The Game Setting

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The Game Setting

Post  Admin on Tue Jul 14, 2009 3:13 pm

The time of Aliens is a chaotic one. Humanity is expanding into the stars and establishing new outposts and new colonies but society is in danger of unraveling. The Nations of Earth have lost most of their power, and in their place the Corporations which led the way into space stand as the new rulers of Humanity. The transition of power from the Nations to the Corporations is an uneasy one and confrontations are common.

Because of this, there is far more violence now than there was a generation ago. The Corporations used to be sensible enough to settle matters in court and take their legal losses with restraint. Now, Issues which would normally go through the legal systems cannot be allowed to drag on that long especially if the case might end unfavorably. Everyone is more desperate than before, and Corporate and Mercenary forces are much more eager to cut out a piece of the future than ever before. Companies are changing hands so rapidly, with debts left unpaid and countless promises broken, that dozens of financial entities might hold title to a single piece of valuable property.

In the midst of the chaos the Colonial Marine Corps stands as Humanity's peacekeeping force. It is the Corps which is charged with seeing that disputes are settled through law rather than violence and which protects Colonists from unknown dangers and from sabotage by rival Corporations. Unfortunately the Colonial marine Corps depends on the Nations of Earth for financing and technology, and the Nations are no longer strong enough to support them. Because of this the Colonial Marines are few in number and many places are beyond their reach. At the same time, Corporate military forces are more numerous and better equipped and an increasing number of Colonial Marine commanders owe their real loyalty to Corporations rather than to the Corps. Faced with dangerous life forms, human criminals Corporate military and internal corruption, the Colonial Marine Corps attempts to safeguard the future and well-being of Humanity.

One good thing is that battles are now fought on smaller scale than the wars of eariler centuries. The transportation of troops and equipment from world to world is expensive and time-consuming and the sophisticated military equipment being used means that the military profession belongs to an elite group of capable, highly trained people. Combined with the desire to Corporations to avoid the destruction of factories and other economic resources these facts have created military forces that use small numbers of well equipped troops for clearly defined missions. For the Colonial Marine Corps, these missions range from conflicts with Corporate forces to assaults on renegades and confrontations with new and dangerous life forms.

The most important of these dangerous life forms is the Alien itself. The presence of Aliens and the risk that they will get loose on one or more worlds is the greatest danger Humanity has ever faced. The characters battles with people in control of the Aliens and with the Aliens themselves will probably form the core of the game for most people.
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History and Background

Post  Admin on Tue Jul 14, 2009 3:19 pm

The closing years of the 20th Century saw a fading of the great Nations and a repaid increase in the power and influence of multi-national Corporations. These Corporations were not restricted to a singe field, their interests were vast covering all aspects of industry and economics, as they diversified into every field that held profit. They were also not defined by country, society or ideology. In industry, in business and in the media the mult-nationals became more powerful and more visible.

As the Corporations grew they wove together the economic interests of the Nations of the world, and the specter of large-scale warfare was reduces. With head-to-head warfare economically unacceptable, the advanced states settled for venting their hostilities and waging their wars in Third World Nations.

This trend continued through the following decades as the Corporations prospered and the interdependence of the major Nations of Earth grew. Tensions did not end, but were kept under control and released in ways that did not damage anyone's ability to make money. Thus Humanity entered the Age of Space in an atmosphere of controlled tension but not outright war.
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Space Travel

Post  Admin on Tue Jul 14, 2009 3:47 pm

The Age of Space came in the wake of two tremendous technological breakthroughs. The first was the reactionless Displacement Drive which allowed Humanity to travel quickly and cheaply within the Solar System. The Jump Drive soon followed expanding on the principles behind the Displacement Drive and taking Humanity out into the stars. As technologies were perfected, exploration craft went out from Earth.

The search for minerals and other raw materials was only a secondary goal of the explorers: those things were available within the Solar System itself, in amounts that would keep Humanity supplied for many years. The most important things the stars held were knowledge and potential of new habitable planets to ease the population pressures of Earth and opportunity to study new life forms.

