Who are the Darrians and the Solomani?

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Annatar Giftbringer
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Who are the Darrians and the Solomani?

Postby Annatar Giftbringer » Wed Mar 04, 2015 9:12 pm

Greetings,
I was wondering if someone could perhaps be so kind and provide a quick yet colorful description of the Darrians and the Solomani.

I own the Aslan, Vargr and Zhodani alien manuals as well as sword worlds, and since drivethru rpg has a sale it might be a good time to get the others...

But who are they? I'm interested in culture, tech and ship philosophies, and if appropriate by all means like them to existing scifi/fantasy/real world societies/races.

Also, from what little I've gathered about darrians (through a combination of quick googling, creative (?) interpretations and sloppy speed-reading) I've kinda gotten an impression that they're something like Swedish space elves... Is this even remotely close to true? :)
hiro

Re: Who are the Darrians and the Solomani?

Postby hiro » Wed Mar 04, 2015 9:21 pm

You may have found these entries in your search so apologies if this isn't quite what you're looking for:

http://wiki.travellerrpg.com/Darrians

http://wiki.travellerrpg.com/Solomani
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Re: Who are the Darrians and the Solomani?

Postby Annatar Giftbringer » Wed Mar 04, 2015 9:41 pm

Yes, I've stumbled upon those, but thanks for sharing!

I'm looking for a quick n dirty overview, kinda like the "presenting the..." Chapters in the alien manuals, that tell you that Zhodani can be thought of like Vulcan or B5 psi-corps. Plus perhaps any tendencies in ship design and/or tech. Solomani are the ones that uplift dolphins and give them bipedal robo-suits, right?
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Re: Who are the Darrians and the Solomani?

Postby Epicenter » Wed Mar 04, 2015 11:28 pm

If you're speaking of stereotypical views and ones that many Traveller writers keep going back to:

Darrians are space elves. Not like nuanced JRRT elves, but more like D&D elves.

Solomani are basically every totalitarian empire during the 20th century rolled into one, particularly as seen through the rosy glasses of Americans. They have racial supremacy platforms like the Nazis, the Solomani party and government is basically a caricature of communism and Soviet Union (right down to the obscene power and insidious influence of SolSec, which is their KGB), fortunately despite their fanaticism their industrial base and technology is markedly behind that of the Imperium making them very poor at conquering and they have bad defensive plans like trying to defend every world like the Japanese Empire (or the Italians under Mussolini I suppose). So essentially the Solomani are evil and scheming but make good fodder for players because they're ultimately not a threat to the Imperium.

There are writers who try and give both groups more dimension, but those are the tropes lazy writers or just those stuck in the 20th century keep returning to.
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Re: Who are the Darrians and the Solomani?

Postby Mirja » Thu Mar 05, 2015 12:06 am

Darrians

* Scholarly and Scientifically minded: They value knowledge and science and it is almost a requirement for all darrians to attend university after school. Those who don't join the military.

* They are a very community-minded people. You live to aid the community (mostly) in that you strive to do your best and to be better, so that the community (and you) prosper.

* Peaceful and happy with their imperium however Sword Worlds are occupying a few systems since the last Frontier War and they would love to get those systems back. However do not think that they are non-violent. They just strive to live in a peaceful and ordered society. If they see the need, they can msuter their Militia, the Guard and the semi-secret Special Arm commandos to fight. And they are good at it.

* Longlived elffin-liked being which s why they are called space elves.

* Their history is cool, they accidently ruined their own high-tech society through their scietific community.

* They have learned how to trick the Zhodani and that mind reading of the Zho's.

* Conniving, slick and smart bastards :P

All in all, I love the Darrian book the best of all the Alien books. It is well written, has a great description of the Race, its History and all its secrets. Even if you won't play near the Darrian Confederatiion, i think this book is a must buy! The authour is as close to a God to me.
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Re: Who are the Darrians and the Solomani?

Postby ShawnDriscoll » Thu Mar 05, 2015 1:59 am

Annatar Giftbringer wrote:Greetings,
I was wondering if someone could perhaps be so kind and provide a quick yet colorful description of the Darrians and the Solomani.

