Monday, August 10, 2015

Ghostly Rights

In the Ghost Drive setting I've determined two cultural aspects that you should really know about before you land on a new world: Psi Status (Pro or Anti-Psi) and Non-Biological Entity Status (Materialist, Spiritualist or Theist). I arranged the attitudes on a graph. If you recognize this infographic as used to display types of zombies or D&D alignments then kudos!

There's some room for tweaking for sure. Maybe you want to stick Rulers above Prophets/Priest as the Psi Status. Stick your own status terms in have fun. This is campaign making made easy. Print out a copy of the diagram. Fold it up and stick a sharp pencil through it (careful!). Open the sheet and see where you made holes. Circle the most interesting ones and bam you have several cultures. Optionally drop a couple of dice on the sheet and mark where they landed. You could also mark the number rolled to see how powerful they are! Voila! Instant setting.
I'm not rolling dice but I'm semi-pro (pro after September 1st). Here's my culture map:

At the bottom left we have the Empire represented by an aggressive red circle. In the Empire Psis are registered and required to have a handler who supervises them in their jobs. They are viewed with mistrust and suspicion as their powers would make a dictatorship pretty difficult. Actually psis can mess up nearly any government but despots worry about that more than most. They also don't have to dance around such pretenses as human rights. Psis are regarded as aberrations at best and alien at worst and forced to live in special secure facilities.

N.B.E.s are a resource. You slap the psis around to move the N.B.E.s where they are needed. The entities can be worked to death if necessary or experimented on in any way imaginable. Psis to for that matter though the human subjects might not be tested to destruction. Usually. 

 Ghouls- represented by the grey pentagon on the lower right and hailing from the Derlet cluster. Ghouls regard the N.B.E.s as god and are subservient to them. Psi are vessels for the masters' use. Very creepy people. They regard the entities as souls of the deceased verging on gods. Look for them to travel in asteroid ships that are mostly tombstones and grave markers.

The Alliance of Good Guys is marked by the friendly green circle smack in the middle of the whole mess. Psis are citizens. N.B.E.s are to be treated humanely. Psis often have a robot to monitor their functions and aid them in their work or restrict their use of psi drugs for health reasons. Boring i.e. a good place to start players out.

The Psi Guild is marked with a gold star at the upper left corner where Psis are rulers and near gods. Entities are held in little regard and often used to augment a psi's powers or worked to death at need. Your psi rating is your social status combining two stats for greater efficiency. Non-psis are looked down on.

The Theocracy is marked by the gold diamond. Entities are gods, psionic humans are their priests, communicating between the entities and their people. Psis el within the sphere, with their entity partners, control all star travel.

A culture or government doesn't have to be thought of as a point on the graph.  The Empire could have some planets that regard Entities as non-sentient and deserving of some humane treatment and psis as an underclass but with basic rights. So the Empire could be represented as an oval to include such worlds. As a polity or culture modifies its stance it could move across the graph.

Next; Ghosts and Mad Science.