stays true to the spirit of Starblazer Adventures
providing an action-packed pulp-inspired
science-fiction setting in which players will never struggle for something to do! The galaxy is in
turmoil; new worlds are being discovered every day, and the Commonality is struggling to cope. As it
tries to assimilate and colonize the worlds it discovers, it finds itself "getting colonized right back",
and its millennia-old traditions and stability are shaken to the core. The men and women of SCI Force,
the "Security and Cultural Integrity Instrumentality" (secret agents, special forces, and decidedly
"black" ops) fight an often violent battle to stop their Old Earth culture from being swamped from
outside; the Empire of Venu bristles with insane hostility on the Commonality's frontier, and the
brave Space Forces risk everything to keep its murderous frenzy at bay.
The New Commonality
is a beacon of light and civilization and hope in the blackness of space; its ultra-
advanced technology, the Commonality's gift to the stars. The Mindscape
, a vast technological "shared
consciousness", links the citizens of the Commonality together. It stores the memories - and even
personalities - of dead generations, and every Commonality citizen can boost their own skills and knowledge using their
- direct neural connectors to the Mindscape - and the staggering powers of Technopsi
Synthetic lifeforms with the personalities of dead heroes pilot sentient spaceships to the stars.
But even the Mindscape struggles as the Commonality spreads itself further and further into space,
limited by the slow communication times of 2-Space. The Mindjammers
, sentient spaceships charged with
maintaining interstellar communication and the fabric of the Mindscape, work ceaselessly and heroically to
hold the far-flung worlds together. In the Core Worlds around Old Earth, the new cutting-edge 3-Space
"gating" technology now permits instantaneous interstellar travel, enabling the Mindscape to function in
real-time between the stars and threatening the Commonality's stability with a true technological revolution.
Everywhere the Commonality struggles to keep control - and everywhere change and conflict are forging a new
and unpredictable tomorrow.
The New Commonality is a predominantly human civilization, but one of
staggering diversity. The inhabitants of Old Earth who began the Expansionary Era were a largely
homogenous species, but the new Culture Worlds have changed all that, as races new and old are
reinvented and explored anew. The inhabitants of the Ten Thousand Worlds are human, too - in
theory, though this is often more honoured in the breach: ten millennia of divergent evolution
have spawned some unique races indeed, with some evolving so far along their own paths as to
become separate subspecies - to say nothing of those which took hold of their own evolutions
with genetic engineering.
But humans and hominids are not all the Commonality has to offer. Xenomorphs
- uplifted animals of hugely differing appearances and capabilities, from chimp-like pithecines
doing drudge work on mining colonies to the exotic chelodont-riding snakepeople of Zhaffrane -
populate whole worlds in some regions of space, and their new Sentient Alliance is a force to be
reckoned with. Then there are the alien species, including the strange vegetable
intelligences of Drefnia and the warlike Hooyow - far more alien than anyone would ever have expected.
And, everywhere in the Commonality, there is created intelligence - the often uncanny beings
known as Synthetics.
Intelligence is Everywhere. The computers of the early technological era on Old
Earth were simply a stepping stone to greater things, like the abacus and slide-rule before them.
They have not been part of Old Earth's technological toolkit for millennia, but are instead regarded as
historical curiosities. Their true successors include synthetics, ubiquitous intelligence, and the Mindscape.
In the New Commonality Era, intelligence is everywhere, and its manufacture is trivial; everything is
intelligent that needs to be, from a sidearm to a starship, and regarded as nothing out of the ordinary
(at least in the Commonality: those on the Fringe and Outer Worlds may have other ideas!).
"Jay Derek Frost was dead, and had been for many centuries. He didn't mind that so much: the body
they had given him still felt alive."
Synthetics are artificial lifeforms. They range from entirely mechanical creations to
entirely biological ones, although the differentiation is frequently blurred; the key factor is that
they are made, not born. Synthetics are as intelligent as they need to be: synthetics with higher
intelligence than humans are commonplace, usually operating starships, space stations, and orbital cities.
Selected intelligent synthetics have personalities derived from thanograms, deceased human personalities
stored in the Mindscape. These intelligent synthetics are known as Eidolons, and have the same civil
rights as humans in the Commonality. Eidolons are never considered to be the original human personality
"reborn": they are imperfect copies of that personality at best, with many of the same memories, but a
new and discrete individual. Many Eidolons tend to revere their source personalities as a kind of "parent";
some even display religious or reverential feelings.
Sentient Starships. 2-Space is an "other-dimensional" space where light
travels much faster than in Normal Space, and which can be entered and travelled through using a planeship
- a starship fitted with the planing engine star drive. The ship's planing engines open up a "tear" in N-Space,
and the ship passes through; thereafter the engines navigate through the strange dimensions of 2-Space until
the destination is reached.