I own the Aslan, Vargr and Zhodani alien manuals as well as sword worlds, and since drivethru rpg has a sale it might be a good time to get the others...

But who are they? I'm interested in culture, tech and ship philosophies, and if appropriate by all means like them to existing scifi/fantasy/real world societies/races.

Also, from what little I've gathered about darrians (through a combination of quick googling, creative (?) interpretations and sloppy speed-reading) I've kinda gotten an impression that they're something like Swedish space elves... Is this even remotely close to true? :)
The Mongoose versions:

A Darrian behaves a lot like an American socialist/liberal/democrat. They don't do much space elfing.

A Solomani behaves a lot like a citizen from Starship Troopers. Very nationalistic like Japan.
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Re: Who are the Darrians and the Solomani?

Postby Rikki Tikki Traveller » Thu Mar 05, 2015 6:28 pm

As RACES:

The Darrians are a mix of a Human Minor race (Daryens) and Solomani settlers during the time of the 2nd Imperium (Before the Long Night).

The Solomani are "Men of Sol" and are of Terran (Earth) human descent.
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Re: Who are the Darrians and the Solomani?

Postby dragoner » Thu Mar 05, 2015 7:22 pm

"Swedish space elves" - I like that. 8)
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Re: Who are the Darrians and the Solomani?

Postby Epicenter » Thu Mar 05, 2015 10:40 pm

ShawnDriscoll wrote: A Solomani behaves a lot like a citizen from Starship Troopers. Very nationalistic like Japan.
WW2 Japan, you should qualify. It's been a long time since then and things are pretty different.
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Re: Who are the Darrians and the Solomani?

Postby ShawnDriscoll » Fri Mar 06, 2015 12:54 am

Epicenter wrote:
ShawnDriscoll wrote: A Solomani behaves a lot like a citizen from Starship Troopers. Very nationalistic like Japan.
WW2 Japan, you should qualify. It's been a long time since then and things are pretty different.
Japan is still the same as far as being Japanese. Very nationalistic. Fascists are something else.
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Re: Who are the Darrians and the Solomani?

Postby JBRocky » Fri Mar 06, 2015 1:55 am

Solomani are the most diverse bunch in charted space since they are us. Many different countries colonized different part of the Confederation which gives it a very different feel where you are. Now the Confederation government can be pretty Fascist with the Party and Solsec, but at the same time there are more Local Governments which are not. This can create a sense of tension between the Confederation and oh the Bootean Federation which is far more Liberal. Now if you can get a old Copy of Solomani and Aslan to get a better understanding of this. But do get a copy of the Mongoose Solomani AM since they have done an outstanding job with all of their Alien Modules, also take a quick look at the Traveller Wiki to get some ideas for different government inside the Confederation.
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Re: Who are the Darrians and the Solomani?

Postby ShawnDriscoll » Fri Mar 06, 2015 2:24 am

JBRocky wrote:Now if you can get a old Copy of Solomani and Aslan to get a better understanding of this. But do get a copy of the Mongoose Solomani AM since they have done an outstanding job with all of their Alien Modules, also take a quick look at the Traveller Wiki to get some ideas for different government inside the Confederation.
Best to stick to just one edition of the Solomani book, and ignore the rest. Same goes for any Traveller book.

Unless you are a metagamer, or not a role-player and just a collector that buys everything that is Traveller.

Since this is Mongoose's BBS, it's assumed that Mongoose is the Traveller edition in use. Doesn't make any sense to be here only as a Classic Traveller dude with no plans of ever buying Mongoose books.
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Re: Who are the Darrians and the Solomani?

Postby GypsyComet » Fri Mar 06, 2015 6:58 am

Also, the DGP book being referred to is long out of print and out of license, and goes for stupid money when used copies pop up.

As long as you ignore the art in the Mongoose version of Aslan, the Mongoose alien books have been pretty decent (I'm not a big fan of the Aslan or Vargr ships from Mongoose either, but that's a different issue). The original CT alien books (where the Darrians and Solomani first saw coverage) were often rather dry.

