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Old 03-01-2021, 11:30 PM   #2181
Mysterious Dark Lord v3.2
 
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Default Re: New Sci Fi Setting Seeds

Mystery City

A primitive world (someplace where they think steamships are a pretty neat idea) holds a secret.

One of this planet's great nations has a good TL5 industrial base, feeds itself, and has a growing population. But to the inhabitants, it's capital - the Mystery City - is a sealed-off enigma, approachable only with permission and that permission is never given. No non-citizen has ever gotten within sixty miles of the city.

The question of the Mystery City is cleared up when examining the world from orbit, but that just raises more questions.

First, the planet has a ring, barely visible from the surface. Examination shows that it consists of carbonate dust.

The Mystery City is clearly visible, on an obviously artificial plateau fifty miles across and covered with signs of TL5+ civilization. And right in the middle of the plateau is a circular section, twenty-five miles across, surrounded by a wall a mile-and-a-half tall and a mile-and-a-half thick. It is a perfect black suggesting vantablack. There are three entrances, and the interior is filled with a major TL5 city. The city and the plateau around it are lit with electric lights (TL8 LEDs from spectrographic analysis). The airspace is filled with the frequencies of advanced scanners - whether or not those activate defenses is a question no one has had the nerve to answer yet.

The Mystery City appears to be the base of an orbital elevator, and the orbital ring the remnants of the elevator itself. But there are no other remains of a advanced civilization on the planet. It's possible that it was an ancient alien base, but without direct access to the city, who can tell?

The nation based around the Mystery City has no exotic materials or technologies, it's no more advanced than the rest of the planet's nations. But the Mystery City is the only area on the planet with electric lights.

So the objective of everyone who knows of the world is to examine the Mystery City and get some answers to it's many questions without alerting the steampunk residents. Or alerting any possible remains of whoever built them.
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Old 03-02-2021, 12:19 PM   #2182
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I like this, it reminds me of Swords of Cydoria but crossing Steampunk and Golden Age Sci-Fi instead of Planetary Romance and Swords and Sorcery.
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Old 03-02-2021, 03:36 PM   #2183
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Astromancer View Post
I like this, it reminds me of Swords of Cydoria but crossing Steampunk and Golden Age Sci-Fi instead of Planetary Romance and Swords and Sorcery.
At first, I read that as Swords of Cydonia, which had me contemplating various ways for that to make some sense (other than alternate pasts like Barsoom).
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Old 03-02-2021, 05:01 PM   #2184
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Astromancer View Post
I like this, it reminds me of Swords of Cydoria but crossing Steampunk and Golden Age Sci-Fi instead of Planetary Romance and Swords and Sorcery.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prince Charon View Post
At first, I read that as Swords of Cydonia, which had me contemplating various ways for that to make some sense (other than alternate pasts like Barsoom).
Neither to be confused with the "Knights of Sidonia", an manga/anime about Earth's last generation ship being menaced by body-horror aliens. Who are fought with teenagers flying giant robots, of course.
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Old 03-08-2021, 05:10 PM   #2185
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Try this one...

We know that several generations ago our ancestors were captured by powerful aliens and brought here, where ever this place is. We know this world is an artificial world even though we can't figure out the configuration of the megastructure we're in. We know it must be at least several tens of thousands of Earth surfaces in area, but not much more than that. The air pressure is about 20% higher than Earth normal and gravity is about 45% of G. This makes flight far easier, which is good because we need flight.

We live in strange islands of warmth in a vast tundra. We assume they use mirrors to focus extra light and warmth to these islands of fertility. The few degrees of difference mean we can raise crops and livestock.

Still, a prison is a prison. You are parahumans genetically changed to deal with the bitter cold and also adapted to survive on such food as you can find. We want you to cross the cold wastes and find out what lies beyond.


Basically, a sandbox full of mysteries. Your PCs, with their low-tech man-powered flight rigs against the vast unknown. Toss in any mixture of Planetary Romance and Golden Age Sci-Fi tropes you like. Other islands of warmth in the Cold Waste could hold exotic aliens or even more exotic human communities. These could function as Planet of Hats adventures or possible allies in seeking the answers to where your people are being held.
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Old 03-09-2021, 12:50 PM   #2186
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Try this one...

They say the spores came only two years ago, it seems like a lifetime. Back then I was an ordinary guy, a handsome grandpa recently widowed. My Irish grandmother's blue eyes seem to be all that's left of that man.