Gravity wells in N-Space of any size somehow perturb the fabric of 2-Space, and a close encounter can spell
destruction of an entire ship. As a result all planeships are fully intelligent and concentrate on
microsecond-by-microsecond navigation throughout the journey. 2-Space travel is mentally traumatic, and planeships
can have mental breakdowns on very demanding runs; human 2-Space starship pilots are skilled in ship therapy.
As there is no faster-than-light broadcast communications technology in the Commonality, communication between
the stars is carried out by the legendary Mindjammers, sentient starships travelling from known world to known
world, reinforcing and updating the Mindscape, tying the Commonality together. Mindjammer synthetics often become
fascinated by the human thought traffic of the Mindscape and want more direct physical contact with organics;
often they retire from Mindjammer service and transfer their intelligence to Fast Couriers, or in more extreme
cases, actual synthetic bodies. Mindjammers by definition have Technopsi abilities, which accounts for their
special mystique: they are "telepathic starships".
The Mindscape is the virtual brain which pervades all of Commonality Space and to which all Commonality
citizens are neurally connected at maturity using the Mindscape Implant. Citizens isolated from the Mindscape (usually
by distance, illness, or when exploring new worlds without Commonality transmission) report feelings of loneliness,
isolation, and often depression.
It is a vast space, linking together Commonality citizens, storing the consciousnesses and memories of those who have
shifted from organic to synthetic existences (often upon death), and providing the environment for chipped skill
enhancements and the "pseudo-psionic" skills known as Technopsi - essential aspects of life in the New Commonality Era.
The Mindscape is the sole reason the Commonality is able to cohere as a single civilization. With the vast distances,
long travel times, and enormous number of worlds, the Mindscape is the only way cultures, languages, and institutions
can retain some degree of common identity.
Offenders in the Commonality can have their Mindscape Implants temporarily or permanently disabled, becoming Embargoes
or Exiles. Criminals are also able to create counterfeit Implants known as Black Chips using the identities of innocent
victims they have (usually) killed. Black Chips are hunted down by the SCI Force, Mindscape Sentinels, and agents of the
Communications Instrumentality using the terrifying powers of Technopsi.
True psionics continues to elude humankind, although recent experiments with advanced genurgy suggests that may not
always be the case. In its place, however, the Commonality has Technopsi - the use of the Mindscape to provide pseudo
-psionic powers, including Telepathy, Remote Control of equipment (including sensor and combat drones), Redaction (the ability to heal
minds, including those of sentient starships, damaged by Technopsi trauma or 2-Space planing disasters), and Exoeidetic Memory - the
strange ability to remember memories in the Mindscape originally experienced by someone else!
More sinister uses of Technopsi are the preserve of special operations groups such as SCI Force and the Mindscape Sentinels, including
Domination and Mindburn - abilities also usurped by users of the forbidden Black Chips.
Makepoints and Matter Creation. Breakthroughs in mass / energy conversion technologies have led to Makepoints
(M/EC-Points) - devices able to duplicate or create matter, given sufficient energy input; even with the Commonality's most advanced Zero Point
Energy (ZIP) Plants, however, quantities are small. For larger quantities of material, physical mining and extraction is still more economically
feasible, but for food and air replenishment on starships and space habitats, ammunition creation in weapons, and synthesis of medical products,
Makepoint technology has provided enormous advantages. In Mindjammer, your sentient weapon need never tell you when it's run out of ammo - it can
simply regrow its own!
Mindjammer showcases the Darradine Rim
, Octant Gamma of the Darradine Restoration.
It is a region of intense exploratory activity, as well as one of the areas badly affected by the
Venu War of 110-115 NCE (New Commonality Era). It stands on the edge of Commonality Space on the frontier
Quarantine Zone with the Empire of Venu
, the Commonality's greatest foe.
Like all of Commonality Space, the Darradine Rim
has only been contacted in the past couple of
centuries. It contains a large number of Old Colony worlds, settled by humans during the First Age
of Space, and a high overall population. There are several hominid and relic xenomorph races, and
significant alien presences on the worlds of Drefnia and Zvukimu
. The octant capital of Ajeux is
also the capital of the whole Darradine Restoration, some 250 LY from the Rim Sector capital of Tsen Tair.
The Mindjammer Core Book includes The Black Zone
, an introductory campaign spanning
multiple adventures set in the Darradine Rim
, featuring nefarious foes, terrifying space battles, and
awe-inspiring planetary invasions, where your heroes can make the difference for the fate of an entire
planet and the future of the Commonality! Escape From Venu
, "scenario zero"
of the Black Zone campaign, is available for
download from this site!