The greatest value for the Corporations lay in the life forms. Each world is like a gigantic laboratory where the forces of nature have experimented for billions of years. The creatures produced in those laboratories and complex chemicals contained within them possess abilities far beyond those available to Humanity. Many of these abilities are nearly miraculous and several unusual life forms are described.

The expansion into Space has been a slow process since useful systems are rare and the effort involved in establishing Colonies is great. Still, five Earth-like worlds have been found, and dozens more that are at least habitable. On other worlds, the process of terraforming is underway, as hostile environments are slowly changed into places where humans can live.

On each habitable world, Colonies have been established. They have expanded at varying rates depending on the Corporate support they have received and the qualities of the worlds. Shiploads of people and equipment are sent to each Colony and eventually the Colonies begin to send items of value back to the rest of Humanity, usually life forms and mineral combination the products of local industries and after a generation skilled workers.

These skilled workers are part of the rapidly-growing populations of the Colonies and the Corporations have developed many techniques for managing them successfully. Colonists are taught to live active, disciplined lives, to maximize their economic value and reduce the risks of living on the Colonies. Good educations are available, for those considered capable of higher learning and thorough technical training is given to those who are not. By contrast the disorganized state of the populations of Earth means that there are relatively less people who are well-disciplined and well-educated. As the quality of life diminishes on Earth, the value of trained energetic, and obedient workers from the Colonies increases.

In addition to the above aspects of Corporate life a major part of each Corporation's management approach has been the establishment of a Corporate military force. These forces are not large, but they are well trained have the best equipment their Corporation can afford and include many former Colonial Marines.

Corporate Strife
With Colonies on many worlds, the power and influence of the Corporations rose rapidly. As they became more powerful, they became more of a threat to the Nations of Earth. The situation was a very delicate one, the Nations had far larger armies but the Corporations controlled space and vital high-technology. The same economic interdependence which prevented war among the Nations now prevented the Nations from harming the Corporations.

Across Earth and in the Colonies, tensions grew. Every political weapon was used, including diplomacy, bribery, blackmail and economic pressure. Separatist movements were created to destabilize Nations which responded by seizing Corporate property. Finally one small crisis got out of control and erupted into warfare. Dozens of other small wars began within weeks and the Earth spun into chaos. Fortunately the wars remained limited, few nuclear or biological weapons were used.

The wars lasted for five years and out of the violence came the Interstellar Commerce Commission (ICC), a coalition of the Corporations and Nations which united Humanity. This organization was in charge of regulating activities among its members and the Colonial Marine Corps was created as its military arm. The wars had taught everyone that it would be valuable to have a sort of "police force" to discourage them from using violence to solve their problems.

War in the Colonies
Throughout the wars the Colonies strongly supported the Corporations. They wanted to remain free from the Nations, and many believed they would receive status as independent entities with increased control over their own affairs. When the ICC was formed it became clear this would not be the case; the Colonies were treated as Corporate property. Another cycle of hostility, tension, and intense diplomacy began and eventually several Colonies rebelled. The Colonial Marine Corps supported by Corporate forces was given the job of bringing the rebels back under control.

The cause of the Colonies was in danger from the beginning. The tremendous financial and military resources available to the ICC meant that their losses could be quickly replaced, while the Colonies were very weak in technology, industry and population. One by none the Colonies were defeated militarily or economically. There are still underground rebel movements on most Colonies but they pose little threat to the ICC at present.

The only Colony that is still actively resisting the ICC is Alexandria which has control of several systems that insulate it from the ICC. By holding these vital locations Alexandra is able to keep the ICC forces at bay. Battles for these systems are described in the entry for the Colonial Wars. While the people of Alexandria have little chance of actually winning their struggle against the ICC they may be able to set the cost of defeating them so high that the Corporations will give in to some of their demands.
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