Towards an Infinite Horizon

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The Dark Avenger
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Towards an Infinite Horizon

Postby The Dark Avenger » Sat Jul 30, 2016 8:56 am

As I have mentioned elsewhere, I am writing up the Infinite Horizons universe for publication. The first adventure and sourcebook are with Mongoose now.

The setting is well developed but until it is published it is not cast in stone. So, this might be a good time to discuss what makes a setting attractive... or to put that another way what do we want from a Traveller game setting?
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Re: Towards an Infinite Horizon

Postby Old timer » Sat Jul 30, 2016 12:30 pm

Excuse my ignorance, but what is the infinite horizon setting?
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Re: Towards an Infinite Horizon

Postby The Dark Avenger » Sat Jul 30, 2016 1:38 pm

It's a setting I've been working for quite a while now. IH uses the core assumptions of the OTU but sometimes with a twist. For example the jump drive is the only known FTL system but the one-week-per-jump rule varies a fair bit more depending on local conditions 150-180 hours poer jump is common, with a typical variance of aorund +/- 20 hours. But there are some places where variance is much more or less without a misjump occurring, and where the normal jump takes a longer or shorter time. The reasons for this variance are not understood, but investigating them has led to some worrying new discoveries.
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Re: Towards an Infinite Horizon

Postby crazy_cat » Sat Jul 30, 2016 3:54 pm

Have to say that as a teaser, hook/USP, major selling point or difference from the OTU for a new setting 'jump times are a bit different' doesn't really do it for me.
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Re: Towards an Infinite Horizon

Postby fusor » Sat Jul 30, 2016 4:40 pm

Yeah, I think you need to work on your sales pitch a bit here - nobody knows anything about this setting! Why not tell us more about it, what it's like, why it's different, why we should be interested in it, etc?
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Re: Towards an Infinite Horizon

Postby rust2 » Sat Jul 30, 2016 5:02 pm

The Dark Avenger wrote:As I have mentioned elsewhere...
I seem to have missed that, could you please give me an idea where to look for that information ?
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Re: Towards an Infinite Horizon

Postby fusor » Sat Jul 30, 2016 5:07 pm

rust2 wrote:
The Dark Avenger wrote:As I have mentioned elsewhere...
I seem to have missed that, could you please give me an idea where to look for that information ?
Here, I think - viewtopic.php?f=89&t=119336

Not much information there either though... (And again, not much of a big deal made. Isn't Mongoose making any effort to promote this themselves?)
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Re: Towards an Infinite Horizon

Postby rust2 » Sat Jul 30, 2016 5:25 pm

Providing Socrates was right ("True knowledge exists in knowing that you know nothing."), I have now reached True Knowledge of Infinite Horizon ... 8)
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Re: Towards an Infinite Horizon

Postby The Dark Avenger » Sat Jul 30, 2016 5:26 pm

Infinite Horizons is set around 700 years from now. The prevailing technological level of most human states is 10-12, making Jump-3 the cutting edge of interstellar navigation. Humans are by far the most common intelligent species in what is (not surprisingly perhaps) known as Human Space, but starfaring and non-starfaring aliens have been encountered. It is becoming apparent that some of them are more powerful and more advanced than was originally thought.

It is known that highly advanced alien species have existed in the past and may still await discovery beyond Human Space, but at least one of these advanced species is known to be extinct and another has been reduced to a fearful remnant hiding on a single planet.

Interstellar states typically consist of core systems interspersed with less-developed regions, and the areas between major states have been settled in a very patchy manner. Thus large backwater areas exist where pocket empires and minor alliances rise and fall over time. Human Space is bounded to Astronavigational East by the vast unknown of the Prospect Deep, but in all other directions there are frontiers awaiting exploration.
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Re: Towards an Infinite Horizon

Postby dragoner » Sat Jul 30, 2016 5:34 pm

The Dark Avenger wrote:It's a setting I've been working for quite a while now. IH uses the core assumptions of the OTU but sometimes with a twist. For example the jump drive is the only known FTL system but the one-week-per-jump rule varies a fair bit more depending on local conditions 150-180 hours poer jump is common, with a typical variance of aorund +/- 20 hours. But there are some places where variance is much more or less without a misjump occurring, and where the normal jump takes a longer or shorter time. The reasons for this variance are not understood, but investigating them has led to some worrying new discoveries.
I have been playing around with just using 1d6+1 days minus navigator skill level.
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Re: Towards an Infinite Horizon

Postby The Dark Avenger » Sat Jul 30, 2016 5:37 pm

The Motherlode star system lies at the end of a Jump-3 chain of worlds jutting out into the emptiness of the Prospect Deep. Its three habitable worlds orbiting two stars represent a rare find, and this is perhaps why humans and aliens seem to be drawn to the system. Or perhaps there is some other reason; is a cluster of habitable systems really worth a voyage of months to colonise?

Humans have come to Motherlode three times, the earliest around 27000 years ago - 20,000 years after the extinction of the Benefactors, at a time when glaciation was at its height on Earth, humans settled in the Motherlode system. They had collapsed back to near-barbarism by the time the Shackleton Mission entered the earliest known jumpspace current and found its way to the edge of the Prospect Deep. New nations arose around the Shippies evacuating the dying Shackleton.

Then came the ships from the Commonwealth, from New Albion, the Arrix Republic and others. They founded small enclaves whilst humanity fought the War of Survival against the Successors. The alien Shur'Pa came too, and the Ascondi of course evolved on Ultima Thule. Or so they say... but there is strong evidence that this is not true.

