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
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 useless.
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,
and very isolationist. The only representatives of the Imperium ever to
make contact with CivCore are members of the Xenite race, who govern the
sector of the Imperium closest to the Core. The Xenites have a reputation
as natural organisers: they insist on proper procedure at all times, and
cannot stand disorder or 'sloppy thinking'. The Imperium as a whole seems
to have little interest in CivCore.
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