TEF - from maps of the known universe to the London arcology A-to-Z. Sensory data collected by the mission is collated into usable maps & displays in this room. The room's systems are the usual hard- & bio-tech mix, so psychic, as well as hard-tech, data can be recorded & incorperated into the maps. For an exploratory mission, this room is of vital importance, & the computers here are very secure, with multiple redundant back-ups.

Other rooms on the lower deck include labs for the various sciences - biology, chemistry, physics, astrophysics & noetics. Each contains it's own server-level systems crammed with all the relevant data available to the TEF, as well as that collected by the mission. Each lab also contains the various instruments & tools needed for storage & analysis of specimens & data. The topics covered by the labs are pretty broad, so that, for example, examining a geological sample would be possible in the chem-lab. Again, the equipment is a mix of both hard- & bio-tech.

Another room on the lower deck is the 'Archives' room. This serves as a library of human knowledge for those subjects not covered by the labs (although the systems are all inter-connected), & sports several work stations. Archeology, anthropology, history, linguistics, & other subjects are all covered here.

The two final rooms on the lower deck are the 'Armoury' - which contains the crew's personal weaponry, as well as the ship's compliment of missiles (& the various tools & equipment to adjust them if needed) & the loading systems for the launchers; & the 'Machine Shop' - which contains equipment & supplies for making repairs, manufacturing spare parts, & other such engineering challenges.

Ship's systems:

Sensors - the ship's has both active & passive sensory systems. The active systems are all varients on the basic 'RADAR' idea - sending out a beam of EM radiation & looking at what bounces back - but are, naturally, far more advanced. These include the LANSA (Light Amplification Nuclear Scanning Array) system used to detect variations in the weak & strong nuclear forces that aberrant Taint causes. The theoretical limit of the sensors, in a vacuum, is about one light second (or 300,000 km) - although at that extreme range they would do little more than be able to detect the presence of large objects (such as really big asteroids or moons). The closer to the target being examined, the more accurate & detailed the sensory information available, & the more complex the scans that can be carried out. Of course, things like stars give off plenty of detectable energy themselves anyway, & massive objects (like planets) have gravity wells that can be detected at much greater ranges.

The ship also sports biotech sensors. These add 5 dice to a psion's Attunement rolls (& certain similar sensory power use) when they are used, or just provides a 5 dice Attunement for neutral users. Like the other systems the data from the biotech sensors is presented in a standard data format - it doesn't 'pop' into the user's head, but appears on a holo-display. The huge advantage of these systems is that they aren't limited by the speed of light - they transverse the noetic medium instantly.

Weapons - these are as standard for the Scarab class.

Six forward-mounted heavy laser cannons, in two clusters of three each. These beam weapons can be utilised in numerous helpful non-combat ways by a competant operator, & have a considerable range of adjustment for just such a purpose. Powered by the craft's hyperfusion reactors, they never run out of ammunition. (Accuracy +3, 8[5]L damage, 9 km range in atmosphere / 100 km in vacuum, 'spray' maneuver possible)

Duel light coilguns are both fore & aft mounted. These are twin-barreled burst-firing 'machinegun' type weapons strictly for combat, or anti-missile, purposes. (Accuracy +1, 6[10]L damage, 3 km range in atmosphere / 5 in vacuum, 'automatic fire' / 'semi-auto burst' / 'strafing' maneuvers possible, 500 double-barrelled shots, Rate of Fire 50)

Two missile bays - each carries 5 smart (i.e. can be programmed to go round corners & the like) missiles, & the vessel itself carries a further 30 (& has an auto-loader for the launchers). (Accuracy +3, 10[15]L damage, 500 km range in atmosphere / 5,000 km in vacuum, 20 m blast radius)

Two fusion missiles - these are much larger thermo-nuclear smart weapons, each with it's own launch tube, & are only to be used as weapons of last resort. (Accuracy +3, 18[30]L damage, 5,000 km range in atmosphere / 50,000 km in vacuum, 1,000 m blast radius)

Armour - the ship's hull & size make it pretty tough. It has 12 Structural (i.e. Health) Levels [scraped x2, Dented (-1) x2, Battered (-1), Smashed (-2) x2, Breached (-3) x2, Wrecked (-4), Broken Down, Demolished], & 5[15] Armour. Generally only attacks that penetrate the armour & hit the ship's superstructure actually reduce its Structural Levels - hits to other locations have more specific results. Being biotech, the ship can heal damage over time. In this game Medicine is the skill used to heal (or 'repair' or physically alter) biotech (Engineering is for hardtech). The ship's Damage Control officer can identify how much damage the vessel has taken, to which locations, & can also attempt to reduce the immediate penalties from vessel damage (in a manner similar to a character using the Resistance Ability to ignore wound penalties) by activating various damage control procedures.

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