I'm not old now, nor am I human any longer. I'm one of Them. Pale and cold to the touch. The others like me are part of a hive mind of some kind or something like that. Those of us that were transformed but not perfectly, seem to have gained strange powers. Telepathy, telekinesis, other things out of a superhero comic book. I've linked up with part of what's left of the government. For my nation, for my world, for my grandkids, I'm ready to fight!


Basically, you are now the Alien strange pale humanoids, cold to the touch. Your transformation was flawed, you remain partly human and thus retain your free will. However, this makes it easier for the Hivemind and its catspaws to hunt you down (This works as the disadvantage Natural Feature). You have Psi powers and that makes you more than human. The the Hivemind is a brutally powerful gestalt.

You are striving to save the few free humans left from the Hivemind and its minions.
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Old 03-11-2021, 12:28 AM   #2187
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Trains IN SPACE. At the front there's a stardrive module that creates artificial wormholes. At the rear there's a propulsion module that pushes the whole thing forward. In between there are cylindrical passenger, cargo and reaction mass modules locked together to turn the whole thing into one long structure that will fit through the wormhole entrances. The passenger modules rotate to simulate gravity for the passengers. Each module has it's own low intensity reaction engine so they can move around a bit independently and link upw with the trains or detach and move into orbit.
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Old 03-12-2021, 09:42 AM   #2188
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Try this one...

The City


David Johnston2's last post reminded me of the Doctor Who New Adventures novel Transit. So, I offer this idea.

They say the city used to have many names, hundreds on some world called Earth or Dirt alone. But now names like London, Shang Hai, L.A. or Karvek'tol, are merely neighborhoods. The transit system made millions of cities on tens of thousands of worlds into one vast city whose billions of neighborhoods are simply a subspace subway ride away from each other.


Basically, There are a billion stories in the Naked City, and this city isn't getting dressed anytime soon! Cross your favorite Film Noir movies with Transmetropolitan. Go forth, experience the strangeness. (Note: Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets and the comics they are based on are good sources too).
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Old 03-13-2021, 03:13 PM   #2189
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Try this one...

The old ones say seven peoples came on the sky ship. Six peoples including ours went to the great northern land. The seventh people went to the southern isles. The six peoples in the north warred with each other and lost all, their tools, their skills, their future.

The cunning folk of the southern isles stayed at peace and bent themselves to hard work. They soon recovered the path to the skies. They built cities on the moons, the old ones point out the lights of their cities, like stars in the wrong places. They crossed between the stars again but took no thought to those whose ancestors traveled with them.

Now the folk of the Southern Isles have joined a confederation of peoples across the stars. They send their "Anthropologists" to study the failed ones, the primitives.


Basically, the PCs are either coming to study people who fell into a new barbarism or they are the descendants of those who destroyed their future and traped their children and their children after them. Some of these coming to study the "Fallen" are serious scholars others are thrillseekers, both types gall the people stuck in primitive poverty.

In each category, there are conflicts within each group. Some of the South Islanders see the Northerners as a necessary control group. They live as humanity lived through most of its history. Other Southerners want to aid the Northern folk out of primitive poverty. Among the Northerners, some bitterly resent being left behind while the Southerners travel the stars and live millennia-long lives of luxury, others believe they have preserved their faiths and their integrity, they see the wealth and luxury of the Southerners as a deadly corruption. Some would work with the Southerners others would kill or rob them, still others simply scorn them.
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Old 03-14-2021, 06:49 PM   #2190
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Try this one...

In the 2120s new means of warping space were discovered. These allowed FTL flight (functionally about 100C is the speed limit for the foreseeable time). The planet Fódla is an amazing candidate for terraformation. Fódla is by far the best candidate for a human colony beyond Earth's star system. With a circumference equal to 87% of Earth's and a density nearly equal to Earth's, open water, and a sea-level air pressure of 17psi, Earth life forms could be introduced immediately and humans could walk unprotected on Fódla's surface within a generation.

This has led to a furious debate as to who may settle there. At present, the USA has the best resources to colonize Fódla and has established several bases. China, India, the EU, and Brazil, all demand large shares of Fódla. Meanwhile, Nigeria and Indonesia have simply landed expeditions on the planet and are building bases. The American bases have made sure they don't starve or suffocate but the relationship isn't amicable.

Basically, take Transhuman Space technology, add in something like a reasonable political scene for 2060, then toss in both an FTL drive and a major prize that could make those who get it powers for the next few centuries. Conflict is guaranteed.
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