Factions, enclaves and nations struggle for dominance of an island on the edge of the unknown. Each has its own agenda... or do they all have the same goal?
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Re: Towards an Infinite Horizon

Postby The Dark Avenger » Sat Jul 30, 2016 5:41 pm

The variable nature of jump timings is an important part of the setting. It is connected to come other phenomena including areas where jump is more difficult or where jumps take an excessively long time. The discovery of jumpspace currents and trenches has implications for astronavigation which are only now becoming apparent.
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Re: Towards an Infinite Horizon

Postby fusor » Sat Jul 30, 2016 6:04 pm

Humans have been in space for 27,000 years? So there's some pretty deep history here (lots of ups and downs, by the sounds of it).

Presumably Earth is far away or a long forgotten memory?
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Re: Towards an Infinite Horizon

Postby crazy_cat » Sat Jul 30, 2016 6:28 pm

The Dark Avenger wrote:....Humans have come to Motherlode three times, the earliest around 27000 years ago - 20,000 years after the extinction of the Benefactors, at a time when glaciation was at its height on Earth, humans settled in the Motherlode system. They had collapsed back to near-barbarism by the time the Shackleton Mission entered the earliest known jumpspace current and found its way to the edge of the Prospect Deep. New nations arose around the Shippies evacuating the dying Shackleton.

Then came the ships from the Commonwealth, from New Albion, the Arrix Republic and others. They founded small enclaves whilst humanity fought the War of Survival against the Successors. The alien Shur'Pa came too, and the Ascondi of course evolved on Ultima Thule. Or so they say... but there is strong evidence that this is not true.

Factions, enclaves and nations struggle for dominance of an island on the edge of the unknown. Each has its own agenda... or do they all have the same goal?
Now this sort of stuff is more interesting and starts to get my attention.

Although I also kind of think WTF as the above says humans got there 27,000 yeasr ago, and a few posts before you said 'Infinite Horizons is set around 700 years from now' so theres some stuff going on here (that you haven't mentioned yet) that sounds pretty fundamental to the setting.

This something could be a great selling point and best thing ever, or a big turn off, and until I know more about it I'm still (unfortunately) 'whatevs' to this new setting. Sorry.
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Re: Towards an Infinite Horizon

Postby fusor » Sat Jul 30, 2016 6:34 pm

crazy_cat wrote:Although I also kind of think WTF as the above says humans got there 27,000 yeasr ago, and a few posts before you said 'Infinite Horizons is set around 700 years from now' so theres some stuff going on here (that you haven't mentioned yet) that sounds pretty fundamental to the setting.

This something could be a great selling point and best thing ever, or a big turn off, and until I know more about it I'm still (unfortunately) 'whatevs' to this new setting. Sorry.
Does sound a bit odd, doesn't it. Unless "humans" aren't actually from Earth (maybe Earth is only one of a number of human worlds). What would be really neat is if it is set 700 years from now but the FTL drive can sometimes send ships back in time and they ended up at Motherlode 27000 years ago, but I don't get the impression that this is what happened.
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Re: Towards an Infinite Horizon

Postby The Dark Avenger » Sat Jul 30, 2016 6:39 pm

Around 45,000 years ago, a race we now refer to as the Benefactors came to Earth. They were dying out, and sought someone to pass the torch of their knowledge to. They built a small colony on Earth, but then realised that the coming glaciation would eradicate all traces of them and perhaps even of us. Nothing would remain of them and their work. So they expended the last of their ships and energy seeding humans on other worlds.

In the intervening thousands of years some human groups emerged onto the galactic stage but are now gone. One of those presumably colonised Motherlode around 27,000 years ago.

Finally, humanity on Earth recovered from the Ice Age and eventually found some technologies from the Benefactors. The resulting Windfall Wars crippled Earth and allowed the stronger colonies to break away. The effort to save Earth's shattered ecosphere was the foundation of the modern Commonewalth.

The Shackleton Mission was launched before the Windfall Wars, and was presumed lost for 550 years. When humans from the Commonwealth finally reached Motherlode they were surprised to find the Shacketon colonists already there along with the much earlier humans.

There are several other human states beyond the Commonwealth, most of which date from The Scramble; the first flurry of colonisation using the earliest unrelaible jump engines. Recently, another human group has appeared; we call them the Successors. They seem to have retained some of the Benefactors technology and they want Earth for their home - because it is their home. Seeded on a harsh world they survived against all the odds, and now have returned to take back their birthright.

Among the aliens we have met are the Highno, who we thought were one of the minor non-starfaring species. In fact they are more advanced than we are, but have no interest in starfaring. They call their world Last Place of Concealment, and they are deeply afraid of something. All we know is that it is not the Successors.
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Re: Towards an Infinite Horizon

Postby The Dark Avenger » Sat Jul 30, 2016 6:47 pm

The Motherlode setting is only a small corner of the greater universe, of course. However, it is big enough to be a sandbox for the players and has natural constraints imposed by the difficulty of getting anywhere else without a high-jump ship. So it's a place where travellers can find their feet and uncover some of the mysteries of the universe before setting out onto the wider stage.

The system has three habitable worlds (a garden world, a not-so-garden world and a borderline hell world) plus communities on other bodies. Local powers are typically TL8-9 and the more advanced interstellar states are far away so their high-tech equipment is in limited supply. Everyone is jockeying for position but with very limited resources. This is the sort of place where a handful of adventurers in a small space vessel (or starship) can make a real difference without needing to be vastly powerful.
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