Oxford University Role Playing Games Society
The Galaxy is a very large place, and there are a lot of different people in it, with
different customs, values, and aims. It is difficult to communicate and co-operate
across vast distances, or across barriers of lack of information, and alien cultures.
In one region of space, the so-called 'Civilised Core', this is possible thanks to
two pieces of technology. The Jump Gates and the Matrix are the legacy of a long-gone
race referred to in the legends of many species as 'Elders' or 'Gods'.
Jump gates do not physically appear as portals, but are regions in space from which
it is possible to transport instantly to another jump gate. This allows interstellar
trade on a grand scale, for the 'jump drives' possessed by many races are far less
accurate, and have much shorter ranges. It will often take several jumps to reach a
point close to the intended destination, after which ordinary ships engines will take
over. Fortunately, most inhabited systems have a jump gate either in the system or
within jump drive range: those which do not suffer badly from lack of trade. Each
Jump Gate is connected to several others, forming a web across the CivCore.
Occasionally, a new connection will be discovered, either creating a shorter route
between two places, or leading to a previously undiscovered gate.
The Matrix is essentially a computer system which spans the entire CivCore.
Information transfer across vast distances is almost instantaneous, so simply by
'logging on', anyone can retrieve data from anywhere else on the system. Information
can be passed throughout the CivCore very quickly, and it is only this fact which
allows the various races to co-exist and co-operate.
Other means of communication exist, but never allow information to propagate faster
than the speed of light. On an interstellar scale, these methods are therefore
The Imperium of Zhan
The Imperium of Zhan is a vast empire, right on the borders of CivCore. It is
powerful, but technologically less advanced than the best of CivCore. Ten years ago,
CivCore was betrayed by forces of the Imperium which had previously been assisting in
the war against the New Empire. These were repulsed, and there has been almost no
direct contact since.
The New Empire
Arriving on the scene 12 years ago and instantly invading, the New Empire has since
been accepted into CivCore society. However, tensions are still high, especially in
areas such as Amoria, where the New Empire has oppressed the local government.
There are also unexplored areas in and around the CivCore. Adventurous individuals
will occasionally head off into the unknown, and may well discover something of
interest: natural resources, a previously unknown race, or even a piece of ancient,
'lost technology'. So-called 'Arco-scientists' specialise in this field, combining
the roles of archaeologist and experimental and theoretical scientist.
Different races understand science and technology to wildly differing degrees. It is
of course possible for individuals to use devices of which they personally have
little or no understanding. Due to the necessity for repair and maintenance, however,
it is not usually practicable on a planetary scale. It is often the case that the
ruling classes for a particular society will have technology orders of magnitude more
advanced than that available to the average thing-on-the-street.
Transport and Communication
Detailed above, these are the major binding forces in CivCore.
Vary wildly from society to society: some have energy weapons, others prefer
projectiles, or even swords.
Most societies have a fair understanding of the physiology of their own race, but
medical techniques, drugs and poisons may have wildly different effects on different
species. For this reason, there is very little sharing of medical resources. However,
the technologically more advanced races have reached the stage where body parts can
be replaced to repair damage or improve utility.
More information on technology will be made available as appropriate to each