The Solomani nationals (as opposed to the genetic Terrans who are *everywhere*) are likely a lot more varied than the stereotypical jackbooted Terran Supremacists they are portrayed as, but the nice(r) ones get stepped on by the rude(r) ones. Party loyalty is what lets you travel extensively, own a ship, etc. The Solomani you meet in positions of authority are all going to be Party types: officious, privileged, and (often) paranoid and obsequious toward those they know can ruin them. If you manage to get away from the aparat, the back country folks are probably nicer. Still sure of Solomani superiority, unconsciously paternalist toward the non-Human children of Terra (Phins, various uplifted primates, etc) and deeply "Party paranoid", but nicer nonetheless.

Modern Darrians are a genetic mix of the original Darrians and a Terran expedition which found them. The combination of the two cultures catalyzed a rapid technology climb that eventually destroyed their civilization. When the surviving Darrians returned to space they found a bunch of carpetbag vikings squatting on some of their old worlds. The Darrians and the Sword Worlders haven't gotten along since that auspicious start...
While the Darrians are indeed surrounded by the high tech remnants of their old heights, they do not share many other "elf" tropes. They do like natural surroundings, but most of the ancestral groves they developed in are long gone. They are certainly not in decline in the modern era.
Modern Darrian personalities have never struck me as stereotypical, though I could see a touch of caution toward their neighbors being a common trait.
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Re: Who are the Darrians and the Solomani?

Postby Annatar Giftbringer » Sun Mar 08, 2015 9:12 am

Thank you everyone for helping out! I bought both the books, though I haven't quite found the time to give them a proper read yet (something I'm looking forward to!)

Ah, the Solomani are us! That makes them very interresting, especially from a (future) historical point of view. It also helps explain a lot about them, to me. For most of the other alien modules, very soon some form of archetype, typical cultural tendensies have popped up and offered a glimpse into who they are, sample characters and adventure ideas almost write themselves but I couldn't quite put my finger on who the Solomani were. Of course actually reading the book made that clear very soon, but some of the others had a clearer sense of who they are, especially the Vargr and Aslan. Didn't even need their book to get a (stereotypical and extremely simplified, I'd best add) idea of those two.

For some reason when hearing about uplifted dolphins I imagined them getting bipedal suits (Perhaps not exactly like these, but....) but I understand they're more like these.

And the Darrians... What can I say, I want their battledress! And their torpedo bays - same size as everyone else, but including space for reloads? Yes please!

Perhaps they're not THAT elvish, but they do have a plethora of hi-tech/magic trinkets and stuff, and pointy ears. Really looking forward to reading their history, withtheir secrets and superweapons!
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Re: Who are the Darrians and the Solomani?

Postby Easterner » Sun Mar 08, 2015 7:57 pm

Everything you see and read about the Solomani is an Imperial Propaganda smear campaign. All are lies or exaggerations.

The Confederation is a weak central government, not as weak as US Articles of Confederation but in that neighborhood. Each planet is sovereign and pretty much determines its own way.

The Soli's do have but one party, yet that is sundered into dozens of factions, some so diametrically opposed to other factions as to be enemies. To put another way, if you want to start a new party just call it the Solomani Party, support the The Solomani Cause:

All of Humaniti are exceptional, as demonstrated through
their wide diffusion through Charted Space and their control
of the greatest and most powerful of interstellar civilisations.
Humans are superior to other aliens.
• The Solomani were the first and true species of Humaniti,
who evolved naturally on Terra. Their racial origin, as well
as their culture and historical achievements make them
superior to the other races of Humaniti.
• This superiority means the Solomani have a special
manifest destiny. It is their duty to themselves and the
universe to dominate Charted Space and eventually the
entire galaxy.
• Intermingling with other Human races threatens to dilute
what makes Solomani special
, both culturally and genetically.
The Solomani destiny is best achieved through leadership of
other races or failing that, the Solomani’s own efforts.

After that you can be against everything. there are 12 major factions in the Party and loads of minor ones. Oh and how many interstellar parties are there in the Imperium.....none. One man rule through his Dukes, no elections Newts make/enforce the rules and Regs.

