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Solar Blades & Cosmic Spells - 10 Characteristics of the Universe - Part III

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Let's continue with more elements of the setting in Solar Blades & Cosmic Spells, and a few tables to help Overlords represent them in the game?

Civilization is Decadent

Civilization reached its brightest moment thousands of years ago, before the coming of the Galactic Overlords. Sentients from all species cooperated to create art, technology and many advancements in science. The old Empire prosperity is legendary. But all of that is lost now.

After the Cleansing Wars, civilization was cast in ruins, almost to a barbaric stage. It took centuries to anything resembling a cohesive society to form again, and this happened mostly where the Galactic Overlords imposed their own order to the population. Outside their domains, societies took a while to organize, and most of the time it needed a strong authority behind it.

Either way, civilization in the current era is only a shadow of its former self. No art is produced, no scientific study performed. There is no press or free information providers. People live with whatever their leaders provide them, hoping to never attract their fury. Entertainment is usually limited to drugs, sanctioned video programs and gladiatorial spectacles where rebels are put to fight each other and terrible beasts.

1d6
Signs of the Decadence
1
Pirates selling slaves from many different species. The buyers are examining their teeth, their bodies, odor and other aspects of the “merchandise”.
2
Propaganda of a gladiatorial spectacle in a giant old digital display shows clips of mutilation, death and a crowd cheering.
3
On the corners of the streets and alleys, dozens of individuals are laying in the ground, under the effects of some new drug.
4
Statues in an old ruins are disfigured, many of them broken and most of them with graffiti painted over their faces and bodies.
5
Servants of the Galactic Overlords making a gigantic bonfire to burn books and other sources of knowledge. Civilians trying to oppose them are immediate executed.
6
Dozens of people strapped to metal chairs, watching the propaganda of the local Galactic Overlord, telling them how good they have it.

Xenophobia is Widespread

The Cleansing Wars pitted species against species, culture against culture, brother against brother. Whole civilizations and entire species were erased from the universe, and now only their ruins remain to tell their story.

Now, species avoid each other, suspecting of ulterior motives, or by simple fear of the different. Humans, who were lead to believe were superior to any other species during the Cleansing Wars, have mostly forgot this silly notion, but some still believe it and hunt down aliens to sell as slaves to Galactic Overlords who maintain this belief.

Because of that, slavery is pretty common in most planets, especially those under the rule of sorcerous tyrants and other cruel authorities, and most alien species are wary of humans. Their numbers have dwindled in the Cleansing Wars and now they prefer to stay between their own kind. Mistrust and fear abound in this dark age.

1d6
Signs of the Prejudice
1
A gang of humans bullying and beating a family of aliens just for “fun”.
2
Aliens reaching for their weapons for the mere appearance of humans, as if getting ready for any conflict that might arise.
3
A couple from two enemy species desperately wanting to hire the crew to take them out of the planet, as their relationship is not approved by their families and clans.
4
A group of rough looking fellows start to follow the group, as “they are not from around here”.
5
Ruins of a culture now long gone. Paintings and holograms depicting its people as a highly civilized and graceful kind.
6
Individuals from the same species as some of the characters keep asking them how they can walk around with their disgusting companions, and say they are a disgrace to their kind for that.

Knowledge is Lost

Together with the civilizations that were lost in the Cleansing Wars, much of their Knowledge disappeared also. The knowledge to create and maintain the network of holograms that crisscrossed the galaxy is no more. The knowledge that allowed sentients to treat any illness can no longer be found. Not to mention how how literature, plastic arts and all forms of knowledge have been lost or forgotten.

If a machine needs to be fixed, you are going to need to do it yourself or pay a pretty penny for anyone who can understand its workings. If they need to find out where the secret formula to stop a plague from spreading, they will need to brave the ruins of the legendary First World and discover the archives of the Museum of Knowledge.

The search for knowledge, information and secrets is a great driving force in Solar Blades & Cosmic Spells. Scientists seek new formulas, schematics and machines. Warrior seek the weapons of the great Cleansing Wars. Sorcerers seek secrets of Void entities and grimoires of past magicians. Mentalist seek the teachings of legendary masters. If it’s important and can provide advantage to someone, it’s either lost or in the possession of the Galactic Overlords.

1d6
Signs of the Lost Knowledge
1
A gigantic globe with missing parts that project holograms showing images of a glorious past. The holograms, however, fail every now and then and alternate these images with scenes from the Cleansing Wars.
2
A ruined library, overgrown by dangerous plants and occupied by ferocious beasts. Many secrets may be hidden in this Dangers bastion of knowledge.
3
Ruined buildings with displays showing texts written in an unknown and forgotten language of a culture wiped by the Cleansing Wars.
4
When accessing a repository of knowledge and information, the characters will notice that large parts of the files were deleted or transferred to somewhere else.
5
When a piece of their equipment fails and is broken, no one seems to know what that is or how to fix it. They keep pointing to some other expert that might know what’s wrong with it.
6
When a stranger suddenly pay the group to take a small drive with information to an ally somewhere else, a score of enemy show up to take this drive away from them.

If you like what you've just read, check out my books over RPGNow and Lulu.

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