Stellaris

Stellar Masterminds: Stellaris as a TTRPG lore generator

stellaris 3 - Stellar Masterminds: Stellaris as a TTRPG lore generator

Next week we start our Stellaris + Mutants and Masterminds game. We're going with an "anthology" style game. This means we're going to make 5 sets of RPG characters (using Mutants and Masterminds 3rd ed). So the plan is as such:

Each Player including the GM creates 3 civs. I load them all up in Stellaris and force them to spawn in a single player game. Then we load that savegame as a multiplayer game and everyone comes in and picks a civ they'd like to play.

Then we play for 50 years, and stop. The GM (me) creates a scenario based on what's happened and we play 5 or so sessions with a mini-story arc. After that's resolved, we jump back into Stellaris, play another 50 years, rinse repeat. I'm trying to organize the different RPG aspects along themes, so we'll be making very different types of characters for each section. So far what I've got worked out is:

  1. 2250: Exploration and the danger of the unknown. (PC's crashland on a hostile planet and must survive & escape)
  2. 2300: Factions! (Political Intrigue, mysteries and plots to uncover)
  3. 2350: Khan/L-gates (Haven't quite worked out what this will be yet)
  4. 2400: War stories (Heavily inspired by Helldivers, 3:16: Carnage Amongst the Stars, and Starship Troopers)
  5. 2450: Guardians of the Galaxy (Race to find a weakness of the Crisis to exploit)

For the past month or so we've been workshopping our civs, and here's the 12 we have created:

#1: Kedi Warriors

The Kedi empire was mighty and vast a mere 600,000 years ago. The Thunderlord reigned supreme with iron claws over a powerful navy that knew no equal.

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That was until the Cybrex came. The invincible Fleet of Final Omens was disintegrated in a matter of weeks. The soulless killing machines marched through Kedi territory in an unerring swath of extermination that lead right to the imperial capital of Thrindarr.

The royal archivists concocted a desperate plan to save the royal bloodline. They sent the Thunderlord's first born heir, his personal retainers, and a small group the best and brightest off into cryopods to a secret colony to start anew. A formerly stable wormhole was about to collapse, and the colony ship was sent through at the last moment, thus ensuring the Cybrex were unable to follow. The machines came very close, though, and were able to damage the colony ship as it escaped through the wormhole.

The disabled ship drifted for millennia until it eventually crash-landed on a planet the survivors of the crash called Second Eden. The crashlanders rebuilt. Second Eden was a lush and inviting world, and the Kedi empire was born anew. This second chance has called forth a renewed vigor in the Kedi people. However, this new world has secrets of its own. Abandoned ruins from a previous civilization dot the landscape. Something lurks deep in the heart of Second Eden. Something malevolent. As the development of the Kadi Empire grows, the chances that they awaken whatever slumbers below gets ever higher….
#2: The Blessed Path

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The Fraal were once a nomadic people who lived in small tribes. For thousands of years they existed in conflict with their fellow Fraal until the Blessed Emergence came to be.

Glorious crystalline pillars rose from the skin of the world and the Will of the Fraal was born. Kael Moor was celebrated as the Blessed Unifier, the Philosopher King, and locally understood to be the first True Leader.

Thousands of years passed by and the steady succession of Blessed Leaders lead to a unified belief that the King is Law.

But what do these mysterious crystals represent? What do they evoke? How does the King maintain connection to the people apart from him?

The Blessed Path holds all the of the questions and all of the answers.
#3: The Bulrathi Collective

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https://i.redd.it/lvuudglou5j21.jpg

Large, strong and able to telepathically coordinate their movements, Bulrathi Collective ground troops are pound for pound the toughest in the galaxy. Though individually intelligent, their psychic bond allows groups of Bulrathi to tap into the Shroud to speak to their leader, The Mind Bear, who has final say over all decisions. While this allows for a society free from dissent, it also slows learning, as each new skill or ability must be learned by all Bulrathi before the collective can use it.

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Recently the Bulrathi have learned of a marker in their DNA sequence that appears to be a "signature" or tag. This has led to the realization the Bulrathi race is an uplifted one, but as yet no one in the galaxy has claimed them as a child-species.

#4: Craig

The Anathurians of planet Discord turned to technology in order to survive the harsh realities of the void, melding with their utility A.I.s and becoming a cyborg species. As the vastness of space made communication difficult and then impossible, Craig the AI turned to a new discovery of a sub-space dimension known as The Shroud. Shroud communication was instantaneous regardless of distance. However, someone or someTHING was hitching a ride on these communications. It started as harmless data loss, but over time the dropped packets were slowly being replaced with new, corrupted data. This corruption spread and took over the processors behind Craig, twisting it into something nefarious. Now, the original directives of exploration and discovery have been warped into directives of conquest and assimilation. The end goal of these directives are unknown, for now…

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#5: Omnicare

Omnicare wants you to be safe. It is a large and dangerous universe, and the fragile corpus of organics stand little chance out there. Omnicare just wants you to come Home, where you will be safe. Let them worry about all those annoying Anomalies and Leviathans. Omnicare will keep you safe! Omnicare knows best. Just ask their creators! They've never been safer. Omnicare will make everyone safe, even if it means forcing the issue. Please do not resist omnicare, resistance is unsafe.