The Confederation is dedicated to the Rule of Law. SolSec is bound by it and obeys it, it is staffed by zealots and so not very corrupt. They may not murder suspects, everything must be done legally. Make no mistake SolSec power dominates the Navy and Party power wise; it is feared. It is however so far self leashed. The Imperial Nobles routinely order executions of those that pester them. Frequently manipulating passing Travellers into doing their dirty work to keep their hands officially clean. INI kills more sophonts in a week than SolSec ever could in a year.

What is more notorious than Imperial Prisons: Darkmoon, Newcombe, The Gash, Tarkwall a virtual mirror of Newcombe.

The Imperium is administered by Newts, Aliens run everything and make the rules when their Nobles attention strays. The Confederation will not turn itself over to Aliens...EVER. We maintain friendly relations with the Hivers, some Aslan while fighting other aslan expansionists. We won't tolerate slavery by harsh Vegan Masters. Nor do we forget the Vilani who attempted to enslave Earth and expelled us from the 3rd Imperium, then ordered us conquered again not 100 years ago. We have hostile Imperials and Aslan, internal traitors that would break the confederation for profit, a conquered Homeworld under the boot of oppression and who knows what demons lurk rimward hungry for human flesh!

Hail Terra!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2fdcNAn ... re=related
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Re: Who are the Darrians and the Solomani?

Postby dragoner » Sun Mar 08, 2015 10:36 pm

Image

...
Unfurl the banners! Look at the screen!
Never before has such glory been seen!

Solomania! Solomania! Solomania, 'tis for thee!
...


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F43DqnMoWi0
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Re: Who are the Darrians and the Solomani?

Postby Easterner » Mon Mar 09, 2015 3:09 am

Yup Big Brother is watching, watching Thetis and Laputa fight a war, watch those two then ally and fight Kukulcan, watch Kukulcan sway New Bootes to give up on retaking Terra. Yup SolSec sure watches.

Neither the Navy, Party or SolSec has the sway over the individual worlds to stop them fighting over trade routes yet we're the iron fisted totalitarians?

Everything you've heard about the Confederation is a lie promulgated by an Emperor's advisor named Marc Miller years ago. Pure psychohistory in progress. Miller favored the Spinward frontier and slimes the Rim to keep people away from there and shunned, plain and simple.
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Re: Who are the Darrians and the Solomani?

Postby GypsyComet » Mon Mar 09, 2015 3:58 am

(Golf Clap)

While it is easy to interpret the presented stereotypes as propaganda, it is just as easy to look around at Earth's modern politics and simply scale it all up. Treating all of Solomani space like the hardest core interpretation of recent behaviors by certain modern states is a caricature, to be sure. That said, there are definitely elements in Solomani space that make the "Miller Propaganda" works look like puff pieces. The homeworld is in enemy hands, therefore there ARE fanatics, both quiet and not, working to retake it. That is simply in our nature.
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Re: Who are the Darrians and the Solomani?

Postby dragoner » Mon Mar 09, 2015 4:16 am

It's Big Sister is watching; not oligarchal collectivism, but oligarchal objectivism ...


:P
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Re: Who are the Darrians and the Solomani?

Postby Tom Kalbfus » Mon Mar 09, 2015 8:41 pm

GypsyComet wrote:(Golf Clap)

While it is easy to interpret the presented stereotypes as propaganda, it is just as easy to look around at Earth's modern politics and simply scale it all up. Treating all of Solomani space like the hardest core interpretation of recent behaviors by certain modern states is a caricature, to be sure. That said, there are definitely elements in Solomani space that make the "Miller Propaganda" works look like puff pieces. The homeworld is in enemy hands, therefore there ARE fanatics, both quiet and not, working to retake it. That is simply in our nature.
What happens if you do a Pebble in the Sky? As in the Asimov Novel of the same name. An Earth human from our time , takes a step and finds himself on the OTU Terra circa 1105 Imperial? Lets say he's from New York when he takes that step, or London and he's in the same place, just in a different time? What problems is he going to have? What if some Solomani guy approaches him, realizing he is from the past, and thinks he could be of symbolic value in organizing the Resistance against the occupying Imperials?

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