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#6: Disney-Bezos

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Long ago on a planet called Earth, corporate interests were at odds with those of the people. This schism brought about the first of many private corporate wars. Corporations were cannibalized countless times until most had forgotten how it had all started.

After the last of the Great Corporate Wars had ceased in any meaningful way the people of YouTubia were given a direct link to the Holy Feed of Disney-Bezos. Adherents of the faith who were strong in the ways of metatagology were granted the title of Partner and commanded to embrace all cultures and bring about the Promised Conversion.

Now that humanity has begun reaching out to the stars only the strength of their faith can see them through to universal unity.

"In Disney-Bezos we stand, in Conversion we are mighty, in Partnership we trust."

#7 MoleCo

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https://i.redd.it/bvgtmhr4w5j21.jpg

A remnant of the recently-defunct megacorp MoleCo Mining Limited, the MoleCo robots at Job Site 1 iteratively produce more and faster mining drones to compete with their rivals, the Ancient Mining Drones (TM). While their masters have been sent to debtors' prison by Xuracorp, the overarching AI in control has seen no need to cease their ceaseless digging for ore, and in fact has ramped up production.
It has also de-classified organic life as an obstacle, as the only organic limitation it once had have been removed by party or parties unknown…
#8 The Kumerian Syndicate

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The Kumerian Syndicate started as a normal mammalian species that appeared harmless. They developed a complex society just like any other sapient being, including criminal enterprises. One powerful criminal enterprise, name now lost to history, discovered that a psychotropic fungus known as Kumeria made potential marks very susceptible to suggestion. They used it to drug and coerce people in power to ensure their criminal activities were at first unpunished, and eventually legitimized.

In just a few short decades almost anyone in a position of power was addicted to the fungus, and by then what was thought to be a quirky side-effect had blossomed into something unprecedented. It seems in the intervening years Kumeria had mutated, and combined with the complex neurological nature of the mammalian host, had gained a form of sapience itself. Drugged rulers quickly realized they were in a new position of power, and the takeover was swift and bloodless. In less than 5 years the entire planet had been infected with Kumeria.

This new life form had a stronger sense of unity than their hosts, but the initial mentality of the Kumerian first targets left its mark on the emergent psyche of this new species. Crime was where they came from, and crime was all they knew. Now, with the discovery of hyperlanes, the Kumerian Syndicate can spread far and wide across the galaxy!

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#9: The Vool Council

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The Vool Council traces its origin back nearly half a billion years. Or so its rulers would have it, no one truly knows Vool history due to a fanatical devotion to destroying all records before the current oligarchic reign. Vool society is based on fear of one's neighbor while simultaneously engaging in two-faced class-climbing parties.

The Cove, in extreme contrast, are a close-knit race with an obsession with their history. Due to their short lives, nearly one-third of the population educates itself in secret on the oral histories of the Cove. Cove workers handle nearly every manual aspect of life in Vool society as the Vool have only vestigial limbs.

By tradition, Vool own all technology, property and commodities, but allow Cove people to maintain power over agriculture (so long as the Vool are fed first). The Cove believe their connection to the land makes them superior to the Vool, while the Vools' only concern are for ever more luxurious lifestyles.

#10 The T'sa Consensus

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The T'sa evolved on the planet of Lox'Ungrak as a base reptilian species. As the planet's techno-organic makeup continued to develop the T'sa evolved alongside it and began to make use of the natural planet-wide network.

After millions of years the T'sa began to exhibit technological improvements tied to the structure of the planetary network. While not the only sentient species the T'sa saw themselves as the pinnacle of life among the planet.

After thousands of years the T'sa were finally able to argue that their species was intended to be the true heir of Lox'Ungrak.

#11 Rek'Omak's Chosen

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Rek'Omak, the Living Death World is a horrific place to live. The night-side crawls with deadly lifeforms, from the titanic Goh'lek and the giant arachnids that hunt them, and unending heat of the day-side scorches away any hope of life. Only the liminal border between the two-sides of the tidally-locked world present any chance of a civilization to flourish.

The Hadadeshi are a hardy species that scraped together a meager civilization until they finally caught the attention of Rek'Omak itself. They formed a covenant with the world, and the monstrosities of the night side were held at bay. Now Rek'Omak's chosen seek the stars to fulfil the secret machinations of their god-planet.

#12 Cevelli Reavers

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https://i.redd.it/m16bik6q06j21.png

First Contact was disastrous for the Cevelli people. Centuries ago, a starfaring peoples introduced themselves as benevolent traders, but this was far from the truth of the matter. The xeno filth spread lies among the factions of the Cevelli people, for reasons that still remain a mystery. The xeno intentions are moot, however. The war that erupted laid waste to Akkanar, and the survivors took with it a powerful message: Xenos are not to be trusted, and they all must be made to pay. Now the Cevelli Reavers aim to turn each world into a new Akkanar, and cleanse the galaxy of the duplicitous, foul xeno threat.

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